Need an advice for e-drums, please!

skiprehab

Member
Messages
831
Hi!

I'm asking an advice for what's a good electronic drum set, bought new. The price ceiling is about right 700€ (about 768 USD). This would be a birthday gift for a friend. What it must have is a good connection to DAW and other drums soundbanks like EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, Slate etc. Both IOS and PC connect would be nice.

I or neither my other friends who will buy this gift are drummers, so I'm looking for drummers opinions. Would buy most likely from Thomann.

Thanks in advance.
 

SirJuxtable

Member
Messages
294
Can you tell us a little more about your friend's experience with drumming and what they would use it for? You mentioned Superior Drummer etc., but would this be for jamming with friends, practicing alone, recording? Would it replace an acoustic kit or be more of a secondary kit? Why e-drums?

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will give us insight into what to recommend.
 

skiprehab

Member
Messages
831
Can you tell us a little more about your friend's experience with drumming and what they would use it for? You mentioned Superior Drummer etc., but would this be for jamming with friends, practicing alone, recording? Would it replace an acoustic kit or be more of a secondary kit? Why e-drums?

Sorry for all the questions, but your answers will give us insight into what to recommend.
Our friend has played drums more or less irregulary over 20 years, but due age, work and homelife (kids etc) he only plays few times a year now. His acoustic drumset is pretty far away in a friends rehearsal space. He lives in building with lots of apartments so playing real drums there is definitely not an option.
This way he could play at home, maybe teach some basics to his son too.
And we could share files and make music even everybody would be miles apart.

I mentioned Superior drummer or alike sound files because usually these cheaper sets sound kinda goofy.

So far we looked brands like Simmons, Millenium, Alesis and cheaper versions of Roland, but because none of us rest are drummers we don’t know the best value for money. We do understand restrictions of cheaper kits.
 

Liko

Member
Messages
791
Hi!

I'm asking an advice for what's a good electronic drum set, bought new. The price ceiling is about right 700€ (about 768 USD). This would be a birthday gift for a friend. What it must have is a good connection to DAW and other drums soundbanks like EZDrummer or Superior Drummer, Slate etc. Both IOS and PC connect would be nice.

I or neither my other friends who will buy this gift are drummers, so I'm looking for drummers opinions. Would buy most likely from Thomann.

Thanks in advance.
My studio e-kit is the Simmons SD600. As sold Stateside in "expanded" form (6-piece with a second crash) they're right at $700. I originally got the five-piece set as a Christmas gift, then added the expansion. I also upgraded the kick pedal to a double, because why not; the kick trigger is a mesh pad, so you can use standard acoustic kick drum pedals/beaters. MIDI connection is available via USB and Bluetooth, and there is an iOS app, so feeding MIDI into the DAW to trigger a plug-in is just a matter of plugging into the computer and recording Channel 10. The USB connection also allows the brain to receive an audio line-in, so the drummer can monitor through his headphones (you can also use an analog line-in).

Overall, quality and sound is good to excellent, especially when considering "for the price" in that assessment. The rack's main members have drum key tension clamps, all the triggers clamp and adjust with big wing nuts, it's pretty easy to tweak to your position preferences. I've heard comments that the stock rack poles are fatter than most acoustic and other e-drum racks, so other brands' clamp hardware may not fit (the extended kit maxes out the brain's inputs anyway so not a huge call for adding on even more). In any case, it's really solid for me, I may have second thoughts about letting my band's drummer wail on it (the man averages about 2 cracked cymbals a year).

Biggest technological limitation that I notice as a player is the single-zone triggers, especially the cymbals. You have to choose bell/bowl vs edge on your rides and crashes, and that's all you get no matter where you hit. Similarly, there's no difference in tone hitting the snare/tom in different regions, and the snare doesn't respond to stirring, so jazz drummers will definitely feel limited. Mesh heads do have rim triggers, which I find useful on the toms for cowbell, tambourine, wood block etc. The brain's UX is also a bit simple, I would have liked a jog wheel to spin through patch selection (the "Perc" category of specialty sounds like cowbell, tambourine and non-Western percussion really should have been split out more) and the volume control for headphones also controls the line-out, which can be problematic if you want to record the kit patches while monitoring with the brain. Lastly, I would have liked the song control buttons to function as DAW transport controls when plugged in via USB; they do not do this, so if you're a one-man shop tracking from the throne, you'll want a transport controller in reach.
 

SirJuxtable

Member
Messages
294
Thanks for elaborating. Sounds like you're already getting some good feedback.

I'm not a drummer, but have been doing extensive research as I build my own e-kit, and from a purely hardware standpoint (since you are triggering with VSTs), I would suggest the smaller all mesh roland kit which is in your price range. I am building my kit out of roland components because of their reputation for feel/triggering and durability. The TD1-DMK is in your price range, and he could always expand on it based on his own priorities without the pieces necessarily becoming obsolete. In fact, lots of roland hardware retains value on the used market, which isn't always the case with other brands.

Speaking of which, you could get a slightly nicer kit (TD-9 or TD-11 maybe?) used if you find a good deal in your price range. This will give him larger pads, among other things.

Regardless, it's super cool that you guys are pooling together to get him this gift. Sounds like he's got a really great group of friends.
 

SirJuxtable

Member
Messages
294
Thanks for elaborating. Sounds like you're already getting some good feedback.

