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Electric Drumkit Advise Please!

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Posted (edited)

I've a modest Alesis kit (Nitro Mesh...) which I use to trigger a modest laptop, loaded with Superior Drummer 3. A great sound, and fun to play. The important things to look for..? Cymbals don't react like metal ones, so one has to adjust one's style, and the hi-hat, too, has a very different feel. It won't replace my Camco kit, but it's darned good. The whole thing (s/h kit, refurb laptop, software etc...) comes to around £1000. Good cymbals start at £200 or so, alone, so it's good value, I reckon. Yes, there's better stuff, but my Vst drums would be hard to beat for sound quality.

Edited by Dad3353

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13 hours ago, binky_bass said:

Don't get me wrong, an acoustic kit is definitely the way forward, but it just isn't viable for so many reasons... predominantly because I live in a terrace house and my neighbours would literally have me killed if I started bludgeoning their ears with the smashery of acoustic drums! 

Be aware that even electronic kits generate a fair amount of mechanical noise which will be transmitted through the structure of the building into your neighbour's houses. IME simply the sound of the sticks hitting the pads is loud enough to drown out the drum sounds from speakers at reasonable hifi volumes. Not a problem for the drummer if they are wearing headphone but might be enough to set off sensitive neighbours if you play for any length of time. 

The big problem from my experience is the kick drum. The foot action will sound as though you are constantly stamping your foot hard on the floor. You might get away with it if the kit is situated in a ground floor room with a solid concrete floor, but anywhere else you will need to build an isolating riser for the kit (it will also help with any mechanical noise being transmitted through the stands). It's not as difficult as it sounds. I made one from an old table top with a fairly deep lip. I glued neoprene isolating foam onto the top, then flipped it over and filled the space with carpet underlay. Then on top of that I rested a sheet of 3/4" ply with carpet glued to it. The table was big enough to accommodate the whole kit except the drum stool which was raised accordingly. It was enough to keep my neighbours happy.

Edited by BigRedX
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I'm leaning towards that Roland TD8 kit I mentioned in the earlier eBay link... 

It comes with 6 mesh pads, 3 cymbal pads, 1 basic pad (where the hi-hat is), a pearl roadster throne, a double kick pedal, a Roland PM10 amp, the TD8 module and a few other extras, so as much as the TD8 is an older module, there is a lot on offer and I think it represents a decent package deal particularly as I definitely want a double kickset up. 

Whats your thoughts based on everything included AND it being very local for a package price of £900?

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50 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

I'm leaning towards that Roland TD8 kit I mentioned in the earlier eBay link... 

It comes with 6 mesh pads, 3 cymbal pads, 1 basic pad (where the hi-hat is), a pearl roadster throne, a double kick pedal, a Roland PM10 amp, the TD8 module and a few other extras, so as much as the TD8 is an older module, there is a lot on offer and I think it represents a decent package deal particularly as I definitely want a double kickset up. 

Whats your thoughts based on everything included AND it being very local for a package price of £900?

It’s a old and basic single drive double bass pedal, so I don’t think it adds much value. The main thing that irks me looking at that listing is how jaunty the current owner has it set up, and from that I infer that they don’t know much about drumming/drums so I wonder how well it’ll have been looked after. 

Breaking it down, the core ‘must have’ things I’d want from an electric kit are: a proper hi-hat, mesh pads, multi-zone sensors, and a decent rack.

It doesn’t have a proper hi-hat. It does have mesh. The cymbals are only dual-zone (personally I’d be wanting three-zone), the snare is only dual zone (again, I’d be looking at three), and the toms are only single (I’d be wanting dual). The control unit is quite outdated meaning that even if you upgrade the sensors down the line, it won’t be able to handle their functionality. 

I wouldn’t turn my nose up completely at this kit, but I would at £900. Looking elsewhere online, a more modern TD-12 based kit can be had for a similar price ticket used.

