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Hi there, I'm in the quest of a realistic E-Drum setup

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  • Hi there, I'm in the quest of a realistic E-Drum setup

    Hello everybody and happy new year !

    Vincent, I'm a novice french drummer, I play for about a bit less than 2 years. I started with a TD11K with the addition of a VH-11, not too bad for a start.

    When I started to play in band and take lessons, I had to switch to acoustic drums and play the "real stuff". One year after I already had 5 different acoustic kit Stick Out Tongue ! I play now both on a Tama Starclassic B/B 10 12 14 16 22 hyperdrive in dark cherry fade from 2013 and a Tama Artstar II piano black 10 12 13 16 22 from 1986. I also have a little weak point for snares, and particularly for old Tama's. I have some sweet ones like 1982 AW458 14"x8" birch superstar, 1980 8856 Mastercraft steel 14"x6.5", 1974 Imperialstar 14"x5", and so on, I love them !

    My TD11 was a bit unattended for a while, even if I upgraded it with 3 PDX-8 mesh pads and a custom 12" snare with RT-30HR trigger and powerply mesh ... I barely use it for repetitions, and I don't like to play on it, it's a toy and I find the VH11 hi-hats is awfull

    Some months ago, I decided to isolate my garage in order to practice more often, and to record for the needs of my band. It works fine from inside of the house, so my wife will not divorce from me ^^, but not so great with neighbors, because of the garage's door that is difficult to isolate like the normal walls (6.3" of glasswool and acoustic cork !).

    As I don't want to annoy my neighborhood anymore, I started to think to get back to electronic world, but as I also don't want to stop the joy of acoustic drums, I'm currently searching for the best solutions to mix both world.

    I will probably ask for your help in this quest !

  • #2
    What's your budget?
    Pearl MIMIC Pro, ATV aD5, ATV aDrums Expanded


    • #3
      I'm similar in playing time experience and also started with a td11. However I have not played acoustic as I don't practice or play in an environment that can tolerate the volume. I was driven nuts by the sounds of the Roland module though and got an increasing ego issue playing the pdx8 pads when folks in the audience at gigs spoke (nicely admittedly) about my "cute little" kit.

      I dealt with sound by upgrading to a mimic. It does sound absolutely fantastic and genuinely like a mic'ed acoustic kit. Given it's sound architecture I guess this means any vst based system would do the same. I considered a 2box, but in the end the user interface on the mimic and concerns about support at 2box shifted me this way. You could of course achieve the same using your td11 as a midi trigger to a computer.

      on pads I went with pd125, 2x pd85s and 2 pdx100s. All sourced on eBay when bargains came up. These are still loads more compact than acoustic but look like proper drums not toys to calm my ego. I use zildjian l80 cymbals with a mix of stealth and home made triggers. These work great, look cool and are way cheaper than rubber alternatives.


      • #4
        If your not going to gig the td11 and are looking at recording then why not go for a vsti such as SD3 or SSD5 or any of the others out there.
        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.


        • #5
          closest to acoustic ? besides electronic drums.. and if you have a couple of acoustic kits.. (one in the garage) could check out
          rtom black holes (in a shop) ..for cymbals you could check Agean 'R' or 'natural' cymbals ..
          this is a different approach from anything 'electronic' .. but still worth considering .. with noise problem..


          • #6
            Been down that road. A Laptop/PS and "Perfect Drums" makes for good sound. I still practice with the TD11 Sounds, altough I use Sound Editions (similar to VEX) that made the kits a lot better without me having to spend the time tweaking them.

            Also: good headphones are key! I tried Roland RH200 and the Sound was god awful. My 15 year old AKG K271 are in a totally different Ballpark.

            For practice you could use a cheaper Set and equip it with Mesh Heads and Low Noise Cymbals. I second the opintion of Eric: Agean Low Noise are the best, in my opinion, and with Drum Tec Pro Heads you get a really nice practice kit. Or use the Rtoms Eric suggested on your kit with Cymbal Mutes or Low Noise Cymbals.


            • #7
              Thank you all for your reply I sold few days ago the TD11K.

              I have not yet defined a budget, but I'm currently considering to buy a TD-50K kit at approx. ~5K so ... But it's a damn huge budget for a drum kit, and if I could go less, it would be better.

              I have tried ATV aDrum Artist series yesterday and also the TD-50K. Really disappointed by the ATV ! Excepted for the HH and the crash/rides which are both pretty good. At contrary I was really impressed by the core of the TD50 : module, snare and ride are really good, sounds and feelings.

