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  #1  
Old 08-14-2011, 07:49 AM
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Default THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

What made me think of this thread is another one that is posted here about the best dampening for drums. You know to keep them quiet if you live in an apartment or something. Plenty of people were saying just go to an electronic kit for practice. Well I know I have had an experience that I will share with you later but I am wondering exactly what the post says.

What do you think the dangers are? Especially playing wise. The sound differences are obvious and of course they make some killer sounds for drums. I am talking about the playing difference. Let me know what you think and then I will throw my 2 cents in.


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  #2  
Old 08-14-2011, 08:09 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

You bring up a good point but I think it's one of those "in one ear and out the other" kind of conversations. People ask if it's a good idea and end up doing it anyway even after those of us who actually owned them and played them give their two cents. Part of me wonders why people even ask.

I was one of those people who owned the state-of-the-art (at the time) Roland TD-10 V-Drum kit, after already spending 30+ years learning how to play acoustic drums, and then jumping on the MIDI/electronic bandwagon back in the '80s (Octapads, then the Zendrum), and I don't care what anyone says, an eKit is not the same as an aKit. There's a certain technique you learn on acoustic drums that you cannot duplicate with electronic pads. And the Roland at the time was the one that could get the closest, and now looking back on it, I don't think it lived up to its expectations. The dynamic range will never match that of an acoustic drum, and the feel will definitely never match. The other point I liked to make is that after you've invested in an eKit, you could have bought a nice aKit and a small PA with mics if you're concerned about being louder in a band situation!

You can play an eKit if you want, just learn how to play and make pleasing sounds on an aKit first.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:17 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

Agree with Bo, I find it better to practice on pads than on e-kits. They also have the advantage of being cheap, they take up less space and there's no mucking around with electricals. As Bo said, decent ones cost the earth new so you might as well buy a real kit. The cheap ones are awful and will mess with your technique (I know through experience). A good Roland or Yamaha second-hand is one option but I still prefer practice pads.

Pads are not exciting but they do one thing that e-kits don't - they give you a true reward (or punishment) for your efforts. No wallpapering. Triggers can be sensitive but they are still crude when compared with the subtlety of an acoustic response.

Practice pads + imagination = a good practice tool. Of course, a regular kit is best but, as an apartment-dweller, that's not possible.
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:24 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Agree with Bo, I find it better to practice on pads than on e-kits. They also have the advantage of being cheap, they take up less space and there's no mucking around with electricals. As Bo said, decent ones cost the earth new so you might as well buy a real kit. The cheap ones are awful and will mess with your technique (I know through experience). A good Roland or Yamaha second-hand is one option but I still prefer practice pads.

Pads are not exciting but they do one thing that e-kits don't - they give you a true reward (or punishment) for your efforts. No wallpapering. Triggers can be sensitive but they are still crude when compared with the subtlety of an acoustic response.

Practice pads + imagination = a good practice tool. Of course, a regular kit is best but, as an apartment-dweller, that's not possible.
And you know, I've talked so much here about getting a cheap acoustic kit and putting mesh heads on them. They really are much quieter than an eKit with hard pads. Nobody ever listens to this drummer.... ;)
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Old 08-14-2011, 08:28 AM
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I just moved into my apartment, and I have my DW Practice kit in my room, and my drums in the living room. For the drums, I just have t-shirts and towels, and then a ball of socks over my bass drum beater. I'm yet to receive a single complaint. They feel awkward, but you can still get a tone out of the drums, and not move anything, buy anything, and most importantly, buy anything. You don't have to buy anything.

Electronic Kits have their place, and I guess apartment living is one of them, but it also depends on what you want to/are willing to do with them. I have a friend who records, so they're great in his place for doing simple loops and stuff. But we jammed one day, and they did not deliver.

It's also important to note, that unless you're spending $1,500 on electronic drums, they will fall apart on you. Some will last longer than others, but Yamaha and Roland kits in that price range are the only things worth dropping dough on.
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  #6  
Old 08-14-2011, 11:48 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I've thought about this too. I have an eKit in my house as my studio is about 5 miles away and I use this kit for practice, but short of the mechanics of my limbs moving it falls far short of an acoustic kit.

