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Where are we at today with the best non-laptop e-drum system?

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  • Where are we at today with the best non-laptop e-drum system?

    I gave up on the Roland module sounds long ago and went all acoustic. Having spent about 20 years playing the underwelming Roland stuff, it's unlikely I'm going to consider them again. I'm about to give my a-kit to my son and explore e-kits again. I've been gigging every now and then and don't want to contemplate triggering samples in a laptop. Which modules have the best samples with realistic articulations and maybe even reloadable samples?

    The ATV stuff looks nice. The videos I've seen of the Pearl and Alesis pro kits are weak IMO. Where are we at today? What should I be looking at?
    Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute | Zildjian Ks

  • #2
    my take:

    if you like messing with sound, shaping the sound getting that perfect sound for you ... pearl mimic. not having one myself I'm going off posts by guys like Vex and others - they seem to love all the options the mimic offers.

    on the flip side

    atv = a TD-25 with VST sounds more or less. not much to fiddle with, plug it in, turn it on, and play. additional sounds can be bought through the ATV store but it isn't a big library yet.
    TD-25 + TD-6v running - 2 x PD-100s updated with dual Piezo, 3 x PD-120, VH-11, Alesis 16" 3 zone Strike Ride, Alesis 14" Strike crash, 1 x CY-15r, 2 x CY-13r as crash, 1 x Cy-12. iconnectmidi2+ and 2 x iconnect mio for midi triggering.

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    • #3
      Pearl Mimic Pro hands down.

      That said, if you need to be importing multi-layer samples then you'll have to look at the Drumit3/5 or Strike Pro.
      Pearl MIMIC Pro, ATV aD5, ATV aDrums Expanded

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      • #4
        Originally posted by thebaronofsd View Post
        my take:

        if you like messing with sound, shaping the sound getting that perfect sound for you ... pearl mimic. not having one myself I'm going off posts by guys like Vex and others - they seem to love all the options the mimic offers.

        on the flip side

        atv = a TD-25 with VST sounds more or less. not much to fiddle with, plug it in, turn it on, and play. additional sounds can be bought through the ATV store but it isn't a big library yet.
        Honestly, I'd rather not fiddle. I'd like to buy a module with Superior 2.X or better quality samples and articulations, set it up and play. I'm not really looking for 100s of kits, just 2-3 that sound great with realistic sounding cymbals. I finally found a video where the Mimic sounds good. Not familiar with the Slate samples but I'm open minded.
        Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute | Zildjian Ks

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        • #5
          No such thing as "best". Best to most people means "what I bought"

          Unfortunately this a valid judgement. What's got good sounds and articulation to one man is rubbish to another,

          You might wanna check out Mimic, ATV, or Yamaha DTXs which will allow your own samples.

          I think even old gear can articulate great.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAn_u5fmA1Y
          *** Never buy a module without MIDI IN ***
          Yamaha & Roland modules. DTX,TM-2, EC-10m, SP-404. Multi12. TrapKat. ControlPads. Octapad, SamplePad, Wavedrum. Handsonic. Dynacord RhythmStick. MPC. Paiste 2002/Signatures. Cajons. Djembes. Darbuka. Windsynth. MIDI Bass. Tenori-on. Zoom ARQ. Synths. Ukes.

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          • #6
            They all have drawbacks. Even the mimic has in that the cymbals have no tip articulation so you only get a crash. That may be ok for you. From what I have read the mimic seems to be the best it’s just not for me as I’m not too hot on the Steven Slate drums. Nothing out there as good yet though.
            Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tripp2k View Post

              Honestly, I'd rather not fiddle. I'd like to buy a module with Superior 2.X or better quality samples and articulations, set it up and play. I'm not really looking for 100s of kits, just 2-3 that sound great with realistic sounding cymbals. I finally found a video where the Mimic sounds good. Not familiar with the Slate samples but I'm open minded.
              then IMO and others can feel free to argue, but, ATV ad5 is likely the best fit for you. Mimic is very options heavy with great samples. Audio routing options that will confuse anyone with the bewildering array of options and hands down the best UI/screen on the market at the moment.

