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  #41  
Old 08-15-2011, 08:40 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
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.
Omar Hakim actually does magic when he blends the two together. It's amazing. But he's an amazing acoustic player to begin with.
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:43 AM
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  #42  
Old 08-15-2011, 08:44 AM
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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.
That's cool. I get that. But I'm just sayin' it - you've already dedicated a good portion of your life learning how to play the acoustic drumset. There's probably an entire generation of kids out there now that have never played an acoustic drum, yet can lay down beats via RockBand or a budget eKit and calling themselves drummers. That's the issue I'm stating ;)
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Old 08-15-2011, 08:48 AM
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WHOW!! I LOVE THIS SITE!!!! I'm so glad that you guys and girls have taken it on your own here and made some really good points. I always learn some new info when doing threads like this. Obviously I don't know everything I just know what I have experienced.


Ok, I don't own an ekit. I do use a Zendrum which is very cool for some applications and a long time ago I used a Roland spd 20 to trigger some stuff on tour. I will admit that the first time I saw Akiro Jimbo I was totally floored. To me that was the best mixing of ekit and a kit I have ever seen. So yea, I do agree you can combine the two. However, I have played a number of electronic drum sets. I never thought much of it until this one incident that taught me a lesson about the two different kits. Please take what you can out of the story and draw your own judgments.

A few years back I was on a Fender Clinic Tour with guitarist Greg Koch and bassist Ray Riendeau. We were promoting Fender stuff of course and our new release on Steve Vai's record label Favored Nations. We played some really nice venues but mostly we were doing music stores. I realized after the first clinic that getting my warm up time in before the show was going to be a totally different beast than being on a regular tour. On tour I can usually warm up in my hotel room on a pillow or after sound check I can hang out and play for a while before they open the doors. This gig was 99% roll up in a new town and go to the gig before we even checked into the hotel. We would usually check into the hotel after the clinic was over. At all the clinics I would find myself searching for a place I could go with my pad and get some "alone" warm up time. It was almost impossible and I was getting frustrated. Try finding a place to warm up where its quiet and you can be alone at Guitar Center!!!!

On one clinic in Colorado I had about an hour before the show. So I went into their drum room and sat down at an ekit. I thought it was my best option. I could put the head phones on and drown out all the kids screwing around on the a kits and warm up. I was having so much fun. I was shredding on that kit. The bounce from the heads was so much greater than my acoustic kit. I was tearing that kit apart just blazzing all over it and I thought man I am going to have a great night tonight.

Man was I wrong. So it's show time and I count off the first tune. Let me tell you I almost crapped in my pants by the 4th measure. My drums felt like mud, my hands hurt, my sticks felt like that were heavy, heavy like they had weights on them. I could feel myself trying to pull the sound out of the drums. Basically it sucked big time. I have never in my life felt like I was working so hard just to play a groove. I had to work so hard for everything that night. I was exhausted when that clinic was over and to be totally honest I didn't play well at all. Thats why i called this thread the dangers of going back and forth. That night it was dangerous to my reputation. From what I have read here this probably isn't new news to most of you. I'm not saying one is better than the other, I am just sharing an experience with you that maybe you can learn from. For sure, I am an acoustic kit player. If the need arises of course I would play an ekit, but I tell you what I will never , ever, ever, ever, warm up on an ekit again then go play a show on an a kit. That's DANGEROUS!!!

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Old 08-15-2011, 08:53 AM
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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?
Ha - a bite already - the bait must be tasty ;-) But no no - I wasn't talking about substituting one for the other - though I have no issues playing e-s in virtually any form of music (within my abilities that is).

I learned in my early years on an a-kit, good habits and bad, but back then the only e-s were those very limited syndrums - I don't really know which option I would have chosen if something as good as a TD-20x kit had been available back then.....

A nice quiet (or loud) buzz roll? Yes indeed, I can play buzz rolls equally well on my TD-20 e-kit or my a- kit - the sensitivity on the TD-20x is quite sufficient to achieve that and the mesh skin and trigger also does the job. Positional sensing also gets it a step closer to an acoustic snare. Does it have the variety of sounds that an acoustic snare has? No - it needs more zones to achieve that great diversity. But I definitely don't need a volume pedal to achieve dynamic range - that is one thing that the e-kit does very easily at a dBA level - the algorithm also provides some variation in snare sound between pppp and ffff - but not the variety of inflection that a good a-snare can.

