Yamaha’s New Drum Equipment and Tools for 2020

Yamaha showcased more than 75 new products at the 2020 NAMM Show, held January 16-19 in Anaheim, California. The company offered a display of technology and innovation in more than 34,000 square feet of exhibition space, and also put a bright spotlight on its brand promise “Make Waves,” the company’s global pledge to inspire people at every level to progress personally, come together with others, and make an impact through music.

The drum products Yamaha rolled out ranged from enhanced software to a signature instrument to a compact gigging set:


Yamaha and Steve Gadd Celebrate Over 40 Years with Signature Snare Drum

The Steve Gadd Signature Snare Drum commemorates a relationship of more than 40 years with renowned Yamaha Artist, Steve Gadd. Over the last couple of decades, Gadd has worked with the Yamaha research and development team to improve and maintain the quality of the company’s drum series, most notably with the revamping of the legendary Recording Custom drum set and the Recording Custom metal snares, in 2016.

To celebrate this milestone, Yamaha and Gadd worked together to release a signature snare drum – a 14” x 5.5” steel shell – with a new Steve Gadd 10-strand wire, which enhances the snare articulation. Limited to only 200 to be sold in the U.S., this snare drum’s 1.2 mm steel shell exterior and the aluminum die cast hoops are set in a distinctive black nickel, the artists’ color of choice. Additional features include a Steve Gadd signature badge that accompanies the shell, a black tuning key and a special certification card.

“I have been playing Yamaha drums for over 40 years. It’s been a pleasure working together and I hope our relationship continues to grow,” said Gadd. “This is the latest signature model we have created. I hope you like it.”

Gadd is one of the most acclaimed and accomplished drummers of his generation. He has recorded with an array of distinguished artists, including Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney, Al Jarreau, James Brown, Joe Cocker, Nancy Wilson, Bob James, Stanley Clarke, Al DiMeola and George Benson. His historic recordings in the 1970s include virtuoso outings on “The Leprechaun” with pianist Chick Corea and Steely Dan’s Aja, as well as several cuts with Paul Simon (including “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover” and “Late in the Evening”). Still in demand, Gadd currently tours with the Steve Gadd Band.

“This signature snare drum pays tribute to the strong relationship between Steve Gadd and Yamaha, as well as Steve Gadd’s acclaimed and distinguished playing,” said Steven Fisher, director of drum & percussion, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Any fan of Gadd will be proud to own this snare which emphasizes stunning aesthetics and sonic versatility.”


Yamaha Stage Custom Hip Drum Set for the Gigging Drummer

Yamaha’s Stage Custom Hip drum set, a compact version of the Stage Custom Birch, is one of the most popular venue backline kits around the world. Ideally suited for an eclectic range of genres, this drum set was developed for a wide variety of drummers, including street performers, pub gig players, educators, hybrid players using DJ/electronic gear and home recording studio musicians. Additionally, this drum set is a great at-home practice solution with low volume setups.

Designed in a one-box configuration, the Stage Custom Hip was developed with 100% Birch 6-ply shells and includes a 20″ x 8″ bass drum, offering a deep tonal low end as well as smaller footprint, a 13″ x 8″ floor tom/snare tom, 13″ x 5″ snare and 10″ x 5″ rack tom. Drummers can explore new sounds with the floor tom snare in this one-of-a-kind drum set configuration.

Other features include steel triple flange hoops and a compact single tom holder for easy transportation. The series offers three beautiful finishes: Natural Wood, Raven Black and the new Matte Surf Green.

“The Stage Custom Hip provides drummers with an affordable and versatile solution with the consistent sound quality you expect from Yamaha,” said Steven Fisher, director of drum & percussion, Yamaha Corporation of America. “Gigging drummers are always searching for a lightweight option and this drum set will allow them to discover new sounds for various applications.”


