Why don't many Pro Drummers use Electric Drums?

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Same reason serious pianists always prefer playing a real grand piano over a keyboard: the electronics are inherently impersonal, less-expressive instruments. In most situations, whatever advantages they offer don't come close to outweighing that fact. Pianists have to use keyboards because pianos are extremely impractical to shlep; also a lot of places that do have pianos are extremely bad about maintaining them; there's no similar pressure on drummers.
 

gr82bagn

Pioneer Member
My Alesis DM10 MkII Pro will do that.

My biggest complaint is the cymbals, but I'm now replacing all the pads with low volume cymbals and fixing that issue.
Good point, a little more work is needed on the feel of ekit cymbals. That said, current advances in ekit technology dictates that ekits are here to stay and as a stand alone instrument (not a replacement to acoustic kits) we will see increased usage at the pro level in the IMMEDIATE future.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
When I can play a super-quiet buzz roll on an e-drum, and get different sounds at the edge versus the center of the drums, THEN I would seriously consider one.
No you wouldn't. Because it's a triggered sound and you're not actually getting real sounds based on how or where you hit the pad. It's software trying it's best to interpret the electrical pulses generated from the piezo.

Higher end Roland models do this kind of fake positional triggering and it's not as cool as you'd think. Like most e-kit "features", the novelty wears off and you don't end up "utilizing" the feature. They even got fancy and can fake a brush sound with these weird plastic brush sticks, never seen anyone seriously use them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLyJDq0dLdI

It's hard to put in words why it's not very satisfying to play, and I think it's just because it's not the real thing. The sounds you hear just don't seem to jive with what your hands feel if you're used to actually getting these same type sounds from a drum.
 

gr82bagn

Pioneer Member
No you wouldn't. Because it's a triggered sound and you're not actually getting real sounds based on how or where you hit the pad. It's software trying it's best to interpret the electrical pulses generated from the piezo.

Higher end Roland models do this kind of fake positional triggering and it's not as cool as you'd think. Like most e-kit "features", the novelty wears off and you don't end up "utilizing" the feature. They even got fancy and can fake a brush sound with these weird plastic brush sticks, never seen anyone seriously use them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLyJDq0dLdI

It's hard to put in words why it's not very satisfying to play, and I think it's just because it's not the real thing. The sounds you hear just don't seem to jive with what your hands feel if you're used to actually getting these same type sounds from a drum.
Sorry but I disagree on all counts. I have played a super quiet buzz roll on an edrum. I know its software combined with advanced triggering but the end result has been the same and I will add its very cool though I don't often find the need to do it since I mostly play hard rock. I do understand why you find difficulty putting into words why it's not very satisfying to play, because it IS SATISFYING! For those of us that appreciate the new generation eKit as a stand alone instrument and not a replacement for acoustic drums it is the "real thing". Just wanted to share....
 

WallyY

Platinum Member
I have a Megadrum unit and full size double sensor mesh pads.
Megadrum is the most powerful midi controller for drums. It's also the most complicated controller and it doesn't even make a sound.

I can make the feel and sound of a real drum using positional sensing, rim edge dynamics. Light buzz rolls and rim shots can be done on one pad, and it can be adjusted to play very light and very hard. If I use the Jazz drums samples in Addictive Drums and my custom pad dynamics, I can make it sound very difficult to tell the difference between a real proper drum and a robot drum.

But it takes a horrible amount of time to set up each pad's settings and if you change a drum sound, the dynamics of the pad's settings will also change because the sample dictates the pad sensitivity.

These things are great for songwriting by creating loops and fills that can be chopped up in a midi timeline, but they will never, ever be as expressive and musical as a wood and metal drum set.
 

gr82bagn

Pioneer Member
These things are great for songwriting by creating loops and fills that can be chopped up in a midi timeline, but they will never, ever be as expressive and musical as a wood and metal drum set.
"Expressive and musical" are such subjective concepts and are strickly dependent on what the drummer is looking to achieve. Bottom line, I find the large library of pristine drum samples I can draw from using Superior Drummer 3 allows me to be far more expressive than my acoustic kit did. But again this is all so subjective.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Same reason serious pianists always prefer playing a real grand piano over a keyboard: the electronics are inherently impersonal, less-expressive instruments..