Regarding learning - would you say that a guitarist needs to learn on an acoustic guitar? Or a keyboard player on a fully weighted piano?

I wasn't limiting the topic to pros vs the "rest of the pop'n", just addressing a few stated items that were not really accurate (dynamic range / the casio effect / appearance).

The e-market may well appeal to those who don't want to disturb anyone - and without an e-kit I certainly couldn't practice at 6am (before work) or 6pm (after work) with a clear conscience. But I play both options and they are both excellent - we live in a great time for drummers. The danger in not having an e-kit is that drummers may have to just tappity tap on a practice pad rather than something that is wonderful to play.



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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.
Where to start? I have a TD-20 module + triggers on the Gretsch kit in the picture and, believe me, it is fantastic! When you spend time getting to know the intricacies of the module the configurability is incredible. Does it sound exactly like the acoustic Gretsch? No. Does it sound like 100 different acoustic kits? Yes - and that's something that no acoustic kit can do. I doubt very much that anyone other than a seasoned drummer could tell my kit was a triggered kit rather than an a-kit. With triggerd samples via BFD / Superior I doubt very much that even a seasoned drummer could pick the difference - especially on a CD. You can't quite see it from my picture but that Gretsch kit has mylar bottom skins so each drum produces a (soft) acoustic resonance - I can play it and hear the real notes and timbre of each drum and it can be mic'd also to amplify that acoustic sound - the best of both worlds? We have to be careful differentiating between the artistic feel of playing a fine acoustic instrument and the sound produced by an instrument as obtaining both is getting closer.

I don't hit harder on an e-kit compared to an a-kit, but because I have a volume control I CAN hit harder on an e-kit if I want too.

Cymbals are another matter - the beautiful variety of tonality across the face of an acoustic cymbal is something that e-kits cannot reproduce yet - perhaps in some years they will but they can't yet.
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  #45  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:13 AM
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That's cool, Herc. I get your point. I had the TD-10 and I couldn't do anything subtle on 'em. It's nice to see how far they've come between the TD-10 to the TD-20. However, I doubt any beginner would drop $6K on that particular eKit if they didn't already know how to play, yes?

Anyway, Joe's story made total sense to me. In fact, it happened to me long ago. I did the same thing warming up on an eKit before going to my regular kit for the actual gig. Suffice to say, now I know why Neil Peart has a small drumset in his room prior to the show!
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  #46  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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I wasn't limiting the topic to pros vs the "rest of the pop'n", just addressing a few stated items that were not really accurate (dynamic range / the casio effect / appearance)

... Where to start? I have a TD-20 module + triggers on the Gretsch kit in the picture and, believe me, it is fantastic! When you spend time getting to know the intricacies of the module the configurability is incredible. Does it sound exactly like the acoustic Gretsch? No. Does it sound like 100 different acoustic kits? Yes - and that's something that no acoustic kit can do. I doubt very much that anyone other than a seasoned drummer could tell my kit was a triggered kit rather than an a-kit. With triggerd samples via BFD / Superior I doubt very much that even a seasoned drummer could pick the difference - especially on a CD. You can't quite see it from my picture but that Gretsch kit has mylar bottom skins so each drum produces a (soft) acoustic resonance - I can play it and hear the real notes and timbre of each drum and it can be mic'd also to amplify that acoustic sound - the best of both worlds? We have to be careful differentiating between the artistic feel of playing a fine acoustic instrument and the sound produced by an instrument as obtaining both is getting closer.

I don't hit harder on an e-kit compared to an a-kit, but because I have a volume control I CAN hit harder on an e-kit if I want too.

Cymbals are another matter - the beautiful variety of tonality across the face of an acoustic cymbal is something that e-kits cannot reproduce yet - perhaps in some years they will but they can't yet.
I don't doubt anything you said (but I stand by my Casio comment).

