To all you drummers out there

Please advise. Getting electronic drum set - obvioulsy acoustic is better but this is to keep wife happy. Set is to indulge me in my increasingly senility and 8 year old daughter who has become a drum fanatic. Lessons start next month. Of course I will rent with option to buy - so choice is very important ...if I buy then I want something to compete with acoustic and that will last perhaps 10 years (i.e no poor quality that will frustrate quickly - bear in mind I really prefer the sound/feel of acoustic drums but am forced to go electronic). Playing along to music files and no tuning issues will also be a key reason to go electronic.

Roland has been highly recommended - specifically TD9. Should I get all MESH toms or is mesh for the snare enough? That is my conundrum. I don't care for the feel of rubber and I am told the mesh is even quieter and more realistic...but it adds significant expense obviously.

So drummers out there - feel free to chime in! Any other tips for a person who typically wants to upgrade each year and who wants to make sure they get something good enough to kill that urge for at least five years.
Neat thread, Shadorne. I'm not a drummer but I've known many . . . I did go through music school as a classical violinist in a school renowned for its jazz program.

The electronic substitute for an acoustic instrument issue is common also to those studying piano, where it's really a "lesser of two evils" situation: which is worse, a crappy upright piano or an electronic keyboard? The problem with the piano is that they never sound good and have really inconsistent action, and everybody in the house has to hear the kid practice (there's no headphone jack). But the problem with keyboards is that the student never learns the relationship between their muscles, coordination, strength, and technique as it relates to tone production. And if they're at all serious about continuing on the instrument, this is a hurdle that becomes more and more difficult the longer it is left unaddressed. Ten years is an eternity to be stuck with an instrument as a young student, especially if they show any promise at all.

An added complication with drummers is that they are responsible for understanding the mechanics and upkeep of their drums . . . this being so important to their sound and style, and how can one learn this on electronic instruments? I've actually known some poor drummers that have amazing tone from really crappy shells, because they've become masters at choosing just the right heads and keeping them well tuned.

A third option you may not have considered is finding a decent drum set that resides in a place where your daughter can go to practice. A church or teacher's studio is a great place to start . . . if it's a friend's house, it's probably better that it's one of YOUR friends, not one of your daughter's. This has the advantage of automatically setting aside the practice time every day, in a more serious, focused setting. You'll avoid spending money on an instrument if it turns out to be a passing interest, and be able to make better decisions as to what to buy when she's progressed a bit.
I'm no drummer per say but I can comment on this with experience. The feel on the mesh is really superior. Also the drum itself triggers with more dynamic range. If you can afford them get them. I would go to a store with both and try them for yourself. They ain't cheap- a good V-drum set for instance is 3-4K.

I have owned a kit comprised of a Roland mesh head snare and Pintech mesh head toms and mesh head bass drum. Check out the Pintech gear. Great build quality and great prices compared to Roland. They work seamlessly with Roland electronics. I used a Roland TD8. You can find these used at terrific savings.

The only drum pad I think requires Roland is the snare because of its excellent sensitivity and realistic response.

I would also recommend the Roland hi-hat pedal.

I strongly suggest the use of the cymbal-type triggers rather than rigid pads for cymbals. Hitting rigid pads is brutal on the hands and wrists, especially if you're a head banger like me!

Yes, use mesh heads for all the drum triggers. The feel is superior to rigid pads, and they can be "tuned" like a real drum head for firmer or softer rebound.

Have fun!

Did this come about from all the Rock Band you were playing??
Thanks for reponses so far - much appreciated.

Tvad and Electroid - I take it that mesh is really worth it but I may be able to find cheaper than Roland for Toms. Is the Roland Hi-hat you recommend the ordinary one - electronic triggered foot pedal and a 5" cymbal? - they have some seriously expensive ones too that look like the real ones but I hoped that was not necessary.

Kirkus - I do realize that electronic is a major compromise in many aspects - I adore the sound of real acoustic drums or real piano but in all practicality, being a philistine, I know I will not maintain/tune them properly/skillfully - for example the piano teacher was so annoyed with poor tuning and quality of our upright she stopped coming (might be my kids had something to do with that too - LOL!)

The next thing I am learning is that decent electronic Cymbals are way expensive too (with bow/bell/edge triggers) - I figure that getting at least one is worth it.

Sorry but I am a real Noob at this but I am bad in the way I like good stuff...example is the footpedal - I already have one of these and a practice pad but I tried everything out and ended up with liking the Yamaha Direct drive foot pedal as clearly of way better feel/response...surprise surprise it also was the most expensive (which I did not know at the time)...weird that even a dumb novice can tell so easily!

Good news is that I found a great jazz drummer who probably does not know what trouble he has got himself into teaching my girl....but at least I am keeping her well away from the head bangers (at least for now)!! ;-) I just prey the enjoyment is there for her or else I return the drum set in 6 months time...I have learnt that you can't push kids - all you can do is offer them opportunities.

Did this come about from all the Rock Band you were playing??

Yes...the damn game is utterly could cause serious societal disruption and rock family bliss across the world when it starts showing up oustide North America...

