5 Ways to add more pads to your e-drumkit

A typical electronic drummers disease is the urge to add more and more pads or cymbals. The problem is that many modules have a restricted number of pad inputs. But there are still some ways to expand your kit.

1. Rolands Percussion Set

Some Roland Modules like TD-9, 12, 20 and 30 have a MIDI Input together with a Percussion Set. So it is possible to connect an additional trigger module like the Alesis Trigger IO, the Roland TMC-6 or let’s say a TD-4 via MIDI cable. This way it is possible to connect a lot more pads, both stereo and mono. The secondary module has to be set to MIDI Channel 11, this is not possible on older modules like the Roland TD-3.

The Percussion set is basically an instrument selection which can be modified independently from the main sounds of your main module. All main module instruments can be assigned and triggered through the secondary module. This is the best way to extend a Roland kit, but sadly not possible with Roland TD-11, 15 and 25.

2. Drum Splitters

As some modules do not have a percussion set, they can be extended with the help of drum splitters. This could be a cable or a box which splits the 2 zones of a stereo pad into 2 mono pads. The drum splitter is not a normal splitter cable. It has to have a built in 100Kohm resistor to be able to work. Many Roland sets have 2 zones (head and rim) on almost every part. And who needs the rim click on a tom? So the rim can be used as an additional cymbal for example. Both, the tom and the cymbal are mono triggers after splitting. That means there is no choke function available for the cymbal pad and it is also not possible to hit both split pads at the same time, because the module recognizes this as a rim shot. A lot of adjustments have to be made in the module too. It is a nice and cheap solution to add extra pads, but still a compromise.

3. Set into Set

Almost every e-drum module has a stereo input for MP3-Players. Connect the headphone out of the second drum with the MP3 input of the parent module. This works with all kinds of normal e-drum modules (not with TMC-6). You could end up with different module sounds if you don’t use identical modules.

4. The MIDI Mate 2

If you are using a drum software like Addictive Drummer, EZdrummer or Superior Drummer and trigger their sounds through your PC, it is possible to connect 2 modules via MIDI cable with your PC. The MIDI Mate 2 has a USB cable on one side and 2 MIDI cables on the other side. This interface recognises if you want to use the 2 MIDI ends as in- or output. Every e-drum module (even the newer ones) has at least a MIDI out. You can connect 2 modules to the MIDI Mate and trigger the preferred drum software through one cable. This guy is using a MIDI Mate 2 with two TD-12’s. This is one of my favourite solutions, as it makes it possible to use every e-drum module.

5. EZdrummer2

Ezdrummer2 allows you to connect 2 modules simultaneously via an interface or directly. In this picture I have connected a TD-30 via direct USB and a TD-20X via MIDI Cable that is wired to a Tascam MIDI interface, that is connected to the Mac via USB cable. The Module drivers and interface drivers have to be installed and that’s it.

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96 Replies to “5 Ways to add more pads to your e-drumkit”

    • That is a really good question, as the TM-2 has a MIDI in. I checked the manual and it doesn’t say anything about an integrated percussion set. I doubt this is possible.

  1. Great article, and exactly what I was looking for. Currently have a TD-4, but was looking to pickup a TD-9 and sell off the TD-4. I thought the TD-9 would have more than 2 extra triggers, which sadly it doesn’t. I am going to mess around with trying to combine the two using via MIDI cable. My ‘compact kit’ is suddenly not looking like it will be so ‘compact’ . ?

          • I’m sort of lost with the percussion set you mention. I have the td4. I want more triggers. I did read that someone used a 3 and a 4 together for more triggers. Remember I am not using the sounds in either brain. I use AD2. Am I still out of luck? If I am, tell me what to get that will work. I want at least 4 more triggers, minimum.

  2. I use a splitcable on m TD9 kit module. (With EZD2)
    Head = crash 1
    Rim = crash 2.
    When I hit the snare and crash 2 at the same time, the crash does not sound.
    When I hit the kick and crash 2 at the same time, the crash does sound..!
    Is there a wrong parametersetting on the snare ?

  3. I just bought a td11 to extend my edrum (td9). I just saw that it is not possible to connect both with a midi câble. Is that really true? I mean if i usé the td9 as the main module i should be okay? I hate it when companies mess with us like that.


  4. Hello,
    I have a question.
    Is it possible to combine two voices in one pad?
    I mean that after hitting the snare I had also a sound tambourine.
    Something like a group.
    I play TD9

    • Yes, if you use the EZdrummer sound and the module sound at the same time. You basically connect your pc audio and module audio to a mixer and combine 2 sounds at the same time.

        • Help!
          I connected my TD10 to my TD 20 via midi, thus to expand my drum kit.
          When I program expanded pads from the TD 10 it effects the ones on the TD20. What do I need to do to stop this from happening?
          Thank you in advance for any help you can give.

