One of the biggest trends in electronic drumming right now is using your computer as your drum module. In order to do this, not only do you need software but, you still need an interface of some kind so you can plug your drum triggers into your computer. That interface is call a TMI (Trigger Midi Interface). The Alesis Trigger I/O and the Roland TMC-6 are the only commercially available dedicated TMI’s on the market as of the writing of this post.
Maybe you already have a Alesis D4 or the original Yamaha DTXpress, or maybe you have an old Roland TD-7. Yeah, the sounds on these old modules may sound some what dated, but if you are thinking of using your computer as a drum module, don’t get rid of those older modules. Those older modules can be used as your TMI and that is because of the Midi out jacks on those modules. Midi is the key when using your computer as the electronic drum brain, so in order to use the Midi jacks on your old modules you will need a Midi to PC cable. There are two main kinds of Midi cables. There’s the standard Midi to sound card cable like this one, which will cost about $15.00 :
and then there is the Midi to USB like this M-Audio Uno one which cost about $40.00:
I would recomend the Midi to USB cable only because more and more computer do not come with the 15 pin joystick port on the sound card these days. Now the big questions is, can your old drum brain be used as a TMI. If it has a Midi out jack on it chances are you can. Here is a short list of old or discontinued modules that can be used.:
DM5 (not discontinued but can be used)
PM-16 (old TMI)
TD-3 (soon to be discontinued)
DTX ver. 2
Don’t forget about the Yamaha DD series of drum pad sets which could be used as well. For more information on the Yamaha DD series see “Hack For A Drum Module?“
I would gladly welcome a response directly to my email as well……
I have two Alesis DM Pro Modules.
I am considering selling them and getting a TD 10… or…. buying software
BFD, Easy Drummer..etc. I REALLY want to be able to produce sounds for LIVE drumming that sound much prettier/ closer to an acoustic kit… but on steroids.
i would like to purchase this midi cable (There’s the standard Midi to sound card cable like this one, which will cost about $15.00) : but how can i get it i am in Uganda and in need of it please help me because i have the money to pay for it plus any other costs associated with it please let me know how
I’m sorry, I do not sell any products. My website is meant as information only.