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Advice on getting started with a decent snare/kick/hi-hat setup

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  • Advice on getting started with a decent snare/kick/hi-hat setup

    Hi everyone,

    I've played acoustic drums for years but recently noise constraints have made it impossible to practice so I've decided to look into purchasing electronic drums. While I'd like to have something decent, my main motivation is noise constraints (i.e. I'm not looking to perform/record, just practice without waking anyone up).

    I'm limited in my budget but would rather spend the money buying nicer snare and hi-hat pads, and worrying about toms later, rather than get a more entry level full kit. I mainly play funk type music so I care a lot about snare drum dynamics (being able to play ghost notes, etc.) and having a hi-hat that will respond well to opening and closing.

    I really don't know much about electronic drums, but my thought was to get a "good" snare drum pad and maybe something like a zildjian gen16 hi-hat and perhaps a ride (I like the idea of the acoustic cymbal feel), and some type of decent bass drum pad. Alternatively, I wasn't sure if it made more sense to buy a good snare drum and bass drum trigger and put mesh heads on my acoustic drums.

    So my questions are,
    - Does it make mores sense to invest in a "good" electronic snare and bass drum pad to start, or put mesh heads on my acoustic drums and invest in good triggers?
    - Given the question above, what types of products/ranges would you recommend in terms of having a decent, responsive snare, hi-hat and bass drum pad without getting too proefssional?
    - Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but how much does the module matter and what products/ranges would you look at here as well?
    - If triggers on mesh pads are a better way to go, what triggers do you like? I've heard not so good things about ddrum and better things about Roland.

    Thanks everyone in advance,

  • #2
    You first have to choose a module. Than decide which triggers or pads you'd like (or can work on that module).
    I'd get a 2box module and convert an acoustic kit to electronic.
    electronic drum triggers >>> | electronic cymbals >>>

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    • #3
      Originally posted by triggera View Post
      You first have to choose a module. Than decide which triggers or pads you'd like (or can work on that module).
      I'd get a 2box module and convert an acoustic kit to electronic.
      +1! I agree.
      8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
      http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by rocs View Post
        Hi everyone,

        1- I'm limited in my budget ...... but my thought was to get a "good" snare drum pad and maybe something like a zildjian gen16 hi-hat and perhaps a ride (I like the idea of the acoustic cymbal feel), and some type of decent bass drum pad.

        2- Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but how much does the module matter and what products/ranges would you look at here as well?

        3- If triggers on mesh pads are a better way to go, what triggers do you like? I've heard not so good things about ddrum and better things about Roland.
        I think you need to spend some time reading a few threads in this forum. A lot of very good info related to your questions in here.

        1- I've noted a few things in your post. "limited budget" and "Gen16" doesn't match very well... Plus they are on the noisy side... you said you wanted a quiet kit to practice.

        2- The module is everything. That's the brain that will convert your pads signals into sounds. Pads just send a signal to the module. For a module, you get what you pay for. But no module will be able to beat the sounds coming from a VST (you can read about VST in that section of the forum). The only exception being the 2Box module which you can import VSTs into it. So yes, you have to choose a module before you start an A-2-E drum conversion.

        3- Click around the DIY section of the forum and the Kit Showcase section to see what others are doing, and doing quite well indeed!

        DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
        Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

        My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

        Comment


        • #5
          I also think the best e-snare experience is to be found in VSTs.

          Since your "not looking to perform/record, just practice without waking anyone up" I doubt you need much in the way of portability. Yes, you could get a 2box, and just switch on and play and enjoy it a lot.

          However, if you're looking to get "the cutting edge" e-snare technology. I would suggest Megadrum with it's positional sensing and press roll ability.
          Use it with any decent computer / laptop with at least 2.0Ghz CPU and 4GB RAM running your VST of choice.

          Shopping list
          Megadrum 32 ARM with Positional sensing board
          Focusrite 2i4 USB Interface
          Diamond Drums 12" to 14" snare with 2ply drum-tec performance mesh head
          Snare drum stand
          Roland VH-11 or VH-13
          Hi-hat stand
          Roland KT-10
          Roland NE-10
          +1 TRS cable (Roland include their own)

          Positional sensing is what the Roland TD30 has - different sounds between edge and middle of snare.

          Press roll means Megadrum sends a separate MIDI note when you drum roll. - VSTs can use that note to assign a dedicated snare roll articulation sample, instead of playing multiple single hit samples.

          VSTs will also do half-hit whereby you hit the rim and head at the same time for a nice "snap" sound.

