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-   -   Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread (http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=105726)

Khayyam 04-01-2013 11:22 PM

Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Hello,

I'm a 29-year-old newbie drummer. I'm in love with the drums, believe it's obvious I have a talent for them, and intend to fulfill every ounce of my rhythmic potential despite my late start. When I'm not working, working out, eating or sleeping, it's a good bet that I'm practicing. I'm taking lessons and improving quickly.

So far, all I have in the way of equipment is a practice pad and three pairs of sticks. When I'm practicing beats that require more, I do what I'd imagine just about every drummer has done at some point and tap on whatever objects happen to be around me, assigning the role of ride cymbal to the arm of the couch, using my practice pad as the snare, etc. The coordination seems to transfer well to my teacher's acoustic set (which I only get to play on for 15 minutes or so once a week), though it naturally takes some doing to get used to the difference in volume.

It's way past time for me to get a set. I'm torn between electronic and acoustic. If I go with electronic, I'll be able to set the kit up in my duplex and play whenever I want without worrying about bothering the neighbors; however, my real goal is to be good at playing acoustic, and there seems to be a fair amount of controversy over whether the skills you pick up playing an electronic set--particularly one that is less than top-of-the-line--can be expected to fully transfer to an acoustic set. My favorite drummers are jazz drummers, and I want to learn the full range of jazz techniques. When you play with ultra-soft strokes, say with brushes, can most electronic sets even be expected to sense them? How good are electronic sets at picking up tiny variations in volume?

If I go acoustic, I'll need to rent a storage shed and set my drums up inside it. That'll limit my practice time severely, plus I'll need to spend time driving over there. There's also the fact that I'll be paying a monthly fee just for the right to practice.

I don't expect anyone to have any easy answers based on the info I've provided. Just throwing it out there to brainstorm a little. Thanks.

achdumeingute 04-02-2013 07:24 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Khayyam (Post 1125158)
Hello,

I'm a 29-year-old newbie drummer. I'm in love with the drums, believe it's obvious I have a talent for them, and intend to fulfill every ounce of my rhythmic potential despite my late start. When I'm not working, working out, eating or sleeping, it's a good bet that I'm practicing. I'm taking lessons and improving quickly.

So far, all I have in the way of equipment is a practice pad and three pairs of sticks. When I'm practicing beats that require more, I do what I'd imagine just about every drummer has done at some point and tap on whatever objects happen to be around me, assigning the role of ride cymbal to the arm of the couch, using my practice pad as the snare, etc. The coordination seems to transfer well to my teacher's acoustic set (which I only get to play on for 15 minutes or so once a week), though it naturally takes some doing to get used to the difference in volume.

It's way past time for me to get a set. I'm torn between electronic and acoustic. If I go with electronic, I'll be able to set the kit up in my duplex and play whenever I want without worrying about bothering the neighbors; however, my real goal is to be good at playing acoustic, and there seems to be a fair amount of controversy over whether the skills you pick up playing an electronic set--particularly one that is less than top-of-the-line--can be expected to fully transfer to an acoustic set. My favorite drummers are jazz drummers, and I want to learn the full range of jazz techniques. When you play with ultra-soft strokes, say with brushes, can most electronic sets even be expected to sense them? How good are electronic sets at picking up tiny variations in volume?

If I go acoustic, I'll need to rent a storage shed and set my drums up inside it. That'll limit my practice time severely, plus I'll need to spend time driving over there. There's also the fact that I'll be paying a monthly fee just for the right to practice.

I don't expect anyone to have any easy answers based on the info I've provided. Just throwing it out there to brainstorm a little. Thanks.

get acoustic and just get mesh heads. You can change them when you want to go "full acoustic". If you buy an e-kit you will probably have to get an acoustic someday anyway.

The thing the e-kits dont really give you (in my experience) is tonal changes. Anywhere you hit, its "correct". On acoustic, not the case...gotta hit the right spot to get the right sound. E-kits handle dynamics pretty well though.