          • Up grading from a TD-10 module to a TD-30, I am keeping the old pads and cables. The pads are the PD 100 and PD 120 will these work with the TD-30 module?, please advise

            Thank you

  5. Hi there,
    This is a great thread. I have just bought a Roland SPD-8 drum pad and was wondering what input I can use to play it though my Roland TD-3 Module. Is it just the Right and Left (mono) outputs into the module? I also have an audio Box to connect to computer if thats any help. It hasn’t arrived yet Im just a bit excited ha.

    • The TD-3 has a Midi input, but I don’t know if it makes sense to trigger TD-3 sounds through the SPD-8. I would connect the audio output of the SPD to the audio input of the TD-3. So you keep the good sounds of the SPD and don’t just use the midi signals.

  6. I can’t believe Roland didn’t include a Midi In on the TD-15 like the way the earlier mid-level TD-9 has. Is there a way to connect a Midi device like the TMC-6 to the TD-15 thru it’s computer usb input?

  7. Is there a good tutorial to get up to speed on the different modules, midi, and programs such as Active Drummer? I would love to breathed some new life into my TD4.

  8. Anyone know where to get a midimate 2 cable online? Everyone seems to be out of stock, and I’m still waiting on a reply from esi on whether they still make the cable anymore. Let me know if you’ve got the hook up!

  9. Will the splitter cable work to add another tom and cymbal using the spare trigger input on my td25kv? Thanks in advance Bob

  10. I have a td11kv and a roland tmc-6 and want to use them together. Any suggestions how i can do it?
    Also have a laptop with superior drummer and thoughts of buying a better soundcard like roland ua-55(?) and maybe a midimate 2 if it will help..
    Sorry for poor english! 🙂

    • Hi Markus, you need to install a driver for the Midimate2 and SD2 should recognise the midi mate. First, make sure the TD-11 triggers SD2. Then setup the TMC-6 in a way that it sends out other midi notes than already used by the TD-11. The Midimate is your sound interface. Check my TMC-6 video and for setup details regarding the Midimate, contact a YouTuber named “Fakesmilerevolution”. He is using a similar setup and you can reach him best via Facebook.

  11. i have the td11. i have the opportunity to get my hands on an alesis dm5. i am assuming that i can feed the td11 into the midi in and still use all the functions on the td11, such as coaching, and leading in my mp3 player into the td11 since i see the dm5 does not have the capability of the audio in for the mp3 player feature.

    also, would it be true that any drum module that had ‘midi in’ can be used as a slave module for the rd11?

    btw – thanks for the awesome thread! this is the most informative thread i was able to find as far as trying to expand my kit.

    • Thanks for your post:) The TD-11 cannot have a slave module, since it has only a midi out, but not a midi in. Only the TD-9, 12, 20, 30 and 50 can have a slave module.

  12. Hi.
    I have a td3. I am not using the module for sounds. I am only using it to trigger steven slate sounds via midi through my rme ufx interface.
    I do want to expand my inputs. I have found another td3 kit for sale. Can I use these 2 together?? Possibly having 18 inputs?? I would really only want an additional 4 to add to the original 9 triggers.
    Can i run the 2nd td3 midi out to the 1st midi in to trigger more cymbals, and have the 1st td3 to run the main kit?? Or do I need this midi mate unit?? Or is using 2 td3s a no go??
    So for all the questions. It’s all a little confusing to me 🙁

  13. I have a td11 and bought a td 4 and a small mixer, both used on ebay. I was originally going to go with the splitters, which is an awesome idea, but i was concerned with the limitations. At this point, I’ve already added a tom and cymbal and i just ordered 3 toms and 2 more cymbals. Worry free additions while still keeping dual trigger capabilities. I would just caution those looking into this option to bare in mind, you have to program the toms to match sounds as close as you can between both modules. This was my eventual plan down the road but i was impressed with the $$ i saved going with used ebay. As long as you find a solid seller (most of which are music stores anyway).

    • I do the same, 95% of my drum kit contains used components. I have only bought some rack parts and Noise Eaters new. Otherwise I would not be able to afford such a nice drum kit.

  14. I’m not sure if this is the same thing as the midimate or not. I can’t seem to find that cord anywhere currently. But I did find the esi m4uxt, which looks like you can plug the outs from your modules into the Ins of the box, and do an out from the box to the computer or interface. Please help me verify this if you can. Unless you’ve got a cheaper/similar alternative to the midimate cable…

  15. Hi ^_^ I’m having td 4 kp with 1 mesh can I upgrade my module to td 11 or td 15 pll help asap….thanks u helped me making my own mesh bro..:)^_^:P:D

  16. Can you add another hi hat to a TD-50? I have a VH-11 and VH-13 and I was hoping to move one of them to the right side of the kit. Thanks.

  17. I have a TD11 and an Alesis Trigger IO with three additional pads and a cymbal.
    Both are directly connected via USB to my laptop where I run EZDrummer.

