In the ever-evolving realm of worship music, electronic drum pads have emerged as invaluable tools, bridging the gap between tradition and innovation. These versatile instruments offer worship musicians a unique opportunity to infuse their performances with modern sounds, while still maintaining the spiritual essence of their music.
In this article, we will explore the best electronic drum pads tailored specifically for worship music, delving into their features, capabilities, and how they can enhance the worship experience for both musicians and congregations alike. Whether you’re a seasoned worship drummer or a newcomer to the scene, this guide will help you find the perfect electronic drum pad to elevate your musical worship journey.
Why should we use drum pads For worship Music?
Acoustic drums sound incredible, right? But let’s face, they are not good when it comes to portability. And this is where electronic drums stand as the winners.
The most interesting thing about this technology is that they are so portable and compact that they can fit in almost any space. If you want to practice silently from home without disturbing your neighbours, consider using e-drums.
A drummer can simply connect them with quality earphones and play without anyone knowing they are even there.
But that is not what I want to discuss in this section. My focus is on controlling the sound in any church auditorium. Perhaps this is the hardest thing in such an environment.
The frequency from the acoustic easily covers the entire audible spectrum. It is easy for drums to cover and overlap in other acoustic instruments during a performance.
Drum players sounds have more tasks than keyboard players since with the keyboard; you can simply turn the volume knob to decrease or increase the frequency. For a drum sounds machine, you go all in – which means you have to change the entire playing surface to get real low.
If you have been drumming for long, you understand how a kinetic challenge that gets real uncomfortable to the performer.
And this is where electronic drums come in to save the day.
E-drums and percussion is not a new concept. However, recent technological changes create the need to look for a more viable and desirable alternative.
In this case, the playing surface is one of the things that need serious thoughts. You don’t just pick an electronic drum machine because you have found it good looking.
The drum sounds pads for worship should be geared towards making the ground easy for you, and the performance desirable.
About the playing surface
What drum sounds kits should you choose in worship? There is a lot of discussion about this topic that has left many new drummers wondering what they should. Note there; all kits come with different advantages and disadvantages.
For the traditional electronic drum sounds pad, the setup includes a collection of pads for worship (usually round like an acoustic drum). The kits are rounded on a rack and adjusted in height according to the needs of the player.
Each pad also needs cables that must either be plugged into the drum module or pass a trigger to a MIDI converter. In this setup, the pads for worship can function with any MIDI drum module sounds.
If you don’t want this setup, perhaps due to limited playing ground, you can use a surface pad controller. This is a more portable alternative, where up to 24, different kits are placed on a flat surface.
These drum pad controllers feature natural rubber on the playing surface. It can be mounted on a stand, or tabletop, with a cable that sends signals to all the pads for worship.
Roland and Yamaha are the manufacturers of the drum pad sounds for worship. These companies have dedicated their efforts to creating excellent technology in the drum industry. n
The biggest advantage of drum pads for worship is that it takes a short time to set up. Unlike the full electronic drum set where you have to connect each sounds drum individually, you just plug your audio device and start playing. It never gets easier.
The flat surface on the drum pads for worship means they leave a small footprint. Having up to 24 pads for worship configured on a playing surface is a huge advantage for those who don’t have space. Some great pads for worship have less than 12 pads on a small surface, yet they function as a full drum set sounds.
The biggest issue with these pads for worship is that you cannot change the playing surface. They are set in an area, and you have to play the way they are.
Drum pads and sample
Drum machine pad sounds for worship drummer are widely used with drum samples. They are incredibly effective when creating textures and layers in drum grooves. You can also use them for alternate snare or kick sound to lay down a groove.
Many bands enjoy incorporating these sounds to bring out a fresh live sound as a way of keeping up the energy.
Use a verbed-out tambourine, sub drop, and 808 kick to create these effects. And the cool part is, they are filled with many samples to get you on the right track. Catalog 15-20 on That live Sound, for instance, has a huge collection of worship drummer songs you can use in your work. You can ask your engineer to export all the individual drum sounds to create song-specific kits.
Once you have created the right samples, you will need an acoustic drum pad sound. And there are lots of options on the market.
I have been playing as a worship drummer for a very long time. Worship songs are spiritual and uplifting. This means the instruments have to connect directly to the vocals.
Drum sounds are very challenging to use, especially when using acoustic sounds drums. There comes a time when you have to use really low and slow to capture the mood. This could be quite hard if you have not trained yourself well.
But with the right drum pad sounds, you can count on your lucky stars. Picking the drum pad may not be as easy as it sounds, considering the number of products on the modern market.
Don’t worry, though, I have here a list of top products that should be worth considering.
Gear Guide: The best electronic drum pads for worship
When you talk about the sounds of electronic drum sets, Roland comes in the minds of many people. And this is why Roland SPD-SX is the most popular model among touring drummers and worship drummers alike.
