There’s long been a stigma associated with electric drum sets and that is that they are just crap… maybe that’s because at some point in history they were crap!
Over the last 10 years there has been a massive development in the digital drum world and we’ve put together an extensive list of what you need to know. Whether you are after a beginner electronic drum set or you are professional playing for a famous artist finding an e-drum set for yourself can challenging but hopefully with our help you’ll just be okay.
Whether you are looking for top of the line e kit or a budget e kit we have it all!
Upgrades required for real feel base pedal and hit hat
Doesn’t allow for double pedal
So you’ve heard of Roland right? Of course you have they have been at the forefront of the e drum industry for a long time now.
The TD-1KV is Roland’s entry level e kit, just because it’s the entry level e drum kit doesn’t mean you don’t get all the same perks you normally get with Roland. This kit is incredibly sturdy, easy to adjust and doesn’t feel cheap like other kits you may play.
Key features: The mesh snare (PDX-8) is a nice feature as a few years ago mesh heads only came on the higher end kits. The snare bares a realistic feeling with head and rim triggering. The toms are single zone pads, whilst the cymbals are dual zone pads. This means you can choke the cymbals like real cymbals!
You maybe thinking Roland has a few other cheaper options like the HD-1 and TD-4KP, this is true in the sense you might be able to get these slightly cheaper however the ‘TD’ series is their flagship series so you know you are getting the best you can get when you have a ‘TD’ model.
If you want to check out the preinstalled kit sounds watch the video below:
Has a weird silent kick feel compared to standard pedal
Has an odd look (due to how drum arrangement and holes in cymbals)
Doesn’t allow choking cymbals by hand
As you may have guessed from above, Roland and Alesis are two of the most popular brands that happen to dominate the market of electronic drum sets. As you will notice from the rest of the post, Yamaha is also among the top 3 positions, and their Yamaha DTX400K model is among the best top 10 electronic drum sets 2018 has seen so far.
The DTX400K is an entry-level electronic drum set that is best suited for beginners in drumming as well as those who prefer playing without making too much noise. In other words, it’s the quietest kit of all Yamaha electronic drum sets and others that competitor brands have to offer.
This compact electronic drum set has a design pretty simple that drumming professionals would say it has a “crappy look.” Yes, it doesn’t have an electronic kick pad or a mesh snare but its powerful gum rubber and kick pedal combo sure makes it way unique than most similar-priced alternatives.
In addition to a real kick pedal, it also comes with a bass drum pad that accommodates a double kick pedal. It also has a rimshots capable 3-zone snare pad and a remote hi-hat controller that is more advanced than most competitors in the market.
The Forge is also one of Alesis’ best electronic drums in the current market. As a matter of fact, Alesis Forge is among the best electronic drum set under 500 dollars in the market. Its module is more elaborate and its chrome rack looks great, giving it quite a professional look.
This baby comes with 50 preset kits along with 20 empty slots waiting for you to fill. These along with more than 600 sounds its library comes with, give you more than enough room to make some good music using any sound you may think of. They make it a great choice for a live performance.
This kit also has a quieter version, The Alesis Command kit, which can be a great choice if you’re looking for a kit that you can use in your practice sessions. Instead of rubber pads, the Command comes with a mesh to reduce noise production.
If we were to consider Alesis forge vs nitro, Alesis Nitro is the best electronic drum set for the money. However, Forge is still quite affordable.
If there’s one unique thing about the Yamaha DTX532K, call it the fact that unlike most alternatives of its value in the market, it lacks a pedal. Wait, there’s another unique thing that you can call thing two. It is the feel and high quality of sound the DTX532K produces. Unlike most other electric drums, it doesn’t lack playability.
Most, if not all acoustic drums use drum heads and cymbals, whereas, in electronic drums, it’s all about mesh heads and rubber cymbals. These are what determine the feel. As much as it’s hard to confuse the feel of acoustic drums with that of electric drums the DTX532K is one of the best electric drums that attempt to go against the grain. Its playability or feel is great and effortless, thanks to the cymbals that respond well to various strokes.
Thanks to the hi-hat sensors, the drum set can vary your drumming sound or pitch accordingly based on the applied foot pressure. Rack-mounted snares a mostly associated with a great deal of movement. This isn’t the case with the Yamaha DTX532K. It comes with real hi-hat and real snare stands designed to help reduce movement by a huge margin.
It not only has a large array of sounds, you can even add more via its USB function. It also comes with a built-in metronome, practice exercises, and groove features. These make it way cooler than most kits in the market.
The kit also comes with a KB-100 kick pad that makes it one of the most impressive kits around this far. There’s also an optional hardware, the DTX760HWK which resembles the hardware used in acoustic kit setups.
