Soundbrenner Core – Much More Than a Vibrating Metronome

Soundbrenner Core Drummer

Soundbrenner are a company that helped to revolutionize metronomes when they introduced their ‘Pulse’ wearable device. They just recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for a vastly upgraded wearable music tool that met its funding goal in minutes.

The Soundbrenner Core is an ingenious little device that aims to tackle some of the most important issues that musicians run in to:

  • Stay in time
  • Stay in tune
  • Monitor loudness (Helps you make better decisions to protect against tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss)

It does this while also being a functioning smartwatch, which can connect to your phone and show push notifications.

Soundbrenner promises a durable device with a 3-day battery life. This could be a serious tool for any musician.

Vibrating metronome

Feel the beat at a much stronger level of vibration than a regular smartwatch. You can sync the metronome with other band members via Bluetooth MIDI. This promises a much simpler and cost effective setup.

It allows you to set the tempo by tapping the watch. It also includes exercises to play along with daily to improve your rhythm.

If your band members have multiple Soundbrenner Cores then you can connect them together via NFC to sync the tempo. You can also do so using the Soundbrenner Metronome App for your phone.

Decibel Meter

Your hearing is a lot more fragile than you might think.

In my opinion, this is one of the most important elements of this device. The Soundbrenner Core contains the ability to monitor decibel levels and show you when you need to take action to protect your hearing. In these situations, you can either lower the volume or add hearing protection.

Your hearing is your most important asset as a musician. Anything over 80 decibels can be dangerous if listened to for a sustained period.

Hearing damage can actually occur within minutes of the noise exposure at a rock concert (well over 100 Dbs). Listening to your headphones can be actually LOUDER than this! Playing next to a drum set or large amplifier can be even louder again!

A decibel meter can be extremely useful because our ability to recognize loud volumes is very poor, particularly when there are other loud noises around us.

Hearing damage does not just come in the form of limited hearing ability. It also very often causes chronic and life-quality lower tinnitus (a constant ringing in your ears). You will very likely have these problems if you don’t protect your ears as a musician.

The Soundbrenner core also lets you check levels over the length of your session. This could be a great tool to help you recognize and change your habits in future, if required.


The Soundbrenner Core also works as a tuner. The device twists away from its base and can be magnetically connected to a small stickable attachment (included with the device) or any magnetic surface on your instrument.

This negates the need for having a separate tuner. The interface and color scheme looks great to help easily guide your tuning.

Smartwatch capabilities

The Soundbrenner Core also operates with smartwatch capabilities. It shows the date and time, and includes an accelerometer to detect when the screen should be turned on. It can connect to your phone and show push notifications for calls and texts.

The Soundbrenner Core and Soundbrenner Core Steel

This device comes in two different versions. They both contain the same features, therefore the differences are aesthetic. The Soundbrenner Core is the cheaper version, which is made of polycarbonate and aluminum, which includes a silicone watch strap.

The Soundbrenner Core Steel is a slightly more expensive version. It uses steel for the main device and includes a leather watch strap. This also includes an alternative silicone watch strap and a handy pouch.



That’s a lot of music functionality in one device. The Soundbrenner Core promises to bring these together into a device dedicated for musicians. The vibration is built directly as a metronome, the user interface is built specifically for all of the key features described in this article, and the twisting capability is built for it to be used as a metronome.

Check out their Kickstarter page to back the project.

Please share this page!

Make Your Drum Set Quiet – Low Volume Cymbals and SilentStroke Drum Heads


In this article, we’re going to look at great ways to make your drum set quiet. We discuss common muffling techniques, as well as turning your kit into a practice drum set using low volume cymbals and silent drum heads.

Zildjian Quiet Pack – Contains Both Low Volume Cymbals and Remo SilentStroke Drum Heads

Keeping your acoustic drum set to a reasonable volume can be a big struggle. Other musicians, like guitarists or keyboard players, have many ways to quiet down their instruments and practice all day long. Drummers usually don’t have that kind of luxury, to play whenever they want.

The reason is simple, they are too loud. Whether you’re living in an apartment or in a house with your family, playing drums is pretty much mission impossible unless you’re lucky enough to have a sound-proofed room.

There are various techniques to muffle a drum set. However, they can often reduce the experience and feel of the kit.

In past few decades, drum enthusiasts tried to deal with this issue in many ways. We have seen various kinds of products and techniques that can volume down a drum set.

On the other side, you can find products like drum practice pads. These are an essential item to learn how to play drums. However, drummers also really need something that feels and sounds like a real drum kit. If you don’t want to buy an Electronic Drum Set, there are still options for you to use your acoustic set as a practice option.

Drum manufacturers have finally managed to create something that can satisfy both sides. These products are called low volume cymbals and silent stroke drum heads. With these products, a drummer can finally count on a real drum tone at low volume, while the rest of the family or neighbors would appreciate the fact that these products are significantly quieter than common acoustic drums.

Low Volume Cymbals

In drumming, cymbals are characterized by a high pitch and extremely long sustain. Cymbals can be a very tricky instrument to practice quietly on.

After many years of development and various experiments, drum designers have finally realized that the best way to quite down cymbals is to perforate them. In most cases, such design reduces noise by about 70-80%, so you can finally practice whenever you want, have late night sessions, quiet rehearsals, etc.

Besides the perforated pattern, some manufacturers tried to muffle cymbals in other ways, like special coatings. However, perforated cymbals turned out to be the best alternative, because they keep the original sound, dynamics, and overall tonal characteristics.

Dimensions, shape and mounting system are completely the same as on standard cymbals, so you can get the exact feel while playing them.

On today’s market, you can find various kinds of products. Usually, manufacturers offer sets of cymbals that include hi-hat, crash and crash ride cymbals. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you can’t find single pieces, like a large 20” ride cymbal or 10” splash, for example.

Silent Stroke Drum Heads

Standard drum heads are also very difficult to play quietly on. Even using hot-rods still produces quite a significant amount of volume.

All these muffling methods generally work well. However, the problem with most of them is the degradation of the drum sound.

On the other side, silent stroke drum heads are all about tone quality. These heads are made of a special kind of a plastic mesh, which provides a great low-volume sound and overall feel. When it comes to muffling, these heads are so quiet that they are much less likely to cause annoyance or disturb others.

These drum heads come in various dimensions, so you can use them for all kinds of toms and snares. Biggest diameters go up to 24”, so muffling a bass drum won’t be a problem at all.

