eDrum News

EFnote PRO: First Impressions

EFnote has just announced a new flagship drum module designed for the stage. Learn about what sets this kit apart from the competition.

The EFnote PRO is a new flagship electronic drum kit announced at NAMM 2023 by EFnote, a Japanese eDrum brand established by former Roland and ATV staff. According to EFnote, the new kit is designed for stage use and promises to “digitise your drum riser”. Below, we take a look at the new kit and offer our first impressions.

What is the EFnote PRO?

The EFnote PRO is possibly the first electronic kit specifically designed for stage use, thanks to a whopping 12 XLR outputs, a dramatic increase over the rival TD-50X which features just two XLR outputs. The result is that the EFnote can be plugged into a stage cable snake to provide individual outputs for almost every drum and cymbal, as if you were micing up an acoustic kit.

The EFnote PRO is intended for settings where lower front-of-house volumes are beneficial. Think of orchestral settings or church performances where acoustic drum kits often need to be placed behind a perspex screen to reduce bleed for quieter instruments, or lower volume gigs in bars or restaurants.

The new module can be paired with full-sized drum pads that look just like acoustic drums. This is essentially a continuation of a trend among some drummers like Zak Starkey of The Who who use acoustic-to-electronic converted drums on stage, for an acoustic-look but with the lower stage volumes that electronic drums can allow.

The EFnote PRO is unique among drum modules in that it is actually composed of two parts – a large base unit with all the trigger inputs, XLR outputs and other IO, plus a compact control module with a large colour touchscreen connected via an umbilical cord. This is a neat solution that allows all the cabling to be tucked away at ground level, while the control module can be positioned close to the drummer, for example mounted off the hi-hat stand.

The control module also includes a floor light at the bottom that the drummer can use to illuminate the floor area. This is a nice quality of life feature that’s useful on dark stages.

What does the EFnote PRO sound like?

The EFnote PRO is designed to deliver “raw and organic” drum sounds, rather than “synthetic and electronic”, according to the EFnote website. This is a subtle nod to common criticism of Roland’s V-drum range, which to some drummers are overproduced and don’t capture the true sound of an acoustic drum kit.

The drums promise to provide a range of sounds, including maple, birch, acrylic, steel, aluminium, brass, titanium shells, even towel-muted drum sounds.

EFnote has not yet released a set of sound samples on the website or full details of the way the drum sounds were recorded, but it does appear that they are based on real drum recordings.

Full sound samples are not yet available on the EFnote website, however a demo of the kit at NAMM 2023 via Kraft Music is available below:

You can also check out the video below for a demo of how these new drums sound in a live setting:

What other features does the XLR interface support?

The 12 channel XLR balanced bus output supports dedicated bus compression for bus 1 to 6, a high-pass filter and 2 band EQ for all 12 busses, a stereo link for two adjacent busses, and ground lift switches to eliminate hum and buzz.

The six compression channels are distributed across the snare, kick and toms, plus a stereo overhead channel. This mirrors how an engineer would mic up the drums in a live setting, and further supports why EFnote are marketing this kit as a live tool for professional drummers.

This is also why ambience has been removed from the sounds on this kit. As a pro electronic drum kit, the EFnote PRO is designed to provide raw sounds just like an acoustic kit. These drum sounds can then be mixed and EQ’d exactly as the sound engineer requires.

What other IO does the EFnote PRO have?

Alongside the huge 12-channel XLR interface, the PRO module has all the usual IO you’d expect from a high-end drum module. This includes:

  • Bluetooth connectivity for playing along to music
  • USB interface for 12-channel multitrack audio and midi
  • 5-pin MIDI out

Pricing & competition

The EFnote PRO module is listed at $2,500 at, though currently unavailable for purchase. Official pricing is unavailable at the EFnote website, however if $2,500 is accurate, that compares very well to the competition.

The Pearl Mimic Pro also sells for around $2,500, while the Roland TD-50X sells for around $2,900.

That said, the EFnote PRO is set apart from the competition in its absolute focus on being a kit for live use, while the others are more all-rounders.

Aside from the unique 12-channel XLR interface, the EFnote PRO also strips out ambient effects from the module sounds. This means the kit may not be suitable for consumers simply looking for the best drum module and want great drum sounds right out of the box, unless they are happy with dry drum sounds or have an external mixer and effects unit to shape their drum sound.

By contrast, the Mimic Pro and TD-50X feel more like high-end consumer products, with their focus on ready-mixed sounds. So much so, the EFnote PRO could be considered a whole new class of professional electronic drum module.


