Caveat: Going from memory, reports, reviews, postings, etc., not from direct experience.
I believe in its day, it was top shelf. I believe the latency was super short even then, but perhaps you had to use ddrum's pads to get the best performance.
Most folks would probably say the sounds are somewhat dated at this point, though retro is quite in with some folks these days.
The spiritual successor would be the 2Box modules, which I think have a lot of DNA and braintrust from Clavia / Nord / ddrum behind them. The 2Box Drumit Three and the updated Drumit Five can use any company's pads and triggers, where the 1st gen Drumit preferred their own pads, not unlike the ddrum. You can pick up the modules for ~1k US new, as well as used, which, compared to the big R, is a steal. I likely will pick one up some day.
The 2Box is an open system, so you can easily import your own samples directly, instead of having to MIDI to another sound source.
Hope this helps, even if much of it is reasonably sourced hearsay.
As with dje31, I'm also going by memory. Back in the day (20 years ago), ddrum was known for having the best acoustic sounding e-kits with great sensitivity. They were not big on processed sounds that were common in Roland modules (TD-10) at that time. There were also no on-board effects (reverb, compression, gating) that are available in today's modules. Two major limitations that I was aware of were the lack of inputs (I think it only had 10), and limited memory. The later didn't bother me too much because I tended to use only 4 or 5 kits when I was playing e-drums. Today, I think you would get much more bang for your buck if you went with the Pearl Mimic module.
Ddrum4 was ok for drum and percussion sounds, not soo much for cymbals. I really regret selling my ddrum3 module. That was the best module for triggering. Still is damn fast triggering. I used it with its own pads and with my own homemade triggers. Always great. Still, I would use real cymbals or another module with good cymbals, like I did with a Roland TD20, or vst. If you got a ddrum4 for a steal than go for it, but I think these days you could do better for a little more.
I owned the ddrum 4 SE. It’s a module that was ahead of its time. It was a lower cost version of the ddrum 3. I played mAny shows with that module and my Pintech pads. The only thing really wrong with it is the hihat controller. It is made by ddrum and it wasn’t great but it worked most of the time. Anything more than a steal of a price it’s not worth it.
I have a very simple idea to adapt an hihat controller on the ddrum3, by using a pedal as a simple switch :
- open, the sound goes to the hihat input, set with 'hihat open sound'.
- closed, the sound goes to a free input, set with 'hihat closed sound'.
I had 2-3 of them over the years. If I needed to get back into using an electronic kit I wouldn't hesitate to track another one down. They sounded & responded way better than the Roland & Yamaha kits of the day (late 90's/early 00's). Especially the later generation "mega" sample series.
One of the great things about the ddrum4/ddrum4SE was that you weren't limited to just the internal sounds. You could erase the entire sound library in the unit and load in all your own samples via MIDI sample dump if you wanted to.