Build my own e-kit...?


Senior Member
Hi everyone! =)
Long time no see!
I'm starting to get REALLY frustrated by the fact that I can't practice anymore. I live in an apartment now, so my babies are stacked up in the closet. Cry.
Anyway, I've been thinking about making my own little e-kit. I've been hating e-drums up until recently when I played the Korg Wavedrum for the first time. It just felt awesome, had a great sensitivity and greats sounds. I bought it two days later =)

I started to think - what if I use the wavedrum as a snare, then get a hi-hat and bassdrum going? I don't care about toms etc at the moment, I just want the three basics - snare, bass, hi-hat.
I know I could just buy a e-kit, and replace the snare with my Wavedrum, but that causes a problem - I'm on a budget! And I mean a tight one! And the cheap stuff often comes with bad hi-hats, things that don't respond properly. I just need a bass and a hi-hat that works, not a ton of bad-sounding toms / cymbals...

What would you recommend to do? Buy the cheapest e-kit available and trigger it with my Mac for better sounds? Buy triggers? Anyone?
I've never stepped into the world of (hell of?) e-drums before, but I'm willing to do anything now to be able to play some beats.

Help a brother!
Thanks! =)

BFD2. Or get Mesh Heads for your kit? they are EXTREMELY quiet, and then if your ever going to gig, throw some coated heads on it :) (yes, coated! Cause they're awesome!)

or you can get mesh heads, trigger them through BFD or something and just get a pair of hi-hats from ebay, or get some e-kit pads (you can get them individually) and a module from eBay and your done!


Hi Zorlee,

I play both acoustic and electronic drums and would like to reccomend a forum for e drummers - I have been a member there for several years - it's a great community and there are numerous threads discussing options

When you discuss budget - it helps to be specific about a dollar amount- what is really tight to some may not be tight to others. A few things to keep in mind:

1. E drums are more expensive than acoustic drums
2. You get what you pay for - Yamaha and Roland are the two best options (I'm a yamaha guy myself) A lot of people who try to go on the cheap end up very frustrated
3. E drums do not have the range of response that acoustic drums do - however I prefer them when recording - much easier to mic and mix
4. VST's - such as addictive drums , superior drummer, BFD etc. sound MUCH MUCH better than standard module sounds - however they will require an external sound device - budget about $150 for that if going the vst route

I would strongly suggest going used if budget is a constraint - a yamaha dtx iv is a great option.

Good luck - and yes i love my e drums


Can I just put something to rest here and now.

Software instruments are not called VSTs. VST is one format, AU is another as is RTAS. BFD2 is available on all of these formats. I see a lot of people implying that VST is a synonym for software instrument. It is not. In fact, I haven't used a VST in over four years.


Platinum Member
Well, welcome to the world of the Korg Wavedrum. They will eventually take over the world.​
Besides the Korg, I also own a Roland SPD-S, and a Mandala V1. And a Roland TD-7, Yamaha DTXpress, and an old Tama Techstar 305.​
In your shoes, I'd probably look for/buy a used SPD-S. You can find them now, in the $250-300 range. I paid $350 (used) for mine, several years ago. That unit will become your hi-hat, and with a KD-7 trigger run into it's "external" input, your kick drum.​
The KD-7 is a serious "workhorse" of a trigger. And the SPD-S, placed into the hi-hat position, gives you 9 trigger pads to play with. Plus, you can hook up an expression pedal to it, for left foot open/close action.​


Senior Member
Oh, that sounds like a cool idea. My main concern is the open-close hi-hat function. Will it work just the same as if I were playing a roland kit? If I just get my pedal and hook it up, will it work in the same way?
Can I hook up additional triggers to it? And how is the noise level of the pad?
Thank you so much!

Yes, that's right! My nesting penguin kit =)


Platinum Member
With my kits, I use real cymbals (hybrid) and snare, so I never bought an expression pedal for my SPD-S, but it's a Roland item, plugging into a Roland item, so I'm assuming it works and functiones very well, as Roland products all do. But, it's not gonna feel like a real "hi-hat". It's its own thing.​
That said, it's gonna be a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a Roland hi-hat (VH-11 ... cost $400) which you'll have to hook into a module designed for it (like a TD-12 ... cost $1400)​
Another thought came to my head ... go hybrid ... You already have the nesting kit, so I assume you have a hi-hat stand. One of my cymbal sets involves Zildjian 10" Special Recording hats (maybe a little pricey for this project), but they also make the ZHT 10's ($114). A buddy drummer of mine muffled his down, with creative DIY face cloth mutes. Got his hats down to TV sound volume, not bad. That'll at least get you "real" hi-hat feel, because you'll be playing real (but muffled) hi-hats.​
And if you go that route, then I'd probably buy a second Wave drum (used ... $200-300) and modify it to be your kick.​


Senior Member
harryconway: Hmm, sounds interesting... I'll look into it.
gusty: Yeah, I really like it. The drums don't shake, but I use two rides on it (22" + 20") and if I start going crazy on those, it can get a bit shaky. No big deal though..
I don't have any soundclips or anything, I'm sorry... :(


Gold Member
As I found out last week you still have to be careful with edrums in an apartment..I got a Roland TD-4 for my apartment move and after playing 5 minutes my neighbors were banging at my door asking if I was playing drums? I built the tennis ball platform over the weekend to dampen the vibration and so far so good..I was really shocked when my neighbors could hear me....just something to keep in mind...


Platinum Member
harryconway: Hmm, sounds interesting... I'll look into it.
gusty: Yeah, I really like it. The drums don't shake, but I use two rides on it (22" + 20") and if I start going crazy on those, it can get a bit shaky. No big deal though..
I don't have any soundclips or anything, I'm sorry... :(
I love the whole feel of them, but there doesn't seem to be many sound/video clips on the net. They seem so cool haha :) glad you like the drums.


Junior Member
I am in the process of building an electronic kit out of a practice pad set that I bought for $90 on Ebay. I have maybe $50 in electronic components including the piezos, but a lot of metal required and tools I already had to turn the pads into triggers.

I've been working on it for about 6 months, but just a little bit here and there.

Lots seem to use MIDI or a drum module - I really like getting into things and being in control over what I am doing, so I went a different route and built from the ground up (but either out would probably get you there quicker, just good luck diagnosing if it doesn't work like you want it to :)).

I installed piezo electric sensors in the practice pads, and am using an AVR microprocessor to read in the values from the piezos, and send the data back to the PC over USB.

I wrote a driver in visual c++ that reads the data from the USB pipe, and parses it into something useful.

I used VB 6 for the GUI and ease of using direct x to play the sound files.

The software I wrote handles having different sounds attached to the drum sensitivity. Plus I can save the data in a small file, and later mix my own wave files if I want to record (or just record what's in the sound buffer as it's working). I cna fine tweak the files if needed also. It runs on USB power, if you have a laptop or netbook, it can essentially be wireless if one had a loud enough sound system on the computer.

Using real cymbals. Going to mic them if I ever use it live, I have a small package that has a drum mixer, EQ, and a 500 watt PA amp. I would run the cymbals through the drum mixer, through the EQ to help eliminate pad clicks, then into the line in of a netbook, then the output of the netbook would go to the amplifier.

Still a work in progress though, but is "playable."