Electronic Drums – Opinions, Analysis and Comparison in 2021
In musical compositions belonging to rock, pop or jazz, the particular touch offered by the drums has become almost essential, since in addition to setting the rhythm, it adds strength and energy to the melody. But this instrument, like others, has been modernized, and now it is possible to purchase electronic drums, which provide among other very interesting advantages, the possibility of rehearsing without your neighbors noticing. For example, in the Yamaha DTX-402K model , we find ergonomic qualities, but also resistance. In addition, it has a special free application, compatible with iOS and Android to learn. Another recommended electronic drum kit is the Roland TD-1DMK., which has 15 drum kits, to be able to play various musical styles. It also has 15 exercises that will help you to learn this instrument.
How to choose the best electronic drums
You probably already have some ideas regarding the qualities you are looking for in this percussion instrument, but if you want to reaffirm if they are all the features that you should consider, here is a guide to buying the best electronic drums, so it will be less likely that something important escapes you.
Because drums are a percussion instrument and beats can be performed very quickly to accompany melodies, the model must be able to provide dynamics commensurate with the ability of the player. This is especially important if you are a professional musician. So aspects such as the sensitivity of each pad or snare and the sensation it provides when hitting are an important part of the experience of comfort and realism that the model can provide, especially compared to an acoustic drum set , for example. This aspect should be assessed according to the skill level of who is going to use the battery.
On the other hand, electronic drums currently have different designs, which are thought to provide the advantages that musicians require for different circumstances. In this sense, it is worth determining who will use the instrument, to take into account their body dimensions and where the battery will be placed.
For example, if you are an adult musician, and you want to take your instrument to different performances, then a standard size electronic drum kit that can be folded would be the solution. These offer metal frames that are solid yet lightweight, in this way they can provide stability, comfort for playing while sitting on a traditional bench and you will have the freedom of movement you need to play each pad.
But if you want something even smaller in size, compact tabletop electronic drum models can be very versatile. These can be found in rigid platform modalities, but also roll-up. Thanks to this, they can be a very convenient option to take where you need to go and continue practicing.
Angle and place settings
One of the instruments that must be adjusted the most to the interpreter’s body measurements are the batteries. Especially those that try to simulate an acoustic drums, since the drummer’s comfort will depend on this and that he does not waste time to reach the pad or cymbal he needs in each hit. So, among the most important features that should be reviewed is that they allow an adjustment of each of the accessories, both in height and in angle if possible. These adjustments must be achieved with precision and some models offer screws in their structure, which are used to lower or raise the desired part.
The ability provided by the pads or snare drums to allow the drumsticks to bounce is important, as they allow greater comfort for the player, so they can perform agile movements. That is why we recommend that you analyze the structure of these pieces, and what materials they are made of, so that you have an idea as to whether it is possible that this feature is covered.
Sounds and functions module
A fundamental piece of an electronic drum kit is the module, which is where you can configure the sounds, functions, adapt the connections, etc. A complex module with a wide variety of options can directly interfere with how much one model costs compared to another. However, if it meets your expectations, you are probably willing to pay the difference, to have a greater number of possibilities for your battery.
Among the common functions that drums can include are the voices for each of the pads, pedals, etc. Also, it can include demo songs, preloaded rhythms, special learning functions, or a metronome. Analyze for your comparison of electronic batteries, what functions could be the ones you need the most, so that they are not lacking in the module of your model.
Although in general an electronic drum kit can have high costs depending on its technology and quality, you will surely find a good and cheap one that will help you enjoy this instrument.
Parts and accessories
Another point worth considering is how many pads are included in the model you are analyzing. It is likely that in some models, for example, the traditional pedals of a battery are not included and you have to buy them separately, or it is necessary to add the power adapter. Review this aspect in detail, so that you are aware that you do not lack anything or what it would be necessary to purchase separately to complement your set.
There are various needs that could arise when you use a battery, such as, for example, it could be to seek to further amplify its sound, in these cases, a sound outlet is essential. But it may also be that you have the goal of recording your performances, for further editing or adding to the tracks of other instruments. Check what types of ports it offers, which can be very varied, from USB, midi, etc.
Frequently asked questions
Q1: How to connect an electronic drum kit to the pc?
Whether it is to record the sound of your electronic drums, to mix it with other sounds from various instruments, or to change it because it does not have the nuance you need, in both cases you will probably have the need to connect the instrument to the computer. The first option that you can resort to is very simple, it is about connecting it through a USB port, which many batteries tend to have. But if this is not the case or your model is very old, you probably only have a midi output. In this case it could be necessary that you have a midi in port on your computer sound card and through a cable of this type, the connection can be carried out.
Q2: How to make an electronic drum kit with arduino?
