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Electric Drum Kits

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Joshh, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    I'm in the market for a half decent one, due to space (or lack of), budget £400-£500, whats the best? second hand is fine, has anyone had any positive experience with electric kits? thanks,

  2. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I bought an Alesis DM5 Pro (the one with the real drums heads) to learn how to play, and it works just dandy. The drummers I know that play electronic kits when they have to prefer Roland V-Drums. The snare is the most realistic in feel.

    None of them seem to have recording worthy sounds built in, but you can trigger BFD or the like. The new Alesis USB Pro comes with a lite version of BFD, and no sound module! (It's a trigger only module) However, I do like to be able to just press the on button and bang away.
  3. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    i can trigger bfd with a kit? sounds good to me! cheers
  4. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    is the alesis only operatable via usb? can i use it as a practise kit or not?
  5. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The associated company websites have very nice descriptions of what each set does.

    The Alesis DM5 Pro is like a Remo practice pad kit that has a sound module attached. It has a MIDI out.
    The Alesis USB Pro does not have a sound module, but has a USB connection to trigger sounds on your computer, and a copy of BFD lite with it.
    The Roland V-Drums are like the Alesis DM5 Pro, but with a better feel on the snare drum.
  6. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Hmmm, that's a tough one, Joshh. That's like saying you want to buy a good electric guitar for $100... If all you're interested in doing is MIDI stuff and replacing the notes, then a lot of drums will work. Yamaha pads are the most realistic ones on the market, and the brain sounds are the best in the Yamaha modules, since they use real samples (unlike Roland). I'd say go for a dtxplorer, which is the entry level Yamaha kit, but then again, I use the sounds in the Yamaha modules and don't use MIDI... Happy hunting and God bless.
  7. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    are there any kits in the market of which that you can track the drums + cymbals separately?
  8. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Yes, actually. Of course, you'd need the input slots to acomodate this. I have a Yamaha dtxtreme IIs (recently discontinued when the dtxtreme III was released), and there is a stereo out, 6 indiidual outputs, and a MIDI output. The dtxtreme III has at least that, I'm sure. Honestly, if you picked up a dtxtreme III (or got a used IIs module; they're going for cheap when they're on egay :wink: ), you'd have no need for replacing the sounds (this is assuming you're somewhat familiar with editing drums and cymbals pre and post recording). I checked the lower Yamaha modules, and they only have sterep outputs, it seems.

    If I were in your shoes, I'd try to find a used IIs module, and then buy a Yamaha rack and pads separately. After all, do you really need three separate triggers for each of your four toms? And three zones on a crash cymbal? But, if you want to get the best edrums there are, here's a link to check them out: http://drums-percussion.musiciansfriend.com/product/Yamaha-DTXtreme-IIIS-Standard-Electronic-Drum-Set?sku=492324. Yeah, I'm a big supporter of Yamaha edrums; I think Roland's offerings are overpriced and seriously flawed in sound and playability.

    Now, this offering from Alesis has two stereo pairs, which would allow you to go stereo in drums and cymbals; Idk how the sound and playability are, though... :D

    Happy hunting and God bless.
  9. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    TD6 here, along with Addictive Drums.
  10. JensenBohren

    JensenBohren Guest

    If you're wanting to record, as some have said before, make sure you've got individual outputs for each part of the drum. Having to use a mono drum track in a mixdown is... annoying, at the least.

    Also, using two high quality overhead mics and real cymbols may work even better than the cymbol triggers, assuming you've got a drummer who doesn't get thrown by the setup. Don't forget to roll off the mid and lowrange bleed from the pads being thunked on the overheads.
  11. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    double post, whups
  12. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    yeah i've recorded with a roland v kit, cost the owner £800 new, sounds HORRIFIC, overpriced, and you couldn't track the drums seperately, and i a think it had 3 or 4 zones not sure, ill look into that yamaha kit MCdan, thanks for the advice + info, just looked at that dtxreme 3 kit, 2,600 new. hhmm, ill keep looking out for the II version, how much did you pay for it new?

