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Advice on ekits(full or "shell pack"): DIY, Roland, Yamaha, or other brands?

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  • Advice on ekits(full or "shell pack"): DIY, Roland, Yamaha, or other brands?

    Hello all! I've never had an ekit, but always liked them. I have less and less time and chances to play my Akit that will not change anytime soon so now is the time for an Ekit! Also have been researching a bit. I am truly inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXkS8xSabaM . That is basically a dream for me to play along with tracks, edit some sounds, and record on spot etc. I am a hobby drummer, so its more for practice, playing, fun, learning, experimenting and making music!

    I have tried yamaha dtx542, dtx400, and a roland td30, td15. I liked the dtx542 and td30. I like all of the pads except the small bass pads on the td15 and yamaha kits. I hate those things and will not use one it drove me nuts! That is also kind of why I was thinking of making a "shell pack" consisting of a higher end module and bass, and medium-lower model toms and rack either a Roland or Yamaha brand. I have acoustic cymbals and snare that I could use instead of elec. so that's why I'm considering that. I wouldn't doubt that there are unforeseen things and compatibility issues.

    Of course I would prefer to get a full ekit but I will not be able to afford one that I would love anytime soon, at least a 5 year issue here. I've struggled for 2 years now with playing and you could say I'm getting desperate.

    This forum is full of a lot of info and is a bit much at the moment, so I was hoping that someone could give me a break down of custom ideas from small people to companies that I might not know of. I would love to make my own stuff but technically have no experience with electronic drums. I have coworkers who are experts with soldering and assembling/building and I know for sure that they could help me.

    As far as budget goes, I'm hoping to not spend over 1000, but depending on how things go, it could be more. I hope this post made sense and let me know what you think. Thank you for your time.

  • #2
    Welcome to the forum, dat yeti!

    Have you considered converting your existing A-kit to an E-kit via some triggers, mesh-heads and a module?

    HTH


    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi hairmetal thank you. And thanks for posting! Yes I have heard of that akit with ekit trigger idea. But do not understand it. The only reason why I'm leaning away is because my kit is kind of a big kit. Think Mapex Saturn Studioease (10-12-14-16-22-14snare) but it's a Pro M. So it's a great kit and do love it but it takes a ton of space.

      I've liked that idea but never understood it.

      So if I were to invest in a module, will certain triggers work with it or does it depend on what you have?
      Also, do you need to drill holes or anything like that to get the trigger on the inside, or can you use those triggers that go on the rim/outisde?
      Is this idea a pain in the butt to make it work with the module or does that depend what you have and what you do?
      I have never seen a 22" mesh head, so I'm guessing there are several brands of mesh heads, hopefully a big pack!
      Can you use regular acoustic reso heads or do you need mesh on both sides of the drum?

      Thanks in advance.

      Comment


      • #4
        If you don't mind, I'll chop up your response a little; to make it easier to read:


        Originally posted by dat yeti View Post
        The only reason why I'm leaning away is because my kit is kind of a big kit. Think Mapex Saturn Studioease (10-12-14-16-22-14snare) but it's a Pro M. So it's a great kit and do love it but it takes a ton of space.
        That's a nice, big kit you have there. Whether you'll want to convert it A-to-E, depends a bit on these things:
        • Usage: Do you want to still use your kit acoustically in the future?
        • Space: Does your current kit take up too much space? If yes, an A-to-E conversion isn't a good idea.
        • Price: Do you already have a module? If you have shells and hardware already, an A-to-E conversion will be quite cheaper than an off-the-shelf complete e-kit!




        So if I were to invest in a module, will certain triggers work with it or does it depend on what you have?
        A good rim-trigger (the DDrum Pro, for example) will work on pretty much any drum-module, as long as the module has sufficient trigger-parameters. This will work straight out-of-the-box for any 2box-/Alesis-/Yamaha- (and - with some limitations - Roland-) module, that's properly adjusted.

        If you already have a higher-end Roland module, or want to upgrade to one that supports positional sensing, you'll want to look past rim-triggers, and go with center-mounted piezo-cones under the head. Rim triggers by nature aren't supposed to support positional sensing.



        Also, do you need to drill holes or anything like that to get the trigger on the inside, or can you use those triggers that go on the rim/outisde?
        No, you needn't to drill holes - that's a sign of quality, and the beauty of, a quality trigger!

