eDRUMin expands

eDRUMin 10 was voted accessory of the year in the recent digitalDrummer Readers’ Choice awards, so we put it to the test.

IT’S BEEN MORE than a year since eDRUMin entered the market with a compact, four-input e-drum to MIDI interface. The initial device was pitched as an alternative to the ageing TMIs on the market, and the big differentiator is the companion Control Application.
While the first model was widely welcomed, the common complaint was the limited number of inputs, and even though the software supports more than one eDRUMin box, there was clearly demand for a more comprehensive offering. Enter eDRUMin 10.

What’s in the box
The eDRUMin package consists of an interface “box” and an attachment strap that allows you to mount it on a cymbal stand. Unlike the original 3D-printed enclosure, the eDRUMin 10 is encased in a robust metal housing with 10 stereo inputs on one side, and two pedal inputs, MIDI jacks and a power socket on the other.
Again, the real power of eDRUMin lies in the free companion interface, available for Windows, Mac OS and iOS.

Getting started
The first step is connecting the pads or cymbals to the interface using ¼” TRS cables. This eDRUMin has 10 stereo inputs, but it’s not limited to 10 triggers.
You can plug in a bunch of dual-zone or three-zone pads and cymbals from any manufacturer and you can even choose between connecting Roland cymbals using one or two cables. And, as we explain, you can slip inputs into two without special cables – and without losing rim triggering on either one.
To configure the interface, you will need to connect it via USB to a computer or tablet and fire up the Control Application.
Then, it’s a matter of configuring and calibrating each input.
You start by hitting the pad or cymbal, which automatically selects the input on the app, and then you choose the pad type – either from some generic attributes (mesh, dual-piezo, centre-mounted) or from a wide selection of common presets.
You hit “calibrate” and strike the pad a few times, and you can then start fine-tuning the usual parameters – threshold, scan time, gain and velocity curve, as well as for hold and decay. In addition, there are adjustments for rimshot sensitivity, hotspot suppression, crosstalk and positional sensing, giving users incredible control over triggering – more, in fact, than many modules. And the graphical interface makes it easy to understand what you’re changing – especially if you watch some of Audiofront’s instructional videos before you start.
The last step before playing is to select and refine the MIDI map, using the presets for Roland, Yamaha and 2box modules as well as for popular VSTs, BFD3, Superior Drummer 3 and Addictive Drums 2.

In action
As with the original eDRUMin, I tested the eDRUMin 10 with a range of pads and cymbals – centre- and side-mounted mesh pads, rubber pads, Roland, Simmons and Gewa cymbals and an ATV hi-hat (for which there was no preset).
I was able to easily optimise triggering on everything I plugged in using the “calibrate” instruction and it was easy to tweak the responsiveness and dynamics to achieve possibly the best triggering I have ever had from analogue drums and cymbals.
One of the unique features is Hotspot Suppression, a set of controls that allows you to dial out the triggering spikes which occur when you hit too close to the sensor, especially on centre-triggered drum pads.
Similarly, it was extremely easy to dial out crosstalk – and the updated software even allows for crosstalk adjustment of triggers on different eDRUMin boxes.
I was able to obtain full three-zone cymbal triggering with a single cable using the Bell Sense function. So, instead of taking up two inputs on the box for the ride, this freed up an input for another drum or cymbal – or two.
The hi-hat was admittedly the most tricky and took a few goes – in fact, I’m still not sure why some attempts failed and others worked – but I got there without too much stress.
The huge revelation for me was the new Edge Sense feature. This allows you to trigger head and rim sounds from a single sensor, and this means you can connect two drums to an input and still get two different sounds out of each – something you can’t achieve with any module on the market.
Of course, more tweaking – especially MIDI mapping – was possible within the various VSTs with which I tested the box.
I initially tried to set up the triggers with Addictive Drums and Superior Drummer MIDI maps, but got the best results using the Roland map and then setting the VSTs to the same map. This was especially effective with Superior Drummer, which has excellent positional sensing on the snare and ride.
When I reviewed the original, I identified some downsides to the eDRUMin. The biggest was probably the limited number of inputs on each unit – and that shortcoming has been addressed with the new, larger and more capable box.
The other minor challenge is finding a MIDI map that works with multiple VSTs – or sometimes even expansion packs within the same VST – but thankfully, most of the sample programs have learn functions to refine the MIDI allocations.

Bottom line
I was impressed with the original eDRUMin, describing it is “a refreshing and valuable addition to the electronic percussion arsenal, especially for those with monster kits or looking for a module substitute”.
The new version is even better – as recognised by many readers in our poll at the end of last year.
From the new beefier, more robust casing to the significantly increased number of inputs, the eDRUMin 10 is nothing short of amazing. And the companion software just keeps getting better, providing even finer control over triggering in an easy-to-follow workflow.
A year ago, I predicted that the developer would follow up with units with more inputs than the original and warned module makers to watch out. That warning still stands!

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