Author Topic: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?  (Read 255 times)

Offline ralis

Simmons Retro Drums, well just SIMMONS Drums.

Hi Simmons Drums. I am aware I am just some nobody musician but I have a suggestion.

Re-release original Simmons Drums, or boutique versions.

 With the popularity of Electronic music (EDM, Trance, Dub, ShoeGaze, Ambient, DJ's ETC) 

It would be great to have live kits that work with these genres.

I have built some "Stand Up" percussion stations for this purpose. Think of a set up like "electronic timbales" I built my pads from cut down acoustic shells with hand made internal piezo triggers. I could not attach pics here.

I like the look of your original 80's kits and then I saw your synthesized drum brains!

I searched and saw your new kits starting at 100 dollars for an SD2000 and then your old style  kits from 2,500 to 8,000.00!

As I am sure you know there has been a resurgence of analog synthesis. Roland has released versions of their 808, 909 drum machines and 80's synth's. Korg has released boutique versions of there own classic synth's as well as ARP and Yamaha, they are even marketing a new drum synth (Volca Drum). Behringer is releasing clones of everybody's original analog stuff.

I would think that re-releasing your original style pads (The one that everyone loves, no mesh, Hexagon, bright colors) with a "new" Drum synth brain with some updates like MIDI, a simple sequencer, Clock and memory recall for sets and some effects.

Combine this brain with two pads and two cymbals on a Timbale like stand as an electronic stand up percussion station marketed towards modern electronic music.

Then a 3 pad version and a of course a full kit that is the original set form the 80's with the new brain.

I would not market them as "Retro, Classic, Boutique, etc." Just market them as "Simmon's Drums" We're back!
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 01:28:25 PM by ralis »

Online Hellfire

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2019, 12:29:39 PM »
Hi Ralis,

I originally saw your idea over at SDdrummer.com. :)
You have a lot to unpack in your idea. I think some of your idea has merit, other parts of it would be difficult to pull off in todays environment of edrumming.

I agree that Simmons should have some kind of true analog synthesis. After all, that’s what put them on the map…

Something to keep in mind: Edrummers are a niche of drumming in general. And the vast majority of those edrummers (meaning 90+%) want perfect acoustic emulation. This is why the Pearl Mimic is thought of as the gold standard. Those that want true analog synthesis is a small minority. So we are talking about a niche of a niche. That alone is tough to base any kind of business model around.

As to re-releasing the original 1980’s hex pads, let’s start with the playing surface.

…Mesh has already won the war.

The majority of edrummers today believe (rightly or wrongly) that rubber pads suck and are no good. Therefor, no serious edrummer plays on rubber pads. Ironically, they do (i.e. Cymbal triggers) and yet don’t consider that a problem.  ::)

Can rubber pads be made to feel great? Sure, the Simmons SD1500 (the kit before the SD2000) had great feeling rubber pads. Yamaha has incredible feeling silicone based rubber pads but again, the majority of the edrummers have spoken and they want mesh.

I agree the original hex pads have an awesome iconic look to them. But the issue with that exact look is, most associate that look with the 1980’s. It’s no different than shag carpet and faux wood panelling with the 1970’s. These things by themselves aren’t bad, they are just too heavily associate with a specific decade. That’s a hard one to shake.

I don’t know if you know this or not but the first hex pads by Simmons were not fun to play on. They had a hard acrylic surface. I assume you like the second gen of hex pads which had a rubber surface? There isn’t much to those pads. They are just plywood with a very thin sheet of rubber over top of them. Even back in the day players thought it was too hard of a surface to play on.

Because of everything I listed above it doesn’t make for a very good business module to re-release these with no special branding. To just say “Simmons Drums We’re back!” Would give an impression to most modern edrummers that Simmons isn’t capable of evolving. Not only that it wouldn’t command the prices that you see for legacy equipment and in the process would drive down the value of the true legacy equipment.     

With that in mind, (IMHO) the best way for Simmons to go forward is to incorporate true analog synthesis along with sample based acoustic emulation in the same module. That way the two can be used together (or layered) to create new/innovative/different sounds. If they can do in a very innovative way they would have a much bigger influence on the market. As to hex shaped pads…They need to evolve to be accepted today. I think the new SD2000 pads was a good attempt at this. They are really well made, unfortunately the module held back the rest of the kit and because of that edrummers were not ready to accept Simmons as a major player yet. (A little color on the pads might have helped too).

So, could Simmons do what you suggest? Sure, but they would need to be very careful how they go about it. And I’m sorry to say they would have to brand them as “Retro”, “Classic” or something to denote what they are or else it could end up shooting themselves in the foot.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2019, 12:35:34 PM by Hellfire »
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline ralis

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2019, 06:27:00 PM »
All very good points!

you are correct I was thinking of the rubber Hex pads and marketing to the electronic musicians of today as a live instrument.

I know they have the other sets with mesh pads and acoustic emulations out there already for the current edrummers. Keep those and continue to develop them.

I was hopping for a release of the rubber pad Hex drums with an updated analog module that would come in different configurations like buy two pads, cymbal and a module. 4 pads 2 cymbals and a module and if you want a 5 piece kit with cymbals, stands and module.

Being an electronic musician I do not want imitation acoustic instruments, I want electronic instruments. Just thought instead of thinking classic or retro it could be more modern and futuristic.

Thank you for your thoughts and opinions

Online Hellfire

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2019, 08:49:38 AM »
All very good points!

you are correct I was thinking of the rubber Hex pads and marketing to the electronic musicians of today as a live instrument.

I know they have the other sets with mesh pads and acoustic emulations out there already for the current edrummers. Keep those and continue to develop them.

I was hopping for a release of the rubber pad Hex drums with an updated analog module that would come in different configurations like buy two pads, cymbal and a module. 4 pads 2 cymbals and a module and if you want a 5 piece kit with cymbals, stands and module.

Being an electronic musician I do not want imitation acoustic instruments, I want electronic instruments. Just thought instead of thinking classic or retro it could be more modern and futuristic.

Thank you for your thoughts and opinions

Don't get me wrong. I think your idea has merit. It's how Simmons goes about it that matters.

Having small pad stations is a good idea (and I don't mean multi-pad single units). I'm not sure if you are familiar with Nord Drum?
They actually have a very nice analog drum synth system (they are up to Nord 3 I believe).



This is what Simmons would be competing with.

I think this is possible, but they would need to add the ability of some acoustic emulation to get it more market appeal. This way it can also be used for auxiliary percussion (i.e. bells, blocks, bongos, etc.).

The hex pads would work but they would need to be smaller. Maybe 6-8" around. You could them sell them in 2,4, or 6 pad configurations. Call it something like "LegacyX" or "LineageX" line. I think they would need to stay away from terms like Retro, or Classic. These term are way over used in todays market.   
For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline latzanimal

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2019, 05:54:42 AM »
Wasn't there a version of the hex pad with mesh heads?

Online Hellfire

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2019, 01:50:06 PM »
Wasn't there a version of the hex pad with mesh heads?

Yes, It's called the Simmons SD2000 and it was released in 2017:



The older non-mesh version was called the Simmons Hexahead (from the 90's):

For more edrum info, be sure to visit my web site at:
          www.HellfireDrums.com                    
My current set-up:  Alesis DM10 and Trigger I/O with modified & DIY pads

Offline ralis

Re: My Email To Simmons Drums Just and Idea what do you think?
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 02:55:38 PM »
Both of those still have round heads just in a hex shell, I bit awkward if yo ask me. I would prefer the original hex pads with and updated rubber