              if the in box snare that you like but its say 15% off from what you really want, mimic will likely get you 100% of the sound you want after tweaking.

              if you dislike a sound in your ATV, from what I understand, your options are limited to reverb? Then again the mentioned store sounds that you can buy and the presumed future sounds. Point is, if you aren't 100% happy with the sounds ATV delivers you are kind of stuck with them. Mimic will likely allow you to dial in almost any sound you're looking for using the high quality SSD5 samples to start with.

              i've never played the AD5, online samples through good cans sound great to me. mimic i've played for like 5 minutes at guitar center on terrible tru-trac heads but even that short experience left me feeling great about the sounds I heard.

              both have unannounced upgrades. well, i guess ATV link has been announced and as i recall will allow expanding up to 4 more triggers? still not sure what pearl and the mimic team have planned for that RJ45 network port. really, neither is a bad purchase. ATV will have you playing as soon as the pads are connected and dialed in. Mimic, you may spend more time tweaking sound before playing.
              TD-25 + TD-6v running - 2 x PD-100s updated with dual Piezo, 3 x PD-120, VH-11, Alesis 16" 3 zone Strike Ride, Alesis 14" Strike crash, 1 x CY-15r, 2 x CY-13r as crash, 1 x Cy-12. iconnectmidi2+ and 2 x iconnect mio for midi triggering.

              Comment


              • #8
                tripp2k,

                tripp2k wrote:
                Honestly, I'd rather not fiddle. I'd like to buy a module with Superior 2.X or better quality samples and articulations, set it up and play. I'm not really looking for 100s of kits, just 2-3 that sound great with realistic sounding cymbals. I finally found a video where the Mimic sounds good. Not familiar with the Slate samples but I'm open minded.

                mkok wrote:
                They all have drawbacks. Even the Mimic has in that the cymbals have no tip articulation so you only get a crash. That may be ok for you. From what I have read, the Mimic seems to be the best, but it's just not for me as I'm not too hot on the Steven Slate drums. Nothing out there as good yet though.
                Mimic is essentially Steven Slate Drums 5 VST software (SSD5) loaded into a proprietary drum module. It is a product built in partnership by Pearl Drums and Slate Digital. The sounds are predominantly rock-oriented, so if that works for your musical needs, Mimic could be a great solution.

                You mentioned gigging and that you already have acoustic drums. Unless your gigging is restricted to situations where e-drums work, think carefully before committing to an e-drum solution. Myself, I bought e-drums thinking they might replace acoustic drums on many of my gigs. But in the end, acoustic drums work better for the majority of gigs I do, so my e-drums stay home and my acoustic drums go to gigs. Examples of things I failed to consider about my gigs. There is rarely PA suitable for e-drums. The stage may not have electrical power where the drums are set up. Often, I must balance with acoustic musicians. Brushes, mallets, and other implements are a big part of my playing. So yeah, e-drums did not work well in these situations.

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                • #9
                  The ATV aD5 module might be the best balance between simplicity, sound and playability. Their Sound Store has some great additional samples but they have not added anything new for the module in over a year, which is concerning.

                  FYI, Cascio Interstate has them heavily discounted on reverb.com for $799.00. They also have some listed on eBay for the same price.

                  https://reverb.com/item/28089073-atv...ic-drum-module
                  ATV aDrums, TD-50, aD5, Superior Drummer 3.0, Roland SPD-SX, Tama & DW Hardware.

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                  • #10
                    thebaronofsd wrote:
                    If you like the in-box snare but it's (say) 15% off from what you really want, Mimic will likely get you 100% of the sound you want after tweaking.
                    Yes and no. I've heard many of the SSD5 samples and they sound very good. That said, no matter how one adjusts the various microphone feeds, effects, and other parameters of Mimic Pro, you're starting with SSD5 samples and these samples have a certain character. For example, a large number of SSD5 samples focus on rock-sounding drums. This cannot be removed from the samples. So, I think it appropriate to say the samples can be tailored to a reasonable degree, but their character always remains. At its core, Mimic Pro seems to be an advanced sample player and not a synthesizer. I'm not saying this as any slight of Mimic Pro. Rather, I think it appropriate to set reasonable expectations based on understanding the underlying technology.
                    Last edited by TangTheHump; 09-26-19, 04:17 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post

                      Yes and no. I've heard many of the SSD5 samples and they sound very good. That said, no matter how one adjusts the various microphone feeds, effects, and other parameters of Mimic Pro, you're starting with SSD5 samples and these samples have a certain character. For example, the large number of SSD5 samples focus on rock-sounding drums.