You can purchase complete kits that include various kinds of heads of different sizes, or go for each piece separately if you play on some uncommon set.

The Zildjian Quiet Pack – Low Volume Cymbals & Silent Stroke Heads

The Zildjian Quiet Pack is one of the best and most popular packs of this kind. One of the world’s most renowned drum companies offers a kit that includes a set of three low volume cymbals – 4” HI Hat, 16” Crash & 18” Crash Ride. There are also five high quality drum heads in total (10”, 12”,14”, 16” & 22”), which can cover most common drum sets.

Using Drum Triggers with Silent Stroke Heads

Considering the design of these cymbals and heads, there is no reason why you couldn’t make a hybrid drum set.

All these heads and cymbals work well with drum triggers.

Considering the same construction and overall design, trigger mounting is equally simple. Just get a good set of triggers and quality module, which can be used for either practicing, quiet sessions, recordings, rehearsals, stage performances or any other occasion.

Alternative Drum Set Muffling Techniques

Many drummers use muffling techniques while practicing.

Bass drum – Pillow Trick

The most often used option is pillow trick. You simply put a pillow, blanket or something similar that is large enough to reach both heads of the bass drum. In that way, the sound gets muffled, significantly quieter. The pillow also blocks that large amount of air that would usually move through the bass drum and produce a much louder noise.

The pillow trick is one of the rare muffling techniques that can actually make your drums sound better. A reasonably sized pillow that is well placed in your bass drum can actually make it a lot punchier.

Drum Mutes

Another common way to muffle drum heads is to use mute pads. These pads are placed over complete heads (they can be used for cymbals as well) and they can deaden the sound. It is a good muting technique for basic practicing, but you won’t be able to hear much of the drum’s actual sound.

O-Rings and Moon Gels

For snares and toms, you can use plastic O-rings to control excessive ringing. However, these do not significantly reduce the noise volume.

These will absorb some of the head’s resonance, resulting in a quieter sound for sure. You can also get drum gel packs. Place them on the toms and snare to mute drums, results are quite decent.

Moon Gels are commonly used by drummers both for live performances and recording sessions in order to control the overtones of the drum heads.

Cloth Strips and Duct Tape

Some drummers use a cloth strip or duct tape to muffle the sound.

The snare drum is often the noisiest element of the drum kit. Putting a cloth over the drum head can take away some of the excess volumes. However, it certainly takes away from the rebound and feeling of the snare drum.


So that’s our verdict on low volume cymbals and silent stroke drum heads. If you are unhappy with your current attempts at muffling your drum set, then these might be the best option for you.

I think almost every drummer should get a set of these, particularly if you are planning to use your drum set as a practice option for long periods of time.

Please share this page!

RockJam Roll Up Electronic Drum Kit Review (RJ760MD – MIDI with Built-In Speaker)

In this article we will be reviewing the RockJam RollUp Electronic Drum Kit with MIDI capability. These little portal drum sets have been really gaining traction over the last few years. They are a quick, simple and quiet product that you can have a lot of fun drumming on.

Although they are not the most sophisticated electronic drumming items available in the world, they are a simple option that can work great for kids and adults that are looking for a casual drum playing option.

Let’s dive into the RockJam Roll Up Electronic Drum Kit in a bit more detail:

Different versions

Please note that there are two main RockJam roll-up electronic drum set models. The version that we’re talking about in this article is the one with MIDI and built-in speakers. There is also a cheaper option, which comes without these features.

(With Built-in Speakers and MIDI Capability)


This is a compact roll-up kit that comes with nine pads and an in-built speaker. There are multiple different drum kits to choose from and you can also record and listen back to your playing.

The pads are actually sensitive enough for hand-playing without drumsticks, which is a great feature. Even many pro sample pads are not that sensitive enough for hand playing.

This kit also comes with two pedals, one with simulates a hi-hat and the other simulates a kick drum pedal. Therefore, you get everything you need in order to start playing.


You can connect this specific model of the RockJam roll-up drum set to your computer or other music gear via MIDI. This can be done using the USB slot on the back of the kit.

If you are interested in doing this but don’t have any experience in it, then you should read up a little about music DAWs and Drum VSTs for your computer. There are many free versions of each available online.

Using Headphones

You can connect headphones via the standard 3.5mm jack at the back of the RockJam drum kit (the same type as most phones and laptops). The roll-up drum set can then be played very quietly.

Play Along to Music

You can add music into the mix using the ‘mp3’ 3.5mm jack at the back of the RockJam drum kit. You can use any standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable (you might already have one of these to connect your phone to your car’s speaker system).


  • Very portable and compact: You can roll this out and pack it away in no time.
  • Easy to play: Learning how to play this is a no-brainer, and the options are very easy to use.
  • Built-in speakers: You do not need to hook this into an external amplifier in order to use it.
  • Headphones: You can plug headphones into this for very quiet playing. This is particularly useful for kids (although make sure to keep the volume low to protect their hearing!).
  • MIDI capability – you can hook this up to your computer or MIDI interface to trigger external sounds and make it interact with other music production gear. Very useful!


  • Does not include a built-in battery, therefore it needs a power supply.
  • Does not have the same sensitivity of rebound possibilities that you would get with a more fully fledged electronic drum set.
  • Does not have the presence of a full electronic drum set.
  • The onboard sounds are not amazing. However, there is a lot of scope to hook this up to some great drum sounds via music production software on your computer via MIDI.

Can you learn to play drums on the RockJam Roll Up Drum Kit?

You can learn some basic beats and it can help with your drumming co-ordination. It’s not an ideal option for adults that are serious about playing drums as the small playing surface and lack of rebound while playing can limit your learning.

However, it’s great for kids as a quiet playing option and it is very useful for adults that are looking for a quiet drum practice option. It is very useful for apartments and places that you cannot make a lot of noise.


The RockJam RJ760MD Roll Up Electronic MIDI Kit is a very nice option for those considering a fun and casual drum playing option. I think this particular model is significantly stronger than the cheaper RockJam model that does not contain built-in speakers or MIDI connectivity. Paying a little bit more gets you some much more useful features.

The RockJam Roll Up Kit is one of the best of its kind out there. You won’t get top of the range drum playing from any roll-up drum kit, but you get very good quality for something in such a low price range.

Please share this page!

