So you’ve bought your new shiny copy of Toontrack Superior Drummer 3 and you’re ready to play… but the grooves aren’t quite what you want for your tracks, and drawing in your 13/16 hits just isn’t cutting the mustard. So what is the best way to get your own sick beats into the DAW?
Here, we take a look at a small selection of some of the best electronic drum kits on the market today (in our opinion!)…
Top of the Pops – Roland TD50-KV
The unofficial king of the hill in terms of Electronic Drum Kits, the trigger pads and cymbals feel incredibly real, with differing tactile responses between the snare and the toms. Whilst tones in the module aren’t the main concern, they’re pretty amazing, but the connectivity in the TD50 module is second to none. Able to output 10 MIDI channels via USB, it also has XLR, phono and MIDI connectivity. It even has inputs for your acoustic triggers if you’re using it in conjunction with your acoustic drums. This kit is the real deal, and it doesn’t get any better. You can see the Roland TD50-KV in this series of videos where we use it to trigger Superior Drummer 3.
The Hi-Hat King – Yamaha DTX532K
The nice thing about the DTX532K, that hold it above lower tier kits, is two fold. The actual Hi-Hat stand adds a level of realism to playing that electronic pedals just cannot match. Additionally there are 3 trigger zones on the snare and cymbals for realistic articulation and tone. With the DTX532K you’ll get some of the most realistic responses possible from any electronic kit on the market. Whilst it isn’t a ‘top tier’ option, it certainly is a heavy hitter.
The Perfect Beginner – Roland TD-1KV
If you’re new to drumming then the TD-1KV is the perfect entry level kit for you. The snare mesh is nice and responsive, the toms and hi-hats are positioned and ready to go from the moment you unpack it, and its easy to plug and play with USB connectivity to your DAW. You’ll also find it has an AUX in for practicing alone with your mp3 player or smart phone, but better yet it comes with a metronome so you can practice your fundamentals any time. There isn’t a lot to write home about in terms of features, but if you’re looking for a set of cheap triggers that you can play with sticks then this is your best bet.
The Acoustic Diehard – Roland RT- 30 Series
If you’re not looking to shell out for a full e-kit and want to be able to play your amazing grooves into SD3 – but don’t have a microphone to utilise the Tracker function, then acoustic triggers are your best bet. A set of Roland RT-30 triggers will do the job perfectly. Coming in 3 formats – K, HR, and H, the series will cover the Kick, Snare and Toms respectively. You will have to buy an Electronic Kit module to use these with, and some fine tuning will be required to get the most out of them, but it is a cheaper option and requires less space than another full kit.
If you’re not in the market for a full Electronic Drum kit, then check out our other blog post which looks at a range of MIDI controllers to use along with SD3 that will cover any type of musician (rhythm is a pre-requisite though).