If Yamaha were not that good, I don’t think I would be using any electronic drum components. I am one of those purists who love the feeling of real acoustic drums.
But recently I have found e-drums very useful. And the Yamaha DTX Multi 12, electronic percussion pad, is one primary reason for this.
I was playing one of my favorite pieces when I got interested in the drum pads. In the show, I was expected to deliver a bunch of percussion sounds, and there was no space or team to work with.
Luckily, I had been practicing shortly with electronic strike pads, just for fun. In this review, I will be talking about the reason this technology works and why it might help you.
Is a percussion pad good?
Before getting into business, let us consider some of the reasons percussion multi-pads have become very popular today.
When I was on stage performing, the need for a bunch of percussion accessories was pushing me to the edge. I needed to bring out the sounds as purely as possible.
So, I was able to apply typical multi-clamps to hang cowbells, triangles, and everything else around my drum set. It was working well at first because I was still energetic and had done it several times.
For years, this was my daily routine in ensuring my audience got everything they were asking for. I would pack them and carry them all around.
And then I realized all this heavy load was breaking me down. And then I got into a show with some younger fellas who were using the multiped.
That was the first time I was truly interested in using technology. I went and bought the Yamaha Multi12 percussion pad.
Just to be clear, I have my acoustic set still, and I have no intention to replace it. Electronic sets are great, but there is that feeling you get playing real drums that will never come from them.
Having said that, here are reasons I think a percussion multi-pad is a good addition to your gear.
- Portability. Acoustic drums are very heavy, and they can be a huge burden if you move around a lot. If you are looking for something that can fit in any area, and still perform well, an electronic multi-pad is a solution. It is like carrying all your drums in a simple little box and moving around with ease. You can record as many sounds as you need and save them in the device. And the best part is, you don’t even have to strike it all the time during a live performance. You can simply assign specific sounds to the pads and hit them ones when you want to include them in your performance.
- Ease-of-use. I used to think these things were too complicated for me. Since I started playing on them, it has become very easy. I can easily add them to my setup without asking for help from anyone. And when you are on stage, introducing different sounds is a walk in the park. Sometimes even too easy to believe.
- Technology. The demands in the music industry have been steadily increasing over the past few years. Consumers are looking for more, and it is up to performers to deliver. Luckily, there are now all sorts of technologies that make it easy for anyone to give the best results. Percussion multi-pads ins a good example of these technologies. They are here to make life easier and those who embrace them will enjoy their benefits,
There are more reasons people use electronic percussion sounds. However, in my opinion, they don’t sound as good as the real thing.
Yamaha has really tried to bring the feeling home.
About The Yamaha DTX Multi 12
There are several manufacturers on the market today offering various features in electronic percussion sounds. But I chose to go with the Yamaha DTX Multi 12 because of its close-to-natural sounding.
Also, Yamaha has a long experience and a great reputation for designing electronic drum kits. The company is one of the worlds for portable kits.
The DTX-Multi12 has a lot to offer in terms of performance. It comes with 12 rubber pads that you can play with either sticks or hands. A mixture of both feels wonderful.
Apart from this, there are more than 1000 percussion voices in this small box. As if that is not enough, it carries a selection of keyboard sounds that will push you to the boundaries,
Not enough yet? Don’t worry, Yamaha has included 64MB of Flash ROM that you can use to store your favorite percussion tunes.
The Yamaha DTX Multi 12 pad aims for big users. It features a built-in sequencer and effects, as well as a high level of customizability that targets a wide range player. It is a perfect tool for the modern percussionist both in a studio or like a performance setup.
One thing that fascinates me about this gadget is how light it feels yet, very functional. It weighs just 3 kg, which means you can put it on your lap, tabletop or stand. The DTX Multi12 (which we shall just call the DTX from now) designed to impress.
From the way the pads are framed, there is no waste of space. There are six large ones, measuring about 11 square cm. This is a good size, which offers a nice hitting surface. It will not be easy to accidentally hit on another pad as long as you are careful.
The DTX is easy to handle, with its solid plastic torso holding the ground for energetic pounding. Two large Inc/Dec buttons echo these.
The parts on the DTX are divided into three sections, the upper, the middle, and the lower. There are six slender pads that occupy the top and bottom part, engulfing the larger ones.
There is a minimal control panel with rubber buttons under the pads. The same areas also hold the main volume knob and a display.
The ‘Pad Indicator’ near the controls shows the pad activities, telling you the ones you are playing. Most of the preset kits loop with a long hold until you hit the second pad, which means the LED doesn’t do a lot.
I don’t like the way the control panel is positioned. It makes it hard to avoid whacking it accidentally. Luckily, you can lock out the panel so that you don’t bring up any function not needed.
The audio output on the DTX is stereo only. This means it does not have any individual outputs, mostly because the rear panel rammed already.
You can connect more than five extra pads and turn it into a mini e-drum kit. But you don’t need to go all that way in because you will only be creating a rat nest.
The presence of stereo audio input, complete with gain control, makes it functional with other devices. For those who love playing via headphones, this is a feature you will find very useful.
The rear panel is fitted with MIDI In/Out sockets, making it a complete device. The USB feature here is provided wholesomely. The DTX features a bi-directional USB MIDI communication that will work with your PC or Mac, delivering a wonderful recording experience.
Other notable features
You will be impressed with the pad sensitivity of this device. When I played on it, I could feel the pads vibrating under my fingers with a certain intensity. But it disappointed me that there is a dynamic range when you engage the ‘drumsticks’ sensitivity function.
With a few trial and error here and there, I was able to get the right setting for the sensitivity range. It was a time to start feeling realistic drumming too.
Using the DTX on speakers gives out loud and heavy sounds. But when you try it on the headphone, perhaps when practicing alone in your room, it sounds even better. I have used my headphones several times when I don’t want to disturb anyone, and the feedback is acceptable.
One thing I really liked was the sequencer. In most cases, drummers think that any drum set fitted with a sequencer sucks on the sequencer. Well, it is easy to believe this, since many such products do suck,
But Yamaha has embraced this rule, and they always advise users on how to use it. Recording happens in real-time at a resolution of 480 pulses per quarter note.
The USB function is perhaps another thing to look at. It makes importing samples as simple as putting a 16-bit WAV file to your USB’s memory stick.
There is another USB for hosting connections that allows you to change the DTX into a MIDI interface. As a PC and Mac user, you should enjoy playing your percussion more naturally through a computer.
- 12 pads on a well-designed body
- Wonderful programming and customization
- 100 MB ROM waves with 64MB for user samples.
- It is not good as an instantly usable standard kit
- A bit complex
For those who need an alternative, Roland’s SPD30 is a good option. This pad feels right on the stage. You can either use as a primary instrument, or a secondary option, based on what you need in your drums.
Yamaha understands what to do when it comes to satisfying customer needs. And the Yamaha DTX Multi 12 percussion pad is a good example of how far they can go.