Advice on a bass combo to amplify digital drums
Probably a strange question for a bass forum, but it IS a bass amp question :D
I have a friend who is learning how to play drums and he has purchased one of those little tabletop drum sets with the built in speakers. It's OK to practice on with the internal speakers but there really isn't a lot of volume.
He came over for a little jam at my place last week and I plugged into one of my bass amps. When he hit the bass drum pedal he literally jumped up off his stool :p. Now he wants a bass amp of his own.
Wants something reasonably small and light. I was thinking a Rumble 15 or Ampeg BA108 might be enough to really bump up his home volume for practice, but maybe a Rumble 30 would be a better choice even with the extra size and weight?
I wish I had a small practice amp laying around to try, but my current smallest amp is a 50 watt Traynor TB50.
been using rockit 5 studio monitors, my pignose hog 30 sounded awful with the korg electribe electronic drums and my mesa sounded bad too
Unless he wants to also be a bass player a small keyboard amp is a better bet. It expects to see the line level signal the drum unit puts out and is designed to have better fidelity than a bass amp which has a filtered response.
all the usual suspects make one. Peavey, Crate etc. More money but a much better sound would be had by using 1 or 2 small active (powered) PA speakers like the Mackie SR series.
I have a triggered drum kit with mesh heads & A2E modded cymbals through a Roland TD-3, so... same deal when it comes to amplification.
+1 to keyboard amp and active PA speaker suggestions. A bass combo could get you by, but far from ideal. I wouldn't go that route unless he plans to pick up bass, too.
There are some exceptions to that, one would be a fEARful or fEARless. When built with the tweeter, they are great for electronic drums. (I've tried it in mine.) Either could be done as an airhead to make it a "combo" if you wanted. But that's quite a bit of coin compared to the combos you're talking about. That's more of a full blown rig for an e-drummer to use for rehearsals and gigs.
Another interesting (perhaps oddball) idea, based on how I run mine:
I have a stage monitor (Yamaha SM12IV) on a pole, right behind the kit. Plenty loud, sounds good enough. It's powered by an old Crown D150A. By itself it'd be OK, other than not a ton of oomph for the kick. But here's the trick... my kick does NOT have mesh heads. It's well muffled, but otherwise it's the real deal. Between the two it works really well. I have a pedal operated trigger I can use for going quiet, but it mostly sits gathering dust in favor of the real thing.
I can totally see using a powered PA top most of the time. And if wanting the extra oomph, could either:
- add a powered sub
- snag a used kick drum & pedal on the cheap, and rig up something (using the tom mounts) to hold the tabletop unit
Yeah, I'm weird. :p The simplest, cheapest route would be a keyboard amp. Actually, no... scratch that. Simplest & cheapest would be a good set of headphones. If the purpose is his own enjoyment and practice/learning, do that first. Any you find recommended for bass practice would be great for this, too.
Hey, another thing to note... if that unit has MIDI out, it might make a pretty good controller for programming drums in a DAW. More fun than pecking things out with mouse & keyboard, or finger triggers IMO.
Table top drum machine with a footswitch for kick drum.
Something cheap with a playalong input.
I bet a Carvin MB12 would sound great, but $400
Been there, done that. Don't use a bass amp. Use a keyboard amp. My band used a Roland KC-550 for this, which also doubled for a while as a rehearsal vocal monitor, and as a sort of bi-amp reinforcement for my 150W EBS bass combo.
Keyboard amp or Powered PA speaker
Percussion needs something full range.
It amazing how well both these work for bass too.
If he's going to stick with edrums, which many great players do, then a powered cab is always handy for jams, or a monitor.
Roland KC350, or if not much volume required, KC100 will do. A bass amp can work, but is not ideal. A keyboard amp IS ideal.
This. I had very poor results amplifying my electric kit with a bass amp. Your friend is probably only excited by the bass amp since he hasn't heard it through any amp before.
Keys amp is the way to go.
The OP already has that part, and is just looking to amplify it.
I can't see your dinky-di tabletop drum guy spending big money on a PA or keyboard monitor worth a damn.
Condescend much? Maybe, maybe not. You don't know, don't be so hasty to judge.
I started with one of those. Dug it, and started adding gear. Within a year it'd turned into a full Pearl Custom Maple kit with Zildjian A & K cymbals. A few months later it was all rack mounted, with new throne, double pedal, mesh heads, triggers, Roland brain, and a cheap set of zxts to convert to cymbal triggers. Already had the means to amplify, else I would have added that first.
Never underestimate the power of inspiration, even that sparked by a little gizmo like that.
Getting a little keyboard amp or powered PA cab woulda been peanuts next to how far I went with it. I don't doubt at all he might spring for something like that.
We tested the acoustic level of a 22" kick drum played by Adrian Earlandson in studio. We found that in order to properly replace it.
It was going to require at least a thousand watts of efficient monitoring if you want the clip lights to do other than identify each kick drum hit.
Thanks for all the suggestions guys. Also appreciate the suggestions for digital drumsets, although as someone already noted, he already has one.
Clearly the best choice would be a keyboard amp or small PA instead of a headphone amp. I don't know much about drums and the previous owner was using a bass amp, so I just assumed it would be fine.
This person can afford whatever he wants but practice space is lacking at the moment. I've set him up with a nice set of headphones in the meantime and will search around for a suitable used amp. I've done a little research and think maybe a Peavey KBA2 or Kustom PW100T PA. Or perhaps something a bit smaller like a KB1 or Kustom PW50. One of my jam buddies has the PW50 and I've been pretty impressed with it as a little portable PA. The new PW100T might be even better.
Also the next time he comes over I will know to plug his set into my PA instead of a bass amp.
Again, thanks for all the terrific information!
I was gonna suggest the keyboard amp too, but someone beat me to the punch lol
Yup, keyboard amp.
Try jamming with folks with an electronic kit, or just talk to those that have and found it lacking, and the answer is usually the same. Unless the playback system was a beast, the major complaint is always "harder to feel the kick". My way is the simplest/cheapest I know of for nipping that one in the bud. :D
With an A2E kit, that solution was a no-brainer... it's already there, why not use it. (Saves money too... a 20+" mesh head ain't cheap.) With a purely electronic kit, there's usually plenty of room to stick at least a 20 (x12 or x14) inch kick with a trigger on it down there. If needing to go quiet/silent, just yank it out and put the original kick trigger gizmo back.
With a tabletop unit, I figure "hey, you need a table or stand to hold it up anyway, why not put a kick under it" instead? :hyper:
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