        Yes, you can get both varieties of triggers:
        • Internal-ones like the 'EasyTrigger' from Wronka, a metal-housed, internal lug mounted trigger, or the positional sensing center-cone trigger by Quartz.
        • External ones in solid metal- or fiberglass-housings, that attach to the rim via a tuning-lug or a thumb-screw, , like the ever-popular 'DDrum Pro' triggers, or the equivalent from DDT!



        Is this idea a pain in the butt to make it work with the module or does that depend what you have and what you do?
        As a general rule: 'Get the module first' and: 'Get the most module you can afford'!



        I have never seen a 22" mesh head, so I'm guessing there are several brands of mesh heads, hopefully a big pack!
        There are 22" mesh-heads - I know at least Drumtec has one in their 'Design' series!
        http://www.drum-tec.de/meshheads-dru...ml?language=en

        For a thorough read on multiple comparison-articles about every possible brand of mesh-heads, check out the back-issues of 'Digital Drummer' magazine!
        http://www.digitaldrummermag.com/BACK_ISSUES.html



        Can you use regular acoustic reso heads or do you need mesh on both sides of the drum?
        Depends on the noise-level, I'd guess. But in general, start with mesh on the batter-side, and go from there!



        I've liked that idea but never understood it.
        Read a bit in our 'DIY' subforum. It will help you to get a better understanding!




        HTH
        Last edited by hairmetal-81; 11-20-13, 09:27 AM.


        "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

        http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

        Comment


        • #5
          I played a Pearl kit with triggers for many years, just a week ago I ordered my first custom kit from Diamond Drums. It will be more compact as my acoustic kit and the triggers are mounted inside the drums.
          http://www.diamondelectronicdrums.com/
          Drummer in Locus Neminis
          https://www.facebook.com/locusneminis
          Pearl Drums, Gibraltar Hardware, Trick Bigfoot Pedals, Paiste PST5 Cymbals, Roland TD-10 + TDW-1, Roland RT Triggers, Yamaha KP-65 with Evans Eq Patches, Drum-Tec Pro black mesheads

          Comment


          • #6
            In regards to kick triggers...I started on a yamaha DTX750 and quickly upgraded to their top of the line kick trigger (kept the original one and used a second pedal so i could have two kick sounds) . I've since moved onto a td30 with the (somewhat large) KD-140, feels much better then the rubber pad of a td-9 i use in rehearsals. Some stores will let you upgrade the kick triggers on the kits when you buy them, but not always good value for money with the 'upgrade'.


            Roland TD-30KV, Pearl Demon Drive Double Pedal, Pearl H1000 hit hat stand, Shure SE530 IEMs, AKG K171 MKII Headphones, Mackie DLM PA, Yamaha MG102C mixer, Roland Studio Capture

            Natal Walnut kit (US Fusion X), Bosphorus Antique 16" Crash & 22" Ride, Bosphorus Gold Series 14" hats.

            Comment


            • #7
              Wow you guys are awesome thank you! Yes I have ventured into the DIY but since I am completely new to the electronic field I was hoping for some solid general advice.

              Ramsh, were you the one made an ekit out of the Pearl Rhythm Traveler? I think it was this forum where someone did that, it was pretty cool. Diamond look great and haven't read anything bad. Enjoy the kit!

              campster, I totally agree. the td30 felt great playing it. Those small kick pads are terrible, can't stand them. Sounds about right, with the upgrade possibility, pay an arm and a leg to enjoy something or getting quality.

              Hairmetal you summed up a lot for me thank you. I have all ready considered a lot of what you have said. This is a tough decision and it takes time for sure. Unfortunately I do not have any electronics, so I would have to buy or start from scratch. I feel I will most likely go down the trigger/module path as that seems like what I'm looking for or would enjoy the most. As to what module to buy that is a mystery.

              What modules have you used and recommend?

              About those mesh heads on both sides, I wasn't sure if an acoustic head would interfere with the electronic sounds or anything. I will definitely read more in the DIY forum!

              Comment


              • #8
                Wow you guys are awesome thank you! Yes I have ventured into the DIY but since I am completely new to the electronic field I was hoping for some solid general advice.

                Ramsh, were you the one made an ekit out of the Pearl Rhythm Traveler? I think it was this forum where someone did that, it was pretty cool. Diamond look great and haven't read anything bad. Enjoy the kit!

                campster, I totally agree. the td30 felt great playing it. Those small kick pads are terrible, can't stand them. Sounds about right, with the upgrade possibility, pay an arm and a leg to enjoy something or getting quality.