              Initially I planned to go for this setup :
              - 10 12 16 and 22 base kit with Drumtec Realfeel mesh heads (maybe a pro head on the snare also to test)
              - ATV aD5 with extended harness
              - RTB R-Drums snare trigger
              - Jobaky toms trigger
              - Roland KD-A 22 for the kick, in order to avoid all the troubles with mesh head on kick (wearing, rebound too pronouced, retriggering, etc..)
              - ATV aD-H14 hi hat
              - ATV aDrums 14 + 16 crashes

              It seems like a solid setup, but since I tried the aD5 module I'm not so sure anymore ... really do not like the interface, and it's really limited (no positional sensing, DB25 harness with not so many inputs, etc...). As I may consider go with a TD50K, I have the budget to replace it by a Pearl Mimicpro or a TD-50 module (Pearl's is the more expensive here).

              My main consideration is about the "sensibility" and quality of triggers, and feeling of the heads with this setup. Will be at least as good as the TD50-K with PD140DS snare ? The toms are really too smalls on the TD-50K but beside that point, feeling is really good.

              What are your thoughts ?


              • #8
                Also I forgotten to reply about the Aegan topic : I'm not so confident to mix acoustic cymbals and triggered shells, but mostly by misconception of this subject. I have not the noise constraint as usually encountered because of the isolation of my garage, and always play with my molded in-ears setup, so it maybe be a solution for me...

                I guess Aegan HH would be always better than any electronic HH (even the aD-H14).


                • #9
                  Huh, never knew about the retom black holes, wonder if you could trigger them somehow.
                  Roland TD50KV, MIMIC Pro


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ericdrumz View Post
                    closest to acoustic ? besides electronic drums.. and if you have a couple of acoustic kits.. (one in the garage) could check out
                    rtom black holes (in a shop) ..for cymbals you could check Agean 'R' or 'natural' cymbals ..
                    this is a different approach from anything 'electronic' .. but still worth considering .. with noise problem..
                    Thank you Eric, I don't know this solution, indeed interesting with low volume cymbals. But what about the kick ? Just a mesh head ?

                    Anyway I think it's good for practice, but not that good for enjoying the sound of the kit.


                    • #11
                      Rtom Balck Hole is for kick drum, too.
                      @Agean: drum-tec offers a solution where they overhead-Mic the Cymbals and Mix them with the triggered Module sound for the Drums. Interessting, the cymbals und mics and mixer costs about the same as a Set of ATV cymbals. All in all drumtec jam Shells and Agean + Mic + Mixer would cost 2300 Euro in Germany. The Module and hardware is still missing.
                      Something similar could be made using a Conversion Kit with Mesh Heads. and Low Volume Cymbals. But Agean is just in another Leauge than the L80s and Quiet Tones, which really are only for practice.


                      • #12
                        would definately look into that if spending 3-4K is an option.


                        • #13
                          I finally made up my mind, and I'll go with this setup, for the same price as the TD-50K kit :
                          - Pearl Mimic Pro
                          - Roland KD-A 22 for the kick
                          - R-Drums RTB center trigger for the snare
                          - Jobaky center triggers for the 3 or 4 toms
                          - Drumtec real feels mesh heads, and black Drumtec mesh rezo heads
                          - ATV aD-H14 Hihat
                          - ATV aDrums 16" 3 zones crash
                          - ATV aDrums 18" 3 zones ride

                          I tested again the aD5 and TD-50 yesterday, and when played not on headphone, the TD-50 sounds are really too synthetic for me, and there is not so much instruments available by default in the module. I liked more the sound of the aD5, but it seems a bit too limited (DB25 harness, no metronome, not that much sounds, weird user interface, etc..). So I think I can't go wrong with the Mimic Pro.

                          Any advices before I shoot for it ?


                          • #14
                            Sounds like a nice setup! I have both the aD5 and Mimic and like them for separate reasons. I will say that to truly test the aD5 you need to make sure you have all of the paid sounds installed - they are much better than the stock sounds. If you have the money for the Mimic though you really can't go wrong. I'm not a huge fan of the cymbals but sound expansions will eventually happen.

                            If you're not going the TD50 + digital snare route I'd recommend the ATV snare highly. The 3 cone trigger system is awesome - no hotspots.
                            Pearl MIMIC Pro, ATV aD5, ATV aDrums Expanded


                            • #15
                              Thank you Molson. I'm still hesitating between aD5 and Mimic Pro, the cost gap is so huge ...

                              I did not enjoy the interface of the aD5 but I guess I could live with that (and I'm also not a fan of the full touch screen approach of the Mimic).

                              But I was a bit embarassed by the inefficency of the round robin algorithm, always the same sound for the same strike. I tried it with the 3 sensors ATV artist snare that you talked about, and I was not so impressed. But the head was not well tuned, one lug was untightned, and the mesh was also a bit too bouncy (like a Powerply). And maybe the triggers settings was not well tuned, as I tried it in a store with not that much time.

                              The major benefit for me is the full compatibility with ATV hihats and cymbals that I would choose.