My main issue is not with quality of sound as much as feel, as per Joe's post. It's a different way of playing, just as playing an organ is different to playing a piano, or playing an acoustic guitar is different to playing an electric.

I'm sure it's not so difficult for strong players to master the feel of both an acoustic and an e-kit. However, the feel difference - and the different feedback given by the drum in pulling the sounds - means that the instruments require different approaches.

Pulling the best sound from drums is critical in blues and jazz and e-kits don't help there at all because you can give the pad a nondescript tap and out comes this perfect studio sample.

I think we can at least agree that the e-kit is a tool like any other. As with any tool, there are effective and ineffective applications. No sense using a screwdriver to hammer in a nail, eh?
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  #47  
Old 08-15-2011, 09:44 AM
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I will never , ever, ever, ever, warm up on an ekit again then go play a show on an a kit. That's DANGEROUS!!!

Joe
Great story Joe, & yes, not a huge surprise. That said, I'm sure that a player who was used to working both media would have less trouble than you or I. I played a kit with a very tightly tuned piccolo snare for many years, & like most players, have no difficulty in moving from that to a floor tom. You're used to the difference, you expect it, you respect it & get it on without a thought. I know the Ekit/Akit transition is a bigger deal, but it's not too dissimilar.

As a side note to the tight snare - floor tom observation, I notice you say you practice on a pillow sometimes. I did that too, & I suspect your sticking from the wrist ability is enhanced accordingly. That skill makes surface transition that little bit easier.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:54 AM
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Yes - e-s and a-s are different to play - no argument there. It is easier to achieve that perfect sound and consistency on an e-kit and when going back to an a-kit the sheer presence (level) can scare the willies out of you. Whacking the e-kit harder often doesn't seem to bring out the dBAs because one was probably already whacking them but with the level turned down and it leaves you nowhere to go.

Guitarist and keyboard players have the benefit of familiarity with electric / electronic instruments over the last 50 years - to drummers it's a relatively new thing to be swapping and changing.

And 6K in the U.S. - they're about 10K here in Oz - that's a lot of moola if you're not going to use the thing for more than practice....
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:13 AM
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Great story Joe, & yes, not a huge surprise. That said, I'm sure that a player who was used to working both media would have less trouble than you or I. I played a kit with a very tightly tuned piccolo snare for many years, & like most players, have no difficulty in moving from that to a floor tom. You're used to the difference, you expect it, you respect it & get it on without a thought. I know the Ekit/Akit transition is a bigger deal, but it's not too dissimilar.

As a side note to the tight snare - floor tom observation, I notice you say you practice on a pillow sometimes. I did that too, & I suspect your sticking from the wrist ability is enhanced accordingly. That skill makes surface transition that little bit easier.
Buddy Rich used to emphasize working out on a pillow. Thats were that came from and yes my sticking is certainly enhanced. Also, I used to use led training sticks from my teacher Angelo Stella. Those sticks on a pad with the stick control book will get your blood moving.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:39 AM
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Also, I used to use led training sticks from my teacher Angelo Stella. Those sticks on a pad with the stick control book will get your blood moving.
Are you referring to the weighted type metal sticks? I've always wondered if I should bother buying those for the practice pad. How have you found they have helped you apart from getting the blood moving? Or are they just good for warming up?
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:50 AM
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Are you referring to the weighted type metal sticks? I've always wondered if I should bother buying those for the practice pad. How have you found they have helped you apart from getting the blood moving? Or are they just good for warming up?
I do believe mine are led. Of course I have had them since the 60's. They turn your fingers black after using them. Anyway, they make different weights of training sticks. I used them for a long time. In my opinion they make you faster, they work your muscles more, and then wood sticks feel much lighter. They give you good stamina. It's basically like working out. But be warned there is some pain involved in the process and serious blisters.

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Old 08-15-2011, 11:05 AM
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Yes - e-s and a-s are different to play - no argument there. It is easier to achieve that perfect sound and consistency on an e-kit and when going back to an a-kit the sheer presence (level) can scare the willies out of you. Whacking the e-kit harder often doesn't seem to bring out the dBAs because one was probably already whacking them but with the level turned down and it leaves you nowhere to go.

