Learning and playing the drums is not without challenges. A well stocked acoustic drum kit is large, noisy and can be expensive. Nowadays, however, the technology behind electronic drums (aka “e-kits”) has grown to such a level that they are no longer a distant relationship. Modern electronic kits provide a great playing experience, come with many different sounds, and can be safely stowed away when not in use.
Below we will outline some of the top reasons to buy electronic drums. We’ll explain the types of situations they excel in and highlight some of the benefits you’ll get from going electric.
1. Volume (or no volume)
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to learning the drums is the fact that they are strong and inevitable. Extremely strong. Acoustic drums don’t have a volume control, after all. If you live in the countryside with no neighbors to disturb, then you are in luck. Halfway up a building, not so much. Electronic kits offer a perfect solution here, in that they can be played using headphones, so the only noise your neighbors hear, if any, is the light tapping of your sticks and of your pedals hitting the pads, and even then there are ways to help minimize the acoustic noise of an electronic kit.
If you find yourself in a situation where playing louder is possible, then your electronics kit will simply connect to a set of monitor speakers, amplifier, or PA system. More on that later …
When it comes to playing and practicing music, there are many things that you can be influenced by. It is also very likely that as a drummer you will become familiar with several styles of play along the way. With electronic drums, you can change the sounds of the kit in an instant, taking you from vintage jazz to stage rock to an 808-style electronic kit with just the push of a button.
Using an electronic kit in this way can make your training and playing sessions more authentic and fun. So if you like genre skipping a bit, electronic drums might be the best option for you.
In the early days of electronic drums, the pads were stiff and ruthless, causing tiring vibrations in your hands. They also created a stick bounce that was more akin to hitting your kitchen table than hitting an acoustic drum. Nowadays, however, that is a whole different story. Although the more affordable kits still use rubber pads, they are much more fun to play.
Crank up the price and you’ll be rewarded with mesh heads that are adjustable, acoustically quieter in the room, and come closest to the feel of a traditional drum head. This is also important from a technical standpoint, as a lot of the basics rely on the ability to play dynamically and control the way the stick bounces. Modern electronic kits give you all of this, which means you can transfer your skills between electronic and acoustic kits.
As with any instrument, the more you play, the better off you will be. Most electronic drums have built-in training tools to help you develop your skills. It can be as simple as a metronome, or as complex as a dedicated workout and lessons designed to help you tighten your chops. These features are also not limited to beginners; even the best players spend time doing those repetitive drills that keep them sharp.
It’s also common to find drum modules with an audio input jack, or increasingly, Bluetooth, so you can plug in a smartphone or tablet and play along to your favorite songs or backing tracks with your kit. perfectly integrated.
5. Portability and space
In an ideal world, a drummer would have a dedicated space in which they could leave their kit installed and ready to go at any time. Of course, for a large number of players, this is not always possible. Acoustic drums are bulky and awkwardly shaped, so if you don’t have a lot of space to store them, you may have to rely on precariously stacked flight cases when not in use, which is not the case. never ideal.
With electronic kits, especially in the low to mid range, portability and easy storage is a key selling feature. Many kits can be quickly and easily folded and stored without much hassle.
6. You can expand the sounds…
One of the main advantages of using electronic drums is the ability to connect them to external devices. They do this using MIDI, either through dedicated 5-pin MIDI cables or through a USB connection. This means that you can play other MIDI instruments from your kit, but the most likely scenario is to connect your kit to a computer. From here you can play samples, loops or entire tracks from your pads, but even more exciting, you can access completely new kits.
We especially love Toontrack’s EZ Drummer, which has an incredible – and expansive – library of drum kits recorded in top studios and then processed to give you some truly awesome sounds. For recording, it changes the game. No more messing around with microphones and room acoustics. You simply record your part in MIDI, then tell it what sound to play.
7. You can also extend the pads
Choice is one of the biggest steps forward for any musical instrument these days, but let’s say you want to add another drum kit to your acoustic kit – there are still a number of considerations. First you need to find the right size, in the same series and (ideally) finish as the rest of your kit. Additional drums can be expensive when purchased this way, as can additional cymbals.
With an electronics kit, you just need to make sure your module has an aftermarket pad / trigger input (most do) and purchase an affordable extra pad like the ones that came with your kit. Often times, electronic drum manufacturers use the same pads in different kits, making them widely available. There are also many third-party pads that can work more universally between brands. Once you have it, the pad can be assigned and reassigned to play any sound you want from your module.
It is worth emphasizing the price as a factor in choosing an electronic drum kit. When it comes to acoustic drums, as with any instrument, there are cheaper entry-level models that are easy to overtake. Then, as you level up, you’ll find that playing the drums can be an expensive hobby when you factor in upgrades, upgrades, and consumables. With electronic drums you get full functionality from the day you buy the kit, with your only current purchase likely to be drumsticks or a bass drum pedal upgrade for the foreseeable future.
As stated before, recording with an electronic drum kit is a perfect match. Just as many guitarists are now turning to virtual amp sims, drummers who combine a decent electronic kit with an arsenal of virtual instruments find they have access to just about any drum sound they want. .
The main advantage of this method is control. You don’t depend on the room you’re recording in, you don’t need microphone batteries, and you have a mind-boggling array of tools to repair, edit, and edit your recordings afterward. From adjusting the micro-timings of specific hits to applying effects and polishing the audio. Everything is done with a few mouse clicks.
10. You will become a more versatile musician
Ok, so not everyone wants to continue playing drums beyond just playing for fun and possibly forming a band. But even as a hobbyist, having a good understanding of how electronics work in a battery is a valuable skill. You can bring new soundscapes to your band, make your covers more authentic, and inject extra creativity into a standard quartet if you understand how to incorporate samples, click tracks, and electronic sounds. Take it slow, learn the terminology as you go, and you’ll find it’s a lot easier than it sometimes claims!