How to Hold Drumsticks The Right Way


It is essential to learn proper form while drumming. It is your foundation of great technique and staying injury-free. Many drummers often skip over the basics of learning how to hold their drumsticks, in favor of learning more advanced techniques. However, this can easily set you up for failure.

In this article, we’re going to explain the basics of how to hold your drumsticks. We go through the different options you have available, and what might be the best for you.

Matched Grip

matched_grip_drummerThe matched grip is a method where you use the same type of grip in both hands. This is very common in modern forms of drumming. It’s very easy to learn and it can have a number of distinct advantages over traditional grip for beginners (However, the traditional grip also has some great advantages).

Although I always suggest the use of a great drum teacher, the matched grip is also a great method for self-learning and correction. The symmetrical nature of this grip allows you to compare stick placement and stroke of both of your hands. You can adapt the placement of your weaker hand to your stronger one.

The matched grip is generally preferred if you require a lot of power out of your drumming. The left hand matched position is great for high volume rebound, strong snare strikes, and rim shots without causing excess shock to your wrist and forearm.

If you play modern genres of music then the matched grip is likely your best bet.

There are three different main versions of the matched grip. It’s very useful to learn to play with each of these as they all have their advantages.

When using the French grip, your palms face each other and your strokes are mainly powered by your fingers. The German matched grip is quite different, where your palms face down and your strokes are powered by your wrist. The American grip uses a combination of both and is very popular because it is a very comfortable and versatile grip.

Here is a great video, which explains how to hold your drumsticks using the American grip:

Here is a very useful video on how to use the French grip. It’s particularly useful to switch to this grip when playing expressive strokes on your ride cymbal.

So that’s almost everything you need to know about the different variations of the matched grip.

Be sure to practice in front of a mirror and keep conscious of maintaining good form.

Traditional Grip

traditional_gripThe traditional grip is something quite different. It’s heavily used in jazz music and drum corps. It is a very interesting grip and particularly allows you to get great subtle strokes on your snare hits at low volumes.

The traditional grip is generally more difficult to learn; therefore you should try to get a good drum teacher to show you how to perform this movement correctly. It requires more correction and subtlety, which can cause injury later on if done incorrectly.

Check out this great video, which shows you how to perform the traditional grip.

Improving your stick technique

The best way to improve your stick technique is by isolating and practicing your movements. A practice pad is a great option for this as they are quiet and can be easily packed into a bag.

The improvements to your rebounds, technique, and rudiments allow you to practice holding your drumsticks through different movements. These are then instantly transferable to playing on a drum kit.

A practice pad forces you to focus on these movements, and I always recommend one as an absolutely essential item for any drummer.

Common problems with holding drumsticks

Holding your drumsticks badly can hurt your drumming in two ways:

Poor drumming efficiency

Poor technique can greatly lower your efficiency and freedom of expression while drumming. Drumsticks should be held using a method that encourages very natural and fluid movements.

Fast stick movements can be much easier to achieve when you get out of the way of your drumstick and allow the stick to naturally rebound. This can be achieved by loosening your grip and slowly learning the motion of your drum strokes using a practice pad.

Preventing chronic injuries

Holding your drumsticks badly can also lead to some serious overuse injuries of your wrist and forearms. The most common issue is caused by holding your sticks too tightly. This inhibits the natural rebound of the drumstick and causes excess shock to be absorbed by your joints.

Wrists are an incredibly complex part of your body. Chronic injuries can be very difficult to treat, therefore you should make every effort to ensure that you are holding your drumsticks correctly.

Choosing the correct stick grip can also help prevent against injuries.

If you’re commonly feeling dull or sharp pains while drumming, you need to stop and examine your stick grip. Otherwise, your doctor might eventually tell you to stop drumming.

Conclusion – Holding Your Drumsticks

Taking the time to properly learn how to hold your drumsticks might be one of the best things you’ve ever done as a drummer.

You should treat your drumming in the same way as if you were learning an exercise in the gym. Always maintain correct form, everything else comes after that. Drumming can cause excess shock to your joints unless it’s done correctly.

I hope the advice and resources on this article were useful.

Please share this page!

The 3 Best Cheap Electric Drum Sets for Beginners – Cut Through the Junk!


The electric drum set market is significantly innovating to simulate the best possible electronic experience of playing drums. Electric drum set manufacturers are also starting to make kits more accessible in price range to a much wider range of people.

However, this can come at a cost. Manufacturers can cut too many corners or features in order to get the lowest possible price. The worst of these can be in the form of bad build quality and defects.

This article is specifically directed at those that want to get a good experience out of a cheap electric drum set. Cheap does not have to mean poor quality.

These electric drum sets are great for beginners or for more advanced players that are looking for a quiet practice option.

Our Pick of the 3 Best Cheap Electric Drum Sets

EDITOR'S CHOICE - Great value kit with mesh drum pads, rubber kick tower pad and pedal included
Compact and quiet electric drum set with beaterless kick pedal
Compact set with beaterless kick pedal and very high quality snare mesh head

1) The Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit

This kit is a slight upgrade from the very popular Alesis Nitro Kit. It includes mesh heads, with the exception of the kick drum pad. Mesh heads simulate real drum heads very nicely. These contain material stretched over a rim with an internal trigger that recognises the drum hits.

Why is this kit cheap? Mesh heads on a budget electric drum set is quite a new development in the industry. These are usually reserved for much more expensive kits. The drum pads are smaller than high-end ones, but they are still quite playable.

The drum module is the same as the original Alesis Nitro. It’s quite a good one for an inexpensive set, though it doesn’t have the features of a high-end one.

Main benefits: Mesh heads, full kick pad, nice adjustability, very good value.

Learn more about the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit.

2) Yamaha’s entry-level set – DTX400K

Yamaha is one of the biggest names in the world of electric drumming. This is certainly not the best kit in the world but it is not bad for its price range.

It is a very compact set that can be easily packed away. I am not a big fan of foot-switch style electric beater-less kick pedals but they are much quieter than using regular kick pedals. You can also replace this pad with a kick tower and pedal later on if you want.

This kit contains all the essential elements you need. However, if you don’t have a pair of headphones and drumsticks then you will need to purchase them separately!

Main benefits: Great brand, quiet kick pedal, compact, very cheap.

3) Roland’s entry-level set – TD-1KV

Before people start complaining about this part, Roland have a slightly cheaper version of this (the TD-1K), but the KV version contains a very high quality mesh snare that I would class as essential to this electric drum set.

