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Nigel Jackson

Hi and newbie needs some help with Cakewalk/SSD5/TD-17

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Hi from a newbie drummer (started learing 3 months ago at age 60) and Cakewalk/SSD5 user - well not so much the latter yet as I can't get it working!

I have a Roland VAD306 kit with TD-17 brain, and want to be able to play the SSD5 kits when I play the real one, instead of the kits in the TD-17 brain.

I think probably not-unusually for beginners, I am totally confused with how Cakewalk/SSD5 work and how to get them interacting with my drum kit.

So far I have my TD-17 talking to my laptop, I have the SSD5 plugin in Cakewalk. I can add an SSD5 synth track to a project and add an SSD5 groove (and play it), but I can't get the SSD5 plugin kit to trigger any sound either through the laptop speakers or the TD-17 when I click on any part of the kit. When I play the real kit I can see the midi notes triggering in the TD-17 (Other > MIDI note menu) - I can see that some of the notes are not the same as the kit in SSD5 (so I have to do the mapping in full), but I was expecting the notes that do match to trigger the SSD5 kit when I play the real one - nothing - no sound and I don't see the parts of the SSD5 kit highlighting as I play.

But, if I add an SSD5 track to the project, set the midi channel to match the TD-17, I can play the real kit through Cakewalk (which at least triples the volume)! I can also record the real kit in Cakewalk and play it back so I know that MIDI output from the kit is arriving in Cakewalk.

There are so many elements to this that I don't know where to start unravelling what I've obviously not done correctly. I don't know how the process flow should work to see where I'm going wrong.

Please can I ask someone who has experience as a beginner with Cakewalk/SSD5 (or another drum VST) who has sorted this all out so they can play the VST kits from their real kit to give me some advice. I've got the manual but I don't think an 1880 page tome is going to be the answer right now...I don't know which bits to read!?

Cheers, Nige

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To monitor any MIDI controller (including e-drums) when playing, the input echo button right of the record button must be enabled on the instrument/MIDI track.

That said, without an audio interface capable of very low latency, it may be better to monitor the audio from the e-drum brain than trying to listen to SSD5 while playing the kit or recording.

When it comes to note mapping this may be performed in the e-drum brain, in the DAW using MFX Transpose or a drum map.

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Thanks scook.

I know I need to do the mapping...is that the reason I can't trigger SSD5 with my kit? As some of the MIDI notes are mapped, I expected them to trigger in the SSD5 kit. Currently when I play I'm hearing the TD-17 kit sounds that have gone through Cakewalk and back into the TD-17, but I want to hear the SSD5 sounds!

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If any of the notes sent by the controller match any of the notes defined in the plug-in they should sounds as long as input echo is enabled in the instrument/MIDI track.

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