Electronic drums made a big sound in the Eighties with bands like Flock of Seagulls and Def Leppard making them popular. Electronic drums usually consist of electronic cymbals, the drum module, drum monitor system and a drum trigger.
The electronic cymbals are created to simulate the sound of acoustic cymbals. But how is this sound created? The electronic cymbal is normally made out of gum rubber. It is the best material for absorbing vibration made when you hit the cymbal with a drum stick. However some electronic cymbals are made from plastic (can easily be molded into any shape, but is very loud), acrylic (can also be easily molded and closely mimics metal cymbals) and metal (coated with a dampening layer to give them an electronic sound). The strike of the drum stick is picked up by a trigger, a device placed under the cymbal to pick up the vibrations made by the strike. Between one and three small plates, called piezos, are placed under the cymbal to create energy pulses. There are usually plates placed in different areas of the cymbal, like the center or the edge, to pick up the sounds made by striking different parts of the cymbal.
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The drum module is like the brains of the electronic drum set and an essential purchase. The drum module takes the electronic pulses from the cymbals and pads and creates the desired sound. Things you should consider when making a drum module purchase are how many sounds you get from the drum, a metronome, being able to use more than one programmed kit to give you different sounds and the number of trigger inputs. The drum monitor system is what allows you to hear what you are playing. Without a system, you cannot hear any sounds being made on your electronic drums. The system usually consists of speakers or headphones.
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