Electronic Drum Sets Primed for Blast Beat Bedlam
So you want to get into metal drumming? Awesome, you’re gonna have a blast, but your cohabitants and neighbors aren’t going to enjoy this venture quite as much as you. To keep social relations civil, you’re going to need an electronic drum set.
But you’re not going to be able to play along with your favorite Slayer records with a measly single bass pedal. Double bass is the only way to go; however, not all electronic drum sets have the capacity for such ferocity
Not to worry, though, thrasher. We’ve done the research and discovered the five best double bass-ready electronic drum kits on the market. Ready to get heavy?
5 Best Double Bass Electronic Drum Sets - Reviews
Enough talk. You’ve got thunder in your feet, and it needs to be released! Let’s jump straight into the mix.
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
It only takes a quick glance at the price tag to glean that the TD-50 is Roland's flagship electronic drum set, but before that sends you running for the hills (presumably listening to Iron Maiden), it’s good to hear what it has to offer.
The most important feature for double kick enthusiasts is the flawless KD-220 bass drum trigger. It’s more than wide enough to accommodate double beaters.
Hell, you could get a quadruple going on this thing, no problems at all. With a lush kick back and Roland’s proprietary air dampener mechanics, the specialized mesh pad feels eerily natural. Furthermore, the sensor is so responsive and articulate, it’ll never miss a beat.
The snare features a multitude of locational sensors providing such a nuanced dynamic and tonal performance, even professional studio engineers would mistake it for the real thing.
Due to Roland’s high-resolution processing triggers, the ride and crash cymbals feature the same detailed sound profiles. No matter what you’re wailing on, the sound is sharp and responsive.
Roland's Dynamic Prismatic Sound Modelling module is the cherry on top. What they’ve done is essentially distilled an entire music studio into a compact unit that sits within arm’s reach on your drum set. Use it to customize your kit with countless presets, record yourself playing, or engage in a spot of nifty sound design...the sky’s the limit!
- KD-220 - Best pad for double bass around.
- Dynamic Sensors - Nuanced and natural sound.
- Dynamic Prismatic Sound Modelling - Fire your studio engineer. You don’t need them anymore.
- Price - You have to be very serious about drumming to invest in this kit.
Coming in at number two, we have another extremely high-end option. Arriving with 8 pieces in total, it has all you will ever need to jam all your favorite bands crushing tunes, from Full of Hell to Suicide Silence.
The included KP 100 DTX bass drum pad is simply beyond words, so just picture us doing a chef’s kiss. It’s wide as the Mississippi, incredibly responsive, and features a reinforced central oblong designed specifically for welcoming a second beater to the party.
With three 3-zone, chokable cymbals and a real function hi-hat with pedal, you can create incredibly detailed beats with all the nuance of a refined jazz pro. Throw some double bass underneath, and you’ll be a force to be reckoned with.
As each drum section is an entirely separate entity, you have unlimited spatial freedom with the 760K. No matter how quirky your personal layout is, you can mold this kit to your tastes as if it were a set of acoustic drums.
We know it’s a pricey set, but with 1396 samples loaded up into the sound library, you’re effectively getting hundreds of drum kits in one. Plus, you can upload your own samples via USB, meaning as your tastes evolve, so does the 760K - always relevant, never boring.
- KP 100 DTX - This bass drum pad welcomes a second beater.
- 3-Zone Chokable Cymbals - Sound like the real deal, folks.
- Separate Sections - Customize the layout to suit you.
- Price - Not for the faint of heart.
Featuring the infamous Roland KD-10 kick pad, the KVX is practically begging for you to bring that second beater into the equation. It’s not quite as sensitive as our all-singing-all-dancing-all-moshing top picks, but it has great beat separation for firing off some blazing triplets.
Made of rubber, the KD-10 is also fractionally louder than expensive mesh variants; however, Roland has, rather cleverly we might add, augmented the structure with a sound dampening cushion. It might not mean much to you, but it’ll certainly keep your neighbors happy.
Some electronic kits take the whole compact thing too far, but what we love about the KVX is that there’s still plenty of skin (or head anyways) real estate to really sink your teeth into. Just look at that 12” dual mesh, PDX-12 snare.
Speaking of snares, this bad boy is tension adjustable like an honest to goodness acoustic design, so you can fine tune exactly the right amount of snap you want in the rebound. It’s this sort of adjustability, that makes the KVX so addictive and fun to play. With this shiny thing set up in the corner, you’ll never want to leave your house again.
The only issue we could find with this set is the power supply. They have a tendency to cause distortion, but they’re easily replaced, so it’s no biggie.
