Author Topic: 2 in 1 Stage Drum Set (Studio+X) with new drum- & module rack constructions  (Read 23573 times)

Offline Gerdy

2 in 1 Stage Drum Set (Studio+X) with new drum- & module (+cable bag) rack constructions

Hello e-drum colleagues,

I’m Gerdy, 45 years old and writing from Germany (please excuse my English).

With this illustrated article I would like to introduce you my “2 in 1 Stage Drum Set”.
My intension by doing this article was to guide you step by step through all the details, modifications, helpful DIY-solutions and electronic configurations to show you how everything is setup, how it is working together and finally to ensure, that potential questions are just answered by themselves.
My further intension was, while you are looking at the pictures, to make it like a manual for you to show you how the drum set became a “Stage Drum Set”.

I.) Introduction
II.) Drumming with 2 drum sets in 1
      a.) General
      b.) Playing with 2 individual foot switch controlled HiHat’s (with DM10 + Addictive Drums sounds)
      c.) Playing with 2 Ride cymbals (second Ride as a only Bell, Crash or Bow effect cymbal)
III.) Details of the drum rack construction (with quick-mount functionallity) and additional modifications
IV.) Details of the separate electronic sections incl. setup, module rack and cabling
Update 18 sept 2012:
- PreSonus FireStudio Project as Firewire Interface and DSP mixer included
- New electronic setup, device & cable management, monitoring and emergency plans included

The whole section of the article is new.
Please look here:

I.) Introduction:
I have been playing drums for more than 30 years and more than 15 years of it are stage experience. Several years ago the increase of working time ended my engagement as a permanent drummer in a professional and touring Rock band.
Initially designated as a small solution for practicing at home I started 2010 with a DM10 studio kit
(Link: , modified it, did the Hellfire mesh head conversion and placed additional pads…but to be honest…I missed the size, familiar setup and feeling (flow of play) of my acoustic set.

Instead of bying the Alesis Trigger I/O, additional (larger) tom pads and cymbals to recreate my familiar setup I decided to get the DM10 X kit to combine both kits.

My secondary goal and the reason naming it a “Stage Drum Set” was the realization of a 100% stable, torsion-free and durable drum rack construction with quick-mount functionality, a faster and nice looking method of doing the cabling and two complete separate sections for the electronic components to keep those from vibrations.

Fortunately a year and a half ago I found an “old gentlemen” cover band with time flexible management.
We are playing 80’s and 90’s pop music, some top ten, retro and classic rock hits (depending of the event / theme party / over thirty-year-old party).

These pictures are showing the setup at home for practicing.

For those who are interested in the pedestal construction (with impact noise insulation for practicing at home) please look here:
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 04:30:37 PM by Gerdy »

Offline Gerdy

II.) Drumming with 2 drum kits in 1:

a.) General:

It’s very popular to use different drum set sounds and percussion effects for rhythms inside a song, as intro, outro or as a method to change the dynamic. And most of this is done with sound mixing and drum samples at the studio and on stage.
I do not (and will not) use drum samples, because it is very nice (and additionaly challenging) to perform this by myself (and hey…we are e-drummers). But it made me always nervous to change the drum set sound during a song via “Next Kit” and “Previous Kit” by using two foot switches.
The current situation of having two basic kits in one and running two modules the same time is absolutely fantastic and stress-free.

By analyzing the pictures below you can see that the drum set is devided in a centrally arranged main/basis section…

…and an effect section to the left side with short distances to both HiHat’s, side snare, 8” tom pads and 12” cymbals and of course a second bass drum on the ground.

The change of the drum set sound is completely controlled with my motion and dynamic playstyle to these pads and it allows me to perform this immediately or it’s up to me to let it flow in/out step by step to enhance or to lower the dynamic.

The drum sound is a mix of Addictive Drums with 2 instances and/or the DM10 sounds/effects.
The preperation is done by me (most at home) and the final adjustments are done together with the band.
Our soundman is the son of the keyboarder.

b.) Playing with 2 individual controlled HiHat’s:

Everybody of us knows about the problem of a real good controlled HiHat sound with the DM10 module.
With 2 HiHat’s I’m able to bypass this situation in a much better way.
In addition I’m using foot switches to control both Hihat’s.
This allows me to keep the HiHat’s opened or closed individual. That’s the typical way of switching between the HiHat’s and double bass pedals. HiHat 2 closed and HiHat 1 remains controllable.

+ For practicing and rehearsal:
2x VHT foot switch.

+ On stage:
Double foot switch Behringer AB200 (needs a 9V battery) with LED indicators (red: close /green: open).
The LED indicators are very helpful for preparing and controlling the status of both HiHat’s for each song.

The added BOSS FS-5U foot switch allows me to turn the sound effect prozessor from the Behringer Xenyx mixer on or off. I’m using it for additional reverb.

- With the DM10 module sounds only:
Simple method first: 2 HiHat’s + 2 modules = 2 different possible HiHat sounds.

Ok, let’s go deeper with a better example:
I’m playing a closed HiHat sound with HiHat 1 and controlled with HiHat controller 1.
HiHat 2 is closed (via foot switch) and has a self-provided ¼ opened HiHat sound.
That allows me to switch between both HiHat’s in a very relaxed way without taking care of foot controller work. The “quick opened” HiHat or “complete opened” HiHat is played on HiHat 1 and controlled with Controller 1. I like this method for playing rock songs and for switching to double bass.

Remark: There is no need to change the calibration of the HiHat 2 because the calibration is a global and all presets affecting setting. You can create ¼ opened HiHat sounds with Decay, HiPass and the Velocity settings. In addition you can use layer B for adding an additional stronger HiHat sound.

Next example:
Playing on the closed Hihat 1 and having a cowbell / tambourine / handclap etc. on Hihat 2, controlled with the Hihat Controller 2 is very easy to play and effectfully the same time. I like this to create offbeat rhythms with bass drum and tambourine or straight rhythms with cowbell.
It is possible to create a “quick opened” pseudo HiHat sound with Decay, HiPass and Velocity settings. That sound can be placed to any rims.

