Yamaha EAD10 Acoustic Electronic Drum Module
By Dendy Jarrett | (edited)
Yamaha EAD10 Acoustic Electronic Drum Module
Should be renamed - fun in a box!
by Dendy Jarrett
Acoustic Electronic Drum Module?
Yamaha’s website states, “The EAD10 acoustic electronic drum module instantly transforms your acoustic drum kit into a powerful digital/electric hybrid with sampled sounds and studio-quality digital effects. It allows you to play along with your favorite artists and record and share the audio and video directly to social media. The EAD10 enhances every aspect of your drumming and makes your acoustic drums do more.”
I guess one could say “playing drums is striking a plastic head with a wooden stick.” I mean, both those definitions are indeed descriptive, but they are both very sterile, vanilla, and underwhelming. Why do I make a negative statement about Yamaha’s description in the opening paragraph? Because that description being so benign is the only negative I can find about the EAD10.
If you’ve ever miked up a drum kit, you know what a mess of cables, microphone stands, or clamps, and cable routing it can be. Not only is it a lot of work but it also represents a lot of investment for a local gigging drummer. In today’s contemporary gig scene, many drummers are opting to go smaller and more compact with their set ups. If that statement represents you, then you want to check out this box!
How Does It Work?
There is a small unit known as the sensor that attaches to the bass drum hoop. The sensor has a trigger that rests on the bass drum hoop to trigger the bass drum, and the upper part of the sensor has two omni-directional stereo microphones that do an amazing job of picking up the rest of the kit—an amazing job!
The drum module box is surprisingly small and compact. The sensor connects to this box. The sensor provides the signal from both a trigger mode and a microphone mode (level percentage and sensitivity controlled by the drum module) and allows the drummer to have complete control.
As a microphone, the EAD10 could be a stand-alone unit, simply performing that task. When using an omni-directional microphone, care and consideration must be given to avoid bleed from anything else on stage; therefore, the best advice I can offer is to dial everything to zero and start working with your balance levels in each new venue. I was surprised at just how quickly you can dial everything in and how well the dual microphones worked. Certainly it isn’t going to be the level of detail you’d get if each drum was miked individually, but for small venues and clubs, and especially for rehearsing, it’s pretty close to perfection.
Video: EAD10 – Monitor Your Drums + Go Live
The EAD10 is expandable and allows you to add additional triggers up to a total of 4 (the sensor uses one of the inputs) or you can add multi-zone electric pads (like Yamaha’s XP Series pads) that will allow you to expand your sound palette.
Video: Adding Triggers and Pads
Let the Fun Begin!
I mention above that the EAD10 could be a stand-alone unit as an all-encompassing method to mike a drumset, but miking and triggering alone is just the foundation of the unit. From there, the fun begins. This unit utilizes many of the sounds and effects of Yamaha’s popular DTX series of electronic drums. If you’re a geeky drummer like me, part of the fun of an electronic kit is determining all the great and cool sounds you can get. Well, the EAD10 combines the things you love about your acoustic kit and the things you love about the electronic kit into one sweet package.
The unit has 50 preset Scenes and 200 user (created) Scenes. Scenes are simply types of kits or sounds that are preloaded or that you can customize and save for later use.
Video: EAD10- Playing with Effects Scenes
Video: EAD10 Sound and Expandability
What could be more fun than having your acoustic kit sound like you’re playing a huge concert stadium to having them sound like some 80’s techno-pop electronic drums!
Making Fun a Tool
Part of what I really enjoy about the EAD10 is that it takes a mundane chore like practicing and turns it into something fun. There’s a built in metronome that doubles as a click track during performance and/or recording.
Video: EAD10 – Practice
What’s even more fun is that the EAD10 allows you to play along to your favorite songs with or without the click track through multiple means: Thumbdrive, Aux-In jack, USB, or through a free Rec and Share App from your phone.
Even better, it allows you to adjust tempo without affecting pitch so you can work out the hard parts of a song with ease.
Video: Practice with External Audio
Video: Rec’n’Share App Overview
But Wait, There’s More
You can use the Rec’n’Share app to video tape, mix, edit, and share your playing. You can upload it directly to your social feeds or to YouTube.
This is great for networking as a drummer, or it’s great if you teach online and need to evaluate student's practice or performances.
This EAD10 will go down as a device that I had the most fun reviewing (and I’ve reviewed a lot of gear). It was so much fun that I couldn’t call it work. Truly this little magical box took me back to the first time I sat behind a set of drums. It restored the excitement, the challenges, the learning, and most of all…the fun associated with playing and practicing. I kept having to remind myself that this was a tool to be used to enhance an acoustic set of drums because how could something this fun be a professional device? Yamaha, I’ll forgive the vanilla description I pointed out at the beginning of this review. But as for the EAD10, it should be renamed…fun in a box! -HC-
Dendy Jarrett is the Publisher and Executive Director of Harmony Central. He has been heavily involved at the executive level in many aspects of the drum and percussion industry for over 25 years and has been a professional player since he was 16. His articles and product reviews have been featured in InTune Monthly, Gig Magazine, DRUM! and Modern Drummer Magazines.
Edited by Dendy Jarrett