Is the acoustic kit dying?

spides666

Senior Member
I am finding more and more with gigs these days I'm having to use my electronic kit over acoustic in venues. So much so, I have converted my Tama Starclassic Bubinga elite kit to mesh heads and running that through a TD-4 module. (soon to be a td-20x)

I have used my acoustic kit probably twice this year and I gig a fair bit. One of those shows the venue said it was too loud so of course everyone turns to the drummer and I played most of the gig with rocket sticks!!

I see new cymbals etc I'd love and usually think what is the point!!! I'm now looking at Zildjian Gen 16 cymbals over my usual Paiste 2002's !!!
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Re: Is the acoustic kit dying???

Nah, and I don't believe it will either. I just love going into shops and playing with the Rolands and TwoBox's and other electric stuff, but never will one replace my acoustic.

There's a vibe and power in acoustic, even with brushes, that cannot be replicated IMO.
 

hemiboy

Member
I don't think acoustics will ever die. I personally see the advantages of both. Nothing like the sound of a quality well tuned acoustic kit. But what I like about the e kits is the flexibility of all the different sounds. Because of my condo living circumstances, I was forced into an e kit. I ended up with a Roland TD 30 kit and loved it. It I still missed the look and size of the the acoustics. Without hurting my 45 year old Ludwigs , I put mesh heads on them , installed internal dual zone triggers, and hooked them up to the new 2 box module and what great sounds. I also installed some superior drummer, and bfd sounds on my sound card and these kits sound awesome. I also get a great reminder of my Dad who recently passed who bought me this kit when I was 14 or 15! So the neighbors aren't a problem and I am basically playing an acoustic kit again. It is so cool!
 

Wavelength

Platinum Member
I have used my acoustic kit probably twice this year and I gig a fair bit. One of those shows the venue said it was too loud so of course everyone turns to the drummer and I played most of the gig with rocket sticks!
That's interesting. What sort of gigs / venues do you play? Looking back on this year's 50+ gigs I've played my acoustics in private parties, small restaurants / bars, clubs and larger dance and concert halls -- always miked up, never too loud.

...except this one time, when we were already playing so softly we could hear the "tsch tsch" of the dancers' feet against the floor... through our in-ear monitors! The owner was a grumpy 80-year-old man who would've preferred to hear just an accordion(!) and some good old music from the early 1900's.

I don't recall seeing any e-kits at the gigs I've attended, but they have become more common in class rooms.
 

Duffy

Member
I am finding more and more with gigs these days I'm having to use my electronic kit over acoustic in venues. So much so, I have converted my Tama Starclassic Bubinga elite kit to mesh heads and running that through a TD-4 module. (soon to be a td-20x)

I have used my acoustic kit probably twice this year and I gig a fair bit. One of those shows the venue said it was too loud so of course everyone turns to the drummer and I played most of the gig with rocket sticks!!

I see new cymbals etc I'd love and usually think what is the point!!! I'm now looking at Zildjian Gen 16 cymbals over my usual Paiste 2002's !!!

Sounds like you have made a personal decision. It's your choice.

I don't care for electronic drums and have played a few sets.

Also, the ambience is not there with the electronic drums as far as I'm concerned. They just don't fit the archetypal pattern that I have in my head for what drums should look like and they have that totally electronic/digital "ET call home" vibe to them.

What you prefer is your business. Play what you like.

I'm staying with the acoustic drums, in fact I just bought a new set.

I'm a total advocate of old school drums I guess. I think that they will be around for a long time. They have a vibe to them that is timeless, plus they last a long time and don't have digital things to malfunction, as digital things eventually seem to do.

So I guess they are dying in the minds of some, but they are very healthy in the minds of many.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I dunno, maybe it's just the stuff I listen too, but all I see are acoustic kits. The last time I witnessed an e kit on a stage was when I "got" to see UB 40 at some work function. I'll admit, it worked fine for that kind of clean pop/soft rock. He used real cymbals, though... Only the drums were electronic.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Funny, I was there in the 80s when Simmons was all the rage, the LinnDrum threatened the livelihoods of every mediocre studio player, and MIDI showed us the way to the future.

All it did was create a backlash and ushered in the grunge era in the 90s.

What we use to make music are just the tools to that end. And usually, if you have an instrument people want and can fill their need, then you got the gig. You seem to have your tool, and that's cool.

My bigger dilemma came about when I realized I had more invested in the new tools of the time than I had bringing in income. After society deemed electrics unnecessary during the 90s, I followed suit and let go of MIDI studio (all of it) and have found an acoustic drumset is what most people want. Nobody ever asks me if I have V-Drums (I did), or if I'd do any MIDI work. Most of the people I know want living breathing drums these days, and I'm much happier for it. In fact, electronics doesn't even come up anymore. And if it did, I have a list of guys who have it and I'll give people their phone numbers.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
e-kits make everyone a hero. you can do rolls all over the kit when in reality, its very difficult to roll on an 18 floor tom. also, I can get so many sounds from one drum, an e-kit, once you set the sound, that's the only sound that pad makes right?
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
The acoustic kit won't be dying for quite some time. At least that is my hopes. NOTHING comes close to the sheer power of acoustic drums. I won't play an E kit. To me that's like going from a Harley to a Vespa. No thanks. OK the sound can fool you, but I really don't like the look, or the feel, or the vibe playing them.
 

Drumsinhisheart

Silver Member
A versus E. I have both - acoustics and TrapKat/Roland TD20X set-up. People tell me to get into software if I want better cymbal sounds, but the choices are just not there for me. I think cymbals are the weakest link in edrums. They will never replace acoustics. They are fun to play, and can do so many different things, quickly, but to me they will always sound like a recording of drum sets, not actual drum sets. But, yes, volume control is a major factor, which is why I ended up getting edrums in the first place.
 