Pros:
I can work out fills and transition parts for the band.
I can practice co-ordination exercises - swing - latin etc.
I can practice at night
User friendly click track
It's compact

Cons:
The feel - sticks come of the the eKit in a completely different way to an acoustic
Dynamic range isn't there (as Bo said)
Nailing some things on an ekit need to be nailed all over again on an acoustic.
The obvious sound differences - an acoustic snare/ride/hats etc. have so many different voices that an ekit just cannot reproduce, so when practicing all the subtleties get lost.
The ekit made my doubles very lazy so when I came to playing the acoustic the doubles just didn't happen.

So I really found that the problem was relying on the ekit for too much. The ekit and I have a much better relationship these days :)
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:38 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
And you know, I've talked so much here about getting a cheap acoustic kit and putting mesh heads on them. They really are much quieter than an eKit with hard pads. Nobody ever listens to this drummer.... ;)
Ah, get over yourself Bo, lol! But dammit, you're right. Best suggestion/focus of the thread.

I'd like to add an observation. For me, it's not just the feel aspect of the pads that dictate the sticking & general playing response, it's also the sound. I recently played a Jobecky electro/acoustic kit. Although the head response is pretty much identical to an acoustic kit, I found the sounds, & especially the extraction of tone & timbre differences, steered my playing in a way I didn't like. From a practice pov, that wouldn't help in translating the newly acquired skill to an acoustic kit.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:41 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I was also one of those who brought an eKit a long time back probably around 2004. I went way overboard - I wanted the most acoustic kit feel and sound wise I could, so I spent over 3000 (around $5000 I think) on a Hart Dynamic Pro 6.4 with a DDrum4 SE brain and Roland TD-6 brain. I had these grand ideas about being able to practise all the time at all hours...

I was all excited at first of course so I set about setting it all up. It took ages to get the heavy steel rack together (why I didn't go with the aluminium is beyond me), but slowly it took shape until I had it all together and it looked pretty good.

Next came setting it up.. that was a bit of a pain, especially trying to get a decent rim click without triggering the main snare sound and vice versa.

I quickly noticed that it was still fairly noisy even with the mesh heads, but still an awful lot quieter than an aKit, so no worries there.

To cut a long story short, it didn't take me long to realise it just was not the same as an aKit. Whenever I went to reherse with the band I had to re-adjust to playing an aKit in so many ways, though it's hard to describe what the actual difference is.. basically the touch and the feel. Hitting metal cymbals is never going to be the same as hitting plastic or rubber ones.

Eventually the novelty wore off with the eKit and I wish I had spent the money on sound proofing a room instead or something. It did work well for a while when we started having band rehearsals at the house instead, but after that stopped it got packed away for years until I eventually got round to selling it. I don't miss it, only some of the good times I had here with the band coming round because I'm overly nostalgic ;-)

I'm fortunate that I've managed to partially soundproof the small box room on the side of the house that has no ajoining neighbours and not much sound leaks out onto the street. I'd advise anyone to try a similar route first before going for the eKit - it turned out to be a hell of a lot cheaper in my case.

Admittedly I think they've come on a bit since I had one, but I still stand by what I said. They are fine for what they are and can be fun, but IMHO I just don't think it can replace an aKit.
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2011, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I don't know that anyone thinks that e-kits can exactly replicate a-kits. What I do like about them though is how I can use them in conjunction with my a-kit. An a-kit is what I jam and gig with but in my living situation, an a-kit is not an option for practice. I do use a practice pad as well, but if I can't have an a-kit to practice with, my e-kit does really well for what I need it for. I need and use it to learn and solidly practice my drum parts before jamming/gigging. I'm prepared to sacrifice the difference in feel to be able to feel confident with what I'm playing.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

My experience has been that I lost feeling for an acoustic kit after playing an e-kit.
You don't have to "Pull Sounds" out of an e-kit like you do on an acoustic kit.
Dynamics are also much different on the e-kit.
It wasn't a night and day thing but I noticed it every time that I went back to my acoustic kit after extended play on an e-kit.
I eventually sold my e-kit.

