If you want to play drums using the best electronic drum kit for recording, but can’t invest in a traditional model and don’t want to disturb your neighbors, you’ve come to the right place. Today we are going to talk about the electronic drum kit.
Electronic drums are the ideal choice not only for those who are beginning to practice but also for professionals who need to carry this percussion instrument frequently. In this article, we will also show you how the electronic drum works and how to choose the best model.
What is the best electronic drum kit for recording?
1. Alesis Command Mesh Kit
To start our list, Alesis is one of the best brands when it comes to percussion material. This is our pick of one of the best electronic drum kits on the market if the budget doesn’t matter in your decision (not that it’s too expensive, but it’s not cheap either).
It is one of the most complete sets we have ever come across, featuring 385 sounds (drums, cymbals, and percussion) and 40 preset drum sets.
You can easily assign the sounds to a pad of your choice, and the double-zone 8-inch toms (four copies), snare, and four cymbal pads (10-inch) together make up more than an average setup when it comes to electronic drum kits
To control it all, you have the module right in front of you. We have to admit that the LCD screen is pretty standard, but you don’t really need a fancy screen if you’re just going to switch sounds. You can also set the tempo and play the metronome.
This electronic set is one of the most complete we’ve ever seen. The rubber drum and cymbal pads are also of good quality. It is an upgrade from the popular Alesis DMX6. While that’s still one of the best-rated sets on the market and has been for quite some time, the Alesis Command Mesh Kit is generally better in quality and added features.
However, if you want to save some money, you can still go for the original Alesis DM6 (five-piece) if it is still available. It was a tricky choice between the two, but we went for the newer model (which is also eye-catching).
2. Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set
Another brand where we are all known more: Yamaha. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t have at least one piece made by them. The DTX400K is not only one of their most popular sets, but also the highest-rated thanks to its quality.
You get 10 drum sets in one, from jazz to a complete marching set. There are not as many sounds as in the Yamaha DTX402K, but you get 23 snares, 21 kicks, 31 cymbals, 36 toms, and 42 percussions.
The kick part is silent. you get a crash and ride cymbal, two toms, a floor tom, hi-hat, and snare – the pads are the same size as the DM7X (pretty standard for all sets). The higher price is offset by the additional features of the module – there are built-in routines for warm-ups, groove aids, and even “drum games” that make it fun to practice.
We cannot determine whether that is important to you: we know drummers who are only looking for a few pads to ram on, and others who want to work on their skills. In our opinion, such functions can never hurt, but on the other hand, it all depends on your budget.
3. Alesis DM10
Another Alesis model, but this is one of the most popular if the budget doesn’t matter, the Alesis DM10. The drum pads are of excellent quality – “RealHead”, the cymbals are made of real alloys, and the suspension system is “ErgoRack”. T
his module is also a lot more advanced than the ones we’ve looked at so far. In fact, it just has a built-in mixer and sampled drum sounds, but that’s not the point – you can upload new sounds via USB! Me and a huge drum sampler (I like using ’70s drum breaks, of course), so this feature is fantastic.
It is also a MIDI interface, and the module has a built-in sequencer. Extremely impressive. The pads feature two zones (8 and 10 inches), so you can put some sticking sounds into your mix if you hit the edges – it emulates a real set fantastically.
A very realistic feeling. So it is one of the best electronic drum sets if the budget wouldn’t matter. If you go for this you can’t miss the plank.
4. Yamaha DTX522K
Here is another model from Yamaha’s DTX series of electronic drum kits, the Yamaha DTX522K. This set in particular resembles the Alesis DM10 in terms of price and quality. You get seven parts with an extra ride cymbal and floor tom.
You plug it in via USB and use VSTs for this case, and only for that reason is it already different from the other sets. If you’re using a digital audio workstation and have sounds you want to process in it – this set is basically just a drum-shaped MIDI controller.
The snare pad is also fantastic, because you can use it for open and closed rim strokes in addition to the traditional snare sound. The module is also high-tech enough to provide some practice material and sound recordings.
It also looks sleek, although not a deal maker. The snare has a different color to reflect the traditional style, and the cymbals also give a good feeling. A super quality for semi-pros and professional drummers, but if you didn’t rate yourself as ‘pro’ we wouldn’t blame you. It’s just a label, and if you take it with you it’s just a fantastically made electronic drum kit with the best features. Not a bad choice if it suits you and your wallet.
5. Roland TD-11K-S
The snare in particular is a mesh sheet V-pad, which means it has dual sensors to simulate the natural distance between the rim and the fleece.
The toms are made of rubber, but 8.5 ″ in size and equipped with very accurate sensors. The cymbals are also 10 ″ with a natural swinging motion. All in all, it is, therefore, one of the most beautiful sets when it comes to building quality.
