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  #1  
Old 06-19-2012, 09:24 PM
sca3929 sca3929 is offline
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Default New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

I am a lifelong musician with a modest home studio (Pro Tools-based). I play keys, acoustic & electric guitar and sing. For the past few years I have enjoyed having my young son in my studio to share my love of music. He bangs around on my keyboard, strums the strings while I fret the chords on my guitars, sings into the mic with unbridled enthusiasm and beats the living shi*t out a small Yamaha drum pad I picked up on the cheap. Several times over the course of the past month, I approached him with the following proposition:

"Son, you can do anything you want. Do you want piano lessons? guitar lessons? drums lessons? voice lessons? You name it."

Each time, his answer was the same. "I want to play drums". The once major piece of studio gear I didn't already own. :)

Knowing that any kit I purchased would be set up in my studio where I spend almost all of my free time, I immediately knew that an acoustic kit was out of the question. Much too loud for a 7-year old just learning to play. Also, I have extremely high-quality software drum samples (Ocean Way Silver) that I traditionally programmed by hand for my projects -- but have dreamed of triggering with an ekit. So last week I purchased a new Alesis DM8 Pro kit. My son's first drum lesson is this coming Saturday, and we're both very excited. Plus his drum teacher was in a hair-metal band in the 80's that got some airplay on MTV Headbangers Ball. :)

My son and I positively love the kit. I know Alesis doesn't come with the reputation of Roland or Yamaha, but I got a terrific deal on it ($399 brand new) and I was intrigued by several of it's features, particularly the large pads with real drum heads (12" dual-zone snare and floor tom, 14" dual-zone crash, 16" tri-zone ride, etc). As someone with very little experience using acoustic drums, the response of the real heads feels good to me (I know others feel otherwise). The drawback is the heads are quite loud! I am considering replacing the stock heads with aftermarket mesh heads -- maybe Hart Dynamics Maxxum heads (http://www.hartdynamics.com/maxxum.html) for the snare and kick and something less expensive for the toms, like the Pearl MFH heads (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums...-traveler-drum).

So after 3 paragraphs of flowery prose, at last a question -- from your experience, do you think that combination of heads would serve us well (him from a "feel" standpoint, me from a "quiet" standpoint)? As I mentioned, my son is just beginning and he's only 7 years old, so he is not a heavy beater. I could outfit the kit as described for under $100, and would be okay having to do so every couple years as they wear out. Is that at all realistic or am I being overly optimistic?

My only remaining purchase will be a small amp or powered PA speaker. I have read extensively on this forum and others and know that many people recommend a 15" woofer and separate tweeter, but the JBL, Yamaha and Mackies are, for the most part, out of my price range, even used. Again, my son is only 7 and this kit will never be used for anything but practice in my small home studio. However, I would definitely like to do better than a *really* small solution like the Alesis TransActive, Roland PM-10 or Simmons DA-50. Taking my particular circumstances into consideration, do you think I'd be able to get away with something like a Peavey KB-2 or KB-3, Roland KC-60 or KC-150, Mackie Thump TH-12A or Behring Eurolive series PA speakers? I've seen recent local Craigslist postings for a KC-150 for $200 and a Eurolive B315D for $250. I want some meat to the kick but it will never be turned up very loud.

I would appreciate any advise that anyone might have on the mesh head and amp front! Thanks very much to anyone who made it to the bottom of this excessively long post, and apologies if you saw it duplicated on another forum.

Regards,

Steve
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  #2  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:31 PM
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JimmyTheMonkey JimmyTheMonkey is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Simmons DA 200W amp is a good choice in your price range for amps. Plenty of kick and it has separate tweeters.
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  #3  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:38 PM
achdumeingute achdumeingute is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Mesh heads will be quieter.

No E kit has yet to feel like an A kit. A 6000 Roland still doesn't have the touch of a $500 A kit.