- KD-10 - Great budget double bass-ready kick drum pad.
- Tension Adjustable Dual Mesh Snare - High fidelity sounds and feel.
- Large Heads - Reminiscent of an acoustic kit.
- Price - Not quite as expensive, but still up there.
- Power Supply - Distorts audio output, but it’s an easy fix.
The Command is an impeccable middle of the range electronic drum set full of high-end appointments. Take the kick tower for example.
A premium response, mesh pad with a full 8” of space to expand your pedal game. It feels natural, features a quiet impact, and it’s built like a tank to prevent extraneous vibrations from muddying your sound or performance.
Measuring 8” apiece, the toms are a little smaller than we’d prefer, as is the 10” snare. It can feel a little jarring transitioning to this straight from a full-sized acoustic kit, but it only takes a couple hours of noodling to get used to. To be honest, the Command’s duel mesh pads are so impressive, if you have to sacrifice a couple of inches of stick room, so be it - a worthy trade.
We also really like the sound module on the Command. While not quite as expansive as the digital monsters further up the list, it’s chock-full of great samples, has great midi capabilities, and allows you to upload your own audio.
As far as we could tell, the cymbals were perfectly fine, but some customers report that the choke function degrades over time, so an eventual upgrade might be on the cards. Besides that, the Command is affordable, sounds pristine, and it’s as metal as they come. It even has black drum heads!
- Premium Response Mesh Kick Tower - 8” of hyper-responsive bass drum power.
- Dual Mesh Heads - Toms and snare feature dual mesh for a natural feel and boosted durability.
- Aesthetics - Looks amazing.
- Head Size - Bigger would be better.
- Cymbals - The choke function has a shelf life.
If you’re looking for the best budget double-kick-enabled electronic drum set there is, allow us to introduce the TD-1DMK, an affordable 8-piece electronic kit with a small yet elongated bass pad, designed especially for a double pedal.
Straying from the traditional kick tower format, the pad clamps onto the support pole of the second tom. It’s not an ideal situation, as it limits spatial adjustability, and excess vibration is never a good thing, but at such a low price, you have to be prepared to make a few compromises.
The sound module is fairly limited, but it has all the basics covered including onboard volume control, a great metronome, and 15 preset drum kits.
It may not be a pro-grade set, but much like Roland’s high-end products, the TD-1DMK is built to perfection, and the natural-feel 2-ply mesh drum heads make it a champion in our book.
- Price - Unbeatable price per performance ratio.
- Dual Kick Pad - Designed specifically to accommodate two beaters.
- Dual Mesh Heads - Great spring to them.
- No Dedicated Bass Tower - It’s stuck to the tom pole.
- No Kick Pedals - Not even a single!
Best Double Bass Electronic Drum Sets Buying Guide
Electronic drum sets are complicated beasts, but despite there not being all that much information on the web regarding double bass-optimized electronic kits, they’re actually pretty easy to shop for.
You just need to consider a few key bits of information.
Before We Begin
In the spirit of clarity, we just want to preface this buyer’s guide by ensuring you’re aware that even if an electronic drum set is double bass compatible, the chances of it coming with a double bass pedal are slim to none.
Your set may well come with a single bass pedal. You’ll be able to achieve a double bass style sound with it using the heel-toe technique, but for full-blown, bomb blast beats or shredding some Slipknot, you’ll need to buy a double bass pedal.
If you want the best of the best, set your peepers on this beautiful P3002D-Eliminator-Demon-Double from industry stalwarts, Pearl. It may be expensive, but man oh man is it a work of art. Featuring silent ‘Ninja’ bearings, as well as an adjustable beat stroke function, and click lock spring tension, it offers unparalleled performance.
Beginners, ignore that. You don’t want to spend that much on your first double kick pedal. For the burgeoning bass blasters out there, we recommend going with something like the Pearl Bass Drum Pedal (P932). It has similar functionality to the Demon minus a few bells and whistles and arrives at a fraction of the cost.
For exceedingly tight budgets, you can’t go wrong with the PDP By DW 400 Series Double Pedal. It doesn’t bring as much adjustability to the table, but we can’t fault its performance.
Brands to Check Out
A brilliant way to narrow down your options when you’re looking to bring an electronic drum set into your musical arsenal is to go straight to reputable brands. Of course, if you’re new to the E-drum scene, it can be hard to know where to start.
So, to give you a friendly nudge in the right direction, let’s discuss some of the major players in the electronic drum set game.
- Roland - You won’t get far on your search before you come across a breathtaking Roland electronic drum set. Although they do make some awesome entry-level sets, Roland is renowned for making the best of the best, so if you’ve got the cash, head on over their way. You won’t regret it.