I allready always wondered why Joe Zawinul (amongst many others) always sounded that impersonal and without any emotion..

Now i found the answer..

Lol..
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I allready always wondered why Joe Zawinul (amongst many others) always sounded that impersonal and without any emotion..

Now i found the answer..

Lol..
Yeah, that's a different instrument, which he and Herbie, and Keith, and Chick, and everyone else were playing for a specific sound. You couldn't find ANY serious pianist who thinks a rhodes, wurlitzer, any synth ever made, or a clavinova are replacements for a piano.
 

oldskoolsoul

Silver Member
..Yeah, that's a different instrument, which he and Herbie, and Keith, and Chick, and everyone else were playing for a specific sound. You couldn't find ANY serious pianist who thinks a rhodes, wurlitzer, any synth ever made, or a clavinova are replacements for a piano..

I hope there are also no guitarplayers who think that an electric guitar is a replacement for an acoustic one..

Thats the idea, they are not meant to be replaced by another..They are just different instruments for different use..

I was only replying to the statement that 'electronics are inherently impersonal, less-expressive instruments'..

That to me makes little sense..
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
Sorry but I disagree on all counts. I have played a super quiet buzz roll on an edrum. I know its software combined with advanced triggering but the end result has been the same and I will add its very cool though I don't often find the need to do it since I mostly play hard rock. I do understand why you find difficulty putting into words why it's not very satisfying to play, because it IS SATISFYING! For those of us that appreciate the new generation eKit as a stand alone instrument and not a replacement for acoustic drums it is the "real thing". Just wanted to share....
In the end we agree more than you imagine. I also think e-kits are a totally separate animal and don't replace real kits.

As for satisfaction levels, I won't comment too much. In the early days I thought I liked e-drums just as much if not more, because I was getting artificially "better" (closer to recordings) sounds without the skill, practice or touch it takes to pull the best sounds from the real thing or tune drums correctly. As I got better, I saw more and more how I was kidding myself and needed to spend the time training my hands and feet to play so I could have the most options.

I still use an e-kit as my practice setup but usually don't even turn it on unless I want to play along with the phone/aux or something. Position sensing stuff is pretty cool at first, but it's not like a real drum, and you shouldn't expect it to be.
 

Dr_Watso

Platinum Member
I hope there are also no guitarplayers who think that an electric guitar is a replacement for an acoustic one..
It's much closer than an e-kit is to a drum set.

An electric guitar is just amplification of the strings vibrations... The instrument is actually generating the sound... As opposed to simply triggering an electronic "brain" to play a sound like an e-kit or keyboard.
 

MrPockets

Gold Member
No you wouldn't. Because it's a triggered sound and you're not actually getting real sounds based on how or where you hit the pad. It's software trying it's best to interpret the electrical pulses generated from the piezo.

Higher end Roland models do this kind of fake positional triggering and it's not as cool as you'd think. Like most e-kit "features", the novelty wears off and you don't end up "utilizing" the feature. They even got fancy and can fake a brush sound with these weird plastic brush sticks, never seen anyone seriously use them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BLyJDq0dLdI

It's hard to put in words why it's not very satisfying to play, and I think it's just because it's not the real thing. The sounds you hear just don't seem to jive with what your hands feel if you're used to actually getting these same type sounds from a drum.
I actually used wire brushes on a TD-20 a few weeks ago. I was able to get a constant sound, but I would describe the sound as TV white noise with the brushes sound module.

Sorry but I disagree on all counts. I have played a super quiet buzz roll on an edrum. I know its software combined with advanced triggering but the end result has been the same and I will add its very cool though I don't often find the need to do it since I mostly play hard rock. I do understand why you find difficulty putting into words why it's not very satisfying to play, because it IS SATISFYING! For those of us that appreciate the new generation eKit as a stand alone instrument and not a replacement for acoustic drums it is the "real thing". Just wanted to share....

