Let’s take a look.
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What Do You Get in the PylePro PED041 Box?
Straight out of the box, Pyle gives you the standard pieces of equipment that you would expect in an electronic drum set, plus just a little more.
You get the digital sound module, often referred to as the brains of the drum kit.
You get what Pyle calls 5 drum pads. This is a little misleading because two of them are actually supposed to be used for cymbals – the crash cymbal and the hi-hat. So the other 3 drum pads are for the snare and 2 toms.
There is a pedal for controlling the hi-hat and another for the kick drum. The kick drum pedal controller does not come with a beater.
The drum rack frame is arranged in a straight line when you assemble it. This is unlike most other frames that have more of a U shape. This is going to somewhat limit where and how far away from your body you can place the drum pads and cymbals.
You get audio connection cables for all of the pads. Be sure to plug them into the proper places in the sound module. There are more sockets there than you will have cables. Also, some of the cables can only be inserted into specific sockets, if you want the set to function properly.
You get a power adapter to provide the “juice” your drum set will need. You do not get headphones or an amplifier. All electronic drum sets need one or both of these, but they are usually not included in your drum kit purchase. You get to select them separately on your own, if you don’t already own them.
Finally, you get a nice little “bonus” of a pair of drumsticks. (I don’t know what size, weight, or brand the drumsticks are.) I’m a little surprised that more kits don’t come with a pair of sticks included. I guess the manufacturers figure that this is too personal an item – one that a drummer will want to select on his own. A beginning drummer probably isn’t going to care all that much though.
What Are the Components of the Digital Sound Module?
There aren’t as many buttons on the front of the sound module as you might expect. This is because some of the buttons do double duty.
The power button is at the upper right. Simply press it once to turn the system on or off.
You can choose from 11 preset drum kits or styles. You cycle through them by pressing either the left or the right arrow buttons.
Once you have selected a kit, you can use the Patch button to choose one of the (up to) 4 Sound Sets. There is a chart in the instruction manual that explains what sounds are included in each set. Some sets, like Techno and March, have only 1 variation, so you really have nothing to choose there.
The chart I mentioned is a little confusing because it shows 8 sounds in each set. However, out of the box, you only get 5 pads. Some of these sounds are unavailable to you unless you add more pads to your kit.
The Reverb button toggles the reverb sound effect. Turning it on gives the feeling of being in a larger room with echoes coming off the walls.
Use the Click button to turn on the metronome. This handy clicking sound will help you keep strict time as you practice.
With the metronome turned on, the Patch button now lets you select the meter for the song you’re playing. You can play in 2/4, 3/4, or (the default) 4/4 time.
You can also use the arrow buttons now to set the speed at which the metronome will click, in other words, the tempo. Use the right button to increase the tempo to a maximum of 250 beats per minutes and the left button to decrease it to a minimum of 30 beats per minute. Normally you’ll play somewhere between about 60 and 144 or so.
The large, round dial is for adjusting the overall volume of your drum kit.
On the sides of the sound module, besides the sockets (numbered 1 through 10) for the pads and pedals, there are several other ports and sockets that are important to operating the system correctly.
Next to socket #7 is the DC In port where you attach the power adapter. Note that you should only use the original adapter that came with the kit.
Below #10 are two Line In ports. One is for a mobile phone. The other is for a portable music player. The instructions say that these are routed to the Phones. I assume that this means you can only hear sounds from your cell phone or MP3 player (or similar device) while wearing headphones that you plug in below socket #6 on the opposite side of the sound module. I don’t think you can hear these attachments through an amplifier.
The intent of connecting to these devices is that you can then play along with popular tunes that you like. You can either try to imitate the drum track on the song or play an original beat that fits with the music.
Finally, there is a MIDI out port that you can you to connect to other MIDI devices or to a computer. With the appropriate software, you may be able to record your performances for future use.
Conclusions about the PylePro PED041 System
Reviews of the PED041 drum set on Amazon are rather mixed. Some indicate that Pyle’s customer service may be lacking in responsiveness.
I think it is worth noting that electronic drum sets are not their main product. In fact, even though they started out as a speakers company, they have greatly expanded their offerings over the years.
That said, many owners are perfectly satisfied with their purchases. Whether this set is seen as just a toy or not depends on the previous experience of the user (and his or her family). The more experience there is, the more likely you are to consider this kit as a toy. For a beginner though, this could be just the set you are looking for.
If you don’t think the PED041 is for you, check out this article about all the PylePro drum kits. You may find another one you like better.