          For the hi-hat, use a VST with transmuting so that you can change the position of the pedal "on-the-fly" as such, even though playing on e-hats will never be the same as a-hats some of the technology in VSTs are useful for working around the pitfalls. *Get used to leading with your foot slighty ahead of your hit otherwise.*
          Last edited by Kabonfaiba; 11-07-14, 07:28 AM.
          ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
          ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
          PA Comparison Sheet

          Comment


          • #6
            I think one could save a lot of money not going with a Roland's VH-11 or 13. Especially with the MegaDrum. A nice little $10 FSR will do the trick nicely.
            DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
            Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

            My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
              I also think the best e-snare experience is to be found in VSTs.

              Since your "not looking to perform/record, just practice without waking anyone up" I doubt you need much in the way of portability. Yes, you could get a 2box, and just switch on and play and enjoy it a lot.

              However, if you're looking to get "the cutting edge" e-snare technology. I would suggest Megadrum with it's positional sensing and press roll ability.
              Use it with any decent computer / laptop with at least 2.0Ghz CPU and 4GB RAM running your VST of choice.

              Shopping list
              Megadrum 32 ARM with Positional sensing board
              Focusrite 2i4 USB Interface
              Diamond Drums 12" to 14" snare with 2ply drum-tec performance mesh head
              Snare drum stand
              Roland VH-11 or VH-13
              Hi-hat stand
              Roland KT-10
              Roland NE-10
              +1 TRS cable (Roland include their own)

              Positional sensing is what the Roland TD30 has - different sounds between edge and middle of snare.

              Press roll means Megadrum sends a separate MIDI note when you drum roll. - VSTs can use that note to assign a dedicated snare roll articulation sample, instead of playing multiple single hit samples.

              VSTs will also do half-hit whereby you hit the rim and head at the same time for a nice "snap" sound.

              For the hi-hat, use a VST with transmuting so that you can change the position of the pedal "on-the-fly" as such, even though playing on e-hats will never be the same as a-hats some of the technology in VSTs are useful for working around the pitfalls. *Get used to leading with your foot slighty ahead of your hit otherwise.*
              If going this route don't forget to budget in the initial cost of the VSTs. MegaDrum is by far the least expensive full featured option for exclusively triggering VSTs.

              Just for the sake of saying it...the 2Box comes with great stock samples also and they have a growing library of free samples on their site too. So you don't have to go the VST route right to begin with. You can add them later once the budget allows.
              8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
              http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Kabonfaiba View Post
                I also think the best e-snare experience is to be found in VSTs.

                Since your "not looking to perform/record, just practice without waking anyone up" I doubt you need much in the way of portability. Yes, you could get a 2box, and just switch on and play and enjoy it a lot.

                However, if you're looking to get "the cutting edge" e-snare technology. I would suggest Megadrum with it's positional sensing and press roll ability.
                Use it with any decent computer / laptop with at least 2.0Ghz CPU and 4GB RAM running your VST of choice.

                Shopping list
                Megadrum 32 ARM with Positional sensing board
                Focusrite 2i4 USB Interface
                Diamond Drums 12" to 14" snare with 2ply drum-tec performance mesh head
                Snare drum stand
                Roland VH-11 or VH-13
                Hi-hat stand
                Roland KT-10
                Roland NE-10
                +1 TRS cable (Roland include their own)

                Positional sensing is what the Roland TD30 has - different sounds between edge and middle of snare.

                Press roll means Megadrum sends a separate MIDI note when you drum roll. - VSTs can use that note to assign a dedicated snare roll articulation sample, instead of playing multiple single hit samples.

                VSTs will also do half-hit whereby you hit the rim and head at the same time for a nice "snap" sound.

                For the hi-hat, use a VST with transmuting so that you can change the position of the pedal "on-the-fly" as such, even though playing on e-hats will never be the same as a-hats some of the technology in VSTs are useful for working around the pitfalls. *Get used to leading with your foot slighty ahead of your hit otherwise.*

                Sorry for the hijack but what VSTs have a different sound for snare rolls articulations?
                Another thing, why would you need the Focursite interface? I just plug my megadrum to my macbook laptop and fire addictive drums and it works fine!

                Comment


                • #9
                  To my knowledge, most snares in BFD3 and Superior Drummer 2 have articulations for straight hit, edge hit, rimshot, rim only hit and various flams and rolls. Addictive Drums 2 has lots of adpaks so it will vary there.

                  I have it in my mind that everybody has Windows PCs or laptops if they have Megadrum so I always include the audio interface in the purchase. (I guess you have quite a lavish budget since you have a Macbook) so that interface is optional for mac users who should be using their own CoreAudio.

