Product Review: Roadie Double Bass Coupler For Rock Band 1 & 2 (PS2, PS3, XBox 360, Wii)

doublekick1

Are you serious about your Rock Band drumming? Are you serious enough that you feel the need, or just want to try running double bass pedals?

Roadie, the people behind my favorite after-market pedal, have brought an interesting new device to market that promises to give you the ‘true’ double-kick experience.

Does it work? Is it what you’re really looking for?

Read the review inside.

If you’re a fan of playing drums in Rock Band, and you’re anything like me, you’ve always wanted to try running two kick pedals.

My attempts in the past have covered everything from using a headphone splitter (not so good, if one pedal is in the down position, the other doesn’t work) to using the Blockhead Rhythm Maker petal with built-in jack for another pedal (still not so good, same problem), to attempting my own solder job (REALLY not good).

Roadie has released a reasonably priced alternative to give you the functionality you want… but the question is, do you really want two pedals?

The device is simple enough: a single black box with inputs for two pedals and an output to your drum set. The setup requires a 9-volt battery (included), and the manufacturer has thoughtfully also included a power switch, so that you can turn it off when it’s not in use.

The coupler works exactly as advertised, and it works with any Rock Band compatible pedal. There is also a package that includes TWO Roadie pedals with the coupler, for maximum rockage. [LINKS BELOW]

One problem I found with the setup was when I attached it to my ION kit. JUST TO BE CLEAR, THIS WAS ONLY A PROBLEM WITH THE ION DRUM KIT, THE STOCK ROCK BAND 1 AND 2 KITS DO NOT HAVE THIS PROBLEM. The stock cable that is included with the coupler is 1/4″ mono to 1/8″ stereo. The ION is strictly 1/4″ cabling. No worries, I just hooked up the ION 1/4″ stereo to stereo cable. The ION didn’t recognize that configuration. By swapping out that cable for a 1/4″ stereo to mono cable, the pedals worked flawlessly, but strangely, the D-Pad on the ION doesn’t work anymore.

I just keep a controller handy, and it’s no big deal to me… but if you are using the ION kit, you should be aware of the problem.

doublekick3

Once I started using the double-bass, I realized it was more difficult than I thought it would be. I blame my own lack of coordination. My scores dropped instantly on most songs, while other songs that are very kick intensive, as well as being repetitious, became ridiculously easy.

‘Painkiller’ is a perfect example. For me, the song was only difficult because my right leg would wear out by the end of the song. Using two pedals eliminates fatigue entirely.

I’ve gone back, ‘relearning’ some of the easier songs on Expert, and I can see that with just a LITTLE practice, I’ll be in a better position than before I got the extra pedal… just don’t expect to be a double-kick assassin on your first try.

Overall, if you’re playing a lot of Rock Band drums on Expert, and you want to take your playing to the next level… this is a no-brainer. BUY IT.

If you find yourself only playing Rock Band at parties, or you’re still struggling to play the earlier songs on Hard… you may want to wait.

Serious Rock Band sociopaths are the only ones who need this… but they DO need it.

Links:

Rock Band Roadie 2 Double Bass Drum Coupler
ROADIE Double Bass Drum Pedal System for Rock Band

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48 Comments

  1. […] [UPDATE: If you are looking for the ability to play with double-kick, I suggest you read this story instead: Product Review: Roadie Double Bass Coupler] […]

    • plugged everything in the right place, plugged the 9V battery in, stock pedal, Roadie pedal, and cable from coupler to drumset.
      Turned on the coupler, and its leds lights on when pedals are pressed. Everything ok? No.
      The roadie pedal miss lot of hits. While the other stock pedal works perfectly.
      The very unusual thing that i can not explain is that the roadie pedal, took alone plugged in drumset, works perfectly… I tried to plugged both pedals again, switching from left to right and viceversa: same problem. The roadie pedal miss hits.
      So, in the end:
      stock pedal works perfect with coupler in both left or right line-in,
      the roadie pedal misses hits with coupler in both left or right line-in,
      but roadie pedal works perfectly alone plugged in the drumset directly.
      This is so strange, i do not understand. i can not figure out what is wrong, the coupler or the pedal? looks like “both”.
      the roadie pedal plugged in coupler do not work properly.
      stock pedal plugged in coupler works properly (so it looks like the coupler is ok?)
      the roadie pedal plugged directly on drumset works properly (so it is clear the pedal is ok, but dont work plugged in coupler).
      sooooooooo strange!!! i am so confused and frustrated.

      • I have the same problem here miss some lot of hits with my roadie double bass coupler.Its like you my pedal plugged alone in the drum set is alright but when i plug my double bass coupler,i have the same damn problem …i think this is the little 9v battery socket the problem.Its in plastic and when you put the 9v battery socket in the hole,its not tight.Do you have the problem than me???

      • I am odvisously having the same problem! I am thinking about going ahead and ordering a second roadie Bass Pedal! I have the Ion stock pedal and the Roadie Pedal and coupler! The pedals works sepretely but if you have them connected to the coupler at the same time my ps3 dosent read it! Would buying a second roadie pedal to use with the other roadie pedal and coupler work? im asking this because Im pretty pissed off and very worried about wasteing some more of my money and better yet my time! Please let me know!