I have an acoustic kit at home and play a TD-20 several times a month. Roll quality is not even close.

Playing the TD-20 is the opposite of satisfying for me. The only upside is I can just play and let the sound guy worry about how loud I am in the mix.
 

gr82bagn

Pioneer Member
I actually used wire brushes on a TD-20 a few weeks ago. I was able to get a constant sound, but I would describe the sound as TV white noise with the brushes sound module.




I have an acoustic kit at home and play a TD-20 several times a month. Roll quality is not even close.

Playing the TD-20 is the opposite of satisfying for me. The only upside is I can just play and let the sound guy worry about how loud I am in the mix.
Well its typical of such a subjective issue, we should agree to disagree and leave it at that...lol
 

No Way Jose

Silver Member
I'm listening to hip hop and rap and those drum sounds sound like electronic samples to me. The choice of drums may depend on what style of music you are playing.
 

Foggie Blur

Active member
About ten years ago I played my Roland TD6v with a band that had a bass, guitar, dj with two tables, trumpet, and sax. We were the House band. I used real cymbals, but the Roland kicked ass with acoustic sounds which sounded very real.

Most of the nuanced playing that Roland can’t achieve seem to me as not noticeable by the typical non musician audience member. So easy to transport. The most kick back I got was from purist drummers or purist drumming fans. I didn’t really get the impression that they had a good argument against the sound in our gig (that they articulated anyway) just a philosophy against the e drum.
I like both types of kits for listening and playing, each has their advantages imo.
Check out Neil Peart playing both types of kits in this great spinning solo on Late Night with Letterman

Foggie Blur

 

Naigewron

Platinum Member
It's much closer than an e-kit is to a drum set.

An electric guitar is just amplification of the strings vibrations... The instrument is actually generating the sound... As opposed to simply triggering an electronic "brain" to play a sound like an e-kit or keyboard.
Yup. There are MIDI guitars (or just MIDI pickups) out there, which would be the equvalent of an electronic kit, but they've never taken off. That job is simply usually better suited to keyboards and synths. Let each instrument do what it does best.

Not saying e-kits don't have their place (usually for either volume purposes or when there's a need to trigger sounds that a drum kit can't produce), but I don't see them replacing acoustic kits any time soon.

MIDI guitars are fun, and they do have some uses, but there's noone out there talking about how they might replace "real" guitars.


All that being said, there is stuff happening in the guitar world that's bridging this gap. Line6 are making some waves with their guitars that can function both as regular guitars, but also (when plugged into Line6 devices) simulate other instruments, different tunings, etc. It's not MIDI or sample-based (well, not directly), but somewhere in the middle. The only drum equivalent I can think of is the technology behind the Korg Wavedrum. It's not a trigger-based system at all; it actually uses the sound of the hit and thus it's infinitely more dynamic.

I'm not sure why this technology hasn't started to appear in e-kits yet.

 
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toddmc

Gold Member
E-drums? I’m gonna hurl.
Yeah, me too pardner- back in mah day we didn't need no new-fangled gadgets, we just done hit them calf-skins stretched over a tin bucket and I don't remember no-one complainin'!! Yee-Haww!!!
 

Peedy

Senior Member
To each their own.

In my humble opinion, they just don’t have any soul. They’re the Daleks of the drum world. . . EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE.
 

Nick74

Junior Member
Why don't many Pro Drummers use Electric Drums?

I'm sure they would if good drum-sampler-sound with variable possibilities (VSTi!) came out of the module instead of that plastic crap. Like this: Link + Link. The brand leader Roland turns a blind eye to good sounding options like VSTis and provides us with his ridiculous plastic sound. A module like MimicPro is on the right path but still not versatile enough IMO as nobody wants only one sampler's sonic footprint. Until now the only serious option is softwaredrumming.
 
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