- And now with the Addictive Drums HiHat sounds in addition:
Unfortunately I cannot use 2 different HiHat sounds with 2 instances of Addictive drums because it is not possible to change the HiHat Midi note 046A#1 from the DM10 module.
But wait, this turns out to be a big advantage to the following !!!
I can play on both HiHat’s with the same sound and it is possible to control both HiHat’s with only one foot controller. It doesn’t matter if Controller 1 or 2.
Now let’s add some additional sound effect (e.g. shaker, tambourine, etc) via the DM10 to the HiHat 2.
What do we get ?
2 HiHats with the same HiHat sound, HiHat 2 with additional effect and all together controlled with one foot controller.

And now let’s add an effect (e.g. shaker, tambourine etc.) we are using with the HiHat 2 in addition to the left pad (above HiHat 2).

What do we get ?
A clean HiHat sound played on HiHat 1, controlled with one of the HiHat controllers.
Now let’s move to HiHat 2 and the additional pad. Playing 16 notes gives us an 8 note HiHat sound and a 16 note effect (e.g. shaker, tambourine etc.). And all together is controlled with one foot controller.
By using the pan settings I’m able to create a left/right switching stereo effect or the effect comes out from one side and the HiHat from the other side.
That’s my favored method to add all kind of percussion elements and I can hear this in so many songs.

c.) Playing with 2 Ride cymbals:

- With the DM10 module sounds only:
Simple method first: 2 Ride cymbals + 2 modules = 2 different possible Ride cymbal sounds.

- And now with the Addictive Drums Ride cymbal  sounds in addition:
A Ride cymbal set in 3-zone modus uses the Midi note 051D#2 (bow sound).
This Midi note cannot be changed inside the DM10 module.
It makes no sense to use 2 Ride cymbals both set in 3-zone modus together with 2 instances of Addictive Drums.

I made the following:
I used on both modules the inputs of “Ride 1” and “Ride 2 / Perc 1” to plugin both Ride cymbals.

The Ride cymbal which is connected to the main module is set in the 3-zones modus.
The Midi notes for bow, bell and choke are assigned in Addictive Drums.
I did not assign the Ride crash sound to Addictive Drums.
This prevents me from an “appearing Crash sound during an ambitious Ride-play”.

The Ride cymbal of the second module is set in the 2-zone modus.
In addition the sensitivity of the trigger “RideBow” and “RideBell” are set to 00.
Afterwards I raised the sensitivity of the trigger “Perc1Hd”.
This trick allows me to assign other Midi notes to this Ride cymbal by using the trigger “Perc1Hd”.
The trigger “Perc1Rim” is assigned as Ride choke (Trigger type: Switch).
And with that I can make this Ride cymbal being a “chokeable effect Ride cymbal” with
- only Ride Bell sound or
- only Ride Crash sound or
- normal Ride Bow sound (+ DM10 module sound as special effect if you like)

I assigned the Ride bell, crash and bow sound inside the Midi map to different and unused Midi notes.
The only thing I had to do afterwards was to create a DM10 preset and to decide, which kind of chokeable Ride cymbal sound (Bell, Crash or Bow >>> by selecting the used Midi note) I would like to have inside this preset.

>>> “Never ever an unexpected crash sound or the search for the bell sound.”

I know that I could use
- a new cymbal with 1 stereo plug-in location and connecting it only to Perc1 or
- the original cymbal with A+B plug-in connections and using a dummy plug with it.
But I decided to use both cables for the original Ride cymbal.
It allows me to go back from the chosen configuration if I’m planing to change something in the future.
And it’s my backup solution if the laptop with Addictive Drums is no longer working on stage.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 04:31:43 PM by Gerdy »

Offline Gerdy

III.) Details of the drum rack construction and additional modifications:

The drum rack is a complete new construction. It is 100% stable and torsion-free through additional horizontal rack pipes. Almost all of the rack pipes and clamps are from DIXON.
I do not need tools or the drum key to build the drum rack.

The rack pipes are cut in different sizes and include foam insulation inside.

It is damping the rack system and works, together with the drum carpet, as a protection against vibrations from outside, which can be caused from foot-stomps, bass guitar amplifier and monitor speakers.

The DIXON T-rack clamps are coming with Quick-mount functionallity.

And together with the memory clamps I can realize a very fast plugin arrangement.

All rack pipes are labeled inside.

The DIXON pad and cymbal rack clamps are very massive, stable and include Quick-mount functionallity.

- Individual made mounting systems with rack clamps, fitted rack pipes and fitted cymbal arms:

+ Ride cymbal mounting:

+ Splash cymbal mounting:

+ Stick depot mounting left and right:

- Mounting of both HiHat’s:
Because of the close setup of both HiHat’s it happened somethimes that I hit the original black plastic nuts.
The plastic nuts were simply too big. In exchange I’m using nuts from rack clamps and big washers. Finally black felt rings are covering the nuts.

- Bass drum pad modifications:
The mounting of the bass drum pads together with the bass drum pedals caused some stability problems.
I fixed the problem by using bigger rubber feets (from Adam Hall).

I’m using Drum-tec absorber beaters with the mesh heads. I do not use a patch with the mesh heads.

- Drum pad modifications and rim rubber segments:
I did the Hellfire mesh head conversion with the 8” and 10” pads and my method with the 12” pads (X kit), described here:
I’m using cut strips of the rim rubber only for the rim segments I’m playing at.

It is not necessary to cover the whole rim with rubber.
It’s much easier to exchange a worn-out rubber segment instead of doing a rotation with the whole rubber ring. (Such a rotated rubber ring looks really ugly after a while)
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 08:48:38 PM by Gerdy »

Offline Gerdy

IV.) Details of the separate electronic sections incl. setup, module rack and cabling:

Update 18 sept 2012:
- PreSonus FireStudio Project as Firewire Interface and DSP mixer included
- New electronic setup, device & cable management, monitoring and emergency plans included

1.) Electronic components:

Laptop: CPU i7, 8 GB RAM, Win7 64bit
USB Interface: ESI MIDI MATE II (a simple USB cable with 2 MIDI in- or outputs)
Firewire Interface and DSP mixer: PreSonus FireStudio Project
DI Box: Behringer DI800 Ultra-DI Pro
Power conditioner: Furman M-10x E
Monitor Mixer: Behringer Xenyx 1222 USB
iPad 1: to play music or to control Addictive Drums via USB connection
Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro (250 Ohms)
2x 15”active speakers: Behringer Eurolive 215D

The bottom rack case includes (and hides) all power cables and power adapters.

