The 7 Best Electronic Drum Modules (2023) – Drum Brains and Trigger Modules
A central part of your electric drum kit is the drum module. Thanks to advancements in these devices, the times of awkward, clunky-sounding electronic drums have passed.
Today, more and more drummers are turning to electronic drum kits and triggering, realizing all the benefits that these instruments have.
My top as the best drum module is the Pearl MIMP24B Mimic Pro. It’s an excellent and well-rounded module by a respected manufacturer.
My recommended drum trigger module is the Roland TM2 – TM-2 Acoustic Drum Trigger Module, which is a basic, affordable option for those not looking to break the bank. The Roland TM-6 is an outstanding option if you’re looking for a high-end trigger module.
- The 7 Best Electronic Drum Modules (2023)
- 1. Pearl MIMP24B Mimic Pro
- 2. Roland TM2 - TM-2 Acoustic Drum Trigger Module
- 3. Roland TD-50 V-Drums Sound Module
- 4. Yamaha DTX900 Series Drum Module
- 5. Yamaha DTX502 Electronic Drum Trigger Module
- 6. Alesis Strike Drum Module
- 7. Roland TM-6 Pro Drum Trigger Module
The 7 Best Electronic Drum Modules (2023)
Let’s compare these in more detail.
When two top-class companies pull their best sources, you can expect nothing less than one of the finest electronic drum modules around. This Pearl drum module is powered by the newest drum library of the famous producer and software expert Steven Slate.
So, besides Pearl’s recognizable quality, you can count on drum sounds that have been recorded in some of the most famous studios around. This module comes with 60 drum kits in total, which perfectly mimic the original sound.
The module comes with the fantastic 7-inch touchscreen interface, which is extremely transparent and offers pretty simple navigation, which ensures so-much-appreciated easiness of use. Also, the software is extremely fast, which is crucial for the user’s convenience.
Additionally, there is a 120 GB SSD, as well as SD/USB connectivity, so you can store all of your favorite samples.
Another novelty is advanced sensor technology, which reduces false triggering to a minimum. These sensors are extremely responsive, so you have plenty of room to adjust the velocity. Since there are 16 ins and outs, this module can work well even with the largest kits.
You can monitor your playing, and also record a dry signal without FX. Of course, there is also MIDI connectivity. A 12V DC power supply is also included.
In many cases, the best way is to keep things simple. The TM-2 trigger module is a compact and extremely intuitive device, which seems like a perfect tool for all those who need an affordable and easy-to-use unit.
It comes with a very simple design, with only a few buttons but with a strong interface that offers numerous sounds. There are more than 100 professional sounds in total, which are designed for layering with acoustic drums as well. Moreover, there is an SD card slot, so you can use your sounds too.
It offers several onboard effects, including reverb, flanger, and delay. MIDI conversion is included too, and the great thing about this device is that you can connect to any other controller. Speaking of connectivity, TM-2 works with both acoustic drum triggers and drum pads.
It is compatible with BT-1 Bar Trigger Pad, KT-10 Kick Trigger Pedal, V-Pads, and V-Cymbals. A lack of editing options is probably the only bigger drawback of this unit, though many would say we shouldn’t be asking for more, considering the price tag. An AC adapter is included, though the unit can be powered with four AA batteries as well.
The latest version of the famous module series comes with a bunch of improvements. While the overall layout might look unchanged, the software is completely new. The new Prismatic Sound Modeling engine brings an amazingly realistic drum sound, characterized by beautiful colors and great dynamics.
The first thing that you’ll notice on TD-50 is a bunch of controls. Most players will appreciate all those onboard knobs for EQ, reverb, compression, saturation, etc. With these controls, creating a natural ambiance seems almost effortless.
The core of this module is the new Prismatic Sound Modeling engine, which besides amazing sound offers plenty of modeling options. You can set the thickness and overtones of each drum shell, and the thickness and size of each cymbal. Additionally, there are 30 built-in effects, like saturation, compression, etc.
This module also allows you to import any kind of library via an SDHC card. Once you upload the library, you can start editing your kits. Thanks to the Snapshot feature, you can A/B before and after. If you don’t like what you’ve made, just scrap it and start over again.
When it comes to ins and outs, you can send the signal through either balanced stereo XLR outs, or unbalanced ¼ stereo outs. MIDI in/out is also included, while a USB port is a perfect feature for home recording since you won’t need an audio interface.
4. Yamaha DTX900 Series Drum Module
The DTX900 relies on Yamaha’s proven 64-tone polyphonic tone generator, which offers pretty good sound dynamics. This unit offers 50 drum kits with natural sound. Besides good audio quality, it comes with a very user-friendly design, in Yamaha’s traditional layout, with plenty of analog controls.
