Build Quality Of The Roland Td
Roland V-Drums TD-27KV Electronic Drum Kit | Overview with Thomas Lang
The TD-17KV-S features dual-zone drum pads! At more than double the price of the Alesis Forge, the Roland e-drum kit immediately the performance and build quality of the previous two kits.
Right of the bat, you get dual-zone mesh drum pads on both the snare and toms.
Like mentioned earlier, Dual-zone pads allow for rim clicks, rim shots, and customization of multiple sounds on any drum pad you desire. The V-cymbal ride has three trigger points, allowing for playing on the bell, edge, and bow of each cymbal.
While this is much nicer than the two previous kits, its still not that realistic. If youre looking for more realism, Zildjian introduced a line of acoustic-electric cymbals that feel much more accurate than traditional electronic cymbal pads.
The kick pad you get with this set is big enough for using a double kick pedal.
Are You Concerned With Having The Best Sounding Drums
If you answered no, I would suggest you stick with something a little more affordable, like the Alesis Forge.
Sure, the kit wont sound like the most amazing studio recording, but if youre still having fun, it shouldnt matter. If you arent putting out a recording for other people to listen to, then it really doesnt matter.
Even if you are recording your drum kit, I doubt you would want to use stock sounds from even a high-end Roland electronic drum kit.
Anyone who uses MIDI drums on an actual recording is going to use a sample library, from the likes of That Sound or GetGood Drums.
Alesis Dm10 Studio Kit Mkii
- Same module as Command Mesh
- Rack-mounted snare
Alesis sells a lot of electronic kits, dont they? This one, in particular, has been around for quite some time.
There have been seven different versions of this kit produced. For the purposes here, we will only be discussing the most recent iteration, the studio kit. With this kit, youre getting a lot more options for drums.
If you decide to get the larger version of the DM10, expect a better drum module, an additional cymbal, and an additional floor tom. The snare drum is also no longer attached to the rack with the Pro version.
Here are some of the notable features:
- Dual-zone pads and a triple-zone ride cymbal
- 3.5mm auxiliary input for playing to your favorite songs
- Five drum pads and four cymbal pads
Alesis does offer this kit in a version with mylar drum heads, but I really dont like the feel of these and theyre pretty loud when played. You will need to grab a drum throne and a kick pedal with the DM10, as they are not included.
As with many electronic kits, the kick pad tends to slide forward. This one is no different. All drum kits usually require a drum rug, so Id advise picking up a cheap rug from your local big box store to go underneath your drums.
If that still isnt working, you may have to come up with a DIY solution. Most companies who create products to fix this issue only make them for acoustic bass drums.
Its definitely not a bad kit, but if youre willing to fork out this much, Id move up a step.
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The Best Electronic Drums For Beginners Under $500
These are my best picks for 2022, ranging from cheap to very expensive. Each manufacturer has different strengths and weaknesses with their products. Its up to you to decide which one of these e-drum kits suit your current demands.
Starting off the list, we are going to feature three options that are more budget-friendly. If your kids interested or youre looking to start learning drums, its best to begin here before dropping big money on a fancy kit.
My Experiences Purchasing Electronic Drum Sets
When I first began looking for my first electronic drum kit, I was completely overwhelmed by the number of choices available.
I finally settled on a Yamaha DT-Xpress IV kit, which is old by todays standards. Honestly, the thing sucked and it was impossible to assemble and disassemble.
Despite its poor quality and features, I was able to have a lot of fun with it and get some great practicing in.
The drum module had an auxiliary input on the back, so I was able to connect my iPod to it and play along with my favorite tunes. Thats why I think the quality of your kit isnt necessarily that important.
The more important thing is that you play the thing. Electronic drum sets are more intended for practicing if you ask me.
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Best Electronic Drum Set Amplifiers And Monitors Of 2022
StaffElectronic DrumsDisclaimer: Links throughout the article may be affiliated. If you click and make a purchase, I get a small commission. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
No one wants to spend all day playing an electronic drum set with their headphones on. Yeah, it is excellent for practice, but eventually, you want to give your ears a break. Plus, it is essential to have a monitor if you plan to practice with other players. In this article, we will discuss the best electronic drum set amplifiers for your budget and needs.
What Comes With Most E
Its important to know exactly what youre getting when you make your purchase, as Im sure youll want to be setting this thing up and playing on day one, right?
I still have yet to see any e-drum kit that sells the mounting hardware, rack system, or the drum pads separately.
That being said, there are a couple of additional purchases you will likely have to make. Most kits do not include the bass drum pedal, drum throne, sticks, or even headphones.
If you dont have a set of drumming headphones / in-ear monitors, youll need to buy an amplifier to actually hear the sounds made from your kit.