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The kit was the sellers father in law, it was passed down a few months ago. They do have a drummer in the family, but not someone that uses an electric kit so it was only set up for testing and photos. The basic pad really shouldn't be used as the hi-hat (a cowbell would be a better choice!) one of the dual zone cymbals should be (IMO). It does have 6 mesh pads, as well as the other additional bits (amp, throne, double kick, headphones etc) as much as I agree that the 'core' isn't £900 worth, if you factor in the amp, the throne and the double kick (all things I'd need to source separately if I bought something else) it seems a fair price looking at general re-sale of the component parts within this package. Plus postage doesn't need to be factored in or unnecessary 'out of zone's travel. 

Thats the arguement I've had with myself. Based on that, @Bankai, do you still feel £900 is too high? I do appreciate your honest feedback! :)

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1 hour ago, binky_bass said:

I'm leaning towards that Roland TD8 kit I mentioned in the earlier eBay link... 

Agreeing with @Bankai, this kit is most probably overpriced.
Even in expensive Norway, that amount would land me a new TD-11 with mesh in the January sales (I know, coz I nearly bought one).

Edit: sorry for bad reading. I stirred at a kit without realising it comes with extras.
Please disregard.

Edited by BassTractor

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I can’t see a hi-hat foot controller in any of the photos. Is there one? If not, you’d need to factor in that purchase.

 

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There is one, I asked that. Its a Roland FD-6 pedal.

Edited by binky_bass

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The fully list is:

5 mesh pads (PD80), 1 mesh pad (PD80R), 1 kick pad (PD105), 1 'basic pad' (PD7), 3 cymbal pads (CY12RC), Hi-hat pedal (FD6), double kick pedal, TD8 module, Roland PM10 amp, Pearl roadster throne, headphones, sticks, rack and all mounts for all pads, extra cymbal stand, all cables etc obviously.

Edited by binky_bass

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14 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

The fully list is:

5 mesh pads (PD80), 1 mesh pad (PD80R), 1 kick pad (PD105), 1 'basic pad' (PD7), 3 cymbal pads (CY12RC), Hi-hat pedal (FD6), double kick pedal, TD8 module, Roland PM10 amp, Pearl roadster throne, headphones, sticks, rack and all mounts for all pads, extra cymbal stand, all cables etc obviously.

Ok, with that list and specification in mind, I’d take a step back and ask what will that kit offer you, that the Millenium one wouldn’t for half the price? For arguments sake.

This used one has; an included (albeit basic and old) double pedal, a stool, and a speaker system. 
 

A comparable pedal could be bought for £50, a stool for the same, and I’ve found a PM10 on eBay for £50 too but I don’t massively rate them. Instead, I’d think about an FRFR wedge that could then do double duty for bass guitar. 

The Millenium would give you a far more modern module, a proper hi-hat, more up to date sensors, and be new and thus have the warranties and such. And be half the price.

I think Roland are the best by far, but if you were to go that path I’d either advocate knocking this seller down a couple hundred to maybe the £700 mark, or looking at the TD12 or newer offerings on eBay, so you get a later generation of control unit and sensors.

Edited by Bankai

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16 hours ago, binky_bass said:

I'm looking at buying a full and complete kit, likely pre-owned to get the best bang for buck, rather than upgrade bits and pieces, so at my price point (circa £1000) I'm almost certain that would be mesh heads all round! I'm definitely only interested in a mesh head set up for sure. :)

I use a mid range Carlsbro kit. The mesh heads are tuneable for tension so you can match the feel and bounce of your acoustic kit. The cymbals are a problem feel wise, too heavy and ridged, but most e kits suffer from this. The bass drum is also crucial to an e kit as it is this that causes a lot of the extraneous noise, and keeping noise down is one of the big reasons for going electronic.

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@Bankai - I think I shall heed your advice good sir and not take the plunge on this kit. 

I'll keep looking. If you know of a good deal for something you think is worthy, please do let me know, and of course, thanks for the advice thus far! 