Roland is not known for cheap electronic drum sets. They’re a very high quality manufacturer that charges a premium price for their products. This kit is still slightly expensive for what you get, but it’s a very good one.

The mesh snare head is absolutely fantastic. The snare drum is arguably the most important element of your set for expression, therefore prioritising this one for the best drum pad is a good idea. You might think it’s a strange idea to combine both mesh and rubber heads, but this is commonly done for v-drums and they’re very playable.

This electric drum set also includes a pedal for the hi-hat and a beater-less pedal for the kick (you can replace the pedal with a kick tower and pedal if you want). If you are looking for something very compact and quiet, then this could be a great option. If you have more space and freedom to make a little more noise then you could consider other options.

Read more about the TD-1KV set.

Main benefits: Great brand, quiet kick pedal, mesh snare head, compact.

Common questions about these cheap electric drum sets

Does everything come included?

The only things you will need for any of the above electric drum sets are headphones and drumsticks. Check out our guides on these if you’re looking for the best ones.

I would also recommend getting a decent drum throne if you are planning to play on these for a large length of time. Bad posture while drumming can lead to serious back problems.

Can kids play these electric sets?

In general, kids should be able to play on these kits if they are over 7 years of age (or tall for their age!). Check out our guide on kids electronic drum sets for more information. There are alternative options for younger kids.

Can I learn to play drums on these?

Absolutely! If acoustic drum sets are not an option then electric kits are the next best thing. You can learn many of the important elements of drumming such as drum beats, technique, co-ordination, and rudiments while using an electric drum set.

This experience can be very easily transferrable to other music instruments or full drum kits later on. Also, electronic drums are constantly increasing in the scene of major music genres. Drummers often use some form of electronic drums on stage along with their regular setup.

Can I play double bass on these electric drum sets?

Out of the box, you’re not going to get a great double bass drumming experience. For example, you can set the DTX400 to ‘double bass drum mode’, but it won’t really replicate the experience of the beaters hitting the pads very well.

The good thing is that you can replace the beaterless pedals with a large enough kick tower to accommodate double bass drum pedals.

The Alesis Nitro kick tower could technically fit double bass drum pedals if the beaters are close enough together. It won’t provide the best possible experience, but it might be suitable for your needs.

Check out our article on double bass electronic drum sets for more information on how to upgrade your kit. The article also includes information on electric drum sets that come with compatibility for double kick pedals right out of the box.

Conclusion – What is the Best Cheap Electric Drum Set?

We hope that some light has been shed on the topic of cheap electric drum sets. Remember, inexpensive does not have to mean bad quality. All of the drum sets in this article are good choices as long as you are satisfied that their features will suit your needs.

If you’re on a budget, we believe that the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is the best choice for both features and quality. If you’re on the lookout for electric drum sets with more features, then check out our article on the best electronic drum sets to learn more.


Please share this page!

Alesis DM6 Review – Is It Worth The Money?

The Alesis DM6 has been on the market for many years now and it has served as one of the best-selling budget electronic drum sets. It is still competitive in many aspects of electronic drumming if you’re looking for an entry level kit.

Note: Newer Versions Available. The Alesis Nitro and Alesis Nitro Mesh kits.

Be sure to check out our reviews of those if you’re looking to buy a new set online.

The Alesis Nitro has 385 cymbal, drum and percussion sounds. This large quantity of sounds is paired with 40 pre-made kits altogether.

The Alesis Nitro also comes with a learning mode within its module. In comparison with the Alesis DM6 kit, this is a significant advancement, especially for the newbies in the world of drumming. You can either choose to drum along to one of the drumming patterns in the module or add a pattern of your own. The module also tracks your accuracy and improvement.

The Alesis Nitro Mesh set shares almost most of the features and elements with the Nitro kit, expect with updated mesh drum heads. These elements provide a more dynamic and realistic drumming feel than rubber pads.

Similar Electronic Drum Sets to the Alesis DM6

The Alesis DM6 USB entry-level kit
Upgraded version of the Alesis DM6
The Alesis Nitro Kit with upgraded mesh heads

The DM6 drum set

The DM6 drum set contains 8 drum pads altogether. There are three 8’’-single-zone tom drums, three 12’’-cymbal pads, one kick pad, and one dual-zone snare. The latter supports both rim hits and regular sounds.

Image curtesory of Alesis

What’s important to mention here is that this set also comes with a bass drum pedal, hi-hat pedal, and a pair of low-budget sticks. While the former will meet most of your drumming needs, the sticks aren’t the brightest stars in the drumming sky. You might need a better pair of drumsticks, so read more about some better sticks here.

The DM6 Alesis drum set also includes an AC adapter and a rack for the drum pads. The rack is made of aluminum, which is a great choice of the manufacturer because it’s easily carried to gigs and it holds all the elements in a safe way.

This set generally does not come with a pair of headphones. If you don’t want your family or neighbors hear you playing the drums, you might want to get a pair of electronic drum headphones.

Performance of the DM6 kit

The surfaces of the cymbals and pads provided by Alesis are natural, player-friendly pieces that ensure pleasant drumming feel. Also, thanks to the realistic vibrations you get when you play this kit, you can reach good natural dynamics.

This is important for people who have just started playing the drums. Since some electronic drums might sound artificial and confuse beginners, it’s important to start playing the drums with a realistic set. The DM6 offers good value for money in this regard.

The DM6 module is quite a good one for the price, which contains a plethora of pre-recorded drum kits. In line with that, drummers can count as much as 108 great cymbal, drum, and percussion ready-made sounds.

The biggest drawback of the DM6 is that it contains only rubber heads. This is quite expected for such an entry-level kit, but newer entry-level sets are now coming with the option of mesh heads, which can be quite a big advantage in terms of expression and realism of playing.

Connectivity and extension of the drum module


The tones you play are sent out in form of MIDI-signal, which is pretty useful if you want to use your DM6 to generate drum tones for a MIDI interface. The kit contains a USB connection, which can transfer the MIDI information. The module does not contain standard 5-pin MIDI connections.

You can connect this Alesis kit to your PC or smartphone via MIDI connection through the USB cable and experiment more with the elements of drum production. Also, the DM6 can be connected with different players, so that you can play this electronic set along with your preferred songs.