The module is also impressive. Aside from the natural sounds, you get some added features, such as COACH, recording and playback functionality, and MIDI / AUDIO data storage. It is a set that we would recommend if you know where you are doing more, or if you are looking for the very best and money is no problem.
If you always dreamed of playing the drums, you know that it is a great challenge to master this percussion instrument. After all, the drums demand a lot of dedication, practice, and study.
But in addition, a good instrument can also make a difference. To help you choose the best electronic battery, we have created this Buying Guide so that you can answer all your questions.
What is an electronic drum?
The electronic drum is a synthesizer that mimics the sounds produced by the acoustic drum. It consists of several discs, called pads, that emit the sounds of the drums, bass drum, and cymbals of the traditional drum kit.
These pads, in general, are attached to a structure, called a rack, and are connected by cables to the module, which is a type of computer that transforms the received signals into audio. Therefore, the more advanced the module, the more realistic the sound of the electronic drum will be.
The electronic drum kit consists of pads and a monitor. (Source: freestocks.org/Unsplash.com)
Depending on the model, the electronic drum may also have a hi-hat pedal. which are those two cymbals that are on top of each other, in general, on the left side of the drummer?
Electronic drums also have built-in speakers. By using synthesizers to reproduce the sound, the electronic drum kit allows you to use various sounds that have already been pre-recorded, in addition to, of course, creating new tones.
What is the difference between the electronic drum and the acoustic drum?
As we have seen, the idea of the electronic drum kit is precisely to imitate the acoustic drum kit. But there are many differences between them. Starting with the fact that the acoustic drum, in addition to taking up a lot of space, is more difficult to transport.
The electronic drum kit is portable and lightweight.
The electronic drum kit is portable and lightweight. If you have little space at home, for example, the electronic battery will be your best option. Furthermore, it is ideal for playing in various places and also in studios.
But the differences between the electronic and acoustic drums go much further. See below:
- Aesthetics: Acoustic drums, with metal drums and cymbals, really have an image that takes the hearts of musicians. The electronic drum is made up of simple pads.
- Size: it is indisputable that the acoustic drum is much larger than the electronic version.
- Sound Volume: Both have a very powerful sound. The difference is that the electronic drum needs to use an amplifier, it has the option to regulate the volume and it can be played with headphones.
- Maintenance: in the acoustic drum, the tuning is done manually, on each screw. In addition, in general, it is necessary to change the skins of the drums every 6 months and the dishes once a year. But with the electronic drum, maintenance is minimal, since the tuning is digital and there is no need to change the pads.
- Price: The electronic drum is much cheaper compared to the acoustic drum.
In addition to all these differences between electronic and acoustic drums, the fact is that what generates more controversy is in relation to the realism of the sound produced.
Depending on the electronic drum model, the quality may actually be well below the acoustic drum.
For this reason, according to experts, if you want an electronic drum as close as possible to the performance and natural sound of an acoustic drum, it is recommended that it have at least the following characteristics:
- 1 electronic module, with inputs for pads and outputs for telephone or USB
- 1 tube rack
- 1 bass drum tower
- 1 hi-hat or hi-hat controller pedal
- 5 drum pads (snare, ton1, ton2, deaf and kick);
- 3 cymbal pads
- 1 kick pedal
Who is recommended to have an electronic drum kit?
If you’ve always dreamed of learning to play the drums, but can’t or don’t want to invest in an acoustic model, electronic drums are ideal for you.
Today there are different models of electronic drums. From the simplest and most compact, with few parts, to the most complete and sophisticated.
Therefore, the electronic drum kit is indicated both for those who are in the study phase and for professionals.
As it is compact, the electronic drum is ideal for those with little space. (Source: Pixabay / Pexels.com)
This is because, as we have seen, the electronic drum can be played with headphones, that is, it is ideal for training repetitions without disturbing anyone.
Also, since it is portable, it is the most practical way for musicians to play in different places. For all this, the electronic battery is also recommended if you live in a small apartment or can only study at night.
I am a beginner: Is it worth investing in an electronic drum kit?
Although choosing the battery type is very personal, depending on your situation, it pays to invest in the electronic drum.
As we have already said, the electronic drum is smaller, more versatile, and cheaper than the acoustic one. In other words, it is in fact the best option to play and study if you have little space and want to avoid noise problems.
In addition, the electronic drum kit has the advantage of having pre-recorded sounds that can help a lot in studies.
Did you know that the first electronic drum kit was apparently created by Graeme Edge, drummer for The Moody Blues, in collaboration with Professor Brian Groves of the University of Sussex?
