Quite frankly, the first time my band’s drummer got his hands on an electronic drum kit, he was so excited and amazed. I also remember that day perfectly, for my band were able to arrange several songs with the electronic drum kit. Of course, the feel and sound of the acoustic drums are irreplaceable. Yet, there are instances when using the electronic drum kits can be handier than that of the acoustic drums.
The electronic drum sets are not cheap, and if you buy one of the top-end kits, you will feel that its price can put a dent in your savings if you are using your savings to buy it. Hence, if money is an issue for you, you can always settle for a budget-friendly electronic drum kit.
Of course, you can always expect the high-end electronic drum kit to be far superior in design and features to the budget-friendly electronic drum kits. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that you can never find a decent-sounding electronic drum kit. Moreover, there are myriads of budget electronic drum kits in the market today. So, you got a lot of options at hand, and it will help if you know the necessary factors to consider when choosing a budget electronic drum kit.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Budget Electronic Drum Kit
Even if you are shopping for a budget electronic drum kit, you do not need to sacrifice some of the essential features and important factors that an electronic drum kit should have. Here are the succinct factors that you should consider when buying a budget electronic drum kit:
When buying an entry-level electronic drum kit, you need to consider the drum kit’s build carefully. It should have a quality build, even if it is an entry-level electronic drum kit. Moreover, it should have a rigid construction and frame that would make it last longer. It should also at least have the essential quality features that make it give off great sounds.
You should also check its trigger pads or drum pads. Trigger pads come with rubber padding with an installed transducer under the pads. These trigger pads feature a woven mesh wherein the transducers are integrated internally. These triggers are irreplaceable. Therefore, it will help if you look for padding types that come with high-level performance and effectiveness. Moreover, it will also be useful to figure out how the pads would sound when hit and how responsive they are.
To mimic the acoustic drum kit, drummers usually strike the paddings. Electronic drum kits come with complex sound modules to produce impeccable tones and sounds that are highly precise in replicating the drummer’s technique. Even if a drummer would use brushes, the reproduced sounds would still be great. So, when you shop around for an electronic drum set kit, it will be useful to consider how it would sound. It will also be helpful to invest in multi-pad drum kits.
Value For Money
When selecting a budget electronic drum kit, it will be useful to choose something that offers value for your money. Budget drum kits, of course, will still put a dent in your savings. As such, you should get what you pay for.
Recording drums usually necessitates that you can connect your electronic drum kit to your computer directly. To do that, your drum kit should also serve as a MIDI controller. Thus, your choice of drum kit should also be able to send out MIDI.
It will also help if you choose a drum kit that features pads with multiple zones. You can hit these pads in different areas or parts to generate different sounds. Zones are concentric circles. For example, you will find snare pads with various zones. Hitting one zone will generate different snare sounds. The more zones there are in the pads, the broader range of sounds your drum kit can produce.
If you can, you should look for electronic drum kits that feature choking cymbals or cymbals that you can choke. You can hit choking cymbals, for example, and grab them to stop their sound. Such a feature will let you genuinely mimic the sound of the acoustic kit. Many of the cheaper options, however, don’t come with this feature.
Best Budget & Affordable Electronic Drum Sets
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The electronic drum kits of today are a far cry from the electronic drum kits of the 1980s. Nowadays, you will find impressive drum kits that you would surely love to play. Below are the best budget electronic drum kits that you will find in the market today:
1) Alesis Surge Mesh Kit
The Alesis Surge Mesh Kit is an eight-piece drum kit that comes with mesh heads. Compared to the Alesis Nitro Mesh, it comes with a more massive dual-zone snare (10″). It also features three dual-zone toms (8″), along with a kick tower pad that comes with a pedal.
With its dual-zone feature, you get the advantage of having two sounds on a drum and mesh. Its ride and crash are also chokeable. The Surge Mesh looks great and businesslike with its four-post chrome rack that is quite solid and easy to set up.
The Surge module also comes with a range of learning features that include a metronome and 60 backing tracks, which are handy for improving your timing and a higher accuracy score. It also comes with a USB MIDI connection for your computers along with out-jacks and old school MIDI for hooking up your computer to the drum machine.
2) Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit
The Alesis Drums Nitro Mesh Kit, compared to the Turbo Mesh kit, is more expensive. It does come with all its drums having mesh heads, saved for the kick. It is an eight-piece kit that comes with a bass drum tower, three toms, a snare, and three cymbals (hi-hat, chokeable crash, and a ride). The mesh material, of course, offers a more drum-like sound as compared to the rubber pads.