Whether you’re on stage, in studio or in the practice room, the Roland TD-11K is no doubt one of the best kits you can drum and enjoy doing so. One of the perks of owning this kit is the sound range it offers. Do three different hits on the same pad and it gives you three 3 sounds with a slight but notable difference. It’s called the “superNATURAL” sound technology that most Roland electronic drum sets come equipped with. It also has a “Coach Mode,” which you’d find quite impressive in the training or practice room as a beginner or mid-level drummer.
TD-11K’s quality is high, no doubt about that. It also has a number of features that make it awesome to work with. Plus you can use it for professional drumming, as well as practice and training. However, what most people are discouraged by is that this kit tends to cost more than most alternatives of a similar caliber, like the Alesis, DM10 for instance. For a similar performance and sound quality, you could save between $200 and $300 if you chose the Alesis DM10 instead.
Many sounds (1000) that you can overwrite at will)
Pads give great, realistic sound (dynamic articulation)
Inexpensive for the quality
Most affordable under-$1K kit with additional cymbal & tom
Noise concerns (solved by quieter version)
By now, you must have understood the general idea, that not all electronic drum sets will provide you the same quality regardless of their closeness in pricing. For professional drummers, bet you already had that in mind even before reading this article. When looking for the best electric drum set for professional drumming, the Alesis DM10 is one kit worth your consideration.
This superbly designed drum set was designed with great studio-recording experience in mind. With its 1000 (!) sounds that can be overwritten at will, the Alesis DM10 is indispensable. Plus it features an additional tom and cymbal, thus offering a wide sound range.
What’s even more interesting, the module can accommodate an additional cymbal as well as an additional tom. The sound produced by the snare pad will vary depending on the position you hit. With all these high-tech features, the sound produced and recorded with the DM10 rarely requires any editing.
It is also a cheaper alternative to the Roland TD-11K for those who agree they could use some savings off the purchase without having to buy a used electronic drum set.
Anyone could use such convenience. I mean, editing does consume time and sound recording can be a pain in the back. However, some users find it a bit unsuitable if noise is a major concern; say in the practice room at home. If such is your case, going for the Alesis DM10X, its quieter version can be a great decision.
Very few electronic sets qualify as professional grade, the way the TD-25KV from Roland does.
Of course, it shares some of its top features with some of its sister kits we’ve seen above from Roland. Well, it goes a notch higher!
For one, the hardware is upgraded to a superb design and quality in comparison to the TD-11K. Parts of the kit such as the toms, snare, and the cymbals, all use upgraded hardware. The hi-hat features too are more superior.
The snare features sensor technology, which gives out varying drum head sounds depending on where you hit and the force you apply. The sound engine as well, has a huge upgrade, compared to the earlier Roland kit versions. The record and play feature is also quite impressive to many drummers.
Nonetheless, these upgrades come at a cost and some drummers may find the TD-25 KV a bit pricey. This is why Roland cared enough to avail TD-25KV’s less expensive version, the TD-25K.
Let’s move a gear higher into an electric drum set that outshines many others like an insult. This is the Roland TD-30KV, one of the priciest e-kits there are. Well, what you shouldn’t forget however is that the high pricing is justified by this kit’s incomparable superior quality.
This professional electric drum kit is an impressive master when it comes to studio recording and performances. (Most probably, the world knows this). Chuckles! Instead of electric drum pads, the TD-30KV uses actual drums that look and feel like acoustic drums. The drums offer large playing surfaces than all the kits we’ve discussed above. It’ll simply take your breath away.
In addition to having a library with numerous sounds, this kid is unique in that every time you strike it, you trigger it to produce an individual, unique sound. Call it the behavior modeling technology combined with Roland’s SuperNATURAL sounds technology. This e-kit literally gives you sounds in a similar way acoustic drum sets do.
There is a sound module that allows you to make configurations, adjusting and custom presetting various aspects to do with sound. How you want it to sound. It also has a variety of other convenient features, including the microphone position, shell depth, muffling, and much more to make your drumming experience superb.
Here are some of the awesome pre inputted kits you get with the Roland TD-30KV
This one is Roland’s latest release in 2018. It takes electronic drum set performance and quality another notch higher. The Roland TD-50KV is basically an upgrade of the TD-30KV, meaning that the digital drum set comes with even more impressive features than its 30KV predecessor.
Some of its upgrades include the following:
1. A larger ride (18”) with weight and balance resembling real drum sets
2. A larger snare (14”) with 3-ply mesh head instead of the previous 2-ply
3. Comes with mute sensor
Additionally, the ride and the snare are now equipped with digital triggering, which allows sending of a larger amount of information to the sound module with a realistic response. It also comes with an optional kick drum that resembles and feels like the real kick drum.
In addition to the digital drums, this kit’s sound module is an entirely new thing, in which none of the TD-30 samples have been recycled in the sound library. Other additional features include a USB output for DAW multitrack-recording, and 2 additional, balanced XLR outputs at the rear, making the Roland TD-50KV a far more convenient kit when it comes to live performance.
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