I wouldn't go as far as to call playing e-drums a "danger"
It is more of a slight adjustment factor.
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Old 08-14-2011, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
My experience has been that I lost feeling for an acoustic kit after playing an e-kit.
You don't have to "Pull Sounds" out of an e-kit like you do on an acoustic kit.
Dynamics are also much different on the e-kit.
It wasn't a night and day thing but I noticed it every time that I went back to my acoustic kit after extended play on an e-kit.
I eventually sold my e-kit.

I wouldn't go as far as to call playing e-drums a "danger"
It is more of a slight adjustment factor.
Exactly. In the end I played the e-kit with sound off so I knew what I was really doing, not what the triggers thought I was doing. But the pads on it were inferior to regular practice pads and the thing took up too much space in my living room.
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Old 08-14-2011, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I use to have a TD-8 Roland set.

They were "fun" to play for a while but I would end up packing them away and sticking to my acoustic set.

Then after a while I would pull them back out and play them for a while and think "well these are fun to play".

Then I would get frustrated with the response and the feel and pack them away again.

I ended up selling them on my local CL.
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Old 08-14-2011, 05:11 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
Exactly. In the end I played the e-kit with sound off so I knew what I was really doing, not what the triggers thought I was doing.
I end up doing this too Polly, but I fool myself thinking that something sounds good on just pads but when the kit is switched on it doesn't interpret so well, if you get my meaning.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:51 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

Last Year one of the music-teachers of the school wanted me to play some songs between breaks in a play. They have an e-kit because none of them can tune drums, and they're easier to move around. It's no big expensive kit, it's a Roland for about 700$. I can see the benefits of having those when playing such musicals and so on. There's no need for mics, only large speakers and a mixer.

I thought i wanted to bring my kit this year, but that's only if they have mics... and stuff. I don't want my kit to get beat up by small kids either, so i might just leave it home. I can't bring it back and forth everyday that's for sure. I might just use their electronic kit... Even though i hated it. I even think i can get a better sound out of my own.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Joe Morris View Post
What made me think of this thread is another one that is posted here about the best dampening for drums. You know to keep them quiet if you live in an apartment or something. Plenty of people were saying just go to an electronic kit for practice. Well I know I have had an experience that I will share with you later but I am wondering exactly what the post says.

What do you think the dangers are? Especially playing wise. The sound differences are obvious and of course they make some killer sounds for drums. I am talking about the playing difference. Let me know what you think and then I will throw my 2 cents in.


Joe
The playing difference would be like comparing two different animals. Firstly, any flaws in your chops on acoustic drums will be greatly amplified on the e-kit, a weak hand on an e-kit will show up at times as mis-triggered hits and many would turn up volume or sensitivity of the pads which is the wrong thing to do. Obviously the right thing to do would be to work out the weak hand but a lot of people think well I can play this just fine on my acoustic so it must be the e-kit that needs adjusting so you'll get people hitting the pads harder and possibly causing some type of physical stress/tension or even injury over time.

The e-kit can be used for many things with positive results as long as the person in the drivers seat understands it's strengths and weaknesses and as well as understand his or her own strengths and weaknesses.

A weak hit on an acoustic drum will still produce a result, on the e-kit it may or may not so consistency between left and right hands is extremely important on the e-kit if anything it really emphasizes a drummers weak areas.

I use my e-kit for linear drumming exercises to the metronome, stick control exercises to the metronome, and learning or playing along to cover songs but practice everything on the acoustic kit as well, except for learning cover tunes.

If your sticking is very deliberate and controlled you'll eventually see less and less mis-triggered hits on the e-kit but some drummers will hit harder and tense up and that can be dangerous over time. The other danger is excessive use of headphones and cranking the volume too high on the e-kit.

So these are the dangers I can think of through use and experience.
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Old 08-14-2011, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I'm very curious about the dangers Joe speaks of. Danger to tendons perhaps?
E kits hold zero attraction for me. I don't like the way they look, sound, or feel.
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  #17  
Old 08-14-2011, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I bought a Roland a few years ago for quieter practice. the two biggest negatives I have found are a) my hands and joints hurt after playing the rubber pads for a while, and b) my playing on the ekit didn't really translate to the acoustic kit. I still needed to practice on the acoustic kit to get the right sounds from it.

