Reviewed: Yamaha EAD10 Electronic Acoustic Drum Module

Yamaha Music Australia | au.yamaha.com | Expect to pay: $699.99

Creating a hybrid acoustic/electronic drum kit can sometimes be a complicated process. For working drummers who want to minimise their set ups from gig to gig, setting up a bunch of pads or units and then mixing the electronic sounds with the natural volume coming from the acoustic drums can also be a headache. Yamaha Drums has listened and released the EAD10 - Electronic Acoustic Drums.

The EAD10 is an electronic acoustic drum product that allows you to blend and combine your acoustic drums instantly with electronic sounds. There are two central components – the main unit is a combination trigger module with 757 onboard voices and triggered samples, as well as 50 preset scenes and 200 user scenes. These are used to customise your drum sound and allow you to connect triggers and drum pads to augment your set up. There’s also an audio mixer with stereo outputs, USB interface, and an effects processor with 21 effects and 11 reverbs. The second component is the sensor unit – a combination bass drum trigger and X/Y condenser mic system that mounts directly onto the bass drum hoop.

 

The stereo condenser provides studio quality sound in your headphones/FOH mix and the trigger allows you to instantly layer voices on top of your acoustic bass drum sound. On its own, the sensor unit is a comprehensive ‘one mic for everything’ solution. The module also allows you to record high quality audio either directly into the brain, a USB thumb drive or computer, enabling you to then share your work instantly. The easiest option is the free iOS app called Rec’n’Share, which allows you to shoot, create and edit fantastic audio/video, and share it directly from your mobile device while sitting at the kit.

 

The sensor units’ microphone picks up the sounds of the drums as you yourself hear them; you get to hear everything on your kit, cymbals and rims as they respond to the effects dialled in on the module. Some of the effects include ‘fillers’ that don’t sound like much on their own, but added to your bass drums or snare drum fill in the gaps in the EQ to make them sound like the studio ones you’re always aiming for. Want some fat '70s in your snare? No problem. A little more sub on the bass drum? It’s available. The module also automatically sets gain levels for your playing, so it’s easy to get cracking straight away.

 

The EAD10 allows you to put a mic right in the centre of your kit and capture everything in one step, removing the need for multiple microphones. You now have a complete amplification solution for any live sound situation and can have the added benefit of enhancing with electronics and mixing/managing the sound yourself before you hand it to the front of house. When not on stage and in the practise room, you can also have an amazingly enhanced practise environment. You can experiment with more triggers to really work the set up and include some more possibilities on the snare drum for example, but even just on its own there’s a lot of potential with the standard set up. The iPhone app allows you to import a track, assign a click, adjust tempo and record yourself playing over it. At this point you can mix it however you want and export instantly, a process that would normally take forever.

 

A final benefit to something like the EAD10 is that educators will find it extremely useful in lessons for instrumental music students. You can quickly record yourself for a student to practise to or perhaps record progress for parents so they can see/hear what happens in lessons. The fact that it sounds great so easily is a bonus. I’ve only just had a little go so far, but the EAD10 is a great idea from Yamaha. I want one.

 

Hits and Misses

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Great solution for live sound and practise solutions at a good price

Ability to share video/audio easily

Uncanny ability to mic up the whole kit with one step

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No separate headphone volume on the module, although most drummers will use a mixer anyway

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