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There’s nothing quite like nailing an excellent groove while you feel things flowing in a musical moment.
Then your kick pedal shorts out.
Fun times? Not so much.
Here is a list of the top pedals.
3 Best Electronic Drum Kick Pedals
- Roland KT-9
- Roland KT-10
- Yamaha KU100
Electronic Bass Drum Triggers & Pads
- KAT Percussion KT-KP1
- Roland KD-9
- Roland KD-10
- Yamaha KP65
Free-Floating Beaterless Pedals
- Ultra-quiet design
- Intended for the most extreme need for quiet
- Realistic feel
- Compact design
- Reliable construction
- Low-noise design
- Can be used with many v-drum kits
- Can be used as a trigger for more than just kick
- Realistic feel
- Fluid like response
- Compact for secure storage and portability
- Dynamic response
- Designed to combat vibrations to lower floors
- Can be used with some other drum trigger modules
Electronic Bass Drum Triggers & Pads
KAT Percussion KT-KP1
Although just for use with other KAT electronic drum and percussion products, the KT-KP1 is a great little kick trigger that can be used with most standard drum kit pedals. The only downside to this unit is that it is only large enough for a single pedal and not large enough to accommodate double pedals.
The KT-KP1 comes complete with a 1m cable, so placement shouldn’t be an issue. And the velcro base keeps the pedal in place on rugs and carpets to help prevent pedal wander.
One of the great features of the KT-KP1 is the compact design. These kick drum triggers are compact and robust, so traveling with them is not a problem.
Whether you’ve got to play a gig and move your electronic kit or try out a new practice space, the compact portability of the KT-KP1 makes moving the kick a problem of the past.
- For use with the KTMP1 KAT Percussion KTMP1 Electronic Drum and Percussion Pad Sound Module
- Can be used with any standard drum kit pedal
- Velcro base for non-slip playing
- 1m cable included
Roland’s KD-9 offers a realistic play feel and can even use a double pedal.
The design is a small yet stable base and the tower with a sturdy and reliable cloth-design drum head. This little beauty is natural to set up and has accurate triggering for reliable performance.
Although not as quiet as a free-floating unit, the KD-9 is an adequate and proven kick pad (pedal not included).
Similar to the KAT KT-KP1, the Roland KD-9 does not come with a pedal.
The KD-9 is a sturdy kick pad coming in at 6 pounds 3 ounces. And at a witch of 8 ⅝”, it’s not only small but packs a punch.
- Cloth designed bass drum head
- Realistic feel
- Can be used with double pedal
- Fast and easy setup
Recommended Accessory – NE-10
The Noise Eater sound isolation board is made for reducing any noise vibrating downward through a kick pedal assembly.
Even when playing electronic drums, a beater’s physical strike, even on an electronic drum pad, will still produce a thud like sound. Although the sound is incredibly subdued compared to its acoustic counterparts, it may still be too much for a neighbor. It could be the case if you live in an apartment or a flat.
The Noise Eater sound isolation board is designed specifically for use with an electronic drums kick assembly and can significantly reduce the impact of vibrations on the floor below.
Roland’s KD-10 is a 5” pad of noise-reducing awesome. The feel of this kick pad is exceptionally close to the feel of a regular kick.
The KD-10 can be equipped with either a single or a double pedal (sold separately), making it extremely versatile to use your favorite pedal.
The sturdy and professional construction comes in at 7 pounds, 5 ounces, making this a stable and sturdy unit.
This kick drum pad is both the standard and the leader in the tower-mounted kick drum electronic pads. The KD-10 is the high-end cousin of the KD-9. Its compatibility with either single or double pedals and beaters makes this model an even more attractive addition to any electronic drum and percussion setup.
- Rugged construction
- Low-noise design
- Rubber cover with dedicated cushion provides a realistic feel
- Can be used with standard kick pedals and double pedals
- The sturdy wide-base design prevents rocking motion
Like the Roland KD-10, the Yamaha KP65 is another kick pad tower that can be used with single or double pedals (sold separately).
The large rubber pad screams of rugged construction and has little to worry about a felt beater wearing through like on mesh heads.
The KP65 is a great runner up to the Roland KD-10 model. With a similarly realistic feel to the KD-10, the KP65 is often much lower-priced making it the attractive model for many drummers budgets.
- Rugged wide-body construction
- Compatible with many standard and double pedals
- Rubber pad
- For use with the DTX Series Drum Trigger Module
What are Beaterless or Free-Floating Kick Pedals?
When it comes to electronic drums, there are several options granted due to technology. And when it comes to the kick drum pedals and triggers, there are many options.
In your searches, you have likely come across the terms beaterless or free-floating pedals. But what are these, or what exactly do they mean? Let’s define and explain each type of kick pedal for electronic drums.
The bass drum is traditionally struck using a beater. A beater is a mallet that attaches to the kick drum pedal. When the pedal is pressed, the mallet swings on an upward and forward arch to strike the kick drum.
The kick can be a mesh head mini kick in electronic drums, a rubber head strike pad, or even no drum at all, just a trigger foot pedal. And this drum/pad free pedal is known as a beaterless or free-floating pedal. Coming from the fact that there is no beater, the kick trigger is aptly named.
Beaterless kick pedals are often quite rigid, and many do not have a smooth action. It is due to a fixed design compared to a traditional drum pedal, which has smooth action due to the beater head’s mechanical range of motion.
However, the way that beaterless pedals work is quite simple. The pedal, mounted similarly to the ‘home’ position of a standard kick pedal, has a trigger ‘push-style’ switch installed underneath the pedal.
The trigger switch is placed at a specific distance below the pedal to simulate a standard kick pedal’s action. It simulates the initial travel of the standard swinging beater.
