Is it worth the money?
I'd never really entertained the idea of buying an electronic drum kit. In my mind they were always a substandard option and were reserved for the more techno player, non traditional or seasoned covers band drummer who would raise his sticks about a centimeter off the pads and create and enormous sound. It just didnt seem authentic. It hasn't been until recently when I was looking after a set for a friend of mine and therefore had the oppurtunity to have some in the house for a while. Well I never played the drums so much in my lifetime. I had been living in an appartment and essentially had been unable to play a normal kit. Having that option of playing 'in silence' so to speak was a real revelation to me and it reignited my enthusiasm for the drums again.
I was (and still am) blown away by the realism of the drums from the huge variety of drum sounds that it made to the subtle changes in the sound depending on how hard you hit the pad. The dtxplorer gives you 32 preset drum kits that you can scroll through and have a lot of fun playing on. They range from reggae to funk, techno and a bit of spoken voise as well. Of course there are the standard rock, acoustic and studio kits. Also, there are 12 positions called user kits which are vacant and enable the user to program in their own custom-made kits. You can change the tune of the drums, the volume and even add a double kick if you want.
There is also a fantastic click track or metronome which you can play along too. This is great practice if you have trouble speeding up during songs. I also found it a great tool for using prior to recording songs in a studio environment where keeping perfect time is imperative for the track to be layed down correctly. The click track comes in a number of different sounds and tunings and you can also count in on one of your pads to to set the click tempo that your after - a great thing if you're not good with numbers! The groove checker function on the kit will actually tell you how well you're going with your timing when playing along to the click track or when playing along to one of the demo songs in the dtxplorer.
The ability to play along with an mp3 player (iphone, ipod etc) is probably my most utilized function of the dtxplorer. Adjust the volume of the kit and the mp3 input so you can hear your playing over that of your favorite bands. It's also a great practice tool and it's good to be able to adjust volumes through a set of headphones so you're saving your ears the punishment they normally get when playing on an acoustic set.
Probably my least enjoyable aspect of an acoustic kit was having to pack it up after gigs every night and do a few hundred trips from the stage to my car every night. Well the dtxplorer sorts all those problems out. Want to transport it? No problems. Just fold it, pick it up and your on your way - a real life saver and it fits easily into most cars, even the smaller ones.
There you have it, my rant about why I'm such a big fan of the yamaha dtxplorer. A great versatile kit which will keep your drumming skills up in between those big acoustic gigs.