User Posts: Nick Cesarz
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Ah, yes. We all know about the holy grail of vocal microphones: the Neumann U87ai. It can be heard on thousands of recordings and is in every large studio in ...

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Looking for the best electronic drum set in your budget? We've rounded up the top models, suitable for both beginners and advanced players.

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Electronic drum sets are perfect for kids — they quiet, provide a fun experience, and are even good for the brain. Whether they're a toy in your ...

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The market for high-end electronic drum kits is largely dormant compared to the lower-end, where new kits from unknown manufacturers pop up daily. As it ...

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Electronic drum kits have come a long way since their inception. As a result, many pro and amateur drummers use them. Even those that aren’t traditional ...

Browsing All Comments By: Nick Cesarz
  1. Visitor Rating: 5 Stars

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  2. Yes, that’s going to be difficult, I’d imagine. Solos for 4.3 and 5-octave marimbas are far more common.

    I found a couple threads—you may have already found there, but: https://www.reddit.com/r/Marimba/comments/bvivue/looking_for_4_octave_marimba_solos/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/percussion/comments/gismzq/anyone_have_any_4_not_43_octave_marimba_solos/
    https://www.reddit.com/r/percussion/comments/emjuic/4_octave_marimba/

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  3. Hi Nick,

    If you like the feel of the mesh snare head, imagine those on the toms. I love having all mesh heads, but some people still like the feel of the rubber pads. It’s going to a somewhat similar (the size in particular), but I think the KVX is a major step-up from the older TD-9. Having the hi-hat on it’s own stand is a must for me. The module is impressive and features Bluetooth for playing along wirelessly (especially when most phones don’t feature a 3.5mm jack anymore).

    Regarding question 2, I would hang on to any pads, parts, the module, etc… and use them as additional pads if desired. For example, I have an SPD-SX that I use with two additional Roland pads. Often times you can add additional pads to Roland modules. The TD-17, for example, features two additional 1/4″ dual-trigger inputs, so in theory, you could add two dual-zone pads or four single-zoned pads. I’m not entirely sure it would work with four, as I haven’t tried that.

    If you want to sell it, you may need to tinker with it and try to fix it up to working order before selling it. Else, you’ll have to try to sell the pieces individually.

    The biggest downside to the TD-17, though, is the fact that it uses a sub-snake pin cable for the module inputs (the part that looks like an old computer input). You must be familiar with that having used the TD-9. If one cable in the snake goes bad, you have to replace the entire cable for all the pads.

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  4. Thanks for the feedback, Sid. I should dive back in and make this a little less confusing. I completely agree with you. But, the GK headphones are my favorite I’ve used. I did add them in later on, so I may have missed that point in regard to the EX29.

    I do like the Shure IEMs, but I agree they don’t have much low end. In a perfect world, drummers would use custom IEMs like UEs. I’ve replaced the cables on my Shure’s two or three times in six years, but I know UE cables can go bad fast, as well. It depends on the performer, their movement, and how they take care of their gear.

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  5. Hi Chris. I’m pretty positive that there is no difference between the KV and KV-S. I believe it’s the same kit.

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  6. Hi Luke,

    Ultimately it depends. If you want the most realistic hi-hat experience, go with the Roland. It’s really next level. The value you get with the Strata Prime is excellent, however. It’s a big kit and has some really great features. Tough call. If possible, I’d try to find a way to play these instruments first. My local Guitar Center has the Strata Prime on display right now, so that’s a place you could check if you have one nearby.

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  7. You need to be on firmware version 1.11 for the VH-14D to function properly. Outside of that, just connect the USB cable from the hi-hat to one of the digital inputs on the TD-27. You may need to run the calibration tool within the module.

    More info: https://support.roland.com/hc/en-us/articles/4464842093979-TD-27KV-VH-14D-compatibility-and-setup-information

    Hope that helps!

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  8. I did a little looking around, and DrumDial has timpani tuning charts, so that might be an option: https://www.drumdial.com/how-to-use/timpani-tuning-charts/

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  9. Hi Liz,

    I don’t have any experience tuning timpani, even the kind with pedals. I’ve only played timpani while using pedals to adjust pitch, never actually tuned them myself (at university, our professor was skilled in this regard). I think Tune Bot would work if it would attach to the rim properly.

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  10. I failed to answer your question though! I haven’t had experience with the newer Vic Firth bluetooth headphones. They looks good, though. The ability to plug-in still is nice. I think they’d be small on my head.

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  11. My head is rather large, so I do feel that when using A LOT of isolation headphones. I tend to use in-ear monitors more often. Bluetooth delay shouldn’t be a problem, unless you were trying to stream mics from your kit to your wireless headphones. If you’re just listening to music through them and playing along, that should be no problem.

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  12. Hi Patrick. Both EZ Drummer 3 and Superior Drummer 3 have a standalone mode, so you don’t need to use a DAW. However, you will need a DAW for more advanced recording features. But for just playing they will work great.

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  13. Hi, are you using a laptop for the backing tracks or just the unit itself?

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  14. I think this is possible, but I haven’t tried something like this with it.

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  15. Hi Lucas,

    This might be something that Izotope RX10 could handle, but I don’t have much experience in audio cleanup.

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  16. Hi Pat,

    The book there is called “Beat Easy Rock “N” Roll Drum Method by Thomas Christie. The book was published in 1966, so it might be difficult to find a copy.

    Thomas Christie's Beat Easy Rock n Roll Drum Method

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  17. Hi Dave,

    Check out That Sound, Circle Drum Samples, Drumshotz, Double Cream Drums, and Cult Drum Sounds. These all are samples, not instrument-based.

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  18. Hi Rich,

    The Beyerdynamic will let in a lot more noise than the Vic Firth. I don’t recommend those unless you’re playing electronic drums or if you want to hear external room sound. The GK Ultraphones are quite good. You may want to consider in-ear monitors, instead. Drumeo’s earPhones are a good pick.

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  19. Hi Ken,

    If you mean similar to a rubber practice pad, the pads on the PD705 are a bit harder, you get less rebound. As far as compared to the Lekato, I’m fairly certain they’re the exact same. Hope that helps!

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  20. I think you’ll be fine, but I don’t think the module can display a mirrored version of the kit. Alesis should add a left-handed mode.

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  21. To my knowledge, there is no way to record to an external device. The USB cable only sends MIDI information, not audio. The easiest way to record the Nitro Max outputs would be to pick up a cheap 2 channel audio interface, like the Presonus AudioBox or Behringer U-Phoria and then take two instrument cables from the main out into the audio interface to a computer with a digital audio workstation, like GarageBand, Logic, Cubase, Ableton, etc.

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  22. I can’t confirm 100%, but they feel like the same material as the Nitro Mesh, only white colored.

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  23. Yes, Superior Drummer 3 or EZ Drummer 3 work great with the Nitro.

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  24. I think it could work, but realistically, it’s very small. So it may not be quite as fun and a bit cramped. But it would 100% work!

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  25. Hi Albert,

    If budget allows, I always say go Roland. I’ve had the best experience with them overall. The Titan 50 vs the Alesis Nitro, like I talk about in the article, is also a toss-up. Lots of people like the sounds on the Titan and vice versa. If I were you, I’d scope out local music stores that sell used instruments (or new even) and see if you can play them in person.

    If my budget was anything less than Roland’s TD-27KV2 electronic drum set, I would most likely go with either the Alesis Nitro or Simmons Titan and then use a laptop with EZ Drummer 3 for better sounds. The Titan drum module does have a lot better sounds than the Alesis IMO.

    Unfortunately, the new Roland TD-27KV2 is really expensive now. The other issue you run into with these more budget-friendly e-kits is their size. They feel really small when compared to traditional acoustic kits. Also, the lack of a regular hi-hat stand does lead to a feeling of being disconnected from the kit in a way, and the response from these types of hi-hat pedals is sub-par. They do a great job for what they are, but can misfire if not opened precisely in time when hitting the hi-hat pad.

