Another new to edrums question

MBB

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At some point I would like to purchase a good e-kit to use for practicing at home. My main priority is something that has the feel of acoustic heads; well as close as can be expected. I'll try stuff out at GC or wherever to start but suspect I will end up looking for a used system. Could be a great way to play with the same intensity as with an acoustic kit but without the noise to bug my wife, dogs, neighbors, etc. Seems like the most popular and well regarded brands are Roland, Alesis, and Yamaha. I figure some mid range kit would work well. Any advice or thoughts would help. I have zero experience with electronic drums, even after drumming since 1966. I will probably be able to retire next year (at 65!) and will have time to work on getting better and having FUN. Never too late to improve and work on songs that my band wants to play.
 

Stickclick

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I don't think you can rest comfortably until you own an electronic drum kit. So buy something used, maybe about USA $ 300, maybe a Yamaha DTX-something. You'll likely need an amplifier too. It is not the same as an acoustic kit. Ekits are quieter than acoustic drums, you can gig with them, they have a built in metronome, lots of different kit sounds, no tuning problems and sound nice in headphones. But I have both electronic and acoustic drum kits and I play the acoustic set almost exclusively.
 

gbow

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Edrums can be great, the sounds can be incredible and you can change kits/presets for different songs to match what's more appropriate.

The issue with them for me is the feel of the pads. I haven't played any of the newer pads offered in the past 10 years or so. I'm still using cast pads from ddrum with mesh heads on them.

Even if they aren't as quiet, I would be ok with that. I wonder how the new high end pads from roland, like the PD-128s, and others feel. But I don't have a shop close to me to try them and they are really expensive, ~500+ dollars per drum! Hard to justify $2K for pads for a 3 piece kit plus kick and then spend another $2k for the module.

Even if the pads were half that it would be difficult. I've seen a lot of DIY projects to convert an acoustic to an Electronic. Which looks great on stage, but now you're back to a feel that is basically just like my cast ddrum pads with mesh heads.

Bottom line for me.. If you could buy a kit that felt like an acoustic kit, for the price of a good basic acoustic kit (like < $1000 for a used yamaha kit), then I would be all in... I kept thinking this would happen with the cost of electronics/computers/etc going down, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

gabo
 

jazzerone

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I've said this countless times, but it bears repeating: E-drums and A-drums are different instruments, just like electric bass and acoustic bass, electric guitar and acoustic guitar, electric piano and acoustic piano are all different instruments. Trying to find one that sounds and feels like the other is an exercise in futility. You can get close, but there will always be something that's not quite where you want it. With E-drums it's usually the feel of the pads and so far nobody, no matter the material or expense, has come up with an E-drum pad that feels and plays the same as an A-drum head. You can get close, but they're not the same.

Having said that, E-drums have their place and use, just like most E-instruments. As long as you're aware that the feel and dynamics of E-drums and A-drums don't translate directly, you can use them to do exactly what you're suggesting: You can play and practice with a minimal amount of noise and disturbance to family, neighbors and pets.

So, what to buy? Rule #1 is buy used... new E-drum kits lose half their value in the first year.

Unfortunately, E-drums have the same problem as boats and motorcycles... no matter what you buy, you're gonna want the bigger, better one. Aside from that, and keeping in mind that you're probably not going to find pads that satisfactorily emulate A-drum heads, plan to spend most of your budget on the best drum module you can afford. This is what makes E-drums sound like a decent A-drum simulation, rather than a POS toy. Plus, then you won't lose your ass in 6 months when you decide you need the next step up and have to sell it.

After getting the best module you can afford, pads and a rack are just a matter of personal preference and what you can find in the marketplace. Some people will debate about differences between mesh pads and other designs, but in my experience this is not about which one's feel like A-heads --- none of them do --- but which style you prefer and can afford. Just remember this when you're looking at pads: Unlike A-drums, the pads have absolutely NOTHING to do with how the drums will sound. They are nothing more than a drum-like cannister that contains the trigger for the module. Other than having dual zone capability, E-drum pads have zero effect on the sound you get.