Guitarist and keyboard players have the benefit of familiarity with electric / electronic instruments over the last 50 years - to drummers it's a relatively new thing to be swapping and changing.

And 6K in the U.S. - they're about 10K here in Oz - that's a lot of moola if you're not going to use the thing for more than practice....
Agree with all of this, Herc.

Joe, a bit concerned about lead sticks!
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Old 08-15-2011, 11:14 AM
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I do believe mine are led. Of course I have had them since the 60's. They turn your fingers black after using them. Anyway, they make different weights of training sticks. I used them for a long time. In my opinion they make you faster, they work your muscles more, and then wood sticks feel much lighter. They give you good stamina. It's basically like working out. But be warned there is some pain involved in the process and serious blisters.

Joe
Thanks for the advice, might see if I can give them a go. Also a little concerned about the lead sticks though!
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:05 PM
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Regarding learning - would you say that a guitarist needs to learn on an acoustic guitar? Or a keyboard player on a fully weighted piano?
Guitar: Apples and oranges, because e-guitars still have real strings that make real sound;
and you mostly don't play e- and a-guitars the same. In my eyes the two of them have more
differences as instruments and in usage as e-drums and a-drums.

Piano: YES!!!!! Every pianist and piano teacher I've met agrees there.
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Old 08-15-2011, 12:10 PM
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I'm sure they have refined them over the years. I don't use mine anymore. I'm to old for that now!! lol I'm sure they make a nice safe training stick now.
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Old 08-15-2011, 02:21 PM
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Agree with all of this, Herc.

Joe, a bit concerned about lead sticks!
Yes don't suck on them. Not that I suck my wooden sticks or anything.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:09 PM
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I honestly do not understand the use of ekits whatsoever. If you're trying to duplicate sounds, or trigger certain effects a nice roland pad does the job.

For apartment people, an acoustic w/ mesh heads or practice pads are much more valuable than an ekit.
I tried using that really expensive yamaha model, and did not see the fun or benefit at all. The heads felt fake, it looks terrible, and it sounded bad too.

I felt like the drum set was controlling me, whereas with an acoustic I'm controlling the drum set.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:46 PM
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The heads felt fake, it looks terrible, and it sounded bad too.
The heads are indeed fake, most e-kits do not use traditional mylar heads. I feel that practicing on a practice pad is no different in feel over the e-kit practice but with the e-kit you have voices across all the pads.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:56 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I've found the biggest 'danger' in using ekits to be when you take one to band practice, and the sound man decides they will make his life much easier and says,"so any chance you'll be bringing these to gigs from now on?"
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I've found that eKits are harder to set up to a setting I like. It just feels wrong. I don't mind the size and my technique is okay on them, it's more that they don't adjust how I'd like and they aren't easily expandable.

I think as a comparisson between the two, it's like driving manual (I believe American's call it stick?) and driving automatic. Although in theory both the same, if you don't know how to use a clutch, you're gonna fail.
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Old 08-15-2011, 06:52 PM
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The heads are indeed fake, most e-kits do not use traditional mylar heads. I feel that practicing on a practice pad is no different in feel over the e-kit practice but with the e-kit you have voices across all the pads.
Yes I'm aware that they're not mylar. However companies advertise them as "feeling like real heads" which they obviously do not.
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Old 08-15-2011, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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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?
Well, I think Neil does count if you take the literal interpretation of the title of this thread:
THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

It implies Neil is taking his life into his own hands every time he turns around!

And as I said, on the newest Crue Tour, Tommy Lee's drums are 100% e-kit, but with real cymbals. But he's using those Pearl drums, so he still has shells.

I've seen Greg Bisonette do entire drum clinic on a Roland kit. I don't think he died afterwards.

Last time I was in Vegas (8 years ago), many of the casino bands were using Roland kits.

And then look in Modern Drummer at all the guys who are backing modern pop bands on tour, and they are all using e-kits mixed in with acoustics. The people who get those gigs couldn't make a living if they didn't embrace electronics (even if it's not my thing).

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Originally Posted by Pollyanna View Post
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
Once get out of the built in module sounds and into the software side, the sound quality goes way up. I have BFD2, and it sounds 100x better than my TD10 did. And there many much, much more expensive packages that have even higher quality sounds.