Ekits are useful in their own way, but I regard them as separate percussion instruments from acoustic kits.

Last edited by IDDrummer; 08-14-2011 at 11:01 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-14-2011, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

Danger? What is dangerous about it?

Yes, they require a different touch.

But going from a hard rock band one night to a blues trio on another night also requires a different touch.

Sure, there are cons to e-kits, but many, many pros use e-kits on sessions. There are numerous gigs out there that require use of e-kits. Calling them "dangerous" is a bit over the top.
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:04 PM
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Danger? What is dangerous about it?

Yes, they require a different touch.

But going from a hard rock band one night to a blues trio on another night also requires a different touch.

Sure, there are cons to e-kits, but many, many pros use e-kits on sessions. There are numerous gigs out there that require use of e-kits. Calling them "dangerous" is a bit over the top.
I think the dangerous part Joe is mentioning is just in the drummer's beginning stages when you don't learn how to coax a drum to sound good. You're just smashing a pad in any ol' way to get the same consistent sound. I've seen beginners go from eKits to aKits and you see it in their faces that getting drums to sound good seems to be more daunting then they've been led to believe.

And come on, Andy. You know what I mean. I have no ego here ;)
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:42 PM
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.

And come on, Andy. You know what I mean. I have no ego here ;)
Hey Bo, I was pulling your leg mate! I love you (but not in a manlove sorta way). I was referring to your statement that nobody listens to this drummer.

Anyhow, I think Ekits are extremely dangerous. You buy one, then spend $thousands in eternal multiple upgrades to get it to sound and feel like a $500 Akit. Getting that under my significant other's radar is more dangerous than I dare put in print!
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:10 AM
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Hey Bo, I was pulling your leg mate! I love you (but not in a manlove sorta way). I was referring to your statement that nobody listens to this drummer.

Anyhow, I think Ekits are extremely dangerous. You buy one, then spend $thousands in eternal multiple upgrades to get it to sound and feel like a $500 Akit. Getting that under my significant other's radar is more dangerous than I dare put in print!
I hear ya' on that one. Mainly playing either acoustic or electric requires a different head-space. You either already know how to play and you're on a quest for something new and different (like Bill Bruford in the 80s) or don't know how to play and don't care about ever playing an acoustic kit. The beginners mainly get confused that because they're using sticks on both, they must be the same. They aren't. And there's too much marketing out there saying that they are.

BTW Andy, you wanna go pick out curtains sometime? ;)

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Old 08-15-2011, 01:06 AM
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I end up doing this too Polly, but I fool myself thinking that something sounds good on just pads but when the kit is switched on it doesn't interpret so well, if you get my meaning.
Yep, I do. The issue there is a pad used for the hi hat is as loud as a pad used for the snare so you don't get relativity.

The main issue here is that acoustic drums and e-drums are are roughly (but not exactly) equivalent to organs and pianos. Playing organ won't necessarily interfere with a keyboardist's piano playing but they wouldn't want to practice jazz piano pieces on organ.

I think genre plays a fair role here and I don't think it's a coincidence that Bo, Larry and I aren't into e-kits - we play lots of blues-based music requiring a light touch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bo Eder
The beginners mainly get confused that because they're using sticks on both, they must be the same. They aren't. And there's too much marketing out there saying that they are.
E-kit manufacturers are constantly treading a line - to be similar enough to acoustic kits to tap into the huge apartment practice market while still having all the fancy electronic gizmo stuff to allow for exploration with sound modules, midi etc. There's no e-kit I know of that's the drum equivalent of an electric grand piano - they're more like Casio keyboards with a few acoustic piano patches but with less attention paid to key response and subtlety of triggering.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:27 AM
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I think genre plays a fair role here and I don't think it's a coincidence that Bo, Larry and I aren't into e-kits - we play lots of blues-based music requiring a light touch.
I think you hit the nail on the head there. I can imagine jazz/blues wouldn't be as easy to replicate on an e-kit due to the feel issue. Where as I mainly play hard rock sort of stuff so it's less off a drama pulling those delicate sounds out of an a-kit after I've been practicing on my e-kit.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I'm at a stage in my drumming evolution where e-kits have almost nothing to offer me. Yes, I live in an apartment, so the idea of playing drums only I can hear sounds tempting. But the reality is that most of the things I'm working on now are about pulling the right sound out of my real, acoustic kit. These things can't be practiced on an e-kit. Things like adjusting to the feel of playing heel-up on a bass drum with an un-ported reso, or getting my backbeat rimshots on 2 and 4 down to where they're on auto-pilot. I need to practice these things on my real drums so I can play them on my real drums.