I've had E-drums and A-drums side by side in my home studio for over 10 years. I'm lucky enough to be able to play either without worry about bothering family and neighbors, but I split my time about 50-50 between the two. There's no comparison, and nothing feels like playing acoustic drums, but E-drums have their place, and I get a lot of enjoyment from them.
 

MBB

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Thanks for the info guys. I did not really think about putting a system together piecemeal. I have time to do that if I get more ambitious, as opposed my default lazy "just find something already worked out". I clearly need to do much more homework. Jazzerone, I understand that pads have nothing to do with sound, my goal is really just to have an adequate set with decent sound through headphones to use only for practice purposes. I don't need or want 100 drum sounds. Funny to look at craigslist. Lots of kits have asking prices close to retail. I notice they stay online for months. Seems one can wait until sellers realize these kits are USED and cannot command such high prices. Also I figure around April or May all those who overspent at Xmas, (and the kids give up trying to learn and get bored), things will start to sell. I am patient.
 
R

RickP

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I personally prefer Yamaha e-kits to Roland, I like the sounds more . I also like the feel of Yamaha’s DTX silicon pads more than Roland’s mesh pads. I owned a Yamaha DTX 950k e- kit for a few years, but sold it to a forum member. It was a great kit but more than I needed for home practice. I then bought a Yamaha DTX 522k and bought two DTX silicon pads to replace two of the rubber single trigger tom pads that come with the kit. I generally play a four piece kit for the majority of my gigs. So having 3 silicon pads works perfectly for me.
The sound module that comes with the DTX 522k is excellent and very user friendly. You can even download the DTX touch software and the applicable cable and use an iPad to control the e-Kit. A very cool feature indeed.
 

sizzle

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E drums are different than acoustic drums. Rubber pads feel better to me than the mesh. As said by jazzerone they are different instruments.
 

Iristone

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I agree with Jazzerone that E-drums is a different instrument from A-drums and can (and probably should) be used more creatively.
To the OP: I personally like Rolands, either as a replacement of acoustic sets or just as a good all-round instrument. I'm not sure about your budget, but I think you won't go wrong with a Roland TD-17 or TD-25 (or a used TD-12 like me if you can) set.
Iristone
 

jlappin

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At some point I would like to purchase a good e-kit to use for practicing at home. My main priority is something that has the feel of acoustic heads; well as close as can be expected. I'll try stuff out at GC or wherever to start but suspect I will end up looking for a used system. Could be a great way to play with the same intensity as with an acoustic kit but without the noise to bug my wife, dogs, neighbors, etc. Seems like the most popular and well regarded brands are Roland, Alesis, and Yamaha. I figure some mid range kit would work well. Any advice or thoughts would help. I have zero experience with electronic drums, even after drumming since 1966. I will probably be able to retire next year (at 65!) and will have time to work on getting better and having FUN. Never too late to improve and work on songs that my band wants to play.
I would go with something from Roland, TD-11 or higher.
 

Wong Chen Dong

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I would recommend Roland TD 17 series and above or Yamaha 500 series and above, although is mesh and silicon type pad, others will still hear the sound when you hit hard. But if I were you I will get the Roland TD17 series, as this kit had the same sound triggers as their flagship Roland TD50.
 

Bolthead

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I don't think you can rest comfortably until you own an electronic drum kit. So buy something used, maybe about USA $ 300, maybe a Yamaha DTX-something. You'll likely need an amplifier too. It is not the same as an acoustic kit. Ekits are quieter than acoustic drums, you can gig with them, they have a built in metronome, lots of different kit sounds, no tuning problems and sound nice in headphones. But I have both electronic and acoustic drum kits and I play the acoustic set almost exclusively.
I just bought the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit for $350 brand new, because it's all new to me as well.......I like the feel of the mesh better.
 
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