    In such a scenario, there’s no need to play with Midimate or make a master/slave configuration with drum modules etc.
    Things work fine as long as both devices send their signals on the same MIDI channel, and you assign MIDI notes properly (with respect to the needs of EZDrummer), making sure you have no overlapping notes

  18. Can you make video on 1st one please! I have td 4 and one new td 9 i wanna combine them………. can i use these both with midi on pc ….. help please marc…thankyou..

  19. Hi there,

    So, in case i missed a comment : Just got a TD 30, new to e-drums and just had only 1 week to tinker. It came with 3xpd100, 2x pd125, 2x PD-8, KD120 kick ,vh11 and 4 cymbals. i bought an extra cy15, triggera china and PDX128S. 2 x BT1’s and a Cy-14 on the way too.I wanna split a couple of channels and have ordered drum splitters. With this TMC-6 will i still be able to deal with this? In short, how many ‘instruments’ can the TD and TMC deal with in total?

    • The TMC-6 give you 6 more cymbal inputs or (1 dual + 5 mono). I would get rid of the drumsplitters and use the TMC-6. If 6 more inputs are not enough, get an Alesis Trigger IO or even a TD-12 as slave module.

  20. Hey there! I was wondering why you couldn’t or can’t rather, connect any additional module to the td-11,15,25? I was hoping to add a td-6 to the td-11 via midi so I could use the td-6 sounds through the td-11… this is not possible?

  21. Up grading from a TD-10 module to a TD-30, I am keeping the old pads and cables. The pads are the PD 100 and PD 120 will these work with the TD-30 module?, please advise

    Thank you

  22. Hi everyone.
    I just got the Neil Peart drum kit samples from Sonic reality, does anyone know how I can load these samples onto the roland TD30 module?. I would like to add these to the module to eliminate useing a computer or lap top. I would appreciate any advice, thank you in advance.


    • You cannot load samples onto a TD-30. I assume you talk about setting packs. Check for an instruction on the page where you got them from or check the User Manual. If you buy my sample pack for TD-30, you will get access to a video that shows the process in detail.

      • Thank you Marcel.
        According to Sonic Reality, in order to use the Neil Peart drum samples I must buy the BFD 2/3 software and go through a computer. Similar to ez- drummer, can I down load these drum samples to a flash drive and load them on to my TD-30?. The TD-30 has a USB port to load other samples to the module, any help would be appreciated.
        Thanks for responding Marcel.

  23. Hi All,
    I am looking for a custom assembled electric drum kit for home practice with Windows PC. I would like to have more toms (5-6) and bouble kick drum.
    So I do not need a very expensive drum module since I will connect to a PC with a VST software. However because of the increased trigger I would like to combine two cheaper modules and connect them to the PC with Midimate.
    I am thinking about Alesis Forge because of low price.
    Or can you recommend something else, please?
    Thank you in advance!

  24. Hello i have purchased 2 drum splitters for use on a TD30 but Im really struggling and wondered if you can help.
    Im trying to trigger the head from Tom 3 and use the rim to trigger a splash cymbal, the splash cymbal triggers perfectly , however the head sound from Tom 3 also triggers the splash sound 95% of the the time and ocasionaly the Tom sound, I been through the sheet provided with the splitters and I cannot stop the splash (rim sound) triggering on the tom (head sound).
    I was thinking it could be the miss match of pads so I split toms 3 & 4 (both PD128’s set to PD 125) however I still get the rim sound of Tom 3 playing most of the time on Tom 4 regardless of where I set either the sensitivity or threshold, I cannot find a “Rimshot adjust” within the advanced settings on the TD30 there is a XStick threshold bit this is not adjustable on the toms. I get this with both the splitters I purchased.
    Can anyone see from this where I’m going wrong and shed some light on this for me please.

    • The splitters are more of a compromise, they never work as good as normal triggers connected to inputs. I would consider a slave module if I was you.

  25. hello i have a roland td 11 k and i want to add at-least another 2 cymbals and a tom, wondering which way would be the easiest and most cost effective.
    glad of any ideas

  26. When using method 1, does it allow you to trigger different sounds for your extra pads on each drum kit preset on the master module, or is it the same sounds on each kit preset?

    The ddrum ddti looks like a rebranded Alesis trigger io, do you have any insight/experience with this one?

    Thanks for the informative post. I was very unhappy with the performance of diy splitters on my td20 and you’ve given me me renewed hope of adding more triggers to my kit, and have them trigger reliably.

    • It is a rebranded Trigger IO 😀
      You can assign any module sound you want. It triggers the sounds of the Roland Percussion set. Your TD-20 has 8.

  27. What is your feeling on the TM-2 in general and to use for expansion. I’m going to slave it with a used TD 4 and have an extra cymbal and will consider the BT 2, as well. I have the Roland splitter cables to run from the TM – 2 to the snare and kick. But, do I lose dual zone PDX 8 by doing this?

    Thank you.


    • The TD-4 cannot have a slave. Yes, you loose dual zones of the TM-2 when using a splitter. Otherwise it is a way to expand. However, I would rather sell the TD-4 and get a module with more inputs straight away.

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