A drum module is the brain of electronic drumkits, similar to how a CPU processes all information within a computer. Typically, drum modules translate the hits on electronic cymbals and drums into a digital format.
6 Incredible Drum Module Reviewed in this Guide
Furthermore, electronic drum modules can alter the sound of electronic drumkits according to their user’s preferences. Manufacturers also include training add-ons such as rhythm training through various songs within their electronic drum module. In addition, drum modules frequently include a built-in metronome for drummers. Consequently, allowing users to improve their rhythm and time signature capabilities.
In conclusion, you’ll need a great drum module to help your electronic drumkit get to its full potential. Therefore, I collected 6 of the best drum modules for all under a grand.
2 Budget-Friendly Drum Modules from Amazon
Alesis Command Advanced Drum Module
If you’re looking to replace your stock electronic drum module, then the Alesis Command is your product! This drum module offers 74 drum kits with 20 slots that users can modify when chasing their sound. In addition, this module boasts 671 sounds users can mix and match to create the ultimate electronic drumkit sound.
Furthermore, Alesis designed this sound module with 60 play-along tracks for beginners to professionals who want to sharpen their chops. This module also comes with a 1/8” input, allowing users to play along with their favorite track through their smartphones.
The Alesis Command Module also comes with a built-in performance recorder, allowing users to review and critique their playing. Moreover, Alesis also included a built-in metronome to provide users with a better rhythm practice experience.
This trigger module also comes with a USB/MIDI connection, enabling users to hook the product straight to their preferred DAW. The product’s USB/MIDI connection also allows users to modify their sound when tracking by using plug-ins.
- 74 drum kits
- 671 total sounds
- Built-in metronome feature
- 60 backing track
- 1/8” input
- USB/MIDI connectivity
The Alesis Command Advanced Drum Module comes with cable snake harnesses, a power adapter, and mounting hardware. Consequently, making it usable right off the bat. It’s also an ideal upgrade for stock electronic drum modules that has limited flexibility and recording capabilities. Not to mention, it’s within an affordable price range.
Even though this Alesis Module is incredible on paper, its lack of EQ and pitch control is a huge downside.
KAT Percussion KT3M Digital Drum Sound/Trigger Drum Module
The KAT Percussion KT3M Digital Trigger Module is perfect for drummers who want more user preset storage in their module. Firstly, the KT3M comes with 550 internal sounds, which is a sizeable downgrade from the Alesis Command’s 671 sounds. However, this drum module bounces back with 45 preset drumkits and 25 user programmable kits.
Secondly, KAT Percussion designed the KT3M Trigger Module with 100 built-in tracks drummers can utilize within practice sessions. The module’s integrated learning mode is also an excellent add-on for beginners learning to grasp the basics of drumming.
Lastly, the KT3M features USB 2.0 and MIDI ports, allowing users to connect the module to their computer when recording. This trigger module also implements a push button interface that makes the product’s operation more straightforward.
- 550 drum sounds
- 70 built-in drumkits
- 100 integrated jam tracks
- Learning mode for beginners
- USB 2.0 and MIDI connectivity
- Push button interface
The KT3M Trigger Module’s push-button interface lays down all the product’s functions. In addition, this trigger module beats the Alesis Command’s play-along tracks in terms of quantity. As a result, making the KT3M an ideal electronic drum module for beginners who wants to improve their drumming.
Although I praised the KT3M’s push-button interface’s usability, it makes the product look cheap in comparison with other drum modules. The KT3M also lacks in terms of internal sound compared to the Alesis Command Drum Module which houses 671 sounds.
4 of the Best Drum Modules for Beginners, Intermediate, and Professional Drummers
Yamaha EAD10 Electronic-Acoustic Drum Module
The Yamaha EAD10 Drum Module comes with an EAD10 sensor that can pick up the rumbling lows of bass drums. As a result, making it is perfect for hybrid setups that come with both electronic and acoustic drums.
The module’s EAD10 microphone easily beats the capabilities of a cheap drum mic kit. By placing the EAD10 on a bass drum, the mic captures all sounds, converting them into a digital signal. Subsequently, allowing the electronic drum module to modify and enhance the overall tone of acoustic or electric drums.
Furthermore, the included module comes with 50 presets and 200 user-customizable drumkits, providing drummers incredible versatility and sound flexibility. Yamaha also allows users to add a click on any track within their music library through its tempo detection capability. It also features a built-in drum looper and tempo changer that help personalize the practice experience of drummers.
