Bias against electronic drums

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
I've had friends (non-players) freak out when I told them I was incorporating electronic drums in my set-up. There is a perception that if you have some pads up there, you are just pushing a button and letting a machine play everything.
But that was a long time ago. Still, I have had a lot of people say "I don't like electronic drums."
I just built a full-on acoustic/electronic hybrid, and I am wondering how some might react.

It's not like acoustic drums are some purely acoustic signal, unless you are in a jazz club with no mics or something. Especially when enhanced electronically through effects, etc.
Any thoughts?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Not to say I'd never take their advice, but the person offering advice about drums, who doesn't even play the instrument themselves.....well let's just say their advice would be way down low on the list of my priorities.

The more important question is do you like the idea? Will adding pads enhance your creativity? Add to your sound spectrum? Allow you to do things an acoustic drum can't? Can you see situations where you're gonna use both? If the answer is yes, then why are you bothering with people who have no concept of the instrument in the first place?

Works for Peart, Carey and a thousand others. If you think it's gonna work for you.....have at it.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Do your thing. Man, just do your thing. Don't concern yourself with negativity, it will always be there. Forget trying to placate others and just do your thing.
 

ahector

Senior Member
haters gonna hate. most people don't know anything about or care how the percussion in their favorite song got there... whether it's synthesized, performed by a musician, or anything in between, they don't care! so maybe that will make you feel better.

there are people out there who aren't going to like your acoustic/hybrid setup. there are people who don't like the kind of music you play. there are people who don't like your haircut. none of these things are your problems or are worth your time.
 

csnow

Senior Member
Yeah guys like Neil Pert, Tommy Lee, Simon Philips, etc are fake, lame drummers. I think a lot of people would be shocked at how many artist use electronics. They may not have the electronic pads, but they have triggers on their kits. Ignorance is bliss.

I for one love my electronic kit. I actually play it more than my acoustics out of respect to my family and neighbors. With software like BFD2, Superior, Steve Slate, etc, the days of fake synthesizer sounds are gone. The new Yamaha silicon pads feel very close to acoustics compared to the bouncy mesh pads. I have not had a drummer sit down on my ekit that I I didnt have to tell them, "OK, enough....give me the sticks back you have to go home"

Add the e's to your acoustics and do what you need to do. Let the purists/elitists miss out. They remind me of the guys that insist that vinyl records are better than digital.
 
I, personally, do not like e-drums, but only when they're trying to replace actual drums. However they can be very useful for stuff it's impossible to do on a real drum, like triggering a sound clip or something. ?uestlove does some stuff where he plays his kit while scratching with his left hand. That's pretty cool.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Yea, I really think you should be in the clear. Incorporating electronic sounds isn't the same thing as trying to replace the drum set with a digital drum set. Liken it to a guitar effects processor. It takes your input, and does something new that you couldn't do with the original instrument.
 

tard

Gold Member
Dont worry about it. I was at 4 big concerts last year and at 3 of them the acoustic kits had mesh heads and triggers and didnt make a sound till the FOH was turned up. Whats the difference what you use, its the musician and the music that matters. Does anyone complain that keyboard players dont play a piano? Do people complain that guitar players, (some even with synths and racks and have a fake wall of stacks for show) play an electric guitar instead of an acoustic guitar? Is an acoustic kit still truly an acoustic once you mic it and add reverb and delay? Truth be told I have actually lost out on several paying gigs because I only have an acoustic kit and they were looking for someone with a quality e kit so they could do live fade ins and outs plus wanted quick set up and tear down as they some times ply 2 places in one evening.
 

Hercules

Senior Member
This discussion / argument has been around and around a few times.

In the end - if you hit them with sticks and pedals they're drums - it doesn't matter whether they're replacing or enhancing what you've got, or if they're liked or disliked by anyone else.

Just beat it ah
 

Zero Mercury Drummer

Senior Member
Great replies guys! Thanks for the encouragement.

I am going to forge and ahead and just do what I like. I have been sensitive to the fact that if I do something really cool on the drums, people will say "oh he just did that with electronics."
But this is 2012. I think people are more aware of how they work now.
I will post some pics of my set-up. I am integrating a full electronic kit with my acoustic one. I play in a prog rock trio, so the more sounds the better.
 

csnow

Senior Member
Great replies guys! Thanks for the encouragement.