Sticks&Thrones 04-02-2013 03:56 PM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Electronic drums do a good job at being louder when you hit hard, and quieter if you hit it softer. But it obviously isn't going to be as accurate as acoustic. You can hit it pretty soft and still hear a sound, but there does come a point where it will not trigger if you hit it soft enough. In my opinion, that's softer than you'd ever hit the drums while actually playing though. I'm not sure about all the models, but some of the new roland drum sets are playable with brushes, although you do have to get a certain kind of brush. As you said, the more you're willing to pay for an e set, the better features you'll get.
If I were you I'd go play on one and see if you like it or not. Playing electronic drums can give you a couble bad habits, but if you have15 minutes to play on an acoustic set every week, I think that's enough to remind you what that feels like so your skills will easily transfer over between electronic and acoustic.
You can also convert an acoustic set to electronic. I've seen people selling them on eBay every once in a while.

New Tricks 04-05-2013 12:08 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
The e drums will give you 1000% more practice time. They did for me.

The timing skills certainly skills transfer easily to A's but you will have to learn the subtleties of the acoustics on acoustics.

picodon 05-11-2013 06:34 PM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
"I intend to fulfill every ounce of my rhythmic potential despite my late start"

LOL I recognise that! I went through this, bought an e-kit (Roland TD4KX) 2 years ago and a real kit (Yamaha Stage Custom) a few weeks ago. I think if you really feel that drumming is your mission in life, you will go acoustic anyway sooner or later. It's sexier, it's louder, it's more subtle, it's more in every way. An e-kit with an amp just isn't an acoustic kit. I don't want to insult the TD20s and TD30s among us or have the pretention I even know what they are like (I do know, price-wise), but what happened was I had a lot of fun on my e-kit and thought I was drumming until a friend let me play on his 15 years old Export and I discovered your left foot actually feels what the hi hat is doing, and unlike on the e-kit pedal, opening and closing at the right time is quite a handful! It's almost like playing golf on the wii versus playing golf for real. In other respects an a-kit is easier: the snare and toms are way bigger than the vdrums. I got this red haze in front of my eyes and I just had to get an a-kit... Since I bought my real kit, the Roland is just standing there picking up dust.

If, deep in your heart, you really want an acoustic kit, you will end up buying one anyway. Now you can either buy it rightaway and rent a shed, or buy an e-kit first and an a-kit some time later (and still rent a shed). Financially it's probably similar. Note however that like any digital equipment an e-kit loses its value pretty fast as opposed to an a-kit.

Buying an e-kit first will give you much more practice time. OK. An e-kit will NOT :
- teach you how to play the hi-hat properly (my TD4 won't, at least)
- teach you how to tune!!! (took me 3 weeks to complete only a first attempt to get a decent sound!)
- (more experienced drummers can probably add several other things here)
- make no noise at all! you definitely hear the kickdrum in every other room in the house.

I used to play the ekit in a small room in the basement that was not soundproofed at all. The wife told me she could hear the kick drum in the living room late in the evening.
I have now sound proofed the room as much as possible: double walls, double ceiling, double doors, I have painstakingly insulated the double doors so much it's hard to close them because of the air between them. I think I spent about as much on the soundproofing as on the e-kit. I played the a-kit this afternoon (not late evening OK), I think I was pretty loud but my wife said she had not noticed me. Food for thought, I hope.

Reggae_Mangle 05-11-2013 10:47 PM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
E-drums are expensive. You can probably get an awesome acoustic kit for the price of a mediocre e-kit. That said, I think the primary purpose of an e-kit is to allow you to play at home with minimum fuss, especially if you live in an apartment or have picky neighbours. If you can't play the a-kit at home, it's a situation where you might as well just rent a jampad once in a while to practice on an acoustic, since you have to travel anyway. My 2 cents.

