Upgrading pieces of a Yamaha eDrum set

intoodeep1113

New Member
Hello, My wife (then girlfriend) bought a DTXplorer set in probably 2004. Now, our son is 10 years old and has been playing them for the past year or so. So far the upgrades I have done are:
DTX502 module
TP100 3 zone snare
PCY100 3 zone crash w/choke.
Double kick pedal (not much use yet haha!)
Alto TS212 12" PA speaker
I am not really a drummer, and he is just learning. So it seems the module and upgraded snare went a long way for sensitivity and sound quality. I wonder what would help him out more down the road. I'm thinking of getting a PCY135 as a ride, or another PCY100 as a Hi-Hat. unless maybe its that much better to just save up for a RHH135 for more realism. Also the rack is a bit flimsy... It all adds up!

My question is: What changes/upgrades are most important for development of proper technique, added fun/inspiration, and realism?
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
For the ride - a PCY150/155/175 (the former ones 2nd user aren't expensive), but any 3-zone is good to have.
The hat - I own all the Yamaha options for comparison - and still prefer a separate foot controller (I'll assume you have an HH65) with a separate pad. Much more flexible (as well as less to carry to gigs!)

You can add up to 12 pads on the DTX502 so plenty of flexibility for expansion.

Also - if you have an iPad - grab the free DTX502 Touch app.

Enjoy!

--
ps.
ekits are not acoustic kits so are "real" ;) (as are keyboards, electric guitars, electric basses etc) Don't limit yourselves only emulating the acoustic cousin both in sounds and playing techniques. Fun - as you mentioned - comes from using the ekit as an ekit and not being shackled to the sounds and techniques of 1958. Similarly adding FX to a electric guitar or playing with all the sounds and modifiers on a synth and not just emulating an acoustic piano.
 

Birdy

Active Member
If you have space or sound issues , ekits are great. There’re also simple to get good quality acoustic sounds relatively cheaply without the trial/ error, disappointment and expense of getting the same out of acoustic components. The final move to an acoustic set when it comes is an ergonomic challenge and can frustrate with getting equivalent sound quality from my experience.
I would try the xp pads though, although there’s no going back…..
I have a stored DTX6 rack if you’re in the UK?
 

intoodeep1113

New Member
I would love to get the new rack! Thanks for the offer, but I'm in the states. My son is very sensitive to loud noises, it might be different if he is in control of them, but the eDrum is nice to be able to control the volume. Also, it gets to sit in the living room. an acoustic kit would probably have to live in the garage. Which would also make it tough keeping an eye on things during lessons. I read into the PCY150, and see that many prefer it over the newer generation of stuff.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
If you have space or sound issues , ekits are great. There’re also simple to get good quality acoustic sounds relatively cheaply without the trial/ error, disappointment and expense of getting the same out of acoustic components. The final move to an acoustic set when it comes is an ergonomic challenge and can frustrate with getting equivalent sound quality from my experience.
I would try the xp pads though, although there’s no going back…..
I have a stored DTX6 rack if you’re in the UK?
I'm well versed in the utility of e-kits, being a Yamaha DTX owner myself. They're good for some things and better than nothing. They are a pale comparison to acoustic drums, however. I know this from experience.

To answer the OP, the path forward is to move to acoustic drums if the stated goals are truly what you seek. If I had to put a number to it, e-kits only provide 40% of the development opportunity that acoustic drums do. Your student will need to make up that other 60% eventually and the longer you put it off, the harder it will be.

If your budget can handle it, perhaps you might upgrade the e-kit and put a beginner set of acoustic drums in the garage at the same time. I would not skimp on the acoustic drums and cymbals too much because your son's ears are probably spoiled by the e-kit already and he won't sound anywhere near as good on the acoustic set as he does on the e-kit. This can be a disincentive but it's precisely the situation you're trying to address, if I understand correctly.

Regardless of the outcome, you should be commended for your support. Your son is lucky to have you.
 

Birdy

Active Member
I found an invaluable part of having an ekit was being able to play along to music almost within the track itself as you can set the volume at precisely the level of the track or higher to hear yourself clearer. Add to that the fact the loaded kits are of a quality equal to the original music that can be simply tweaked if needed and that made my drumming much more pleasurable than simply hitting drills and rudiments.
Playing along to music on my ekit was the only way I would have taken it up.
 

ColdFusion

Active Member
@intoodeep1113

Yammyfan and Birdy have very nicely covered the paradox of e-kits vs acoustic kits.
I just want to re-iterate their important points so you can extract maximum context for your decisions on your son's behalf.