- Yamaha - A close second in terms of pure E-drum quality, Yamaha has been instrumental in pushing the industry into new territory with their revolutionary TCS heads.
- Alesis - Once considered a budget-friendly brand for beginners, they’ve clawed their way to a position of respect through sheer musical engineering brilliance. If you’re looking to get the most bang for your buck, Alesis is the way to go.
- Pearl - As well as making some of the best drum pedals and acoustic kits on the planet, Pearl creates flawless electronic drum sets, but you may have to sell your car and remortgage your house to afford one.
- Simmons - Simmons’ story is similar to Alesis’. They offer high performance electronic drum sets at a fraction of the cost of the industry leaders.
Two Bass Pads?
There’s no doubt you’ve seen your favorite metal drummers on stage beating the heck out of a kit with two huge kick drums. While this does look epic in a live show, and actually can aid performance to a certain extent, you won’t need to double up on your kick drum pads.
For the most part, double bass is achieved on a single pad with two beaters. As you refine your skill, you can look into upgrading to a two kick drum system, as the individual pedals will be more responsive, but for now, stick with the one.
Bass Drum Pad Sensitive
We love a bargain as much as the next guy, but you should be tentative around budget electronic drum sets if you’re interested in bringing a double kick pedal into the fold.
The reason being, the bass drum pads on a lot of cheaper electronic drum sets aren’t sensitive enough to separate rapid-fire beats. If you hit it with a speedy triplet, the weak sensor will only register a single strike. Being that speed is the name of the game with a double bass pedal, this simply won’t do.
Having said that, you could just replace the weak kick drum tower with a more advanced design, so let’s discuss some of your options.
Aftermarket Bass Drum Pads - Lightning Round Reviews
If you’ve got a solid financial situation at the minute, we highly recommend this Roland KD-140-BC V-Kick. It’s nice and wide, which is perfect for accommodating two beefy double bass beaters, the pad is covered in an acoustic-style skin, giving it an incredibly natural rebound, and it’s built like a tank.
Just look at that robust metal frame and gleaming, maple shell! It also features a state-of-the-art sensor, ensuring that every single bit of contact triggers.
If that particular Roland is too rich for your blood, we don’t blame you. It’s basically the Ferrari of electronic kick drum pads. Why not stick with Roland, but shoot for something more along the lines of the Roland KD-9? While it’s not exactly a bargain bin bass drum pad, it’s roughly ⅕ the price of the KD-140, and the mesh head is exquisitely quiet, so all you hear is the trigger and only the trigger.
Still too pricey for you? Not to worry. You can get something like the Yamaha KP65 and still unleash your inner Joey Jordison or Danny Carey. It’s a little on the small side, but it does fit a pair of beaters, and despite the reasonable price tag, the sensor is on point.
Even if you hit submachine gun speeds with your kicks (kudos if that’s the case), the KP65 registers everything. It’s a rubber pad, so the extraneous clattering can be pretty irritating, but switch your rubber beater for felt, and it quietens things down significantly.
Drum manufacturers will try to push you into matching up aftermarket products with their drum sets, but there’s really no reason you can’t mix it up a bit with a bass drum pad from a different brand. It should all work the same.
Drum Pad Width
You’d be forgiven for thinking that any kick drum pad has room for double beaters, but they’re not actually designed with a ‘more the merrier’ ethos. A lot of lower budget options only have enough real estate for a singular beater.
As the average beater measures between one and two inches across, and the beaters on double bass pedals are separated by a gap of roughly 1 and 1 ½ inches, you’re going to need a bass pad with around 5 ½ inches of surface area.
What are drum heads? It’s the pad of an electronic drum set that replaces the skins of an acoustic drum set, the bits you strike to make a noise. There are currently three main types of head, traditional rubber ones, mesh, and Yamaha’s proprietary TCS pads.
Once upon a time, every electronic drum head was made out of rubber. At first, it seems like the ideal material for the job. It’s resilient, doesn’t damage sticks or beaters, and it’s easy to produce.
However, it wasn’t long before drummers were dreaming of a more natural feeling head material. The fact of the matter is, playing on rubber pads is a starkly different experience to playing an acoustic kit. What’s more, it’s quite a noisy experience, exhibiting a distracting clatter as the sticks make contact.
Mesh heads are objectively much more enjoyable to play on. The similarity in feeling between mesh and real acoustic drum skins is uncanny.
It has a lovely rebound to it, it’s nice and quiet, and the sensors tend to be way more responsive, which is exactly what you need for some lightning-fast double bass chaos!
