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USB Drumkits - Don't Annoy The Neighbours

Nov 8, 2007
There is nothing worse than the exquisite pain of listening to a learner drummer hammering away with all the enthusiasm of the Duracell bunny and all the talent of a gorilla (unless of course it's the Cadbury gorilla). So imagine my excitement when I found there was an electronic drum kit available that could scream out the most raucous cacophony of sound into the earphones of the drummer but only a dull thud to the concerned onlooker. Genius.

Better still they cost less than the price of a cymbal for a conventional drum kit. Finally there is an affordable drum kit on the market that won't make you the most hated person on the street.

History of drums
Drums are the oldest form of musical instrument and can be traced back to around 6000BC. They have developed a great deal since then. Drums typically consist of a drum skin that is stretched over a shell. Traditionally the shell was made of wood and the skin of cow skin but more recently synthetic materials have been utilised and a metal rim has been added to the drum cylinder.

Electronic drum kits take the use of modern technology even further by using sensors and computer programs to replicate the sounds of an acoustic drum kit. High quality electronic kits are said to create a sound that is indistinguishable from its acoustic counterpart.

History of drum kits
The first drum kits were developed in the late 1800s and were literally a collection of drums that were assembled so that they were accessible for a single drummer to play. The 1920s saw an increasing interest in Jazz and the drum kit became more popular with cymbals added to the collection of drums again organised to make it easier for a single drummer to play.

In the 1950s Rock and Roll drummers further developed the system to make different drums accessible. The 1970s and 1980s saw drum kits grow even bigger with multiple tom toms, cymbals and double bass drums being mounted on a complex rack system. The drum kit became an integral part of stadium rock.

What does it do?
The USB drum kit is the modern incarnation of the electronic drum kit that is perfectly suited to drummers that want to practice without upsetting the neighbours. The USB drum kit can be plugged into a computer. The sound is relayed through the soundcard and the computer speakers or alternatively headphones.

The computer programs that run the USB drum kit typically provide over 230 realistic drum sounds and 50 preset rhythms for the drummer to play along to. The USB connection provides a source of power that makes it possible to play without plugging in to the mains. There is also the possibility of purchasing USB drum kit specific software tutorials that make it easy to learn how to play or refine your drumming skills. The software also makes it very easy to save your own compositions. These factors make it an excellent choice for the bedroom drummer.

Electric v Acoustic
USB drum kits typically come with 6 drum pads mounted on a drum rack for accessibility. This enables the user to organise the drum kit in the same way they would if they were using an acoustic drum kit. It provides a choke capacity which allows a drummer to silence the drum by touching it after striking it with the drum stick. It provides a realistic feel that makes it similar to a conventional drum kit.

Much like a conventional drum kit the drum rack can be adjusted so that the playing surfaces can be positioned correctly for the drummer. The USB drum kit also includes two foot pedals. The biggest benefit of the USB drum kit over the acoustic drum kit is not the flexibility of options it offers, nor is it the fact that it is comparatively compact, it is the price. Retailing at around 120 pounds the USB drum kit is an affordable piece of equipment - perfect for the aspiring drummer.
About the Author
Expert gardener Shaun Parker looks into the variety of uses for hedge plants within your garden. To find out more please visit http://store.ashridgetrees.co.uk/
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