This is a sampling pad built for drummers who work more with custom samples or want to expand their own setup. It is also great for adding more triggered sounds into the performance necessary for church performances.
Looking at the SPD-SX, you can tell right away that it’s an excellent instrument. And its sampling ability makes it more functional than Roland’s Octapad SPD-30. It means you can load your own samples on this device, by connecting it on a computer via an audio software.
Another reason many people choose the SPD-SX is that it is among the cheapest, yet built with the highest quality and pad triggering technology.
A bad thing about cheaper live sound products is that you can get crazy crosstalk between pads for worship. This can be a huge problem for drum sounds, and even worse when a wrong live sound is a triggered on time. This is why it would be a good idea to invest in a quality product like the SPD-SX while you have time.
This drum pad features 4GB internal memory, which allows you to save 720 minutes of samples. You can also expand this memory using USB storage.
The main disadvantage is that it cannot create loops on the fly.
However, it supports four external pads for worship, which is great for triggering different samples.
The Roland Octapad SPD-30 is another device that shows the power Roland commands in this industry. It is among the most popular electronic instruments among professionals and amateurs.
It is not playing this hybrid kit for bigger shows that makes it perfect for church venues, but the features it carries.
Its extensibility is insane. One can add up to 5 external pads for worship, including a hi-hat controller. This means you can create a mini-electronic kit using this kit connected toa kick pedal, hi-hat pedal, and snare mesh head. Or perhaps you want a crash-or-ride cymbal for worship.
The Octapad comes with phrase looping, which allows you to loop three separate instruments, e.g., kits, synth sounds, percussion instruments, among others if you want.
Although you can only loop three instruments, you can easily swap them on the go. And you will never experience any crosstalk issues from this high-quality product with rights reserved.
The main disadvantage is perhaps that you cannot load samples. But this has been compensated through a variety of sounds and professional effects that will make you comfortable.
Note that this is a percussion instrument. It is designed for drummers to play and percussionists looking to go digital, or include electronic sounds in an acoustic setup. This makes it perfect for a worship session.
It is not a cheap product, though. Hence, not recommended for beginners.
Yamaha has been one of my favorite brands for many products for many years. And their technology in electronic drum kits is amazing.
The Yamaha DTX Multi 12 is a sampling pad on the same quality as the SPD-SX. The only difference is that it comes with three extra pads for worship and a huge inventory of sounds to pick from.
With this model, you can replace your entire drum kit. It gives your ability to load custom samples.
A huge advantage of this product is perhaps the ultra-sensitive pads for worship. For those who love hand drums like congas, this could be the only good alternative. The pad surface seems a bit soft when playing with sticks, but it is all about personal preference.
Apart from the 12 pads for worship, you can add up to 5 external pads. It has three inputs, with two being dual, where you can connect dual-zone pads, or split into separate single zones using a splitter.
Again, I cannot emphasize enough that you can use the DTX-multi as a compact e-drum set. Just make sure you do your homework well when choosing the extra pads for worship. Some of them may not be compatible, especially hi-hat controllers.
One of the disadvantages of this product is that it has only 64MB of internal memory, compared to the 4GB in Roland’s SPD-SX. Again, the interface seems a bit complex and may require some time before you get the hang of it. The menu system is a bit clunky as well, which may be hard to use. There are a lot of features, but Yamaha seems to have sacrificed usability with rights reserved.
Nevertheless, it is a solid contender in the world of sample pads and percussion pads for worship. It will make your worship livelier.
For long, Yamaha and Roland were the only players in the world of electronic music instruments. But then Alesis joined the race by introducing the line of more affordable products. The Sample Pad Pro is one such item.
It comes at a much lower price, making digital drum pads accessible to users with a lower budget. It carries some cool features, making it perfect for entry-level and mid-level users.
There are a few reasons this product will make a score for you. First, it is very extensive, allowing you to add external pads for worship and build a mini e-drum kit. And it has some features that you will find in more expensive models.
It will not fit your bill if you are looking for a top-end drum sampler. It does not compare to the other products above in terms of playability.
But at this price range, you should not expect anything better. It comes with fewer crosstalk issues and highly sensitive pads for worship.
You can load custom samples and use them as a secondary instrument on your setup. It does not disappoint in live performance either, which makes it seem better than similar products.
In a nutshell, the Alesis Sample Pad Pro is a perfect cheap option for electronic sample pads for worship. If you don’t have enough to invest in a Roland or a Yamaha, you can still get something nice.
The SPD-ONE has the lightest footprint out of all the pads listed. It's cheap, but built like a tank.
- Pads: 1
- Storage: 4GB (SPD::One Wav only)
- Function: Triggering, percussion pad
- Sounds: 12 (percussion pads only)
- High-quality playback
- Expensive for one pad
- No line-in
Roland SPD-One is the most compact of all the products I have reviewed here. It comes with only one pad, yet with 4GB internal memory for storing samples.
