How to Choose the Perfect Electronic Drum Kit for a Home Studio
Thanks to the advent of programs such as Garage Band, Cakewalk, and Pro Tools, recording your own professional quality music at home is easier than ever. Combining these programs with an electronic drum kit unlocks nearly infinite possibilities for the home-based musician, but not every drum kit is created equally. Here are a few key areas to pay attention to when searching for the best electronic drum kit for a home studio.
Electronic drum kits can get pretty big, especially when you start adding on additional pads and accessories. For many home studios, space is at a premium and there might not be enough room for a full-sized electronic kit. Before you begin looking at any kits, take some measurements in your recording space so you know exactly how much room you have to work with. This will allow you to rule out any kits that are too big, or at least rearrange your studio to accommodate a larger model.
The Sample Library
The size and breadth of the sample library is going to determine what kinds of sounds you can create, so you’re going to want to understand what you’re getting with the kit right away. If you have plans to create music with a diverse and eclectic composition, you may want to find a kit with a larger sample library. Also make sure that the samples are uncompressed, as this will result in higher quality audio that will hold up better during recording.
The module is the brain of the drum kit, so you should spend extra time learning everything you can about it. Beyond its starting sample library, you should find out how many user presets it supports, since you’re most likely going to be creating a lot of your own sound mixes. This will give you more options when it comes time to record, since you’ll be able to develop different configurations to match all of your songs and recording needs.
The External Support
If you plan on connecting the drums to any external instruments, you are most likely going to need one that has MIDI support. It’s becoming common for modules to also feature USB ports, which will allow you to connect the module to a computer. This can be helpful for playing directly into your recording software, as well as uploading new sample packs on models that support this feature.
A huge sample library or complex module doesn’t always translate into the best kit for recording. You need to look at all of the available features and weigh them all together. Just remember that you won’t need to rely on any kits that offer their own recording features, since the quality is probably going to be poor at best.