Personally, I use in-ear monitors since I am trying to keep the noise down, but its really up to your preference.
Using an electronic kit enables you to practice all out, even if you live in an apartment.
Often times when buying online, you can check down underneath the product listing to see if the manufacturer or supplier sells a bundle deal with commonly purchased products.
This is a great way to save a ton of money on a new product instead of buying used.
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Build Quality Of The Command Mesh
The cymbals could use a major overhaul. The Command Mesh offers a 10 dual-zone snare drum pad, three dual-zone drum pads, three cymbals, two pedals, a bass drum pad, and a drum module.
Alesis has a unique electronic cymbal design, in that, the trigger area doesnt include the entire circumference. A little bit more than half of the cymbal is playable. Im not huge on this design.
Another unfortunate issue with the cymbal pads is the lack of a bell. There are two sensors on these pads, only offering the ability to play on the edge and the bow of the cymbal. You can, however, choke the cymbal if you grab the area marked with depressed dots.
Buying Online Is The Way To Go
Product Spotlight – Simmons SD500 5-Piece Electronic Drum Set
While it is nice to actually play on the kit youre going to buy, sometimes you wont be able to try it before you buy it. I find that you can actually find a better deal online most of the time.
While I cant recommend that you do this, many retailers offer wonderful financing options on expensive items, like musical instruments.
Ive gotten 0% interest for 48 months before with Sweetwater, my favorite instrument retailer. This is one way to make that expensive piece of gear more affordable.
If you dont like what you buy, retailers like Amazon offer a simple way to return items.
Buying an electronic drum kit is an investment. Some of these instruments are not cheap and require considerable thought and planning prior to purchasing.
If youre lost and dont know which kit is right for you, ask yourself these questions:
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What Makes For The Best Electronic Drum Set
An electronic drum kit should be compared to an acoustic kit like a grand piano is to a MIDI controller.
They have similar functions and use, but feel is completely different. There are three primary reasons for buying an e drum kit: practicing, performing live, and recording.
Now weve covered a lot of ground talking about different kits offered. You may still be unsure as to which features you need and which you dont.
Were all in agreement that saving money is a good thing, right?
Recording An Electronic Drum Set
E drums can unleash a ton of creativity when writing music, drum parts, and producing music.
So how do you record one of these kits, anyway? Its more simple than you may actually think. Theres a couple of ways to do it.
Directly into the drum module
Depending on which kit you own, your drum module may allow you to record to a USB stick or right to its memory.
While this may seem like the easiest way, it will ultimately get you the worst quality when recording, as you wont be able to go back and mix individual instruments later on.
Youre stuck with what you get from the start.
Stereo line out to an audio interface
This is basically the same technique as described above and will likely yield the same results.
This option is for you if your module doesnt have a recording function built it. I advise staying away from this method as well.
USB MIDI to your computer for use with virtual instruments
This is the best way to record an electronic drum kit and by far the easiest.
The only prerequisite is having a computer with a digital audio workstation, like Ableton, Pro Tools, Cubase, or Logic.
Most modules have a USB output on the back, allowing you to connect to your computer easily.
In addition, most DAWs come included with drum samples and instruments.
While I wont get into the nitty-gritty of MIDI recording, its very powerful and can generate great results with a low budget.
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Capturing Midi Data From Electronic Drums
MIDI? Digital audio workstations?What does it all mean?
Now just above we were talking about the ways to record your kit. The third point I made was about using the USB MIDI output to send recorded data to your computer.
While it may seem the most complicated, its fairly simple once you get the hang of it.
MIDI stands for Musical Instrument Digital Interface, and while the acronym and full name dont necessarily matter, the technology behind it does.
Weve been using this technology since the 80s, and for a good reason.
Your drum module that comes with your kit will have one or both of the ports shown in the graphic below. We will be using these ports to get to your computer.
If your electronic drum set module has the 5-pin MIDI port and no USB, you will need to get a MIDI to USB adapter.
Theyre fairly cheap and get the job done at the expense of one extra cable. Its well worth it to go this route rather than buying a whole new drum module that has USB.
If you see a USB type B port , all you need to get is a standard USB cable .
Upon loading up a digital audio workstation, like Logic, youll find that most computers that utilize this technology today are Plug and Play.
You shouldnt have to install any additional drivers and you should be good to go with recording right away.
Your digital audio workstation will be able to see these instruments all on different MIDI channels depending on how they are configured at the hardware level.
Midi And Usb Connections
A must-have for me, as I use a ton of virtual instruments with my recording setup.
Alesis, along with many other kits, offers the Strike Software Editor for importing sounds to your module. Roland was behind the curve on this and Alesis wins here.