And face it:
On record, you have recording of a an acoustic drum that is compressed EQ-ed, and other effects.

What is a sample?
It's a recording of an acoustic drum that is compressed, EQ-ed with other effects.

By the time the sound hits your ears, there is no difference.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
Well, I think Neil does count if you take the literal interpretation of the title of this thread:
THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

It implies Neil is taking his life into his own hands every time he turns around!

And as I said, on the newest Crue Tour, Tommy Lee's drums are 100% e-kit, but with real cymbals. But he's using those Pearl drums, so he still has shells.

I've seen Greg Bisonette do entire drum clinic on a Roland kit. I don't think he died afterwards.

Last time I was in Vegas (8 years ago), many of the casino bands were using Roland kits.

And then look in Modern Drummer at all the guys who are backing modern pop bands on tour, and they are all using e-kits mixed in with acoustics. The people who get those gigs couldn't make a living if they didn't embrace electronics (even if it's not my thing).
Danger does not mean death...

In this case it means how playing on electronic drum sets can throw off your technique on an acoustic set.
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Old 08-15-2011, 09:59 PM
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Originally Posted by daredrummer View Post
Danger does not mean death...

In this case it means how playing on electronic drum sets can throw off your technique on an acoustic set.
I know, I'm exaggerating, but IMHO, so the title of this thread.

But to your point, all the pros I mentioned don't seem to suffer with the problem of going back and forth.

There is a difference, but to call that difference dangerous is just silly.
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Old 08-15-2011, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I'll try and answer the question rather than bash e-kits which is common practice in this forum.

Dynamics
One of my tutors noticed that I never really hit the acoustic kit like the rest of his pupils. So because the dynamics aren't as effective as an acoustic kit you get used to playing at a fairly low level of intensity. This could result in a lack of skill in creating dynamics.

Feel
As soon as I get on an akit I wince at the volume and want to play brushes to keep the volume down! There's no doubt every drum head feels and rebounds differently so it's important to get a feel for these elements especially when playing fast singles/doubles or rolls.

Cymbals
The biggest "danger" IMHO is loss of subtlety with the cymbals especially the ride and hihat. There are so many ways to coax sound out of a hihat that the ekit will possibly lead you into bad ways in forgetting all these subtleties.


I've been playing drums for 7 years and 95% of my playing has been on ekits. I've owned a Roland kit all that time, currently a TD12, and have this week bought my very first acoustic kit.

That's the way it goes sometimes and when you don't have an option it's really sad to see people bashing ekits. Perhaps a little more consideration would go a long way.

Davo
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:25 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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I honestly do not understand the use of ekits whatsoever. If you're trying to duplicate sounds, or trigger certain effects a nice roland pad does the job.

For apartment people, an acoustic w/ mesh heads or practice pads are much more valuable than an ekit.
I tried using that really expensive yamaha model, and did not see the fun or benefit at all. The heads felt fake, it looks terrible, and it sounded bad too.

I felt like the drum set was controlling me, whereas with an acoustic I'm controlling the drum set.
Have a look at the photo I posted further down this thread - that's an acoustic kit with mesh top skins and triggers - does it look terrible? It is far more "valuable" than any practice pad kit or an untriggered mesh skin kit. It also has bottom skins so it resonates and produces acoustic sound (softly). To take control of the electronic kit is just learning to use another tool of the trade - and when properly configured they do sound very, very good. ;-)

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Originally Posted by PeteN View Post
The heads are indeed fake, most e-kits do not use traditional mylar heads. I feel that practicing on a practice pad is no different in feel over the e-kit practice but with the e-kit you have voices across all the pads.
Mylar skins are also fake - they're plastic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuka View Post
I've found that eKits are harder to set up to a setting I like. It just feels wrong. I don't mind the size and my technique is okay on them, it's more that they don't adjust how I'd like and they aren't easily expandable.

