I recently got my Alesis Nitro Mesh Kit and it's awesome when I plug in my Audio Technica headphones. However, I have tried different Samsung, Sony and LG soundbars and I can sense a very very tiny delay in the output, while my headphones don't have any.

What could be the cause of this? Are there amps that you can recommend so that I don't have to worry about these delays?

  • How far away from the drums are you putting the sound bar?
    – topo morto
    Apr 25 '19 at 21:16
  • @topomorto maybe 1 foot away from the base drum Apr 25 '19 at 21:50

Consumer audio products like the "sound bars" you mentioned are made for applications where precise timing is less important. Whether there's a 2.5 ms or a 25 ms delay between the input and the output isn't really important for music playback or even TV.

These products often combine analog and digital audio sources, and the easiest way to add e.g. equalization to the sound is to convert all sources to digital, then do all the processing in the digital domain, and then convert to analog again.

Conversion and digital processing inevitably adds a time delay, and if the product is not specifically aimed at musicians, minimizing this delay may not have been of prime concern during the design of the product.

What you need to amplify an instrument is either an amplifier specifically designed for that purpose, whether analog or digital, or a consumer audio product that is completely analog (for which you may have to go second-hand and probably pre-21st century). The people I know who play electronic drumsets all use either a dedicated e-drum amp, or a keyboard amp.

  • Thanks! I will go to Guitar Center today and ask for an analog one. BTW, do you have any recommendations for an analogue amp that's less than $200? Apr 25 '19 at 18:50
  • @summerNight If you're buying an amp that's meant for e-drums or keyboards, it doesn't have to be analog; the digital ones will have minimal delay. It's just digital consumer products that you have to be wary of. Roland has a "personal drum monitor" PM-03 meant for the living room at about that price point; for band rehearsals or live gigs you'll probably need a larger amp, which start at around $300. Apr 25 '19 at 19:05
  • so I should be buying an amp and not sound bars, correct? Apr 25 '19 at 19:11
  • 1
    @summerNight Yes, something specifically made to amplify instruments. Preferable one made for e-drums, but a keyboard amp may work too. Guitar or bass amps will not be a good match. Apr 25 '19 at 19:14

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