What is An Electric Drum Set?
An electric drum set, also often referred to as electronic percussion, digital drums or electronic drums, are modern electronic percussive instruments. It is essentially a special kind of sampler or synthesizer that has been created to provide an alternative to acoustic drum sets or other traditional percussion instruments.
An electric drum kit consists of a digital or electronic sound module that produces the sampled or synthesised percussion sounds and at least one or, as is often the case, more electronic sensors that trigger sounds when hit. Drumsticks are used with electric drums in the same way they are used with acoustic drums. The actual drum pads that are used to trigger the sounds are often either shallow drum shells or disc shaped and made from silicone/rubber or something similar.
A Brief History Of the Electric Drum Set
Back in 1967, Felix Visser was the drummer for VIPs, a Dutch pop band who made modifications to a pre-Roland Acetone Electronic Rhythm box to make it playable as a live instrument.
Originally, Acetone rhythm boxes were designed, by Ikutaro Kakehashi who founded Roland, produced a machine-like, metronomic sound. However with the modifications made by Visser, gave the rhythm box a more human feel.
The first fully functioning electronic drum kit was developed by the drummer for the band The Moody Blues, Graeme Edge who collaborated with Brian Gloves, a Sussex University professor. That was in 1971 and then in 1976, Pollard Syndrum released the first commercial version.
Eventually lots of major companies, particularly Yamaha and Roland, released various forms of electronic drums over the years. Roland were the clear leaders in the field though, and that is how it stands even today.
The list of 8 best electric Drum Sets
As noted above, electric drum sets are no longer a rare thing and there is a wide variety of different instrument and electronics manufacturers who produce their own take on electric drum kits. It can be quite overwhelming trying to decide which is right for you, which is why we have decided to list 8 of the best.
Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
The Alesis Surge Mesh kit has been designed to feel natural and provide a very high-quality response. It consists of a kick drum pad and pedal, snare drum pad, three tom pads and a hi-hat and pedal, crash cymbal with choke and a ride cymbal. You can fully customise and have access to 40 different kits and a total of 385 sounds.
Weight: 50.9 pounds
Dimensions: 27.6 x 47.3 x 43.3 inches
The Yamaha DTX400K is a very compact electronic kit that promises to give you the sound and feel of 10 different professional kits. It consists of a snare, tom and hi-hate pad, along with a crash and ride cymbal pad and a fully silent kick drum unit. There are also 169 natural drum sounds that can be programmed whatever way you like for a customised sound.
Weight: 41 pounds
Dimensions: 36 x 36 x 36 inches
Roll-up Drum Kit Portable
The Roll-up Drum kit is an affordable electronic drum kit with a 2 crash cymbal pads, a ride cymbal pad, an open and close hi-hat pad, bass drum pad, snare pad, tom pad and 2 foot pedals. It comes with sticks and everything else you need to get started. The thing that makes this different from others is the fact that it can be rolled up when not in use.
Brand: EVERYONE GAIN
Weight: 2.35 pounds
Dimensions: 19.2 x 2.6 x 14.6 inches
The Carlsbro CSB130 is not just a good looking, well designed drum kit. It comes with 20 present drum kit sounds and 250 individual high quality percussive instrument sounds and features a kit drum pedal that acts like the real thing.
Weight: 37.8 pounds
Dimensions: 30.8 x 16.5 x 20 inches
Behringer are a reputable and popular brand and the XD8USB shows why. This is an 8-piece electric drum kit with a sound module full of 10 preset kits plus 5 programmable kits. Everything is included in the box, so you can start drumming as soon as it arrives.
Configuration: Drum Kit
Weight: 35.9 pounds
Dimensions: 33.1 x 22.8 x 13 inches
Ion Audio Redline
Ion Audio Redline drum offer you the chance, like many on the list, to play like your favourite drummers without the same noise level. It includes everything you need to get started and even features a drum tutor option to help you hone your skills.
Brand: ION Audio
Model: Redline Drums
Weight: 13.32 pounds
Dimensions: 10.2 x 26.7 x 19.7 inches
Spectrum AIL 602
This Spectrum AIL 602 electric drum kits features 7 pads that can be assigned to whatever you need from the choice of 215 voices. There are also 20 preset kits or you can store 10 of your own customised kits. It comes with a strong drum stand and drum sticks.
Model: AIL 602
Weight: 18 pounds
Dimensions: 25 x 7 x 21 inches
The last on our list is the Pyle Pro, a professional standard electric drum kit with 9 pieces – 5 drum pads, pedal controllers for bass drum and hi-hat and 2 cymbal crash pads. There is a choice of 33 preset drum kits and you can also create 4 of your own.
Weight: 28 pounds
Dimensions: 32.5 x 16 x 8.8 inches
Electric drum kits have come a long way since the early days of experimentation, and there are great kits available for all budgets. The above list may not contain the drum kit that you eventually buy, but it does provide you with a good introduction to what’s available. Enjoy!