                Hairmetal you summed up a lot for me thank you. I have all ready considered a lot of what you have said. This is a tough decision and it takes time for sure. Unfortunately I do not have any electronics, so I would have to buy or start from scratch. I feel I will most likely go down the trigger/module path as that seems like what I'm looking for or would enjoy the most. As to what module to buy that is a mystery.

                What modules have you used and recommend?

                About those mesh heads on both sides, I wasn't sure if an acoustic head would interfere with the electronic sounds or anything. I will definitely read more in the DIY forum!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Here is a post I wrote about a month ago, to forum-member 'Bandguy', who was in a similar position, question-wise, like you are: http://www.vdrums.com/forum/forum/ge...815#post835815


                  I'd like to throw some suggestions at you. I will go from my post above, just re-arranging it a bit, adding to it in the process. I will try to stay rather more general, not too specific, kind of like an overview of what one might need. Please take from it whatever bits you feel are appropriate.



                  Step One: Getting a module ...and a hihat-pad (and maybe a ride-cymbal pad) along with it.

                  I like modules with a good feature-set in relation to price, or 'value-for-money', so I tend to recommend them.

                  Option 'One A'
                  2box Drumit 5 module & 2box cymbals:
                  Small issue here is 2box hihat-detection is a proprietary, optical system with a magnet. 2box modules absolutely need components of the 2box controller-pedal.





                  Option 'One B'
                  Roland TD-9 (used only) & VH-11 hihat:
                  Used TD-9's seems to be very popular, they are a solid 'Workhorse', offering future expandability via a MIDI-input and mp3-playback.








                  Option 'One C'
                  Yamaha DTX-502 module & RHH-135 / PCY-155 cymbals:
                  The module that comes with the 'DTX-542' kit you tried out. A nice performer, offering the ability to load in your own samples at the 'upper entry-level / lower mid-range' category.












                  Step Two: Add some triggers

                  Again, there are different options, depending on whether you want external or internal, whether you need rims or what module you chose.

                  Option 'Two A'
                  DDrum Pro Triggers:
                  External rim-triggers, dual zone for the snare, single zone on toms & bassdrum, these are long-running, extremly durable metal-casing ones.





                  Option 'Two B'
                  Quartz Trigger cones:
                  If you intend to upgrade to a 'top-of-the-line' Roland module at one time, these are the ones to get, since they support 'positional sensing' which you definitely want to have, since it's one of the major selling points on Rolands' top-end.





                  Option 'Two C'
                  Wronka Easy Triggers:
                  They will work with every module that doesn't require positional sensing, similar to other rim-triggers, except they are internal. They are your first choice if you need 'Stealth' in combination with any 2box/Alesis/Yamaha and lower Roland modules.

                  Last edited by hairmetal-81; 11-21-13, 08:21 PM.


                  "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                  http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Step Three: Bring in some shells


                    Too many options to list here. You can go with anything, from exotic DW to flea-market, entry-level cheap. Really!
                    Just make sure you'll get solid shell-hardware - proper lugs and tom-mounts. I'll just pick a couple:

                    Option 'Three A'
                    Pearl Export:
                    Used ones are plenty and affordable, they are said to be the 'entry-level drumkit that sold the most'. Pearl's hardware quality - even on the cheaper kits - is exeptional.




                    Option 'Three B'
                    Sonor Safari:
                    Planned as a more affordable alternative to the 'Jungle Kit', this will make a nice A-to-E conversion with Bop-kit sizes.





                    Option 'Three C'
                    Traps Drums: ...maybe you do not have alot of space, then try one of these.







                    Option 'Three D'
                    Alternatively, the Pearl 'Rhythm Traveler' goes into the same direction as the Traps, but without a rack.





                    Option 'Three E'
                    Yamaha Stage Custom Birch:
                    They have all-birch shells (similar to the honorable 'Recording Custom'), and very, very nice woodgrains showing. I'm in love with the 'Natural Wood' finish!









                    Step Four: You might want to get some Hardware

                    If you went with a used kit or pre-packaged set in Step Three, chances are you already have all the necessary hardware you'll initially need. Just in case you have not, or need additional pieces, here are a few recommendations:

                    Option 'Four A'
                    Gibraltar, anything Gibraltar, really. There is a reason, Gibraltar has a lot of fans on this forum. Expensive? Yes, but it'll pay off in the end! If you prefer a 'vintage vibe', look at the 8600-series flatbase stands. For something that 'sits between rack and stand', look at the 'Stealth'.






