If you want to practice playing the drums at home but you have neighbors or family members that would be bothered by the noise, electronic drums are a great solution. An alternative to acoustic drums, electronic drums use digital pads to create synthesized sounds. The pads can be arranged to mimic a traditional drum set-up, while also offering a wider range of sounds and effects you can’t get from a basic snare or bass kit. The best part: you can either let the sounds ring out through the room, or plug in a pair of headphones to contain the sound to just you. That way, you can play all night without disturbing those around you.
According to experienced drummer and composer, Jon Foster, there are a number of factors you need to consider when purchasing an electric drum set.
1. Price point. “You want to always make sure you aren’t paying for more than you need,” Foster says.
2. Functionality. “Are you hoping to have something you can practice on so that you’ll be ready when you get behind a real kit on a gig, or are you just looking to play along with your favorite songs?”
3. Sounds. “All electronic drums come with standard drum sounds built in,” Foster explains. “If you’re looking to explore with more than just 808s, look for the kits that come with extensive sound banks built-in or the option to upload your own sounds – you might be able to make a drum set out of your dog barking with the latter.”
4. Space. “All electronic drums vary in size. If you have the room for it, go for a kit that has the same shape and set up as a real kit. Otherwise,” he suggests, “you might need the table-top version.”
Whether you’re getting ready to go on tour or just want to pick up a new hobby, here are three electronic drum sets that let you bang all day (and night) without worry.
1. Alesis Nitro Kit Electronic Drum Set
The Alesis Nitro is an eight-piece drum set that includes everything you need to practice as if you’re playing on a professional set. It comes with 8-inch tom pads, an 8-inch dual-zone snare drum, and a kick drum pad and pedal. The dual zone snare drum allows the electronic drum set to have a natural feel and response that is similar to non-electric sets. This kit allows you to create your own unique sound with its 385 custom sounds and 60 built-in tracks. The Alesis rubber drum and cymbal pads are highly responsive mimicking a realistic drumming feel.
2. Pyle Pro Electronic Drum kit
The Pyle Pro Electric Drum Kit is a great option if you don’t have the room for a traditional drum set up. This is a table-top electric drum set that takes up minimal space. This drum kit has a seven drum pads, a hi-hat, and a digital pedal controller. This set comes with over 300 cymbal and drum sounds, 55 presets and 10 preloaded drum kits.
Its digital control center comes with an LCD screen and high quality audio controls that allows for a full range of creating and editing music. This table is able to connect to MACs and PCs via USB cable. The small size and portability of this set makes it a great option for any level drummer that wants a kit they can move around easily.
PROS: Can fit in small spaces and is portable.
CONS: Can be hard to use for beginners.
3. PylePro Portable Drums
The PylePro Portable Drum Kit is made specifically for transporting. This portable kit is powered via AC adapter or has a wireless option so you can play it at any location without power. Its portability doesn’t prevent it from lacking in quality — this kit is versatile and easily connects to your computer via USB. Its digital top panel control center comes with specific audio controls that allow for song creativity and easy creation. This is an affordable, easy to use kit that any level drummer can use.
PROS: Portable and affordable.
CONS: Doesn’t have sophisticated controls that an expert drum player might desire.