No matter if you’re considering purchasing a beginner electronic drum set, looking for a nearly silent home practice kit to improve neighborly relations, or have a brand new electronic drum set in a box at home and aren’t sure where to begin, the prospect of setting up an electronic drum kit can seem intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be!
We’ve created a good number of e-kits over the years and are well-versed in the do’s, don’ts, and things to think about. Using our professional advice on how to set up an electronic drum set, as well as a few useful power user tips, you’ll be up and ready to start playing in no time….
1. What will you do with your e-kit once it arrives?
In order to properly install an electronic drum set, it’s essential to consider where you’ll be installing it. The sound of drumsticks hitting rubber or mesh pads, or the sound of bass drum pedals hammering through the floor may rapidly turn you into public enemy number one with family and neighbors, even if they’re quite quiet when compared to a full-on acoustic drum set.
In the event that you reside in a terraced or semi-detached home, try to avoid putting your equipment against the next walls. It’s one of the most straightforward and efficient methods of keeping the noise down, and you’ll be much less likely to annoy a few of your neighbors as a result.
Although it may be necessary, try to set up your equipment downstairs if at all feasible. Whenever we’re really into a song, we drummers tend to put a lot of power into our bass drum strike or hi-hat pedal stomp, and that sound can soon irritate those on the floor below you.
Don’t be concerned if you live in an apartment with neighbours just below you. Although it is not an ideal scenario, there are methods for keeping your sound levels to a bare minimum. By elevating your pedals off the floor and separating the sound that your pedals produce, devices like as Roland’s NE10 ‘Noise Eater,’ a platform with rubber feet, may assist to reduce the sound that your pedals produce. Even the German shop Thomann has created a whole pedestal for you to display your entire e-kit on. A simple rug placed under your equipment may also assist to reduce some of the vibrations.
As an alternative, we recommend that you face your fears and speak out to your neighbors. Nothing beats excellent neighborly relations when it comes to drummers, and being upfront about the fact that you’ve bought a drum set and negotiating some mutually acceptable playing windows may help keep things running well amongst neighbors.
Now, this may seem simple, but make certain that wherever you place your e-kit, it is in close proximity to a power source. It will need to be connected in and charged up before you can use it, so make sure you’re within easy reach of a power outlet and that you’re not straining your power source, which may cause it to malfunction. If your kit is going to be located at a distance from a power outlet, you may want to consider investing in a high-quality extension cable.
2. Make some room in your home for your electronic equipment.
Once you’ve decided on a room in the home, think about where you’d want to place your e-kit in that room. Compared to an acoustic kit, they don’t take up nearly as much space, but if you include in a few extras such as yourself sitting on a drum stool, a book on a music stand, and a stick bag on the floor, you’ll discover that the room fills up more faster than you’d expect.
Consider your physical size, as well as how you want to set up your drum kit – do you like your toms and cymbals to be a fair distance away from you, for example? We recommend that you overestimate your space requirements since it is always better to have more space than you need. It is not possible to maximize the playing experience if you attempt to pack your equipment into a tiny area.
Make sure you have as much room as possible when you get to the stage of really constructing your e-kit. Having a lot of space makes things a lot simpler since it allows you to spread out the components and keep everything organized. Even if you have a limited amount of space, you may construct it in a separate room or even outdoors – as long as it is kept dry. Even the most beginner-friendly electronic drum kits are intended to be lightweight and collapsible, and should easily pass through the doorway of your dedicated drum room.
3. Taking your equipment out of the box
The next step will be to unpack everything. It is one of the most common problems with e-kits that some of the components are interchangeable, so we suggest taking stock of everything and double-checking it against the instructions before proceeding. There’s nothing more frustrating than spending a long time putting something together just to discover that a component of it is missing.
The majority of kits will include all of the tools required for assembling them. Allen keys, tiny screwdrivers, or a drum key will most likely be among the tools you’ll need. As a drummer, a drum key is an excellent tool to have on hand at all times, so if your e-kit does not have one, we suggest purchasing two or three to supplement your collection. There is no such thing as having too many.
4. Construct the rack first.
When it comes to putting together your e-kit, we always recommend starting with the rack portion. Without it, you won’t be able to connect your cymbals, drum pads, or module to the rest of your kit’s components. Verify that all of the rack’s feet are completely level on the floor and that the rack is flat, even, and sturdy. This may be a time-consuming task, but it’s well worth the effort to do it properly the first time; you’ll be grateful to us in the long run.
The most important thing to remember in this situation is to always follow the directions; otherwise, you may get lost. We learnt the hard way a long time ago when a 45-minute kit construction took us 5 hours to complete. Because it’s so simple to put components in the wrong position, or upside down, putting your e-kit together incorrectly may have a significant effect on its overall playability. Because of the incorrect method you mount your drum or cymbal pads, you may transform a playable set into a muscle-straining disaster that will have a detrimental effect on your playing and development.
If you have a new drum set, it is essential not to overtighten the nuts and wing screws on the drums. In addition, since most connecting parts are made of plastic, applying excessive pressure to them increases the likelihood of their breaking or perishing. Make sure they’re tight enough to keep your outfit from falling apart, but don’t go overboard.
5. Attach the pads and position the pedals.
Once the rack is complete, you may begin putting the drum pads on it right away. We prefer to create a mock-up first to verify that everything is positioned exactly as we want it to be before moving further. The beauty of electronic drum kits is that you can modify and rearrange the components anytime you want, although this is a good starting point for most people. Continue to remove the cymbal pads for the time being, since it is much simpler to reach each screw, lug, and wingnut on the drum pads while the cymbals are not attached to the set.
