Looking at other people’s custom e-drum sets is one of my favourite activities. I could do this for hours. Therefore I though I introduce my drumset as well and hope you enjoy reading about my it.
I had a TD-9 + TMC-6 for years, but at some point, I wanted to upgrade to a TD-20. Mostly because of the “Positional Sensing – feature” and a lot of trigger inputs in combined one module. The TD-20 was quickly replaced by a TD-30. This was more of a spontaneous purchase, hence to a great deal at the second-hand market. I am really happy with this module since it has some real nice features (USB plug, Midi-In, many inputs, Positional Sensing and really important, a “mix-in volume knob”). It is just a great module. I created some custom kits for practice and use it to trigger EZdrummer2 for recordings.
Shell Set: Pearl Rhythm Traveler Customized
I always wanted to convert an acoustic drumset to have bigger pads and a big bass drum. A real kit with a deep bass drum shell would take away too much space of my small apartment. This is why I decided to convert a second-hand Rhythm Traveller. The set was in really bad condition. I got it for 160€ + one additional 12” pad for another 15€. I rewrapped the shells and applied Gibraltar mounting clamps to it. The chrome rims have some slightly rusty spots, but this is almost not visible. Find the related video series here.
My Triggers are mostly self-made. I built my own trigger systems, similar to drum tec’s triggers, containing R-drums piezo’s and cones. My full kit contains them. They are doing a great job and I always relate to them as “Roland-like”. My bass drum has the R-drums RTB Trigger bar, which has also Roland like trigger quality.
Snare: 2-ply drum-tec design series, R-DRUMS – PlugHead as resonant head
Toms: 2-ply drum-tec design series/ Jobeky 3-ply heads – I switch between the 2 every now and then.
Bass: Jobeky 3-ply head + drum-tec kick patch, Reso: 2-ply drum-tec design series
The drum-tec series 2-ply head is much better than a Roland head. I do not need 3 ply heads, since I believe that the 2-ply version is good enough for my needs. I am using the Jobeky heads to keep the noise down, most importantly at the bass drum. The kick patch from drum-tec is the only patch that really sticks to mesh heads in my opinion. It is necessary to make the mesh last longer.
I am exclusively using Roland Cymbals. Read this article if you want to know why. To summarise it, other e-cymbals are not half as good as Roland cymbals.
- Hi Hat: VH-13
- Crash: 3x CY-14
- Ride: CY-15R
- Splash: CY-12C, CY-13R/C
Let’s face it. If you want to have a good percussion trigger bar, there is only one you can buy. The Roland BT-1 is shock isolated and triggers consistently over the whole surface. My main reason to buy this trigger bar is that it can be mounted onto a tuning hoop. That saves you mounting hardware and space that the hardware would takes.
I am using a modified MDS-20 rack, with all cables inside the rack tubes. My rack contains a lot of custom parts from Goedrums, Dixon and Gibraltar. There is a YouTube video about the building process of my drum rack.
Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-M40 X
I did not want to spend much more than 100€ on headphones, therefore I chose those ATH-M40X because they isolate any surrounding noise, which is useful when playing e-drums. But the main reason is the neutral sound they deliver, which makes them perfect for mixing and mastering too. They come with a case and 2 cables. I made a custom mount for them, which is placed on the hi-hat stand.
DW-9002 Double pedal with silent R-Drums Kick Beater to keep the room noise down. I got this double pedal for half the price on a sale and it is a really nice pedal. However, I think a less advanced version would do the job too. The only thing I am not happy about is the drive shaft, which has too much slag.
My DW-9500 2 leg hi-hat stand was a second-hand purchase that saved me 70% of the costs of buying a new one. I had to refurbish it and cleaned it to make it look new. However, it is a nice pedal through its flexibility in setting it up the hi-hat legs. But nothing does justify a price of 400€ for this stand. I think you pay for the name here and I have seen better/more advanced hi-hat stands for 250€(new).
The snare stand is a normal second-hand pearl snare stand and the stool is from Millennium. Both pieces will be replaced as soon as I find a good deal on the second-hand market. Those 2 pieces and some boom arms are the only pieces that will be upgraded. The rest of the kit will probably stay like it is.
Platform & Noise Isolation
My rack is placed on a separable Sylomer platform that isolates impact noise. Find the video about this platform here:
Additionally, I am using the Roland NE-10 and NE-1 Noise Eaters. Those are the only bits of my drumset that are not second-hand purchases. They deliver an awesome noise isolation result. Nothing is as good (and expensive) as them. If you have trouble with your neighbour, you should definitely buy them. They are expensive, but I consider them as the best e-drum investment ever.
This drumset has evolved over a long period of time. I upgraded, bought and sold parts and ended up here. 90% of the components are used, only a few bits are new. This approach saved me a lot of money and made it possible to build my dream e-drumset.
I did not spend half of the money that I would have spent if I would have purchased all this gear new. It took a few years, but at least I do not have any debts or loans and can still afford high-end drum gear. I encourage you to go for the same approach. Buy only new things if you can afford them, no matter what the salesperson or other people say.