Just Brought My Simmons SD500 Electronic Drum Kit

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I must say that I am impressed with the Simmons SD500 Electronic Drum Kit.  I was looking to get the same kit that I had while on tour with a well known hip hop artist.   I was able to fold it up while transporting from hotel to hotel.    Had a great sound with headphones and had many features for practicing my skills.  

Naturally I was so excited to find it on SALE at the Music & Arts Center for $499.00 plus 20% discount.   I compared prices online and found that the price was about the same, except they weren’t offering a 20% discount for that week.   Today while surfing online,  I found that prices have dropped. I found that the best prices are on Amazon, so here is my  Quick Review on the Simmons SD500 Electronic Kit.

 

When my kit arrived, each drum and cymbal was individually boxed in separate small box containers.   Everything was carefully packed, which eased my mind about any possible damage  during shipping.   The main structure that the drums are mounted to were folded, so I didn’t have to assemble the main body.   At first it was a little overwhelming, but after unpacking all the drum parts, cymbals, pedal and sound module, I found that each piece was labeled so that you knew exactly where to plug each trigger for each individual piece.   The manual included step-by-step instructions as well as defining each piece.   I estimated that it took me about 15 mins to plug in all the pieces and arrange the pads comfortably for my use.   The most time was spent unpacking the well packaged boxes.

Whats included in the box:

  • Tom pad(s): 3
  • Cymbal pad(s): 3 (1 hi-hat)
  • Snare pad: 1
  • Total drum pads: 4
  • Drum Module
  • Hi-Hat foot controller
  • Kick foot petal/Kickpad
  • Velcro Cable Strips
  • 1 pair of drum sticks
  • Hardware Frame
    • Memory: 64MB
    • Pad material: Rubber
    • Hoop material: Plastic
    • Zones: Multiple
    • Tom pad size: 8″
    • Snare pad size: 9″
    • Rack material: Steel

One of the first things I noticed while connecting the module were the inputs besides the headphone jack.   I didn’t have my floor monitors handy, but basically wanted to practice with the headphones.  There is a separate volume button specifically for the headphones. There is an Aux input jack to plug in a MP3 player or any audio source that you wish to use. There is also a USB connector that allows you to plug directly into your computer/laptop. There is NO need for driver installation under the Windows & MAC OSX environment.   The module can recognize, receive and transmit MIDI messages through a single USB cable.   This opens up so many opportunities for me to record while using studio software or creating a video.

The basic drum module operations are:  KIT, SONG and UTILITY.  The (-) (+) value buttons allows you to change the sound of a kit, the song, the tempo, edit or save a song/sound and other advanced options.

Demo songs – Different styles of songs to include, Rock, Funk, Jazz, etc.   While playing along with the demo songs, you are able to control the tempo as well as adjust the sound or type of the drum if needed.  Hit the PLAY/STOP buttons whenever you wish.   You can mute the pre-loaded drums and play on your own with the demo.  You can also record yourself playing with a demo song and save for later.   Of course, there is a separate click track if you wish to practice with a click.  I use this function frequently to improve my timing skills.

Kit sounds –  This function is controlled in the Utility settings.    In this setting, not only can you change the sounds of each drum or cymbal, but you can set effects such as reverb, delay, echo, etc.   In the voice list there are many drum sounds for each drum type.   Your snare can have a vintage sound, a jazz brush, funk, reggae snare sound.   The snare has about 50 different sounds to choose from (more than the other drums/cymbals).   There are many kit lists with drum patterns such as cowbells, funky strut, Hip hopper, etc. Believe me…..you won’t get bored.   There are alot of sounds to play with !

You can also control your MIDI functions from the Utility function.  Connecting your midi devices and computer should open up a world of possibilities when creating a song or recording.  Although I haven’t played with this function, there are ample instructions in the manual to help you along the way.

Here are the specs at a glance:

  • Drum kits: 35
  • Sounds: 352
  • Songs: 60
  • Trigger inputs: 12
  • Line input: Yes
  • Headphone jack: Yes
  • USB: Yes
  • MP3: Yes
  • MIDI: Yes
  • Training functions: Yes

What I like the most about the Simmons SD500 Electronic Drum Kit is its portability.   I can fold down the drum pads, then fold in 3 parts and tuck away in a corner.   You can store away as needed or load in your car for a small rehearsal or gig.   If plugs get disconnected, its easy to re-plug and keep it moving.

I’m very happy with my purchase and the price range has not changed over the years.   I stored them in this corner, but I generally will open the frame wider when I’m ready to practice.  Great for a beginner or experienced drummer that has limited space.  I can practice anytime I want without disturbing others.  I can take them with me if I don’t want to lug my full drum set.   I have two monitor speakers, but they can be plugged through a PA system as well.

Okay…this is a great kit….however I have 1 thing I don’t like.  Hear it is !  The foot pedal is a backward pedal that hits a little trigger pad that is embedded on the pedal.   I found that some foot movements were missed by the trigger.   I prefer having the separate large foot trigger while attaching my own foot pedal.   Those triggers are more direct and give a more accurate hit while playing.   I plan to purchase this stand alone foot trigger (below) that sits upright.   There are quite a few models and they are inexpensive.

