How to Convert a Rock Band Ion Drum Kit to Electronic Drum Kit

Written by matthew anderson
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How to Convert a Rock Band Ion Drum Kit to Electronic Drum Kit
(Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

The Ion Drum Rocker is a third-party drum controller designed for use with Rock Band 2. The Ion drum kit is designed to allow it to be converted to an electronic drum kit with only three additional parts. This gives Ion Drum Rocker users a relatively inexpensive, if somewhat limited, option for playing a real drum kit. It is a decent entry-level choice for beginning drummers.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Ion Drum Rocker
  • Alesis DM5 drum module
  • Electric bass drum pedal (velocity sensitive)
  • Speakers
  • 1/4-inch instrument cable
  • Speaker cable

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  1. 1

    Plug the orange cable from the Ion Drum Rocker pedal into the “Footswitch” port on the back of the Alesis DM5 drum module. The pedal from the Ion drum kit is not designed to be used as a bass drum pedal as part of an electronic drum kit. It can be used for a footswitch to alter some settings during use, such as changing the hi-hats from the open to closed position.

  2. 2

    Plug the yellow cymbal cable into the port for trigger 1, the “Hi Hat” port. This will cause the yellow cymbal to play the hi-hat sounds during use.

  3. 3

    Plug the 1/4-inch instrument cable into the electric bass drum pedal. Plug the other end of the cable into the trigger 2 “Kick” port.

  4. 4

    Plug the red cable into the trigger 3 “Snare” port. This will cause the red drum pad of the Ion Drum Rocker to play the snare drum sounds.

  5. 5

    Plug the yellow cable into the trigger 4 “Tom 1” port.

  6. 6

    Plug the blue cable into the trigger 5 “Tom 2” port.

  7. 7

    Plug the green cable into the trigger 6 “Tom 3” port.

  8. 8

    Plug the green cymbal cable into the trigger 7 “Ride Cym” port. This will cause the green cymbal of the Ion drum kit to serve as the ride cymbal of the electronic drum kit.

  9. 9

    Plug the main output port on the drum module to the speaker using a speaker cable.

Tips and warnings

  • The Alesis DM5 is the audio module recommended by ION Audio. Other drum modules can be used. The trigger port numbers may not correspond to the same parts of the drum kit. Consult the drum module manual to find which trigger ports represent which drums.
  • The Ion Drum Rocker pads do not have positional detection, which is a standard feature on professional electronic drum kits. This feature is used by the drum kit to simulate the different sounds made by drums when hit in different positions. For example, hitting a drum near the rim produces a different sound than hitting the centre of the drum. Hitting anywhere on the Ion drum kit pad will always create the same sound.

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