Author Topic: Transforming my DM10  (Read 662 times)

Transforming my DM10
« on: April 27, 2020, 07:08:35 AM »
Hello everybody
My first posting and I decided to do this to (hopefully) help with the never-ending story of low-volume cymbals!
Quick background: have been playing drums for over 50 years now (how frightening is that then?). Now practice regularly at home in my basement, practice with our band in an isolated studio-room 3 - 4 times a month and we play smallish gigs (typical 100 - 500 people) maybe 6 - 8 times a year around the Zürich area as I live just across the border in the south of Germany. We play mostly classic + modern rock, Indie and alternative.
Purchased my 1st E-Drum kit (Alesis DM10X Mesh Kit with a Pro-X Hi-Hat) 4 years ago primarily for home-practicing. Very quickly fell in love with the E-Drum concept and it's flexibility but also quickly hated the rubber cymbals and (most of all) the Hi-Hat!
The DM10 drum module is greatly underestimated as it's always "judged" as an integral part of the DM10 drum kit. However, if you take the time to delve deeply into the setting modes of the module, it really is a great module and it produces excellent results. The DM10 pads though and (as with any e-drum set) those awful rubber cymbals just put clouds over the module's potential.
So, here's what I've done to transform my DM10 into a really excellent instrument (done in  a couple of stages but here's the end result):
- 14" steel snare, 10"/12"/13"/14" rack toms and 20" bass drum from Jobeky Drums in the UK (their "Custom Prestige" range). These were ordered with Jobeky's side triggers which work
  flawlessly with the DM10 module.
- Replaced the front bars of the Alesis rack system with wider, slightly curved bars to acommodate the Jobeky toms.
- Now have 14" Hi-Hats, 10" splash, 16" + 18" crashes plus 20" ride from Millenium "Still" series (low-volume). They sound equally as good as other more expensive low-volume cymbals, in fact
  they have a sharp high-end which is fine by me as I personally prefer sharp “crisp” cymbal sounds. This is of course down to personal preferences.
- A stereo pair of condensor mics mounted quite high on overhead stands. One to cover the Hi-Hat + 10" splash + 16" crash and one to cover the 18" crash and 20" ride.
- The cymbal mics, drum module, MP3-Player and metronome all now going through a compact Yamaha MG06 mixer which enables me to synchronize everything perfectly. The gain adjustment
  and low-cut/Pad controls on the mixer have taken out virtually all of the lower-end frequencies so even with headphones, I don’t hear any sounds from the sticks hitting the mesh-heads of the
  drums being picked up through the overhead mics.
For band practice in the studio or for live gigs, exactly the same set up with overhead mics, drum module, mixer etc. but the main outs from the mixer then go to our sound guy and he loves this set up. He gets clean drum/cymbal sounds and can easily integrate and adjust as required.
I can only say that this set works for me perfectly and I am very satisfied and pleased with the sound, even when playing live. Optically it looks great (again, down to personal preference of course here) and now with the "real" cymbals, there's no difference to playing my accoustic kit. In fact, I sold my accoustic kit and now use exclusively the above described hybrid E-Drum kit, which is something I thought would never happen!
Anyway, hope this helps for anyone on the quest of improving their set-up!
The pics taken at my home basement set-up.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2020, 07:24:16 AM by Aging Drummer Boy Mick »

Re: Transforming my DM10
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2020, 06:07:13 PM »
Looks fantastic !! Nice work !!

May I ask, what kind of mesh heads do you use?

Re: Transforming my DM10
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 02:28:57 AM »
I originally used the Jobeky Prestige 3-ply mesh heads that came with the drums as ordered and they play really authentic.
Due to logistics (being from Germany) I have since replaced the snare and bass drum heads (only due to wear & tear) with Drum-Tec "Real-Feel" 3-ply mesh heads. The 4 x tom mesh heads will be ordered from Drum-Tec within the next couple of weeks!
To be perfectly honest, I can't really say one is better than the other (Jobeky v. Drum-Tec) as they both play just the same. The only deciding factor for me personally is that Drum-Tec is also in Germany so I get things delivered usually the next day without any extra costs.
Being "nurtured" as a boy on playing side-drum in a marching band, the rudements of drumming were hammered home which certainly had/has an influence on my playing generally as I do use the snare drum considerably. I personally find for my style of playing, that the 3-ply mesh heads give me a more true & authentic feel than 2-ply heads. However, this is also down to personal styles and preferences.
One last point, I also use nylon-tipped sticks now as (I find) they have no negative influence whatsoever when playing E-drums but they are "kinder" to mesh heads than wooden tips.
However, ask 20 drummers the same questions and you'll get at least the same amount of different answers!! Not saying my way is right and others are wrong, just saying what works for me best.
Hope this helps!

Re: Transforming my DM10
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2020, 03:46:54 PM »
Thanks so much for the response !