Unfortunately, if you own a drum module like the TD-20, you wont be able to import your own sounds, despite the high price tag of these modules.
Of course, Roland has new modules out, but the price tag on these is far from affordable.
The drum module itself is a little tricky to get used to if you havent used one before. All technology these days requires a little bit of getting used to.
One small thing to note: switching patches on the Strike Pro takes about two to three seconds of load time, so keep that in mind if you plan to use this kit live.
Some not as important last features include:
- An included drum rack and double-braced snare drum stand
- Cables, cable wrap, and a drum key are also included
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Where To Buy A Used Electronic Drum Set
Buying used is a great way to get into playing without having to fork out your entire paycheck. I love buying used gear, but you must be careful.
As with anything used, youll need to be aware of the potential problems a used instrument will have.
For example, the MIDI output may be broken, the instrument may not power on, the USB jack is faulty, etc
Many sellers on platforms like eBay will not honor returns, so its wise to avoid these types of sellers. Here are some great places to find used gear.
This is the most obvious marketplace for used products, but it needs to be mentioned. Youll generally have the most success here as tons of items are listed daily.
Be sure to watch out for sellers who do not offer a return policy. While they can be reported to eBay for malpractice, its not something you want to be dealing with and no one wants to be scammed.
Not surprisingly, Amazon does have a used marketplace. It can be tricky to find, however. When youre on a product listing page, if you look near the bottom, you should see Used from $x.xx.
Since I havent purchased much on Amazon that is used, I cannot speak for the level of quality control here. However, if its like anything else Amazon, its fantastic.
Music Go Round
If you live in the United States, there may be a chance that you live near a Music Go Round. They are a chain of retailers that deal exclusively with used musical instruments.
Images courtsey of Alesis.com
Drum Pads Vs Electronic Drum Kits
Electronic drums are designed to simulate acoustic drum sets. They usually have either rubber or mesh pads that you play on with an electronic drum module mounted to the rack that gives the pads their sounds.
Electronic drum kits are different than electronic drum pads, such as the Roland SPD-SX.
Also known as sample pads, they are more intended to provide an acoustic drum set with occasional electronic sounds and samples.
They are useful for drummers who use a click and backing tracks when playing live. For more information, I wrote a roundup post recently on the best electronic drum pads available.
The difference between mesh pads and rubber pads
If you buy a kit with mesh pads, you will enjoy your drum set far more.
Mesh pads do feel more realistic but will hurt your wallet much more. The difference in price between a rubber pad kit and a mesh pad kit can be upwards of a thousand dollars.
Kits like the Alesis Surge Mesh have mesh drum pads.
That being said, these types of heads can also give you a false sense of rebound. Upon returning to a regular acoustic set, you may not be used to the way real drum heads respond.
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Local Stores Dont Have Many Options Anymore
Visiting my local music shop provided me with lots of trials and testing, but even a brick and mortar store doesnt always have the best options anymore.
You can try your best if you wanna try some options out before buying, but Im afraid you wont find much to play around on.
In fact, I visited my local big box music store the other week to ask about the brand new product from Pearl, the malletSTATION .
The guy working being the desk had no idea what the product even was and didnt really care to investigate whether they would have a display model in the future.
Local chain music stores are failing, unfortunately. J ust last year Moodys downgraded Guitar Centers credit rating from CCC+ to CCC- due to $940 million in debt.
With this bad news, hopefully, Guitar Center can turn themselves around, hire more knowledgeable workers, and do a better job serving the music industry at large. I do like their stores and frequent them often when at home and on tour.
Do You Plan On Playing Live Gigs
Roland V-Drums TD-1DMK Electronic Drum Set Demo
If you play music with a live band and want to switch to an electronic drum kit, I would steer clear of the Alesis Nitro or Forge.
They arent bad kits, but for a live show, I would strive for a higher quality drum sound, both to satisfy me as a player and the audience.
Transportation and Protection
The kit needs to be easily transportable. Some hardware designs are almost impossible to pack up and wont last being shoved in the back of cars, trucks, and trailers.
To protect your pads, I suggest looking into a hard plastic solution, like Pelican case alternatives. Theyre affordable and wont leave a hole in your wallet.
I suggest at least going for the Roland TD-11KV-S to play live shows.
As a reminder, these are expensive instruments. If you plan on playing gigs or touring, be sure to take good care of your instrument.
Find a way to keep the cables in order. Get yourself some drum cases and come up with a system for assembling the kit every night in record time.
Pro Tip: If your drum pad cables do not come as a sub-snake , you may want to consider making whats known as a loom.
Looms are hand-made snakes that keep your cables that reach the same destination together. You can use electrical tape or gaff tape to make your looms.
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