Best Electronic Drum Sets – A Beginner’s Shopping Guide
Getting a best electronic drum set in your defined budget can be very hectic as a drummer if you do not know where to start. However, it is a move that could change the game for you if you make the right choice. It could be that you want your e-drum kit to take advantage of the sound versatility offered by the different drum modules. Or maybe you are tired of all the noise complaints from neighbors and you want to practice your heart out in peace. Whatever your reasons are there is no denying the fact that a good electronic drum set will come in handy.
It is important for you to take several factors into consideration and do proper research on products out there. This will help you make an informed decision in order to ensure that you get full value for your money. Below is a comprehensive guide that should help you make this choice. We will go through factors you need to consider, features to look out for and brief reviews of some of the best models out there.
What to look out for when buying electronic drum sets
Before we go into the reviews of some of the best models on the market, it is important to understand what we were looking for while ranking. There are certain features and specifications that will determine whether a drum set is worth the investment or not. Below are 8 of these and what each spec implies for you as the user.
1. Sound quality
This is not exactly a feature but is definitely an important factor to consider when making your decision. There are different ways to determine the sound quality produced by the drum set you are interested in. The best way by far is by actually listening to the drum set. If you do not have access to one, online reviews from customers could come in handy. These allow you to get a good idea of what you can expect and whether or not the set is worth it.
2. Set size
The set size is determined by 2 things. The first is the number of units. With electronic drum sets, the most common sizes are five, eight and eleven-piece sets. It goes without saying that the more the units in the set the more space they will occupy. Something else that determines the set size is the dimensions of the individual units. All these factors are very important to consider when choosing the kit. The last thing you want is to get a great set that you have no space for in your apartment or studio.
3. Trigger pad material and design
The trigger pads are the surfaces on the sets that you strike like drums as you play. They feature special transducers that convert the mechanical force into different drum sounds. The most important feature to consider here is the material used where you have a choice between rubber and mesh. Rubber is soft and comfortable and is great for fast drumming. These pads are also great for sound layering, sustaining notes and for sound loops.
Mesh pads on the other hand are more firm and feel a lot like acoustic drum sets. These are great for transitioning to e-drums. They also offer the option of tuning offering more precise and realistic sound.
4. Drum module versatility
The drum module is what makes electronic drums so awesome. This is basically a database containing different drum musical variables. These include sound variations, percussion control as well as special effects. The module is controlled using different interfaces depending on the specific model. However, gaining a proper understanding of the system is what will allow you to enjoy the full benefits of electronic drumming.
5. Playback and recording options
It is also important to consider whether or not the set you are interested in allows you to record what you play. This comes in particularly handy with music recording sessions as it allows direct storage and retrieval of music played during practice sessions.
6. Storage device compatibility
A good model should also be compatible with external storage drives. It could be anything from a flash drive to an SD card. This is important as it allows direct storage of recorded data for later use. It also comes in handy for real time playback from storage for music layering.
7. Accessories and bonus features
These vary from model to model. Some of the most commonly offered accessories include storage bags, drum sticks, foot pedals, head phones and even chairs. Units that offer multiple bonus features and free accessories are without a doubt the better option as you get to enjoy full value for your money.
8. Price, return policy and warranty
Finally, it is important to consider the price and other practical specifications like delivery, return policies and warranty. With price in specific, the key is to find the perfect balance between quality and relative affordability. In our reviews below, the sets have been divided into categories based on price range. This should come in handy when it comes to helping you find the best electronic drum sets with a price tag that matches what you are willing to pay.
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Best electronic drum sets under different price groups
This is an 8 piece set with four 8 inch drum pads, a kick pad and three 10 inch cymbals. The triggers on these drum pads are all rubber offering the benefit of comfortable drumming and high sound quality.
It also features the Nitro sound module with 385 unique sounds and up to 60 pre-recorded tracks for playing along to while practicing. This system also contains a metronome and facilitates recording and playback. The Nitro Sound Module can be controlled using a backlit LCD screen with control buttons.
