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Electric drums

J. Dan

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I've played in a couple bands with electric drums and know that the Roland V-Drums tend to be the best. I'm not a drummer but my 10-yr old son has shown some interest and I think I would have fun with them as well, so I'm considering getting him a set for Christmas. V drums are out of the budgets but at the low end, Simmons has a set for $300. I'm guessing I could also find something used for a good deal. If I got a brain with MIDI out, I have tons of sounds I could leverage.


Any opinions on electric drums on a budget?



Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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A close buddy of mine (who has since passed away) actually was contracted by Roland to demo their V-drums at surrounding stores in the Philadelphia area. He never liked the famed V-drums because he always claimed that they were too compressed and he could never get the expression out of them that he desired.


My son has a set of Alesis drums. They are not that good but I'd say they are good enough for a 10 year old. If you really think that he will be serious about playing them long term it might be better to buy cheap acoustic set and start to replace it with quality pieces so that the investment is built over time.

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In the $300 price range I would go with the Alesis Nitro $349 over the Simmons. Much better set. I play with a drummer that has the higher end 'strike' and a backup set "command". I have played a simmons set and wasn't impressed at all.



I played my drummers sets and almost bought a set for myself. I chose not to because I'm not really a drummer anymore. I haven't played a gig on drums in over 20 years, though I used to. The cheapest Roland set I've seen is $999. I agree that's a bit much for a 10 year old. I have a 10 year old grand daughter, I let her play my old acoustic set. I bought her a pad and sticks for home. She is starting drums in band. My niece, daughter and other grand daughter play violin. We need to round out this family orchestra :)

Boards: Kurzweil SP-6, Roland FA-08, VR-09, DeepMind 12

Modules: Korg Radias, Roland D-05, Bk7-m & Sonic Cell

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I bought my daughter the Roland TD-4KP to learn on when she was 9 and was/am very pleased with it (granted she played for a year and then quit, long story). I see they're $400 on Pro Audio Star. Great little set with Roland quality and a good variety of different drum kits for the kid to play around with.


Interesting that you mentioned the MIDI out... I needed a drum roll that my current drum machine didn't have and couldn't get a good one using the drum machine's pads. So, I MIDI'd the TD-4KP to the drum machine, played and recorded a couple varieties of rolls... voila!


Oddly, you can usually find them cheaper than Roland's TD-1K kit, despite the lower "version" number.

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Don't have a lot of time for a long answer but check used as e-drum kits shows up a lot and you can probably get something to start with for fairly little money. If he gets into it, upgrade. Also try to get a mesh head for at least the snare. Mainly because the hard rubber pads can lead to wrist problems if one's technique is not already pretty good. (Yamaha has an intermediate thing that isn't mesh and isn't hard rubber. Something sorta like silicone.) I definitely would not buy new without a mesh snare.






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Have been looking into grabbing a e-kit for my studio just to have if I want a drummer to lay down some tracks (I'm like the OP and have EZdrummer and plenty of software drums so quality of the actual kit is not so important. Also thought of taking some drum lessons to help tighten up my timing. I have been looking at the Behringer XD80usb at about 3 bones. Nothing fancy but would probably do the trick for now. I figure later down the road I may try to find a used Roland kit as I (like everyone else it seems) think they offer the best. A good source of reviews on YouTube is 65 drums. Hope that helps!


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I vote for the V-drums. I had a few sets over the years and still have a older set with the mesh heads. Great kit. If you go the used route and they have the mesh heads they are removable and they clean up nicely soaking just the heads with Oxi-clean. And then a quick run in the dishwasher and they came out like brand new.


Just some options.....

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I started with a Roland SPD-10 kit long ago and gradually expanded. A used SPD-10 or SPD-30, bass drum pedal, hi-hat pedal, and a single V-drum for snare is a good start. If you cannot afford to start with a V-Drum then start with one of the old type rubber pads. It may be above the $300 mark by the time you get the attachments, but it is something you will keep and expand on. If he ever evolved to a TD system the SPD can go over the floor toms and provide extra sounds. I now use a TD-30 and a bunch of V-Drums, but the SPD is still in the setup. Consider starting with just an SPD, stand, and bass drum attachment.
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