  2. Hello there a simple question on this topic geared towards the ion drum set.
    when you say that the pad doesnt work do you mean while you have the connection made that the pad goes dead but once you change back to single pedal that the pad works again?

    example:
    if the coupler is switched off i can use the d-pad as normal and then once the song is loaded and the game is about to start that i can turn the coupler on and the pad will go dead but the drums will work as stated?

    • As long as it’s plugged in, the D-Pad is dead, but it’s ONLY if you hit the PS button and go to the XMB… you can still use it to navigate menus INSIDE the game. Not sure if this is a problem with the 360 version. Essentially, the D-Pad works normally EXCEPT at times when you would hit the PS button (to check messages, trophies, or to exit the game). Turning off the coupler doesn’t appear to make a difference. I just grab a Dual Shock and turn it on when I want to use the XMB, then turn off the Dual Shock when I return to the game (to conserve battery power).

  3. Thank you for the update. now you used a 1/4″ stereo to 1/4″ mono, what if i used a mono to mono?

    also on the roadie coupler what size are the inputs for both pedals, 1/4 or 1/8 and are they stereo or mono?

    I ask this because the set up i can make would be,
    right: ion pedal
    left: RB1 pedal (re-enforced)

    so if the coupler has inputs for 1/4 then i need a (1/8 to 1/4) adapter for the RB1 pedal to connect and if the coupler has 1/8 then on the ion pedal i need a (1/4 to 1/8) adapter.

    If you could please let me know.
    thanks again and great review!
    mario.

  4. Not entirely sure what would happen using mono to mono, but if I understand the hardware correctly it should work (but with the same D Pad weirdness in the XMB). I think the important part is that on one end it has to be mono.

    The inputs for the pedals are both 1/8″, so it looks like you’re going to need an adapter for the ION Pedal.

  5. So you are saying that I have to go out and purchase a 1/4 stereo to 1/4 mono cable in order to get this setup working with my stock ION kit? In theory, I could just purchase an adaptor that is 1/4″ female to 1/4″ male mono and that would work, wouldn’t it?

  6. I am so confused by this. I bought the coupler with the roadie U pedal to add to my existing ION kit. When I hooked up everything it didn’t seem like it was working right. It barely works. I bought a 1/4″ female to 1/4″ male mono adapter suggested by Johnboy, but I am confused as to where I’m supposed to use it. Everywhere I try to plug it into just makes neither kick pedal work at all. I dunno if I have a faulty coupler or what, but this is not working out as I expected.

    • Im having the same problem with my ion. it doesn’t seem to work right. what do I need to do??????????

  7. Just testing various setups to see what works exactly. I’m not using adapters, but actual cables.

    The end that fits into the ION wire hub/controller MUST be 1/4″ MONO, and the end that fits into the coupler MUST be 1/4″ stereo. Every other combination I’ve tried doesn’t work.

    I can’t speak with authority to adapters, because I’m using strictly cables, but it might be that the adapters you’re using are mapping just the left of right channels to the mono end.

    • I bought it from RadioShack and all it says is that it accepts 1/4″ stereo plug and fits 1/4″ mono jack. Maybe I’ll take this back tomorrow and buy an actual cable.

    • So from the pedals to the coupler need to be 1/4mono to1/8mono??

  8. Thank you so much

    • What are the 1/4″ to 1/8″ cables that come with the package? Like stereo or mono or whatever?

      • You can tell mono from stereo by the number of ‘stripes’ or lines that are on the plug. Two lines means it’s stereo, one line means it’s mono. Like a standard headphone plug is stereo, there’s two black lines around the tip. All the cables on an ION are mono (one line).

  9. So the only thing that has to be stereo is the 1/4″ plug that goes into the coupler?

  10. Thats what he says but i went everywhere and they dont sell 1/4 stereo to 1/4 mono.

  11. So I cant find one

  12. Did you go to RadioShack?

  13. yeah i also went to guitar center. i tried the adapter it also didnt work. im starting to get pissed

  14. YO Matthew let me know where you got that 1/4 stereo to 1/4 mono cable at…
    Thanks

    • Straight up, it was just floating around the house. I’ve been a musician for about 25+ years, and I’ve got boxes of cabling… I don’t remember where that one came from. I’ll see if I can find somewhere that sells them, but probably won’t be able to get to it a couple days.

  15. I’m about fed up with this. I went to RadioShack today and I got a 1/8″ mono to 1/4″ mono so now both of my pedals are hooked up through mono to the coupler and when I asked about 1/4″ stereo to 1/4″ mono he said that I’d have to have an adapter for that so I bought one but when i plug in the adapter it just makes everything stop working like it did with the other adapter I had. I just do not know what to do about this at all.

  16. Dude I feel your pain. you playin on 360? If so give me your gamertag. Mine is Kristones. I’ve tried about everything. Matthew said he would try and figure out where we can get one… I’ve tried to google it but I dont get nothing. So now im hoping matthew comes through. something has to work…………..

