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Nord Drum 3P quieter via midi then via pads

Postby S Righteous » 16 Apr 2022, 19:56

I have my Nord Drum 3P set up to play into my Daw.
I record a kick via midi. I can see that velocity data is being recorded, so there are dynamics, but triggering the 3p via midi is always quieter then when I play it directly.

For example, if I record a kick into a midi channel, and I want to do some overdubbing into audio with midi and me both triggering the 3P.
Then record audio, with me adding more kicks on top of what the midi track is also triggering, there is a huge difference in volume between kicks triggered via pads and kicks triggered via midi.

I don't think I have ever owned a piece of gear with this issue.
Usually whatever midi you play into your daw, recreates exactly what you played.

Any ideas?
Last edited by S Righteous on 16 Apr 2022, 19:57, edited 1 time in total.
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Nord Drum 3P quieter via midi then via pads


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Re: Nord Drum 3P quieter via midi then via pads

Postby S Righteous » 16 Apr 2022, 21:31

I confirmed that my Daw is capturing pressure, pitch bend and all those CC's which 'maybe' the Nord Drum uses?
But still a midi triggered sound at 127 velocity is 4db quieter then hitting the pad full on - I can see this by recording the output into Logic.

I assume the note length has no effect on the volume.
What could be causing this - it is quite annoying!
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Re: Nord Drum 3P quieter via midi then via pads

Postby FZiegler » 16 Apr 2022, 21:46

I don't have a digital Drum, so no experience from that side. But I see two different issues:
a) If you play the Drum 3P directly or through another sound generator via MIDI, of course the two sound generators (built-in Nord, external) may have different volumes. So if you play a velocity of 127 on both, that may be different in volume;
b) if you play a middle velocity value, that may differ even if full velocity is the same on both sound generators, as the velocity curve may not be the same. That's what we always encounter on Nord keyboards - even if Nord approached the velocity curve to a standard curve recently. If you have to deal with that, you may connect a MIDI velocity converter in between. Or have a look into your DAW if you can convert velocity values inside.
Last edited by FZiegler on 16 Apr 2022, 21:48, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nord Drum 3P quieter via midi then via pads

Postby S Righteous » 16 Apr 2022, 22:28

I figured out the issue through some good old fashioned trial and error.

I set the Nord to Local Off, and made sure my Daw looped back that data, so now all hits are from external midi, because my live playing is just looped back midi. This made it so that my live playing was of equal volume to my recorded midi tracks (kick etc.). It was all 4db quieter, but at least consistent.

I hate having Local Off because now the entire front panel only responds to midi. You can't even change drum kits!

From here you could set the ND to send Program change, and make sure your Daw loops that back, but I never have my hardware send program changes because depending on what you have focussed in Logic, changing a patch on your hardware synth can swap out a plug-in or cause other mayhem. It's just not good for my workflow.

So I set Local back on, and made sure my Daw wasn't looping back midi data, which is when I realized it had been doing that previously. The Nord doesn't have a 'through' capability. So if you have your Daw looping back midi data you won't get the usual midi-loop madness other gear exhibits. But with Local ON, what you do get is double triggered sounds! With most gear this would be a noticeable flam, but the latency on the ND must be phenomenal, because it wasn't flams, it was just louder. This explains how full velocity from live vs recorded midi could be different in volume, the live playing always had double triggered notes, doubled by a hair.

So now I have Local ON and can switch kits to audition different sounds quicker, and I have my Daw never looping back incoming midi, so only the recorded tracks come back to the ND. This works. This is fine.

I will leave this post here for when in five years I forget all this and my google search turns up my own solution :D

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