Technology has undoubtedly been the biggest part of the last century. Anything and everything has some sort of technological aspect to it nowadays.
For a drummer, this means electronic drums have become something to think about.
In this article we will talk about absolutely everything you need to know about good electronic drum sets, do electronic drum set reviews at different price points and see which electronic drum kit would be best for different situations.
There will be information for absolute beginners and seasoned professionals.
We will discuss topics such as who makes the best electronic drums, what is the best electronic drum set for beginners, which are the top rated electronic drums and many more.
- Best Beginner Electronic Drum Set 2018 Buying Guide
- Best Electronic Drum Set Under $500
- Best Electronic Drum Set Under $1000
- Best Electronic Drum Set Under $2000
Best Beginner Electronic Drum Set 2018 Buying Guide
What are electronic drums?
Basically, they are a collection of pads that are connected to a module.
The module is a small box next to the kit that generates all the sounds, along with running all the other features of the kit.
The most basic drum modules nowadays have a wide choice of drum kit sounds to choose from.
Good electronic drum kit modules will have commonly used styles of kit. This means they’ll have sounds for rock, jazz, fusion etc.
More expensive modules will naturally have more options and flexibility.
Samples are recorded and programmed into the modules to get the sounds.
So, when you hit a pad on the electric kit and it plays a snare drum sound, that sound was recorded in a studio and is now being played back by you. Top rated electronic drum sets use this way of getting sounds.
Other features of a drum module are that it can play songs, have a metronome and record you playing.
The physical things that you hit on the kit are called the triggers or the pads.
Most electronic drums have a standard 5-piece setup, similar to the standard acoustic drum kit that one would play.
Many drum modules allow you to add extra pads if needed.
The drum pads have a type of pickup that senses vibrations. When the pad is hit, the pickup senses how hard it has been hit from the vibrations.
This allows you to play different dynamics on the electronic kit.
The best electronic drum sets feature pads with multiple zones on them with different pickups.
For example, a snare drum would also have the rim so that you could play cross sticks.
Difference between electronic and acoustic?
It is important to know what the differences are between electronic drum kits and acoustic drum kits.
Firstly, and most importantly, acoustic drum kits are loud and electronic drum kits are soft.
This is due to the fact that you can change volume on an electronic kit. Some electronic kits have pads that are louder than others.
On an acoustic kit the sound is right in front of you. Electronic kits have the sound coming from an external source.
So, it is similar to a guitarist or keyboardist where your instrument’s sound is not quite in front of you.
Some electronic drum kits might have a bit of latency when you play. When you play fast it may not pick up every note that you are playing.
The more expensive electronic drum kits don’t have this problem though.
Rubber pads vs. mesh heads
Rubber pads are similar to most practice pads. Mesh heads attempt to emulate the real feel of an acoustic drum kit.
Mesh heads are tunable. This allows you to change the amount of rebound of the head.
It is agreed by most people that mesh heads are superior to rubber pads.
Cheap electronic drum sets will come with rubber pads whereas more expensive kits will come with mesh heads.
What to look for when buying an electronic kit
Before you continue to the review section of this article there are several points you need to think about before buying an electronic drum kit:
What is included in the package?
Things such as sticks, headphones and drum thrones are often not included. The cheaper kits will have them as the cheaper kits are advertised for people who are starting with nothing. The more expensive kits will mostly not have these things.
How big is the kit?
Electronic drum kits come in all shapes and sizes.
Is the kit quiet enough?
Some kits have pads that are louder than others.
Do you like the feel of the pads?
Different companies have different pads that are manufactured differently. You might like the feel of one pad, but not another.
Do you like the sounds?
It is important that you like the sounds that the drum module produces as this is what you will be hearing all the time. No one likes to play an instrument that doesn’t sound good!
Is the manufacturer well known?
If you are new to buying kits then it is better to buy from a manufacturer that is known for producing excellent quality equipment. We will mention the best electronic drum set brands as we go on.
Best Electronic Drum Set Brands
So, what is the best electronic drum set to buy?
There are several companies that manufacture electronic drums.
For the sake of this article we are going to narrow the choices down to the three leading companies that produce good electronic drums: Roland, Alesis and Yamaha.
Each company has different strengths and weaknesses and it is up to you to decide on which you lean towards.
Roland has established itself as the leading company when it comes to electronic drum kits that are above $2000.
Whereas Yamaha and Alesis have stiff competition between the kits that are under $2000.
Alesis attempts to give you the best value for your money. Roland attempts to give you the best quality instrument. Yamaha offers expandability on their kits.
We will now move on to the electronic drum set reviews. They will be grouped by price.
Best Electronic Drum Set Under $500
Best Electronic Drum Set Under $1000
Best Electronic Drum Set Under $2000
The following three kits have all been flagship models of the companies in the past.
So, you might still be asking yourself: Which electronic drum set should I buy?
The market for electronic drums is always growing and top-quality technology is starting to become more affordable.
This means that good electronic drum kits are becoming more accessible for the everyday drummer.
This article with its electronic drum kit reviews showed that:
- Alesis, Yamaha and Roland make the best electronic drums.
- The Roland TD-25KV, Yamaha DTX720K and the Alesis Strike Pro would be the best affordable electronic drum kits to buy.
- The Roland TD-1K, Yamaha DTX400K and Alesis Nitro would be the best electronic drum kits for beginners as well as being the best entry-level drum kits.
- The Roland TD-11KV and the Yamaha DTX562K are the best mid-range electronic drum kits.
- The Alesis DM10, Yamaha DTX532K and Roland TD-11K are the best budget electronic drum kits.
- The Roland TD-1K is the best compact electronic drum kit.
Hopefully now you can see that no matter what your budget, there will be an electronic drum kit for you and whatever situation you find yourself in.