Saturday, October 11, 2008

Rockin' the Band and the Studio with the ION kit?

I've wanted an electric drumset for years. I even have a room in my house that will be perfect for a small studio when I get it setup. A major problem there is that I've been sans drumset for about 6 years. Acoustic kits piss neighbors off and are obnoxious to move and set up, so I've been wanting an electric kit ever since. I often frequented the drum demo room when I worked at Musician's Friend just hoping I could pick one up after my monetary situation was straightened out.

When I first read about the ION Drum Rocker, I got a little excited. However, after the information from Joystiq's and Engadget's reviews, I became leary. The recommended Alesis DM5 brain for the ION seemed extremely over-priced at $360 dollars. That translates into $660 with the $300 ION Drum Rocker, which almost costs as much as the Yamaha kit I've always wanted. It even costs MORE than my second-choice Alesis kit (that has the DM5 brain). That just seemed ridiculous.

But today, I put in my order for the Rocker kit. So what changed my mind?

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The Guitar Hero: World Tour drumset seemed to be something I could have worked with, and then hacked for my personal studio. If anything irritates me about the standard Rock Band kit, it's the lack of separate cymbals. Sure, they can be added to the new kit, but that's an extra $40 in addition to buying the new kit.

I asked a Gamestop employee how much the Guitar Hero World Tour kit was and it was a bit more than the original Rock Band kit at $190. It seemed ridiculous after dropping the money on essentially the same equipment last year.

So I thought about it. My original plan was to forgo the new Rock Band 2 bundle since the instruments didn't change much. I'd buy the Guitar Hero bundle and have another microphone, another drumkit, and a 6th guitar (2 x PS2, 2 x GH, 1 x RB). Talk about a waste of space and money on a game to inconvenience myself in the spacial department.

Then the announcements came that MS and Sony were requiring instruments to be cross-compatible. This changed everything. At this point, I could just purchase the games themselves and not need anymore peripherals, saving me $130 and a lot of space.

The side bit is that I've had a set of songs I've been wanting to record for years, but I've not had a quiet place or all the equipment to do it. Now I have an in-house studio with everything but a drumkit. Since I love to play Rock Band and Guitar Hero I couldn't help but lead toward the ION. That purchase would allow me to sell of the RB1 drumset and have one device for all three purposes.

To hammer the nail in the coffin, there were two more things: AMS's payment plan and the Roadie Pro upgrade kit. The 3-pay plan on the kit would make the cost much easier to digest. The Roadie Pro upgrade would provide a low-cost drum-brain, hi-hat cymbal, real kick trigger, and an actual kick pedal. That's a much better deal for $200 than buying the brain-only DM5 for $360.

Hopefully the quality is decent. Although I don't expect a Yamaha-quality kit, I do want it do at lease serve the purpose. Here's to rockin' out soon!


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