Some news about the Rock Band ION drumkit

July 30th, 2008 by Tommy Gun

Rock BandAs I’ve mentioned before, I have an electric Yamaha drumkit, and I would love to use it with Rock Band (my RB drums are pretty messed up now). Since the ION kit uses 1/4″ plugs, I was hoping I could just buy their brain and use my pads with it. I started a thread about it on the RB forums, and a lot of other people want it too (see whole thread). I emailed the company and actually got a direct response back:


Thanks for getting in touch. While we do expect to eventually offer the controller module separately, we intend to do so to allow Drum Rocker users who own multiple consoles to use a single Drum Rocker kit with all of their systems.

The module was designed specifically for use with the Drum Rocker drum and cymbal pads, which have a unique set of output characteristics (as do all electronic drum and cymbal pads). Lots of work has been done to ensure that Drum Rocker is optimized for Rock Band performance, in terms of trigger sensitivity, crosstalk rejection, latency, and more, and the design of the module has been tuned to deliver the best possible performance in conjunction with the Drum Rocker pads. Plugging another set of pads that happen to have 1/4″ outputs into the Drum Rocker module will not yield the same results as using a Drum Rocker kit, and in fact may not work at all, so we don’t recommend it.

However, if your goal is to have a single electronic drum set that can be used with your existing drum module and Rock Band as well, you can go at this from another angle. We would suggest that you get a Drum Rocker set, and use the Drum Rocker pads with your existing electronic drum module. If it’s got 1/4″ inputs and its input sensitivity can be adjusted, you should be able to combine the Drum Rocker pads with your existing module, and have exactly what you’re after – a single kit for playing games and playing music!

Hope this helps!

Customer Service – DrumRocker

So of course their solution is to have me buy the whole drumkit, as you’d expect — no thanks. I hope someone buys the brain anyway and tries it out.

3 Responses to “Some news about the Rock Band ION drumkit”

  1. Carl Smith says:

    There is a Mad Catz drum kit that is available for XBX 360 through Mad Catz’ site for £29.99, there is a link to the US store, but I didn’t check the price as I don’t live there. Their kit has loose pads and a pedal which plug into a seperate, central control pad that can be used, with the pads and pedals removed, as a really basic XBOX 360 control pad.

    If you want to plug your drum triggers into the control pad, you’ll need one 1/4″ to 1/8″ jack swaps, one for each drum, five if you want to plug a digital pedal in to use as a better bass pedal (high hat pedal).

    One guy plugged a few Rolands in and posted the results on Vdrums I think it was, seemed to work fine. I wrote to Mad Catz and the lady there was very helpful and they are sending me a free pad to test it on my kit. £29.99 for an XBOX 360 drum interface and control pad in one with four basic free pads and a free ‘bass pedal’ isn’t a bad deal if it all works. I’ll post my results as soon as I get set up.

  2. Tommy Gun says:

    Thanks Carl! I was hoping that would work, would love to hear how it works out for you!