Pros and Cons

Batman

Junior Member
What is everyones thoughts on the Roland V-drums compared to real drums?
Our church is thinking about purchasing the rolands, but I have doubts about them. I have always played real drums. What are the pros and cons of the rolands? What are the cost differences in replacing and upkeep of the electronic drums?
 

synthesaur

Junior Member
Slightly off topic, sorry.
I made a very interesting observation while going around a bunch of churches in Toronto area on a "cultural" study. Basically i was checking out different approaches to worship music in various ethnic contexts.
I never seen an electronic drum kit in any of the churches with predominantly Caribbean congregation. In fact, often the music was quite loud............. and the old ladies never complained but rather danced, and some even played a tambourine in a hair raising way.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
Cost wise, A high end set of V Drums will be much more expensive than Acoustic.
Electronic drums are not a direct replacement for Acoustic. They are a different instrument entity. They offer more sound possibilities. I don't know if your Church wants different sounds or not. The cymbals just won't be the same as real pies.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
I have played the Roland V Drums and if your church can afford them, do it! They have incredibly realistic feel and sound and in an institutional setting like a church, reliability, durability and versatility are very important.

A musical instrument is a very personal thing in most cases. However, if the instrument is intended for an institution where different people will be playing it in different settings over years, then a good electronic set is desirable.

The only drawbacks would be that new drummers would have to learn about electronic sets, but it's not that difficult.
 

synthesaur

Junior Member
If you can play dynamically, quietly and with good control and feel, then go for acoustic. But then again, a lot depends on the attitude of the "flock" towards REAL drums..
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
What is everyones thoughts on the Roland V-drums compared to real drums?
Our church is thinking about purchasing the rolands, but I have doubts about them. I have always played real drums. What are the pros and cons of the rolands? What are the cost differences in replacing and upkeep of the electronic drums?
I've owned a lower end model V kit and the two high end models, 12 and 20. Still have the 20 kit. Personally, only the two high end models are a suitable replacement for a real kit and I would strongly favor the 20 over the 12. Point being, if you were thinking of shooting for the very high end, yeah, that stuff plays and feels pretty good. Once you fall below that line, I don't think they are adequate for anything beyond practice. So, we're talking about a 4k+ drum kit here (plus amp) at the very least. That kind of scratch buys one hell of an acoustic kit.

Further, there still remains about a thousand things you can do with a real drum that you can't with a V-drum from a texture and feel point of view. So, dollar for dollar, real drums are the better value. The V-kit has the one advantage of sounding like lots of different kits, but for my money, there aren't that many really good sounding ones. For all of the sounds on my expanded V-20, I use less than 6 modified presets.

From on upkeep stand point, I only have a few years of V-kit ownership to comment from. On the acoustic kit, I've broken two crash cymbals over the coarse of 7 years and I do a yearly replacement of all heads. I don't break heads or sticks any more. On the V-kit, I've broken two cymbal arm clamps (f--king plastic!) and had a few leads short out over the last 2.5 years. So, my acoustic kit is costing me more, but not by an amount that I consider substantial for ownership of a $5,000.00+ drum kit.

One last thing to consider. I've seen some drummers in church situations where they stick the drummer in a large plastic box to control volume. I gotta say, not even for Jesus himself am I going to play inside a plastic box. And if that means V-drums then so be it.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
What is everyones thoughts on the Roland V-drums compared to real drums?
I own both. Simplifies my life so I don't have to give any thought to the matter.


Our church is thinking about purchasing the rolands, but I have doubts about them.
Roland is the largest drum manufacturer in the world. And they don't make acoustic drums. A more "specific" identification of the doubts would be helpful.
What are the pros and cons of the rolands?
My aproach to the whole acoustic/electric "debate" is that I treat each as a seperate instrument. Like the piano, and the organ. Both utilise basically "similar" hand/finger movements, but as far as "feel", or substituting one for the other ....... no, they are quite different. What you may need to do is find out "why" your church/music director wants to go Roland. And you may want to consider "budget". The flagship Roland set is $7K. Depending on your budget, you might want to explore buying intermediate acoustic AND electric kits. For that matter, elements of both, make a Hybrid.
What are the cost differences in replacing and upkeep of the electronic drums?
I think in the long run, acoustic drums cost more, in up keep.
 

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yesdog

Silver Member
Pros- They are great for rehearsal and practice the band I play in has a set of TD12s

Cons- They are horrible for playing live shows, there is no feel the rubber cymbals seem to want to reck my hands and wrist. everytime i have used them at a show I get the weirdest hand pain. I perfer the real thing when playing at a club. I can control the dynamics play with feel and get no bizzare wrist pain.
 

Boomka

Platinum Member
I'd rather see drummers learn how to control their dynamics and get a wide range of sounds/textures out of their acoustic kits. For instance, how many different sounds can you get out of your snare drum using different striking tools/muffling/snare tension/location of strikes etc.?

Moreover, unless the sound person is excellent, VDrums never seem to blend well in most live settings - at least to my ears. The reason being that the sound is going to hit the listener's ear with an entirely different timbre/reverb than the room would create naturally, and will be creating for the other instruments. To me, they almost always stick out like a sore thumb when paired with predominantly acoustic instruments unless the entire thing is being run through a PA and balanced/EQed by a good sound person.

