How Do Electronic Drums Work? 4 Essential Parts Of An E-Drum Kit

How Do Electronic Drums Work? 4 Essential Parts Of An E-Drum Kit

Have you ever wondered how a drum set works and produces sound? In the past, drummers used the traditional style of physical drumming.

The emergence of edrum kits has helped people control their music most comprehensively. This equipment also helps to improve the skills of drummers.

So, how do electronic drums work? Let’s find the answer in the article.

How Do Electronic Drums Work?

The edrum kit is mainly operated electronically. The device has a sound-receiving and activation module connected to many cymbals and pads.

Compared to traditional acoustic drums, the edrum is a quiet alternative. Thanks to the aid of MIDI signals and the amplification engine, you get the resonant tones from your kit.

Top view side of modern edrum kits
Top view side of modern edrum kits


In most electronic kits, the pads are the most prominent part. Pads act as cymbals and drums in an electronic drum set. So, this device takes up a very large space.

The most common material for this part is rubber. However, many brands also use various materials for their pads, including mesh or silicone.

Usually, the price for rubber pads is the lowest and appears in many mid-range kits. In contrast, high-end edrum kits use mesh and silicone to simulate the feel of an acoustic drum.

The higher the mattress, the more trigger zones there will be. It allows drummers to create more sounds.


Drum modules are also known as brains. The main responsibility of this department is to create music. Depending on the type, quality, and sound effects; you can find different models of modules on the market.

The brain also can store all presets to play popular tones like jazz, hip-hop, or rock. This unit makes it easy for you to play along with your favorite tunes.

You can even create your own presets by taking advantage of the support of toms, kick drums, snares, and cymbals.

An edrum set also needs to be equipped with a digital sound module. This unit is responsible for activating the music and accompanies the electrical sensors.

A drumstick is an indispensable tool to impact the sensor. The module will automatically play the appropriate music when the signal is transmitted.

The eeenage boy is having fun drumming at home
The teenage boy is having fun drumming at home


Since electronic drums are digital, they cannot produce sound. If you don’t connect headphones to an amplifier with a drum module, your device will only output knocks.

Headphones are the go-to tool for drummers who want to practice on their own at home. On the contrary, an amp will help more people hear your drums.

You’re better off equipping yourself with both gears to prepare for any eventuality.


The MIDI feature is the last important factor you should pay attention to in an electronic device. It acts as a bridge to link the computer with the electronic drum kit.

You certainly won’t find the same feature in regular acoustic drum models.

Each drum module comes with a USB MIDI port. They can be connected to a computer through a cable to allow the module to transmit the signal to the screen.

To record drums from your e-drum later, use a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation).

This process is much more convenient and simple than acoustic percussion with an audio interface and a microphone.

MIDI also allows drummers to utilize VST (Virtual Studio Technology) to add different music to their performances.

Compared to the sound of drumsticks percussion on the module, the VST produces much sharper music. It is also the reason many drummers love this technology.


If you have any questions regarding the electronic drum kit, find the answers.

A young pretty woman drummer is practicing
A young pretty woman drummer is practicing

Do You Need Speakers For Electronic Drums?

To be able to hear all the electronic drum modules, it is best to invest in an amplifier. Speakers are not the best product on the list, even if this drum set does not have built-in speakers.

Speaker selection depends on whether this unit has an audio port that matches the large jack connector.

If your audio transmitter is only compatible with a small aux cable, you cannot connect it to an electronic percussion.

You can get great and crisp sound to rival an amplifier if you use good speakers. However, the music will be weak and boring if you use ordinary transmitters.

It is more appropriate to use headphones and give better music in that situation.

How Does Electric Drum Make Sound?

The principle of operation of electric drums is quite simple. They consist of a mesh head and a rubber pad with a sensor section underneath.

When applying force to the pad, the sensor transfers the voltage value to the audio module (aka brain).

This module will convert that value to trigger devices with specific sounds like cymbal, drum, or any other music depending on the feature of the part.

Another effect of the module is converting the shot’s velocity into a dynamic value. As a result, the drummer’s music can become softer or more intense.

Some cymbal pads or electronic drums have two to three sensors below the surface. This principle makes the pad capable of producing more sound.

As a result, devices like the snare drum create a rim sound and a headshot. Or the cymbal pad helps deliver the music of bows, bells, and an edge shot.

Do You Need An Amp To Hear Electronic Drums?

You don’t need an amplifier to listen to edrums. Instead, a set of headphones is just enough to listen to the full sound.

Drummers often opt for headphones because it’s a reasonable investment. Some brands also sell drum kits with headphones for you to choose from.

However, an amplifier will help everyone hear your music. Many people also do not want to use headphones.

The amplifier is also the only audio instrument to create the acoustic atmosphere that edrums create.

Add a mixer to the list if you want to get the loudest possible sound. This device allows you to control and boost the volume better.

To connect the amplifier to the edrum, connect it to the drum module’s audio port using an audio cable.

Sometimes the best option is an amplifier with built-in mixing options. You can try adjusting the music directly from the drum module.

Are Electronic Drums Good For Beginners?

Yes, electronic drums are the perfect choice for beginner drummers. This device not only delivers great music but is also quiet.

In addition, they are also very affordable and suitable for beginners. If you only consider the cymbal and hardware, the cost of an edrum can be less than even the cheapest audio kit.


Electronic drums work on a fairly simple principle. This percussion includes a pad with the sensor underneath.

When you apply force to the pad, the sensor will receive and transfer the voltage value to the audio module. From there, the unit translates that value to produce a specific sound.

The principle of operation is quite simple but still ensures to bring the necessary sound. Thanks to that, this drumming model is extremely popular in the market.