I’ve had a Roland TD-6V electronic drum module for a few years now, so when the new MadCatz PS3 MIDI adapter for Rock Band 3 came out, I was excited to try out my set with it. My friend Tim was able to track one of the hard-to-find adapters down, and he brought it over for us to try this past weekend (on a related note, he also got one of the real-string Squier Strats that are sold for RB3 Pro Guitar use, but after some testing, that device clearly fell short of expectations and is getting returned).
I hooked up the module to the MIDI cable provided with the adapter, checked all the options (except Lefty Mode) in the Pro Drum options, and tried out a song, just to see what would happen. I figured that some customization would be necessary (actually, I was pretty certain after our experience with the guitar that it wouldn’t work at all), but to my surprise all 3 extra cymbals worked perfectly without any additional configuration. There was also an option to enable the hi-hat pedal, which I did, but I didn’t really see any difference in sound caused by pressing down on the pedal. Rather, if the hi-hat sounds were muted in the song, that’s how they sounded, even if I lifted the hi-hat pedal up. Still, being able to use actual cymbals instead of 4 pads was an awesome experience.
One thing that is a bit annoying is that the cymbal notes, despite having clearly distinct cymbal shapes, use the same colors as notes played on the regular 4-piece RB3 set. In other words, the green cymbal, which is correctly aliased to the crash cymbal directly above the snare, is represented by a note on the far right of the screen. This takes a little getting used to, but once you do, playing Pro Drums is a truly exciting part of RB3, and a feature that I’ll definitely be making use of more in the future.
I’ll also be connecting my Roland EP-7 electric piano to RB3 to see how it works on Pro Keyboard. I’ll have another review of that once I’ve tried it out.