What configurations does the EFnote PRO come in?

The EFnote PRO comes in a wide range of kit configurations, which is a big departure from most electronic drums that typically come in one or two configurations. Again, this is an area where the PRO range emulates acoustic drums, which are usually sold in a wide range of configurations.

The range is based around two sizes: the full-size 700 series and compact 500 series, mirroring the existing EFnote 7/7X and 5/5X kits. All kit configurations on the site are shown in a silver sparkle finish, however finish options do not appear to have been confirmed as yet.

The range of EFnote 700 and 500 drum shells laid out, including 2x bass drum sizes, 3x floor tom sizes, 3x rack tom sizes and 2x snare sizes

Both the 700 and 500 series kits are provided in the same range of configurations – the only difference being the shell sizes. While the 700 series is based around a 20-inch kick, 14-inch snare and 15-inch floor tom, the 500 series swaps these out for a 16-inch kick, 12-inch snare and 12-inch floor tom.

Various expansion packs are available to make up a total of 8 different configurations for both the 700 and 500 series. Drummers can also pick individual drums and cymbals to make up their own setups.

When it comes to cymbals, EFnote offers a complete range of eCymbals that mimic acoustic cymbals, ranging from an 8-inch splash to a huge 20-inch ride – the largest eCymbal on the market.

Cymbals are even styled to look like their acoustic counterparts, with an 18-inch china, a 17-inch “O-zone” style FX cymbal, and “dark” cymbals with a darker shade of grey rubber, imitating the various shades of bronze on acoustic cymbals. Some cymbals even support stacking, just like real cymbals.

A notable feature is that crash, ride and hi-hat cymbal pads all feature three zones. This is especially useful on the hi-hat where you’ll find a bell zone in addition to the standard bow and edge zones. Personally I think this is a great addition as a drummer who makes use of the hi-hat bell on my acoustic kit – it’s yet another tool to help you play expressively on the kit.

When does the EFnote PRO launch?

While the EFnote PRO was announced at NAMM 2023, launch date information is not currently available. We will update this article when we hear more about the new EFnote PRO kit!

Our take on the new EFnote PRO

From a design standpoint, the new module offers a big improvement with the two-piece design. Often, high-end modules take up a lot of space, requiring an extra drum stand and all cables to be routed into it, resulting in a mess of cables. The PRO’s floor module by contrast can be placed in a central location by the kit, keeping most of the cables at ground level. The compact control module takes up less space and doesn’t inhibit drummers from adding an auxiliary snare to their left or other additional pads.
Full sound demos are not yet available, and this will be crucial to determine if the EFnote PRO is a must-have high-end drum module. The videos releases so far suggest the PRO does stick to its promise of natural drum sounds, however, they are possibly not quite as good as those in the Superior Drummer 3 package. Again, we will update this post when we hear more.

What are your thoughts on the EFnote PRO announcement? Let us know your impressions in the comments below!

By Seb Atkinson

Seb has been a drummer since 2004 and an eDrummer since 2008. He founded eDrumHub to provide information on electronic drums for other drummers who can't justify an acoustic drum kit for practice at home.

8 replies on “EFnote PRO: First Impressions”

Judging by the sounds of the previous releases (5/5X and 7/7X) I wouldn’t worry too much about about the sound quality of the Pro units. Efnote has made an issue of incorporating high-quality sounds, matching their high-quality kits, right from the start. There are already some videos with the Efnote Pro sounds appearing on Youtube and they sound as great as expected.

I think EFnote’s focus on natural sounding drums is promising too as it means there’s a bit more scope for editing/EQ etc.

I’d love it if they’d share more information about how the sounds were recorded similar to how Toontrack share the recording process for Superior Drummer sound packs.

I have no pricing information at the moment unfortunately. But since this is billed as their pro level module, it’s safe to say this will be above the 7/7X range if paired with the 700 series drum shells. I’d speculate that the total price will be lower if this module is paired with the 500 series shells.

You can get it in various confirgurations. Edrumcenter currently advertizes the Pro module @ $2.5k so I estimate a 7X comparable setup with the Pro module would be near $7k. Not that bad, actually…

Hi Joe, EFnote pads have the same wiring as Roland/ATV pads. EFnote pads therefore work with Roland and ATV modules, and in turn should mean that the Pro module also works with pads from those manufacturers (Except Roland’s digital pads).

The EFnote Pro has basically the same pad settings options as a Roland module to adjust sensitivity, threshold, rim/head etc, so it should be possible to dial in pad settings for Roland or ATV pads.

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