I think as a comparisson between the two, it's like driving manual (I believe American's call it stick?) and driving automatic. Although in theory both the same, if you don't know how to use a clutch, you're gonna fail.
Setting up an eKit takes some practice - but once you have it set up it stays setup - you don't have to retune it like an aKit. Not expandable? There are many monster eKits around - mine is only slightly monstrous with 6 toms, 2 bass drums. 2 Hihats, 7 cymbals and an Octapad for percussion sounds - that's with just 1 module. Manuals and automatics? eKits may be more like flying a plane.... ;-)


O and more - keyboard doesn't mean just piano - I think a lot of organ players may take offense at that notion. And yes, I will compare it to the acoustic vs electric guitar - there's no way that an electric guitar provides the subtle and beautiful sounds of a fine classical acoustic unless you use it to trigger samples........ and there's no way an acoustic (nylon or gut string) will do the incredible sounds that a good electric git will do. Both have their place :-)
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Old 08-16-2011, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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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.
^Agreed, I'm not a loud player but my teacher keeps telling me I'm being loud when I play on his E-kit. I have one as well, But with crabby twats next door, what can you do?
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:08 AM
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I have both and I'm sad to say that I think the perception of many people is that E-kits now are the same as E-kits were ten years ago.

No - they're not a straight replacement for 'real' drums and they do lack a lot of the subtlety; especially with the cymbals. That's not to say that they're not very useful though and like any tool they're only as good or bad as the user makes them.

Others have commented on how beginners that cut their teeth on E-kits lack a certain touch when they play acoustic drums and I generally agree. I speak from some experience here as a player that has an E-kit (I haven't played it in a while, mind) and played it exclusively for a long time in some of my formative years. When I went back to regularly playing an acoustic kit I did certainly lack a particular dimension to my playing. That can only ever be rectified by playing a normal kit for an extended period. This is particularly relevant with regard to snare drums - those are some of the most subtle of all instruments and it's practically impossible to replicate a snare with a triggering system - which is all an E-kit is. The same is also true of cymbals.

With that said, it can be genuinely very difficult to tell them apart on recordings now. If a player has access to some really good sampling software and knows what they're doing, packages like BFD2 do a truly fantastic job of replicating the sound of an acoustic set of drums. For the majority of mix situations I would go as far to say that 90% of those on this board would struggle to tell the difference if it had been produced to a high quality. Really this is where electronic drums come into their own - not for practicing - but for recording in a home studio. Without an enormous array of gear it's impossible to replicate the flexibility and sound palette available on a software package like BFD2 or newer systems. It's even harder to find the necessary acoustic space, microphones and expertise to produce an acoustically recorded project of comparable quality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bG7PH...eature=related

You can't deny that in a mix scenario, you'd struggle to tell that apart from a 'real' kit. Especially after the heavy processing often applied to commercial tracks. Remember also that the technology is only improving and this was two years ago.

With that said, given the option I'd choose to play and record acoustic drums unless the situation dictated that I couldn't. There's a visceral quality to playing acoustic drums that just isn't replicated as well by electronic drums. Practicality often wins in the end, though.
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Old 08-16-2011, 06:44 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

I would have to say that my E-kit has been a tremendous practice tool for me and my own practice regimen. Many years ago I purchased a DDrum4 SE kit when I had a job that required me to be on call at the hospital 24 hours a day and I had to move into an apartment across the street. Although it didn't come loaded with all the crazy sound packages available on an ekit today, it had some pretty good drum kit sounds loaded in it... Like others have said, I also felt a distinct difference when going from an e-kit to my a-kit, and when i moved back into a house, the acoustic was set up and the e-kit remained in a trunk from that day forward.

A couple of months ago, I was doing my normal practicing on the pad in front of my computer watching a show, and i heard a really cool drum beat on a theme song from the show... i tapped it out on my drum pad and on a whim, I went up into the attic and brought the e-kit down and set it up so i could commit that drum pattern to memory while my wife and son were sleeping. Plugged it into my recording interface and it's been set up that way ever since.

The way I see it is: I practice on a regular practice pad in order to commit different stickings to muscle memory, so why not use the e-kit to train muscle memory as my limbs go around a kit? I set up the kit exactly as my acoustics are set up, side by side, and I couldn't be happier with the convenience that it affords me.