The learning curves of acoustic and electronic kit playing are very different. Yammy's suggestion of foregoing/avoiding the E-kit entirely is based on the likely scenario that your son imagines himself playing acoustic drums when he gets good enough.
It's a cold fact the technique and muscle memory are very different between acoustic and electronic drums. Playing an E-Kit skillfully does not translate to playing an acoustic kit skillfully. If you want to be skillful at acoustic drums, you really should be playing acoustic drums.

Also it's an important point that if you start him out on a decent E-Kit, after a year or two his ear will be accustomed to hearing cymbal crashes and tom strikes that are perfectly tuned and polished. His first acoustic kit may sound like loud clanging mud to his ears (even with decent cymbals) if he has been acclimatized to the pretty stock sounds of a V kit.

👉 The quiet, non-garage way to get your son on the road to acoustic skill is to get him a practice pad kit. Something sophisticated but not electronic, like Remo mesh pads and kick drum pads and threaded stands to put them on. You can get bundled practice kits which are a little expensive or you can just put together pads and stands until you have enough to practice the basics. With pads your son will only hear and feel the rebound of his sticks upon real surfaces. He will be responsible for the sound and rebound in a much more acoustic way than if he is rewarded with highly polished electronic cymbal and drum sounds.
Practice pads are not drums either but they are better for getting ready for real drums than an E-kit.

So I am not anti-E Kit. I love my Roland TD-11. I use it for recording very clean and synergistic sounding drum tracks for all kinds of original music. It is a powerful musical instrument in it's own right, and it is rich with challenges and breakthroughs. Whatever the acoustic drum purist says, good E Kits are sophisticated and demanding and very challenging to truly play musically. And when you do acheive skill on an E kit you have a powerful tool for recording quality drum tracks without the big buy-in of mic'ing and processing an entire acoustic drumset. And Birdy made the huge point that E kits are plug-and-play ready to make very pretty sounding playalongs to all your son's favorite songs. And those at comfortable listening volume.

But still I spend more of my practice time between my practice pads and my acoustics than on my E kit. About 30% practice pads, 30% acoustic, 30% V-kit.
This photo sort of illustrates the way I handled the acoustic/electronic skill arc paradox. Putting my quiet drums in the same room as my loud drums, and they are close enough to eachother that I can't practice one without being inspired to sit down at the other.

Drum Studio.jpg
 
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intoodeep1113

New Member
Wow, well that really sums up the acoustic vs edrum scenario. Thanks! Hopefully he will have access to an acoustic kit sometime soon.
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
Truthfully?

Move away from e-kits onto acoustic drums. There is no substitute.

They are completely different instruments. Like a Korg Synth is not a Steinway Grand. A Strat is not an dreadnought acoustic.

Why are (some) drummers stuck in the rut of trying to only use one as an emulation of the other without exploring the possibilities? The rest of the band did in the 1950s/60s... ;)
 

electrodrummer

Senior Member
Thanks! I appreciate it!
So are you saying go with at least a PCY150 for ride?
And what pad for Hi-Hat?

Totally up to you. No rules! I'll use anything from a TP65 to an RHH135 to one of the pads in my avatar as a hat. Or a ride. Or a crash. You don't have to be limited to emulating a kit from 1958 ;)
 

dboomer

Senior Member
Wow, well that really sums up the acoustic vs edrum scenario. Thanks! Hopefully he will have access to an acoustic kit sometime soon.
All of these negative replies are people’s “opinions”. Saying “it is a fact” is BS (unless they would like to support their “fact” with data).

Electronic and acoustic kits are different. Which is “better” depends on the results you are shooting for. But you can learn a paradiddle on either of them just fine. Touch can be better or worse on a pad but what acoustic drum are you comparing it to? Some people tune their snare drums so low it feel like hitting a pillow (floor toms certainly can get that way) so don’t tell me that one is always better than the other. They are simply different.

As pointed out, electric guitars are different than acoustic guitars and electric keyboards are different than acoustic pianos. You can ride a horse or you can drive a car … just depends on your goals. That’s my opinion, YMMV ;)
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
They are completely different instruments. Like a Korg Synth is not a Steinway Grand. A Strat is not an dreadnought acoustic.

Why are (some) drummers stuck in the rut of trying to only use one as an emulation of the other without exploring the possibilities? The rest of the band did in the 1950s/60s... ;)
I'm aware of those things but the OP asked: "what changes/upgrades are most important for development of proper technique, added fun/inspiration, and realism?"

The addition of an acoustic kit to the mix would definitely meet those needs, especially the need for realism.

Electronic drums are better than nothing and they have their uses but they stunt your development if used exclusively. There's no doubt about that.

I think it's in the student's best interest to begin developing his skills on the acoustic drum set, especially while he is young and capable. I'm not suggesting that he abandon electronic drums completely but the introduction of an acoustic kit will do more for his skill set than any pad or module upgrade ever could.
 
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