- Firewire Interface and DSP mixer: PreSonus FireStudio Project
I’m using the DSP (Digital Signal Processing) mixer as the central station for combining and sending all of my drum sound sources. There are 8 mic input ports (XLR and TS analog combined) on the front and 10 TS analog output ports (MAIN OUT stereo and 1+2, 3+4, 5+6, 7+8) on the rear.
Channel 1+2 is assigned as DAW stereo channel for Addictive Drums, used with the firewire connection of the laptop.
The drum modules are pluged into the mic channels 3+4 (X Kit module) and 5+6 (Studio Kit module).
(shown at the picture, stereo twin cables are laid through the rack case)

The included PreSonus “Universal control” software is the mixer program for adjusting the mixer via the laptop.
Therewith you are routing the inputs (Mic ports or DAW via firewire) individual to the output ports.
On the right side are the buttons for activating the mixer outputs.
Adjustings inside mixer 1+2 are routed to the output ports 1+2 and MAIN OUT stereo ports.
Mixer 3+4, 5+6, 7+8 and SPDIF allow you individual and independent output routings.
I’m using the MAIN OUT stereo ports for sending the drum sound to the DI Box > Stagebox > PA mixer.
The output ports 1+2 are used for sending the drum sound to my Xenyx monitor mixer.

I resized the mixer window for having a neat organized overview.
Channel 1+2 is the stereo DAW channel for Addictive Drums.
Channel 3+4 is the first stereo drum module, channel 5+6 is the second stereo drum module.
I was able to bring them to the same loudness by adjusting the Gain input of the drum modules and the volume of the laptop (Addictive Drums).
Channel 7+8 is reserve if I’m running the band monitor mix through the mic input 8 (emergency plan).
The PreSonus is saving the last configuration inside the flash memory.
Therewith you are able to work without a laptop. (laptop malfunction)
Mixer 1+2 is activated by default. Mixer 3+4 and 7+8 are activated as emercency option, explained later.

- DI Box: Behringer DI800 Ultra-DI Pro:
The active DI Box has 8 channels with in- and outputs for transforming TS unbalanced signals (mics, instruments) to XLR balanced signals (Multicore stagebox / PA mixer).
The included features are: Signal strenght + 20 dB or – 30 dB and ground lift (against humming noise).
The DI Box is included inside my rack case because as the drummer I’m always close to the multicore stagebox. 4 channels are used from the band, 2 channels are for the drums (stereo) and 2 channels are left as reserve. In addition there are different DI boxes (+ reserve) from the band in usage.
I’m routing the MAIN OUT stereo from the PreSonus into 2 channels of the DI Box for sending it to the stagebox / PA mixer. (stereo twin cable is laid between the rack cases)

Remark and tip:
“The left / right stereo situation on stage and the resulting right / left situation for the audience and FOH”
The drum set is sending a L/R stereo signal. If you do not switch the stereo signal then the audience and FOH would hear your drum set reversed.
I’m switching stereo left (black) to right and right (red) to left at the DI Box (shown at the picture).
Therewith our soundman is receiving it in the correct way for the PA mixer.

- Power conditioner: Furman M-10x E:
It is the power distributor, AC noise filter and voltage protection (against spikes & surges) for all of my electronic components. That saves my whole electronic against power outages, lightning strikes and power fluctuations. Mobile power generators, mostly used at open air gigs and village/city parties, are causing a lot of power fluctuation. The included AC noise filter removes in addition the humming noise.
The keyboarder is using the same inside his rack. Depending on the location and distances between the musicians and their equipment we are flexible to power and protect the whole system by using both power conditioners. The power conditioner has 10 protected power connectors at the rear and 1 protected power connector on the front panel (IEC sockets).

I mounted a grating (with thin black foam behind) above the power conditioner.

- Monitor Mixer: Behringer Xenyx 1222 USB:
I’m using the Xenyx with its EQ settings as monitor mixer to run both 15” active speakers and for connecting different external sound sources (e.g. iPad, CD player) to play music and to practice with headphones and music.
Therwith I’m able to simulate the band rehearsal situation at home while I’m sound checking my created drum presets. And it’s my monitoring system on stage.
Both active speakers are then placed front left and front right.
It feels like playing on an acoustic set because the drum set sound (in stereo !!!) comes from the front.
I’m adjusting volume and EQ of the monitor band mix and my own drum sound with the Xenyx mixer.
That way I’m receiving the complete band monitor mix, together with my stereo drum sound, optimized as powerful and sourrounding stereo environment.
And I’m using the mixer, together with the active speakers, at home as stereo system and sometimes as mini PA for parties (e.g. with mics for karaoke or musicians with instruments).

- Latency:
PreSonus is attesting “ZERO LATENCY” for the firewire connection of the PreSonus FireStudio Project.
And they are right, the band and I do not recognize any latency. (Ok, latency is always there)
My drum presets are combined presets of the DM10 modules and Addictive Drums.
It is almost unbelievable, but all drum hits are absolutely at the same time.
Here are my used settings for the PreSonus:

- Addictive Drums with 2 instances and Midi mapping:
The “main” module (X kit module) is using the standard assigned Midi notes and is combined with a created Map preset (X kit) of Addictive Drums.

The Midi notes of the “second” module (Studio kit module) are completely changed to avoid overlapping and are combined with another created Map preset (Studio kit) of Addictive Drums.
Therewith I never switch the Midi maps, only the DM10 presets with assigned Midi notes.

The VST program is called “VSTHost”, it is freeware, very slim, fast and easy to configure.