History tells that this electronic battery was used in the song ‘Procession’, from the 1971 album ‘Every Good Boy Deserves Favor’.
How to play the electronic drums without disturbing the neighbors?
As we have seen, one of the great advantages of the electronic battery is that, with it, you can train and play with headphones. With that, you stop bothering not only the neighbors but also other residents of your home.
But if you don’t stop listening to the sound of the electronic drum as if you were playing an acoustic drum, experts recommend that you invest in sound insulation.
One of the advantages of the electronic drum kit is playing with headphones. (Source: Disclosure Alesis / Amazon.com.br)
To minimize noise, you can, for example, cover the entire wall of the room with foam boards, Styrofoam, wool or eggs; and install the mat on the floor.
But it must be emphasized that these sound insulation strategies, even if they help muffle the sound, will not be able to isolate the sound 100%. If you want to completely isolate the environment, you will need professional help.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the electronic battery?
If you got this far, you already understood that the electronic drum has many advantages. The main one is, of course, the fact that the electronic drum allows you to play by listening to all the sounds in a headphone or even at a lower volume, which can be adjusted.
In other words, with the electronic drum kit you can play anywhere without disturbing anyone. Also, if you want to train only the movements, there is no need to connect the electronic drum to the speaker.
Another advantage is that today, there are several models of electronic batteries, from the most complete and sophisticated to the simplest.
Not to mention that although the size and weight of the electronic battery vary, it is portable, does not take up space, and is easy to carry anywhere.
The electronic drum is ideal for playing anywhere as it is portable. (Source: sjjerez / Pixabay.com)
In addition to all these advantages, it is worth mentioning that the electronic drums can simulate the sound of various acoustic drums, such as jazz or rock. That is, it remains versatile, allowing you to explore different rhythms.
And depending on the model you choose, the electronic drum may also have useful features for the beginning drummer, such as the metronome and prerecorded music.
But, like any instrument, it is also possible to point out some disadvantages when dealing with the electronic drum.
The fact is, even with many innovations, the electronic drum can’t accurately reproduce the natural, realistic sound of an acoustic drum.
The drums are an essential instrument in any band since it is what gives the rhythm of the music. But, due to its operational structure, the drummer needs physical preparation, good motor coordination, and agility.
Also, the more advanced features of the electronic drum, such as the more realistic pads and monitors and mathematical sound modeling, are generally only available on the more expensive models.
Not to mention that electronic drums are far from having the visual appeal of an acoustic drum. Another disadvantage is that an electronic drum needs an outlet and at least one amplifier.
To give you a clearer idea of the advantages and disadvantages of the electronic battery, see the table we created.
Purchase criteria: what to consider when choosing an electronic battery
Now that you have a general idea about the electronic battery, the time has come to take action: buy the ideal model, according to your level of knowledge, your objective and, of course, your pocket.
For this, our recommendation is that you analyze some elements that will directly affect the type of electronic battery you will buy. Check it:
- Used materials
- Features, inputs and connections.
- Size and weight
From here, we will explain in detail how you should analyze each of these criteria.
The first factor to consider is the number and size of the pads. And the fact is that the more pads the electronic drums have, the greater the possible variation of sounds.
At the same time, the greater the number of discs, the greater the level of difficulty in playing the electronic drums. Additionally, the pads vary in size, measured in inches, and the type of sound emitted.
As an example, you can find an electronic drum with 8 pads, three tones, a snare drum, a hi-hat, a kick drum and two cymbals.
The fewer pads the electronic drum has, the easier it will be to play. (Source: Jiroe / Unsplash.com)
It is worth remembering that the material used in the manufacture of electronic drums, especially the pads, will also influence the final result of the sound. Therefore, consider the type of material that can be:
- Mesh skin: the closest thing to the acoustic drum.
- Silicone: intermediate quality material between the rubber and the leather mesh.
- Rubber: it is the most found material, but less efficient when looking for realism.
Features, inputs, and connections.
Another detail is that the electronic drums can also come with sounds and even complete songs already recorded, which helps in the studios.
Other types of electronic drums also come with a metronome, an accessory that tracks the duration of each note played and pauses.
Also, check the types and number of inputs, outputs, and connection possibilities.
For example, you can choose models that come with an audio input to play along with your iPhone, iPad, or MP3 player; and with recording functions, which allow you to listen to what you just played.
Size and weight
Then you need to consider the size and weight of the instrument. This is especially true if you plan to bring your battery to the studio or events.
In this case, ideally, the chosen electronic drum model should be light and with dimensions suitable for transport.
I hope this best electronic drum kit for recording helps you out! Now start making your decisions. Read also: Best Fax Machines for Office Use