Electronic drum kits have become a common option in the drumming world. Whether it be for practicing, gigging or recording, a good electronic kit will do the job.
A common question is whether electronic kits will be good for all styles of music. You’ll find that a lot of them don’t cater for double pedals.
If you don’t already have a good pair of double bass pedals, check out our post about the best ones.
These are my top picks for electronic kits that will encourage your metal lifestyle.
5 Best Electronic Drum Kits that Support Double Bass Pedals
The Roland TD-1DMK was literally designed with a double pedal in mind. Its a simplistic kit that is good for beginners and drummers that need an affordable practice option.
The bass drum pad is a small oval-shaped pad connected to the frame that has just enough space for two beaters. Its size is a big benefit to double pedal players who need to save space, since the pad isn’t on a big bass drum tower.
Most electronic kits at this price range don’t have a bass drum pad, making this kit a seriously good option for how much it costs.
The bass drum pad is very responsive, meaning you’ll hear every note clearly when playing fast double bass patterns.
The TD-1DMK module is quite simple. It has 15 preset kits, 15 built-in tracks and 10 different coaching features. The sounds can’t be modified and you can’t make custom kits. This simple design could be attractive to some, but it could also leave others wanting more.
The kit does have USB capabilities, so you can connect it to a computer for recording and broader sound options.
A great feature is that the drum pads are all mesh heads, giving the kit a more natural feel when playing.
2. Alesis Surge
One thing I’ve always loved about Alesis, is the sizes of their pads. The Alesis Surge follows this same framework, with a 10” snare, 8” toms and a 8” kick pad.
The large kick pad and sturdy frame makes the Alesis Surge a great option for double pedal playing.
The kit has mesh heads that can be tuned. You can change the amount of rebound and sensitivity to get custom playing response. This means that you can alter the feel of the kit to get close to the feel of your acoustic kit. Some players like their drums tight and some like them loose. So, the tunable mesh heads are a great feature.
The Alesis Surge drum module is packed with features. It has 24 preset kits and space for 16 of your own kits that you can make with the 385 available sounds. However, the quality of the sounds isn’t as good as some competitor products in the same price range.
The module also comes with 60 music tracks to play along to. These are labeled as practice tracks, meaning they’re made specifically to improve your musicality. There are a few heavy ones in there, so you can work on your double pedal playing!
The Roland TD-17KVX is an electronic kit that is packed with cool features. It’s in the mid-tier price range and Roland has definitely made sure that you get what you pay for.
The kit comes with a KD-10 kick pad. It comfortably supports double pedals and gives a solid impact when played, even though it’s quite soft. The softness of the pad gives the feel of an acoustic bass drum head. The frame of the kick tower is anchored securely in place, meaning you won’t get unwanted movement from playing too hard. This kick pad will give an authentic double pedal experience.
The TD-17 sound module is based on the TD-50, which is Roland’s flagship module. So, you are getting features that are coming from their highest quality product. There are 50 preset kits that are made from the 310 onboard sounds. You can import your own sounds via an SD card, which is a seriously useful function!
The module has Bluetooth capabilities, allowing you to wirelessly jam along to songs from your phone and record MIDI into a computer. I would advise not using Bluetooth for MIDI though, because recording though a cable will always be the more reliable option.
The kit allows for two extra pad inputs, meaning you can add some extra toms to get that heavy metal kit setup.
You’ll notice one thing when looking at this kit, it’s huge! Most electronic kits are quite compact in order to save space. The Alesis DM10 MKII was designed to resemble an acoustic kit in its size.
With 3 cymbals and 4 toms, this kit is just asking you to play metal on it. The 8” kick pad will fit a double pedal comfortably. The pad is positioned on a sturdy tower, meaning it won’t move much even when playing fast double kick patterns.
The 5 mesh heads are dual-zone, meaning you can get two sounds from each pad. The snare pad is mounted on a snare stand, instead of to the from of the kit like most other electronic kits. The snare 12”, the rack toms are 10” and the floor toms are 12”.
The DM10 module has 50 preset kits, 700 onboard sounds and 30 spaces for custom kits. Alesis doesn’t doing multi-velocity sampling, meaning the sounds aren’t too realistic.
The price of the DM10 MKII is exceptional, considering the amount of pads it has and their size. If you need a large kit to practice on with your double pedal, this is a great option.
I have seen the Yamaha DTX532K in a lot of teaching studios. Teachers like to use this kit because it has a proper hi-hat stand and an authentic kick drum pad.
The KP65 kick drum pad is not the biggest out there, but it still comfortably supports a double pedal. It keeps noise levels low, as long as you place it on a carpet and not on a hard floor.
The DTX532K is a standard 5-piece setup, with the snare drum being a 3-zone silicone pad and the toms being rubber pads. The cymbals also have three zones, meaning you can play the bells and choke them.
The Yamaha DTX502 drum module has 50 preset kits and 691 onboard sounds. There are 50 spaces for custom kits. Yamaha has sampled a bunch of their high-end acoustic kits, so the sound quality is quite good.
The kit has MIDI capability, meaning you can plug it into a computer.
Overall, the DTX532K is a reliable option. It ticks all the boxes and will be a great kit for your double pedal needs.
Most electronic kits will be compatible with different drum pads. This means that if you’re not too happy with a certain pad, you can purchase a separate on and swap it out.
Double Bass on an Electronic Kit
“Machine Gunning” is a term commonly used when it comes to electric kits. It means that the velocity of notes is the same, making them sound robotic when played quickly.
This is usually a problem for snare drum rolls, but it could be an issue when playing with a double pedal. When looking for a kit, make sure that machine gunning isn’t something that people have complained about.
You should also make sure that the kit has an extremely sturdy kick pad, since the double pedal will give it quite a frequent beating, and you don’t want it to move around.
Potential Pedal Issues
Electronic drum kits have a tendency to wear out over time, especially the kick pads. The most common cause of this is the wrong type of beater is being used to hit a mesh or plastic drum pad.
There are several types of beaters that you get, varying from wood to plastic to rubber. So, it’s understandable if you use the wrong beater. It’s just good to know that it might cause some damage which you can prevent.
The best beater to use on electronic drum pads is a plastic one. They work the best with rubber and mesh material. Felt beaters tend to get worn out quickly, leaving the metal exposed when hitting the pad. The same can be said with regards to plastic beaters.
Another benefit of rubber beaters is that they’re fairly quiet. The bass drum is always the loudest part of an electronic drum kit, so a plastic beater does a great job in eliminating some of the sound.
Once you have your electronic drum kit and double pedal, you need to make sure that you set the kit up the same way you would an acoustic kit. Setting up a double pedal is never easy on any type of drum kit, but you should put extra effort into setting it up ergonomically.
The left pedal should be placed close to the hi-hat, but not directly underneath it. That space should be utilized by your hi-hat pedal.
The best thing to do is to get a picture of a pro drummer’s setup that has a double pedal. Imitating that setup will ensure that you’ve set the pedals up in the best way possible.
Having a comfortable setup that is ergonomic will help you play better in the long run. It will also allow you to transfer all your playing over to an acoustic kit with no issue.
Not everyone is into double pedals, but I feel it is always better to have an option rather than not having it. So, it is a wise idea to get an electronic kit that caters for a double pedal, because you just might start using one somewhere down the line.