I’m using the Asio driver from PreSonus with VSTHost.
Here are my used settings:

I’m using the laptop with opened display for practicing at home and in the rehearsal room during the sound check. The laptop display is closed during the gig on stage.
My USB-connected iPad allows me to select the Addictive Drum presets via a finger touch.
It is described here:

2.) Electronic setup and connections:

+ Setup at home:
It looks a bit confusing but it isn’t. Let’s look closer:

Drum sound sources routing:
- Both DM10 modules > PreSonus inputs 3+4 & 5+6
- Both DM10 modules > 2x MIDI OUT to 1x USB laptop
- Laptop < Firewire > PreSonus
>>> All drum sounds (AD + both DM10 modules) are combined inside the PreSonus

Drum sound output:
- PreSonus 1+2 out > Xenyx mixer
- iPad with music > Xenyx mixer
- Xenyx mixer > both 15” active speakers and headphones
>>> Drum sound and music output with EQ

1. My “clean” drum presets (Addictive Drums and DM10 with DMEditor) are created at my PC.
Afterwards they are copied to my laptop.
I’m using my headphones for listening closer and to adjust each instrument and how it sounds as a combined drum preset with EQ settings and effects from the Xenyx mixer.

2. After that I’m using the active speakers. That way I’m simulating the band rehearsal situation.

3. With all adjustments done I’m using my headphones for practicing.

+ Setup at the rehearsal room:
The setup is nearly the same as at home.
The Xenyx mixer is not in usage. The drum sound is routed from the PreSonus with MAIN OUT stereo through my DI Box to the PA mixer.
Together with the soundman we are doing the final adjustments of new created drum sound presets.
Older presets are done in the past.
All of my drum presets are “clean presets” for matching the PA mixer adjustments.
The effect chain is: Clean drum sound > Compressor > EQ > Effects

+ Setup on stage:
The setup is nearly the same as in the rehearsal room.
The sound check of the drum sound is done very quickly because it is prepaired from the rehearsal room.
My ipad is now connected to operate Addictive Drums from the laptop with closed display.

+ Monitoring on stage:
The setup is nearly the same as at home.
The Xenyx mixer is now my monitor mixer. Together with the injected monitor band mix I’m able to adjust my own powerful monitor mix. Optional I’m able to send a monitor mix to another musician (our keyboarder likes that). I’m using my headphones for checking Xtalk of the drum set during the sound check. I’m not wearing them during the gig.

Emergency plans to bypass malfunctions inside my system:
I exercised those procedures together with the band.
It was my goal of being prepaired for all situations.
And all possible malfunctions are solvable without the help from the band members and the soundman.
My spare parts (cables, pads, cymbals, third module etc.) are shown here:
There is no situation that can make me confuse and there is nothing that can “kick me out of the saddle”.

+ Laptop malfunction:
That means that Addictive Drums is no longer available.
I have 5 emergency main drum presets inside the DM10 modules from 190 to 194 (retro, rock, electro, 2x pop) and 5 supporting effect drum presets from 195 to 199 (shaker, tambourine, handclap, cowbell, high tuned (raggea) toms, splash, china etc). Therewith I’m selecting a main drum preset with the main module and in addition a supporting effect drum preset with the second module.
The only things I have to do is switching off the laptop and iPad and selecting the emergency DM10 drum presets. The last made mixer settings with the PreSonus are stored inside the flash memory and works without laptop.

+ Monitoring without laptop:
A laptop malfunction is not affecting the monitoring.

+ PreSonus malfunction:
That means that the whole drum sound is gone.
In addition Addictive Drums is no longer available.
The usage of the laptop and iPad makes no more sence.
I unplug the drum modules from the PreSonus and combine them with Y-mono adapters.
I unplug the MAIN OUT of the PreSonus from the DI box and plug in the new Y-mono adapter combination into the same DI box channels. I can do this in front of the PreSonus and DI box.

This picture shows the easy and quick made Y-mono adapter combination:

Afterwards I’m playing with the emergency DM10 drum presets which I explained before.

+ Monitoring without PreSonus:
Now I’m using the headphone outputs of both DM10 modules with two cabels (type: 1x stereo to 2x mono) and plug them into 2 stereo channels of the Xenyx mixer.
One stereo channel was used before with the PreSonus.
EQ and volume of both stereo channels are the same as being used with the PreSonus. That’s all.

+ Monitoring without Xenyx mixer / mixer malfunction:
In that case I’m using the PreSonus as monitor mixer.
That’s the reason why mixer 3+4 and 7+8 are activated inside the PreSonus.
I can do everything in front of my equipment and I do not need any new cables.
All I have to do is to unplug the necessary cables from the Xenyx mixer and plug them new into the PreSonus and DI box.
- Twin cable 1+2 PreSonus out to Xenyx mixer in >>> 3+4 PreSonus out to 2x DI box in (the two reserve channels)
- 2x XLR from Xenyx mixer to active speakers >>> 2x XLR from DI Box to active speakers

- Monitor band mix into Xenyx mixer >>> Monitor band mix into Mic port 8 PreSonus
- Monitor send from Xenyx mixer to other musician >>> PreSonus output port 8 to other musician

EQ adjustments (High & Low) are only possible at the active speakers.

Individual volume adjustments are done with the “Universal control” program.

The picture shows my new monitoring volume adjustments with the activated 3+4 mixer settings and channel 8 as the incomming band monitor mix.

This are the activated mixer 7+8 settings for sending the band monitor mix (e.g.without my drum set) through the output 8 of the PreSonus to another musician.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2012, 09:16:45 AM by Gerdy »

Offline Gerdy

Separate sections for the electronic components to keep those from vibrations:

The electronic section is split into two parts:
- Module rack with mounted cable bag, iPad- and music sheet holder
- Laptop – Mixer – Power section

1.) Module rack:

The module rack is a separate section.
It is made with a modified cable transport bag and mounted rack legs.

- Cable bag:
It is a 19” x 4 units rack bag with zippers on top and at the bottom (usually designed to carry 19” electronic units for DJ’s) and is carrying -26- thick isolated studio cables of 1m up to 6m length.

+ Modified inside with an additional shelf to separate the space for the folded up drum rack cable bunches and on top for the module cable bunches. The bottom is closed afterwards.

+ Modified outside with 4 rack clamps for mounting the rack legs.

+ Modified on top with 19” rack blinds (covered with black art leather).
The top is closed afterwards.

+ At last I’m mounting the horizontal rack pipe and both modules.
All cables have big labels with numbers and position to ensure a very fast plug-in sequence.

