GEAR EXPO 2022: One of the fastest-moving areas of the drum market is electronic drum sets. Every year we see new and improved updates, with features and sound quality getting better at the top and trickling down to the more affordable categories.
2022 is no different, as the more established and emerging names alike steer electronic kits towards even greater realism and more authentic acoustic playing feel.
Roland’s VAD103 is the latest and most affordable electronic drum set in its Virtual Acoustic Design series. Offering large diameter, real shells but at shallower depth, it’s the VAD that we think will appeal to the widest range of drummers in 2022 thanks to the lower price tag and ‘fits anywhere’ design.
You get a 12” snare, 10” and 12” rack and floor toms, and an 18” bass drum. Roland has equipped the VAD103 with its acoustic stand-mounted VH-10 hi-hats, a CY-12C crash and CY-13R ride.
The kit is based around Roland’s TD-07 module, which features 25 factory presets, 25 user kit slots, editing functions, FX, Bluetooth and USB. Plus, Roland will give you 40 free drum lessons with Melodix when you buy the kit.
Bringing real wood shells to the sub-£1000 end of the market is the MPS-1000 from Millenium. As well as featuring full-size drum shells (20”x14” bass drum, 13”x6” snare, 10”x6” and 12”x6” toms (mounted to the bass drum) and a 14”x12” floor tom), the MPS-1000 comes with 13” hi-hats, an 18” triple-zone ride and 2x 15” crash cymbals with choke.
The module has 820 sounds, arranged into 40 presets and slots for a further 40 user kits, plus there’s 335MB of on-board memory for you to load your own samples into. Other features include 70 play-along songs, metronome and recording functions, a USB interface and Bluetooth.
Millenium has even thrown in all the hardware you need to get set up straight out of the box, too! It’s available now for £835/€1003/$1135.
It’s been a while since Yamaha updated its flagship electronic kits, so the DTX10 is a welcome addition. It features - you guessed it! - real wood shells, with a 12” snare, 2x 10” tom pads a 12” floor tom and wood-shelled KP128 kick pad.
In addition to this, the DTX10 includes RHH135 13" dual-zone hi-hat pad, PCY135 13" triple-zone crash pad, PCY155 15" triple-zone crash pad, PCY175 17" triple-zone ride pad, all of which is mounted to a super-sturdy Yamaha rack.
The module is Yamaha’s top-of-the-range DTXPRO-X, which comes packing over 700 sounds, 40 presets, space for 200 user kits, and 37 songs. It’s also capable of importing user wav samples, and features Yamaha’s comprehensive Kit Modifier, Compression and Effects sections, allowing for plenty of hands-on control and manipulation of your sounds.
There’s a lot of connectivity with eight direct outputs, stereo main output, headphones, and a USB interface. Finally, the DTX10 is available in your choice of either mesh heads throughout, or Yamaha’s patented TCS (Texture Cellular Silicone).
Long before it produced acoustic drums, ddrum was one of the pioneers of triggering technology. This year, ddrum has introduced the E-Flex, an affordable new electronic drum set featuring 6-inch, mesh-head snare and tom pads.
The snare pad is dual-zone, offering two playing surfaces from the head and rim. Meanwhile the toms are single-zone, with a bass drum foot controller which not only saves space, but will also be less noisy acoustically too.
The hi-hat controller can also be switched to double Bass mode, turning the pedal into a second bass drum foot controller.
Elsewhere, the E-Flex comes with 9” cymbal pads for the crash, ride and hi-hat, with the crash and ride both choke-able. Meanwhile, the E-Flex module features USB, an aux-input, headphone socket and master output.