Yamaha MS45DR Electronic Drum Monitor System Offers Acoustic Drum Sound with Adjustable Volume Control

Yamaha showcased the MS45DR Electronic Drum Monitor System at the NAMM Show, allowing drummers to achieve a natural, organic sound for their electronic drum kit performances with customizable volume control.

The MS45DR features a 2.1 loudspeaker system, including two compact, lightweight left and right satellite speakers that mount to any 1.5-inch rack frame of electronic drum kits, integrating perfectly into the setup, and a subwoofer that is placed on the ground to emphasize the low-end bass tones.

Ideal for home practice and rehearsals, the MS45DR electronic drum monitor system eliminates the restriction of headphones while conveying the sensation of playing acoustic drums, with realistic stereo sound. Sound levels can be adjusted for the whole system and the subwoofer individually, to enhance the intensity of bass playback. Easy to install, the system includes all cables necessary for connecting the system.

“The MS45DR allows players to easily perform on electronic drum kits without the limitation of headphones and adjust the mix to their preference,” said Steven Fisher, director of drums & percussion, Yamaha. “With a lightweight footprint and convenient integration into an electronic drum setup, this system was tailored specifically to the needs of drummers.”

The satellite speakers are driven with 20 watts each, playing back their signals through a .75-inch dome tweeter and a 3-inch midrange driver. The subwoofer features a 6.5-inch driver with 20 watts.


Yamaha EAD10 V2 Firmware Expands Creativity with TalkBack Function and Low Volume Drum Set Adaptability

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Yamaha also showcased the free V2 firmware for the EAD10 electronic acoustic drum module, adding new creative functionality and customizable settings for drum recording, rehearsal and teaching applications.

Introduced in 2017, the EAD10 revolutionized the industry by addressing persistent challenges facing drummers who want to record and share high-quality drum performances easily and affordably. The EAD10 was the first-ever stand-alone acoustic drum module system enabling drummers to easily capture the sounds of an acoustic drum set with a single microphone/trigger component attached to a powerful digital processor. Central to the EAD10 experience is the free Rec’n’Share iOS/Android app which allows players to create stunning audio and video and easily share it directly from a smart device.

Now, the addition of a TalkBack function, customizable parameters and capability to enhance a drum set using low volume heads and cymbals further enhance the playing experience and enable more expressive individual creativity.

Ideal for YouTube content creators and student-teacher settings, the new TalkBack mode raises the gain on the microphone while dropping out any of the effects.  Now drummers and educators can talk directly through the EAD, without having to lean in or add a microphone. Users can activate the TalkBack function by pressing the Sensor Unit button, hitting a pad or pushing a footswitch.

Players can now record for 90 minutes straight into the USB drive without it cutting out, perfect for capturing a single groove or whole performance. The click function is now routable to the main stereo outputs and/or USB audio output, providing the option of having the click track in performances and recordings.

Additionally, there are new files users can download presets to trigger mesh heads with the EAD10’s internal sounds. This option adds 42 new SCENES optimized for triggers in quieter setups such as electronic drums.

Lastly, this firmware update brings options for reducing unwanted background/ambient noise, hum and/or hiss from the mics. The three new settings include the Mic Noise Gate Threshold, which sets the gate’s opening noise level; Mic Noise Gate Release Time, which sets the length of time the gate takes to close; and Jack Noise Reduction, which decreases any unwanted static noises from cables.

“The EAD10 lets any drummer easily mic their kit in seconds and then record and share their performances with the world, without purchasing or setting up lots of extra equipment,” said Steven Fisher, director of drums & percussion, Yamaha. “The newly added features in the V2 firmware open up a world for limitless individual expression for everyday rehearsing and teaching applications.”

The Yamaha EAD10 V2 Firmware is free for all EAD10 users. To download, visit Yamaha.io/EAD10V2


A career journalist, Jason has worked as a reporter, editor, photographer, designer, and publisher in multiple forms of journalism, including newspaper, newsletter, website, and magazine. In his spare time, Jason is a historian who writes articles and books about Abraham Lincoln and his family.

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