I'm new here. I use forums quite a bit, so starting this here with a Sweetwater forum seemed a natural.
I have been purchasing musical eqipment (4 guitars, couple of amps, couple of mixers, DI boxes, TONS of cables, etc.) and around Thanksgiving I was checking out electronic drum sets. The one that really caught my attention was the ION IED12. And just about the same time, they were discontinued and so unavailable, largely, except as used AS IS units. Every other similar-looking set from ION/Alesis seemed to be geared to video games. I had to wonder how much time and trouble goes into the manufacture of a game set...
So, my question is, what is the nearest suitable (meaning features/price) drum set on the market? Is it possible to take one of the game units and ramp it up to a near-fit close to an IED12 without great cost/trouble?
There's a big difference between the Ion and the "musical instrument" e-drums. One is a toy, the others are gig-ready instruments that can be upgraded, personalized and enjoyed for many years to come.
If you're a musician and looking for something that you can play properly, you'll want things like velocity triggering (louder sounds as you hit harder), multi-zones (different sounds on the head and rim) and variable hi-hats - and you'll only find those on decent kits.
Personally, I looked at an entry-level kit when I started out and wasted a lot of time trying to get a cheap set for the best price. When I finally sat down and played it, it was so bad that I jumped aobut three levels up the quality chain - and even then, wasn't totally satisfied. But I bought a brand name and was able to upgrade and replace - importantly, being able to sell off the bits I was upgrading.
Check out our magazine (it's free) to get some idea of what is out there - and do lots more research before buying.
Thanks for the speedy and informative answer, digitalDrummer.
May I ask: Which unit did you upgrade to and how much did it cost?
I'm seeing upper end units quickly going over $1000. That is a bit stiff for me. I consider $250 to $300 my upper range (don't laugh like that! ). I'll probably end up getting a used or demo model, or maybe even nothing at all.
I actually saw a recent auction for an ION IED12 that finally went for just under $200, including shipping. It was sold AS IS because the pawn shop couldn't be bothered to go through the box of parts and determine if all the right pieces were there!
Does anyone else have any thing to add?
I started with a Roland TD-3, upgraded to a second-hand TD-8 module and now have a collection of modules which I use for testing for the magazine.
I would still recommend a used TD-8 module - lots of bang for your buck.
This allows the DIY-type to feed the drum's sounds directly to a mixer and/or recorder. I'm interested because I live in a mobile home park with some reeeaaalllll touchy neighbors. Something that ends up usable with headphones that lends itself to recording works for me.
I have several coffee cans around here. And Rubber Maid food containers are cheap at Walmart!
Or maybe I'll finally bite the bullet and figure out how to use the MIDI port on my Yamaha PSR-293 and get my drums out of a keyboard. The percussion samplings are... usable.