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Old 01-14-2019, 07:50 AM
LilyMu LilyMu is offline
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Default Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?


I am new to the world of electronic drum kits and am strongly considering getting my first kit: either a full electronic kit, or building my own. Regardless of what I end up purchasing, it will be for home use only—for the time being, at least.

So, my question is: What would be my best option for electronic drums if I want to emulate the feel of acoustic drums as closely as possible?

I have a budget of about $4,000 (possibly up to $5,000; cheaper is always better, though) that I am willing to spend at the moment, so I am looking for a relatively long-term investment.

In regards to what I am looking for in the physical kit:
Like I said, I want something that feels like an acoustic kit. I have been playing on one since I started drumming (about six or seven years ago), so I am very accustomed to the feel of "real" drums. Pads that emulate that as closely as possible is what I am looking for. As a side note, I will still be playing an acoustic kit away from home several times per week, so an electronic kit that will not make it feel like there is a huge transition to and from an acoustic kit would be preferred.

In regards to what I am wanting out of a module:
I am going to start recording drum covers that I aim to upload on YouTube, so something that is easy and practical to record on would be good. I play several genres of music currently, so a wide variety of available samples would be ideal. I also play on a somewhat "big" acoustic kit—five toms, typically 10-11 cymbals, double kick pedal—and I would like to keep a good amount of sound options, so a module with enough inputs for at least four toms and preferably five/six+ cymbals would be great. (Is that unreasonable? I am not sure how many inputs are typically available.)

Knowing that, would buying a full kit (like a TD-50 or something from Yamaha) be a sensible option, or would I get closer to what I am looking for if I purchased the pads and module separately? Would it be practical to buy a lower-end module and just use a VST for the triggering, or are there advantages to higher-end modules other than their sample libraries?

Thank you in advance for any advice or suggestions. If there is anything that I can clarify more, please let me know.
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Old 01-14-2019, 06:43 PM
electrodrummer's Avatar
electrodrummer electrodrummer is offline
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Location: London
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Default Re: Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?

Really - it's going to be down to you - and only you - to make that decision.

The "closest" to mylar heads on a typical acoustic, would be mylar heads on an electronic.

The next closest worth YOU trying are the Yamaha silicone pads. You need to trial those.

Then, there's a variety of mesh heads. All completely different.

Also, hybrid things to trial, like on-heads etc.

As for a huge kit - just make sure you have MIDI IN and expansion is then pretty unlimited.

As for module sounds, vs VST? Again - up to you and your own personal taste.
30+ years of live electronic drumming!
*** Never buy a module without MIDI IN! ***
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Old 01-14-2019, 11:41 PM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?

Buy a cheap acoustic kit and TD20 or TD30 module.
Use single-ply mesh heads.
Buy used Roland cymbals (there are several excellent sellers on ebay).
After years of using all the trigger mounting solutions (crossbar, side mounts, etc) I prefer Roland RT30 triggers.

My acoustic / TD30 (15 inputs)
snare (PD-125)
2 toms, 2 floor toms
8 cymbals

Last edited by bud7h4; 01-14-2019 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-15-2019, 12:18 AM
williamsbclontz williamsbclontz is offline
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Default Re: Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?


This is a full electric kit. If you care about realistic looks and feel and sound, this is how you should approach it

And if you pick the right gear and spend your money wisely you could probably get a good e-kit like that without having to spend the entire 4,000
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:11 PM
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whiteknightx whiteknightx is offline
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Location: Toronto, Canada
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Default Re: Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?

I'm with Electrodrummer,go try some kits first. It's very personal preference over what feels better, rubber, mesh or yamaha silicone pads. If you want a lot of inputs, you are looking at the higher end of the line models, so your budget is pretty sound.

Personally, I have a Yamaha DTX 950, and if you can find a used one, it's really a great kit. I use mine a lot for rehearsing, and the only thing that I just don't like as much as my acoustic kits is the feel of rubber hi hat cymbals, which is an issue for most e-kits. I can do 95% of what I want though, and its fine for my purposes.
Having sat and played on a Roland TD30 and a TD20 recently, I still much prefer the sounds from my kit. But there are some other great ones out there now too, ATV and the new Pearl mimic sounds fantastic according to people that have played it. And if you hook just about any module to a laptop and run something like superior drummer, or ez drummer, you are going to get killer sounds out, that no one is going to be able to tell the difference from an acoustic set.
Ayotte Drumsmith 6 pc, Sabian HHX Evolution cymbals
Yamaha DTX950K
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Old 01-15-2019, 10:16 PM
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BertTheDrummer BertTheDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Closest Feel to Acoustic Drums?

Originally Posted by electrodrummer View Post
Really - it's going to be down to you - and only you - to make that decision.

The "closest" to mylar heads on a typical acoustic, would be mylar heads on an electronic.
Not sure I agree with that one. I had an old Alesis DM10 with the mylar heads and it felt nothing like an acoustic.
"My music is the spiritual expression of what I am, My Faith, My Knowledge, My Being." - Coltrane
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