(compatible with all Simmons Electronic Kits)

Otherwise…..A great investment for a continuously growing drummer.   Rhythm Always………

NOTE ANOTHER KIT THAT IS COMPARABLE TO THE SIMMONS KIT IS ALESIS ELECTRONIC KIT.  It is a little cheaper in price, but the features are similiar

SPECIAL NOTE : These kits are now being offered with Mesh Pads !

9 Comments on “Just Brought My Simmons SD500 Electronic Drum Kit

  1. Did you figure out if kick pad was compatible? The default on mine broke so im trying to figure what is confirmed compatibility, nowhere on internet.

    • Beat of Her Drum by DJLadydrummer – A well-known drummer (Denise Commander Johnson) that has played in the MD,VA, DC area. I have played for many churches, jazz, rock & R&B artists. Was contracted to Nintendo to promote WiiMusic. I demonstrated the virtual drums, as well as 100 other instruments. Currently plays for many local artists as needed. Toured with well known hip hop artist and continues to share the gift of music. Being a musician can be rewarding, but its important to have good habits for success. Discipline and planning is also important when embarking on an unstable market like the music business. Follow your beat and always have constant learning in your schedule and daily routine. You can be successful as a business and do what you LOVE ! Create Music and Don't Miss a BEAT
      djladydrummer

      Hey Rick,

      I still have my original pedal since so far its working okay for practice purposes. This upgrade is what I will get next. I was told that this foot pedal model is compatible with the Simmons kits. I also read reviews to find out if it was a good pedal and compatible. You can always shoot Musicians Friend (link right under the pedal) an email just to make sure. This is my next pedal for this kit 🙂 Let me know how it works…if you get one !

  2. Hey dj,

    Is this the drum kit that has the classic disco sound on the toms? It is also similar to the toms played in italo music. “Pew pew pew” 🤔😄

    Chris

    • Beat of Her Drum by DJLadydrummer – A well-known drummer (Denise Commander Johnson) that has played in the MD,VA, DC area. I have played for many churches, jazz, rock & R&B artists. Was contracted to Nintendo to promote WiiMusic. I demonstrated the virtual drums, as well as 100 other instruments. Currently plays for many local artists as needed. Toured with well known hip hop artist and continues to share the gift of music. Being a musician can be rewarding, but its important to have good habits for success. Discipline and planning is also important when embarking on an unstable market like the music business. Follow your beat and always have constant learning in your schedule and daily routine. You can be successful as a business and do what you LOVE ! Create Music and Don't Miss a BEAT
      djladydrummer

      LOL ! I just change sounds to the toms I like… not really into preloaded tones :-). There are enough settings to change the toms to what you like best……

      • Beat of Her Drum by DJLadydrummer – A well-known drummer (Denise Commander Johnson) that has played in the MD,VA, DC area. I have played for many churches, jazz, rock & R&B artists. Was contracted to Nintendo to promote WiiMusic. I demonstrated the virtual drums, as well as 100 other instruments. Currently plays for many local artists as needed. Toured with well known hip hop artist and continues to share the gift of music. Being a musician can be rewarding, but its important to have good habits for success. Discipline and planning is also important when embarking on an unstable market like the music business. Follow your beat and always have constant learning in your schedule and daily routine. You can be successful as a business and do what you LOVE ! Create Music and Don't Miss a BEAT
        djladydrummer

        Love the drum pattern. Wish I could SEE how it was done. 🙂 I like to try different things and love learning from other drummers. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

      • Hey Dj,

        Sorry they didn’t show how they did it or programmed the toms. However, it sounds like they were using the Linn drum that a lot of those 80’s songs had.

        Chris

  3. I just purchased for my son, and it is not working. Does the system have an internal speaker? Or do you have to plug i to am amplifier to hear it?

    • Beat of Her Drum by DJLadydrummer – A well-known drummer (Denise Commander Johnson) that has played in the MD,VA, DC area. I have played for many churches, jazz, rock & R&B artists. Was contracted to Nintendo to promote WiiMusic. I demonstrated the virtual drums, as well as 100 other instruments. Currently plays for many local artists as needed. Toured with well known hip hop artist and continues to share the gift of music. Being a musician can be rewarding, but its important to have good habits for success. Discipline and planning is also important when embarking on an unstable market like the music business. Follow your beat and always have constant learning in your schedule and daily routine. You can be successful as a business and do what you LOVE ! Create Music and Don't Miss a BEAT
      djladydrummer

      Hi Ginger,

      You can either connect an amplifier to hear it (I have a small cheap amp), but I use the head phones for practice. In that way I’m not disturbing anyone. The small amp that I have is a cheap guitar amp that I found online. Its okay as well, but it can get pretty loud. The headphones jack is located on the side of the module. You can adjust the volume for your headphones. If he wants to be heard, you might purchase a monitor. Simmons has their own floor monitor for these drums, but you can find cheaper ones.

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