                  If your latency is low, the only other reason would be to have balanced audio outs for a PA speaker. But if that isnít a requirement what-so-ever you saved £150. Perfect really, since that can go towards a VST. Although relating to what Daniel said, there are free VSTs out there like Sennheiser DrumMic'a and free demos of most other VSTs. They donít have to cost a thing if youíre resourceful.
                  ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
                  ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
                  PA Comparison Sheet

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow....I'm almost floored by all the responses directing the OP to spend a lot of time and money on expensive modules and learning VSTs and dealing with all the complexities involved in everything EXCEPT a simple plug and play module solution. Just trying to help a brutha out!!!

                    The way I read his post, he needs something solely to PRACTICE due to noise constraints. I didn't read he was getting an e kit to GIG with, ie needing complex/more realistic sounds and all that goes with 2Box and VSTS etc.

                    If I am correct in my interpretation, then I would simply suggest to the OP in getting the lowest end module that supports VH12 or equivalent or better HHs, a decent 2 zone snare, and away he goes!!! He cold budget more efficiently with less on a module and more on the HH and snare, which sounds like he's willing to spend a little more $$ on.

                    Just throwing my 2 cents in. YMMV. Rock on!


                    K ;-)
                    My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                    E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                    A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                    A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kenster View Post
                      Wow....I'm almost floored by all the responses directing the OP to spend a lot of time and money on expensive modules and learning VSTs and dealing with all the complexities involved in everything EXCEPT a simple plug and play module solution. Just trying to help a brutha out!!!

                      The way I read his post, he needs something solely to PRACTICE due to noise constraints. I didn't read he was getting an e kit to GIG with, ie needing complex/more realistic sounds and all that goes with 2Box and VSTS etc.

                      If I am correct in my interpretation, then I would simply suggest to the OP in getting the lowest end module that supports VH12 or equivalent or better HHs, a decent 2 zone snare, and away he goes!!! He cold budget more efficiently with less on a module and more on the HH and snare, which sounds like he's willing to spend a little more $$ on.

                      Just throwing my 2 cents in. YMMV. Rock on!


                      K ;-)
                      Well Ken....I think we're all just "trying to help a brutha out". So....don't be too floored. You know this community....we like to lay everything out there to look at and consider. You never know when a "limited budget" may expand when you find exactly what you want given all the options.

                      That said...even the cheapest modules that "supports" the VH-12 are the TD-12/20/30 which even used are still not cheap...nor is a VH-12. So any of these other options mentioned are quite competitive as far as that goes. Also we all know that most experienced drummers are going to be way less than satisfied with most of the "cheapest" of modules on the market...even for practice. and he did ask about different products and ranges and how much the module "matters" too, so you can't exactly compare options without naming a few and getting into some details.

                      That said...the MegaDrum that was mentioned and meets your suggestion very well and stands on it's own for practice (most everyone had a pc/latop these days) and there are several "free" demo/versions of VSTs that one could pick up also to begin with. However even buying one full blow VST and the MD is still quite competitive and within the parameters of the OPs questions from how I read it as no "real" budget has been mentioned...."limited" could mean anything.

                      Also pads are always secondary until the module is option is set in stone, and frankly unless the OP goes with the Yamaha Silicone pads where the choices are limited to Yammy modules....spending extreme amounts on pads is unnecessary and the savings can be applied to the rest of the gear.

                      Anyway..it's better to be well informed than to settle and find out you could have went another way if you had only known what the options were....and there are sooooo many to choose from these days.
                      8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                      http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        @Daniel.....do you know or can you suggest what options besides a VH-12 type HH he can have other than something like a JMan modded acoustic hats? I also said "equivalent" to a VH-12 or better, meaning a 2 piece "standard" type HH, rather than a single pad type HH. Maybe a Yammie or other brand equivalent? It sounds like he needs more "realistic" HHs for playability but not necessarily sound if that makes sense.

                        What I meant by floored is that the Forums tend to sometimes over complicate suggestions, as in this case, we have no idea of his budget or technical prowess to handle a lot of the suggested routes. I was just suggesting something cheaper and simpler if possible. He'd have more money for beer and snacks later.

                        K ;-)
                        Last edited by Kenster; 11-10-14, 02:18 PM.
                        My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                        E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                        A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                        A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It always comes back to "Buy your second kit the first time" or live with the fact that mistakes in purchases cost you more in the long run in both $ and satisfaction.
                          Then comes the GAS!
                          "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

                          Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Intruder View Post
                            It always comes back to "Buy your second kit the first time" or live with the fact that mistakes in purchases cost you more in the long run in both $ and satisfaction.
                            Then comes the GAS!
                            ^ This, is why.
                            ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
                            ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
                            PA Comparison Sheet

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You guys realise that the OP never came back and this is a conversation we've had so many times?
                              DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
                              Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

                              My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com

                              Comment

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