    As far as finding a TD4 or TD11… if you can find a TD11 in good shape, it may be a winner for you. The hi-hat pedal sold with those kits is incredible. I used that exact pedal many years on the road with my SPD-SX for triggering samples. Never once had an issue. If it’s a TD-11KV, you’ll get mesh pads, which you’ll definitely want. I’m fairly certain the TD-11 module took a lot of samples from the TD-30 module, and I remember that module being extremely popular with lots of drummers. Roland’s samples haven’t improved too much with their latest modules, so I think the TD11 would be the best sounding of the bunch straight off the board. The ride cymbal pad is bigger; always a plus.

    Hope that helps!

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  26. Drum triggers theoretically should work flawlessly with either. But I don’t have any experience with drum triggers to give an accurate opinion (yet).

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  27. ALSO, I forgot to mention with the Ludwig Breakbeats: that drum set is JUST a shell pack, so you have to purchase cymbals, stands, throne, kick pedal, sticks separately! Your local drum shop/music store may be able to work out a nice package deal with a shell pack if you consider this.

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  28. Ludwig is a fantastic drum brand—they’re definitely one of the top drum makers when talking high-end drum sets. The Accent and the Roadshow are pretty comparable in terms of what you get and the build quality. Between these two, it’s really going to come down to look. Since he’s 12, you may want to check out this other list of recommendations of drums for begginers: https://drumspy.wpenginepowered.com/best-beginner-drum-set/. I recommend a kit called the Ludwig Breakbeats which is a killer sounding affordable kit (my video review: https://youtu.be/eVPhNqY9SNc).

    Back the other kits:

    This video shows Jim Riley from Rascal Flatts playing the Ludwig Accent: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbERvaC-KhY

    And in contrast. here’s a demo of the Roadshow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mOPdkeu7rio

    Both are going to be great values, but as Jim suggests, you’ll want to stuff a pillow inside the bass drum to mute it a little bit so it’s not so ringy.

    Finally one other brand to consider if you want to spend a bit more (since he seems serious about drumming) is Mapex. The Venus line is great quality, has better metal hardware. https://imp.i114863.net/c/1444535/789347/11319?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.sweetwater.com%2Fstore%2Fdetail%2FVE5294FTCVI–mapex-venus-5-piece-rock-complete-drum-set-blue-sky-sparkle

    The next thing your little drummer will want is another crash cymbal, so keep that in mind! Ha. Sorry for the long response! Good luck. Let me know if you have any other questions and you can always email me at nick@drumspy.wpenginepowered.com.

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  29. Hey Archie,

    Can you provide the exact model UltraLink splitter? I will look into it.

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  30. 100% correct Rev. Chris elaborates further a few paragraphs down:

    “I gave it a go (EZ Drummer) and instantly saw drum libraries in a very different light. These samples sounded highly realistic. They also were a lot more open and crisp than the DAW samples I’d used before (and some of these were already very good, by the way). “

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  31. Triggers should work fantastic with these mesh heads. I haven’t used triggers like the ddrum ones before, so I’m pretty unfamiliar with them. Reading that sentence back, it’s poorly worded. I will update the article. If you’re curious, here’s 66Samus testing triggers with the Evans dB One practice heads: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1935030773356455

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  32. I would get on Facebook and join some local musician’s groups. I see posts all the time asking for people to play in bands, usually locally. But that’s a good place to start out. Craigslist is another option under the Musicians section.

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  33. Thanks for the kind words! I think for your son, drums will be perfect! I was similar. Drumming gave me confidence and helped me break out of my shell. At school, people thought it was really cool that I played the drums. Something you may want to pick up is a practice pad. You can get one on Amazon or at your local music store for around $25. This way, he can still practice while taking drum lessons before getting a snare drum.

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  34. Both EZDrummer 3 and Superior Drummer 3 have a standalone mode, though it’s been a while since I’ve used them in that capacity without a DAW. I know you can play in standalone mode, but I’m unsure if you can record and export to an audio file. If you’re looking to play along to music and record, I think you will for sure need DAW software. Reaper is really affordable and popular among a lot of people, but I like Ableton and Cubase the most. They have entry-level versions that would easily get the job done.

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  35. Thanks for the comment, Bobby. Rock on!

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  36. Mark, thank you for your constructive comment. If you actually read the first paragraph, you’d see that this list has no order.

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  37. You’re 100% correct. I’ve added Jeff in! What a legend he was, RIP.

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  38. Hey Geno. The Turbo Mesh is probably going to be too small, and learning with a foot pedal kick isn’t as ideal as learning with a traditional kick drum pad and real pedal. I’d save a little for either the Alesis Surge or Roland’s TD-1MK.

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  39. Hi James! Wow, I wonder what club we were playing at in Des Moines! Not a problem. And that’s fantastic that C&C was able to rework your Ludwig kit. Just goes to show you that custom shops always one-up the big guys! Thanks for the comment. Maybe if we tour again in the future we’ll meet again.

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  40. Whoops, had a typo there! I meant to put 3.5’x5′ (in feet). Depending how far you sit from the kit will also determine how much space you’ll need. Thanks for the comment!

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  41. Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the nice comment and question! Yes I do like Addictive Drums a lot, though in the past few months, I’ve switched to liking the sounds/workflow of SD3 more. When I had the Strike Pro, Addictive Drums 2 didn’t work well with the module. The hi-hat wasn’t recognized by the software for some reason. Probably a mapping issue. On the other hand, Superior Drummer 3 has tons of preset MIDI mappings for various e drum kits, and the Strike Pro is one. You may run into an issue with BFD if it’s anything similar to what happened to me with Addictive Drums. It’s also been three years since I tested the Strike kit with drum software, so maybe firmware updates have addressed this problem.

    In terms of the Strike Pro vs the TD-50KV2, I really love the triggering of Roland. That module is fantastic—just a shame they didn’t include Bluetooth.

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  42. For ease of use and decent sounds, I would just get EZ Drummer 3. There’s a lot of good additional sound packs you can get if you’re not happy with the stock sounds (which, IMO are great already).

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  43. Hi Sherry. I assume you are talking about this kit here: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/RSJRC708–pearl-roadshow-jr-5-piece-complete-drum-set-with-cymbals-grindstone-sparkle

    For your 7-year-old, I think it would be a perfect pick. The regular Roadshow most likely will be a bit too big. There’s an image posted in the reviews on Sweetwater that shows a younger child playing that exact drum set, so that might give you an idea. The shell sounds are great, but they cymbals will be a little lacking. That shouldn’t matter though, for someone just starting to learn how to play. Hope this is helpful!

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  44. Yes, the expansion will plug in to the existing module you already have.

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  45. And yes, ALL drummers regardless of skill will 100% benefit from Drumeo’s free and paid content.

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  46. Hi Stu,

    Melodics is cool, but doesn’t even come close to how all-encompassing Drumeo is in terms of drumming education and content online. I’ve got a review of Drumeo here if you want to check it out: https://drumspy.wpenginepowered.com/drumeo-review/

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  47. Hi Adam, thanks for the comment. It’s true it is outdated now, and fortunately, Roland has just released the new SPD-SX Pro. I haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, but it looks very promising. Another option would be the Alesis Strike Mutipad.

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  48. Hey there. I haven’t had much experience with Millenium. I don’t believe they sell to dealers in the United States. Have you played their kits before? I’d be curious to know your experience!

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  49. Thank you for bringing this to our attention. The link now goes over to the official GUDA store.

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  50. I haven’t owned any myself, but I’ve always loved their sound. Definitely pricey! The 24″ Istanbul Agop Traditional Dark Ride would be a dream ride to own. Big, dark, and washy.