If you’re a more experienced drummer or simply want to spice up your drumming practice, you might want to add another pedal to the drum bass. The Alesis DM6 supports such an appendix.

Double Bass Drum Pedals with the Alesis DM6

alesis_DM6 module backIt is technically possible to extend the kit to simulate double bass pedals. If your physical double bass drum pedals don’t fit on the stock bass drum pad with the kit, you can replace your kick drum pad with a bigger one.

If you’re looking to use 2 pads, there is no option to directly extend your set-up to include a separate 2nd bass drum pad input. However, a splitter can be used to separate the line into 2 separate pads. Alternatively, you can use the hi-hat pedal as the other bass drum pedal, but it won’t feel as natural as using a kick drum pedal.

Getting the sound right

You need either a set of headphones or an amplifier in order to hear the Alesis DM6 kit. It has separate outputs for each. Please keep in mind that the main output is a small 1/8” connection. If you want to connect to an amplifier that use standard 1/4″ cables (the ones that look like guitar cables), you may need to purchase a 1/8” to 1/4″ converter.

If you are looking for a drum amp, check out our article on electronic drum amplifiers to find out what’s the best choice for you.

Keep in mind that if you’re using the electronic drum sets for bigger gigs, then this would generally be connected to a PA system instead of a drum amp. The output from the DM6 module could just be connected to the main mixer.


A decent electronic drum set, the Alesis DM6 is a fine value for money. It’s a reasonable choice for drumming beginners, and a nice option for seasoned drummers. If you can still get your hands on one of these, then they can make for a nice entry-level kit.

However, if you’d still like to treat yourself to an updated electronic set with more options, the Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit would be a better choice.

Please share this page!

6 Cool Kickstarter Campaigns for Drummers

live drums - kickstarter

Are you looking out for some cool new innovative drumming products? Kickstarter is a great place to check these out. In this article, we’ve listed 6 cool Kickstarter projects related to drumming.

Some of these are now past their funding deadlines, but it’s still cool to get a glimpse of the type of drumming innovations that the public are backing.

1) Backbeater

All profits from this product are to be donated to music charities around the world. Very inspiring!

Having a metronome by your side during your studio rehearsals and live gigs will dramatically improve your drumming performance. Being able to follow the tempo without any glitches is the number one job for a drummer. This is often ignored by beginners.

You need to form a solid foundation of timing and technique as a drummer. Although there are many metronomes available on the market, the Backbeater is a lot more innovative.

This is where Backbeater comes on stage. It is a combination hardware, with an accompanied mobile app, that can be easily used by all generations of drummers.

Before you download the Backbeater metronome app, you should get their special kit. It contains a Nootle mobile mount that needs to be attached to the hi-hat stand, as well as the Wiretap audio splitter so that you can use headphones while playing the drums. Finally and most importantly, you also get the Backbeater sensor, which monitors the tempo and sends the data to the mobile phone and the app.

As for the app, the middle part of the interface displays the number of beats per minute (BPM). Then there’s the circle around the BPM display, in which a dot shows your stroke accuracy in real time.

There’s also an option to launch your pre-recorded setlist and play the songs from that list, as well as use the arrows on the screen to switch between the songs.

2) Oddball

Wherever there’s a sound, there’s also the potential to create music. Oddball is a product that speaks best in favor of this statement.

It’s literally a bouncing ball that creates beats as it touches the ground or any other surface. This drum machine comes in two parts: the sound-producing ball and the mobile app. The outer part of the ball is made of rubber. The central part contains the sensor, which is the heart of the entire product.

As you bounce the ball, the contact-sensitive sensor produces the beats. The harder you bounce the ball, the heavier the sound and vice versa: the lighter you bounce, the subtler beat you get.

These beats are then sent to the mobile phone and emitted through the headphones or the mobile speaker. Logically, you can also connect your mobile to a Bluetooth speaker, or any other, non-integrated speakers.

Oddball is a great choice for different generations. If you’re a professional drummer or a music producer, you can use it to produce and record more creative sounds. Amateur music enthusiasts can experiment with this beat-generating device to discover their music affinities. Finally, it’s a nice gift for little children, both as a toy and as a ticket to the world of percussions.

It’s also available in different colors, which adds to its overall design impression.

3) LIVE Series Cajon

The Cajon is one of the most popular all-in-one drums. It can either be an acoustic or an electronic Cajon and it’s most often played along the guitar.

Unlike the typical Cajons you can find on the market, the LIVE Series Cajon introduces some add-ons that make the entire playing experience smoother and more exciting.

One of the most important advancements brought by this Cajon is the 5-tier snare lock. This special feature enables Cajon players to change the sound during live sessions as they’re playing it. The five-tier handle is here to help you choose from five different sounds.

As for the sound itself, the LIVE Series Cajon is made to produce deep, warm bass sounds. This feature is possible thanks to the bass pedal system. Simply put, there’s a pedal at the back of this Cajon, which triggers the bass beater inside the drum. By pressing the pedal with your heel, you produce the sound of a bass drum.

Logically, the snare sound is produced by hitting the front of this Cajon, but this Cajon goes the extra mile in producing a high-resonating, jangling sound.

In case you want to play a gig without changing the sound of the Cajon, the handle and the pedal can easily be removed.

Finally, the aluminum framing makes the LIVE Series Cajon one of the most durable and lightest cajons on the market.

4) Switch Kick Bass Drum Beater

Drummers are among the most innovative musicians. They often create a sound or a beat pattern that sounds different from anything else. Such creativity often leads to conceiving new products and drumming accessories. The Switch Kick Bass Drum Beater is one of such devices.

Conceived by drummer Kevin Smith and manufactured by Drum Concepts Studio, this set is meant to help drummers change the sound of the drum bass as they’re playing it. Thanks to this bass drum set, you can adjust the settings without interrupting the playing flow.

In order to get the preferred sound, you can turn the head of the beater on the plastic or felt side. What you can also do is replace this beater with the bomber beater or the brush beater, depending on the desired sound you want to produce on your bass drum. The latest innovation coming from this bass drum manufacture is the sonic beater. This drumming addition has a hollow body, which ensures a more resonate sound of the bass drum.

The metal axis in the middle of these beaters is made of stainless steel. This material is a guarantee of endurance and top-notch sound.

5) The Guitar Drum

Closely related to the Cajon, the electric drum is a substitution for a Cajon.