- 50 built-in drum presets
- 200 user-customizable drumkits
- EAD10 Sensor
- Tempo detection and changer
- Built-in track looper
- Free iOS application
The Yamaha EAD10 allows users to modify and enhance the sound of electronic and acoustic drumkits. Moreover, the kit also provides users with a convenient way of recording drums, eliminating drum mic kits from the equation.
This Yamaha electronic-acoustic drum module doesn’t come with mounting hardware. Thus, making its setup a bit nerve-wracking in my experience.
Roland TD-17 Drum Sound Module
One of the main aims of electronic drum modules is to replicate the response and sound of acoustic drums. These are some of the determining factors which separate good drum modules from bad ones. Therefore, if you’re looking for these features, you’re in the right place!
The Roland TD-17 features a dynamic and expressive drum sound thanks to Roland’s prismatic sound modeling technology. Roland also utilizes this sound modeling technology on the TD-50— a high-end drum module for professionals.
Roland designed the TD-17 electronic drum module to faithfully replicate the open and closed hi hat hits. In addition, the TD-17 is also capable of recognizing various velocities and playing styles, such as rim shits, flams, ghost notes, and flams.
For beginners, the Roland TD-17 offers different exercises from basic to advanced drumming. Moreover, the TD-17 also comes with a coach mode with a built-in progress tracker that helps students learn daily. This trigger module also comes with video lessons that can be streamed via a BlueTooth connection.
- Prismatic Sound modeling technology
- High-speed trigger response
- Authentic hi-hat and drum sound
- Interactive Coach Mode
- BlueTooth-based video streaming
The TD-17 trigger module comes with onboard tuning controls, PAD EQ, and more. This module also can recognize different hitting velocities for an authentic drum tone. Consequently, making it perfect for a Roland hi hat and drum. Aside from being a great standalone module, the TD-17 also has great capabilities similar to the TD-50, allowing it to cut under professional settings.
This is not a plug-and-play trigger module. Instead, it requires tons of tweaking and tone knowledge to get the best sound out of it.
Roland TM-6 PRO Acoustic Drum Module
The Roland TM-6 PRO Acoustic Drum Trigger Module offers a wide range of sounds and samples perfect for recordings. First, the TM-6 PRO comes pre-loaded with 500 one-shot sampled sounds, providing users with authentic drum sounds from world-class studios. This Roland trigger module also features 268 V-Drums sounds that enable the kit to dish out expressive drum sounds.
Second, Roland included 80 ready-to-use drum kits on the TM-6 PRO. This feature provides users with natural sounds without the need for tweaking, making the module beginner-friendly. Moreover, the TM-6 PRO allows users to use their original samples through an SD card that enhances the module’s tonal flexibility.
Third, the Roland TM-6 PRO features a layer function, allowing users to stack samples to create the ultimate tone. Roland also implements modify knobs to help users control their volume, pitch, and effects on the fly. Finally, this trigger module also comes with six inputs that can be expanded to 12 using a Y-separator.
- 500 one-shot sampled sounds
- 268 V-Drum sounds
- 80 preloaded sounds
- SD card compatibility
- 6 on-board trigger pads
- Built-in layer function
- 3 modify knobs
The Roland TM-6 PRO delivers a wide array of sounds and customization on the table. This drum module also comes with onboard volume, pitch, attack, release, and decay controls, enhancing its overall sound customization and control. The TM-6 PRO also allows for fast sound changes during performances by using the onboard controls.
Similar to the Roland TD-17, this drum module requires extensive gear knowledge when tweaking, making it unsuitable for beginners.
Yamaha Electronic Drum Modules (DMR6)
If you love the sound of authentic drumkits, then the Yamaha DMR6 Drum Module is for you! This electronic drum module features 40 preset kits that sound great right out of the box. However, if you love creating your tone, the DMR6 module features 200 user kits, allowing you to start from scratch.
Furthermore, the Yamaha DMR6 comes with 400 new voices that users can utilize in their performances, mixes, and recordings. Yamaha also crafted the DMR6 to replicate an authentic acoustic drum sound with ambiance and detail.
Moreover, this Yamaha Drum Module comes with knobs that allow users to control their compression, effect, and ambiance. These knobs come in handy if you want to tweak your sound mid-performance.