I've heard e kits will blow amps that are not engineered for the kick, don't know first hand. I play through my home stero system at times...
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Old 06-20-2012, 03:59 PM
theoak theoak is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

I would not be too worried about the fact that it is an electronic or digital drum set. The key advantage that electronic drum sets give drummers is the ability to practice practice practice at times and places (like home in their apartments with neighbors above below and all around ... at midnight even) where they could not normally. Giving your son the ability to practice A LOT is the real advantage and I think the key.

I am a digital/electronic fan, for better or for worse. I have 2 digital Yamaha Clavanova pianos in my house. Having the ability for the kids to plug in their ear phones and play "quiet" but still get their hour practice in a day, has been worth the money and then some I spent on the Clavanova. My kids have excelled in their piano tests and have even won a few loal piano based "idol" competitions. Depeneding on how far the kids get with piano I may one day have to break down and get an acoustic piano. In the mean time, I will enjoy the peace and quiet ;)

One pro that the "digital" camp folks state is that digital pianos give different sounds giving the kids opportunities to play different sounds and hence "play" around but at the same time keep their interest in piano longer. My Clavinovas only have like a dozen sounds tops, but my son especially has spent hours playing the same piece with "horns" or "strings" because he thinks it sounds "cool" for that piece. If practicing an hour can be "cool" ... as a parent ... sign me up ;) The digital drum modules seem to have TONS more sounds than my pianos ever would, but I would think the same principle would apply to drums. That is my hope anyway ;)

Of course having access to acoustic versions is essential and part of the learning experience.

I have now given you my 3 paragraphs ;)
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  #5  
Old 06-20-2012, 06:37 PM
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JimmyTheMonkey JimmyTheMonkey is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Also, the V-drum forum is a great place for e-drum questions

http://vdrums.com/forum/forum.php
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  #6  
Old 06-21-2012, 02:59 AM
ra1708 ra1708 is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimmyTheMonkey View Post
Simmons DA 200W amp is a good choice in your price range for amps. Plenty of kick and it has separate tweeters.
I have the DA-200W amp and love it, but sub only sounds good if turned up full, with my DTX950K kit.
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2012, 07:58 PM
jmck jmck is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

an old used bass amp will work good i have used a old peavy for years on gigs as a monitor and at home.when you trigger drum sounds from a computer via midi you will have to set all the velocity parameters and midi can only send so much data a second and will not pic up press rolls or fast 16ths and 32nds i think roland makes the best pads a used td3 would be a good choice it has some good coach functions.
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Old 07-16-2012, 08:57 PM
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Mezzo Mezzo is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sca3929 View Post
I am a lifelong musician with a modest home studio (Pro Tools-based). I play keys, acoustic & electric guitar and sing. For the past few years I have enjoyed having my young son in my studio to share my love of music. He bangs around on my keyboard, strums the strings while I fret the chords on my guitars, sings into the mic with unbridled enthusiasm and beats the living shi*t out a small Yamaha drum pad I picked up on the cheap. Several times over the course of the past month, I approached him with the following proposition:

"Son, you can do anything you want. Do you want piano lessons? guitar lessons? drums lessons? voice lessons? You name it."

Each time, his answer was the same. "I want to play drums". The once major piece of studio gear I didn't already own. :)

Knowing that any kit I purchased would be set up in my studio where I spend almost all of my free time, I immediately knew that an acoustic kit was out of the question. Much too loud for a 7-year old just learning to play. Also, I have extremely high-quality software drum samples (Ocean Way Silver) that I traditionally programmed by hand for my projects -- but have dreamed of triggering with an ekit. So last week I purchased a new Alesis DM8 Pro kit. My son's first drum lesson is this coming Saturday, and we're both very excited. Plus his drum teacher was in a hair-metal band in the 80's that got some airplay on MTV Headbangers Ball. :)

