A preview of a new electronic drum kit that's designed to hit the competition where it hurts.
The original d-drum concept has now been extended to a full kit. Tony Reed reports.
D-Drums have been around for a little while now — flat, rectangular red boxes with a rubber pad on top, they offer musicians a cheap way into digital sounds, through their unique system of interchangeable plug-in sound cartridges.
Each cartridge can contain a maximum of four drum or percussion sounds, digitally recorded, and triggered either via the touch-sensitive rubber pad, or by external trigger. The original concept, ideal for add-on use with conventional kits or drum machines, has now been extended to offer a full kit utilising tensionable drum heads, and the weirdest departure in bass drum design since the days of the 'trouser-leg' Staccatto kits.
The ddrum pads are sturdy-looking assemblies featuring Tama hardware, a chromed steel rim, and a Remo Weatherbeat head. Adjustable pitch-sensitivity is available, making it possible to play the upper part of each samples' one-octave range by striking the centre of the pad, getting lower as you move out to the circumference of the pad. A vast dynamic range is claimed, allowing playing volume to range from subtle to neighbour-killing.
The ddrum kick bass unit takes the inherent minimalism of electronic percussion design to its logical extreme — a pushed-over L-shape, offering only a place for your pedal to clamp on to, and a surface just big enough for your pad to hit, it is claimed nevertheless to offer all the stability and responsiveness of a conventional bass-drum.
The brains of the system — typically six modules — sit neatly in a rugged looking flightcase, and are capable of taking any ddrums cartridge. Sounds on offer range from long single-shot effects, Gongs, Tymps etcetera, through pairs of medium length samples — real and synthesised toms — to groups of four short sounds like bass drums and percussive effects.
The five module system, excluding stands, retails at £1,782, putting it in competition with Simmons' SDS8.
Hear a selection of cartridge sounds on this months' tape, and watch out for a full review of this interesting kit in a forthcoming issue...
U.K. distributors for ddrums are Gigsounds, on (Contact Details).
Feature by Tony Reed
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