This innovation is a small, nicely shaped board that’s attached to the guitar body, usually above the hole. When you’re playing the guitar, you can hit the guitar-drum with the palm of your hand, to produce the sound of the Cajon.

The board, i.e. the drum is easily attached to the guitar. The kit comes with mounting tape, which is used to stick the drum to the guitar without causing any damage to the instrument.

You can choose from several types of wood for the drum, such as mango, koa, or poplar.

One of the greatest benefits of this guitar add-on is the fact that you don’t have to carry both your guitar and Cajon to your gigs. The guitar-drum will serve your Cajon needs well, and what’s more, it won’t take much space in your car.

6) Drumfigurator 93

A mobile software app, Drumfigurator is supposed to help drummers improve their practice sessions and configure their drum sets.

Some of the features that the final product will contain are creating, saving and sharing your own setup for a drum set or percussion kit.

The app in its current state enables its users to set up a drum kit, as well to adjust some details, and share these settings and design with other users of the app.

When and if Drumfigurator becomes a fully completed drumming app, its users will also be able to add images to their drum designs.

Starting other KickStarter Projects for Drummers

Kickstarter remains one of the most popular places for musical innovators to place their products and ask for public support.

There will certainly be more interesting projects on this website in the time ahead. Every music enthusiast should follow such news and expand their artistic horizons. What’s more, if you have any similar ideas for innovative musical solutions, feel free to start a campaign on Kickstarter and see how people perceive your ideas.

The projects we’ve presented in this article can serve as an inspiration for new musical innovators to share their visions with the online audience.

Please share this page!

The 7 Best XLR Cables for Sound Quality

Best XLR Cable for sound quality

XLR cables carry the audio signal from your instrument or microphone to mixing table, amp, PA and other devices. A good cable is crucial for the sound quality. No matter how expensive your gear is, it’s not worth much without a good cable.

When someone mentions quality gear, most people usually think of musical instruments, microphones, amps, mixing tables etc. On the other side, sound engineers know that every single piece of musical equipment is equally important. The quality of cables are an often overlooked element in the chain.

XLR cables are one of the most common types of cables when it comes to both studio and live performances. Many electric instruments still rely on classic line in/out cables, but XLR cables can be a much better solution, especially if there’s a long way from an instrument to a mixing table or other device. On the other side, microphones predominantly use these types for decades.

The 7 Best XLR Cables – Summary

Popular cable with a good balance between price and quality
High-grade XLR cable, designed for the pros
Budget cable with decent quality
Cheap and very popular cable with numerous color options

You will easily recognize an XLR cable jack by its pins. The most common are 3-pin jacks. When someone mentions XLR, people usually think of these. Variants with 4,5,6,7 and more pins are also available, but they are not used as often.

Just like every product on the market, these ones also come in various price ranges. Some are cheap, while some are designed for pro use. Even if your budget is tight, you can find a decent one. The things you should consider when choosing the best option are mainly about connector quality, cable core, and shielding.

When it comes to connector quality, online reviews from other users are a good indicator. You will easily find out if some connector is durable enough or if there’s some potential issue, such as unwanted buzz or similar things.

On the other side, cable core seems pretty straightforward. The thicker the cable, the better sound quality. If you want a cable with a top quality, go for a copper core. This core is oxygen-free, which should guarantee best-possible sound quality. However, most professionals actually don’t hear the difference.

Speaking of the shielding, there are three main types – Tin Plated Copper, Copper and Aluminum laminate. If you need a quality cable for live performances, tin plated copper would be the best choice, due to its great flexibility.

The last but not the least is the cable length. Do not get a long cable unless you actually need it, as this can have a bad effect on the sound quality.

Here is the list of some quality cables that you can find around:

1) Mogami Silver Series XLR Microphone Cable

If you’re looking for a quality cable with an attractive price, this one is a great choice. Mogami is a well-known name in the audio industry. For several decades, it has been a synonym for quality products.

Nowadays, it offers three series of XLR cables – Silver, Gold, and Platinum. As you may presume, it’s about entry-level series in this case. However, even this most basic cable keeps a high level of quality and durability.

The company claims every cable is hand assembled. It comes in different lengths, so you probably won’t have bigger troubles to find the one that fits best to you.

2) Monster Prolink Performer 600 Pro Audio Microphone Cable

For those who want premium quality, Monster Prolink Performer is an excellent choice. This is a top-grade product, so don’t be confused with its high price tag. With this one, you can count on spectacular sound quality.

Moreover, the company offers a custom XLR connection system, which offers additional flexibility and durability, so much important for live performers. Also, there is a unique shielding technology, which ensures crystal clear sound and keeps from any kind of unwanted noise.

3) AmazonBasics XLR Male to Female Microphone Cable

Among cheap XLR cables, this is a decent choice. This cable is cheap, but it actually has some quality to offer.

The first thing that you’ll notice on this cable is metal housings of connectors, which ensures good protection. Also, you can count on a quite decent copper spiral shielding, which keeps this cable pretty quiet. Of course, the cable comes in different lengths. A one-year limited warranty is included as well.

4) Audio-Technica AT8314 XLR Cable

Choosing a product from a renowned manufacturer is always a good option if you’re not so experienced. This cable comes from the famous Japanese company that has been considered as one of the biggest names in the audio industry. Among numerous other product, they offer XLR cables as well.

This one is a mid-range product when it comes to price. It offers good overall quality and some of the company’s unique design solutions. The first thing you’ll notice is the quality of XLR connectors.

Additionally, there is a quality PVC jacket, as well as dual cooper outer shields, which make this product very durable and reliable for live performances. Definitely a great choice if you want good value/money balance.

5) LyxPro Balanced XLR Cable

The LyxPro is another value option that I would like to recommend. Considering the price, this one actually doesn’t really feature any major points of weakness. It comes with quality PVC inner shield, which offers a 98% coverage.

With such figures, you can count on a great sound quality. In terms of durability, there are metal XLR housings. It comes in various colors. This can be quite useful for identifying different cables in complex set-ups.

6) Your Cable Store 10 Foot XLR

This is a very affordable XLR cable. The sound quality is good. Also, you can use it without any worries for live performances, considering metal housings.

The shielding quality is also on a decent level, so you won’t have bigger problems with noise. The cable comes in various lengths with different options for colors. Definitely a great budget cable.