The entire unit is held together by a sturdy aluminum frame. This allows the perfect combination of portability and stability from the set.
This model comes with numerous accessories including connector cables, drum sticks, stereo headphones and a detailed user manual.
– Comfortable and noise-free rubber pads.
– Multiple accessories offered.
– Lightweight design.
– It is cheap.
– Limited sound variety in the drum module.
– It is hard to assemble.
2. Yamaha DTX400K Customizable Electronic Drum Set
This model consists of a tom pad, snare pad and floor pad all 7.5 inches as well as a 10 inch Hi Hat pad and crash cymbal. All these feature rubber trigger pads for softer drumming.
One thing that makes the Yamaha DTX400K model stand out is the presence of inbuilt learning models. These include the Groove Check, Rhythm Gate and Measure Break learning aids. They help you practice and learn new skills including telling rhythm by ear and how to make your timing perfect. In addition to these, the unit also includes 10 popular drum kits for practice purposes.
It comes with a drum throne, 2 foot pedals as well as a pair of headphones for quiet practice. The accessories also include Vic Firth Nylon drum sticks.
– It is cheap.
– It is great for student drummers.
– It has a limited kit song list.
– The drum app used by the set is only compatible with Apple devices.
1. Roland TD-11K-S V-Compact Series Electronic Drum Set
The most unique feature on this model is the superNATURAL sound technology on the drum pads. This system is meant to give you a more realistic drumming experience with your electronic set. Unlike other models, the Roland TD-11K takes into account the player’s drumming pressure and other variables like reverb and tempo. This means that every hit sounds different. This is ideal for professional recording as well as live shows as it allows production of dynamic sound.
Another feature that really stands out is the COACH feature. This is basically like an inbuilt learning system that is meant to allow the drummer to learn new skills and practice. For the most part, this function focuses on timing as a skill. The model also facilitates learning by allowing the user to play along to pre-recorded tracks in the system. You could also choose to use your own music by simply connecting an external storage device like your phone or MP3 player using the USB port.
The model also happens to have both mesh and rubber on the drum pads. The mesh is on the snare and bass pads while rubber is on all the rest. The fact that mesh is on the two most used pads is a great thing as it ensures more realistic and less noisy drumming.
– It is expandable allowing addition of an extra cymbal and tom.
– It has both rubber and mesh pads allowing you to enjoy the best of both worlds.
– It produces high quality and realistic sounds.
– It is easy to set up.
– It has great aesthetic appeal with a classic and professional arrangement.
– The drum module is limited in terms of sound variety with only 190 sounds.
2. Alesis Command Kit Eight-Piece Electronic Drum Set
This 8 piece set consists of an 11” dual-zone snare, three single-zone toms, a bass drum pedal and three 10” cymbals. All these feature rubber pads and are set on a stable chrome rack. The rack is easy to set up with 4 posts and can be adjusted for the drummer’s comfort and convenience.
This is a great model for recording drum tracks and accompaniment. This is because it can be connected to a computer or other device with music editing software simply using USB cables. The system is compatible with both Android and IOS operating systems increasing the variety of devices you can use.
It has an impressive drum module with 628 different sounds, 70 drum kits and 60 pre-recorded songs to play along to. This is variety is great for everything from learning and practicing to live performances and professional recording.
– Wide variety of sounds and kits.
– Compatible with external storage devices.
– High quality sound.
– It is heavy.
1. Roland TD-11KV Electronic Drum Set Bundle
Like most other Roland electronic drums, this model uses superNATURAL sound technology. This allows the player to produce more naturally dynamic sounds while playing.
The tom and snare pads on this model feature mesh triggers with special dual triggering technology. This makes them more sensitive and therefore ensures high quality and accurate sound output.
Some of the accessories included with this model include 3 pairs of drum sticks, audio cables and a polish cloth.
– It produces high quality sound.
– It is sensitive and therefore very realistic.
– It features an inbuilt teaching model for beginners and for practice purposes.
– Pedals are not included as part of the accessories.