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  51. Depending on the inputs of the amp, this may be possible. If it’s not, you’ll need to use a small mixing board with the amp.

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  52. Welcome back! You definitely can change the sound of one of the crash cymbals to be an open hi-hat. Most drum modules are capable of this. With some setups, you might even be able to add an additional hi-hat, but you might need to be on the Roland TD-50 module to achieve this.

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  53. You’re correct! I feel if you’re going to go Roland at the price range of the TD-07, you’ll get more out of the TD-17 in the long run, both for resale value and upgrades. It’s still a great option, IMO. For beginners on a budget, I’d suggest searching out a used TD-6 or going with Alesis.

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  54. Pork Pie definitely deserves a spot on the list! Thanks for the tip. Also, thanks for letting me know about those misspellings. I gotta fix that!

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  55. When I had it setup, it was approximately 4ft by 2ft. And when you collapse the stand with some of the pads still on the rack, it gets even smaller, so you can easily fit it in a closet.

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  56. 3 times! 2008, 2010, and 2013. It was life-changing I agree!

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  57. Hi Luke!

    I haven’t used any iOS/Android apps for music notation specifically, but you could try Notation Pad, Flat: Music Score & Tab Editor, or Symphony Pro. Zero experience on my end with these, but I just looked up ‘music notation app’ on Google to see what was out there.

    I’ve used the Flat desktop version and have liked it (I think there’s a free version IIRC).

    Hope that helps!
    Nick

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  58. THIS! I hope I mentioned this in the article. It’s super important to use the plastic side of the kick beater on mesh pads. Thanks for the comment Jeff!

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  59. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. It’s a shame that it’s no longer in use.

    I don’t know of any courses that are specifically taught by female drummers. That said, Drumeo has lots of female coaches available to learn from on their platform including Domino Santantonio, Dorothea Taylor, Hannah Welton, Sharon Ransom, Julia Geaman, Samantha Landa, and Taylor Gordon.

    I’ve got some more info about on it if you want to check out my review of Drumeo.

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  60. Hey Matt,

    Recently I’ve been loving Superior Drummer 3 and all the expansions they have to offer. It’s a big expensive, though. That said, it’s really great for rock drums.

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  61. It is totally possible to use four electronic drum pads with a software library. It will be a pain to setup, but it would work. You could use Ableton Live, or a similar program, to run the VST software and change tunings when needed.

    I haven’t heard of a 4 or more pad set that has timpani pre-programmed in. Some pads, like the SPD-SX, have timpani samples, but usually are only C and F IIRC.

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  62. Thanks, Jamie!

    First off, the X32 does work as an audio interface. That said, it’s pretty finicky. I can’t recall if you’re limited on the use of the X32 while using it in USB mode. Actually, I’m pretty sure you lose some outputs (8 if I’m not mistaken).

    I can’t say for sure without testing myself, but I think you’re still going to want some sort of playback solution, like the Playaudio 12.

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  63. I did! It’s not perfect, but definitely works. The problem is, all the kits are varying sizes. When you go to load up a different kit, sometimes the cymbals will be off. But it’s quick to fix.

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  64. Oh, yikes! I should remove that from the list immediately if that’s the case. Sorry about that. Maybe they were hacked or something.

    I think Ableton Live can run video and backing tracks at the same time, but to be honest, I’ve never used video in that regard before.

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  65. Possibly, but you’ll need to use the Aux in on the Strike Module and the left/right output of the Turbo Mesh module. The other option is to get a USB MIDI host, like the midiplus, and then use traditional MIDI cables to connect to the Strike Pro module.

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  66. HI Quentin. You’ll want to use Direct Monitoring. There should be a setting in the Scarlett settings. The only issue—you won’t be able to use your DAW effects with your headphones. If you want to use your DAW still, you can try lowering the buffer on the interface to get lower latency. More: https://support.focusrite.com/hc/en-gb/articles/360006972599-Direct-Monitoring-on-the-Scarlett-4i4-3rd-Gen

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  67. I haven’t any experiences with those devices myself, but they look like they might be able to get the job done.

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  68. Hey David. I can’t remember the exact model, but they are made by Cooperman! They make excellent sticks for concert percussion. They are either the Fastick or Mike Rosen model.

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  69. That’s good news! At least they are all intact. The knob near the cable port handles sensitivity, if I remember correctly. Here’s a video that demonstrates: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-o7Ush2dSE

    I could never settle on a setting I liked, so I ended up leaving it at the default position. As far as exertion goes, you should be able to play pretty hard on the kit without worrying. Of course, I have a hard time doing so, as well. Electronic kits just feel a little more delicate than their acoustic counterparts.

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  70. Hey Roven!

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my review! I am glad you are enjoying the kit and getting to practice more often. Always a plus.

    It’s too bad you’re having an issue with your snare drum. Have you opened it up to take a look yet? My guess is that it is those rubber cylinders giving you issue.

    I would try to identify what kind of adhesive they used during manufacturing and use something similar to re-apply any of them that have fallen off the plate. Super glue or maybe a hot-glue gun, though, I would worry about the heat potentially.

    I went ahead and searched online for replacement parts for the Strike Pro, but unfortunately, no one seems to be selling them. It might be good to pick up a few extra rubber cylinders just in case one of them tears during the repair process.

    You may have to contact Alesis directly and see what they can do. I remember hearing about someone who contacted Alesis and they just sent them a brand new snare.

    Hope that helps!
    Nick

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  71. Hi Michael,

    The best option for your scenario is to use Moises.ai. The website’s algorithm is able to separate most elements of music including vocals, keys, bass, and drums. It might not give you a “perfect” result, but you may be able to use it in a production setting. Once you either upload or paste your song link and wait for it to process, you can download the drums isolated. Hope that helps!

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  72. That is true. I think another part of this, not sure if I mentioned it, was the fact that a lot of these small clubs didn’t have much space to strike two additional kits back stage.

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  73. Totally your own preference! I love Pearl’s shells. They make great drums. Over the years, I’ve just preferred Yamaha and DW’s hardware over Pearl’s.

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  74. Hey Jon! Are you using a DAW to record your drums? There’s a couple options you have.

    1) Play along with the song via CD, iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, etc… After your drum recording is finished, you can then import the song file into your recording software and sync it up in post.

    2) Record the song via Spotify, iTunes, etc… on the way in to your DAW. This way you won’t have to line up the song later on in post. You can use a 3.5mm to 1/4″ stereo cable for this type of application, but you’ll need additional inputs on your mixer or interface.

    3) The best way, IMO, is to use a service like Moises.ai (and I should probably go back and add this to the article). Moises is an AI service that splits up the elements of a recording, allowing you to remove the drums. You can paste any public audio link (YouTube, Soundcloud, etc) into the software and it will generate mp3 files of the bass, vocals, drums, guitar, all separated. Bring these tracks into your DAW and get to recording your cover!

    Also, one tip: when I’ve made covers in the past, I record a count off first, so that if a song starts abruptly with drumming on the first note, I won’t come in late.

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  75. Hey Jeff! Using the Vic Firth headphones, or any can-style isolation headphones, I like to wear them slightly off of my left or right ear, so I can let some of the room sound into the headphones. I just offset one of the cans off my ear a little bit on my head. That’s probably the easiest solution. It’s tough to pick a set of headphones that would work good, since drums are so loud, that they overpower most regular headphones that don’t isolate.

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  76. Hi Samantha,

    Are you working within a DAW? You’re not able to see different MIDI notes from the rim and the pad itself?

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  77. Hey Tim, thanks for the comment.