                    Option 'Four B'
                    Pearl just recently released their 830 and 930 series stands, completely revamping their entry-level and mid-range hardware. If these are as stable as the old 800 series stands, they are really worth a consideration.






                    Option 'Four C'
                    Yamaha 700 series:
                    Yamaha has a long-standing workhorse here. Their 700-series hardware is one of the most solid single-braced hard




                    "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                    http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Step Five: Tighten those mesh-heads!

                      Again, there is a ton of options here. Check out the back-issues of 'Digital Drummer' magazine, to see multiple comparison-articles on all kinds of brands. You'll want to get decent ones, the black 1-ply heads, that came with your Rhythm Traveler kit won't cut it in the long run. If you get a Roland kit, the mesh-heads by Roland itself are one of the toughest there are around. If planning an A-to-E conversion, you will likely end up with mesh, though there are some other playing surfaces. Some examples:

                      Option 'Five A'
                      Drumtec 'Design' series:
                      Sturdy 2-ply heads, available from 6" up to 24". Lots of other choices in both black and white.



                      Option 'Five B'
                      DDT mesh-heads:
                      2-ply and white. Newer ones seem to be less 'see-through' than the older versions.





                      Option 'Five C'
                      Aquarian InHeads:
                      If you want to blend the acoustic sound of mylar heads with the electronic sound of your module, these are for you!
                      To the best of my current knowledge, these are a 3-ply sandwiched head. Top and bottom plies are regular mylar-heads, the middle ply in-between is a trigger-foil with applied FSR-ink. High tech!


                      Option 'Five D'
                      Pearl TruTrac heads:
                      Something from the 'other playing surface' category... - this isn't mesh, they are rubber. Can be retrofitted to drum-shells just like mesh. Members have mentioned they feel nice, but they seem to have durability issues.





                      Step Six: Next, where are the cables?

                      Not much to show you here. Just make sure you go and get decent ones. I personally recommend the ones by Hosa and Neutrik.

                      Sooner or later, you'll also get a splitter cable, to increase the amount of crashes or toms (...or cowbells!)
                      Both, Hosa and Drumsplitters will have you covered.

                      I'd like to point out cable-snakes by Thomann. Angr77 made me aware of these, cleans it up, if you have to run 8 channels to a mixing board.





                      Step Seven: ...You want some 'Thump' with that?

                      You shall amplify your e-drums - else, you just hear 'thwack'.
                      Most beginners have the feeling they can hook their module to their 'multimedia/stereo/PC' speakers - don't do it, you'll ruin them! A good e-drum monitor should have a 15" speaker with decent power. Better still, get a dedicated subwoofer.
                      If you are strapped for cash, don't get a cheap speaker, get quality headphones and a headphone amp!


                      Option 'Seven A'
                      JBL EONs:
                      A few years old, but tried and trusted.15" incher, about 500 watts, about 15 kg in weight. Not bad!



                      Option 'Seven B'
                      Mackie SRM-450:
                      Again, tried and trusted, a direct contender to the JBL, lots of fans on the forum!






                      Option 'Seven C'
                      KAT K2 monitor:
                      A dedicated monitor for drumming with 200 watts of power. It seems to be based of the Simmons amps sold at the 'Banjo Center'; the DA-50/DA-200, which is very popular amongst forum-members!




                      Option 'Seven D'
                      HK Audio Lucas Nano:
                      A small tip of mine, heard these at e-drum demonstrations, and they are more than enough for home-use.
                      The subwoofer is a 10", at a back-friendly 8kg. The Lucas Nano is squarely in the middle of bigger satellite-systems, and your cheap multimedia speakers. A professional PA system, that got shrunk in size!







                      That's it for now!
                      I may have to do some corrections and a thorough spell-check at a later date.

                      Hope this helps.


                      Happy Drumming!


                      "My best friends' name is J-SON. They used to call him 'Mr. Parse.' He has an 'Error'..!"

                      http://www.vdrums.com/forum/core/cus...ar33631_4.jpeg

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow good stuff Hairmetal, thanks again. I will definitely venture off in the rest of the forum!

                        Comment

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