All the drums are connected to the Nitro drum module that offers around 40 drum kit sounds and 385 individual sounds. It also features 60 play-along tracks.
Other extra features of the Alexis Nitro Mesh include a sequencer, aux input, metronome, and performance recorder. The kit also comes with a 4-post aluminum rack, drum sticks, cables, drum key as well as a power supply.
The Alesis Nitro, of course, has a chokeable crash and offers excellent value for your money. On the other hand, it comes with a little weak onboard drum kit.
3) Yamaha DTX402K Electronic Drum Set
The Yamaha DTX402K is a budget electronic drum kit that offers immersive stereo sound samples and great rubber pads. It features a 4-post stand that lets you practice and improves your performance. This drum kit, released in 2018, is a good option if you are looking for a budget electronic drum kit.
Although it is not as popular as those of Alesis’s new releases, this drum kit has garnered positive raves from its users. Compared to the earlier models of Yamaha, this one offers enhanced response and chokeable cymbals.
The Yamaha DTX402K comes with one 8″ snare pad (single zone), two 8″ rack tom pads (single-zone), one 8″ floor tom pad (single-zone), two 10″ cymbal pads, 10″ Hi-hat pad, hi-hat pedal, and a kick pedal.
It has a seemingly crappy look, but when you hear it performs, you’ll get to understand the reason why it is selling well. It may also be an excellent option for young players who are aching to learn electronic drum playing rudiments.
It doesn’t come with a mesh snare and kick pad, but its combo-gum of rubber pads with its kick pedal makes it a great option at such a price range. It comes with ten built-in training functions that you can access through the downloadable app (DTX402 Touch) and the module.
This Touch app lets you customize the drum kit and its sounds. It is easy to set up and sounds pretty good. One downside of buying this drum kit is its rubber pads. Moreover, it doesn’t come with a screen on its drum module.
4) Donner DED-200 Electric Drum Set Electronic Kit
The Donner DED-200 is an excellent choice if you are looking for a great sounding electric drum kit. It is equipped with features that you would more often only find in some more expensive kits. Such features include chokeable cymbals and all-mesh heads.
It got what you need to start playing an electronic drum set like the 8″ snare, an 8″ kick drum, three 8″ toms, 10″ hi-hat, 12″ ride, and 12″ crash, a hi-hat pedal, a kick pedal, pair of drum sticks, stands, and drum throne. It also comes with headphones to let you practice silently sans a PA system or speaker.
Donner DED-200 also comes with a drum module that features 225 sounds along with 30 demo songs, enough to jumpstart your learning to play this drum kit. The module also comes with headphones out and an aux.
You can hook your MP3 player or phone to this drum kit to let you play along with your tracks. It is easy to assemble and comes with a three-piece collapsible frame.
5) Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit
The Alesis Drums Turbo Mesh Kit is one of the most recommended entry-level kits you can find in the market today. This drum kit has also consistently garnered good raves from many experts, and it is not difficult to figure out why it has been that way.
The Turbo Mesh Kit is a remarkable improvement over the very popular Nitro Kit of Alesis with its improved mesh heads. Its mesh heads, of course, offer more realism compared to the previous one and comes with a quieter sound as well. It is also more responsive and exhibits a more immersive experience.
It is a seven-piece drum set with an 8″ mesh snare drum, three 9″ toms, three 10″ cymbals, and a hi-hat pedal and kick pedal. It also features ten classic and modern drum kits ready to play, thirty play-along tracks, and more than 100 curated sounds.
The Turbo Mesh Kit is known for being an excellent value for money kit. You will get enough satisfaction while playing this budget kit, priced just below three hundred dollars. One disadvantage of the use of the Turbo Mesh Kit is that it doesn’t allow for cymbals’ choking and its pads only have one zone.
The good thing about using an electronic drum kit is that it is virtually silent when you practice. Moreover, you can use it for many other applications wherein the acoustic drum set is not suitable to use. For example, you can use it in church facilities and still not produce overpowering drum sounds.
With the electronic drum kit, you can gain so much control of your drum outputs as compared to the acoustic drum set. Moreover, you don’t need drum microphones to make each component of the drum to sound. Plus, it is very portable as compared to the acoustic drum set.
However, electronic drum kits are not cheap, though you can find some entry-level electronic drum machines that are not that expensive, such as those mentioned above. These entry-level electronic drum kits come with basically everything you need to learn how to play the electronic drum kit.