    I suppose it depends on what kind of music you’re making. For example, Addictive Drums 2 offers some really good rock libraries—some of which that were recorded at Fairfax Recordings, which used to be Sound City, where Nirvana did ‘Nevermind.’ So with something like that you can get more of a Foo Fighters, raw drum sound. They also have a lot of great drum packs for alternative (United Pop) and indie pop stuff. If that’s your route, get the Addictive Drums 2 Custom pack—they’ll let you pick the libraries you want. Else, Superior is good for all around, Drumforge and GetGood Drums are incredible for heavier music.

    As far as buying a pad with sounds built in, I’d suggest staying away. Native Instruments makes Maschine. While the libraries themselves are great and diverse, it’s made more for pop production, like hip-hop and trap IMO. Aside from the included sounds (Komplete 12 lite), the hardware on Maschine is pretty awesome, though the DAW functionality wasn’t the best when I last used it. Oh, and with Maschine, the sounds aren’t loaded on the device itself. They still run inside of Logic. I haven’t seen too many hardware drum samplers these days.

    You could probably get away with getting something like the Akai MPD218 and using virtual drum plugins for sounds. Actually, there’s a pretty good free VST you can use for sounds called MT Power Drum Kit that’s pretty beefy.

    I’d grab a MIDI pad controller, like the Akai, and snag up some free trials to try out some sounds before committing to a library!

    Hopefully this helps. Hit me back with a reply if you need!

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  78. Hi Chera! That’s a great point—I don’t know if I mentioned student snare drums! I actually started with just a snare drum myself—took it on the school bus with its included backpack.

    Before you drop money on a drum, you could check out your local music store. If they offer drum lessons, they may have an instrument rental program where you can rent a snare drum, mute, stand, and backpack. That’s what my parents did when I was nine before getting me a drum set.

    As far as good options go, this Mapex snare drum is a great option if your son is 100% committed to learning how to play drums. It’s a great quality instrument and includes sticks, a mute for quiet playing, stand, and backpack case. You’ll need to buy a drum key for tuning, as it doesn’t appear to be included. But the snare itself will be great—he’ll be able to use it with a full drum set in the future.

    If you want to go more budget-friendly, this ADM student snare is similar, though the brand is not reputable in the drum world, so beware. I can’t comment on whether or not it would be a good choice.

    Hope that helps!

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  79. Good question. Maybe I should call up Mr. Slate.

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  80. Hi Ella,

    Thanks for the comment. This is common among e-drum modules. There usually is a way adjust the output level, but on the Turbo Mesh, this is not a possibility.

    What kind of headphones are you using? Certain headphones have different impedance levels which can affect the volume output of the module.

    Other users have recommended the Vic Firth Isolation headphones, but I wouldn’t go that route myself for electronic drums, honestly. They’re a little too bulky for a kit that doesn’t require sound isolation. I like my Audio Technica ATH-M50x pair, but they’re a little expensive.

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  81. Oh, and it does look like Guitar Center and Amazon carry these cheaper, but appears they are the non-bluetooth version. It may be a brand-new product.

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  82. Hi Damon,

    That’s a great question. I haven’t seen too many bluetooth isolation headphones that are good for drumming, but I did find one pair. The Metrophones Studio Kans might be a good option. They’re special order from Sweetwater, but have no reviews. I haven’t had any experience with them, but they do say they offer 29dB of reduction, which is better than Vic Firth’s wired headphones.

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  83. Out of the box, I feel the TD27’s samples are far superior to Alesis. Also, the build quality of Roland’s e-drums is better IMO. The hi-hats on Alesis kits are notoriously bad, as was my case with the original Strike kit.

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  84. Premiere does have a bit of a learning curve, but since it’s so utilized, there’s tons of beginner tutorials on YouTube on how to use it. I like it myself, but I originally started on Sony Vegas.

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  85. Hi Sam! This should be no problem, assuming I understand what you’re saying. I think you can achieve this simply by using two USB cables (one from the TD17 and one from the SPD-SX going both going to computer) and then make sure you set the correct MIDI inputs for both the drum brain and the pad within your DAW.

    For triggering kit sounds in your DAW, I assume you’re using something like EZ Drummer? To trigger sounds for your pad, you’ll need a drum sampler—something like Battery or the built-in Ableton drum rack comes to mind. Here’s a free sampler VST https://bedroomproducersblog.com/2016/12/23/grooove-bpb/

    I haven’t used that plugin, but it looks like it would load samples and be able to trigger them.

    Let me know if that helps, and if I missed the idea here, hit me back!

    Nick

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  86. Hi Val! Thanks for the kind words! Unfortunately, there’s no easy solution when using only stereo out. You’ll have to pre-mix the pads, as there’s no way to change levels once the audio passes through the stereo out. The work-arounds are as follows, but aren’t totally useful:

    1) Record each pad individually with your DAW and create separate tracks.
    2) Record the MIDI performance and feed the MIDI back to your pad, recording each separately (using a USB cable).
    3) Record MIDI into your DAW and use a drum sampler like Battery (using a USB cable).

    Hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions or if I missed your intent.

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  87. Hey Rich! Awesome to hear it.

    There’s really two ways you can connect your DTX to Pro Tools: via MIDI USB or recording the LR output of the DTX with a DI box. Recording the LR output will give you access to the sounds included with the Yamaha DTX.

    Recording the MIDI USB information allows you to use software/samples for additional sounds.

    I’m curious to what you mean… “hear them as separate tracks.” Are you trying to separate each of the pads and then mix them independently later on? Unfortunately, there’s no simple solution, since the DTX only gives us a stereo output. There is a work around, and I’ll explain it further if this is what you’re talking about!

    Cheers

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  88. Awesome! Thanks for the tip! Are you talking about https://spd-sx-editor.com/? If not, do you have a link I can add to the article?

    I haven’t tried any third party software yet!

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  89. Yikes, that’s no good! I’ve had that happen before, a long time ago. I can’t quite recall what the culprit was, though. Which video app are you using? You could try using a different one to see if you get the same results. If you do, then you can eliminate that from the checklist.

    Another option is it’s possible that your GoPro is shooting at too high of a setting for your editor to handle (for example if you were shooting in 4K). Maybe try bumping the settings down.

    One other issue is that it’s possible the audio “sounds” synced up at the beginning, but is just off by enough that by the end of the song, it de-syncs. Try to zoom in real close on the editor to see if it’s spot on.

    Hope that helps!

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  90. Hey Greg. I’ve had this problem in the past before, as well. Sometimes it can be difficult to setup a monitor mix that is loud enough if you’re just monitoring on the way in. The Scarlett most likely won’t be a fix to this issue.

    You could try some pre-processing inside your DAW and monitoring from there. Else, something I can’t recommend more, is getting a pair of GK Ultraphones. They have insane isolation and sound incredible. I can’t imagine tracking drums without them after trying them out.

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  91. Thanks Paul! Appreciate the kind feedback. And yes, that PhonicMind website does work really well!

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  92. Thanks for the feedback on your new kit, David. I like my ATH-M50x headphones, but they’re not really noise cancelling. If you want to really reduce external noise, check out the GK Ultraphones—they’re incredible sounding.

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  93. Hey Steve! To keep it as simple as possible, just take the audio from the D3 Pro. You don’t need to get a separate microphone—I think that will complicate the process. If you want to do multiple microphones, you may want to go the traditional route with external mics, like kick, snare, and two overhead microphones.

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  94. Hey Malcom. Thanks for the comment. I can’t say for certain, as I haven’t noticed a problem ever myself, but if you can go for a better interface, it’s probably worth it. I mention the Focusrite 18i20 most times when suggesting to drummers looking to record themselves, but it does have some limitations. As you mentioned, you can only turn 48V on as a group. It is one of the more affordable options, especially considering most drummers need to pick up lights, a GoPro, and microphones.