                      There still sound you can shape despite default sample, you can have some jazz with tweaking like below, there is a vintage jazz kit sampled inside and brush kit too inside as default kit sampled not on this demo below.
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/mimic-jazz-2
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/mimic-jazz
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/jazz2
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/jazz1

                      Electronic inside mimic (no sample imports)
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/mimic-electronic
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/mimic-edrum2

                      Marching kit (no sample imports)
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/mimic-marching

                      Metal, Pop, Rock, Funk will works
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/pmp-new-kit-d
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/new-snare
                      https://soundcloud.com/user-761115092/pmp-new-kit-c
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UBKi...wJoK7chLwoCeLY
                      Last edited by Chris K; 09-26-19, 06:39 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post

                        Yes and no. I've heard many of the SSD5 samples and they sound very good. That said, no matter how one adjusts the various microphone feeds, effects, and other parameters of Mimic Pro, you're starting with SSD5 samples and these samples have a certain character. For example, the large number of SSD5 samples focus on rock-sounding drums. This cannot be removed from the samples. So, I think it appropriate to say the samples can be tailored to a reasonable degree, but their character always remains. At its core, Mimic Pro seems to be an advanced sample player and not a synthesizer. I'm not saying this as any slight of Mimic Pro. Rather, I think it appropriate to set reasonable expectations based on understanding the underlying technology.
                        The 14x5 black beauty snare is one of the best jazz/ funk snares I have ever used. There is variation in the library and it probably best if you spend time working with it to see what is possible.
                        Another point is that the Mimic sounds fantastic out of the box. You can use the stereo outputs if you want and just play. The AD 5 has very dry samples but sounds good too.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post

                          Yes and no. I've heard many of the SSD5 samples and they sound very good. That said, no matter how one adjusts the various microphone feeds, effects, and other parameters of Mimic Pro, you're starting with SSD5 samples and these samples have a certain character. For example, the large number of SSD5 samples focus on rock-sounding drums. This cannot be removed from the samples. So, I think it appropriate to say the samples can be tailored to a reasonable degree, but their character always remains. At its core, Mimic Pro seems to be an advanced sample player and not a synthesizer. I'm not saying this as any slight of Mimic Pro. Rather, I think it appropriate to set reasonable expectations based on understanding the underlying technology.
                          right, but ... fair point let me back up. I meant specifically attacks, sustain, how its mic'd etc. Shaping the sound you liked to begin to be exactly what you want rather than running it through say a phaser or other synth effect nor shell thickness, head type etc.
                          TD-25 + TD-6v running - 2 x PD-100s updated with dual Piezo, 3 x PD-120, VH-11, Alesis 16" 3 zone Strike Ride, Alesis 14" Strike crash, 1 x CY-15r, 2 x CY-13r as crash, 1 x Cy-12. iconnectmidi2+ and 2 x iconnect mio for midi triggering.

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                          • #14
                            Chris, these sound great. I'm mostly doing classic rock, pop and bro country but the jazz clips sound wonderful.
                            Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute | Zildjian Ks

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TangTheHump View Post
                              But in the end, acoustic drums work better for the majority of gigs I do, so my e-drums stay home and my acoustic drums go to gigs. Examples of things I failed to consider about my gigs. There is rarely PA suitable for e-drums. The stage may not have electrical power where the drums are set up. Often, I must balance with acoustic musicians. Brushes, mallets, and other implements are a big part of my playing. So yeah, e-drums did not work well in these situations.
                              You may be right. The upside is that I own the PA because I got tired of hearing why I couldn't do this or that or it eliminated obstacles to where we could play. The volume of an a-kit generally is the problem particularly as the events goes on and dynamics get thrown out the window.
                              Yamaha Birch Custom Absolute | Zildjian Ks

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