Rig Rundown : Legally Blonde

It seems that my rig gets more complicated with each show and preparing for the PYT production of Legally Blonde was no exception. We did not have a percussionist for the show, so in addition to drums, I doubled the percussion part where possible.  This involved adding parts for triangle, tambourine, crotale, mark tree (a.k.a. the “broken glass” patch), bodhran and timpani in various tunings throughout the show.

Custom Kits

Covering the additional percussion parts resulted in 82 program changes throughout the show and over 50 custom kits that needed to be programmed.

The bulk of the program changes were to bring timpani of different tuning in and out on the two low toms.  However, there were many other changes to swap the percussion instruments that appeared on my auxiliary triggers (more on that below).

Legally Blonde Kit
Legally Blonde Kit

Sampler Instruments

In addition to the custom shakers that I described in this post, I discovered that the TD-30 does not include a bodhran patch, which was essential to deliver the sound of Ireland.  Luckily, I found suitable bodhran samples online at FMJ Software and used these to create a velocity-sensitive EXS24 instrument hosted in MainStage.

The TD-30 can only trigger one sample per pad and, as a result, I found that I was short a limb when it came to providing all the sounds for Whipped Into Shape. This was easily solved by sampling the TD-30 itself and setting up a pad to trigger a MainStage instrument  via MIDI (sampled TD-30 “Clap”) in addition to its assigned TD-30 sound (“Snare”).

BT1 Trigger, Redux

The BT-1 trigger that I piloted in my Pirates Rig shows up again in the Legally Blonde rig  x2.  Since these are single trigger pads, I was able to use a single input with an inexpensive splitter that I purchased from DrumSplitters.com.  The latest TD-30 firmware (v1.12) includes two BT-1 specific trigger settings and I chose BT1 Sens as it gave greater control and a better feel.

Kit Layout

Here is the layout I used for the show:

Legally Blonde Layout

The patch selections are based on a modified TD-30 “User Kit”.  I spent most of my time fine-tuning the Snare and Kick patches to sound good over the PA system but the rest received minor tweaks as well.

In particular, the Kick has  “Kit Resonance” on by default.  This is a nice simulation of a real kit, but also adds uncontrollable ambience to the sound.  I preferred turning this off and muting the kick heavily and adding reverb as needed.

Name Type Usage Base TD-30 Patches
Kick (not shown) KD-120 Kick Drum #1 – 22″ HallCut K
Snare (SNR) PD-128S Snare Drum #158 – Stainless
Hi Hat VH-13 Hi Hat #597 – Custom HB
Left Snare (SNR) PD-85 Snare Drum
#158 – Stainless
#817 – Timbale2 Hi
#838 – Tambourine2
Tom 1 PD-105 High Tom #345 – 10″Custom T1
Tom 2 PD-105 Mid Tom #349 – 14″Custom T3
Tom 3 PD-125 High Floor Tom
High Timpani
#351 – 16″Custom T4
#930 – Timpani2 C
Tom 4 PD-125 Low Floor Tom
Low Timpani
#353 – 18″Custom T5
#931 – Timpani2 G
Cym 1 CY-14C Crash 1 #667 – 16″ Paper Crash
Cym 2 CY-8 Splash
#687 – 6″SplazhSp
#938 – Triangle
#942 – Crotale
#838 – Tambourine2
Cym 3 CY-14C Crash 2 #657 – 17″ Dark Crash
Cym 4 CY-8 China
#713 – 20″CB Low
#838 – Tambourine2
#942 – Crotale
Ride Cym CY-15R Ride Cymbal #725 – 20″CustmRd
Bar 1 BT-1 Mark Tree
TD-30 Claps (via MainStage)
Vibes Single Note
#945 – Tree Chimes
#927 – Woodblock
#942 – Crotale
#1102 – Off
#960 – Vibes
Bar 2 BT-1 Sleigh Bells
Xylophone Single Note
Shaker (TD-30)
Shaker (via MainStage)
Bodhran (via MainStage)
#944 – Sleigh Bells
#1028 – Sticks
#959 – Xylophone
#828 – Cowbell Mute
#836 – Shaker
#1102 – Off
#1060 – Clap
#1102 – Off

Equipment Used

  • Roland TD-30 Sound Module
  • Roland KD-120 Kick Drum
  • Roland PD-128S Snare Drum
  • Roland VH-13 Hi Hat
  • Roland PD-105 10″ V-Pad x2
  • Roland PD-125 12″ V-Pad x2
  • Roland CY-15R Ride Cymbal
  • Roland CY-14 Crash Cymbal x2
  • Roland PD-85 8″ V-Pad
  • Roland CY-8 Cymbal Trigger x2
  • Roland BT-1 Bar Trigger Pad x2
  • MainStage 3
  • MacBook Pro
  • KSC Q12 Monitor
  • Vic Firth 7AN Sticks

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