  13. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    Hi, Joshh, I paid barely over $2,000 for the whole kit new (module, rack+pads, nice throne, appropriate headphones, and a nice pedal). Since the dtxtreme IIs was recently discontinued in lieu of the dtxtreme III, the resale of the dtxtreme IIs went to crap :roll: (as naturally happens with that sort of thing). Imho, the III isn't a huge upgrade over the IIs, as it actually cut back on the number of voices, so the included voices had more sustain (???????), and it featured a slightly improved hi hat which triggered better for heavy footed hi hat players (but the IIs hi hat triggers perfectly so long as you keep your foot on the pedal, as most drummers do). The IIs is still a great kit that I have no issues using, and you can really get into extensive layering on the IIs and III, which really makes replacing the notes pointless. I'd check ebay for a used IIs module or kit. You can also try posting on the Yamaha dtx forum: http://www.dtxperience.com/forums/index.php?Cat=8. Anyway, happy hunting and God bless.
  14. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    The problem here is that there isn't an electronic drum module that sounds any good. The better Rioland kits give great articulation, but they still don't sound like the real thing, and can't get even close using the preset sounds. Youo have to really get into the bones of the sample set to get good sounds, and that takes skill and time. Better by far to get a good drum plug, which makes the sound of the brain moot. Addictive Drums gets my highest recommendation.
  15. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I'll throw in another word of praise for the Yamaha dxtreme II. Our church has one and I'm impressed with its toughness and durability. (Our kits gets played by middle school and high school kids and moved around by janitors.) Also, the pads seem to be more sensitive to stickwork than some other edrums I've seen and they are at least as good as the upper level Rolands. (I'm not a drummer, but I pay attention and have talked to the drummers about this.) The Yamaha sounds have served us well for live use - but they still sound like electronic drums - especially the cymbals. As has been noted, the module has individual outputs for each drum.

    Don't ignore durability. The drums in the price range you were first talking about look like cheap Christmas presents that won't make it past New Years Day. Unlike acoustic drums, you can't fix these things by putting on a few inexpensive pieces of hardware. Always remember that drums are typically played by drummers (bad) who insist on hitting them with sticks (worse). Buy once, cry once.
  16. NCdan

    NCdan Guest

    True and not true... Allow me to explain :D . As hackenslash stated, "Youo have to really get into the bones of the sample set to get good sounds, and that takes skill and time." This is 100% true: you have to learn how to layer to get good sounds out of the modules. It is impossible to do this with Roland, because they don't use real samples. Yamaha, on the other hand, uses REAL samples of professionally recorded drums. But, even with the Yamaha, you need to learn how to adjust filters, EQ's, Q's, panning, reverb, decay, etc..., and then you need to learn how to layer, which is an art in itself, really. This may sound a bit intimidating, but if you take the time to learn how to do all this, then the Yamaha modules can sound 95% realistic; the 5% not realistic being the cymbals, but there are strategies you can employ that will bring a lot of variety and realism to your cymbals, especially the crashes, which can sound the most unrealistic.

    All in all, it's sort of like finding a guitar, amp, and mic combo that sound good for a certain song: a Les Paul through a Marshall with a sm57 might be great for some styles, but maybe not for others. And then there's using the right pickups, setting the amp levels and EQ, and getting the mic placed properly. Of course, with drums you have to deal with: snare, toms, bass, hi hat, ride, crashes, and whatever other voices you might utilize. It can be tough to find the right volume balance between all these voices, which is where having separate outputs for each voice comes in very handy :D .

    If you take the time to learn how to edit and record Yamaha edrums, you will be able to get results that will fool even the most seasoned recording engineers. However, there is a learning curve, and quite a bit of trial and error involved. Simply replacing the notes doesn't have much of a learning curve, and might be the best choice for someone who isn't already a proficient drummer. Keep in mind, that to get the best results from Yamaha modules, you really need the dtxtreme IIs or the dtxtreme III, as the lower modules (like the dtxpress IV) have very minimal layering capabilities (the IV lets you do only 2 layers for each main trigger). Good luck and God bless.
  17. Joshh

    Joshh Active Member

    NCdan, you certainly are a thorough poster! thanks for your help


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