  17. Yeah I’m on 360. Mine is NewoIkkin2113. Like when I went and bought the new cables and stuff from RadioShack I figured that would fix it because I thought I just had the wrong cables or something, but it still works like shit.

  18. Thanks for the info! Was going crazy trying to get my ION kit to work. You guys rock!

  19. Here’s how I got mine working: I used the cable that came with the coupler, but I turned it around and connected the 1/8″ end into the coupler out with a 1/8″ stereo to 1/4 ” stereo adapter. then I connected the other end (the mono end) into my ION controller and voila! both pedals work!

    There does seem to be an occasional lag in registering hits, which I think using a cable instead of an adapter will fix, but at least I can use the new pedal until I get a 1/4″ stereo to mono cable and test it out.

    B.O.M.B. is right, an adapter will only work changing the size of the plug, not the channels. If you try and change a stereo to mono it will only transmit the left channel and that’s not what you need.

    Hope this helps!

    • Hey one question,
      What is the problem that does not record all the pedal strokes? What is the cable that needs replacing?

      I do not understand the need for cable 1 / 4 “stereo to 1 / 4” mono part that is supposed to be connected this cable?

      Since the coupler inputs are 1 / 4 “and the pedals are of the ion 1 / 8″ does not understand why you need a cable with two 1 / 4 ”

      Espero me puedan ayudar porque ya me frustro esto =(

  20. Wow! I just spent an hour online trying to find a 1/4″ Stereo male to 1/4″ Mono male cable and I haven’t found them anywhere!

    Did anyone else have any luck tracking one down?

  21. I dont think they exsist.. I have been looking for a week now and I have nothing..
    I can get both my peddles to work.. But it doesn’t regester very well. how bad is the occasional lag with the 1/8 stereo to 1/4 stereo adapter

  22. Actually, I’m getting kind of frustrated with it now. It’s probably registering about 90% of my kicks. I thought it might improve my accuracy, but accuracy doesn’t matter, because the coupler is registering my kicks (the lights flash), it just isn’t sending them to the controller. I gotta say, this is a big disappointment. Anybody know of an alternative device / workaround to get dual bass pedals on an ION kit?

  23. I found a place that looks like it has a stereo/mono cable.

    http://best-tronics.com/guitar-cable/stereo-balanced.aspx

    I’m gonna try buying one in the next few days.

  24. They have 2 of them.. witch one you gonna get??

  25. I’m gonna try the SI6-XX.

    • Work with this?

  26. Hi I read all the comments….

    Work with 1/4″ mono to 1/8″ mono ?

  27. 1/4 sterio to 1/4 mono.

    • and really work?

  28. The cable that needs replaced is the cable from the coupler to the ion. You 1/4 stereo that goes into the coupler to 1/4 mono into ion. I have never found a place that sells 1/4 stereo to 1/4 mono.. Good Luck. Let me know how it works out..

  29. I have double bass for my XBOX RB2 kit using the RB double bass adapter. (Runs on 2 AAA batteries) I’ve played GHM with it and works flawlessly on Expert +.

    I am considering the Ion kit, but hesitent about the incompalibility with GHM and Double Bass.

    Could I use my RB double pedal set-up on the Ion kit if I were to get a 1/8 to a 1/4 input adapter? It seems to me that the RB double bass adapter regulates the double bass signal because only one wire plugs into my RB2 kit? If anyone has proven this configuration to work PLEASE Reply.

  30. The Original ION drum rocker pedal does not work with the Roadie 2 Double Bass Coupler. You will get intermittant results from the original ION pedal, but will get consistant results from the Roadie U pedal. The cables do not effect this issue. You can tell if the pedals trigger the coupler by listening for the relay sound within the coupler (note that the use of relays in this device denotes poor engineering, let alone the pedal sensitivity issue, use of a 12v battery, and the power switch). This happens regardless of whether the right or left cable is plugged in and whether you use the stereo or mono cable. It is specifically a result of the coupler not handling the output from the ION original pedal. You will need to get another Roadie U pedal if you want this to work.

    • I have the Ion Drum Set and I have the stock pedal the roadie pedal and coupler! Unfortunitly Im having the same problem as everyone else is! Im seriously thinking about buying a second roadie pedal to use with the other roadie pedal and coupler but am very pissed off and worried about wasteing some more of my money and my time! Please let me know!

      Casey

      • WARNING:
        I purchased a second Roadie U Pedal and encountered the same results. Seems like the Roadie Bass Coupler is junk. All 3 pedals work perfectly when plugged directly into the ION. I will be returning everything to Roadie.

      • I am seriously thinking about returning everything to roadie. This is a piece of shit. Do you know any contact info for roadie? So if I have one roadie pedal and the second roadie pedal it will not work? Right? Because the roadie pedal and the ion stock pedal is not working while connected to the coupler. So I was seriously thinking about buying a second roadie pedal. So you are saying that is a bad idea? Please let me know!


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