XM World Review: Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum Kit


As of May 2012, the world of being a drumming busker or street musician has changed for the better. With the advent of the XM Busker Series eDrum kits, and in particular the B18-9SR model, you are getting a world-class digital drum kit that is easy to carry around, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

XM Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum kit Review

The XM Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum kit is easy to travel around with, but don’t let its small size fool you – this baby packs a punch!

At just over 30kg including all of the necessary drums, cymbals and stands, the Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum kit will be easy to pick up and move when you find foot traffic in another location is more lucrative. Besides a low price and being so lightweight, the B18-9SR only takes up 1.1m x 1.1m of space, including the drummer’s sitting position. This means you can set-up on the footpath and still have room for pedestrians to walk by, not to mention for your money collection hat or cymbal bag.


It’s cheap, small and lightweight, but the true advantage of the B18-9SR is the amount of versatility it brings to such a minimalist drum kit. The B18-9SR comes with XM’s top of the line touchscreen module, so your basic 12” snare, 13” hi-hat, 10” tom tom, 18” bass drum and 13″ cymbal set-up has many options. It’ll literally blow your mind.

XM Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum kit expanded with extra tom tom

This B18-9SR has been expanded with an extra Floor tom. The 9S module has the ability to support up to 14 drums or cymbals if desired.

This tiny eDrum kit’s 9S module comes with 8 built-in drum kit sounds (Rock, Jazz, Pop, Effect, Funk, R&B, Metal and Percussion), which you can then mix and match sounds from. You can also download Wave files of your favourite sampled sounds (drums or other instruments), and add these into the mix.

Independently program up to 3 unique sounds on each instrument – snare and tom (drumhead, rim, rim shot), cymbal (edge, surface, bell, choke) and hi-hat (surface, bell, choke). Can you imagine how many sounds you could get out of a kit so small?

Program the rim shot on your snare as a cowbell, the rim as a Splash cymbal, and the drumhead as your favourite acoustic snare sound. That is just the snare! Now try three different cymbal sounds on the one cymbal: Ride on the bell, Crash on the surface and China on the edge. Why not download a 6-second drum loop onto the tom tom’s rim shot to play along to? The options are seemingly endless, and you can alter the sounds for each song you play.

9S Module:

Now for some of the magic of the advanced XM 9S module…this module has the ability to reproduce the subtle changes in sound between soft and hard drum hits, both in tone and volume. The result is the actual tone of each eDrum can be programmed to change for when you hit harder or softer, just like an acoustic drum skin’s tone changes when you hit it harder. Wow!

Secondly, the 18” bass drum usually has a single drumhead sound, but in Jazz and Rock modes a harder kick can be programmed (via sensitivity levels) to trigger a second separate sound: Too cool.

Note: A short message about the XM Busker Series B18-9SR eDrum kit’s little sister: the B10-8SR. At 28.5kg it is the lightest eDrum kit XM World has ever designed.

The smaller B10-8SR has the XM 8S module, a 10" bass drum, 10" snare, 10" tom tom, 13" cymbal and 11" hi-hat.

The smaller B10-8SR has the XM 8S module, a 10″ bass drum, 10″ snare, 10″ tom tom, 13″ cymbal and 11″ hi-hat.

Top view of a red XM Busker Series B10-8SR eDrum kit (B18-9SR's 'little sister').

Top view of a red XM Busker Series B10-8SR eDrum kit (B18-9SR’s ‘little sister’).

The XM Busker Series has been created for people who make their living by bashing out beats on the streets around the world. Turn a small drum kit into a big sound with XM’s new Busker Series.

By Jesse S. Somer, XM eDrum

XM World Review: XM Groove Series J-8SR eDrum Kit


2012 has now seen the release of XM World’s newest addition to its many different series of eDrum kits. The Groove Series, made especially for jazz and funk style drummers has hit the stage, and the result has been a resounding beat of pleasure amongst percussion enthusiasts. Within XM’s Groove Series there are currently two models to choose from, the J-9SR and the J-8SR eDrum sets. Today, we look closely at what the XM Groove Series J-8SR can do.