7) Planet Waves Classic Series XLR Microphone Cable

This list ends with the Planet Waves Classic Series XLR cable. This is also a quite affordable product, which comes with several strong points.

One thing that you’ll hardly find on other cables of this price range is a very good corrosion protection, which seems critical for the contact reliability. These connectors are nickel plated and feature metal housings, which guarantee great durability as well.

The shielding is also quite decent, so you can also count on a quiet operation. All in all, a very good value for the money. The product comes in different lengths.


Those would be some of the best and most popular XLR cables you can find around. As you can see, these products come in a pretty wide price range. Some are very cheap, while others are quite expensive.

So, identify your priorities and needs before purchasing. Determine your budget, and then check things like cable length, shielding, and connector quality and similar things. Once you’re done with these, the choice shouldn’t be that hard.

Please share this page!

The Best Drum Mics for Acoustic Drums

drum mics

If you are new in the world of drum mics, you should know that acoustic drums are probably the hardest instrument to mic. The reason is quite simple. Acoustic drum offers a large spectrum of sounds, you can count on a pretty strong signal picked by your microphone.

A quality microphone needs to deal with all unwanted noise and to be able to pick all the nuance and details, crucial for playing dynamics.

So, let’s say that you are a drum player that has never used microphones for live performances, or you want to start recording. The most natural choice would be to pick some quality drum mic kit.

These kits usually feature pretty much everything you need, including not just different types of microphones for different drum parts but also several accessories. The most important are mounting clamps of course. With them, you can easily mount the microphone on the drum and make so-called close mic.

Besides easy mounting, you will need some XLR cables, which is another piece of accessories that these kits usually include. Finally, expect to get some case, where you can pack all the mics and other parts.

The Best Drum Mics and Drum Mic Kits

This seems like a perfect choice for someone who is a complete beginner with drum mics. Not only that you’ll get all needed pieces in a single case, but you can also count that this kit will cost you less money than if you decide to buy each piece separately.

Another good thing to know is that there are different types of these drum mic bundles. If you need to mic drums for recording, you should go for studio microphones.

On the other side, live performance requires a microphone that will be able to deal with all the unwanted noise that comes from all directions. In this case, you should go for dynamic microphones.

Once you get known with these tools better, you can start building your own kit, by purchasing each piece separately. There are tons of quality microphones designed for specific drum parts, like overhead drum mic, kick drum mic, snare drum mic, tom mic etc.

These pieces usually feature much better quality compared to ones in drum kits. Of course, the price is much higher also, so you will need much more money to complete your own drum microphone kit.

Here are some of the best products you can find on the market:


This is a pretty basic drum kit that comes from a highly renowned manufacturer. This kit consists of five mics with different characteristics, perfect for specific areas. You can count on three PGA56 microphones that are especially for toms and other drums.

For the kick drum, you need something that perfectly collects sound from heavy bass sources, so PGA52 seems like a natural choice. This one can be used for bass amps as well. Finally, there is a classic PGA57 dynamic microphone. This universal microphone seems perfect for snares.

Besides microphones, you can count on all necessary accessories. There are cables and mounts for all microphones, as well as a nice hard case. The overall quality of this kit seems pretty decent, while the price is relatively affordable. Definitely a great choice for beginners.

Pyle-Pro 7-Piece Kit

This Pyle-Pro is a great drum mic bundle for beginners. It is cheap, reliable and consists of 7 microphones. Basically, there are three types of mics in this kit. As you may presume, there is one large unit, which is designed especially for low frequencies.

For snares, toms and other drums, this kit offers four smaller dynamic microphones, that can catch a pretty wide range of frequencies. Finally, you get two condenser overhead mics, which are perfect for cymbals, but vocals as well.

Of course, mounting systems for all microphones are included, while a fancy-looking hard case seems pretty convenient. Also, it is important to mention that all mics feature common dimensions and that can be mounted on various types of a microphone stand.

The overall quality isn’t spectacular, but you must consider that this is a low-budget product, with the attractive price as its strongest point.

Lewitt DTP Beat Kit Pro 7

If you’re looking for something highly professional, here is the kit for you. This is a top-grade product, which comes with 7 high-quality microphones. The most interesting piece in this kit is definitely a kick drum mic.

This bass mic features two capsules, both dynamic and condenser. Such design eliminated the possibility of common phase issues, while the sound quality is amazing as well. Rest of the kit is also all about top-quality mics. There are three DTP 340 TTS dynamic mics, perfect for toms.

On the other side, a dynamic MTP 440 DM takes care of snares. Finally, you can count on a pair of top quality condenser overhead units, which feature cardioid capsules. Of course, mounts and case are included as well. Definitely, one of the best kits you can find around.

Shure PGA52-XLR

For those who prefer building drum mic bundles on their own, the most important part of the kit would probably be a quality drum kick mic.

This is the same one that can be found in the company’s PGA drum kit. It might look expensive but definitely features amazing quality. One of its strong points is a cardioid polar pattern, which deals with unwanted noise very well.

Sennheiser E604 Dynamic Cardioid

When it comes to snares and toms, this is the unit you definitely need to consider. This cardioid dynamic microphone offers a great value for the money. It picks drum sounds amazingly well while keeping it clear from unwanted noise.

One of its strong points is great sensitivity, which is crucial for drummers who care a lot about playing dynamics. Also, the construction of this mic is very durable, while the mounting system guarantee installation in a matter of seconds. Another amazing thing about Sennheiser E604 is that the company gives a 10-year warranty.


Despite the low price tag, this condenser microphone is a decent representative of the renowned company. Thanks to its cardioid design, this unit works pretty well not just for drum overheads, but acoustic guitars and other instruments as well.

It features solid metal construction and covers a frequency range from 20 Hz to 20 kHz. Moreover, it comes with a switchable 20-dB pre-attenuation pad. A great value for the price. Definitely worth of buying.

Audio Technica AT2041SP

There is no need for some special introduction of this highly-renowned company. Pretty much all microphones that come from this manufacturer are characterized by excellent quality. What makes this condenser microphone so special is its stand.

Besides amazing sound, this mic comes with a stand that can be used to mic various kinds of instruments. Many use this one to mic a piano but for us, it seems amazing because you can easily mount it on a hi-hat. It also works perfectly as overhead drum mic.

Summary – The Best Drum Mics

These are some of the best and most popular drum mics that you can find around. Before you start with making your own mic bundle, be sure to identify your priorities and needs.