I can keep my hands in shape on a practice pad, and as fun as an e-kit might be, it wouldn't solve my biggest practice challenges anyway. I also have zero affection for the electronic drums. They just don't resonate with me (ha). I do find the technology cool and it would be neat to put on headphones and jam any time I want, but they're awfully expensive for "neat."
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:45 AM
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Glad I bumped into this thread....

Was THIS CLOSE to putting down coin for an e kit for space and noise reasons. Just sold my export/hardware/cymbals ect and a bunch of other gear because the place I'm moving into won't allow it. I'm not thrilled about the sound either but the scenario I'm in dictates that I can't have an acoustic kit right now but I do need something to play on...

Now I'll have to reconsider...
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:14 AM
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Glad I bumped into this thread....

Was THIS CLOSE to putting down coin for an e kit for space and noise reasons. Just sold my export/hardware/cymbals ect and a bunch of other gear because the place I'm moving into won't allow it. I'm not thrilled about the sound either but the scenario I'm in dictates that I can't have an acoustic kit right now but I do need something to play on...

Now I'll have to reconsider...
How about one of those Pearl Rhythm Travelers? It doesn't take up that much space, but they are drums with mesh heads for you to practice on.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MattA View Post
I think you hit the nail on the head there. I can imagine jazz/blues wouldn't be as easy to replicate on an e-kit due to the feel issue. Where as I mainly play hard rock sort of stuff so it's less off a drama pulling those delicate sounds out of an a-kit after I've been practicing on my e-kit.
Although, I must admit, I was doing alot of jazz on an octapad triggering a Roland R5's brush sounds. I'd assign the swish sound to one pad, and the brush hit sound to another pad. When you play eighth notes on the swish pad, and the jazz ride beat on the brush hit pad, I fooled many a club-goer. It got even crazier when I did the same thing to a Zendrum ;)

But yes, by and large, if you do alot of music where your technique is pulling the sound out of the drum, eKits do not help you.
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Old 08-15-2011, 03:29 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

When I first started playing the e-kit I thought that I didn't need to pull the sound out of the cymbals and drums.
Everything sounds OK until you come to a place where you can hear that what you just played isn't what you wanted to play.
It really became noticeable while playing Jazz rides. The hi-hat was also disappointing.

Joe said that the weak hand shows up on an e-kit. I never had that problem so I never noticed it.
I spent many years on a standard drum pad fixing my weak hand.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:26 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
My experience has been that I lost feeling for an acoustic kit after playing an e-kit.
You don't have to "Pull Sounds" out of an e-kit like you do on an acoustic kit.
Dynamics are also much different on the e-kit.
It wasn't a night and day thing but I noticed it every time that I went back to my acoustic kit after extended play on an e-kit.
I eventually sold my e-kit.

I wouldn't go as far as to call playing e-drums a "danger"
It is more of a slight adjustment factor.
Agree with this 100% My acoustic kit is great when I have no choice, but it really isn't the same.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:37 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

no, this just gets on my goat a bit too much ;-)

eKits with less dynamic range? how many dBA dynamic range can you coax from an a-kit? A real answer now - from what SPL (dBa) to what SPL?

and then compare to the e-Kit specs - 127 increments of level and only subject to the limitation of the P.A. - not a limitation in the e-Kit. So from, say a usable 30dBA to an ear splitting 157dBA...... sounds pretty dynamic to me.

Comparing them to a Casio kb? We have progressed a looooonnnng way further than that.

