Yamaha DTX402K review: What is it?
The DTX402K is Yamaha’s entry-level offering and the most affordable electronic drum set in the DTX range. The setup includes a dual-zone snare drum (head and rim), three single zone toms and dual-zone crash, ride and hi-hat cymbals (although only the crash has choke functionality). Also included with this model are stand alone pedals for the bass drum and hi-hat open/close. The KU100 bass pedal is a budget alternative to a raised ‘tower’ pad and classic bass drum beater, but has the added benefit of being considerably quieter - good news for those choosing drums to reduce unwanted noise.
There are two other closely related models in the DTX402 family - the DTX432 which uses a standard bass drum pedal and heavier-duty hi-hat control pedal - and the DTX452 which also features a triple-zone snare drum in addition to the upgraded pedals.
A small 4-post rack houses 7.5” snare and tom pads plus the 10” cymbal pads, making for a rather compact overall setup. This is undoubtedly ideal for younger players but also represents a great option for those looking to have a kit but without it taking over an entire room. Yamaha suggests that the kit’s average setup size will fit into a 1m by 800cm footprint. The rack can also be quickly folded away whilst not in use to save even more room. Weighing just under 14kg, the 402 is also lightweight, making for an extremely portable package.
Yamaha DTX402K review: Performance & verdict
The module features ten preset kits which are fully customisable using 287 individual sounds. The kits range from pop to rock, metal, funk, hiphop, EDM, jazz and latin percussion. Each has an accompanying MIDI backing track which can be played with or without the original drum track.
Alesis Nitro Mesh
The main focus of the 402 module is placed on the training features, aimed at taking beginner drummers to the next level. These include a function called Rhythm Gate which mutes a drum if it’s played out of time; Measure Break where the metronome is silent for a chosen amount of bars; Fast Blast which counts how many times a drum has been struck in a set amount of time and Recorder for recording parts during practice. This is a small selection of the ten training modes available within the module. The LED buttons for the ten kit presets are used cleverly for the timing challenges by acting as a scale of accuracy. Hit perfectly in time and the middle lights will flash, while early hits go to the left and late hits to the right.
Despite a fairly no-frills approach to the module design, it does the job perfectly adequately and even has a few surprise features up its sleeve. In addition to the built-in playalong tracks there is an aux input for playing music from an external device, a USB output which can transmit audio for recording into a laptop and MIDI for triggering external sounds. These features might not be anything out of the ordinary but are very welcome in an entry-level module. The real surprise though comes in the form of complete app control via the accompanying DTX402 Touch app. This is something we don’t see even on top of the line kits from other brands, let alone a sub $/£400 drum kit.
The free app is available for iPhone/iPad and Android devices and can be connected via the module’s USB connection and a relevant adapter.
The app is incredibly simple to use and has a surprising amount of functionality, particularly again considering the price point of the kit. Essentially working as a remote control for the module, it is possible to play the in-built backing tracks, change tempo and mute the drum track. The kits can also be edited from inside the app which makes the task considerably easier and quicker than using the module buttons. Simply choose the instrument to change from an image of the kit and then scroll through the list of 287 individual sounds categorised by kick, snare, tom, cymbal, hi-hat and percussion. There is also other tweaking capability from within the app including pan, volume, tuning, mute and reverb level (for each individual instrument).
There is also a challenge mode within the app that sets playalong tasks which you must pass to gain access to the next level. You’ll even get a certificate from Yamaha if you complete the game!
Yamaha DTX402K review: Hands-on demos
Yamaha DTX402K review: Specification
- Kits: 10 pre-set kits
- Samples: 287 individual samples
- Configuraton: 8-piece kit comprises bass, snare, 3 toms, crash, ride and hi-hat (plus controller pedal)
- Other features: Training functions, app control, USB audio, compact design, backlit module buttons
- Contact: Yamaha