Some of these beaterless triggers are entirely accurate in how they feel, compared to a standard kick drum. However, they are still some way from feeling the same as a traditional, good-quality beater and pedal setup.
Sometimes the beaterless can feel a little too mechanical. And it may be the design itself and not the trigger switch, or it could be the trigger switch. It can be challenging to figure out without multiple different types to test and compile, which is best. However, a different kind of pedal to look at may offer a different and more traditional feeling solution.
Free-floating pedals are attached at the heel via a smooth bearing hinge, and at the toe-end, they are only connected to a chain in a hanging fashion or simply a floating spring assembly.
The chain travels upward from the toe side of the pedal and wraps around a shaft assembly on the chain variety. In turn, the shaft assembly attaches to a floating stretch spring that is also pivoting and adjustable.
This mechanical setup allows the pedal to ‘float’ in the ‘sweet-spot’ between gravity and the pull of the floating stretch spring. The action is incredibly smooth, and the control is subtle, making this a very expressive form of the pedal for the most discerning drummer.
When it comes to electronic drums, two basic types of electronic setup are commonly used, the beaterless or free-floating (electronic) and the beater and tower pad setup.
The tower-style setup uses a traditional beater pedal style, but a plastic beater head is often preferred to a felt.
In this setup, a tower pad trigger or a mesh (commonly used) head mini electronic kick is utilized.
Pedals with beaters will work with the tower or mini-kick pad setup.
What are Electronic Bass Drum Pads?
Bass drum pads are electronic switches known as triggers. These switches are mounted within the bass drum pad. The pad can be fabricated from rubber or rubberized material. The pads are typically mounted to what is known as a tower. The tower is an angle bracket which is mounted to a base and holds the kick pad. This tower attaches to the kick drum pedal for a secure solution to creating an electronic bass drum.
Should I Go Free-Floating or Not?
Some of the newer technology free-floating kick pedals are getting quite good at feeling similar to the real thing. They are not all up to par, however, and only a few models stand out as being of smooth action and feel.
When deciding to go free-floating or not, it is good to understand how the playing style can affect this decision.
There are two basic styles that drummers fall into when talking about the drum pedal foot technique. Either a drummer plays heel up, meaning they lightly rest the ball of the foot and toes on the pedal with the heel off the ground.
The other type of positioning is the heel down technique. This positioning has the heel on the ground and the ball and toes up, resting on the pedal.
Depending on which style is preferred, a specific type of pedal might be preferred. The rigidity of the pedal could play a factor in your decision.
As well, when it comes to free-floating kick pedals because there is no tower with a kick pad, there are fewer components. This makes a free-floating kick pedal a better financial option than it’s alternative.
Also, the free-floating pedal allows for more natural placement and movement of the pedal. This can be beneficial for fast and easy setup or teardown and accommodates modification of the configuration to be quite simple with no tower.
Lastly, free-floating pedals are more comfortable to transport, being smaller assemblies than their tower, including counterparts. If one uses a portable electronic kit for practice or performance in multiple locations, moving and carrying will be that much easier.
The downside to free-floating pedals for your electronic kick is the feel. These pedals have come a long way, however only the top models have a natural and smooth feel that almost mimics a real kick drum pedal. Notice I said almost. The top-of-the-line models do an excellent job of feeling like a real drum pedal, but they still have a way to go before they can convince a professional drummer of their feel.
Review of Top Free-Floating Pedal
Roland does it again with the KT-10 kick trigger pedal. This free-floating electronic trigger is a perfect way to have a realistic feel with a pad-free experience.
The sturdy and rugged construction show the quality of the Roland KT-10. Right from the first glance, it is evident that this electronic beaterless kick pedal was designed to stand up to fierce playing.
The KT-10 is a perfect mobile-friendly kick trigger. The design is reliable yet compact for excellent portability.
The KT-10 also features the ability to work as a generic trigger for many other electronic components such as the SPD-series percussion pad or the HPD-20 HandSonic. This makes the KT-10 a versatile and powerful trigger.
The feel of the Roland KT-10 is not set in stone. There are easy adjustments with the spring and moveable weights that allow a drummer to adjust the feel of the pedals’ response.
A mix in jack is also present on the pedal, which allows for easy expansion with a second KT-10 pedal.
The unit has a reverse-action trigger mechanism. This allows for an amazingly authentic feeling in a small and compact design.
Review of Top Pedal with Pad
The Roland KD-10 delivers a quality thud-like feeling without compromising on quiet. This is the electronic kick drum pad that drummers and family are both ecstatic about.
If you are an experienced drummer, then you know all too well that if something doesn’t feel right, it distracts your playing. Maybe it’s the throne at the wrong height, or your snare is off level, either way, you know when something doesn’t feel right.
The Roland KD-10 delivers on the feeling of a real kick. The thick rubber head covering the specialized dedicated cushion help to feel like a real bass drum head. And when you’re stomping away, you want the beater to feel that thud when it strikes the bass drumhead. And that is what the folks at Roland have done with the KD-10.
If you have a family or neighbors who don’t appreciate the sound of your practicing, then the KD-10 solves another problem. The design is such that they feel is not compromised by the effort to remain as silent as possible. Anyone who has issues with noise will likely rest, assured of the peace and quiet when you’re rocking away on KD-10 at all hours of the night.
Another great feature of the KD-10 is the size of the head. This impressively small head delivers quite the punch as it can handle a dual pedal setup. That’s right; you read that correctly. This bass v-drum can handle not just one but two beaters, so if your style is the double bass, then this is the electronic kick for you.
Sturdy and reliable construction and a sturdy, broad base all help to create a new age of electronic drums at your disposal, and the KD-10 is at the leading edge.