Don't like the look of them? How does this one look:



The dark ages are past - e-Kits and a-Kits blend very well together - you can have and enjoy both :-)
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:36 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Hercules View Post
no, this just gets on my goat a bit too much ;-)

eKits with less dynamic range? how many dBA dynamic range can you coax from an a-kit? A real answer now - from what SPL (dBa) to what SPL?

and then compare to the e-Kit specs - 127 increments of level and only subject to the limitation of the P.A. - not a limitation in the e-Kit. So from, say a usable 30dBA to an ear splitting 157dBA...... sounds pretty dynamic to me.

Comparing them to a Casio kb? We have progressed a looooonnnng way further than that.

Don't like the look of them? How does this one look:



The dark ages are past - e-Kits and a-Kits blend very well together - you can have and enjoy both :-)
OK. I'll bite ;)

I think the question here is whether or not one can substitute one for the other. And you can't. That doesn't mean you can't blend the two together. In fact, being able to blend the two means you've spent a considerable amount of time learning how to play and learning the limitations of each - which I don't think we're talking about.

If you were a beginning student, would you have preferred an eKit as opposed to an aKit? Ever try to play a nice quiet buzz roll on a Roland V-Drum? The pad feels like it is, but the module can't duplicate it. And it's probably not the fact you can go from 30dB to 157dB, it's the fact that the sound you're pulling out of the eKit doesn't change. Have you played your snare drum from a whisper to a roar? You know the drum all by itself goes there. Do that with any electronic instrument and you're forced to learn how to use a volume pedal. My contention is that people learning how to play must be on an instrument that forces them to learn how to do that - or else they're not learning how to play.

Every ad I've ever seen for eKits espouses how they're so realistic and they make great kits for those living in apartments (after you read through the lines). The biggest market for these things are for those people who'd like to play, but don't want to disturb anybody. Pros who already know how to play are the ones blending them together. We're talking about the rest of the population, aren't we?
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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My contention is that people learning how to play must be on an instrument that forces them to learn how to do that - or else they're not learning how to play.
Isn't using a practice pad the same argument?
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:48 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Hercules View Post
no, this just gets on my goat a bit too much ;-)

Comparing them to a Casio kb? We have progressed a looooonnnng way further than that.
Herc, we might both be big fans of Pierre Moerlen but I disagree with you here :)

I stand by the Casio comment - bearing in mind that Casios have also improved a great deal over the years. Electric grand pianos are obviously still not as good as a Steinway grand but they are designed to be the best replacement possible for acoustic keyboards - there is a singular focus - to be as close to the real thing as possible, and that includes key weightings. I don't see that same focus with e-drums.

Let's take the very best (and most expensive) e-kit - the TD20. It's a terrific electronic instrument, capable of all manner of sounds. However, I don't think the kit sound has anywhere near the tonal possibilities of an acoustic kit.

In loud rock, disco, hip hop, some types of funk etc the difference doesn't matter so much ... in the same way as the piano patch on many multi-voice keyboards is a good enough sound for many gigs. However, you won't see many jazz and blues keyboardists using them and I'm yet to see a blues band or a serious jazz group with a drummer who uses an e-kit.

It would be as silly for me to dismiss e-kits as it would be for a pianist to question the validity of organs as an instrument (Keith Jarrett ahem :) but we can't lose sight of their limitations as a replacement for acoustic drums either - and that's especially the case with ride cymbals.

Certainly I found that using an e-kit made me hit harder. Then I'd turn up to band practice and be forced to pull my volume waaay back, which doesn't feel good when you've been thumping on an e-kit in the preceding days. Since I've gone back to pads my practice sessions have been less exciting but more helpful. And, as I said earlier, IMO mesh heads make it too easy to control your strokes, which then requires adjustment when shifting to an acoustic kit.

There are two sides to the e-kit situation - on one hand they can expand range of sounds available hugely, which is great for some styles of music. On the other hand, many sales are for apartment-dwellers who want to play quietly. It's that second function where I'm not seeing the progress I'd like - something that really focuses entirely on replicating the feel of an acoustic kit as closely as possible. Seems to me that many e-drums are treading the middle ground and the most useful specialisation seems to be on the e-side - Wave Drum, ZenDrum etc.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

It just seems on most modern records, they take real drum and compress them and EQ them until they sound like an e-kit, and in the mean time, e-kit software sounds more and more like an acoustic drum with every generation. On record, the difference between the two is so small, it's barely noticeable.