    Regarding having issues with using dynamic mics with phantom power enabled, I can refer you here to an article that tells the story WAY better than I can. 🙂

    https://www.soundonsound.com/sound-advice/q-phantom-power-on-dynamics

    I’ve always loved the MOTU gear I’ve owned in the past (specifically the 8pre and the 828 mkII). If you have a little more available in your budget, I wouldn’t hesitate getting one again.

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  95. I can’t say for sure—it does make a little plastic-like noise when you hit certain pads, but it doesn’t seem like anything that will be a problem over time. Maybe fragile wasn’t the best way to put it. It’s not too noticeable, really. I was just being super particular when I tested it out. I’m going to open it up at some point and take photos of the inside as well, so I can send you those if you’d be interested.

    Looks like it will be available at Amazon shortly here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B086GF3N7Y/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=drummingreview1-20&linkId=fd7b5138a018246ceed723c3a4f34b70&language=en_US

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  96. Regarding the setup of lights: I like to have two in the front angled towards the kit, and one in the back serving as a backlight. Look up three-point lighting. I follow that technique for videos. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three-point_lighting

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  97. If you can get three of those Neewer 480s for that price, that might be a great option. I don’t have too much experience with different lighting options, outside what I have purchased in the past. You may have to take a shot in the dark and hope for the best! I really do like the combination I currently have with the Elgato Key Light with the two Neewer lights; I’m no pro at video, rather a seasoned amateur. 🙂

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  98. Yes, that is going to be very tricky! In a complicated setup like that, you may want to go to a more advanced setup using a Macbook with Ableton. You can create complex set lists with ease, and they’re super easy to re-order. Aside from that, I haven’t messed with the chaining of kits in quite sometime, since I started using Ableton in my set up.

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  99. The cables are loomed together and connect to the Alesis module with a pin connector, so you’d need to get new cables (which wouldn’t be too big of a deal, really). I haven’t tested the pads with other modules, but I would think it would work.

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  100. Thanks for the info, Scott! I actually used to have an OffWorld practice pad back in college (2008ish, I think maybe have been an Invader, actually!). I’m happy you reminded me about them… Will have to go back in and add a little blurb about their pads!

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  101. Hi Adler. Thanks for the nice words! The front posts of the rack measure to be about 25 inches (63.5 cm) long and the side rails measure about 29 inches (74 cm) long. So if you can measure a square out with those numbers, you should get some idea of how much space you’ll need for when the kit is set up.

    You probably want to give yourself a bit of a buffer around each side, so you can get around the kit if need be (plus space for a drum throne to sit on). You can fold the side rails into the middle and adjust the pads out of the way for storage, but it’s a little tedious to do. You should be able to get it down to around 25″ x 16″ (63 x 41 cm) for storage (approximately).

    Also, since the knobs are plastic, it might be a good idea to store the kit in its setup position, reducing strain and wear on the hardware. I can’t say that they are prone to breaking over time, but I like to err on the safe side.

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  102. Hey Anthony. Yes, you can use a USB cable to connect to your computer where you can record MIDI in your DAW. I don’t know if there’s a way for the MIDI to show up on separate channels, as when I’ve done this in the past, they record to one channel. From here, I split them up in Cubase. You most likely can, just have to setup all the MIDI channels correctly in the DAW prior to recording.

    The Alesis Turbo Mesh user guide states it explicitly:

    “In the case of the Turbo Drum Module, you can connect its USB port to a USB port on your
    computer with a standard USB cable (sold separately). All MIDI messages will travel to and
    from your computer over this connection.”

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  103. But if you want even more isolation, I recommend trying a pair of in ear monitors, like the Shure SE425s.

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  104. Rob,

    I actually mentioned this point when I talked about my pair of Direct Sound headphones. They don’t isolate as much as I’d like and I end up hearing more of the kit than I’d like. In fact, a lot of the headphones on this list will have some level of bleed and you’ll still hear frequencies from your kit. Out of all the headphones on the list, the one pair the isolates the most and sounds the best, is the GK Ultraphones. After a while of wearing them, they are a bit fatiguing (they clamp down a little tight), but there’s really no better choice available.

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  105. Can you share a specific example from a YouTube clip with a timestamp so I can hear the effect you’re talking of?

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  106. Kidphones are great! The only downside being—you can’t listen to music with them. But, if that’s not a big deal, then go for those! I suggest getting them immediately, though, as you’re right, protecting hearing is a huge deal!

    BUT, a workaround would be to use Apple Airpods (or any other type of earbuds) first, before putting the Kidphones on. So, basically he would wear them underneath the Kidsphones. Aside from that, I don’t have much experience with headphones for younger kids.

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  107. The struggle is real, I feel you! One of the most annoying parts of doing drum covers is getting the song audio into your DAW (I should have elaborated more on this). Using the SoundFlower driver for your audio in/out, you should be able to record the song as it plays (from Apple Music on your computer) inside of Logic Pro. It’s an extra step, but this is one way I do it when I don’t have the audio file handy. I haven’t done it before with Apple Music, but with Spotify.

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  108. Hi Kevin,

    You can do either. The Turbo Mesh features a headphone jack and a stereo output for connecting to a speaker. I’d suggest using headphones—much simpler of a setup and less you’ll have to spend. Cheers!

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  109. You can somewhat get an idea here: https://youtu.be/OYp0DIzp1Tg?t=450
    It’s a smaller electronic drum kit.

    Vous pouvez vous faire une idée ici. C’est un kit de batterie électronique plus petit.

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  110. I’m not sure if this is the one you’re talking about, but this is the SD201-1 on Catch: https://www.catch.com.au/product/8-piece-electric-electronic-drum-kit-mesh-drums-set-pad-stool-for-kids-adults-5710407/

    It looks like they don’t sell the one I reviewed in this article on Catch. Maybe it’s only available in the US—just as the SD201-1 isn’t available for me here. That said, it looks nearly identical with the only upgrade being the mesh kick tower.

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  111. Hi Josh! I haven’t had any experience with the kit you mentioned, but it does appear to have the exact same drum module. When I played around with it, I didn’t find any real “coaching” function on the HXW, aside from a metronome and performance recorder. It tracks how well you play to a metronome, but it’s just a visual cue—there isn’t any kind of scoring system or anything I could see that would improve your playing.

    Alesis on the other hand—the Nitro includes 60 play-along tracks, a metronome, and a performance recorder to help develop timing. Both kits have similar learning functions, but the additional play-along tracks is a nice feature. One other thing, the Nitro comes with 40 free drum lessons from Melodics.

    The app connects to the kit via USB and works with a phone, tablet, or laptop. You can use the HXW kit with Melodics, but you won’t get the 40 free lessons.

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  112. Brian, sorry to hear about this. I really appreciate you sharing the info with us and others who read this page! I hope they get them to you soon!

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  113. Yes, as the sensor on the drum module still captures the velocity range 1-127. EZ Drummer, Addictive Drums 2, SSD, BFD3, all would work great—though it is a bit more of a setup.

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  114. Mike, thanks for much for informing me. This is a mistake. I will correct it!

    Cheers.

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  115. Hi,

    I suppose it somewhat depends on what you’d like to do. Mixers are easier to use and often don’t require a computer. You could use a mixer if you’re just looking to hear your miked drums with in-ear monitors or headphones.

    A lot of mixers also have a built-in audio interface (soundcard as you refer to it). In my experience, I’ve always liked using standard audio interfaces more — especially the Focusrite 18i20. For the price, you can’t beat it. I also own UAD and MOTU stuff (too expensive).

    I should also mention, I’m mainly talking home recording for drummers who want to record themselves. There’s a LOT better options out there once you cross the $2k-3k mark in terms of recording interfaces, but at that point you’re better off going to a professional studio.

