Today we’re going to delve into the wonderful world of tax returns, the christmas that comes but once a financial year. And I’ve got to say that Santa/Mr ATO was VERY generous this year with a stocking full of lot’s of lovely little bits of colourful plastic with various Australian historical figures on them. So what does one do with a massive tax return? Put it on the mortgage? Invest wisely in shares and indexed funds? NO DAMMIT. You go out and you buy the best damn electronic drum kit on the planet. And so I did.
We already had a pretty decent “frankenstein” electronic Roland TD20 drumkit which I’d cobbled together from various bits and pieces over the years (bought a slightly faulty drum brain module from the states when the exchange rate was good, got a second hand hi-hat sensor pad kit, new genuine roland snare and kick pads with donated shitty rubber tom pads from our old drummer on a slightly mobile cheap roland rack). But ever since I’ve had it I’ve wondered “wouldn’t it be nice to have something that’s the real deal and not held together with 50 meters of electrical tape?”.
I knew that the top of the range new Roland TD30 kit would always be beyond my means (who’s really going to pay $12000 for a drum kit? Not this guy). But lucky for me there was a cheaper version. We’re talking less than half the price, and the only thing that’s missing is a slightly less complicated version of the hi-hat pads and one less tom pad. That’s a no-brainer to me.
I always like to have a look around on the internet before buying literally anything and I’m glad I did. Most places will price match even online deals and I saved about $700 doing that buying from my local music store. And truth be told, I always like to buy local- much more handy if anything goes wrong and you have to return it to get a warranty repair. Bearing in mind that I had no intention of buying when I walked into that store after work one afternoon, but the difference in sound quality was night and day. Completely blew me away. Liv was very understanding when I gave her an excited phone call telling her I’d found the perfect home for the tax return that was melting a hole in my pocket (I never like buying anything without her blessing) and 5 minutes later I was the very proud owner of a TD30. (P.s. A very big thank you to Music Express Upper Mount Gravatt http://www.musicexpress.com.au you guys made the whole process very easy and hassle free).
Of course the biggest test was going to be how it sounded on a recording. And in very sad news for studio owners around Brisbane, the answer is AMAZING. No longer do we have to spend hours setting up and mic’ing up a drum kit, I just plug it in and BAM! 2 Stereo outs and you’ve got pro quality recorded drums. You want separate outs for each tom? You got it. You want MIDI recorded with that as well? Easy, straight in via USB. And I think this will end up being one of the most useful parts of this- by recording the midi data for the different drums you can edit timings or add extra cymbal hits very easily. Then, just feed that back into the drum module and record whatever kit setting you want to hear- perfect flexibility if you decide you don’t like the kick, snare, toms sounds- whatever.
I can still remember the phone call I made to Reece in the car on the way back from the shop. I don’t know who was more excited, me or him, because of course he’s the one that plays it the most. I don’t know if he’ll ever get the stains out from his pants from that day…
We’ve used it live a couple of times and its performed exceptionally well. It’s very quick to fold out and set up and all of the cables are actually LABELLED. That is such a big timesaver when you’ve got about 15 of the bastards to plug into different holes. Soundwise, it’s great for the little venues that we find ourselves in where an acoustic drum kit would just be too loud. In sadder news, it means that Reece’s beautiful Sleishmann kit hasn’t been used live yet- but that’ll be good for when we’re playing the bigger joints i.e. River Stage/ Entertainment Center. It’s only a matter of time…