Over the last few years, Electronic Drum Kits have seen a massive improvement in quality. Offering the perfect solution for replicating the live drumming experience, while remaining quiet enough to practice at home without disturbing your housemates, family, or neighbours! Including sturdy racks and formidable trigger technology; it has never felt better playing an electronic drum set. So whether you’re a beginner drummer looking for an entry into drumming; or you’re a professional looking for something quieter to replace your acoustic set; you’re sure to find an Electronic Drum Set that will take your live performances, quiet practice, and recordings to the next level.
But with so many options available, which drum kit is the best for you? In this article, we break down everything you need to know about electronic drum kits, rounding out our DJ City Top 5.
- What is an Electronic Drum Kit
- Electronic Drum Head Types
- How Electronic Drum Sets Work
- What to look for in your first Electronic Drum Kit
- Recording Your Drums
- Best Electronic Drum Kits
What is an Electronic Drum Kit
Simply put, an Electronic Drum Kit gives you a digital solution for playing the drums. Housed in a much more compact setup, Electronic Drum Kits are not only much easier to pick up and move around; but their rubber or mesh heads are significantly quieter when hit compared to traditional acoustic drums. While also giving you the option to connect straight to your computer via USB for recording, play through your speakers, or even through your headphones for private practice sessions!
Electronic Drum Head Types
When it comes to Electronic Drum Kits, there are a few types of different drum heads that all offer a slightly different experience.
Traditionally, electronic drum kits use Rubber heads. These are a cheap option and they’re pretty effective at their job.
Then you’ve got Mylar heads, using the same type of material commonly used on acoustic drums. Offering something much closer to the feel of a drum than rubber heads. However, they are generally a louder option and come in more expensive.
Mesh heads have completely revolutionized electronic drum kits. Featuring a synthetic material stretched over a ring, very similar to how a real acoustic drum would look. They’re also generally more sensitive which allows you to practice dynamic drumming techniques much more effectively. They’re also a lot quieter.
How Electronic Drum Sets Work
So, how do electronic drum kits work? To put it simply, each piece on your kit will have sensors built in that generate a signal once hit. Then, that signal is transmitted through the cables to the drum module on your kit, which produces a certain sound associated with that pad. The great thing about electronic drum kits is that in many cases you’re not limited to the same sounds. So depending on the song you’re performing, the vibe you’re going for, and the sounds you want. You’re able to load in and assign your own drum sounds to your setup.
What to look for in your first Electronic Drum Kit
If you’re thinking about getting new gear, there’s no doubt you’re excited. And with so many options available, you want to make sure you’re getting the right kit to suit your needs. One that’s going to help you learn and grow with you as you develop your skills.
Where do we start? Drum Kits vary massively with options as small as two-piece kits, basic 5-piece kits, all the way up to 8 and 9 piece options. You’ll find the kick and snare are the staples for all kits. But for most beginners, a minimum of a 5-piece kit is going to be a perfect balance and give you everything you need to drum up some great-sounding tracks. Without diving into all the extra bells and whistles that might leave you scratching your head!
Recording Your Drums
Another benefit with most Electronic Drum Kits is the ability to take advantage of USB. This allows you to connect your drum kit directly to your computer through USB and have it function just like an ordinary MIDI Controller. Meaning you can record your high-quality drum sessions straight into your computer or into your favourite DAW. Rather than having to also invest in dedicated drum microphones to adequately mic up your kit.
The Best Electronic Drum Kits
The latest kit from Roland, the TD-07KV V-Drums embodies the most realistic, best playing, and sounding electronic drums on the market. Not only do you get acoustic drum and percussion sounds that have been captured precisely in professional studios. But they now behave just like their acoustic counterparts. But you also get a wide range of electronic percussion as well as the ability to personalize each and every sound to your liking. There’s also built-in Bluetooth so you can stream and play along with your favourite songs. As well as acting as a USB/MIDI interface for connecting to your computer for recording!
The Roland TD1DMK V Drums gives you an electronic drum kit designed for beginner drummers and practicing students. You get everything you need in an electric kit at a more affordable price than the TD-07KV. While also appealing to lapsed players looking for a fun, quieter way to get back into drumming. Offering a variety of realistic drum sounds, the TD1DMK V-Drums is organized into fifteen expressive drum kits. As well as giving you an authentic acoustic playing feel thanks to its dual-ply-mesh snare and tom pads.
Included with the TD1DMK V Drums kit are a PDX-8 snare pad, soft-rubber kick pad, 3 PDX-6A tom pads, three CY-5 hi-hat/crash/ride cymbal pads, hi-hat control pedal, TD-1 sound module, and four-post rack stand. With durable, dual-ply-mesh heads faithfully responding to the subtle nuances of your playing. While every stick hit dynamics are detected and relayed accurately thanks to the incredibly fast processing of the TD1 module.
Alesis Nitro Mesh
One of the best value-for-money options, the Alesis Nitro Mesh electronic drum kit is definitely a winner. Including an 8″ dual-zone mesh snare, three 8″ single-zone mesh toms, a 10″ dual-zone crash (chokeable), two additional single-zone cymbals, a hi-hat controller pedal, and a complete four-post drum rack.
The drum module also houses 385 sounds, 40 kits, and 60 play-along songs. While the layout is great for quickly smashing out new tracks. So all in all, the Alesis Nitro Mesh is a great choice if you’re just starting out drumming. Or you’re looking for a quieter value for money practice kit.
Behringer XD8USB Electric Drum Kit
The cheapest option on this list, Behringers XD8USB is a high-performance 8-piece electronic drum kit complete with a sound module loaded with 123 Sounds, 15 Drum Sets, and USB Interface. Perfect for any aspiring drummers wanting a flexible and great-sounding electronic kit. Including a professional-grade kick pedal with trigger pad; dual-zone snare for standard head and rim play; 3 x 8″ single-zone pads; 3 x 12″ cymbals; and a hi-hat control pedal
Alesis CompactKit 4
A real budget-friendly beginner option, the CompactKit 4 doesn’t look like your traditional electronic drum kit. This tabletop kit has everything a young drummer needs to sharpen their skills on their way to stardom! Four velocity-sensitive drum pads deliver realistic drum sound with the feel and response of real drums. With 70 percussion voices, 10 effect voices built-in, and 50 songs to play along with.
The CompactKit 4 has a stripped-down feature set compared to other electronic kits. But it sure is a budget-friendly option for young and aspiring drummers!
The Final Say
Above all, electronic drum kits offer the perfect digital solution for learning the drums while being a lot quieter than a traditional acoustic kit. Depending on your budget, every option on this page will be a great starting point to get you started on your drum journey. Check out our complete range of kits below!