The world today, in general, is dynamically changing all facets of human endeavors at rapid speed. The world of music is not left out in this fast-moving world of today. Acoustic drum sets have for long remained the backbone of producing tantalizing sound in music production.
However, the trend of total dependency on this genre of “noisy drum sets” is fast fading away with the innovation of electric drum sets which produce a tolerable level of sound. Electric drum sets have many advantages over the conventional acoustic drums. For instance, electric drum kit contains an almost limitless choice of snares, kicks, toms, and cymbals. An electric drum kit has a wealth of percussions too. It is better managed and adaptable to varieties of musical sounds.
The limitless drum kits and effects can easily be accessed just with the touch of a button, the absence of these features in acoustic drums place the electric drum set at a higher advantage over the acoustic drums. It is, therefore, necessary to have a clear idea of all the features and performance inputs of electric drum set before you go for one. You need to know much more than the mere name of the maker before going to make your first purchase.
Thinking of buying an Electric Drum Set?
Basically, this article will guide you well and walk you through the steps of making the right decision when you contemplate buying your first electric drum set. There is a long range of electric drum gear in the market presently. This is why you need to have first-hand information on a variety of issues to consider before making your first purchase.
A common mistake that people make is to limit their first purchase of an acoustic drum set to their immediate need not planning for future needs. This usually leads to premature upgrade or unbudgeted replacement. This may adversely affect your plans and wallet. To forestall this needless hassle, it is, therefore, necessary to know what your ultimate intention before you purchase an electric drum set. Do you need it to practice or to step down the level of noise around your neighborhood? Is your purpose is to use it for music production? Another consideration is if you plan to use it for live performance or concerts. All these will guide you well to make an informed decision before plugging into making a purchase.
What to consider before buying your first acoustic drum set
- Does the package include all you need?
It is essential to consider and verify if the e-drum set you want to purchase has the entire accompaniment that you need to start using your drum set. These include the sound module, pads, rack, hi-hat controller, cables to connect the pads to the module. Though most sets package must come with these items. However, in some cases, you need to find out if it comes with a kick pedal, hi-hat stand, a kick pedal, headphones, and sticks. If some of these items are missing from the package, you may need to spend extra money to acquire them. Hence, the best option may be to shop for an all-inclusive e-drum set package. This will save you from spending extra money.
- Do you have enough space to accommodate the e-drum set?
Space consideration is essential before you go ahead to purchase your e-drum set. In this regard, you have to consider the available space if it will comfortably accommodate the footprint of the set. You may have to tinker a little bit with the arrangement of your set. Since the rack that comes with the e-drums takes more space, you may consider using the traditional hardware (the acoustic drum stands) instead.This innovation will save you some space. One thing to note in this type of arrangement is gettingyour mounting configuration right.
- Check the track records of the e-drum manufacturers
In the economic sense of it, you want to purchase and keep your e-drum set for as long as possible with no or little effects or damage or wear-and–tear. This is possible if you check the manufacturers track records before you purchase a product. Most long-time designer and manufacturers of e-drum sets carry out extensive tests on their products before releasing them into the market. You can carry out personal/physical assessments of some products by visiting some display shops. Because of the high traffic of drummers testing the sets over a long period, the durability check is easier in these display shops. Checking the pads, pedals, sticks, sound module, the rack, and other components will reveal signs of wear-and tears. You may ask the shop attendants questions about the products and the manufacturers. The internet search records of manufacturers and their products will adequately guide you in your choice of quality e-drum set to purchase.
- Consider having a set with enough sound output
As mentioned earlier above, it is better than you plan for the future needs than your immediate need. So when surfing for best electronic drums, it is imperative to consider the need for multiple audio outputs. The e-drum module’s specs will reveal the number of sound outputs it carries. Usually, the number of sound outputs in a sound module may range from two to ten. It is better to choose an e-drum set with a multiple sound output module. This will serve you better for different needs rather than the sound module with just a few sound outputs. You can expand and enlarge the use of your e-drum without necessarily going for an upgrade.
- Is your intended e-drum set quiet enough for the intended space?
Obviously, the e-drum set is somehow lower in ‘noise’ production, but this depends on a variety of factors. E-drums can produce from soft to very loud sound depending on how the pad is made. Pads can either be mesh-headed, closed-cell foam or silicone, rubber over steel or acoustic-headed with some inside dampening. Mesh-headed and closed-cellfoam produce the quietest sound because no steel is incorporated. Pads with rubber over steel and acoustic-headed are louder. This could be a problem in a multi-story building as the energy from low-frequency sound normally and easily sips through floors and walls. The best way to curb or reduce the effects of sound transmission, in this case, is either to acquire and install the Roland Noise Eater device. The use of Roland KT-1 low-noise kick pedal can stem down the sound transmission.
- Choose the best pads that you’ll enjoy
It is often noticed that a drummer have a sense of the type of pads he’d feel and enjoy when behind the drum set. So, it depends on you to choose from the four categories of pads depending on your choice. You either go for mesh-headed, closed-cell foam or silicone, rubber over steel or acoustic-headed with some inside dampening.
- Check the “Latency” of the sound Module output
The length of time for the sound to travel to and appear on module sound output from the pad is called latency. When the pad is struck, the sensor picks it up and sends it to the module to read, analyze, process, and play the sound. This should happen within a measure of milliseconds with little or no delay. Latency should fall within -2 to -12 milliseconds as the best acceptable standard. The smaller the ‘latency; the better. In most, most manufacturers don’t usually disclose or indicate this. However, you can dig further to get yourself an e-drum with minimal latency.
- Consider if the e-drum set module has “Onboard training tools or External Apps.”
This is a necessary add-on that most of the new generation e-drum set manufacturers are incorporating to their products. This onboard tools offer tutorials. The most popular among these tools are the Roland Rhythm Coach and Simmons SD1. The best electronic drum must have carry-on luggage for it and be able to access such training to tools from mobile devices. Yamaha’s Song Beats 2.0, DTX400 Touch,and DTX400 Drum Lessons are excellent tools in this category.
With the new trends in the new generations of hi-tech e-drum sets, manufacturers are constantly at work to up the game of Electronic Drums. This includes the innovative “hybrid electronic-acoustic drum sets” which incorporate some features of both acoustic and electronic drums for better drum effects and quality sound production.