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  116. The article title isn’t “best marimba solos for junior and senior recitals.” It’s aimed at picking solos for auditioning as an undergraduate. Not everyone auditioning has a strong background in four-mallet percussion. I wouldn’t list Merlin or Ultimatum I here; I also didn’t write this piece, rather a contributor did who is currently at university studying percussion having just auditioned and was recently accepted the past year.

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  117. Hi Sasha, thanks for the comment.

    I think it is possible to use backing tracks without in-ear monitors, but it will be much more difficult. You’ll need to use regular wedge monitors and probably won’t be able to use a click track to stay on the track. If you do, the audience will hear the beeping coming through your wedge monitor.

    If you have a backing track that uses a lot of percussion or drums, that could be one way to do it.

    Another option — if you don’t have in-ear monitors, I think you could get away with it by using headphones. Let me know if you have any other questions. Maybe we can come up with a solution that works, but need some more information!

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  118. SSD5? BFD3?

    Look, I have no axe to grind here. These are just ones I like and enjoy. I’m happy to include others when I get the time.

    Enlighten me.

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  119. Yes, that would work perfectly.

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  120. Hey Nikolett,

    I’m not sure if they’re still taking orders on the Indiegogo page, but it’s located here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/pocketdrum-the-most-portable-drum-set-ever

    It looks like the the only “starter” one left is the one for $169, you can see it as a perk on the right sidebar. As as shipping, I have no idea; I’m not connected to them whatsoever, so I can’t really help you here.

    Hope that helps!
    Nick

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  121. Hey Morten,

    I’d have to dig in a little further to recreate that exact scenario, but I think it’s completely possible by MIDI mapping locators. Here’s a video showing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxUTILjXfw8

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  122. Hi Doug,

    I know that it is possible to control Garage Band, and other drum instrument apps with the camera connection kit, but I am unaware of any lesson apps that interface with an electronic drum kit (maybe they’re out there).

    Standard lesson apps that are decent are Drum School, Teach Yourself Drums, and Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer.

    That said, if you want to skip the iPad for now, Alesis does recommend using a new software called Melodics to learn the drums. It’s a really cool software that connects to the electronic kit (need a computer to use).

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  123. In my time using tracks (prior to switching to an ADAT system with the X32 consoles which uses just one ethernet cable for all signals), I used a rack of DIs, but I myself may have been misinformed in needing DI boxes. It’s quite possible it may be redundant, but I was always worried there would be some ground loop or issues with noise at FOH, so I always was safe.

    Here’s the snake Eric talks about in the video: https://www.amazon.com/Seismic-Audio-SAXT-8x10M-Channel-Snake/dp/B0053HEHTU/ref=sr_1_5?keywords=8+channel+trs+to+xlr+snake&qid=1560513035&s=gateway&sr=8-5

    Thanks for bringing this to the table — I’m going to update the article to omit the inclusion of a DI rack.

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  124. Hey Jared! Drumtoolz is an awesome app! Just downloaded it and messed around for a few minutes. Will definitely add it to the list! Cheers.

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  125. Yes. I am able to listen to YouTube, Spotify, my library, drumless tracks, loops, etc… while playing along with my setup.

    The 18i20 uses Focusrite Control (software that comes with) that you’ll adjust levels with.

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  126. Hey Joe,

    Glad Sweetwater was of aid to helping you pick!

    Regarding the varying recording software, The 18i20 comes bundled with Pro Tools | First and Ableton Live Lite. Lots of recording studios still use Pro Tools, so I don’t think this would be a bad place to start.

    There definitely is a learning curve, so be aware (you’ll be on YouTube for a while learning, I’m afraid). I like Cubase, myself, but all digital audio workstations get the job done and it’s subjective. There is no difference in audio quality between the differing software. It’s all about the source you record, the microphones, and sometimes the microphone preamps (last 5% of the sound IMO). Fresh heads, a decent room, and some good mics will get you 95% of the way to a good drum recording.

    Hope that helps!
    Nick

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  127. Hey Jim, thanks!

    I would most likely run the kick and overhead microphones directly into the audio interface and then, from there, manipulate the sound within the computer. That being said, give it a shot! Try recording through the amplifier head to see what kind of results you get!

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
    Nick

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  128. Hey Stephen,

    Thanks for the nice words! I suppose I’d start with a few questions:

    — Do you have any gear already for the setup?
    — How do you hear yourselves live? IE: stage monitors at venue, in ear monitors?

    For a master setlist that includes all 60 songs, I think that can be done with Ableton Live. I’ve never reached that high in my Ableton sets, but I know you can program unlimited scenes (according to Ableton’s website). Bear in mind, if you buy the Intro version, you’re limited to only eight scenes (or eight songs in a set).

    For calling up songs on request, it’s tricky. You could make separate genre-specific Ableton sets you load up when someone requests a song not currently in your live set. For example, one might be 70s hits, 80s hits, 2000s, etc. Obviously, the only downfall here, is you have to load a new set when this occurs.

    The other question — how many separate instrument tracks will you have per song? (ie: bass, guitars, percussion, vocals, etc). The more tracks you introduce will affect your RAM in a large set list and it will be prone to skipping. I like to keep them separate (not mixed down together) so I can adjust volume levels if needed.

    I would go simple — Ableton Live running on MacBook ⇒ Audio Interface ⇒ Stereo DI Box ⇒ House Mixing/Monitor Board

    For the audio interface you pick, there’s too many options out there. I like the stuff from MOTU, but also have used UAD, Focusrite, Presonus, and others. If you want to save money, you could try the Scarlett 2i2, but I don’t know if I would trust it to be reliable. I’m using it on my desktop as I write this, and sometimes it crackles.

    The PlayAUDIO12 is an audio interface designed exactly for backing tracks, though I have no direct experience using it.

    For DI box, I like my ProD2 2-channel from Radial.

    Let me know if you have questions. I can even help you make the Ableton set if you need.

    Oh, and if you are buying gear, I couldn’t suggest anywhere else than Sweetwater.

    Cheers,

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  129. Hi Peter,

    Yes, it’s completely possible to make backing tracks without an audio interface. To create the backing tracks themselves, you’ll need to have files from the recording studio. The engineer usually can give them to you if you ask.

    To play them live, you’ll need to set up tracks that have both the click track (on one of the channels) and the backing tracks on the other. To use them live, you’ll have to use your phone or an old iPod, mp3 player, etc with a left/right splitter and a DI box. It’s a little complicated, but it is the most affordable setup to start with.

    Let me know if you have any questions — totally can help on this one! I can help you make the split tracks too, if you need.

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  130. Yes! You will have control over each of the eight channels. Despite my negative view, I think StudioOne is a perfect option. In fact, I bet a lot of their newer products are much better than my FireStudio that never liked to work. I just had negative experience years back.

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  131. Hey Will! Yeah, getting that single overhead microphone out of the way can be a little difficult.

    I picked up a Pro Line boom stand (similar to this one) and it’s really allowed for flexibility as to where my mic(s) are above me.

    I’m using a stereo bar and two OH mics, but you can easily just use one mic with a stand like this.

    It’s a little overkill, being that it’s pretty large, but if you have the room for it, a stand like this could work.

    As far as placement, I try to center the mics between the kick and snare to capture the entire kit.
    Overhead Mic Front
    Overhead Mic Side

    Using a stand like this also would allow you to raise your mic over your head far further than a standard mic stand would.

    Hope that works! Let me know if I can help further.

    Cheers

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  132. Hey Steve,

    Sorry you’ve had a poor experience. From what I understand, the best option for replacement mesh heads is to contact the Alesis parts department directly.

    The support forum over at https://getsatisfaction.com/alesis is very active in responding to users, but they suggest contacting support directly.

    You can either call +1 (401) 658-5760 (+44 (0) 1252 896040 for UK) or email parts@inmusicbrands.com.

    There are also companies like Pintech that sell replacement heads for e-kits, but I’m unaware if any of them fit properly.