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Recently asked a similar question in "Other Instruments": Electronic Drums - Any BC Knowledge Out There? - Other Instruments - Basschat

My son wanted a drum kit, an electronic kit was the obvious choice, so I managed to track down a second hand Alesis Nitro Mesh kit. My son's made up with it, it sounds really good, and there's a load of tutorial stuff available online if you register the kit with Alesis (though he's happiest to bang about playing along with Spotify). The Bass drum pad is the usual rubber, but the snare & toms are mesh heads.

The more money you have available, you'll obviously get a better kit, but the mesh heads are the way to go.

Good luck.

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The drummer in my band uses 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Fame-DD-ONE-XT-Simon-Phillips-E-Drum-Set/art-DRU0038567-000?campaign=GShopping/GB&ProgramUUID=5G_AqJarZwoAAAFl0FZyjI8V&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6Or_BRC_ARIsAPzuer9yqoqchJr9cOleZqv7FPYSCB7dv55CDO17fbOwtZ1DW6-QNUx72BEaAu_MEALw_wcB

He runs it through the addictive drums software. I thought he was crazy to buy it, and thought it’ll never sound as good as an acoustic kit. How wrong i was! Unless you have some awesome mics ( and know how to use them!), and a fabulous space to record them, you will never get your drums sounding as professional as a set up similar to above

see attachment for sound quality. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know 😂 

In A Hole - GW mix #2 - 21:09:2019, 17.04.m4a

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2 hours ago, markoire said:

The drummer in my band uses 

https://www.dv247.com/en_GB/GBP/Fame-DD-ONE-XT-Simon-Phillips-E-Drum-Set/art-DRU0038567-000?campaign=GShopping/GB&ProgramUUID=5G_AqJarZwoAAAFl0FZyjI8V&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6Or_BRC_ARIsAPzuer9yqoqchJr9cOleZqv7FPYSCB7dv55CDO17fbOwtZ1DW6-QNUx72BEaAu_MEALw_wcB

He runs it through the addictive drums software. I thought he was crazy to buy it, and thought it’ll never sound as good as an acoustic kit. How wrong i was! Unless you have some awesome mics ( and know how to use them!), and a fabulous space to record them, you will never get your drums sounding as professional as a set up similar to above

see attachment for sound quality. If you didn’t know, you wouldn’t know 😂 

In A Hole - GW mix #2 - 21:09:2019, 17.04.m4a 5.98 MB · 1 download

That could be a pretty good shout actually. That thing looks like it has decent drums and a hathat controller that understands up and down. One of the things I love about my 30KV is that the hi-hat is really 'real' feeling. everyone goes on about snare drums but there's LOADS of movement and character in the hihat. What are the internal sounds like though, i have a controller keyboard which is really really nice but it's still a pain in the HOLE having to boot a computer to load a sample dooble to actually hear it. I think there's something to be said for sitting down and going straight for it :/

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Is there much difference between the Fame DD ONE XT vs the Millenium MPS850? I've read that they are essentially the exact same except a slight change in module chassis, as in built in the same place with the same spec, just branded differently. Can anyone confirm that at all??

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24 minutes ago, caitlin said:

That could be a pretty good shout actually. That thing looks like it has decent drums and a hathat controller that understands up and down. One of the things I love about my 30KV is that the hi-hat is really 'real' feeling. everyone goes on about snare drums but there's LOADS of movement and character in the hihat. What are the internal sounds like though, i have a controller keyboard which is really really nice but it's still a pain in the HOLE having to boot a computer to load a sample dooble to actually hear it. I think there's something to be said for sitting down and going straight for it :/

Quote from the drummer when i told him about the thread- ‘They’re awesome for the money. The pads are same as higher spec but the box has limitations that Addictive drums takes care of’ 

I play drums a bit, my take on them  is that they play (feel) really well. My drummer uses his ‘iron cobra’ bass pedal with his. The module is ok, not as good as the roland, but if you spend time tweaking all the settings, you can get it pretty good, certainly good enough for gigging/ jamming. Its made recording with the band a breeze. 