- Reggae Mangle

harryconway 05-12-2013 01:48 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
First .... what's your budget?
All the claims of e-kits having sensitivity and real feel come with a hefty price. I'd look for a cheap Roland/Yamaha second hand. If jazz is your love, you're gonna need/want the feel of an acoustic kit. But, you have to walk before you can run. A cheap e-kit will give you practice time over a much wider part of your day. Once you get the arms and legs working ..... get an acoustic snare. And if possible, a hi-hat and ride cymbal. Incorporate those into your e-kit, you'll get dynamics out of your practice (and hopefully, the neighbors will be cool). When you're ready to step into a full acoustic kit, your snare, hi-hat and ride move into it.

toddmc 05-12-2013 02:03 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by picodon (Post 1138953)
- make no noise at all! you definitely hear the kickdrum in every other room in the house.

I used to play the ekit in a small room in the basement that was not soundproofed at all. The wife told me she could hear the kick drum in the living room late in the evening.
I have now sound proofed the room as much as possible: double walls, double ceiling, double doors, I have painstakingly insulated the double doors so much it's hard to close them because of the air between them. I think I spent about as much on the soundproofing as on the e-kit. I played the a-kit this afternoon (not late evening OK), I think I was pretty loud but my wife said she had not noticed me. Food for thought, I hope.

It's a pity you'd never heard of these before embarking on your soundproofing venture
http://triggera.com/kick-pedal-trigger
My practice space is far from soundproof, fortunately with these it doesn't have to be.
To the OP- for once I'll have to side with the acoustics for your particular situation. Jazz is known for it's subtlety and nuance- two areas e-drums are sorely lacking in.
In any case, I would have thought that the volume you'll produce on an A-kit playing jazz (especially with brushes) wouldn't be that significant anyway (or maybe I'm making false assumptions here)?

picodon 05-16-2013 09:36 PM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Nice little tool! Do you have one?

Other things that an e-kit does not teach you: (at least a 1150 Euro TD4 won't)

- Cross sticking: you just switch on "cross stick" mode, set the volume, then all you have to do is hit the rim softly (hitting it harder produces a rim shot).
- Rim shots: most e-kits like my TD4 can simulate rim shots but all you have to do is hit the rim only without hitting the head, which is obviously not as per reality.

And, really, the feel of a mesh head is just not the same as a real head.

toddmc 05-17-2013 01:22 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by picodon (Post 1140794)
Nice little tool! Do you have one?

Other things that an e-kit does not teach you: (at least a 1150 Euro TD4 won't)

- Cross sticking: you just switch on "cross stick" mode, set the volume, then all you have to do is hit the rim softly (hitting it harder produces a rim shot).
- Rim shots: most e-kits like my TD4 can simulate rim shots but all you have to do is hit the rim only without hitting the head, which is obviously not as per reality.

And, really, the feel of a mesh head is just not the same as a real head.

I have two actually : )
Totally agree with you on the other points you made about the short-comings of e-drums (fortunately I don't really utilise cross-sticking or rim shots in my playing- even my Roland PD-120 is crap at executing them).
As for mesh heads- definitely not the same feel as mylar but I'll take them over rubber or silicone any day!

Bonzo_CR 05-21-2013 09:58 AM

Re: Another 'electronic vs. acoustic' thread
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by New Tricks (Post 1126138)
The e drums will give you 1000% more practice time. They did for me.

The timing skills certainly skills transfer easily to A's but you will have to learn the subtleties of the acoustics on acoustics.

He speaks the truth!

At least this is my experience too. If your goal is to develop your ability, then get an e-kit and practice at home. It is surprising how well they will help you with most aspects of drum kit practice (especially coordination, which is a really big area of learning when you start, and which you have already noticed is transferable). I practise so much more since I got mine 4 years ago. Whenever I have any free time, I just sit down and play!

That said, you will still need to learn the 'physical'/acoustic aspects of a real kit at some point (especially for jazz); but I think you will know when that is. As you play each week on your teacher's acoustic kit you will begin to notice the differences. Then at some point you will reach a level where you will realise that you're limited by the dynamic range of the e-kit. That's the time to invest in an acoustic kit.

There's my 2 cents. (Easy for me to say, I had acoustic kits for years, angry neighbours and limited practice time at home until the modern range of e-kits became available! I still play acoustic, but that my a-kit is in a rehearsal room 15 miles away).

Good luck.


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