TCS stands for textured cellular silicone. This miracle compound is Yamaha’s brain child. Less bouncy and even quieter than mesh heads, TCS heads are a joy to play. Both TCS and mesh heads are considered up-market options.
Final Note on Drum Heads
Just because mesh and TCS heads are considered premium products, doesn’t mean they’re all amazing.
Much like any mass-produced item, they occupy various segments of the market. The old adage you get what you pay for couldn’t be more relevant.
Each drum in a drum set counts as one piece. How many you have in total is completely up to you. You can keep things nice and simple à la Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine, or you can go full-blown Mike Portnoy, ex-drummer of Dream Theater.
Typically, double bass-oriented drum sets are massive, but that doesn’t have to be the case. If you wanted you could create a double bass beast with a snare, a hi-hat, and a kick drum.
You may have noticed the little module usually situated on the left-hand side of the kits in our reviews. These are the control modules for the drums. They usually have a fast-access volume control for making adjustments on the fly, and they hold any factory preset play alongs, lessons, or alternative drum set sounds.
An expansive sound library isn’t essential, but one of the beautiful things about an electronic drum set is the versatility. Choosing one that celebrates that fact, giving you access to a ton of different sonic options is a no-brainer. Some even allow you to upload your own samples, which is great if you enjoy collecting found sounds.
Having said that, as you’re likely going to get ridiculously heavy with your double bass electronic drum kit, a solid natural drum sound is essential. As a rule of thumb, don’t skimp on acoustic drum sounds in favor of wacky digital options. Try to find a kit that offers you the best of both worlds.
Best Double Bass Electronic Drum Sets - FAQ
Before we say our goodbyes, and you start your metal career, let’s answer some common E-drum queries that tend to plague prospective buyers.
Who is the Best Double Bass Drummer?
Well, the record for fastest double bass drumming is held by Canadian drummer, Tim Waterson, who managed to fit 1407 beats into a minute.
As far as best double bass drummer goes, it's a matter of opinion and a massive point of contention across the greater internet. Aaron Kitcher of internet deathcore sensation, Infant Annihilator, is capable of face melting double kick speeds, and his standard drumming chops are tight.
Then there’s Hellhammer (yes, that’s his name) of Arcturus, another absolute double bass god. The list goes on, but we wouldn’t be surprised if the best technical drummer is a relative unknown, walking the world in anonymity somewhere amongst us mere mortals.
Can You Use a Double Bass Pedal on Electronic Drums?
Yes, you can definitely use a double bass pedal on electronic drums. That’s what this article is all about. All you’ll need is a wide, extra sensitive kick drum pad, and the double bass pedal itself.
Is it Best to Learn Drums on an Electronic Kit?
In many ways, yes, it is best to cut your teeth on an electronic kit. They’re quieter, more portable, and offer a wider range of sounds than traditional acoustic kits. That said, nothing compares to the feel of a standard drum set.
How Can I Speed up My Double Bass Playing?
There is no magic solution for speeding up your double kick playing, we’re afraid. The only way to go about it is to practice, practice, practice.
A good training method is to dial in an easy-going tempo on your metronome, and play one or two bars of 8th notes, then one or two bars of 16th notes.
Continue this until you’ve got it down, then bump up the BPM of your metronome by 5 or 10, then rinse and repeat. You’ll see vast improvements and speed and technique in no time.
What’s My Favorite Song with Double Bass Drumming?
I grew up a metal head purist, but as I’ve matured, my music tastes have spread far and wide. I don’t listen to all that much metal anymore, but one band that will always float my metal boat is a French outfit with an environmental ethos known as Gojira.
Mario Duplantier, their drummer, is a master of tasteful double bass flourishes and accents. My favorite Mario/Gojira moments can be found on tracks Flying Whales and Ocean Planet. Check them out. You won’t be disappointed.
What Beaters Should I Use for Double Bass?
Your choice of beater should come down to the type of drum head you plan on using. Plastic beaters work best with mesh heads as their rigidity against the springiness of the mesh makes for a very natural feel.
Using plastic on rubber pads, however, can feel a little strange and cause quite a racket. For rubber pads, We’d stick to felt.
That’s all from us, metal buddies. There’s a little something on this list for everyone, and even if you’re not here to buy, we hope you found the info enlightening.
If you’re looking to order a new drum set, pay extra attention to the bass drum pad. Is it wide enough for two beaters? Is the sensor powerful enough to trigger rapid beats? If the answer to both of those questions is yes, you’re good to go. See you in the pit!
Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API