Hi! Cubase/Nuendo2 are great for doing drums, imo. In SX/SL/N2, you simply add a midi track (or tracks), and select one of the midi tracks in the Project Window. In the "Inspector" window on the left, you can assign all the things like input, output, etc. One item is "map," just below the bank and program selections. Default there is "no drum map." You can click on it, menu drops down, and you can select from maps you have added or created there; a default GM (general midi standard) map is there, as well as any you have added, and a final option to create one.
This where what you mentioned seeing in a music mag, as well as individual non-GM drum machines, samplers with drum programs, or non-GM drum kits in a sound module, comes in. Say you have a sampler, and you create a massive kit with multiples of drums, ie (2 snares, one a left hand strike, one a right), 2 kiks (ala snare), etc. You can create a custom map for Cubase/Nuendo where you identify each of the drums/instruments you have mapped.
Take this a step further: You also have your Roland drum machine, and would like to use drums from this as well. You create a second map for this drum machine. As you write, select the appropriate drum map from the map menu in the inspector for each midi track. Now you can open the Key Editor for a midi part (on a midi track), and it will display the Drum Editor for MIDI, where you can enter new hits, or modify/edit ones already present, with a handy guide (map) on the left, custom made by you! When you double-click a part in a midi track to open the Key Editor, if you have assigned a drum map to that track, you may notice the traditional keyboard is missing. One thing they omitted in the drum Key Editor is naming the very first column "audition." The left-most empty squares you see there are actually the "audition keys," which you simply click to hear what drum it corresponds to.
If you are searching for a solution for sound source other than the ROland you mentioned, there are a few options I would suggest. One, and only if you have a good computer setup, is a software sampler,via VSTi. There are a few good options: Battery from Native INstruments (extensive, expensive), DR008 from FXPansion (my fav- very versatile, $150), or SampleTank (does more than drums, more limited than the previous 2). There are other options, such as Halion (never tried), and probably many others. I prefer DR008 for drums. In addition to the DR008, I also grabbed Drum Kit From Hell. It is an $89 sample CD. The guys from Messhuga created it, and it is one of the number one drum kit sample cd's in existence. It is NOT a kit solely for doing metal- it is suitable (and is used) for evrything from metal->rock->pop->jazz! Yes, its that good. Just do a search on google for Drum Kit From Hell, youll find th esite, and there they have several samples of the kit in use, as well as a track explaining how they made it, and a few ways to use it. Very cool site.
Hope that helps a little. I know I crammed alot of into in there, and it may seem a bit confusing. If you want more help, or have any additional questions, feel free to post em here, or email me. Nikki K