I'm not a drummer, but have been doing extensive research as I build my own e-kit, and from a purely hardware standpoint (since you are triggering with VSTs), I would suggest the smaller all mesh roland kit which is in your price range. I am building my kit out of roland components because of their reputation for feel/triggering and durability. The TD1-DMK is in your price range, and he could always expand on it based on his own priorities without the pieces necessarily becoming obsolete. In fact, lots of roland hardware retains value on the used market, which isn't always the case with other brands.

Speaking of which, you could get a slightly nicer kit (TD-9 or TD-11 maybe?) used if you find a good deal in your price range. This will give him larger pads, among other things.

Regardless, it's super cool that you guys are pooling together to get him this gift. Sounds like he's got a really great group of friends.
I should mention, the TD-1DMK does not include a kick pedal, so he would need to get one for that kit, but the upside is he'd be using a real kick pedal which should feel a little more natural then some of the pedal triggers on the market.
 

Plaid Sabbath

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,348
I have an Alesis Command Mesh Kit. Bought it about 6 months ago from Sweetwater. It was about $800 USD. Not too bad. You’d still need some monitors if your friend wants to play with other people, but the module does accommodate headphones and easily connects to outboard gear for recording.

Probably not the top of the heap as far as e-kits are concerned, but it’s pretty good for practicing and jam sessions.

5EC89034-61EC-454D-85A4-470D402A289D.jpeg


7F278753-44E1-4E94-B5DB-FE19CDAD4BB9.jpeg


Here’s how they sound in a mix…
 

skiprehab

Member
Messages
831
Thanks for replies. I think we have found three candidates;

Simmons SD1200


Millenium MPS-850


Alesis Command Mesh


Simmons has a movable snare, which would be handy for placement, Millenium on the other hand does have a movable hi-hat. Dunno which is better option for a drummer? Millenium also comes with a kick drum pedal, though I doubt how good quality it is, knowing their mic stands...
Alesis comes with a kick drum pedal too, but no movable options for snare or high-hat.

What do think of these, which one would you pick and why? :dunno
 

Liko

Member
Messages
791
Thanks for replies. I think we have found three candidates;

Simmons SD1200


Millenium MPS-850


Alesis Command Mesh


Simmons has a movable snare, which would be handy for placement, Millenium on the other hand does have a movable hi-hat. Dunno which is better option for a drummer? Millenium also comes with a kick drum pedal, though I doubt how good quality it is, knowing their mic stands...
Alesis comes with a kick drum pedal too, but no movable options for snare or high-hat.

What do think of these, which one would you pick and why? :dunno

I mean, they're all moveable, the difference is really "stand-mounted" vs "rack-mounted". Stand-mounted is more "realistic" relative to a traditional acoustic kit, and so gives you more of the feel of a real kit, but as far as positioning things where I want, I've never had a problem with rack-mounted shells and cymbals (even the snare), and you can do things position-wise with a rack-mounted hat trigger and floor pedal that you'd need a cabled hat stand/pedal setup to replicate (and those can be problematic).

Personally, I prefer rack-mounting everything, primarily because it declutters the floor space. Only the actual pedals, the kick trigger footprint (fairly small), and four rack feet, instead of a tripod for each stand-mount piece. That keeps my home studio cleaner, gives me more floor space to snug other equipment or storage right up against the rack as needed, and when I need to move it, it's the rack, the kick and the hat pedal, easy peasy. Compared to what the drummer in my regular gig goes through for load-in/load-out I wouldn't have it any other way, even for a semi-permanent setup.

However, if I were to stand-mount one thing on an e-kit, it would be the hat, assuming the hat is a two-piece trigger with decent sensitivity. The ability to adjust the hat cymbal in the same way you would an acoustic hat gives you the exact feel you want on the pedal and the behavior of the hat "open" or "closed". Some players like the hat wide open as a splash and closing to a sizzle, others reduce that gap so it closes tightly but they still get the full range of damping, still others (like me) like it to sizzle when open and clamp down with any foot pressure (I don't really have the foot finesse for more than "open" vs "closed" so I get the sounds I want from each position).

For that reason, I'm going to recommend the Millenium MPS-850. The cymbals are not full-surface but I've never minded that on mine, and they are multi-zone, which I do mind not having on my Simmons kit. Hat is stand-mounted for the adjustability I mentioned, and like I said I've never had any problem with a rack-mounted snare. It's a full six-piece two-crash kit, so you won't need much more unless you're the next Neal Peart, and if you do want access to a few extra niche sounds (cowbell, tambourine, woodblock etc), tom edges are easily repurposed as long as you have enough technique not to hit them by accident. As long as you like the feel and the available sounds, and the I/O works for you, that looks like a slam-dunk kit for jam sessions, rehearsals, low-volume practice and MIDI work.
 

Rayf

Member
Messages
583
Or, you could buy two used Nitro mesh kits and some trs splitters.
 

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Syber

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
59
TD-07DMK would be my vote, next down the line would be Alesis. The TD is just slightly above your budget but well worth it. You will need to get a drum pedal though, but he could pick his own. The Roland will outlast the Alesis. I'm sure he will be over the moon just even knowing you guys did this for him!


EDIT: just noticed old thread... ugh... Well, what did you do?
 

skiprehab

Member
Messages
831
TD-07DMK would be my vote, next down the line would be Alesis. The TD is just slightly above your budget but well worth it. You will need to get a drum pedal though, but he could pick his own. The Roland will outlast the Alesis. I'm sure he will be over the moon just even knowing you guys did this for him!


EDIT: just noticed old thread... ugh... Well, what did you do?

We decided to go with the Millenium 850 set, but haven't ordered it yet, since the birthday is in June.
 




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