Of course, this module is designed primarily for live performances, but it can serve as an excellent practice unit, especially if we consider a built-in music sequencer.
There are numerous preset songs. You have full control of these pieces, so you can mute pretty much every part of the song, including the rhythm part, bass, or any other part. So, play with the instruments you want and work on your skills.
Additionally, there are Rhythm Gate and Groove Check features, as well as an onboard metronome. Great tools to improve your technique.
All in all, you can count on thousands of drum sounds, 50 presets and 50 user kits, two USB ports (Type A and Type B), 2-track real-time recording, MIDI in and out, and many other features for the price that is significantly lower compared to key competitors.
5. Yamaha DTX502 Electronic Drum Trigger Module
This trigger module looks like a pretty capable alternative to expensive sound modules. For a very affordable price, you can successfully hybridize your drum kit with this trigger module. It is a new, upgraded version of the previous DTX500 module and it comes with a bunch of novelties.
The new model delivers almost twice wave ROM and 250 additional sounds. With such a large offer, it definitely can make great sounds when connected to pads.
It comes with high-quality drum and cymbal sounds that are designed by top-class VST developers. With 691 sounds and 50 kits in total, DTX502 is ready to take your playing to the next level.
It can be used successfully both for practice and live performances. Easiness of use is one of the strongest points. The trigger’s design is very simple and consists of only several buttons, one data wheel, and a small LCD screen.
It is good to know that you can import MIDI files, while USB connectivity makes things much easier.
If Alesis claims that this is the most versatile and capable module they have offered to date, then there must be something special about it. First off, it has an incredible sample library with 136 preset kits, 1,800 instruments, and 45,000 individual samples. And it’s not just quantity, they sound pretty nice as well.
On top of this, you can add new samples via USB/MIDI or a 16 GB external card. There’s also built-in sampling in this module. It is compatible with all popular software. So, you don’t have to worry about what software you use. The module also has standard features like EQ, compression, and reverb effects.
The Strike Software Editor allows you to sample custom sounds. So, you can create a new kit that is suited to you and add it to the module. This module honestly opens up a world of possibilities for anyone using an e-drumkit or an acoustic kit.
It has a pretty neat and convenient interface, making for a great user experience. You get visual feedback and editing abilities on its 4.3” color screen. It has 12 input triggers and 12 faders that work just as well with other triggers as they do with the Alesis ones.
The Alesis Strike Drum Module is a top-notch module that has a lot to offer for everyone.
This is a trigger module that is made for the professional/gigging drummer who uses a lot of samples in their playing. It’s a brilliant tool for whether you’re already hybrid drumming or want to get into it.
The module has an extensive library that is home to 500 preloaded samples. You can choose between electronic sounds, acoustic sounds, and SFX. You can mold your acoustic kit to sound like anything you want. Its in-built sound library also lets you access Roland’s V-drum sounds, including hi-hat pedal control.
The TM-6 Pro lets you add custom samples through the SD card slot. So, you can recreate pretty much any sound you want on your acoustic kit. However, there is no slot for USB or MIDI, so you will be limited to an SD card while importing audio.
This module has an exceptionally fast response. You can add up to 6 trigger inputs, which can turn into 12 with a ‘Y’ cable. There are also 4 mono outputs or 2 stereo outputs, which can be assigned a specific track. Its interface is pretty straightforward as well with a small LED to work the controls.
The best thing about this module is that it keeps on giving new faces to your acoustic drum kit. Apart from its massive sample library, you can also control the volume, pitch, decay, and octave. So, whatever the musical setting or the size of the venue demands, you know that with the TM-6 Pro, you are ready to perform anytime, anywhere.
Drum modules are an excellent way to expand your e-drum setup. They are especially beneficial for drummers who want the control of electronic drums but desire more expressiveness found with acoustic instruments.
Electronic drum modules are excellent recording tools. Most of these products offer such amazing sound quality, which mimics acoustic drum sets, as well as offering sounds that are simply not possible on them.
Some modules feature many kits integrated, with sounds that have been recorded in some of the world’s finest studios, by famous sound engineers. All modern modules come with amazing sound libraries, and most of them also feature SD cards or similar slots, so you can also import your sounds and make this device even better.
Thanks to the amazing sound quality, as well as to great flexibility that allows numerous trigger inputs, these modules are also an excellent thing for live performances.
The best drum module allows you to play patches that emulate a real drum kit alongside traditional MIDI sounds, with both capable of providing responsive triggering and detailed customization.
My top recommended drum module is the Pearl MIMP24B Mimic Pro. A very well-respected brand and an overall great drum module.
My budget option is the Roland TM2 – TM-2 Acoustic Drum Trigger Module for those on a tighter budget.