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The Knimbies who say No

Electronic Drum Kit

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So basically, I'm clueless about these. Are the 'compact' ones any good or are the bigger 5 piece things better. Any particular brands to avoid or look at? I see Roland, Yamaha, Alesis turning up regularly in reviews, any views on decent models there, and what features I should consider. I'm in no rush to buy, or indeed definitely decided to get something so happy to wait if better stuff is in the pipeline. I felt electronic is less space intensive and less hassle for neighbours.

Importantly it is essential Jr could use it too, only two years old at present but learning to play the harmonica so far and enjoys the xylophone. Any other instruments which are good for children and adults alike? I don't want to get 'kiddie' instruments as they seem to be mostly rubbish.

Would be good if I could easily record and playback things, maybe facilities for mixing tracks etc. I am a total newbie to the software side of things too. Have PCs in the house but that could change in time.

Basically I have some idea in mind that a basic sort of functioning recording studio could be gradually accumulated over a few years.

Any advice appreciated.

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They key part is the electronics that generates the sound. They are usually MIDI contollable too. Roland, Yamaha and Alesis all make good units.

The drums are little more than cheap piezo microphones that generate a pulse when hit. The harder the hit, the bigger the pulse, and this can vary the loudness or tone generated by the electronics unit. You can literally make one from a Maplin piezo transducer glued to a biscuit tin for under £1.

Someone used to using a 'real' drum kit will prefer drums that 'feel' similar to real drums when you hit them, for drum rolls, rimshots, and so on.

Drum covered in a sound-absorbent material such as neoprene won't feel like 'real' drums, but they are quieter to use, which can be handy in a house.

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A drum kit is for somebody who has given up on music! :blink:

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Cheers for the info. Mr Pin, I have barely started!

I've read a bit about 'feel' of the pads, and in particular the pedals, but having nothing to compare it to it was difficult to get any idea really.

Is there any sort of agreed standard between kit? eg can electronics from one be used with pads from another manufacturer? Are there any direct to PC instruments so the software and processing stuff could be done without a dedicated unit on the kit. Apologies if daft questions..

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Cheers for the info. Mr Pin, I have barely started!

I've read a bit about 'feel' of the pads, and in particular the pedals, but having nothing to compare it to it was difficult to get any idea really.

Is there any sort of agreed standard between kit? eg can electronics from one be used with pads from another manufacturer? Are there any direct to PC instruments so the software and processing stuff could be done without a dedicated unit on the kit. Apologies if daft questions..

I didn't quite mean it like that! A good percussionist is hard to find! The timing is all. :huh:

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Cheers for the info. Mr Pin, I have barely started!

I've read a bit about 'feel' of the pads, and in particular the pedals, but having nothing to compare it to it was difficult to get any idea really.

Is there any sort of agreed standard between kit? eg can electronics from one be used with pads from another manufacturer? Are there any direct to PC instruments so the software and processing stuff could be done without a dedicated unit on the kit. Apologies if daft questions..

Yes. The drum units usually have controls to vary the sensitivity, so they can be triggered by almost anything that generates an electronic signal within reason.

I've not tried it, but a pickup on MrPin's ukelele could probably be used to trigger a drum unit.

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Alesis units, at least, can generate MIDI output in response to a drum pad trigger. The MIDI can be read by a PC with a suitable interface - provided on some Audigy Sound cards, for example. There may be simpler, cheaper, options.

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I have a Roland TD8. All mesh heads. Improves the feel significantly.

You can pick these up SH for about £500.

The stock module sounds are also decent and it has a mix knob that allows an MP3 player for instance, to be connected to play along with ya fave choons.

I'm a guitarist really, but have always had a secret drummer side to me. I'd say the TD8 is one of my better purchases.

I would go for a mesh head option SH.

Also the older Roland modules are more flexible with their outputs too.

You will also find that there will be more drum software that is midi compatible with Roland kits too, if you are looking for future integration with a home studio.

As opposed to Alesis for instance.

I'm a fan of Yamaha music gear, but have never tried one of their kits. I'm sure the sounds will be first rate knowing them though.

I am planning on using mine with Addictive Drums software, and the Roland Kit will have a pre written template already for use inside of AD.

Which will help map the triggers of the Roland to the kit peices of the software. EZ Drummer et al would be similar in this regard.

However i have to admit that the Addictive Drums midi loops are played by pro drummers, and for song writing purposes, these eclipse my playing at the moment.

Hours of fun though.

The other thing about E Drums is that they tend to be bought by males looking for a bit of instant gratification, ahem, and tend to be in good supply second hand.

Ultimate impulse purchase.

I bought mine from a bloke who had clear instructions from his missus to clear his man cave. Poor sod was gutted to see it go.

Ha, hopefully not me. It's for the bairn really...

Thanks for the additional info HR, a few things to consider. No rush..

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I think I'm in a similar position to you, with respect to the home recording studio.

I was quite keen to get a digital drum kit so I could record it as backing for my bad guitar playing. However, they all seemed a bit on the big side and a lot of them don't seem to do much in the way of sensitivity and they were quite expensive for my level of 'skill' and expected use. Fwiw, there's a bunch of demo videos on gear4music.com with their tame drummer playing a bunch of beats on their own equipment.

I ended up buying a Yamaha DD65 for £45 from ebay, it's got 8 pads and two foot pedals so you can make a right racket with it. The thing that really swung it for me was that I can use it as a midi controller with Ableton on my pc, which means i can use all the Ableton drum sets and I don't have to muck around with trying to record analogue.

I managed to get Ableton for free as a gift with a keyboard I bought for a music theory course, the only big investment has been getting a usb interface so I can plug my guitar into Ableton.

HTH

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I think I'm in a similar position to you, with respect to the home recording studio.

I was quite keen to get a digital drum kit so I could record it as backing for my bad guitar playing. However, they all seemed a bit on the big side and a lot of them don't seem to do much in the way of sensitivity and they were quite expensive for my level of 'skill' and expected use. Fwiw, there's a bunch of demo videos on gear4music.com with their tame drummer playing a bunch of beats on their own equipment.

I ended up buying a Yamaha DD65 for £45 from ebay, it's got 8 pads and two foot pedals so you can make a right racket with it. The thing that really swung it for me was that I can use it as a midi controller with Ableton on my pc, which means i can use all the Ableton drum sets and I don't have to muck around with trying to record analogue.

I managed to get Ableton for free as a gift with a keyboard I bought for a music theory course, the only big investment has been getting a usb interface so I can plug my guitar into Ableton.

HTH

Hey, that's really useful- thank you for the insight.

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Can you not just hit some pans with a wooden spoon or something ?

Such extravagance.

I only have one pan though and it is constantly in slow cooker/lentil stew apocalypse freezer packing duties, or gathering the sump drainings from the car service, and of course it's a backup TFH.

Electronics are about as cheap as pans these days anyway.

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Electronic drum kits are quite good really! :blink:

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