Due to the versatility of Arduino boards to develop projects of different types and objectives, it is possible to configure a basic battery without costing you too much money or effort, what you need to assemble it are: an arduino uno card, some capacitive sensors with their respective libraries mounted, some coins, an SD card reader, since in it you can store the sounds that you want to be reproduced when you press the sensor, the audio library to receive these sounds, an 8 ohm speaker and resistors. The connection diagrams can be found on the net and the cost of assembling it in general can be said that it is not excessive and it could be a fun project, especially if you like this type of electronics challenge.
Q3: How to amplify an electronic drum kit?
If the volume of your drums is very low and you need more power, the best way to achieve this may be by connecting the instrument to an amplifier, which can be the same one used for electric guitar. However, the volume that it is capable of reproducing will depend on the number of watts of the model and the size of the speakers of this device. As a reference, a 10 watt might be sufficient for a medium sized room, but for a performance on an outdoor stage, it would be necessary to have a much larger amplifier, so that the sound is perceived clearly from several meters away.
Q4: Who invented the electronic drum kit?
The origins of this adaptation to acoustic drums were originated by percussionist Felix Visser, who in collaboration with Ikutaro Kakehashi began to develop the idea, but it was in the early 1970s that Graeme Edge in collaboration with Professor Professor Brian Groves of Sussex University, managed to develop the musical percussion apparatus, which was even used to record a musical album. This project is what is considered the precursor of the instrument. It was later planned as a commercial product in 1978 by the Simmons Company.
Q5: How to improve the sound of my electronic drum kit?
If the sound you get through your electronic drums is not what you expect, you can change it through some computer applications, editing the track you record of your melody in an application, you just need to have some basic knowledge related to the subject and analyze frequencies.
Q6: What drumsticks to use for electronic drums?
Opinions in this regard are very varied, there are those who think that any stick can be used for this type of instrument in particular, there are those who disagree and mention that it is better to choose lighter ones. But it is suggested that nylon tips are preferably used instead of wood, for a better experience.
Q7: How to clean an electronic drum kit?
This important step is part of the basic maintenance that you have to provide to your battery, you can use the following technique to keep the parts in good condition. Have on hand a plastic moisturizer, which is similar to the one used for plastic parts of coatings in car interiors, also a clean cloth and a soft bristle brush. A good idea is to recycle the one you have thrown away to brush your teeth. Apply the product generously on the plastic, spread with the cloth and gently rub the entire pad or plate. Then wipe the cloth again.
Q8: How to record an electronic drum kit?
Some models of electronic drums already include a recording function, you just have to access the function to later listen to the performance. But if what you are looking for is to edit the sound or join with other instrument tracks, then the appropriate thing would be to transmit the instrument’s sound through one of its ports to the computer to record a track in an application.
How to use an electronic drum kit
If you have purchased a battery and have any doubts regarding how to use and maintain it, we will talk more about these issues below. Perhaps these tips will help you enjoy your purchase more and take advantage of all its advantages.
Choose carefully the place where you are going to place it
It is normal that despite the fact that your battery is compact it occupies a little space, it is best that if possible you do not have to transport it too much, since each change of place means that you have to adjust the placement of each plate or pad, to put it in just the right place for comfortable playing. Remember that speed rolls are achieved only with practice and when you have very clear and precise where the snare is. In the event that your battery is not desktop, this aspect will be critical.
Try to have a mat under the drums
For electronic drums that have metal frames, you may want to have a mat underneath. This will not only provide you with comfort, but it will also prevent the pedals from moving out of place while you are playing. In addition, it will reduce annoying noises for your neighbors when you live in an apartment, especially for those who are located below the room where you mounted the battery.
Dust that gets into your battery’s electrical mechanisms will have a detrimental effect on its efficiency. So it is best to avoid this factor as much as possible, which is unfortunately everywhere. You can achieve this by covering the instrument when you are not using it. In the event that you do not have a special case, you can opt for simple solutions, such as putting at least one clean sheet over the instrument.
Protects from shocks
Sometimes we can get the wrong idea that because electronic drums are percussion instruments, they are therefore robust and survive any blow, but it is not like that. These are delicate instruments, so in case you have to transport it, it will always be a priority that you protect it. In addition, the good care that you offer your model is always an advantage in case it becomes necessary to put it on sale.
Clean the battery periodically
Cleaning the parts of the battery is important so that it looks good in every presentation. We recommend that at least every week, if you play frequently, take a few minutes to remove the dirt. You can do it with products specially designed for this, but in case it is not possible to get them, you can use a little moisturizing liquid for plastics.
Know your model in detail
In addition to the aforementioned, it should be added that to obtain the best benefit, it is best that you spend a little time analyzing each function, so that when you need it it is easier to access it.