There are plenty of budget options, but on the other hand, there is a great choice of single unit drum mics for more experienced players who want to spend a bigger amount of money and get superior sound quality. In that case, a top-quality kit sounds great, but if you’re really picky about your sound, then buying single mics are the way to go.

Of course, it all depends on your budget and how much money you want to spend. All in all, the drum mics on this list are all good quality ones.

Please share this page!

6 Drum Games Online Using Your Keyboard

Whether or not you are a drummer, drumming on a computer sometimes could be very fun. It is a great way to cut your time when you’re bored or you want to have some fun with your friends. Moreover, those drummers who are still learning could find plenty of useful things and learn some new beats or improve their feel.

There are plenty of online drum games available today. Many developers offer their simulations of drum kits in order to provide some fun. These games are very simple and easy to use. In most cases, these are good for a nothing more than making noise. However, there are also games that could be quite educational. Some of them offer drum lessons, step-by-step learning of popular beats, sheet music and much more. This could be a pretty interesting way of learning new things in drum playing. Still, most games are actually nothing more than noise makers, so everyone could use it. In most cases, the way you play is simple – via keyboard, though a mouse can be used as well. Some games are designed for both desktop computers and smartphones, tablets and similar devices, so you can play on a touchscreen as well.

Here is the list of some popular virtual drum games. Please note that some games could require flash player, but most of them won’t:

1) Virtrual Drumming

Virtual Drumming is a great website. If you are a drummer, you will find a bunch of useful thing on this address. One of them is this virtual drum game, which looks pretty amazing. It offers a pretty nice graphics layout, which comes with a pretty convincing drum set look. Great thing about this game is a variety of options. You can choose one of the numerous drum kits to play on it. Most of these kits are inspired by some of the world’s most famous drummers like Travis Barker, John Bonham, Ian Paice, Lars Ulrich, Mike Portnoy and many others. Besides these “artist” sets, you can also choose some of the original kits, simply named as Vintage, Hip-Hop, Double Pedal etc.

The way you play this game is easy. Each part of a drum set has its designated button on your keyboard, so you can easily combine different sounds. If you feel more comfortable, you can use your mouse instead, or combine it with a keyboard. Of course, you can configure controls according to your preferences. Besides the pretty convenient look and easiness of use, this game also offers pretty nice sound quality. On the other side, there are no tracks to play along, which could be considered the biggest drawback of this game. All in all, probably the best online drum game you’ll find.

Besides the game, you can find a lot of other useful things on this address. For example, it offers numerous lessons for both beginners and advanced drummers, all of them for free. It starts with the most basic things like stick and foot controls but also goes through some common basic beats. Moreover, there are even drum parts of some rock classics. Advanced players will find more complicated drum beats lessons like Afro-Cuban and Samba, as well as numerous trancriptions. All lessons are designed in “step-by-step” manner, so everyone can learn them. Definitely a great website to visit!

2) Online Drums Set: Play the Epic Drum Set

Session Town is a website that offers various kinds of music apps and games. Among them, you can find this drum game as well. The first thing you’ll notice about it is a really non-apealing look. I would say that designers of this game definitely didn’t put much effort in creating this game, at least when it comes to visual appearance. On the other side, the game works quite good. You will find several pads with simple drawings. Each one is for specific drum part and each one delivers pretty decent sound.

The best thing about this game is its easiness of use. You can play it in several ways. The most basic way would be via keyboard. Once again, every drum part has its designed button on a keyboard. Of course, a mouse cursor is another inevitable method. Finally, you can play this game on a smartphone, tablet or any other device that features a touchscreen. This is definitely the most convenient way to play any virtual drum game.

As I’ve already mentioned, this website offers plenty of other useful games and apps. Some of them are a virtual piano keyboard, interval ear training, online metronome and an app that will help you to learn how to read music. All these are great tools for learning in a fun way.

Go one step further: Get a drum pad or roll-up drum kit

Compact roll-up drum set, with built in speakers, foot pedals, drum-sticks, and power supply
A low cost all-in-one electronic drum pad, with foot pedals and built-in speaker
Popular electronic drum pads, with foot pedals and built-in speaker
Also, check out our buyer’s guides on electronic drum pads and roll-up drum kits for more information on these.


3) Bookaboo Drum Kit

Despite it looks like a little kids game, it is actually a pretty interesting tool for making some noise. It comes with pretty flashy, circus-like look, so you’ll probably be suspicious at the beginning. Once the loading is finished, you will find a common layout, which seems quite the same as in other virtual drum games – a bunch of pads with different look and sounds, with even marked letters for easy playing on your keyboard. You can use a mouse as well. The game seems effortless to play, though the sound quality could be better. Besides drum parts, you will notice some kind of a metallophone at the top of the screen, so you can even play some notes if you wish. It should be quite interesting for youngsters.

4) Playdrumsonline

This game is primarily for fun and you definitely won’t learn anything about drumming with this one. Compared to most drum games, this one doesn’t simulate drum kit. It features a layout that will most of us find familiar with guitar hero. Basically, there are several different colors and lines, which you need to hit by a designated button on a keyboard in a specific time. Once again, it doesn’t have much in common with drum playing. On the other side, it is a great game for fun or to make your time shorter. A strong point of this one is that there is a pretty large library of songs to play along and all of them are well-known hits of popular music.

5) Y8 Drummer Game – Requires FlashPlayer

Unlike games from above, this one requires flash player. However, we shouldn’t take this necessarily as a drawback. This drum game looks very basic. Moreover, it is built over some old drum kit photo, so my first thoughts about this game were how old is it. Its design looks pretty archaic, just like those quiz games from the 90s. Still, it is quite playable game. You can turn on/off the key map of designated keyboard buttons, but the thing that separates this drum simulator from others is that it also offers pretty convenient mouse playing. You just need to go point the cursor on specific drum part, no need for clicks. In that way, you can easily make pretty cool beats. All in all, a very simple but well-made virtual drum game.

6) Buckle Virtual Drum Set – Requires FlashPlayer

This one also requires a flash player but offers pretty nice-looking graphics. It comes with the very basic drum set, which consists of ten drum parts in total. These can be played via keyboard, but with a mouse as well. Still, a keyboard works much better, mostly because of number-based control configuration. The sound quality seems decent too. When it comes to additional options, there are few presets with most common beats to play along.

Please share this page!