I am going to forge and ahead and just do what I like. I have been sensitive to the fact that if I do something really cool on the drums, people will say "oh he just did that with electronics."
But this is 2012. I think people are more aware of how they work now.
I will post some pics of my set-up. I am integrating a full electronic kit with my acoustic one. I play in a prog rock trio, so the more sounds the better.
Sounds like there is either some pride or lack of self-confidence with your concern. Who cares if they think you did it electronically. You know the truth and that is all that should matter. Play what you play and forget what others think.....
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
In the end - if you hit them with sticks and pedals they're drums - it doesn't matter whether they're replacing or enhancing what you've got, or if they're liked or disliked by anyone else.

Just beat it ah
+1. No matter what the pad does/triggers .... you still gotta be precise. You hit it ..... it goes boom. And sometimes you gotta hit it, to make it stop going boom. Either way, the timing is just as critical as a strike to the snare, a hit on the hats, a ping on the ride, or a smash on a crash.​
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
+1. No matter what the pad does/triggers .... you still gotta be precise. You hit it ..... it goes boom. And sometimes you gotta hit it, to make it stop going boom. Either way, the timing is just as critical as a strike to the snare, a hit on the hats, a ping on the ride, or a smash on a crash.​
I think e-kits require less precision for sure. They produce "good" sounds no matter how you hit the drum, which is not the case with real cymbals and tubs. I think this is one of the important things to remember for those practicing on e-kits but intending to go back and forth a lot. There seems to be an adjustment period, at least for me. e-kits are "easier" to play.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
When Neil Peart was first getting into Simmons pads, I thought it was really cool. Then he mounted a little pad between his 12" and 13", and also some kind of trigger next to his hi hat pedal that he could move his left foot over and hit. Again, I thought that was pretty cool. But then he just went bananas with full-on electronic parts and it was impossible to tell what he was playing and where. It also just didn't sound all that cool to me. I saw Rush's Time Machine tour and liked that he hardly used them at all, except during the solo, but even there I thought they were a low-light.

I know Danny Carey, Mike Mangini, and others use a lot of electronics, and Bruford did a lot with them too during the King Crimson years, and I was a big fan of that. But anymore, I'd just rather have the visceral nature of hitting something acoustic rather than triggering something electronic. I know, I know, mic it all up and run it thru a soundboard, processors, blah, blah, blah... and that's totally valid and absolutely correct. But somehow, I don't feel it's quite the same thing.

An e-kit at home is another matter. You gotta do whatchu gotta do.
 
B

Balto

Guest
Used them exclusively for 20 years up until 2 years ago. If I never have to use them exclusively again I will be a happy man. Oh and Mike, I tuned them way above wrinkle! :)
 
I have an electric and an acoustic kits that I play separately for different reasons. The BIGGEST pro to the electric kit for me is that you don't have to Tune the suckers.

I do spend copius amounts of time adjusting the sounds and settings in the drum brain. But the fact I never have to tap around the rims of each electric drum for eons (like I do with my acoustic kit) just warms the cockles of my heart.
 

johnnylaw

Senior Member
Good music/good drumming can come from whacking most anything in a musical fashion. If ekit stuff works for you and your tunes, "bravo!", I say.

I remember folks barking about the electric guitar as a crutch for infidels back in the '60s. You know, "What do they need that for? Can't play?"

I don't like playing ekits as I'm newish at the drumming thing, and I just prefer the feel and dynamic response of an acoustic set. If I lived in an apartment though, I might make the adjustment simply to get the woodshedding in!

Just be careful if you're telling folks you swing both ways.
 

BabyBob

Silver Member
Dont worry about it. I was at 4 big concerts last year and at 3 of them the acoustic kits had mesh heads and triggers and didnt make a sound till the FOH was turned up. Whats the difference what you use, its the musician and the music that matters. Does anyone complain that keyboard players dont play a piano? Do people complain that guitar players, (some even with synths and racks and have a fake wall of stacks for show) play an electric guitar instead of an acoustic guitar? Is an acoustic kit still truly an acoustic once you mic it and add reverb and delay? Truth be told I have actually lost out on several paying gigs because I only have an acoustic kit and they were looking for someone with a quality e kit so they could do live fade ins and outs plus wanted quick set up and tear down as they some times ply 2 places in one evening.
Just out of curiosity which one out of the big 4 last year didn't use mesh heads and triggers?
 
D

drumfreak1987

Guest
dude, do it! i wildly prefer acoustic drums. the feel, tone, the expression you achieve with different strikes, tunings and techniques… but F*CK THAT, i can't play in my apartment, so i'm getting an alesis dm8 (the poor man's roland td-9)… lol
 
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