- 40 preset drumkits
- 200 customizable user kits
- 400 drum voices
- Kit modifier knobs
- Accurate-sounding acoustic drum samples
The Yamaha DMR6 electronic Drum Module produces an authentic-sounding drum tone that rivals the Roland V-Drums. In addition, it offers an incredibly high number of kits that users can customize according to their preferences. Another win for the DMR6 is its kit modifier function that allows users to customize their sound even when performing.
This is the most expensive product on this list of drum modules. In addition, its compatibility is limited for the DTX6K2-X and DTX6K3-X electronic drumkits.
Things to Consider When Buying Drum Modules— A Buyer’s Guide
As stated, the overall sound and tone quality of electronic drumkits depend on the quality of their drum module. That’s why you should look for drum modules that offer the features that will suit your needs. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll list down three imperative factors that you should look for when buying a drum or trigger module.
One of the most important factors you should look into when buying drum modules is compatibility. There are some manufacturers, like KAT Percussion, design drum modules that work great with almost all electronic triggers.
On the other hand, some brands manufacture drum module that has brand-specific compatibility. Therefore, avoid mixing and matching brands, especially when you’re buying a module for big e-drum brands such as Yamaha, Roland, and Alesis.
Built-in Sounds and Functionality
When buying trigger modules, try to at least find 40-60 drumkit presets if you’re on a budget. In addition, finding around 20-40 user presets in a module is important, especially for those who love creating their drum sound. Anything higher than these figures are found within higher-end modules— usually costing twice the price.
On the functionality side of things, users should look for knob features. This provides users with the capability to tweak their sound while playing. In addition, having extra knob features can help users control and modify their sound conveniently.
For beginners, I would suggest finding a drum module with an integrated learning function. This can easily help new drummers get the hang of drumming easily. Moreover, all drummers should also get a module that sports a built-in metronome to help them sharpen rhythmic capabilities and timing.
Finally, a drummer should also look for a headphone jack on drum modules. Having a headphone out can save drummers money by using headphones for electronic drums rather than getting an amplifier. This feature is also helpful for drummers who don’t have a soundproof drum room.
Having USB/MIDI connectivity within a drum module can do wonders for your kit. Firstly, this can potentially save you money. Through USB connectivity, you could record your sound straight via USB— eliminating the need for an interface.
Secondly, a MIDI connection can help you load tons of sounds to your drumkit. Thus, improving its overall sound capacity and flexibility as a result.
Frequently Asked Questions about a Drum Module
What does a drum module do?
Electronic drum modules convert the contact between drumsticks and triggers as electronic signals. Subsequently, interpreting it as a sound according to its user’s setting. Drum modules act as the brain of electronic drumkits, providing drummers with control over how their kit sounds and functions.
Do you need a drum module?
If you own an electronic drum kit, you must own an electronic drum module. Drum modules act as a sound processor between your trigger and an amplifier, headphone, or interface. You can’t make a sound using your electronic drum kit without the proper drum module. In conclusion, a trigger module and electronic drums are equally important within an electronic drumkit.
What is the best-sounding drum module?
Here are 6 of the best-sounding drum modules all priced under a grand:
- Alesis Command Advanced Trigger Module
- KAT Percussion KT3M Digital Trigger Module
- Yamaha EAD10 Electronic-Acoustic Drum Module
- Roland TD-17 Drum Sound Module
- Roland Corporation TM-6 PRO Acoustic Drum Trigger Module
- Yamaha Electronic Drum Modules (DMR6)
Can you replace a drum module?
Like all parts within an electronic drumkit, a drum module is also replaceable. When upgrading drum modules, it’s important to ensure compatibility between your kit and module. In addition, finding a trigger module with built-in sounds and various functions, such as a headphone jack and drum presets is a plus.
Are all drum modules interchangeable?
Although you can change the module of your electronic drumkit, not all modules would work fine with it. Some drum modules would feature a different processing system that won’t be able to read the hardware of other brands. That’s why I highly advise against mixing and matching the brands of drum modules and electronic kits.
Enjoy your New Drum Module!
The means of getting a sound off your drums is by hitting the trigger. However, these sounds won’t be fully actualized and projected through a monitor without the help of drum modules. That’s why having a drum module is just as crucial as having an electronic drumkit.
A drum module shouldn’t cost a fortune unless you’re a professional who needs cutting-edge technology to make a living. Hopefully, this guide has helped you find the best sub-$1000 drum module for you.
Which drum module in this guide did you find interesting? Feel free to air your thoughts in the comment section below. Finally, if this guide was helpful to you in any way, make sure to check our other drum-related guides!