MegaDRUM & Roland BT-1

Roland BT-1 & MegaDRUM Trigger Device

Roland released in the end of last year a very nice versatile add-on trigger pad called BT-1.

It is designed for use with V-Drums and also Acoustic drum and is a curved trigger to be mounted on the side on existing pads. One thing that makes it really interesting is the BY-1 internal design which eliminates false triggering when playing on surrounding drums/pads. (The fine thing is when it is mounted on your snare/tom pads!) This function is accomplished through using a piezo sensor in combination with a switch. (It takes TSR type of connection – and dual inputs, if this function is used)

However, the only newer modules like the Roland TD-30, TD-15 and maybe TD-11 which are supporting this function with the latest firmware loaded. Other modules like the 2BOX or older Roland equipment don’t support this function to 100%. You can of course use the BT-1 it with any module but you will not get the false triggering suppression and you might need to mount it on a separate stand / L-Rod etc. to use it.

So – to the question – What about the MegaDRUM trigger device – Would it support BT-1 and such a function?

I had to give it a try!! I bought a BT-1 from my friend Johan Kullberg at DLX Music (Johan is a famous Swedish drummer who besides his work at DLX handles the drums in the symphonic metal band Therion)

Used equipment
I did use an ARM based MegaDRUM-32 trigger device (Firmware 20130405), a snare with mesh heads and 682DRUMS dual triggers mounted (Head/Rim) and the Roland BT-1 attached to the snares rim. The used drum plug-in software was Addictive DRUMS 1.56.

My snare was configured from the beginning – so I did not pay any attention to this pad in my tests. The focus was totally on the BT-1. After some serious investigations – I found out that the BT-1 was the type of pad using dual sensors (Piezo/Switch) I was then able to determine that the high levels was ok “as is”. (No resistors/Voltage dividers used) The head high level was at 741 and for the rim 683. I played around with the retrigger, threshold settings…but the combination when hitting the snare was that the BT-1 attached to the snare was triggering everything. Snare, cowbell and so on…a complete mess!

So I tried a couple of different combinations on the thresholds…but the result and my goal to have the false trigger function working were far away.

However, by accident after several hours of testing…I took a shot at the MD “Function” settings. In MegaDRUM Manager – you get a dropdown box with the choices like “Normal- ProgramChange – CutOff”

The CutOff. Let’s try that function. (To be honest, I had no idea what this was really doing so I was guessing)

I tried this function on the Rim/Edge (Which the BT-1 switch was connected to)…No really luck! But the false triggering from the snare improved a lot.

So I changed the CutOff function to the head input instead (Where the  BT-1 piezo sensor was connected)….and BINGO!

What is happening is that the BT-1 head sensor (Piezo) sends a cutoff message when sensor is triggered – e.g. when the snare or rim shot is hit. When hitting the BT-1…the BT-1 switch is triggered. So the cutoff and the threshold on both sensors are extremely important to set right.

The false triggering disappeared – and I was able to play on the snare, do rim shots really hard without the BT-1 was triggering! And when hitting the BT-1 really hard – some snare triggering was passing through – but this problem is the same on a Roland TD-30.

I am guessing that my values on MD Dynamic Level & Time could be tweaked a bit more but what the heck! I cracked the code!

Some other functions in MegaDRUM:

In Addictive Drums I am using a cowbell sound which has three different cowbell samples referring to different midi notes. (I have used it in the attached video)

By setting the Alt Note in MEgaDRUM, two different sounds could alternate. It actually toggles between the Note/Alt Notes…one on each hit)

This function is very useful, if you have a cowbell with two sounds. I have also added a Press Note…which triggers, if doing a drum roll on the BT-1. A third cowbell sound was added for this function.

MegaDRUM also offers more functionality – ProgramChange – IT would be possible to use the BT-1 and change sounds & sound banks by hitting the trigger. Not tested in this report.

The MegaDrum is offering very nice functions to your drumplay!

Mission Competed!

You can download my MD settings for Roland BT-1 on

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