If you're looking to tap into the versatility and portability of a full featured electronic drum set, you can probably expect to be left with a sizable hole in your savings. California-based e-drum maker Simmons has released a new 5-piece kit that could put the smile back on your bank manager's face. For under half the list price of Yamaha's TD-4KP V-Drums Portable, the SD500's rugged steel frame offers a snare, three toms, a kick drum, two cymbals, hi-hat and pedal and a brand new trigger module with hundreds of available drum sounds.

"Most electronic drum sets in this price range don't offer a complete, full-size kit, which compromises the playing experience," said Jim Norman, Simmons Product Manager. "The SD500 is the first and only electronic kit that delivers a true drumming experience, along with professional features and an incredible range of sounds, all for under $500."

At the heart of this wallet-friendly beast is the new SD500 drum module, with a 16 character, backlit, blue LCD screen promising easy navigation. It ships pre-loaded with a 64 MB Simmons custom drum library with a 64 voice polyphony, and has 352 drum sounds spread over 35 kits, and 60 songs with 50 drum patterns for practice.

There are eight trigger inputs on a single multi-pin connector, and USB MIDI for connection to a computer-based DAW or sequencer software. A stereo TRS audio input allows for play-along practice to tracks on a plugged in MP3 player.

Attached to the kit's rugged steel frame with T-fittings, players will also find a 9-in dual zone snare drum pad, three 8-in tom pads, a 10-in hi-hat and pedal, a 10-in crash cymbal with realistic choke and a 12-in ride cymbal. A kick drum module with built-in pedal is included, and pad thumpers can also place their sticks on a detachable rest when not in use.

The system includes the company's Variable Attack Response technology for improved playability and performance, with intelligent sample playback and pads that respond to player dynamics. The Simmons SD500 is available now.

Product page: SD500

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