Every evening after tucking the wife and child into bed, I practice from 3-4 hours on my practice pad. So many times I find myself moving over to the kit after say for instance, I really nail a pattern from Stick Control, I move over to the e-kit to see how it would translate into some cool fills around the drums. It's perfect for that. Also, since I do not have the skill to tab out music yet (I'm rectifying that at the moment by working on it with my drum teacher) the only way i could figure out grooves or fills was by listening and playing them until i got it right... this allows me to do it any time of day, just to get the basic stickings right, then I move to the acoustic and refine them there. Again, the ease of being able to record everything with a button push is fantastic....

Would I play an e-kit at a gig with my band? probably not... but as a practice tool, as they say in the poker world, "it's the nuts!"
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DumDrum View Post
The way I see it is: I practice on a regular practice pad in order to commit different stickings to muscle memory, so why not use the e-kit to train muscle memory as my limbs go around a kit?
Exactly. This is THE main benefit I get from my e-kit. Commiting the actual songs I'm learning to memory in terms of moving around the kit, not just sticking patterns on a single pad.
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

My problem is that everything is so close together which isn't so on my acoustic set.
Also when I first started using an eKit I would do diddles on a lot of my fills, but I've fixed that now.

As long as I'm careful and get to my acoustic every now and then then I don't really mess up anything. Plus I like the different sounds like you said and also having a built in metronome, backing tracks, and mp3 capabilities are good for refining things to take to the aKit
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:01 AM
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Oh my look what I have done!! ha ha!! I throw it out there and you guys run with it. I love it!! Thanks to everyone who put their 2 cents in on this thread. I didn't put this thread out there to bash ekits. I simply told my story of my experience and how I felt about it. That's it. A few things I did read were a bit disturbing to me though.

The combination of both of course is awesome. No I don't think neil peart is taking his life in his hands when he turns around. That's silly. I used the term Dangerous pertaining to my reputation that particular evening if you read my story. So lets not get carried away with the term Dangerous. Their are no health implications there. I think Neil took his rep in his hands when he sat in with the Buddy Rich big band on a four piece acoustic kit. nuff said there.

and whoever said that there is no difference between the feel of an ekit and a practice pad. Your crazy!! That is so not true. in my humble opinion. I don't come here to argue. The main thing is do what you have to do in order to get the job done whatever that may be.

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Old 08-16-2011, 08:08 AM
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The E-kits are an expensive toy to me. I love playing them just for the sounds I can get out of the modules. My girlfriend offered to buy me a Pearl E Pro kit, I believe they are called, several months ago, but I would rather put that money into an acoustical kit. If I had to move into an apartment, maybe I would think differently.

Never a danger to me, I was never bitten by one. The only danger I can foresee from going from one to another would be tripping over the cables, lol.

Dennis
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Old 08-16-2011, 08:09 AM
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Never a danger to me, I was never bitten by one. The only danger I can foresee from going from one to another would be tripping over the cables, lol.

Dennis
That's the dangers of a guitarist I believe lol
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:07 AM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

Interesting discussion. I own and play both an e kit and an acoustic, and in some situations I actually prefer the e kit to acoustics.

I view them as two entirely different instruments. In live settings I always play the acoustic kit, but in recording sessions (Which is how i spend most of my time) the e kit wins out every time.

Why you may ask

The e kit is so much easier to record with. Granted if you don't use a software instrument like BFD, superior drummer or addictive drums, the module sounds are not that great regardless of what e setup you use. But the versatility one can get if one goes a few more bucks is astonishing, and from my perspective is actually cheaper. I can easily go from Ludwigs, to Tamas, to sonor, to Yamaha, to pearls, with zildijians, paistes, or any combination thereof in a few seconds. I could never afford, nor have space to store the physical instruments. Wanna play some rush songs - Load up the Neil Peart DW kit. Playing a little Who - Load up the vistalites, some beatles - got that covered too.... Blues - the pearls work nicely.

An e kit is not the way to go if you are expecting it to respond like an acoustic kit. They are two entirely different creatures. But if you get a good module, and get some of the better recording samples, the versatility and ease of recording is astonishing.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:12 AM
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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
The main thing is do what you have to do in order to get the job done whatever that may be.

joe
And a helpful reminder that there are some people here who have absolutely no job at all to get done, since they're hobbyists ;)
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:25 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

Haha flying a plane? That's not actually too difficult xD

Although I do honestly prefer aKits, I was at an open day for a local drum shop and the latest line of Yamaha eKits are very responsive and easy to play.