 

 

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Seems Fame and Millenium are definitely made in the same place... looking at the direct drive double pedal as offered by Fame and Millenium and apart from the branded footplates the casting marks are exactly the same on. The Millenium one on Thomann is £85 (£102 factoring in VAT to the UK). The Fame one is £127 inc UK VAT. Seems Millenium are about 15% cheaper than Fame.

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So a Millenium MPS850 kit with a Millenium PD223 Direct Drive double kick pedal and a 'The Box' MA 120w monitor comes to £612 (£734 with UK import taxes) from Thomann.

Whereas a Fame DD-ONE-XT with a Fame DFP9001D Direct Drive double kick pedal and a Fame MS-600PM 60w monitor comes to £833 from DV247.

Both the kits and the pedals are literally the exact same, made in the same factory etc, so they are equal, and the Thomann monitor is 120w vs the DV237 monitor at 60w, plus Thomann comes in at £99 cheaper than DV247. 

Any thoughts as to the Thomann gear? Quite close to pulling the trigger... It's £166 cheaper than that Roland TD8 kit I was tempted by, and it's all brand new. Is this a good set up?

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38 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

So a Millenium MPS850 kit with a Millenium PD223 Direct Drive double kick pedal and a 'The Box' MA 120w monitor comes to £612 (£734 with UK import taxes) from Thomann.

Whereas a Fame DD-ONE-XT with a Fame DFP9001D Direct Drive double kick pedal and a Fame MS-600PM 60w monitor comes to £833 from DV247.

Both the kits and the pedals are literally the exact same, made in the same factory etc, so they are equal, and the Thomann monitor is 120w vs the DV237 monitor at 60w, plus Thomann comes in at £99 cheaper than DV247. 

Any thoughts as to the Thomann gear? Quite close to pulling the trigger... It's £166 cheaper than that Roland TD8 kit I was tempted by, and it's all brand new. Is this a good set up?

The only thing I’d intervene with is the monitor.

It’s hard to replicate the bass drum and unless you have a decent wedge it will struggle. Easy way around that is headphones. 
 

Can you see many circumstances in which you’d need to use a monitor instead of headphones? If no, I’d stick with a decent set of headphones for now. If yes, I’d potentially go higher with the spec of the monitor.

 

Edited by Bankai

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As a side note, I’d also ask what makes you want to go for a direct drive instead of chain drive? Both have their merits, one isn’t better than the other, but they do have quite different feels

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I already have a great pair of studio headphones (AKG K702), but would like a monitor as I prefer to hear the sound it an open room and not via headphones (though I will use the headphones from time to time for sure!)

I only have a small room to shoe horn this into so the playback won't be super loud, I'd thought that this 120w monitor would be able to produce a decent sound and a low-ish volume without bass clipping. Do you think it would suffice for a small room as an alternative to headphones when I don't want to wear them?

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Just now, Bankai said:

As a side note, I’d also ask what makes you want to go for a direct drive instead of chain drive? Both have their merits, one isn’t better than the other, but they do have quite different feels

I've read that they are quieter when being used. So if I play at low volume, or with headphones, there's less unwanted noise than that of a chain drive pedal.

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36 minutes ago, binky_bass said:

I already have a great pair of studio headphones (AKG K702), but would like a monitor as I prefer to hear the sound it an open room and not via headphones (though I will use the headphones from time to time for sure!)

I only have a small room to shoe horn this into so the playback won't be super loud, I'd thought that this 120w monitor would be able to produce a decent sound and a low-ish volume without bass clipping. Do you think it would suffice for a small room as an alternative to headphones when I don't want to wear them?

It depends at what volume it’d be. Low volume it’ll be fine I imagine. I was just thinking more it could be an opportunity to get something with a bit more heft that can play double duty as a FRFR monitor for bass performance, or vocal monitor, etc. 

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