I am already aware of simple mods that can be done to take midi output of electronic drums into Rockband...but don't want to go there....not yet anyway!
I have played both Roland types and now only paly acoustic sets. Not sure what you asking. You've said it all. The mesh is more expensive and give you more bounce--not as realistic as pads, but it is more sensative while playing quietly. It is also more quiet to those around too. Is it better--depends what you like and need. Is it as good as acoustic? Is a Playboy as good as a date?
I have had a TD-9 for a little over a year, and got it for the same reasons. I wanted to be able to play into headphones and to give my kids a way to start learning without driving us all crazy. Mesh heads are the ONLY way to go. Hitting rubber pads will not teach your kids proper feel or rebound technique, and honestly, they are just plain uncomfortable if you hit hard.

The Pintech heads are an option for saving money. You could try to piecemeal a set by buying the Roland brain on ebay, and getting the rest of the items separately, but I suspect you would do better just finding a full used TD-9 Roland kit. I spent 3 months looking, and eventually found a used TD-9 on my local Craigs List for $850.00, and this included 5 piece all mesh heads, two cymbals, high hat, a really, really nice DW-9000 kick pedal ($200 new?) that I now use for my acoustic set, and a throne.

I eventually bought the Roland stereo monitors, which are good enough that I now use the Rolands when my band rehearses in my HT room. We can rehears at low enough volume that we do not use a PA for vocals. We go to someone else's basement or a rehearsal space for full volume rehearsals once in a blue moon. The Roland stuff is a great compliment to a set of real drums.
03-05-08: Shadorne
Thanks for reponses so far - much appreciated.

Tvad and Electroid - I take it that mesh is really worth it but I may be able to find cheaper than Roland for Toms. Is the Roland Hi-hat you recommend the ordinary one - electronic triggered foot pedal and a 5" cymbal? - they have some seriously expensive ones too that look like the real ones but I hoped that was not necessary.

Pintech is substantially less expensive than Roland, and you won't give up much. In fact, I believe the Pintech are sturdier. You can use Roland mesh heads on the Pintech triggers if you wish.

The hi-hat I was referring to is the pedal. You can use whatever trigger you wish. The key is the sensitivity and "action" on the pedal, IMO.

I wouldn't go cheap on the items that can and should feel as close as possible to the real deal (pedals and drum heads for example). It will make transitioning to acoustic drums easier for your daughter.

Mesh heads are the ONLY way to go.

Thanks - that confirms the posts above - I guess my "gut" feel about this was right.


The Roland stuff is a great compliment to a set of real drums.

Agreed - real drums are definitely where it is at! - I just need to find something acceptable for domestic bliss so unfortunately I will have to limit acoustic play to lessons at the studio for the time being - I just don't want the feel of the teacher's high end acoustic set to be overwhelmingly better...
Ok,OK im not a drummer but been a working guitarist for way too long..roland is way ahead in my world cant imagine that there drum technology is that behind.
I have the TD12 all mesh system and this is the one to get for the best response off the heads.
Roland mesh heads do "feel" better than Pintech mesh heads, but I doubt if a novice or intermediate student drummer would be proficient enough to tell the difference. The key drum for response is the snare, and I definitely recommend the Roland for this instrument.

Once you replace the Pintech mesh heads with Roland mesh heads, there is no difference whatsoever in the response between the two brands. I suggest saving some cash and buying Pintech drum triggers for the toms and bass drum (you are fine with the Pintech mesh head on the bass drum).
I feel so much happier about the extra $575 price difference to get three mesh Toms instead of rubber - the dealer had advised to get only the mesh snare - so I am really glad I got your advice here - thanks everyone who chimed in! I really appreciate your comments!
I'd get something of value that can be sold later-on if the fancy passes. Ask the teacher what are the basic items that are needed and start from there. Someone new to the guitar doesn't need a Flanger, Chorus or Parametric EQ.
Can the set be place in the garage or seperate room? Can sound absorbtion be utilized?
Ok - here is an update - firstly thanks to all the replies - they were useful and I took them to heart.

1) I have on order a Roland TD-9KX (SX is the US version KX is the non-US version but the kit is the same). It includes all MESH pads (as A'goners instructed) and three way trigger ride cymbal. It is "mid-line" gear...overkill for me and the daughter, I know but she is spoiled!

2) Rockband - kids are starting to push for a PS3 so they can download material (currently have a PS2). 8 year old is playing many songs on Expert now (but nowhere near close to perfection...300 note streaks is what I see)

3) I checked and according to Rockband Forums and a genius calle Aelius27 that started the whole "Mod" craze -with several options now worked out and proven. For me, I plan to take the midi output of the drum kit and feed it to a R8 Midi reed relay device and then drive the game (1/4 inch jacks to soldered connections inside RB drum controller required).

Only question now is if I need a separate monitor for the TD9 or if I go via my XLR inputs on may amp and speakers - thoughts anyone - the distance to the monitors may be 10 - 12 feet - any latency issue?

Here are the links for you drummers out there that may be interested ( I have nothing to with this - so I take no credit - just passing on the info and hard work from a group of tinkerers).

How to do Rockband with electronic drums

Example Video showing Rockband on Roland TD20 if any out there who works too hard nolonger has time to play in a band and do gigs but has has some Vdrums gathering may find this game is just what you needed to get back on the horse and rock out!