Electronic Drums and Pad-Triggered percussion instuments are popular for many reasons. They offer a wide selection of sounds with built-in effects and editing options, audio sampling, MIDI output to trigger other hardware or software sound sources, no microphones required for recording and stage performance and the all-important volume control with headphone output for silent rehearsal.

All these useful features come with a compromise.

Latency.

In the case of contemporary E-Drums, despite having an analogue pad-triggering method, the drum module which produces the audio is a digital device. Like all analogue to digital conversion and processing system there will always some delay introduced between the pad strike and the audio signal at the output.

These test below show the latency between physical pad strike and the audio and MIDI output of the drum module.

This is a very biased rating system looking at only one specific specification. The total worth of any E-Drums system is a combination of many other factors. E-Drum pad-to-sound latency is almost never mentioned in manufacturer product specifications despite its fundamental significance in the overall performance of all electronic percussion instruments.

How much this latency bothers you is for you to decide.

Music is sound played relative to time.

Sound is only one side of the same coin.

Tests are in no order of personal preference.

Feel free to email us if your own testing provides a different set of numbers.

Litmus Ranking Table:- Pad Strike to Audio Output Latency in Samples @ 48kHz

= Zero to 15

= 16 to 25

= 26 to 50

= 51 to 75

= 76 to 100

= 101 to 125

= 126 to 150

= 151 to 175

= 176 to 200

= 201 to 249

= more than 250

Amdek: PCK-100

Initial Production: 1984

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 18/ 26/ 25/ 19/ 10/ 18/ 15/ 23

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 19
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 0.40

Litmus Ranking: 

Boss: MPD-4

Initial Production: 1987

This Test: External Trigger Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 433/ 411/ 364/ 363/ 381/ 402/ 386/ 392

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 392
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 8.86

Litmus Ranking: 

Ashton: VX Velocity

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 470/ 476/ 478/ 506/ 487/ 504/ 495/ 454

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 484
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 10.02

Litmus Ranking: 

Boss: DRP-1 'Dr Pad MK1'

Initial Production: 1986

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 36/ 22/ 26/ 33/ 27/ 31/ 26/ 24

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 28
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 0.59

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Trigger Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 6/ 7/ 5/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 5/ 6

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 6
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 0.11

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: TMC-6

Initial Production: 2011

This Test: External Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 68/ 68/ 168/ 79/ 85/ 72/ 190/ 65

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 100
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.07

Litmus Ranking: 

Simmons: Digital Clap Trap

Initial Production: 1982

This Test: External Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 16/ 19/ 19/ 18/ 18/ 18/ 18/ 15/ 15

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 17
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 0.36

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: TD-4

Initial Production: 2007

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 175/ 172/ 174/ 165/ 185/ 175/ 174/ 181

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 175
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 3.64

Litmus Ranking: 

Yamaha: DTX-700

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 303/ 307/ 346/ 331/ 314/ 326/ 347/ 321

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 324
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 6.75

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: SPD-30 'Octapad'

Initial Production: 2010

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 232/ 224/ 236/ 227/ 238/ 221/ 236/ 240

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 232
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 4.83

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: External Trigger Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 194/ 194/ 184/ 192/ 199/ 193/ 178/ 186

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 190
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 3.96

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 103/ 97/ 112/ 99/ 111/ 100/ 75/ 100

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 100
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.08

Litmus Ranking: 

Clavia: ddrum 4SE

Initial Production: 1997

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : Under Test

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] =
Average Latency [milliseconds] =

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : Under Test

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] =
Average Latency [milliseconds] =

Litmus Ranking:

Roland: TD-30

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 141/ 142/ 135/ 144/ 137/ 140/ 135/ 140

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 139
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.90

Litmus Ranking: 

Mastercraft: MCDD403

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 267/ 292/ 262/ 267/ 273/ 263/ 260/ 263

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 268
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 5.59

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: SPD-SX

Initial Production: 2011

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 277/ 286/ 285/ 289/ 291/ 285/ 284/ 278

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 284
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 5.92

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 222/ 236/ 229/ 224/ 235/ 230/ 219/ 232

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 228
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 4.76

Litmus Ranking: 

Wendel Labs: Wendel Jr

Initial Production: 1985

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 4/ 3/ 5/ 3/ 4/ 3/ 3/ 3/

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 3.5
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 0.07

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: TD-11

Initial Production: 2011

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 148/ 148/ 145/ 152/ 158/ 152/ 161/ 160

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 153
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 3.19

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 119/ 120/ 112/ 122/ 126/ 118/ 115/ 109

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 118
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.46

Litmus Ranking: 

Yamaha: DTX-502

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 423/ 389/ 389/ 453/ 504/ 441/ 390/ 462

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 431
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 8.99

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: SPD-11

Initial Production: 1993

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 105/ 111/ 103/ 97/ 90/ 105/ 109/ 104

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 103
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.16

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 54/ 40/ 44/ 47/ 41/ 52/ 56/ 48

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 48
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 1.00

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: TD-15

Initial Production: 2011

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 156/ 152/ 156/ 153/ 156/ 152/ 153/ 156

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 154
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 3.21

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 126/ 126/ 133/ 122/ 127/ 118/ 133/ 125
Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 126
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 2.62

Litmus Ranking: 

Roland: HPD-10

Initial Production: 2006

This Test: Pad Strike to Audio Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 52/ 51/ 51/ 52/ 51/ 50/ 50/ 51

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 51
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 1.06

Litmus Ranking: 

This Test: Pad Strike to MIDI Note Output

Number of samples [48 kHz] : 164/ 219/ 183/ 153/ 200/ 189/ 180/ 178

Average Latency [samples@48kHz] = 183
Average Latency [milliseconds] = 3.81

Litmus Ranking: 



 

 

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