- Quick-mount module plate with knurled screws:
I’m carrying the modules inside a case without mounted module plates.
I don’t like to work with a screwdriver and small screws on stage.

The modification is described here:

- iPad mounting:
I made it with a fitted rack pipe, shortened cymbal arm, 2 rack clamps, 2 combined multi-purpose clamps and a mouse pad. The iPad plus protective cover is held with 2 Velcro strips.
The whole construction is adjustable in all directions.

- Mounted music sheet holder:
I made it with a shortened cymbal arm, a rack clamp and a sheet holder.
The whole construction is adjustable in all directions and smaller and lighter than a folded music stand.
The music sheet holder fills the gap between drum set and module rack and is not recognized from the audience.

All together mounted:

- Cabling of the drum rack:

I’m doing the cabling with the “naked” drum rack. That allows me a free movement around and inside the drum rack. Also the bass drum pads and all pedals are not on the drum carpet for the same reason. The drum carpet I’m using on stage (from Rockbag) is marked with their position. The pads, cymbals and pedals are mounted and placed after the drum rack cabling.

The drum rack has a so called “cable fixing point rack pipe” near the ground on the left side.
All 4 cable bunches are starting here with their way along the drum rack.
There is a small flexibility of the cable length included from this rack pipe to the cable bag.

I used silver-grey colored cable sheathing to create 4 cable bunches.
That was the best color I found to fit with the drum rack.
For attaching the cable bunches I’m using black double-sided Velcro tape strips on or next of the T-rack clamps. The whole cabling is not sensed anymore in a distance of 4 meters.
One cable bunch is lying on the ground and supports the foot switches, HiHat controllers, snare and bass drum pads.

The other 3 cable bunches are moving along the drum rack.
The cable bunches do not have a sheathing at the drum rack corners. I did this because it is much easier to build this curve without the sheathing. Furthermore it is an additional fixing point of the cable bunch together with the T-rack clamps. And finally I can fold up the cable bunches to stow them inside the cable bag.

Single cables along the cymbal arms are also attached with small double-sided Velcro tape strips.
All cables are labeled.

2.) Laptop – Mixer – Power section:

I made this separate and easy construction with 2 laptop stands, rack clamps and fitted black rack pipes from the Studio kit.
The bottom rack case includes (and hides) all power cables and power adapters and is mounted onto a black foldable table (outdoor furniture) and is additionally mounted to the horizontal rack pipe.
The section is among itself complete connected, 100% stable and allows me an individual build on stage.
(I’m using this section also for setting up the mini PA for parties.)

Cooler pads on the laptop stands are bending the laptop and the mixer and allow me a nice cable routing underneath.
A headphone holder and a foldable mouse pad are included.

That’s it.
Thank you very much for joining this article.
With kindly greetings,
« Last Edit: September 18, 2012, 04:58:20 PM by Gerdy »

WOW  :o as usual Gerdy your post is extremely informative and damn interesting, I'm so impressed and just a bit jealous, ok a hell of a lot jealous.

what are the cable indentification tags? I've been looking for something similar but can't seem to find anything suitable.

Once again thanks for spending the time and effort to help us mere mortals out.

Offline Gerdy

Thank you.

I bought the cables at Thomann / Germany

Beneath each cable is the item number.
Type the number into the search field, it will link you to the items.

Drum module cable to laptop:

USB MIDI Interface

Drum module cable to mixer and/or DI box:

Cordial CFU 3 PP            
2x 6,3mm TRS to 2x 6,3mm TRS / straight connectors

Audio cables iPad / laptop to mixer:

Cordial CFY 3 WPP            
3m Y-cable
3,5mm stereo to 2x 6,3mm TS / straight connectors

Drum set cables:

6,3mm stereo / TRS for toms and cymbals / straight connector + angled connector

pro snake TRS Audio Cable
3,0m / symmetric

pro snake TRS Audio Cable
6,0m / symmetric

6,3mm stereo / TRS for both bass drums / 2x straight connectors

pro snake 17590/5,0 Audio Cable      
5m / symmetric

6,3mm mono / TS for HiHat’s and HiHat controllers / straight connector + angled connector

pro snake TPI-A 3            

XLR cables from mixer / DI box to multicore stage box:

Cordial CTM 5 FM-BK   at home / rehearsal room      
5m / XLR male + female

Cordial CTM 10 FM-BK   on stage because of the lenght   
10m / XLR male + female
« Last Edit: August 26, 2012, 09:47:12 PM by Gerdy »

Offline Trondster

Great article! :)
If you did want to separate the two kits entirely, you could use two different MIDI channels, but with your hi-hat setup, I can see why you didn't. :)

Great article - now we only need a video of you showing it in action!
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Hellfire

Fantastic article! Once again Gerdy, you made another great topic. Thanks for sharing.
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

that is the most elaborate and amazing set-up I've ever seen, I can only imagine how much time and money that costs

well done
DM10(BlueJay)/DM8/iO, SD3; Shure SE215, Simmons DA50, Alto ZMX862, Focusrite Scarlett; Tama SpeedCobra, VF 7AN, Roc-N-Soc;
DIY: Tennis Ball Drum Riser, Cymbal Felt Beater, Footswitch Cymbal Choker[url]

Offline vaikl

All I can say - if Alesis could see this, they should immediately re-think their marketing plans for the DM10 and make us happy with new kits and modules (beside the OS 2 ;))

Absolutely great job Gerdy, chapeau!!!

I honestly wish I could contribute more than this... but holy crap!  That is easily the most impressive setup ive ever seen.

Damn Gerdy...that is one impressive set clean and others have said I too am jealous of it. I would get lost in all that stuff, I don't think I would know where to start. Makes my DM6 look like a tinker toy. :'(

Gerdy is a GOD..that's amazing

Offline Trondster

Also very clever that you have set up the Dm10 modules to be able to deliver sound both using the modules themselves and using the VST software - that way you can get proper sound even if the laptop/VST fails completely. :)
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Gerdy

Thank you all very very much.

@ Rabbit:

I’m using a setup with 4x toms in front, 3x crash, 1x splash, 1x china etc. since mid of the 80’s.



That’s the reason why the e-drum set is built like my acoustic set.
This setup is so familiar to me and I can play it with closed eyes.

