How to Configure a Roland TD-9 Drum Set for Rock Band 4 (including Open Hi-Hats)

May 17th, 2017 by Tommy Gun

I have a Roland TD-9kx2 kit, and have been using it to play Rock Band for about five years (before that I had a Yamaha DTXplorer). There are other guides that walk you through every step, but here is a quick guide for the MIDI notes, and more specifically how to play open hi-hat for the blue cymbal notes. If you don’t know, Rock Band typically charts open hi-hat notes onto the blue cymbal. If you configure your e-kit this way, you can play “properly” by lifting your foot and hitting the hi-hat to play these notes.

Hopefully this is somewhat useful for other e-kits, but I don’t know. The MIDI notes should at least be the same. On PS4 you need the “MIDI Pro Adapter,” and on Xbox One you also need the “Wired Legacy Adapter” (you plug your drums into the MPA, plug that into the WLA, and plug that into your Xbox). It actually works flawlessly, believe it or not.

I created two custom “kits” in the drum brain. You can call them whatever you want, but mine are “with hi-hat” (for when I want to play open hi-hat notes) and “double bass” (which you could call “hi-hat lock” instead, but I have a double bass pedal so it makes sense to me). I recommend this because if you’re going for high scores, you don’t want to accidentally lift your foot and miss some yellow hi-hat notes. Here is the kit screen:

On my brain, underneath that are three “F” keys that correspond to the three labels on the screen. Click F2 for “FUNC” to get to this screen:

Now click F3 for MIDI:

Above you can see what all my pads are set to. Please note that I have an extra green cymbal, which is why there are two Crash (C 49) there. You want to also set the rims/bows/bells to the same notes, so you can hit anywhere on the pads/cymbals. Click F2 for OTHER to configure the hi-hat:

Note: before you do this, you may need to set your pedal to “external” as explained here:

Under setup->midi->ctrl, I changed the Hi Hat Compatibility parameter from TD9/TD20 to External. This tells the Roland module that an external device will be controlling the module allowing the module to use the external device’s midi mapping.

You can see that when it’s open, it sends 51 for the blue cymbal, and closed sends 22 for yellow cymbal. Pedal is OFF, so when I actually step down on the pedal, it won’t trigger anything. X Stick is for the snare. You also have to configure sensitivity (or threshold, etc.) for all the pads and the pedal, and make sure that stepping on the pedal doesn’t cause enough vibration to trigger a hi-hat “hit.” These settings depend on your pad placement and how hard you play.

Other Tips:

  • Make sure the MIDI Pro Adapter “dial” is ALL THE WAY UP! This was a big problem I had when I first bought it. You want your drum brain to do all the work. Only use the MPA dial if your brain doesn’t have any settings.
  • There is nothing in the game to indicate what blue cymbal is a ride note, and what is an open hi-hat. In fact, I think some open hi-hats are still charted to yellow depending on what else is happening in the song. A good rule of thumb is: if there are multiple blue cymbals in a row, it’s probably the ride, but if there are a lot of yellow cymbals and ONE blue cymbal, it’s probably an open hi-hat.
  • Again, see this guide if you still need help — or even if you don’t. He has a deeper explanation of some things and more settings. Note that his MIDI numbers are different from mine — the MPA accepts multiple numbers for the same pad so as to be compatible with many cheaper e-kits (without a drum brain). You can look up the manual if you want to see them all.

RPG Maker MV Tutorials are up on a new page!

December 28th, 2015 by Tommy Gun

If you’re not subscribed to our youtube channel, I’ve been putting up new video tutorials for RPG Maker MV. You can find the playlist on the new page along with more information.

My game Recurrence made the top 20 in IGMC, and won 2nd place on NeoGAF!

October 21st, 2014 by Tommy Gun

They emailed me the scores for Recurrence in the Indie Game Maker Contest:

Thanks for reaching out! Sorry for our delay. The game Recurrence scored quite highly for both judges (15 Presentation, 15 Gameplay, 17 Fun Factor from one judge; 13, 15, 13 from the other). The game did place in the top 20 for one judge and the top 30 for the other judge. Thanks for your participation and best of luck in the future!

Not too bad, considering there were 800 entries! I also found out last month that I came in second place in the NeoGAF RPG Maker contest! You can download Recurrence for free.

I started putting up iOS Rhythm Game Roundup videos

October 20th, 2014 by Tommy Gun

I’m going to do quick reviews for a lot of the rhythm games on iOS (and Android). I have a page up with most of the games, and have started putting up videos. More will be added. You can view them all in this playlist:

Recurrence – A “Groundhog Day” type game I made is now available!

July 1st, 2014 by Tommy Gun

Recurrence is a game I made over the last ~30 days for the 2014 Indie Game Maker Contest! I worked incredibly hard on it, and I’m really proud that it’s finished and available to download! I will have smaller versions available soon, as well as a trailer, but for now it’s up on the IGMC contest page!

Please “like” it / tweet it here:

You can find all the information about it on a new page I created, here:

On the day of your brother’s kidnapping, a malfunctioning wrist teleporter sends you into a time loop, forcing you to repeat the same day over and over again (in the vein of “Groundhog Day” or “Source Code”). Master skills, gather information, and socially engineer your way to his location. Can you break the cycle and save your brother’s life?

Title Screen

Title Screen

RPG Maker VX Ace Video Tutorials

May 22nd, 2014 by Tommy Gun

I’ve started making some video tutorials for RPG Maker VX Ace. You can find the whole playlist here, along with scripts and things that I use:

RPG Maker VX Ace Tutorials

I am working on my own game, so there will be much more information to come!

Just Tested My New Video Card

January 1st, 2014 by Tommy Gun


Here’s a silly image I made. It made it to the front page of /r/gaming on Reddit!

How to Get Joystiq’s Full Text RSS Feed

December 19th, 2013 by Tommy Gun

Joystiq recently switched their RSS feed to a truncated version, which means you only see the first couple sentences, and then you need to click to see the rest. This is super annoying and takes way longer if you just want to skim through the articles. It kind of defeats the whole purpose of an RSS feed, in fact. There are services you can use to get the full text version of any feed, but they either cost money, or they’re limited to 5-10 items at a time, which means you’ll miss a lot of posts. Plus, they don’t refresh right away.

I found a Yahoo Pipe someone created to fix Joystiq’s feed, but it was outdated. I’ve updated it for Dec 2013, which you can view here, and even modify if you need to:

This is the RSS link, or you can go to the above page for more links. So far it works perfectly, and updates at the same rate as the real Joystiq feed (I have them running side-by-side as a test).

“Tommy Gun Rock Band Drumming” DVD out now!

July 16th, 2013 by Tommy Gun
From Easy to Expert, Tommy Gun covers everything you need to know to be a pro Rock Band drummer!

From Easy to Expert, Tommy Gun covers everything you need to know to be a pro Rock Band drummer!

Click Image for Large Version – Huge iPad Version Here 

I kept cracking up at Ricky Gervais’s “Learn Guitar with David Brent” image, so I decided to do one for drumming. I looked at a bunch of dvd covers and tried a bunch of poses, but was ultimately inspired by this:


One thing I learned while working on this is that there’s a very fine line between a good parody of a bad cover, and a just-plain-bad photoshop job. So this ended up looking a lot nicer than I ever intended, although I kept the hardcore drumming font, and so on. The Rock Band logo just looked way too good on a really bad cover, so it was kind of jarring.

hmxhenry commented on this!:

Ha! Great way to start the day. Nice job!


Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze Machine

June 13th, 2013 by Tommy Gun

Everyone was thinking it, so I had to make an image (click for large version):