2. KAT Percussion KT4 Electronic Drum Set
This set is designed to create as much of realistic acoustic model simulation as possible. It features 5 units in a classic acoustic drum arrangement. This makes it perfect for drummers making the transition from traditional to plugged in drumming.
Another stand out feature for this model is the voice activated controls. This allows hands free control of the system while playing. It also includes a very wide variety of practice tracks including 55 pre-installed kits and 142 play along tracks.
– It is very silent when on practice mode.
– The pads offer great rebound for more comfortable playing.
– The set can be expanded with an extra pad.
– It has a strong and stable chrome frame.
– It is expensive.
1. Alesis Strike Pro Kit Eleven-Piece Professional Electronic Drum Kit
This e-drum set is designed to look and feel like an acoustic kit. The drum pads have mesh triggers for that old fashioned sturdy yet flexible rebound you get with traditional sets. In terms of the aesthetic, the drums are roughly the same size as acoustic units and also include wooden shells. In fact it is so convincing that for professional players there is a chance that the crowd will not even realize that you are playing electric drums.
Something else that stands out for this model is the Strike Performance Sound Module. This allows you to turn your drum set into a kit generator with the more than 1600 sound samples available. This allows you as the user to come up with up to 100 different drum kits for practice and performances.
– It looks like an acoustic drum set.
– Offers high sound quality.
– Unlimited user-generated kits.
– It is expensive.
– It is difficult to set up.
– It is heavy.
2. Roland TD-25KV-S Electronic Drum Set Bundle with 3 Pairs of Sticks, Audio Cable, and Austin Bazaar Polishing Cloth
One unique feature with this kit is the positional sensors on the snare pad. In addition to ensuring adequate expression of sound dynamics, this allows playing using specific techniques like cross stick playing. The drum pads themselves have mesh triggers which deliver accurate and sensitive sound transduction. The mesh also makes the pads very easy and comfortable to strike. They are also silent and thus ideal for practice without causing a nuisance.
The cymbals on this set are also unique due to their natural motion design. The Hi Hats, Ride Cymbal and Crash Cymbal feature this design for a more natural and realistic feel. This makes it a great choice for drummers who do not want to give up the responsiveness and flexibility experienced while drumming on acoustic sets.
– High quality and expressive sound.
– They are noiseless.
– Traditional setup and pad arrangement for a more authentic acoustic simulation.
– It is heavy and occupies a lot of space.
1. Roland TD-30K V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit
This model is in a lot of ways like many other Roland Electronic Drums. It features mesh trigger V-pads, the unique superNATURAL sound technology and Behavior Modeling systems. All these are common to models within the brand.
The most unique thing about this model is the fact that the sound module allows sound customization. All you have to do is to take time to understand the system in order to come up with different kits and sounds that suit your drumming style and needs. With the help of the Professional V-edit mode, you should be able to come up with amazing new percussion sounds that make your music unique. The model can easily be controlled using the LCD interface screen and the very well labeled controlled buttons.
– High sound quality.
– It is noiseless and nuisance-free.
– It is versatile with a wide variety of sounds.
– The sound is customizable.
– It is a space-consuming unit.
– It is difficult to set up.
2. Roland TD-30KV V-Pro Series Electronic Drum Kit
This model is in a lot of ways similar to the TD-30K model reviewed above. It has the same superNATURAL technology, Ambiance Fader feature as well as the professional V-editor.
What makes this model unique and worth the very high price tag are the sensitivity of the drum pads and the accuracy of the transducer. These produce amazing high quality sounds that are perfect for professionals whether in liver performances or studio recordings.
– It produces very high quality sound.
– It is aesthetically appealing with its glossy chrome and contrasting black finishing.
– It is flexible and can be set up in different ways with tom pads being playable horizontally and vertically.
– It allows customization of sound.
– It is very expensive.
After all is said and done, the models reviewed above have great features and their fair share of perks to offer. All you have to do is consider your budget and what you expect from your set. With all the information and shopping guidelines we have provided, you should have all you need to make a good decision. That way, whether you want a full set for performances or a small multipurpose unit for recording, you will know exactly how to choose. And for more information you can visit this site as well.