The Look of the J-8SR eDrum kit:

Silver XM World J-8SR Groove Series eDrum Kit

The silver XM World J-8SR Groove Series eDrum Kit

As soon as you set your eyes upon the Groove Series J-8SR, you know you are dealing with something very special. This kit has silver shells with black rims, and looks as professional as any acoustic drum kit you’d see in the shops for a similar cost. You can also get redwood, teak, black, white wood, light brown, dark brown, or red coloured shells. Of course the cymbals are black rubber, as opposed to being metal, but otherwise this is almost a true replica of a small sized acoustic drum kit.

The first thing you notice about the J-8SR is how compact it is. This kit sits in an area of 150cm by 130cm, including where the drummer is located. The ramifications of this small size are ironically great. You can practice at home in a small room, and when you’ve got a gig at a local pub, club, or even café stage, the rest of the band will still be able to fit in front of you.

Redwood coloured XM World Groove Series J-8SR Front View

Redwood coloured J-8SR Front View

Redwood XM World Groove Series J-8SR Top View

Redwood J-8SR Top View

XM has spent a lot of time developing its eBass drums, and the J-8SR eBass drum looks great. Forget the days of tiny rubber bass pads; this looks like a real bass drum. It’s 18” in diameter, and utilises XM’s revolutionary Rock Steady Bass Drum System. This rack ensures no matter how hard you kick the bass drum, it will never move. If you’ve ever scratched a floor with your eBass drum’s pin, you’ll know how important this is.

The standard kit also comes with a 12” eSnare drum, two 10” eTom toms, and one 12” eFloor tom. You get two 13” eCymbals, one 11” eCymbal, and the XH7 13” eHi-hat cymbal with hi-hat stand. You still have the ability to expand the kit, as the 8S eDrum touch panel module (also included) supports up to 14 drums or cymbals.

The Functionality of the J-8SR eDrum kit:

In terms of functionality, the Groove Series J-8SR is a true delight of innovation and design for the eDrum world. The snare drum, both toms and the floor tom all have three sounds that can be programmed independently: Hoop, drumhead and rim shot. The bass drum has a single drumhead sound. The two larger cymbals have choke, edge, surface and bell functions, while the third smaller cymbal has a surface sound.

This is amazing enough, but there is another level of complexity that you can play with. The 8S module has the unique ability (amongst all XM eDrum series) to have two overlapping sounds emitted from a single eDrum trigger. Two distinct sounds are triggered simultaneously, and can be independently programmed on each drumhead, drum rim, rim shot, or cymbal (surface, edge, or bell), except for the hi-hats.

The hi-hat cymbal has surface, bell and choke functions, and can be set to four positions: full open, half open, ¼ open and fully closed (although you choose whether fully closed sounds closed – you may like the cymbal to have that ‘just touching’ sound. Jazz enthusiasts will love the responsive ‘foot splashes’ they can do on the hi-hat pedal. The Full Body eDrum Rack comes with L-Ball clamps, which allow you to adjust each drum’s position to your exact needs.

The user-friendly touchscreen module interface is extremely intuitive. There are seven complete ready-to-use standard drum kits to choose from: Jazz, Funk, Pop, Rock, Effect, R&B and Metal. There is also a metronome function that can be adjusted to perform a wide range of sequenced rhythms for you to play along with.

The Sound and Feel of the J-8SR eDrum kit:

If you’ve been playing eDrum kits for many years, you will be well aware of the gap that has always existed between an acoustic kit and a digital drum set. XM World does not focus on having thousands of digital sounds (although you have the ability to download any sound you like); their aim is to make the crossover between digital and acoustic seamless. They’ve done well here.

The responsiveness of the meshhead drum skins is excellent – very bouncy, and the sound is incredibly realistic. XM have sampled sounds from the highest-level acoustic drum kits to create their standard kit sounds, and there is a noticeable difference to the usual sound quality you’ll find in most eDrums. The verdict is in – the Groove Series J-8SR is a professional quality eDrum kit made for jazz and funk musicians, as well as those who don’t have much room at home, but want the best small-sized eDrum kit they can get on the market today.

Light brown coloured XM World Groove Series J-8SR eDrum kit

Light brown coloured J-8SR

White Wood coloured XM World Groove Series J-8SR eDrum kit

White Wood coloured J-8SR

By Jesse S. Somer, XM eDrum