|It's just over two years since I returned to playing the drums and as some of you may know, my re-entry to drumming was via electronic drums.|
During the first year, I worked my way through all of the Roland range of modules and kits, including a TD-3, TD-6, TD-8, TD-9, TD-10, TD-12 before landing on the flagship TD-20.
I used the TD-20 for a year, but as my levels of requirements increased, I found myself becoming more and more frustrated by the TD-20's onboard sounds and options from a recording and live performance perspective, so I was moving towards the complex world of VST options, but while enroute, thankfully my flight was diverted to see what Sweden's 2Box had to offer.
Now I am happy to admit that I took my eye off the ball on this one and had not thought or read too much about the 2Box DrumIt Five since February 2009. I'd said then on a very 'hot' forum topic, how much I liked the concept and the company's good business structure, but what I did not like was the look of it.
Twenty months on, the DrumIt Five kit had been out a while, finding itself a very comfortable spot in the market, but it now seemed that 2Box were starting to get a grip on that spot after the Mk II appeared in the Summer of 2010, with a significant improvements over the initial release.
As with most things that I take an interest in, I quickly buried myself in research, playing catch up at hyper-speed and so naturally, I also arranged a demo of the kit.
I spent 90 minutes checking it out and it was, very impressive, but not perfect in my view, however, I had enough interest to go away and ask additional questions.
|One of the most significant answers that I received, was that there had been a major software upgrade, a fact that had sadly eluded most of the stores selling the kit and this had actually addressed most of my concerns.|
I am a drummer that wants to play, so I was not keen to dive into the VST ocean with waves of issues, a laptop requirement, endless hardware, software and a studio engineer qualification! I simply wanted an 'all in one box' option and 2Box it seemed, was that box!
I decided to take a leap of faith and purchased the module and with the new software installed in seconds, I finally entered the world I had so longed for. Real sampled drums and cymbals, all in one box, simply plug in and go - that's it.
As I have found my way around the additional options within the module, I became more and more impressed, so much so, that I felt the electronic drum store specialists, eDRUM ATTIC needed to be looking at the kit and now, just a few months later, the full range of 2Box kits, modules and pads are available at the eDRUM ATTIC store!
As these things so often tend to happen in my life, just as my transfer from Roland to the 2Box DrumIt Five this was taking place, I was asked to start work on a new band project and their requirement was for me to use electronic drums from an acoustic kit which would enable the same kit to then be used in a dual format.
With that in mind, while I am very happy to use the 2Box kit in my studio, I have also built a hybrid kit with the 2Box module very much at it's heart.
Based around an entry level but never the less, excellent Mapex V Series kit, by using triggers and mesh heads, I have been stunned as to just how good the kit feels in 'electronic mode' thanks to the 2Box module. The full kit spec can be found HERE.
As I need to push forward with demos and recording sessions, the following track was the second recording that I made by simply linking the 2Box module into Audacity on my PC. There is no post recording mixing, the sounds you hear are simply stock samples from the 2Box DrumIt Five on board sounds.
Naturally I can still tweak a few things here and there, but the recording took just minutes to set up and record and when time is limited, what more could you ask for?!
Below on the left you have the 2Box To PC To Audacity audio recording mentioned above, while on the right, you have an introductory promo video for the 2Box DrumIt Five.
As ever, the proof is in the pudding as they say and this raw untreated recording was presented to a major drummer's forum for a critique on the drum sounds, general mix and the raw recording. I was delighted that it took a good deal of time before anyone realised that this was in fact an electronic kit - the rest all assumed it was an acoustic kit - to me, that says it all!
With another software upgrade in the final stages or pre-release (there is a beta test version with some of the new tools available) the future looks very bright and as they say, the future looks orange!
The 2Box DrumIt Five was a revelation to me, so if you are looking to enter the 'e' drum world or simply are, as I was, tired of the synthetic Roland recorded sounds, I suggest you speak to eDRUM ATTIC (they ship Globally) as they along with 2Box, will put you on the right track with your electronic drumming!
2Box - 2010 MK II Model Overview
The 2Box DrumIt Five is an open sound drum system giving the user the freedom to choose which sounds to play and which heads to use.
The system is built around a high strength, low weight pad / cymbal and stand system.
Add to this an extremely powerful drum unit with 4GB on-board Flash memory, and you have the foundation for a truly ground breaking, sensation in electronic drumming.
2Box DrumIt 5 Electronic Kit
100 user configurable drum kits
15 independent drum channels
10 dual-function trigger inputs (1/4" TRS)
8 audio outputs
6 mono audio line outputs (1/4" TS)
4 GB Flash memory for sound storage
1 stereo audio line input (1/4" TRS)
1 stereo headphones output (1/4" TRS)
USB 1.1 full-speed device
MIDI in and out