Mesh Vs. Rubber Drum Pads
Electronic drum sets have advanced to the point where they have become staple items for the drummer that wants to record, practice, or jam in any space outside of a garage, large basement, or studio. Extra sounds and features provide incredible value, but the critical part is often the feel. To truly be an alternative to an acoustic set, the feel of hitting a snare, tom, or kick has to be right. In order to simulate this, it often comes down to mesh or rubber pads.
Mesh HeadsHeads made of mesh are often the ultimate way of nailing the feel of an acoustic snare or tom. Made out of a thinner material than rubber, these heads allow for a more accurate stick bounce. Tension can often be adjusted, meaning that you can dial in the feel close to what you like in your own snare or tom, allowing you to emulate your familiar playing style. These heads can be extra sensitive as well, picking up on extremely subtle details such as ghost notes or sensing a cross stick.
Rubber pads are a staple in electronic drumming. They allow you to practice quietly while being able to sense your playing dynamics. They are also often more compact, reducing the footprint of the overall drum set, allowing you to practice in some pretty tight spaces.
The downside of rubber is a reduced sense of feel. Bounce can be trickier to emulate, and these pads can often feel distinctly different from an acoustic kit. However, the positive trade off is that drum sets with these pads are much less expensive than their mesh counterparts, allowing for much more affordability.
Electronic drum pad tech is ever evolving, with manufacturers finding new ways to emulate an acoustic feel. Yamaha's silicone pads, for example, have a unique texture that allows for quiet playing and extra sensitivity for triggering sounds. The best way of deciding what works best is to try out an electronic drum set yourself.
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