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[Editor’s note – this past fall we searched for two active drummers to test out and report back on the Simmons SD2000 Mesh-Head Electronic Drum Kit. Both testers put the kit through its paces, and produced a series of demo videos showing off the kit in action and highlighting how it could work for today’s modern drummer. Below are their final testimonials.]
The Simmons SD2000 is a great kit for the price!
At first, I was skeptical that the size and weight of the kit would be prohibitive in some way– slowing down adjustments, taking up more room — but after breaking down and setting up the SD2000 many times over the past month I found that none of that actually mattered.
What stuck is that this is a responsive kit, solid, and carefully designed kit. The onboard sounds are exceptional, and after a little trial and error, the brain is quick and easy to manipulate; no more difficult than other brains out there.
The mesh pads and soft rubber rims are fun and enjoyable to smash. I play quite hard and feel like I can totally unload on this thing without hurting it or its creators’ feelings.
I like that.
While the initial setup took me a little white, I found the proceeding breakdowns and setups to be fast and easy.
My 4-step method? I unplug the wires, wrap them around the brainstem, remove all the pads, and fold up the cage nice and flat. Done. It’s surprisingly quick!
I can imagine using this on a gig and breaking down in a matter of two minutes, it’s that easy.
The brain not only produces great sound, but it’s pleasing to touch and use. In fact, the feel of the whole kit is nice on the hands. Sturdy, yet comfortable to touch.
The color display is a nice feature, which could come in handy in a dark room or on stage.
So, what’s most important with a kit like this? The responsiveness of the drum? The ease-of-use? The price? The sound quality?
It’s hard to say. Every drummer has their own priority. For me, an electronic kit has to feel great when played. I’m not that concerned with expansions or recording, or even performing live; I want a kit that gets out of my way and lets me “get into the zone” with my headphones on and escape for a while into my music.
The SD2000 accomplished that with flying colors. I feel like I could rely on this kit for years. Much like a new car, I had to drive it for a little while to understand and appreciate its design.
When I do get around to finish composing my #1 hit album (haha), I look forward to using this kit to work out the grooves, and the sounds. The quick adjustment panel on the front of the brain is a welcome addition to people like me who grew up right before everything went touch screen. Manual levers are gratifying and handy!
Thank you Simmons and Performer Magazine for this great opportunity!
The Simmons SD-2000 is a fun drum kit and a very useful tool in a studio or live setting.
In the last few months of using the SD-2000 for practice and recording, I’ve really enjoyed playing the kit and recording with it. Simmons has included a lot of features that make this kit really useful in facilitating creativity.
I’ve loved being able to quickly record ideas to a USB drive or plug right into my DAW setup and having the ability to record patterns that can be played back from one of the pads in a kit is an excellent touch. Having so many different recording options is extremely helpful to keep creative ideas flowing and get ideas or patterns recorded quickly. In addition to recording, you can also play back music from a USB drive directly from the module, which has been one of my favorite features.
It’s super-easy to adjust all of the pads to suit my playing style, which I really appreciated (though I would have liked to have seen a ball mount included, like the toms have, for the snare as well). The pads feel really responsive and feel great to play. The pads themselves aren’t very loud; noticeably quieter than your standard practice pad.
I really like that they included a good amount of world and percussion sounds along with the more typical acoustic and electronic kits, giving you a wide palette of sonic textures to choose from along with the ability to import your own samples. They’ve included the ability to make your own ‘User Kit’ with either the included sounds or imported sounds since you’re able to adjust and save the parameters, which is really helpful if you’ve found some settings for a particular song and would like to save them to play again in the future.
I am a huge fan of the bank of 5 faders on the front of the drum module. There are 3 different banks and a total of 15 parameters you can control really quickly, along with access to the metronome. The Low EQ and Hi EQ is great in a live setting; the SD2000 has way more flexibility to shape the sound than an acoustic kit.
Simmons really covered the bases between features that will benefit during practice, recording, or a live setting, and I think the SD2000 is a great addition to any studio, practice space or touring rig.
For more info, head to simmonsdrums.net/sd2000-mesh-head-electronic-drum-kit