Yamaha DTX-Multi 12 Digital Percussion Pad


The Yamaha DTX has been around since its introduction in 2010. Developed as competition for Roland’s Octopad has changed little since its launch but if you can find a second hand one it offers an effective and economical way of adding electronics to your acoustic set up, trigger samples from the kit or play as a stand-alone instrument for small rehearsals or gigs.

The DTX 12 offers twelve pads which can be programmed separately or played using Yamaha’s in-built kits. There is a huge array of sounds already on board but there is also the ability to add your own samples, making the DTX 12 a very versatile addition. I use it live to trigger samples of percussion and effects, and occasionally trigger a snare rather than mic up. I also use it to rehearse when space is limited. It means I can have a complete array of kit sounds in one case, small enough to carry by hand. Inputs at the back allow you to add bass drum pads and hi-hat and even further external pads should you want more of a kit feel.

The pads are arranged in four blocks. There are six larger square pads in two rows across the middle with three rows of three smaller pads top and bottom (see pic). If you’re playing a kit without additional pads or pedals there’s sufficient surfaces for bass, snare, rim-shot, tom 1, tom 2, tom 3, hi-hat, open hi-hat, ride cymbal, crash cymbal, splash cymbal and a cowbell, all played with sticks or hands. Start adding pedals or extra pads and the unit becomes a very versatile instrument indeed.

There is a stand mounting plate available at extra cost. If you’re using it in a kit set up you will almost certainly want to put it on a stand.

The DTX 12 is well built. It’s rugged and hard wearing as you would hope for a pro-level piece of kit. The control panel is situated on the front of the unit and with the pads situated in tiers above, it doesn’t really get in the way. It is however somewhat fiddley to use. The screen is small and accessing the huge array of sounds isn’t necessarily fast, sometimes needing combinations of buttons (and good eyesight!) to read the small display at a glance. There is a free iPad (only) app available which when plugged into the DTX 12 makes programming a doddle. I suggest it’s a worth having an iPad attached if you plan to make a lot of sound changes through a live set. The iPad lead is extra.

New prices seem to range from £400-£500.00 depending on your supplier. Second hand, expect to pay £250-300.00 and see if you can get the mounting hardware and iPad lead thrown in.

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