My son and I positively love the kit. I know Alesis doesn't come with the reputation of Roland or Yamaha, but I got a terrific deal on it ($399 brand new) and I was intrigued by several of it's features, particularly the large pads with real drum heads (12" dual-zone snare and floor tom, 14" dual-zone crash, 16" tri-zone ride, etc). As someone with very little experience using acoustic drums, the response of the real heads feels good to me (I know others feel otherwise). The drawback is the heads are quite loud! I am considering replacing the stock heads with aftermarket mesh heads -- maybe Hart Dynamics Maxxum heads (http://www.hartdynamics.com/maxxum.html) for the snare and kick and something less expensive for the toms, like the Pearl MFH heads (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/drums...-traveler-drum).

So after 3 paragraphs of flowery prose, at last a question -- from your experience, do you think that combination of heads would serve us well (him from a "feel" standpoint, me from a "quiet" standpoint)? As I mentioned, my son is just beginning and he's only 7 years old, so he is not a heavy beater. I could outfit the kit as described for under $100, and would be okay having to do so every couple years as they wear out. Is that at all realistic or am I being overly optimistic?

My only remaining purchase will be a small amp or powered PA speaker. I have read extensively on this forum and others and know that many people recommend a 15" woofer and separate tweeter, but the JBL, Yamaha and Mackies are, for the most part, out of my price range, even used. Again, my son is only 7 and this kit will never be used for anything but practice in my small home studio. However, I would definitely like to do better than a *really* small solution like the Alesis TransActive, Roland PM-10 or Simmons DA-50. Taking my particular circumstances into consideration, do you think I'd be able to get away with something like a Peavey KB-2 or KB-3, Roland KC-60 or KC-150, Mackie Thump TH-12A or Behring Eurolive series PA speakers? I've seen recent local Craigslist postings for a KC-150 for $200 and a Eurolive B315D for $250. I want some meat to the kick but it will never be turned up very loud.

I would appreciate any advise that anyone might have on the mesh head and amp front! Thanks very much to anyone who made it to the bottom of this excessively long post, and apologies if you saw it duplicated on another forum.

Regards,

Steve
Hay there,

I did an acoustic to electronic conversion with mesh heads, they're not like real heads in that mesh is stretchy, but I have one on 2 ply and 3 on 3 ply, and the 3 ply is much more realistic even over the 2 ply, you can tension them right up and get them hard, however, in my case the skin floats like a real head with a small foam pickup in the middle which doesnt effect the head at all, I am not sure, but if I am right then the DM8 pads are a skin over a lump of foam the same size as the pad, in which case I would think the only thing you will gain with mesh is a quieter pad without redesigning the internals of the pad.

As far as the speakers go, I wouldn't worry about cone size, you will know from doing home studio stuff that its not about cone size, the bigger the cone the more volume, but also the muddier the sound goes with rippling harmonics over the cone, I am on the look out for some floor standing speakers that will double as studio monitors, they only use about an 8 inch bass cone but the design of them with the chambers gives amazing detailed bass.
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2012, 09:21 PM
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Mezzo Mezzo is offline
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Default Re: New to edrums, a couple questions for the veterans around here!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmck View Post
an old used bass amp will work good i have used a old peavy for years on gigs as a monitor and at home.when you trigger drum sounds from a computer via midi you will have to set all the velocity parameters and midi can only send so much data a second and will not pic up press rolls or fast 16ths and 32nds i think roland makes the best pads a used td3 would be a good choice it has some good coach functions.
Yep, depends on your controllers at either end, MIDI should send between 1000 and 1500 notes with velocities a second, but if you run MIDI over USB, so no actual MIDI bus involved I believe it runs at about 4x the bandwidth, either way if you are missing slow things for MIDI like 32nd notes theres a problem somewhere, but as always it will depend on the controller of course. I tried the midi on a Roland TD4 and alesis DM6 and they can miss especially things like "buzz" on the heads, my trigger IO through usb on my home made mesh drums doesn't you get the "zzzzzump" so to speak lol. So depends on the gear.
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