@ Trondster:

Thank you very much for your interest and for pointing it out.

Why I’m so freaky and doing all this ?

1.) The show must go on

2.) The band / I get paid for the gig

3.) To prevent the statement: “That wouldn’t have happened with an acoustic set”.
Since I’m playing with an e-drum set there are a lot more people and other musicians, especially acoustic drummers, who are asking me and taking a closer look on the drum set.

For making it complete, here are the spare parts I’m always carrying with the drum set:

Big Toolbox with
- nuts, screws, felt rings, washers, tape, Velcro tape, box cutter, oil etc.
- rack clamps and memory clamps
- cables TS / TRS / XLR / module audio / power cables
- a gas soldering kit for resoldering (didn’t need it so far).

Small tool box with
- tools and several drum keys
- spare USB and MIDI interface cable
- head lamp

DM10 modules:
The third module is a spare module with spare power adapter.
(I made a real hot deal inside a German forum)
It is configured as main module.
I can make it the second module by copying the backup files from the laptop.

1x Alesis Controller (left, because I’m using Roland controllers)

Bass drum beater:
2x Drum-tec absorber beaters

- 1x 12” HiHat cymbal
- 1x 12” stereo splash cymbal
- 1x 14” stereo crash cymbal
The Crash cymbals of the X kit can be used as a Ride cymbal because of the A+B plug-in connections.
That way I’m able to exchange all cymbals.

- 1x all sizes of mesh heads
- 2x 8” pads (left from the studio kit)
It allows me exchanging an affected pad and in addition to do a rotation of the 10” and 12” drum pads to my liking.

Furthermore I’m able to replace a broken bass drum pad with a spare 8” tom pad by using a simple construction with two rack clamps, L-rod and small rack pipe.

That is a cheap solution for adding a second bass drum by using a Y-cable and trigger Kick2 for having an additional bass drum sound which can be played separately from the kick 1 because of the same trigger input.

the dual DM10's sounds like a  great idea if you have the money and want both the blue jay sound set and the default sounds
DM10(BlueJay)/DM8/iO, SD3; Shure SE215, Simmons DA50, Alto ZMX862, Focusrite Scarlett; Tama SpeedCobra, VF 7AN, Roc-N-Soc;
DIY: Tennis Ball Drum Riser, Cymbal Felt Beater, Footswitch Cymbal Choker[url]

Offline Gerdy

After reading your answers I think I have to explain the situation:

It was not my intension to overwhelm you with the article and its included pictures.
Please, please, please…don’t be jealous or name me a god.
I’m not special and I’m not someone, who wants to stay in front and showing off his equipment.
It is a big mistake to compare your own drum set with a drum set from another drummer.
Drum sets are individual and personalized to that specific drummer.

Our forum is full of questions of how to prepair a drum set for playing on stage and what spare parts are making sence to carry with the drum set for being prepaired against all unexpected situations on stage.
My article is like the answer of one drummer and how he is dealing with such a situation.
And I’m studying our forum for additional informations and other examples in the way of “learning from eachother”. All together we are ultimative.

Music, rhythm and drumming are my passion, my elixir of life, my daily motion and sometimes my way to get in distance from this cold world. And together with a band is it my way to share this fantastic emotion, which music is causing inside of us, with all people. Music unites all men and knows no border.

I’m not a rich man who is throwing around with money.
Most all of my music / drum stuff is financed through gigs.
And I’m working sometimes in my free time (weekend, holiday) for a recording studio as a “freelance assistant”. That studio is providing in addition a mobile recording service for bands in their rehearsal rooms.

Why Alesis and not Roland:
After informing myself about e-drum sets in 2010 I checked out the e-drum sets from Yamaha, Roland and Alesis. I played on a Roland TD-20 kit and I was not able to understand why this kit is costing 5.000 Euros. And another aspect was the compatibility. If you go with Roland you have to stay with Roland.
Alesis is compatible, easier to handle and allows you to upgrade your drum set step by step the way you want.
That’s the reason why I’m using two drum sets and three DM10 modules (and drum software). That is cheaper and more flexible than one TD-20 module drum set.

Why so much spare parts:
I was always able to check the condition and function of my hardware as an acoustic drummer.
E-drums and the electronic world are something mysterious for me.
I’m not able to look inside. I cannot check if there is something loose or if an electronic part is broken inside after transport.
That’s the reason why I’m carrying so much spare parts with me.
I have always a plan A, B and C.
I experienced a situation where the audience was laughing down a band because that band was not able to continue the gig after a malfunction inside their huge electronic equipment.
As a member of a band I have to make sure that my stuff is working.

Offline Sharkuel

Gerdy, first of all, as a rookie drummer to a veteran, i salute you with the most respect possible.

I enjoyed the most reading your post and i thank you for the ideas that your ideas gave me.

Im just wondering one little thing (and i bet much more are wondering the same)... Do you have videos of that BEAST in performance?! That drumkit is quite fearsome, and looks more "agressive" than many e-kits i come arround. I would like to see that kit on the move, and i could learn a thing or two with it.  ;)
2Box Brain. Pearl Export Series with cake pan triggers. Jman's converted Zildjian Edge Series Cymbal Set + Alesis Surge Cymbals.

14 inch snare and floortom
10 inch rack tom
12 inch modded floortom
20 inch bassdrum

"Life is short, death is near, but one's word lives forever on.

Offline Gerdy

Hi Sharkuel,

thank you very much.

It might sound strange to you, but I never recorded myself alone, neither on tape, PC or video.
The only recordings I made were inside the studio together with bands or inside the rehearsal room of current songs we worked on.
(Exception: Conversion of the 12” X-kit pad, made with an old videocam, only for showing the pad after the conversion, not for showing my performance)

And to be honest, I do not watch videos of other drummers or videos like “Drummer X is drum covering song Y”.
That’s like sharing a performance presentation.
For what ?
Such videos are letting drummers compare their own performance with the shown performance of that drummer.
New drummers are making big eyes and become sad because they are far away from such a performance and experienced drummers are smiling because they are able to detect mistakes and unclean played breaks.

