Few Question re: Simmons E-Drums

RedShark92

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So right up front, I'm not a Drummer.

Here's the background...

I primarily play guitar, also dabble in bass and singing. I've been working on getting a band together for a while and one of the humps has been finding a drummer.

One of the challenges with that is that drums aren't as easily portable as guitars, amps and vocal cords. Last year I took the opportunity to trade a guitar I wasn't using for a fairly basic Simmons E-Drum Kit (SD500). It's probably less than ideal for gigging but I mainly wanted to have something to leave set-up in my music room permanently so that potential drummers wouldn't have to drag their entire kit around every time we wanted to practice or leave their equipment at my house.

I may start dabbling in drums a bit myself, too, seeing as I have it here.

As it happens, I also have remnants of (including the brain) of a Simmons SD7PK which looks like it's somewhat of a step-up from the 500. This isn't complete, though. There's no frame. It does have some of the pads and it's not clear which are which, and it doesn't have any of the kick pedals.

The 500 works OK, but I'm curious if I may get better results if I plug in its various pads/kicks into the brain of the 7PK instead - is that going to work OK and, for anyone who knows these models, is that likely to be an improvement that's worth the effort?

The other thing I'm curious about is what's the best way to get these amplified? I know there are amps specifically for drum kits - what I've been doing so far is feeding it directly to my PA. Is that reasonable or would I just be better off getting an amp for it?

Also, if PA is fine, is just a standard instrument cable from the brain to the PA's input a good option or would a speaker cable be better?
 

bpaluzzi

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The pads should be compatible, so I'd suggest using the better brain from the SD7PK. They're fairly close though -- I don't think it's going to be a monumental improvement, especially if you're already comfortable with the 500.

For either module, going through a PA is the preferred route -- the electronic drum amps tend be just barely adequate for practice monitoring, but not really appropriate for rehearsals / gigs.

Instrument (TS) cable from the mono output of the brain into the PA output is what you want.
 

electrodrummer

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As it happens, I also have remnants of (including the brain) of a Simmons SD7PK which looks like it's somewhat of a step-up from the 500. This isn't complete, though.

The 500 works OK, but I'm curious if I may get better results if I plug in its various pads/kicks into the brain of the 7PK instead - is that going to work OK and, for anyone who knows these models, is that likely to be an improvement that's worth the effort?

The other thing I'm curious about is what's the best way to get these amplified? I know there are amps specifically for drum kits - what I've been doing so far is feeding it directly to my PA. Is that reasonable or would I just be better off getting an amp for it?

Also, if PA is fine, is just a standard instrument cable from the brain to the PA's input a good option or would a speaker cable be better?
I'll leave the Simmons stuff to someone else, but pretty much any Medeii derived stuff will just work. (Simmons, Alesis, TourTech,Millennium, etc etc)

Amplification:
You have it right - use a PA. 12" min woofers, tweeters at ear height. So-called drum amps are just badged keyboard amps, powered floor wedges or active speakers. Stick with a PA.

Cable - use instrument cables - it's an instrument after all - and instrument cables are designed to shield low voltage instrument signals. Don't use speaker cables to connect instruments. They are designed for higher voltage - post-amplifier signals - and often aren't even sheilded.
 

RedShark92

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The pads should be compatible, so I'd suggest using the better brain from the SD7PK. They're fairly close though -- I don't think it's going to be a monumental improvement, especially if you're already comfortable with the 500.
I've barely used either, but it does look like the 7PK has more options at least.

Amplification:
You have it right - use a PA. 12" min woofers, tweeters at ear height. So-called drum amps are just badged keyboard amps, powered floor wedges or active speakers. Stick with a PA.
That's what I have, PA is feeding two speaker cabinets up on stands, the woofers are 12".

Thanks!
 

bpaluzzi

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That's what I have, PA is feeding two speaker cabinets up on stands, the woofers are 12".
12" should be fine for rehearsal, but for performances it's going to be a challenge for all but the smallest rooms. 15" on stands will work in a pinch, but I prefer the sound of 12" on stands with a separate subwoofer.
 

RedShark92

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So I did try plugging the pads from the 500 into the 7PK and it did work...

However, this leads me to another question.

In the initial set-up, just the 500, it works fine but the snare and crash were noticeably quieter than the others. Is that likely to be an issue with the pads? I know I can also tweak settings in the brain so I may also see if I can make adjustments there to see if that helps.

FYI, when plugging into the 7PK, I got similar results except the Snare was better but the Crash and Hi-Hat were quieter.

Thoughts on that? I can do some experimentation on my own but I'm hopeful someone may have some insight that'll help point me in the right direction.
 


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