Electric Drum Kits

Electric drum kits are starting to become more common in professional music and many popular artists now record and perform with electric or hybrid drum kits. In this article however I will be discussing the best electric drum kits for home practice rather than the high-end kits. Here are a few I have come across that I can recommend.

Roland TD-1K V-Drums:
Approx Price - £369

Roland is a respected brand in musical instruments so although these kits are on the more expensive end of the scale for a learner kit, you get what you pay for. You will have no problems with getting an authentic sound and feel with any Roland kit however this one is at the bottom end of the Roland range and has its limitations. You will have to go to the next kit up from this (the TD-1KV V-Drums) to get the more advanced acoustic techniques such as cymbal choke, advanced hi-hat playing and a mesh snare head for more realistic feel. It’s a great kit and will be worth every penny but it is still considered a practice kit and so the price tag may seem a little high for the function it serves.

 

Pros:
·      Authentic sound and feel

·    Good quality build and durable

·      Very responsive pads

·      Extra tutorial features

·      Recording function

·      Compact

·      Ultra-quiet with a beater-free kick drum

Cons:

·      Expensive for a beginner kit

 

Alesis DM Lite:
Approx Price - £229

This is a great little kit and it folds up into itself so if storage space is an issue it is perfect. I’ve taught a few pupils who have these kits and for the price they seem to be fairly responsive with an authentic feel and sound. They have a handful of extra features such as different kit sounds and a metronome. One of the things I really like about these kits is although they fold up very small, they can be unfolded to be as compact or spread out as you like. Whilst the fixed compact kits are great for space saving, they can sometimes feel a little cramped to play. The Alesis kits however can be set up to accurately imitate an acoustic drum kit.

 
 

Pros:

·      Realistic set up

·      Folds up small

·      Good sound and feel

·      Ultra-quiet with a beater-free kick drum

Cons:

·      Not responsive enough for the more advanced techniques


Behringer XD8USB:
Approx Cost - £239.99

Behringer is another well respected name in music but with slightly cheaper options than Roland. The Behringer brand does more in music technology than in musical instruments but as this is an electric drum kit we’re talking about who better to trust than a music technology company? Unlike many electric kits, the Behringer XD8USB uses a proper kick pedal with kick drum pad giving it a much more realistic feel. The downside of this is that it is noisier with the beater hitting the pad than the beater-free kick drums. The kit comes with a number of pre-set sounds and a few more high-tech features such as a USB interface however if it is only being used for home practice these features may be redundant.

 

Pros:

·      Good quality at a reasonable price

·      Realistic set up

·      Realistic sound and response from pads

·      USB interface and recording functions

Cons:

·      Real kick pedal makes it noisier than beater-free kick pedals

 

Gear4Music DD400:
Approx Cost - £199.99

Gear4Music produce all sorts of musical instruments and equipment at budget prices making their electric kits perfect for beginners. Whilst this kit is lacking some of the more realistic playing features of the more expensive brands, it does everything it needs to do for a home practice kit. Considering the low price tag it does include a number of impressive features such as different sound settings, play along songs and the ability to play different dynamics on the pads (although the pedals do not have the ability to do this). It is also light, compact and easy to set up.

 
 

Pros:

·      Ultra-quiet with a beater-free kick drum

·      Compact

·      Good sound and feel

Cons:

·      Not responsive enough for the more advanced techniques particularly on the pedals.