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3 Ways to Connect a Sample Pad to Your Drum Kit
The role of electronics in music has never been so prevalent than it is today. Drummers and percussionists are often required to either replicate a recorded sound in the live arena or create a new sound in the studio. When it comes to playing these sounds in a performance, drummers often rely on sample pads or percussion pads. The units usually have between four and eight pads or “zones” where a multitude of onboard sounds can be triggered by playing the pad with a stick or by hand. Whether you trigger sounds live on stage or create beats for music production in the studio, placement of your sample pad is key.
For drummers who have never used a sample pad, and are converting their traditional acoustic drum kit into a hybrid kit of acoustic and electronic instruments, placement can sometimes be a challenge. Do you put it by the hi-hat, or over the floor tom? Maybe you want it in the place of a rack tom? All of these scenarios are valid, and with some experimentation, you’ll find what works best for your personal style.
Bear in mind that sample pads tend to have small screens so you may need to consider visibility of the display, particularly if you’re switching settings during a show. Wherever you choose to place the sample pad, reach, ergonomics and height all play a part in your comfort and how easy it is to play.
There are several options for mounting a sample pad and each offers a solution that can be tailored to your particular style and size of drum kit. Here are 3 great ways to connect a sample pad to your drum kit:
1. Convert a cymbal boom stand into a sample pad stand
Boom arms offer the extended reach, tilt and fine-tuning that enables easy integration into your set up. This is a great option if you want to connect a sample pad in close proximity and directly over your bass drum, or if you need to position the unit at an extended height or extreme angle.
The Electronic Module Boom Arm is a direct replacement for any 12.7mm diameter cymbal boom arm. Simply remove the cymbal boom arm from your cymbal stand, slide the Electronic Module Boom Arm into the grip and you have a flexible, height adjustable sample pad stand. On one end of the arm is a 360° rotating clamp. If your sample pad shipped with a mounting bracket, drop it into the clamp and tighten. If not you’ll need an Electronic Module Mounting Plate that fits the four hole drill pattern on the base of your unit.
We would recommend that you use the boom arm with a mid-weight stand or heavier, particularly if you intend to use the arm at full extension.
2. Attach your sample pad to a cymbal or drum stand
At just 6 inches long, the Extended Electronic Drum Module Clamp is the more discreet of the two and is designed to hold a sample pad just far enough away from a stand to allow adjustments to height and tilt. Overall, the arm is heavier-duty and the best way to maintain balance between sample pad and stand.
If you need that bit of extra reach, the Electronic Module Boom Arm is 18” long and offers a wider range of motion for positioning your sample pad. Again, if you are going to place the sample pad at full boom extension, make sure the arm is aligned with one of the stand’s tripod legs to maintain a safe balance.
By attaching the sample pad to your own stand, you eliminate the need for extra drum stands on the floor and avoid increasing both your footprint and load.
3. Add a dedicated electronic drum stand to your drum kit
If you’re happy to increase your footprint, the simplest way to add a sample pad to your drum kit is with a dedicated stand.
Tripod based sample pad stands like our Electronic Drum Stand and Mini Electronic Drum Stand offer the most stability and the easiest height adjustment. They are especially useful for drummers and percussionists who have a simple set up where reaching the sample pad isn’t an issue.
With a height range of 26.5” up to 37”, the Electronic Drum Stand can be used for seated or standing play. Drummers or other musicians who need to trigger sounds or loops on stage can take advantage of the stand’s small footprint and portability to and from the gig.
Make sure you check the base and back of your sample pad to make sure that the fixtures and mounting plate is compatible with these hardware options. Some models come complete with a mounting plate but if not, this universal Electronic Module Mounting Plate is designed to work with most sample pads, percussion pads, drum modules and controllers.
The sample pad has become an indispensable part of many drummers’ setups and has paved an easy learning pathway to hybrid drumming. The ability to carry literally hundreds of sounds in a space saving unit is revolutionary. No matter what kind of set up you use, there’s a way to organize your drum kit to accommodate a sample pad and ensure maximum comfort and ease of use.