It does not have any trigger input or footswitch inputs, which means you cannot add external sources.
Nevertheless, it comes with 22 built-in sounds, which are not the fine quality (in my opinion). But you can import more using a USB cable.
The biggest advantage of the SPD-One is that you can use it as a stompbox. It is also a low-profile device with lots of built-in effects.
Still, this is not enough for many needs, especially since it only has 12 kits. If you are looking for just something easy and portable, I would recommend you try out this – it is the cheapest on this list.
There are a lot of manufacturers of drum music pads today, and PylePro has entered the league of major contenders.
Yamaha is on top of the food chain. But I have put these two together because they can be referred to one-in-all drum music pads for worship.
They are really different from the others above and even come at a much lower price. They are more for drum practicing than anything serious.
Nevertheless, they feature plenty of sounds and include foot pedals and built-in speakers. Hence, you can start jamming straight from the box.
They are widely used as gifts for beginners. Both have MIDI outputs, with which you can connect to audio software to play. They also come with audio outputs that let you connect headphones or external speakers.
If you must choose between the two, go for the Yamaha DD75.
The Strike MultiPad is the newest sampling pad from Alesis, rivaling Roland's SPD-SX.
- Pads: 9
- Storage: 32GB
- Function: Sampling, triggering, looping
- Sounds: 8,000+ pre-loaded samples
- 32GB internal storage
- Customizable LEDs
- 8,000+ pre-loaded samples and loops
- Ability to record samples from any source (phone, microphone, USB)
- Potentially nearing the end of its life cycle, limited updates to firmware
I could not close this list without mentioning the Strike MultiPad by Alesis. Alesis’ bold move is to enter the high-end sample pad market; hence, it comes with a ton of features to make things more interesting for you.
This pad is a huge step from the Sample Pad Pro, which makes it a bit more expensive. It comes with better playing velocity-sensitive surfaces, better sampling functions, looping, and additional effects.
It bears a huge internal memory. The cool LED lights create a beautiful playing area.
The sampler allows you to record audio directly too, which is a great feature. It can be used for on-the-fly changes to effects and samples. The long list of built-in samples should have everything you need.
Although it has not been around for long, like the other products above, it is still a wonderful all-rounder. You just have to try it to find out.
What is the best drum practice pad?
The list of practice pads is endless. And for beginners, choosing the right one can be confusing. Every product that comes out promises great features.
There are a few options you can count on. One of them is Movement Drums 12″ in a Double-Sided Practice Pad. This product from movement provides four different playing surfaces to accommodate any drummer practice needs. These 12″ surfaces are large enough to create the best experience for drummers. It comes with sturdy and durable construction, and one side features a rim, like a real drum. The only negative side is the polycarbonate insert, which may dent with excessive use of matching sticks. You have to learn it properly.
Vic Firth 12″ Double-Sided practice pad is another great option. It is very useful for both soft and hard practice to learn. It is perfect for practicing stick techniques and enhancing speed and control. Since it is made from premium quality rubber on both sides, you can count on sturdy construction. It is also double-sided and versatile. But it is too bouncy and expensive.
If these two products do not match our needs, you may want to check out Evans Realfeel 2-Sided Practice Pad. The large surface that easily fits into any standard snare basket makes this product quite convenient. But some users have complained of quality issues, which is worth noting. Nevertheless, it is a great option.
Are drum pads worth it?
Drums are great fun to play. But we all know they get really bulky too, especially fully acoustic kits.
Electronic drum pads come in the best option for portability and silent practice. Hence, drum pads are worth it. And you can learn them easily.
Some drum pads, as mentioned above, can be turned into a mini electronic drum setup if need be. In other words, they can act as a drum module to learn.
They come with built-in memory for creating and storing samples. You will find it very easy to set up your drum set and begin playing without too many trigger instruments to learn.
But they are not all perfect, though. You need to draw a thick line between where these instruments are useful and where they are not.
Which electronic drum kit is the best?
There have been lots of changes in free electronic drum sets over the past few years. For instance, entry-level drums have improved in both built and trigger sound quality.
However, finding the best e-drum kit can still be a challenge. The easiest way to do this is by considering the brand.
Alesis is another good manufacturer, especially for entry-level options. Their Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit is a great entry-level kit that has all mesh pads. Alesis Command Mesh Kit is a step up, coming with more advanced features and aimed at mid-level users.
Apart from the brand, consider your needs when choosing an electronic drum kit too. If you are a beginner, you need something simple for practice. And if you are an advanced player, well, the more features you get, the better.
What are drum pads used for?
A free drum pad is a control device used as an alternative to a keyboard, mainly for trigger free drum and percussion sounds. It is designed for striking or tapping with either sticks or fingers to generate trigger signals. It can also sense velocity, or act as a MID interface.
Playing drums for worship can be a bit tricky. The drummer needs to be on top of their game and create different effects. I hope the list of free drum pads above is helpful in this case.