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  133. Hi Pablo! Thanks for the nice words. 🙂

    It’s sure a shame that the dock module app is discontinued. I think this may render the Dock useless unless it can transfer information to other apps.

    First, I’d start off by trying Garage Band.

    If your kit can send MIDI information to this app, you might be able to play drum kits included with Garage Band. If not, you may need to pick up the iRig MIDI 2. iConnect also makes something similar.

    This device converts the MIDI out signal to something your iPad will understand. I haven’t used the iRig MIDI 2 before, but it seems like it would be the perfect solution to the issue. I think you may be able to use other apps too, depending on how the connections line up. Unfortunately, MIDI is a trial and error game, at least from my experience.

    Let me know if this helps! Cheers!

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  134. Hi Katerina,
    If you’re able to find a used DTX 450K in solid condition at a great price, it’s a no-brainer. Used e-kits are tough to come by, and often times, they are in bad shape. Many have been abused. That being said, I don’t see a price mentioned in your comment.

    When referring to what the kit lacks, I’m looking to entry-level models from Alesis (like the Surge and Nitro), as even they have mesh heads at a fraction of the cost.

    Let me know if you have any other questions. Hope this helps!
    Nick

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  135. Aaron, thanks for the reply! So much insightful information there! Regarding the inclusion of the app shown in the featured image, I completely forgot to add in some words about it! I took the photo, updated the image, and never came back to the article. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. Have you tried any other tuning apps? I’ve only tried DRUMTune Pro, but I see there is also iDrumTuner. I’m going to pit them against each other to see which is better. I only have an iOS device, so I don’t have access to the Google Play store.

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  136. Hi Dan,

    I hope you found the article somewhat helpful! I’m a little curious as to know how you stumbled upon it? It seems to be one of my most popular posts.. appreciate any insight.

    Regarding your question though, the best way to go about doing this is to use a click track alongside pre-programmed automation within Ableton Live. The routing would look as follows:

    Vocal Microphone -> Audio Interface -> Ableton Live -> Front of House (Audio Interface Out)

    In the session, you’ll need a cue track (or a backing track) that helps keep you on pace with the effects.

    The effects will trigger using the chain selector and manual automation of the “guide track.” I’m working on making a video demonstrating this that will be super easy to follow along with. Do you have a way I can send it to you?

    Cheers!

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  137. Phil, the Questlove kit is an excellent choice. I don’t think he would have put his name on it if he didn’t approve. Depending on how tall your six-year-old is will ultimately determine your choice between the Questlove kit and the Pearl Roadshow.

    I personally like the Roadshow a little more because you get bigger shells and a “more authentic” drum set experience. Either way, you can’t go wrong to be honest.

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  138. Ted,

    Thanks so much for the kind words. I’m glad the guide was helpful in you deciding. Which drum kit did you end up going with if you don’t mind me asking?

    Cheers! Good luck with the noise. 🙂

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  139. Freddy was a gift to the drumming world. I couldn’t agree more with what you said. Well put, Rick!

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  140. Completely agree! That piece was by far one of the biggest challenges when I was learning how to play. I was never close to playing it perfectly but had fun every time.

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  141. Hi Paulo! Thanks for commenting. I think DrumKnee is an awesome app! The bass drum functionality is great! Cheers!

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  142. Hi Peter. Thanks for dropping a comment.

    I think the pads are pretty much on-par with Roland’s SPD-SX and Octopad. They are a much-needed upgrade when compared to the Samplepad Pro.

    If you have doubts though, nothing beats taking a trip to a local music store and trying one out for yourself. Most Guitar Center’s are carrying the MultiPad now. Cheers!

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  143. Thanks, Ben!

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  144. Hi Eddy,

    Sorry to hear about your issues. It is a shame. I appreciate you informing us, and everyone else who reads about your problem! Cheers.

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  145. Otis! Thanks so much for the insightful comment!

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  146. Steve,
    You’re not late to the party; this is a game changer. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. The PlayAudio12 simplifies the workflow entirely, and it’s much more affordable. I wish I had heard of this prior!

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  147. 1) When you hand off the 25′ FOH tails do they need to unhook/re-patch cables that are already connected into the stage box/stage split that goes to FOH?

    Sometimes, yes. Usually, when the club keeps vocal mics, drum microphones, etc, patched at all times they will have to pull these. If your snake is labeled well, they should have no problem patching you in.

    From my experience, most clubs don’t leave things patched from the previous night, but if they do, it’s their responsibility to help out.

    2) Does your rack mounted splitter snake also split the signal into direct and isolated?

    No, this is one of the drawbacks. I’ve never been in a scenario where it has been an issue, though.

    3) When you talk about the benefits of the X32 compact is that when you guys have your own FOH engineer running your sound for the show?

    Yes, the only time we have used the Compact is when we’ve brought our own engineer. It would just be too complicated to try to explain the setup the night of to a house engineer.

    4) Our latest direction with the IEM rig is using the X32 rack mixer along with the Behringer S32 and maybe ditching the ART S8 splitters.

    The S32 route could work great! The only downside is having to exclusively use an iPad for FOH mixing?

    5) The thought here is showing up at the venue and plugging the existing FOH stage XLR cables that are already run on the stage into the S32 output-side and then run our own supplied XLR cable to the X32 mixer and having both connected through the CAT5 Ethernet cable

    Yeah, this seems like it would be a great setup. I’ve always talked about the S16 or S32, just never picked one up.

    6) When you get to the venue do you supply all the cables that run into your snake input. Or do you use the venues cables from the vocal mics, amps and drums, etc and run all of those to your input snake.

    We bring all our own cables, microphones, and stands. Over the last five years, we’ve managed to pick up everything we needed.

    7) Do you guys as a band run all those physically to your snake input, then run each signal thru the x32 and then hand the tails for the foh to plug into their stage box?

    Yep, everything on stage (vocal microphone, drum mics, guitar mic, keyboard lines) hits the CBI splitter snake first. The 6′ set of tails remains patched into the X32 Rack at all times. I only have to uncoil the other 25′ tails and give them to the engineer working.

    8) Do you ever have to unplug the cables first from their FOH stage box and then run that end to your snake input/box?

    In my experience, I haven’t had to. Telling the engineer working upon arrival that your band uses an IEM system with tails usually is fine. Most people working at clubs are used to these setups now and have ways to accommodate.

    Happy to help, Terry!

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  148. Thanks, Terry! I’ll do my best to address the questions you have. This is going to be a little long, so grab some coffee haha.

    Work-flow is definitely dependent on each venue. Some night’s it’s as easy as leaving the IEM rack next to my kit and running the 25′ FOH tails to the house split, which is usually situated at the left or right of the stage at their monitor console. This is pretty much the case with all shows we’ve done, as having that 25′ really helps out.

    At larger venues, we have had to use sub-snakes when our IEM rack had to be further away from the band. We’ve only had this issue at outdoor amphitheaters and arenas during radio or festival shows.

    I have made the mistake at these larger shows telling the engineers working we were completely self-contained when we actually weren’t (we needed a sub-snake to get to the monitor desk, which is why it’s smart to bring one to be safe). The engineers weren’t too pleased but did accommodate to make the show happen. The key is just to be prepared to the best of your ability.

    Regarding the S8, I’ve also seen many bands using it to split their microphone signals. It seems like it would work just fine! I don’t have any experience with it personally.

    What I like about a splitter snake is in its name: snake. From my understanding, the S8 would require the use of an additional XLR snake that presumably could stay patched in the back of the rack. I think it’s pretty much the same idea, just a little different of a setup. The S8 does give you the option of a pad and a ground lift. Anything we’ve needed this application for has already been achieved at a DI box or microphone (keyboards, drum pads, overheads, tracks, etc). Depending on the size of your input list, you might need more than just one S8 unit, given that it’s only eight channels.