On one hand, I'm over e-drums. I sold my v-drum module, and I am just done with e-drums.

But I don't get the hate.

Dangerous? useless?

Greg Bisonette doesn't seem to think so. Neil Peart still uses them. Tommy Lee is using an all e-kit (although I'm not sure why) on the latest Motely Crue tour. Tomas Lang is a fan.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

There has been a lot of theorizing going on and opinions expressed - I'd like to hear from Joe again and see what he had in mind when he started this thread.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:24 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
It just seems on most modern records, they take real drum and compress them and EQ them until they sound like an e-kit, and in the mean time, e-kit software sounds more and more like an acoustic drum with every generation.
Hehe ... yep, it's true, but it's not as ironic as it would seem. Fact is, the highly compressed drums is in music not really designed for old fogeys like me. The sound modules are amazing - the snare, kick and toms on some of these kits are far more refined and professional than what I get from my acoustic kit ... but acoustic ride cymbals can complex beasts (which is why we love them) and I've never been much keen the the e-versions.

Yeah ID, I know my theorising bores many of you guys to death, but it's my hobby ... sorry, I was born boring lol
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Isn't using a practice pad the same argument?
But we're not talking about replacing a set of drums with a practice pad, right? People who are being sold eKits have bought into the fact that they can replace an actual set of drums.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
It just seems on most modern records, they take real drum and compress them and EQ them until they sound like an e-kit, and in the mean time, e-kit software sounds more and more like an acoustic drum with every generation. On record, the difference between the two is so small, it's barely noticeable.

On one hand, I'm over e-drums. I sold my v-drum module, and I am just done with e-drums.

But I don't get the hate.

Dangerous? useless?

Greg Bisonette doesn't seem to think so. Neil Peart still uses them. Tommy Lee is using an all e-kit (although I'm not sure why) on the latest Motely Crue tour. Tomas Lang is a fan.
Since it looks like Pol and I have been responding to this one a bit much (maybe too much) perhaps you're getting the hate vibe from my questioning of the eKit usage? I'm not hating it, I'm saying it is what it is, but it's being sold as something else. As I said in an earlier posting, you are giving examples of pros who are blending them into their work, which is basically based on aKit mastery. I'm saying the eKit is being marketed to folks who are looking to replace acoustic drums so they can practice without bothering anybody - I'm also saying you can't do that. You must learn how to make that acoustic drum sound good, which you don't have to learn on an electronic drum. Have you ever seen the pros you've mentioned play just an eKit on a gig? Neil doesn't count because he has his huge acoustic set right behind him. He wouldn't use his V-Drums for an entire Rush concert, right?
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:36 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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I think genre plays a fair role here and I don't think it's a coincidence that Bo, Larry and I aren't into e-kits -.
Phew! Thank goodness I missed that cut :):)

Underneath all this nod & wink levity, I actually find myself intrigued with the hybrid Akit/Ekit possibilities, but not in a NP sort of way. Not a great example of a strong marraige though, the divorce rate's really high.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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But we're not talking about replacing a set of drums with a practice pad, right? People who are being sold eKits have bought into the fact that they can replace an actual set of drums.
To be honest, I can't keep up anymore mate. I thought we were talking about using e-kits for quiet practice or apartment living etc etc where the volume of an acoustic kit is just not appropriate. In which case, it pretty much serves the same purpose as a drum pad.....only with the added benefit of a sound that at least in some way resembles a drum.

I spend most of my practice time on pads due to my need to keep the noise down. Honestly, if it comes down to the "thud" of gum rubber or a snare-like, tom-like, cymbal-like sound, I know what I'd rather hear.....ride cymbal nuances or not.

Nothing will replace my kit....ever, but in order to STFU and keep wives, children, neighbours in check, I'm all for an e-kit and can't see why it's supposedly easy to transfer from a gum rubber pad to a drum head, but not from an e-kit.
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