ATV aDrums – I am excited

ATV is the brand that made the aD5 module in 2016. A good looking simple trigger module with real drum sounds. I tested the module and found it to be ok, but was not overwhelmed with its trigger capabilities.

However, ATV has not stopped there but invented a complete electronic drum set that not only looks like an acoustic drum kit but has realistic component sizes.

And the best thing… all components are compatible with Roland modules and the Pearl Mimic Pro.

I am most excited about the cymbals.

Since they are the biggest e-drum cymbals so far that are not restricted to Roland Flagship modules (The biggest ride cymbal so far, was the Roland CY-18DR which is only compatible with a TD-50 Module).

Crash & Ride

ATV made 3 different sized cymbals (14, 16 & 18”) with 2 outputs and 3 trigger zones each. We know this design from the Roland CY-15R. All aDrums cymbals can be used as crash or ride. The cup zone can of course only be triggered if you have a matching double ride input.

The cymbals are choke-able around the whole edge. They look real, move real and are made out of silicone and rubber, which makes me hope that they are quieter than the Roland CY cymbals.

The triggering is supposed to be identical to the Roland e-cymbals. I have not tested them yet, but if this is true, those cymbals could become the new number one choice in regard of electronic drum cymbals.

Finally, you can buy 16” crashes and an 18” ride and use them with all Roland modules.

Cymbals: ATV  aD-C14  –  aD-C16  –  aD-C18

Such an E-drum Hi-hat has not existed before

This aDH14 hi-hat is a real size 14” hi-hat, containing a bottom and a top cymbal with 3 trigger zones and 2 outputs that can be mounted on a real hi-hat stand. The matching module for the 3rd zone is not even existing yet. But this is only one new feature! The second new thing is the optical opening/closing sensor. This feature could be seen as good, as there are no mechanical parts that can wear, or as bad because the hi-hat requires an additional power supply (included).  

However, we can use it with our Roland modules and the Pearl Mimic Pro. The hi-hat is claimed to be identical to the Roland VH-12 or 13.

Snare, Toms & Bass

The shells of the aDrums kit are rather small. We are talking about a 13” x 5.5” snare, 10” x 6.5” Rack Tom, 13” x 12” floor tom and an 18”x 12” Kick drum.

Snare: I like 13” snares and think an e-snare does not need to be 14” in diameter. But this is personal taste. The snare has a piece of wood attached to a dedicated side stick pickup. This is a create the idea to ensure an accurate side stick triggering. However, I think it is unnecessary, as I am even able to get a good side stick result with my self-made triggers, without a piece of wood, by simply adjusting the trigger settings in the module.

The 10” rack tom has a perfect size but why a 13” floor tom? Many people will find it to be really small. I would have made a 14” there. My guess is that ATV made a 13” floor toms for cost reasons, otherwise they would have to make another mesh head size. You can get used to that size. On the videos, it is not even noticeable and drum-tec does offer floor toms that are even smaller with their “drum-tec Jam Stage Set”.

The special feature about these shells/trigger pads are the 3 rim near trigger cones. There is no centred trigger cone as we know if from Roland pads, which is not a bad idea, as the aD5 had some problems with hotspots.

This feature makes the shells perfect for recording, as you could not be bothered by hot-spotting issues and should have a good trigger signal through to the 3 pickups.

Kick: The kick diameter is also really small. But this is also not really noticeable if you see the full kit. I personally think the depth of 12” is perfect, as I believe acoustic like e-drums should be a bit smaller for space reasons. I wonder if ATV has dampened the kick drum to get a good rebound and I would like to know how noisy it is. I am sure we’ll find out soon.

The drum kit comes in 2 versions:

The standard set is a “4 piece – 2 tom set” with 1 crash. All stands are included, the hi-hat stand, kick pedal and throne are not included.

The expanded set is a standard 5 piece with an additional rack tom (2 identical rack toms) and another 16” crash including cymbal stand.


ATV is one of the e-drum companies who makes products that people want. They recognize the real looking e-drums trend and the demand for bigger electronic cymbals.

What makes ATV real sympathetic as a company to me, is that they made all components cross platform compatible. ATV gear can be used with other modules and the ATV aD5 module features other gear. I think this is great, as we drummers have the freedom to build our dream kit without brand limitations such as Roland with the implementation of the new digital pads, that are not compatible with anything but the Roland TD-50.

However, I hope ATV offers cymbal sets for a good price, cause this is something many “Roland and Pearl Mimic Pro module” users will demand. 

I also hope ATV offers the drum sets without the module, as I think the aD5 is very limited in many regards. This drum set in combination with a TD-25, 30 or Pearl mimic Pro could be a killer.

Find more information about the aDrums here:

8 Replies to “ATV aDrums – I am excited”

  1. Hi, I recently purchased the aDrums and aD5 and am absolutely loving this kit. It sounds and plays like an acoustic kit. The cymbals are amazing to play; they sound incredibly real! I did notice one error in your report. Where you say, “… the aD5 had some problems with hotspots.” This isn’t true in that, modules don’t cause hot spots. Center-mounted triggers cause hot spots. Modules only respond to the signals they receive. The dynamic range of the aD5 is intentionally broad to give you a real feel. It has more range than Roland modules. This makes the Roland module seem to have less pronounced hot spots, but it’s actually a limitation of the module’s realism. ATV fixed this by mounting three triggers at the edge. They work together and the ATV drums track strike force much better than Roland, while working WITH that fantastic dynamic range the module is capable of.
    Thanks for your review!

    • Well, the aD5 has only hotspot issues with Roland Pads that have a centred cone. The aDrums do not have centred cones, so of course no hot-spotting. How is the hi-hat?

  2. Hi John,
    Thanks for the info…I’m really thinking about buying this kit. One question that is delaying my purchase is how loud is the kit and especially the kick drum? Is it comparable to the noise created by the TD 25 or 30?
    Thanks for any info you could give me, looks like such a good kit!

  3. Hi guys… I purchased this kit without the module, intending to use the Roland TD-25. However, while it is compatible, I am having difficulty getting the pads calibrated.. especially the hi-hat open/close settings. Any suggestions??

  4. I just bought the expanded ATV w the ad5 module. I am so so happy w my purchase. The drumset itself looks amazing. The module works reallly well for me since I just want to play my kit not sit and tweak stuff non-stop. I cannot say this enough and that is this: ATV customer service will not be outdone ever! I am talking about any business in America!!! They are amazing!! Helped me every step of the way from calling too see if my kit setup was going well to setting up a video call to help w imitial kit dial in. Some folks asked how the bass drum sounds well I have a simmons amp setup w mine and I have the yamaha kit drum programmed to mine and this thing thumps so hard!!!! The ATV customer service is wonderful. The kit sounds great and plays like an acoustic kit. If you have any ?’s feel free to message me.

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