So, how do you determine the optimal placement of your drum pads and pedals? Prepare to seat at the dining table by placing the snare drum pad between your legs and sitting on your drum stool with your legs together. If you’re a right-handed player, you should set up your kit in the opposite direction of where your feet normally land. If you’re a left-handed player, you should set up your gear in reverse of where your feet usually land. The beauty of putting up your own drum kit is that you can customize it to suit your needs – so don’t skimp on your comfort.
After that, you may start thinking about cymbal location and arrangement. Repeat the previous process with your cymbals, positioning them in comfortable places so that you are not reaching awkwardly to hit them, and you’ll be ready to begin. Keeping in mind that on an acoustic drum set, your hi-hat cymbals would be placed on a stand, with the hi-hat pedal being positioned immediately below each individual cymbal, it’s important to try to make things as authentic and consistent as possible while performing on both kinds of drum sets.
6. Connect the pads to the module and attach the module.
After that, you’ll need to attach your e-kit module to the rack and link everything together. Look through either the kit’s instructions or photos to see where the module should be installed – often to the left of the hi-hat, but some later Yamaha kits have the module installed to the right – and how it should be mounted. Typically, you will get an extra specialized bracket that will allow you to connect the module to the rack in a secure manner.
Take a hold of the cords that have been provided. The separate cables for each pad of certain beginning and intermediate electronic kits will come together in a cable “loom” or “snake,” where the individual cables for each pad will hook into a single DB25 connection on the rear of your module. A fantastic way to keep your e-kit wires clean and tidy, as well as a terrific way to speed up the setup process, is to use this method. More costly e-kits will feature individual cables for each pad and module connection, which will slow down the setup process but make adding additional pads and triggers much more convenient in the long run.
You should begin by attaching the main connection directly to the module, after which you can begin connecting your cymbals and drum pads. The cables will be labeled with terms such as ‘kick,”snare,’ and so on to make it easier for you to match the right cable to the correct pad. Please keep in mind that certain pads and cymbals on higher-end electronic drum kits may have several inputs, for example, separate bell, bow, and edge triggering on the ride cymbal, so make sure you’re plugged into the correct one before you start playing. However, even if it isn’t the end of the world, it may be very irritating when the sound you desire isn’t the sound you are really hearing (or when there is no sound at all!).
When it comes to your e-kit, you may wish to clean up the wires at this point if you’re anything like us and are obsessed with neatness. Even though some electronic kits include Velcro bands to keep your wires together, a little piece of black tape will do the job and you won’t even realize it’s there. Wrapping your wires around the tubing of your rack is also a useful technique – but be careful not to wrap them too tightly or you may harm your cords.
Is there anything more you require?
Almost there! Here are a few things to consider before you get started playing:
How to hear the sound coming from your e-kit
Due to the lack of in-built speakers on E-kits, you’ll either need some headphones for drummers or a high-quality PA speaker. My own experience tells me that acoustic guitar amplifiers may also be used to boost your electronic drums. These two amps, the Marshall AS50D and Blackstar Sonnet 120, are designed for acoustic guitar and vocals, but the rich sound they produce truly helps e-kits stand out. This is a plus since they’re less expensive than the majority of public address systems (PA systems). Personal electronic kit monitors are available from Roland and other manufacturers.
A set of drumsticks may seem self-evident, but they are an absolute need for every drummer. Some e-kits include free sticks, but if you plan to play often, it’s a good idea to get up a few extra high-quality pairs. We recommend that if you play both acoustic and electronic drums, you utilize the same sticks or buy two identical sets. Remember, we want an e-playing kit’s experience to be as close as feasible to an acoustic kit.
Electronic drum set sticks are available from a slew of firms, but we recommend avoiding them. If it’s not broken, don’t repair it, and a normal drumstick is just fine.
pedal for the bass drum
Many musicians are unprepared for bass drum pedals. They’re all similar in appearance and function, but the quality may vary greatly. Purchasing one for yourself or your electronic equipment should cost at least $/£50 if it doesn’t come with one. It’s much simpler to master skills when you have a pedal that feels firm and can be adjusted to your preference. The pedals may be used with either an acoustic or electronic kit, so you can switch between the two with ease.
If the subject of double-bass drum pedals comes up, have a look at them. For the heavy metal fan in your life (or for yourself), a double-bass pedal is the perfect accompaniment to their drumming. Due to the fact that it’s really two pedals linked together, they may be pricey.
Be cautious while selecting your pedals since some e-kits do not have large enough bass drum pads to suit two drummers. To ensure that most double pedals function properly, Roland’s TD-07 and TD1-DMK racks have a large bass drum pad. With just one central sensor in the bass drum pad of the Alesis Nitro Mesh, it’s not the best e-kit for double bass players.
Some e-kits come with a bass drum controller pedal instead of the usual bass drum pedal and pad combination, so you may use them with or without a bass drum pedal if you choose.
throne of the drums
It’s hard to top a decent drum throne, and it’s a lot more comfortable than using a non-adjustable chair or stool from the living room or dining room instead. Underrated, but investing in a good one now may spare you from years of back and hip pain in the future. Things may become ugly if you don’t have proper joint support (particularly in the lower back and pelvis), so even a modest investment pays off in the long term. If you’re looking for a comfortable throne, $/£50 is approximately right.
Start having fun with it now!
That’s all there is to it! It’s time to play with your new electronic drum equipment. Now that you’ve set up your drum throne, it’s time to start playing. Explore your module’s many sound effects. Play with metronomes, timing calculators, and other study aids to see what you can learn. Get Spotify on your smartphone, connect it, and start jamming! Drumming is ultimately about having a good time. While it’s true that keeping up with the band is beneficial, what good is it if you’re not having fun?