Welcome to Rattle & Drum Music

Electronic Drum Kits

Electric Drum Shop

Electronic Drums have revolutionised the way the instrument is played for both professional players and beginners alike.

Here at Rattle & Drum we offer Electronic Drums to suit all budgets and all situations. Whether you’re just starting out, a seasoned player wanting a practice alternative or a gigging musician wanting to utilize modern electronic drums into live performance, we’ve got the product for you.

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More about Electronic Drums

One of the first issues facing anyone starting out on their drumming journey is going to be noise! Acoustic drums are loud and finding the time to fit in all those hours of practice is an age-old problem. If only they had a volume control? Well an Electronic Drum kit does, and once you plug in your headphones, you can play to your hearts content without disturbing anyone in the next room, let alone the neighbours.

It’s not just about noise reduction though. Electronic drums bring a whole host of extra features to the table. You can change the sound of your drums at the touch of a button, connect to a computer and record effortlessly, as well as playing along to backing tracks. All of this makes practice time fun and engaging from the very beginning.

Whilst the Electronic Drum Kit represents the biggest advancement in drum technology in over half a century, there’s still a few reasons why the Acoustic Kit isn’t dead yet. Below we’ll attempt to answer some of the most questions when looking to purchase an Electric Kit.

Can I play live with Electronic Drums?

The short answer is yes, as long as you have something to amplify the drums so that the audience can hear you. The long answer is a bit more complicated. We’ll start first with the issues surrounding the PA. An acoustic kit will only need to be amplified if the performance space requires it, electronic kits on the other hand need to be amplified regardless of whether you’re playing to your mates in a bedroom or the main stage at Glastonbury. So having something to amplify the kit is a necessity, but it’s worth remembering that the electronic kit will only sound as good as the PA system that you’re putting it through. You’ll need to be confident that you can compete with the other musicians that you’re playing with and be loud enough for the audience to hear you. Another factor to bare in mind when playing live is how you and your band mates are going to deal with the on-stage volume. Acoustic drum kits often don’t need to be placed into an on-stage monitor mix as they’re loud enough on their own, electronic drums on the other hand can be very difficult to hear on stage, especially if you’re set up behind the main PA speakers. This means a full complement of monitors is also required for the band to hear the drums. This can create further issues if you’re using an entry level or mid-priced kit. High end electronic drums will give you the freedom to choose exactly what you want to hear, maybe you’ll want a lot of bass drum and snare but only a small amount of everything else. However, with most electronic kits it’s all or nothing as there’s no way of separating the signal that is sent to audience and the one sent to the monitors. Not always a big deal for the drummer but it can cause arguments with the rest of the band, they might not want you blasting away full throttle while they’re trying to remember that difficult solo!!

Another aspect of using an electronic drum kit in a live setting is the suitability of the sounds. This really comes down to the type of music you’re playing and the quality of the gear you’re using. There’s no doubt that the flag ship models from both Yamaha and Roland have a huge array of sounds that are able replicate acoustic drums to perfection, but even the entry level kits offer an incredible level of realism compared to older electronic drum sets. However, as an instrument for live performance, all electronic drums are probably most at home when asked to replicate the sounds of modern electronic music.

I want to play at home without headphones, what do I need?

Headphones are the simplest way to enjoy playing your electronic drum kit. With a good set, they’ll sound great to the person playing but remain satisfyingly quiet to everybody else. Sometimes though, you just want to be heard. The problem is you can’t just plug your kit into anything. It’s certainly not recommended that you connect into your home hi-fi system. Home audio equipment is designed to play music that has been processed to remove any high and low frequencies that could potentially damage the speakers. Your bass drum and cymbals are exactly the sort of sounds that can ruin speakers and whilst expensive hi-fi may be able to handle things sufficiently, the very nature of them being expensive means it’s probably not worth taking the risk. You can use any amplifier that has been designed for a musical instrument however some will work a lot better than others. Guitar amps are probably best avoided, they produce very little high and low frequencies, so your kit will sound boxy. Bass amps fair a bit better, they’ll clearly handle the low end without any problems, the higher frequencies will sound really muddy though. What you really need is a full range amp. A good example is a keyboard amp or small PA system; however, the perfect solution would be a dedicated drum amp.

Can I switch between Acoustic and Electric Drums easily?

Absolutely, one of the biggest misconceptions regarding electronic drums surrounds the notion that you can’t swap between the two if you’re learning to play. Whilst there’s clearly a difference in feel between acoustic and electric, the instrument is essentially the same. If you’re having lessons on one type of kit and you have the other at home, this should pose no serious obstacle to your development. If anything, it can help develop a good understanding of both types of kit and better accuracy due to the smaller drum sizes associated with electronic drums.

Can I use Acoustic and Electric drums at the same time?

This is probably the fastest growing and most exciting area of development within the drum world at the moment. Utilizing both acoustic and electronic elements, or “Hybrid” drums is becoming a hugely popular way of maximising the best of both worlds. This can be as simple as adding a pad next to your snare drum because you want one wired sound in one song to triggering every drum, controlling backing tracks and stopping and starting samples. The ability to integrate an almost unlimited library of sounds at the touch of button has become essential to the modern drummer.