    The splitter snake we use now is a CBI 32 channel Earsplitter with 6′ and 25′ tails. It’s rack-mounted, so we don’t have to worry about someone stepping on it. The 6′ tail stays coiled up and connected to the back of the X32 rack, while the 25′ tails go to the monitor desk. Workflow is simple as rolling the rack on the stage, grabbing the 25′ tails, and plugging in 1-24 to the house split. The house engineer should have our stage plot and be able to understand all of our channels right away (and I say should because sometimes they never get it).

    By owning the X32 Compact with the X32 Rack, I don’t even touch the tails now. One CAT5 cable runs from the back of the X32 Rack to the X32 Compact (usually run above the stage). This is a gamechanger, as my responsibility now relies on just patching the microphones to the front of the rack.

    Regarding the process differing with five bands on the bill? Yes, I think it would a little bit. If you’re showing up as an opening act with a super intricate setup, no one will likely be happy. I would keep it simple depending on what stage you’re at. Using a splitter snake is probably your best bet. If you are opening, it’s probably wise to cut down on as many unnecessary inputs as possible (reduce stereo inputs from keyboards and tracks to mono, drop overheads, etc). Many times, the headlining act’s engineer won’t be open to repatching their lines. This only applies if they are using the house FOH console. If the headliner brings their own console, like we have in the past, you should have no problems.

    Be sure to have a very detailed, but simple, input list. One piece of software we used to make our is StagePlotPro. It’s kind of outdated now but will get the job done. There’s also a newer iOS app called StagePlot Guru, but I haven’t a clue if it works well.

    Prior to the show, get in contact with the venue and the other bands to get a feel for the situation you’re going into. I can’t stress this enough.

    Prior to national tours, it’s common for the headlining band or their manager to send an email chain with all the engineers and other bands CC’d trying to come to an agreement on how to make it all work. If you’re a guest on a tour, do your best to accommodate them. Things like sharing drums, cabinets, etc… are very common as you probably already know.

    Hopefully this helps! I’m happy to talk more if you’d like.
    Nick

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  149. Thanks for the response Guillermo! Couldn’t agree more!

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  150. Hi Tato,

    I haven’t heard of this issue myself, but I did see on Alesis’s FAQ they mention trying to update the firmware to the most recent version. Have you tried that?

    The only other thing I can think of is that the power you are using isn’t “clean.” This is a pretty contentious topic and is one that I am not completely knowledgable on. See this forum thread from gearslutz: https://www.gearslutz.com/board/high-end/412613-clean-power-myth.html

    You can try using different power sources to try an isolate the problem. If that isn’t it, I would suggest contacting Alesis support directly.

    I wish you luck!

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  151. Thanks, this looks fantastic! I haven’t heard of it yet, but I’d love to add it to the article if it’s as easy as it looks.

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  152. Thanks for the input, Michael. I’m glad you haven’t had any issue with mallet dampening. I hope it was just a random fluke! I will be sure to update the article to reflect your experience to provide a more accurate look at the EM1.

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  153. Absolutely. Thanks for the comment, Mike. This is actually what I do with my band, though setting this up is a little trickier.

    In my Ableton sessions I have group channels of Synths, Bass, Aux Percussion, and Harmonies that are all split out to different outputs. The X32 receives these different inputs on the back via ADAT. This is honestly the best system to have in place since it gives the FOH engineer total control of the mix, rather a pre-mixed bounce of everything.

    The basic setup is:
    Ableton Live -> Macbook Pro -> MOTU 828mk3 (outputs via ADAT) -> X32 Rack (in-ears) -> X32 Console (AES50).

    The wonderful thing about this setup is you don’t need an XLR splitter or additional DI boxes for track inputs.
    In a perfect world, we’d have two Macbook Pros with a Radial switcher in case one went down.

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  154. Hello Michael,

    It does seem like Alesis is phasing out the SamplePad Pro, but I’m not totally sure. The newer pad is awesome, but the price is much steeper. If I were you, I’d try to find one now. Before long, used will be your only bet.

    I had bad experiences buying an SPD-S years back. It was totally faulty. Be careful if you explore this option.

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  155. Thank you, Tony! I just saw your comment now. Appreciate the kinds words.

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  156. Thanks for reading, Jim.

    I don’t actually believe this is possible. I think your idea here is a little ahead of its time. Sampling via bluetooth would be great, but the Alesis Strike Multipad does not have this kind of capability.

    An alternate suggestion?

    Well, first, for samples, I highly suggest checking out Splice. From there, either drop your .wav files on a thumbdrive or connect your drum pad to your computer and transfer the audio files over. I actually don’t think using your smartphone would actually be easier anyways.

    Cheers!
    Nick

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  157. Yep!

    This is totally possible. I haven’t done it personally because we haven’t had the need. If you have sections of a song that need to vamp or need to jump back to a certain section with ease, this is doable.

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  158. Hey there,

    I’d love to chat a bit more about LotusDrum and potentially add you to our list. Can you drop me an email to nick@drumspy.wpenginepowered.com? Thanks!

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  159. Hi Logan. Sorry about the delay in responding! Would love to chat more about Idiopan. Can you drop me an email to nick@drumspy.wpenginepowered.com? Thanks!

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  160. Hi Jed!

    This is a very simple setup, and can be achieved at a relatively inexpensive cost. I would grab a Shure Beta 52 for the kick and an Shure SM137 for a mono overhead microphone.

    This kick mic is standard for live use, but the overhead is definitely “budget” level. You really can pick whichever mic your budget level determines. I’m currently using Shure KSM137s for my overheads when I play live, but these aren’t that cheap.

    For the mixer, I recommend getting a small Behringer mixer with at least four inputs. The Xenyx Q1202 comes to mind. With this, you’ll be able to take a stereo mix from the monitor engineer, as well as add a click/anything you wouldn’t send to the front of house engineer. If you just need a monitor mix, you can get a mixer with just two XLR inputs. (Adding a click is also possible with just TRS inputs, which are the smaller 1/4” sized jacks on the mixer)

    The mixer should sit next to your drums/instrument and you’ll plug into the headphone input, assuming you already have in ear monitors. In the past I’ve actually used a wooden table with a snare drum stand to hold my mixer, similar to a trap table.

    When you’re soundchecking, you’ll have to specify to the monitor engineer that you need a line for your in ears and how loud you want each microphone and instrument.

    Hopefully that helps, let me know if you have more questions!

    Nick

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  161. Thanks David. Do you mind sharing where you pre-ordered from? I have noticed that both Guitar Center, Steve Weiss, and Sweetwater have them arriving soon. On the Guitar Center website, it says the EM1 will be in stock tomorrow. But they have changed that date multiple times since April of this year. The EM1 is also not available on Amazon yet.

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  162. Paul. Thanks for reading. You absolutely can multitrack with the 18i20. It’s probably the best bet for both value and versatility. Eight channels are plenty for doing kick, snare, toms, overheads, and rooms even. Depending of course on how many drums and microphones you have. 🙂

    Another benefit to the 18i20 is the ADAT input/output on the back of the unit. You can buy another eight-channel preamp, like a second 18i20, connect 1 optical ADAT cable, and get a total of 16 separate microphone inputs.

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  163. This can be tough! Are there any music venues near you where you can go and meet local musicians?

    I heard about this online software a few years back called jammr. Essentially it’s live streaming jams with musicians from all around the world: https://jammr.net/

    Thanks for commenting.

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  164. Hi Sala. Making your own drums can be expensive. A 5.5×14 8 ply raw snare drum shell is about $70 on the website below. What confuses me is that this is a comment on our drum rug article. It leads me to believe that this is just comment spam, as you didn’t read the article. Have a good day.

    https://www.drumfactorydirect.com

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