My intension with my article was to provide information and/or possible solutions.
It is making me really sad that some guys wrote that they are jealous.
That is a result of comparing each others stuff.
A video of that drum set while I’m playing on it would enhancing that effect.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 06:52:46 AM by Gerdy »

Gerdy - In no way, shape, or form should you be sad that some of us said we are jealous of your should be proud of your set-up like a new father is when they have a kid. Just to clarify, when I said I was jealous of your kit, it was meant more as a compliment to you than anything else. I am new to edrums and I bought my ekit (DM6) because it was right for me and my situation. I don't play out like you and I am not a seasoned drummer, yet. As far as my comparing your kit and my kit and calling my kit a tinker toy...well put them side by side my DM6 does look like just a toy compared to yours...your kit is a kit built with years of experiance that most of don't have. Enjoy your kit and never be sad that you happy you have a chance to have the way I'm still jealous.. JK..;D

yeah to be honest if I had a kit like that I wouldn't know what to do with it, I would have a hard time trying to justify having that many pads
DM10(BlueJay)/DM8/iO, SD3; Shure SE215, Simmons DA50, Alto ZMX862, Focusrite Scarlett; Tama SpeedCobra, VF 7AN, Roc-N-Soc;
DIY: Tennis Ball Drum Riser, Cymbal Felt Beater, Footswitch Cymbal Choker[url]

Offline Trondster

Hi, Gerdy.
I don't think that the ones stating that they're jealous first and foremost write that because they really are that jealous - I think they're just meaning to give you compliments. :)

I would like to hear/see a video to get more input as to how you're using the drum sounds and articulation - to get inspiration for playing my own drum set. I like to see real world examples of others playing Dm10 modules - hear which instruments they are using, how they're using the dual triggers and features of the drum module, and especially see if anyone are making fun, novel ways of making the most out of the module.
It would also be nice to hear how the same drumming sounds through your VST versus the "bare" module.

As for myself, I am still a newbie drummer, but I want to learn more. I'm going to take lessons starting next month, and want to learn more watching others on the internet (in addition to practice, practice and more practice). I think many look at/listen to various performances, and are thinking "hey - that's cool - I gotta try to do that lick myself and add it to my repertoire".
DM10 Pro kit with dampened rack, extra crashes, mesh heads, Gibraltar stands, P2002C and a dream cherry snare by Diamond Drums.

Offline Gerdy

I think there is a problem of understanding eachother, a crash of mentality and the situation how I’m playing drums and how I’m creating drum sounds.

1.) The mistakes that are happening to me because I’m not an English native speaker:

I’m sometimes not able to catch the meaning of some English words because words can be used in differend ways to explain a situation, an emotion etc.
As I read “jealous” I understood “jealous”.
I’m using a dictionary for writing articles and for answering questions in our forum.
And I’m sometimes not able to catch a message that is written between the sentences.

That’s the same as I wrote “It is making me sad”.
I’m NOT sitting there as a small child with tears in my eyes.
I’m sitting there and I’m shaking my head because I do not understand what is going on.

Talking to eachother is completely different. I can ask immediately.
Or if I would like to explain something and I do not know a specific word I’m able to explain what I mean.

Here is an example for your understanding:
As a career soldier I worked together with British, Canadian and American soldiers (and of course with a lot of other nations) in several missions around the world.
One day they welcomed me with “Hi Gerdy you old fucking Nazi”.
What do think happened ?
I killed that specific soldier with words and I was close to knock him out.
And meanwhile I know what it means to call for the “Ashtray nazi”.

I’m always learning.

2.) The mistake that you are doing:

I wrote that I’m not recording my own stuff and that I’m not watching / making videos.
You ignored it.
No, instead of it, you are asking for videos.
That’s the crash of mentality.
You are an internet and video generation. I’m different.
Each drummer is individual.
I don’t like that somebody is using my stuff, my sound, my style for his purpose.
That is “copy and paiste”. That is a creative killer.
Instead of watching these damn videos you should sit behind your own drum set.
That is creative and it brings you always closer to your own individual playstyle and sound.

A young officer comes to me and says:
“I’m showing the new soldiers a power point presentation and a video in the classroom.”
My answer:
“Sir, sorry, that is bullshit. That is Mickey Mouse training. Therewith they do not learn how to survive firefights, IED-assaults, managing malfunctions on their weapons and how to move a wounded comrade out of the situation and doing first aid. And by the way, it would be good for you too, because you are their leader on the battlefield. Get out with them with the whole gear until they are sweating like pigs and having blisters on their hands and feet. The soldiers are forgetting videos, but they never forget hard training.”

What do I mean with that ?
What has military training to do with drumming ?

Let me ask you some simply questions:

Are you able to play a rhythm, doing a drum break and going back to the drum rhythm with closed eyes ?
If not, you do not know your setup and you are not able to handle your drum kit.
You are not able to play relaxed and in an easy way.
If you would play on stage you would always staring to your drums instead of smiling to the audience.

What do you do if you are loosing a drum stick during practicing ?
Do you stop playing drums to pick up the drum stick from the ground or do you crab a new stick from the depot ?
Don’t answer that question with:
I pick up the drum stick from the ground during practicing; on stage I would grab a new stick.
That is lying to yourself !!!

Do you grab a new stick with your left hand or with your right hand ?
Are you able to play the rhythm with one hand, only left hand or only with the right hand ?
How long does it take to crab a new drum stick ?
Is your drum stick depot mounted to ensure its function as depot and not as a place to store the sticks ?
Do you have to look to your drum stick depot or are you able to do this with closed eyes ? (which is bringing us back to the first question),

I’m absolutely sure that more than 70% of you are not able to do this.
Such essential things are not shown from videos.
Before watching performance videos of other drummers you should be able to survive behind your drum set.
And especially as an e-drummer:
Before working with different sound presets and sound effects you should be able to play one drum preset, your favored drum preset, up and down with all included drums and cymbals and over the full range of its possible sound capacity like an acoustic drummer is doing it.
Only after that you are able to work with additional sounds and effects because then you are able to manage and to handle your drum set.
That is taking of the advantage that an e-drum set is bringing to you.

