Drum machine hardware question!

a very dear friend of mine had a piece of equipment stolen. It was, as I understand it, a master unit into which he would plug a bunch of separate peripherals, each one electronically representing a different part of a drum kit — i.e., ride cymbal, bass drum, high hat, etc. Apparently there were input jacks on the back of this unit labelled for each drum component.

He says that without the master unit, there is no way to produce sound from any of the individual units. So, I guess it’s sort of a mixer/amplifier/receiver thingie. Undoubtedly it came with all the other parts as a set; when I spoke to him, he couldn’t recall the maker of the kit.

I want to see if I can find a replacement on eBay. Does anybody know specifically what this kind of unit is called? (what I should search for.)

He’s a wonderful person who really gets a lot of joy out of his drums, and he’s had a rough life, so he deserves it!

Thanks, Dopers.

The actual unit missing is what does the drum sound synthesis. The inputs just act as triggers, but are usually sensitive to the velocity of the strike, and maybe to the location of the strike on the pad.

You are going to get no joy at all without the maker’s name. One of the input pads must surely have it. In general there is no universal standard for the pad’s interface (since there are individual labelled inputs it won’t be MIDI based.) Even a single part number off a pad plus a maker’s name should enable you to put together the product identification.

It seems an odd thing to steal. The unit isn’t going to be useful without the pads either.

Yup, that’s what he said, Francis Vaughan. An odd thing to steal, indeed; his guess is that, since the kit was broken down at the time & the thief in question has an eye for expensive but is entirely ignorant with respect to how anything actually works, she thought it was some kind of effects box or mixer or something.

I will call him and try to catch him at home, so he can tell me what make the kit is; in the meantime – what are these kind of sets called, collectively?

“Drum brain” is the general term for what you’re looking for, I think. The whole system is an electronic drum kit or e-kit.

It’s a “drum brain.” At least that’s the most common non-brand-specific name I’ve heard used for them.

In my experience (I had an electronic kit for a while), the individual trigger components connect to the brain with a plain old vanilla 1/4" patch cord, or sometimes the TRS stereo version of the same. For non-musicians, this would be a male-to-male cord tipped with the larger plug you would associate with older or high-end stereo headphones.

Roland makes really nice ones.

It’s probably a Roland TD-something.

Depending on the pads he has he may still be able to use a different brain, some are interchangeable. Roland, Ddrum, Yamaha and numerous others all make electronic kits. Perhaps if he could describe the pads we could narrow down the manufacturer.

Here’s a whole bunch of pics, with specific descriptions that should get you going: http://drums-percussion.musiciansfriend.com/electronic-drums/drum-sets/complete-sets

Good luck!