WhoIsTony?

Member
I have been gigging regularly since 1988..... professionally since 1994 and can honestly say that I have never once seen an E kit at a gig....... not once

....and thank god
 

Thaard

Platinum Member
Only people using electric kits on a live gig is either electronica musicians or some dancing band people that hate music.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I am finding more and more with gigs these days I'm having to use my electronic kit over acoustic in venues...

I have used my acoustic kit probably twice this year and I gig a fair bit. One of those shows the venue said it was too loud...
And there's your answer - most drummers use V-kits for volume considerations, not because they're making a dent in the use of acoustic kits.

I don't recall seeing any V-kits used by bands, even in more casual music situations (restaurants for example.) I have only one gig where a V-kit is mandatory, and it's supplied. That's in a casino, and is for volume control.

Acoustics dying? No signs of it in Los Angeles, or anywhere else in the US that I've seen bands.

Bermuda
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I saw an E kit being played at a restaurant once. Hated it. I could hear the stick hitting the rubber pad, and the cymbal sounds were a friggin joke. Plus the guy was literally 350 lbs and it didn't look good with this huge man behind these little wimpy ass pads.

What I don't get is....A drums can be played whisper quiet. I do it on a regular basis. If a drummer can't play quiet enough on an A kit...that is a reflection on the drummer. I play some really quiet restaurant gigs, while people are eating their dinner, in a hard surfaced room, with the A kit. I am often complimented by the staff and some regulars about how appropriate mine, and the rest of the bands, volume is. That's my trio. Really it's not problem. It was an adjustment at first, but not hard. Now my 6 piece band has a big volume problem in small rooms lol. Bottom line, it's the musicians ability to play low that has to be developed.

To me, the notion of getting an E kit because I can't play low enough....that would be a cop out and I would embarrass myself for taking the easy way out.

If I had no choice but to play a provided one, I don't know how I would handle that. I would at least try and lobby for the A kit.
 

mikel

Platinum Member
That's interesting. What sort of gigs / venues do you play? Looking back on this year's 50+ gigs I've played my acoustics in private parties, small restaurants / bars, clubs and larger dance and concert halls -- always miked up, never too loud.

...except this one time, when we were already playing so softly we could hear the "tsch tsch" of the dancers' feet against the floor... through our in-ear monitors! The owner was a grumpy 80-year-old man who would've preferred to hear just an accordion(!) and some good old music from the early 1900's.

I don't recall seeing any e-kits at the gigs I've attended, but they have become more common in class rooms.
You mic your kit for small restaurants? How loud do you guys play? Surely a small restaurant is easily filled by the sound of even the smallest kit.
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
I saw an E kit being played at a restaurant once. Hated it. I could hear the stick hitting the rubber pad, and the cymbal sounds were a friggin joke. Plus the guy was literally 350 lbs and it didn't look good with this huge man behind these little wimpy ass pads.

What I don't get is....A drums can be played whisper quiet. I do it on a regular basis. If a drummer can't play quiet enough on an A kit...that is a reflection on the drummer. I play some really quiet restaurant gigs, while people are eating their dinner, in a hard surfaced room, with the A kit. I am often complimented by the staff and some regulars about how appropriate mine, and the rest of the bands, volume is. That's my trio. Really it's not problem. It was an adjustment at first, but not hard. Now my 6 piece band has a big volume problem in small rooms lol. Bottom line, it's the musicians ability to play low that has to be developed.

To me, the notion of getting an E kit because I can't play low enough....that would be a cop out and I would embarrass myself for taking the easy way out.

If I had no choice but to play a provided one, I don't know how I would handle that. I would at least try and lobby for the A kit.
It's quite hard to play low in the manner you've described.

I can't do it...certainly not low enough to avoid bothering the neighbours, and my own dogs, at least.

And, for me, drums are a physical exercise. I can't just tap quietly and reservedly on drums...I have to hit them, and I have to get physical with them. I get joy out of this.

I have both E and A kits...before I could afford A I used my Es in live venues...just covered them with band flag.

Not as good, nowhere near, but they serve a purpose.

Always slightly irritated that threads like this deteriorate into a complete sledge on anyone who plays E Drums, along with the E Drums themselves....not necessarily directed at you Larry, just a casual observation
 

SquadLeader

Gold Member
Only people using electric kits on a live gig is either electronica musicians or some dancing band people that hate music.
Completely innacurate I'm afraid.

Purely by way of an example, I have seen both Neal Peart and Alan White play live using E Drums, and countless videos of Bill Bruford doing so also.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Completely innacurate I'm afraid.

Purely by way of an example, I have seen both Neal Peart and Alan White play live using E Drums, and countless videos of Bill Bruford doing so also.
Poor Thaard, he has to do whatever his King says...He's very Medieval.
 

mymarkers

Senior Member
I actually think the advantage of acoustic over electronic increases as the volume of music decreases. For one thing, in soft music you can actually hear the nuances of acoustic drums. Whereas, if the volume gets too low with electronic drums, then the tapping on the pads would be too present.

I mostly play medium volume settings where unmic'd acoustic is probably most appropriate. As soon as I find myself in a high volume situation that requires more microphones, I will start thinking about electronic drums. I'd rather just pick a sound and play than worry about all the details like heads, tuning, and microphone placement to make an acoustic kit sound good amplified. And I've read a few too many horror stories about bad sound guys on here.
 
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