Work with your stuff. Give a shit on these videos.
The time you are searching for videos and watching these videos is wasted time.
Instead of that you should play an easy rhythm and keep that rhythm exact in time.
Experiment with that rhythm. Make easy breaks and modify that breaks afterwards.
That is drumming.
That is creating your own playstyle.
“Learning by doing, not learning by watching”.
You are not a creative musician if you are using sound and playstyle from another musician.

Easy things exact played are the secret.
Complicated things unclean played is not drumming.

“I watch videos for having impressions.”
Ok, I can a bit understand that.
But to be honest it is better to listen to a song instead of watching a music video.
An impression you are listening to let’s your mind working with it.
You can see or imagine yourself much better to that sound.

Watching a movie or reading a book ?
A movie is visual and it shows you the finished work of the producer.
You are eating it like a meal in the restaurant.
If you are reading a book your mind starts to work.
You are creating the look of the involved persons, the landscape, locations, situation etc.
If 5 people would read the same book and afterwards drawing a picture of the main actor we would have 5 different pictures of that person.
That is creative !!!

Maybe you are able to understand me why I’m against videos after you have read the above.

3.) About my drum set, playstyle and drum sound:
A video of me sitting behind the drum set and playing with my setup would not help you.
I have a different taste of music and drum sound as you.
And I do not have a typical e-drum set playstyle.

I play on my e-drum set as I would play on my acoustic set.
I do not like to play a crash-, splash or china-cymbal at tom rims.
My playstyle includes the motion to these separate placed cymbals.
And I like to play effects on drum pads instead of using rims because I’m able to control them much better played on a pad instead of playing on a small rim segment.
I’m using the rims only on one tom pad (for pseudo HiHat), snare and side snare.
The exemption is an old fashioned rim shot played on a tom rim inside of a drum break.

You cannot compare it with your playstyle and you cannot compare it with your e-drum set.
You are playing different with your e-drum sets.

I wrote that article for giving you an impression of used equipment.
That’s the reason why I wrote (as an example) how I’m using 2 HiHat’s to bypass the bad HiHat situation.
I thought I would see answers of other musicians how they are doing, like
“I’m using a drum module and the Trigger I/O and I thought of making a similar setup.”
I thought it would start a discussion about equipment, experience on stage, how to prepair a drum set for playing on stage etc.
I thought of receiving experience from other musicians and not comments that are showing me that you are comparing stuff.
That is moving us apart.
I have the vision that our forum is like a round table.

4.) The way I'm creating my drum sound:

A lot of new e-drummers are having the module connected to the drum set.
Playing drums and working with the module at the same time is uncomfortable.
And after tapping the buttons to go through the different menues, instruments, sound effects etc. they don’t like to continue and /or they are giving up.

I would like to show you as an additional information how I’m doing it.
And maybe you are able to understand me in a better way, why a video clip with my drum sound creations is not making sence because you are not able to recreate it.

A.) Instrument selection and creating a combined drum set preset:

I built a separate “sound check section” with the third DM10 module and two 8” pads on a separate stand.

The section is connected to my PC and I’m running the DMEditor and Addictive Drums in addition.
That way I’m able to work in a very relaxed and comfortable position (while smoking my pipe and having a coffee).

My left hand is beating on the pads and my right hand is using the PC mouse for doing the adjustments inside DMEditor and Addictive Drums. That way I’m comparing sounds and/or I’m mixing sounds and effects together. At first I start with bass and snare. Afterwards I’m saving the work as “instrument” files with the DMEditor and as current preset of Addictive Drums.

Afterwards I’m selecting the tom sounds inside DMEditor. And I change the Midi map for Addictive Drums. That way I do not have to change the plugged-in pads.

It happens very often that I'm finding very cool combinations that do not fit to the planed drum kit.
I'm saving such ideas for using them later.

The last step is to combine the DMEditor “instrument” files together to “drum kit” files and of course saving the Addictive Drums presets.
Afterwards I’m copying these files to an USB-stick, walk over to my drum set and copying these files to my laptop. Afterwards I’m copying the DMEditor drum kit files to the DM10 modules and load the Addictive Drum preset files into two instances.

B.) Drum kit adjustments of the whole drum set sound and pre sound check:

I start to play and listen to the whole drum kit sounds. (Through mixer and with headphones)
That needs some adjustments, especially together with the HiHat’s and the cymbals.
And I have to take care about the loudness between the module sounds and Addictive Drums.
The next point is the 3-band EQ of the Xenyx mixer used for each DM10 module channel.
The mixer channel for Addictive Drums has no 3-band EQ.
That is the reason why I’m using the VST-plugin “BasiQ” with Addictive Drums.
I do not touch the 3-band EQ’s of the mixer and the made “BasiQ” settings.
I’m using fixed settings to bring the whole drum sound together.
I have to adjust the drum set sounds to fit with the EQ and loudness settings of the mixer.
Meanwhile I’m very fast to do this because I know how to create the DMEditor instrument files and AD presets before combining them to drum kits.
Afterwards I’m saving the DM10 drum presets and the Addictive Drums presets.
The last step is a sound check with mixer settings (EQ boost + effects) like on stage and through the active speakers.
That’s like a pre sound check how it would sound on stage / rehearsal room.

C.) Final sound check together with the soundman inside the rehearsal room:

It is different to hear you playing alone and afterwards together with the band.
At the beginning it took some time to sound check my prepaired drum sound presets.
Meanwhile it’s done very quickly, because I know how to adjust the drum presets to make them sound with the PA. A new drum preset combination with a new song is checked in 3 minutes.
Loudness of each instrument and effect, some fine tuning, done.

D.) Sound check on stage and final sound mix:

That soundcheck is also done very quickly because it is prepaired from the rehearsal.
There is no time for fooling around with the drum set sound on stage.
Another point is that our soundman knows the sounds.
The drum sound is mixed inside two channels of the PA mixer.

The prepaired drum sound comes most with neutral prepaired settings.
The whole drum sound receives its final boost and roomy effect through the PA.

That was necessary to make the different drum sounds fit to the songs and additionally to the acoustic of the location we are playing at.

I hope that you are now able to understand me.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 07:40:38 PM by Gerdy »

WoW!!!! Very Impressive!!!! But WOW!!! Man all I hear myself saying is WOW!!!! WOW!!!!!!

Thank You Gerdy!!! You are the MAN!