What about mesh kits? That seems to be one thing overlooked here. Mesh heads on an aKit for playing quietly and mesh heads on an eKit because of the responsiveness, realism, etc.

What do people think about them?
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Old 08-16-2011, 12:54 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by jon e rotten View Post
I've found the biggest 'danger' in using ekits to be when you take one to band practice, and the sound man decides they will make his life much easier and says,"so any chance you'll be bringing these to gigs from now on?"
True! I wrecked a recording of what we planned to be a single using a Simmonds kit on our engineer's insistence. A hard lesson!
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Old 08-16-2011, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

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Originally Posted by Nuka View Post
Haha flying a plane? That's not actually too difficult xD

Although I do honestly prefer aKits, I was at an open day for a local drum shop and the latest line of Yamaha eKits are very responsive and easy to play.

What about mesh kits? That seems to be one thing overlooked here. Mesh heads on an aKit for playing quietly and mesh heads on an eKit because of the responsiveness, realism, etc.

What do people think about them?
The Hart Dynamics kit I referred to in my post had mesh heads - it was about the best you could get at the time. Maybe things have moved on, but if I played on that kit for 2 hours straight and then went to band practise, it took me a while to re-adjust to my acoustic. Everything felt a bit hard and I'd lose my touch somewhat until I got used to it again.

Plus the eKit was always missing "something" for me - I found it hard to get excited about it once the novelty wore off. I think partly I just knew inside I was just trigging some peice of electronics rather than me and the drum producing the sound knowing every nuance of how I hit that drum (or cymbal) would alter the characteristics in a very one to one way.

I'm not a technophobe - I'm a software engineer.

I can see them being interesting as an addition to an acoustic kit to product certain sounds, but in that case they aren't the heart and soul of the kit, they are just some added frills.

As I said, I think they are great for what they are, but for me they will never replace an acoustic kit for either practise or playing live.

NOTE: I'm not talking about sound reproduction here and I don't think that's what this thread was about the begin with. I totally get what Joe means because it has been my experience too, however it might not be the same for everyone - it'd be boring if we were all the same, right? ;-)
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: THE DANGERS OF GOING FROM ACOUSTIC TO ELECTRONIC DRUMS

There seems to be a fair bit of e-kit bashing in this thread. A few months ago I purchased a Yamaha extreme111 e-kit, for the sole purpose of being able to practice when ever I wanted. I was going to get a Roland, but I decided the mesh heads were a bit too responsive and may mess too much with my a-kit technique. I was surprised how good the Yahaha extreme kit is, with 3 zone heads and cymbals and a proper HH stand. It was a much higher end e-kit than I originally planned to get, but I got it brand new(superseded model) for half price. I have 2 beautiful a-kits for gigging, but found it just too difficult to practice enough with them. While I agree the e-kits can make you think you are a better player than you really are, it is important you keep playing the a-kit as much as possible. I must say, though that my playing has improved quite a bit in the past few months due to the amount of practice I have been doing. Undoubtedly it would have improved as much, if not better if I were able to put the same amount of time in on my a-kits. As far as getting sore arms and wrists playing e-kits, I find if I use Regal Tip 5a nylons which have a fairly thin shank near the tip, they tend to relieve the shock that you get with say, vic Firth 5a American Classics for example. The difference between the two in amazing. I don't get any pain after a couple hours of solid practice. I use the Ragal tips on my acoustic kits as well. Their response on the cymbals and hi hats is excellent and they have nice balance. I have tried many other sticks but always come back to the Regal tip 5a nylons.
I guess in summary, it is better for a experienced acoustic drum kit player to jump on e-kits for practice than for an expienced e-kit player to jump on acoustic drums and expect to be able to play with the same chops.You will be disappointed.
As Joe rightly said, it would not be advisable to put in a big practice session on a E-kit just prior to doing a drum clinic on an acoustic kit. It could turn ugly.
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