Anyway, I think they're a nice thing to use for studio work, some kinds of practice and as an adjunct to acoustic drums, but they're no replacement. If you want the sound of electronic drums, then they're the right choice. If not, then they aren't. To me that's the final consideration.
 

nicotine25

Senior Member
For a church setting definitely go with the Roland's. I play on them for my church and they are amazing. We have a Roland TD-20. We just did a christmas musical called "Promise of Light" and I was able to custom program all of the pads to match that of the CD. Completely impossible on acoustic drums as there was Djembe, Tabla, gong, concert snare, tympani, tambourine, sleigh bells, wood blocks and a whole mess of other percussion. I don't know what kind of music your church will be playing, but ours plays a mix of about 20-30% traditional and 70-80% contemporary. Even on the straight ahead Christian rock songs, I find my self looking for the best "set" to use. For example, on a song that sounds like Journey....90's power kit. On a gospel song...New Orleans Boogaloo set. Traditional Hymn...Orchestral Percussion. The list goes on and on. Plus once you go to a setting you can then tweak it. You can adjust the cymbal size from 4" to 30", and add sizzle and sustain. You can adjust tuning on toms, heads, muffling, room size, ambiance (either studio, garage, stadium, etc). You can set the amount of snare buzz you want to hear in other drums. You can pan the set...i.e hats left, bass center, toms left to right etc. Now do I enjoy playing on an acoustic set more...sure I do, but for church...electric is the way to go. A few years ago I did use my acoustic set at church before we got the roland, and even with a clear sound shield drums were still way to loud.
 

nicotine25

Senior Member
As to the way we mix them. Everything on stage runs to the mixer board. Piano, Guitar, Keyboards, Bass, Vocals and (1) line out for the entire drum set. I mix my own drums from the v-drum console...i.e. more bass, snare etc. But the overall level of the drums is brought up my the front of house engineer. For listening, I run a mic full mix line (out) from the board to a headphone amp, along with a line out from the drum set. This lets me adjust the level of the music and the overall level of the drums separately. I then wear studio headphones although we also have a floor monitor for the drums, we only use when doing a huge production, that may include un-mic'd instruments (they wouldn't come through the headphones) We also record every show to CD, and it sounds amazing. There are 2 drummers, including myself, and we alternate sundays. So I know exactly what the drums sound like from the audience, and they are amazing. You would have to mic an entire kit and a few percussionist to even come close to replicating it....anyways thats my 2 cents
 

Drifter in the Dark

Silver Member
I've been playing a high-end Roland kit at the church where I work (don't know which model though). I absolutely hate it! I agree with nicotine25 that electronic sets can be amazingly versatile, and it's great that they work for you, but my FOH engineer refuses to let me change the settings on the sound module, so I can't take advantage of the possibilities that exist. Also, I'll sometimes try to get in a few fast tom and bass drum flourishes at the end of a tune, but I stopped doing it because it sounded like a drum machine having a seizure. For me, playing electronic drums is almost as bad as running on a treadmill! [/RANT]
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
my impression is that churches like electronic drums because they can control the volume of them so easily. drum volume can be a problem in a church, especially a church that isn't really big.

another thing about them is that they only sound as good as your PA system. if you have a very small PA, then they tend to sound kind of rinky dink. it takes a good sound system to make them sound good.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
my impression is that churches like electronic drums because they can control the volume of them so easily. drum volume can be a problem in a church, especially a church that isn't really big.

another thing about them is that they only sound as good as your PA system. if you have a very small PA, then they tend to sound kind of rinky dink. it takes a good sound system to make them sound good.
Good points, Sub Woofs are a must for good sound from the low end. Good mids and tweets are also needed for the full spectrum of drum sound.
Even at low volume levels you will want a system to deliver the moving feeling that drums and cymbals make.
A good movie theater like surround system would be the optimum choice.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
I have the Roland TD-10.

I've only ever used mine for practice and recording. I've seen people use them live.

Pro's:
Volume control.
Great album quality sounds without having to tune or process the sound.
100's of sounds right at your finger tips.
No need for microphones, mic preamps, or a million cables. Two standard cables is all you need.
They are fun.

Cons:
Doesn't feel the same; especially the layout is never quite like an acoustic kit.
While I don't know if the average non-musician can tell the difference in dynamics, but as a player, the limited levels of dynamics (you get 128 levels of volume) gets to me.
In a live setting, they do NOT move air, and it's hard to tell if a band is playing, or just miming to a pre-recorded tape.

As far as upkeep:
In the short run, the save money, as there is no upkeep. No need to change heads, they don't chew through drum sticks, no maintenance is really required.

In the long run, like any electronic item, they become obsolete. There is always the next version that will come out that is better, faster, more. Occasionally a pad will wear out (i.e a wire breaks on the inside). Although it's not as bad as a personal computer or cell phone. I've had my TD-10 for ten years, and the brain still works great; I've changed out a few pads here and there. But it's not as cool as the newer TD-20.
 

Batman

Junior Member
Thank you all for the replies and great info. I think we are going to end up going for the new Roland td-20sx. So we shall see.....hey at least ill still have my set at home! If yall have any other opinions or info tell me. Thanx happy holidays!
 
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