L80s and Silent Stroke/Super Pad Players, How Do you...?

AzHeat

Platinum Member
...play along to music? I haven’t had my setup all that long, but my first impression was “these things are way louder than on YouTube!” I mean they meet the objective of quiet practice, but still overpower a decent set of computer speakers and sub pretty quickly. I’ve played around with micing them a bit and that’s going to take some work. As for the moment, they sound way better to my ears, than through mics.

So, before I get too far in the weeds or spend any more, how are you who have this setup practicing to music?

Also, has anyone mic’d Them with any success? For example, the hats are shrill and loud, but I can’t hear the crashes through mics and headphones. Toms and kick sound like different sized basketballs. Far more boingy than through naked ears. I’ve a.so tried micing from the reso head and while better, there’s a long way to go for anything to sound even, much less exciting. Any tips?
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
Check out my response on this thread. Pretty much sums up my experience.

Edit: I now see you were the OP.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
Check out my response on this thread. Pretty much sums up my experience.

Edit: I now see you were the OP.
I did read your comments and chewed on that thread for a long time, but couldn’t swing the budget for a decent ekits that met the other challenges I was facing with the feel being too different and messing things up moving to acoustic. I also couldn’t accommodate the space required for the larger, more realistic feeling ekits. I’m taking lessons from mikeslesson.com and asked him his opinion on the two. Both he and Nate recommended the “silent” option, because you got more dynamic feedback. They also said they got more use from ekits with sounds turned off, because of the perfection of sampled sounds. Others here also stated they used the silent option and loved them, so that’s the path I chose, knowing full well both options had their limitations. I play a Nicer Roland at church, way better than what I could swing and the hats, ride and kick drive me insane. Hats and ride are nothing like the real thing and the kick only has one volume. All or nothing, and that’s with the upgraded mesh pad.

I’ve read here and elsewhere how silent practice opened the opportunities for both hours of practice and technique, which is what I’m after, but I have to be able to hear myself and music somehow to make it work. I can’t imagine everyone sits and practices rudiments all day on their quiet setup. Maybe I’m wrong, in which case I’ll be returning everything before the 45 days, but a decent ekit is still out of reach, so that’ll be the end of the road for my drumming.

Don’t have room for a box within a box build out, or the budget for that and all other options have been poo pooed by everyone else here, so not sure where else to turn. Took me months just to get here with the silent stuff and just about as long since I’ve been able to play. It’s silent or over....or, I sell everything and get an ekit. Was there years ago too and hated them. I know things have changed, but that was my argument for a better ekit in the first place! Wasn’t going to happen without selling what I have, which took me 35 years to get. Life sucks sometimes!
 
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blinky

Senior Member
I have the L80's and Evans Sound-off pads and have played along with music from the computer speakers and it was OK, but I switched to an active EV monitor and that is working out just fine without cranking it up too much. I play mostly jazz though, tip-tapping away, guess it's another thing playing hard rock or metal, but not impossible. Anyhow the active monitor is working out just fine, I just connect my cd/mp3-player to the monitor and that's about it!
 

karlott

Junior Member
I use a Yamaha EAD10 on a acoustic kit with mesh heads and Zildjian L80's . I have triggers on the toms and bass drum but play the snare mostly with no trigger.

I practiced for 25 years or so on electric sets but much prefer this set up for the feel. The sound is probably not as cool as an electric set for playing along with recordings but the EAD10 is easy to mix and the ipad app has a lot of nice features.
 

Channing

Member
I have something like this, the quiet cymbals and quiet drumheads. So, I just got them recently, at the beginning of this month. Before that I was playing a real drum set in a place where such things are acceptable.

For my new quiet kit, I got the L80s and mesh heads. The cymbals are great, but I didn't like the mesh heads, especially for the kick drum. The snare and toms were bad too honestly, just so bouncy and felt so different from hitting real drums. So I got Sound Percussion Labs neoprene drum mutes for the kick and floor tom. and it feels much better, especially the kick. For the snare I got a rtom black hole which feels better than the mesh heads, even though it pretty much is just a fancier mesh head. For the rack toms I still have the mesh heads which I'm ok with because I don't actually hit those often enough for it to really annoy me.

Playing along with music, I wear headphones, which I've always done even when I played a real acoustic drum set, or an e kit which I have at my boyfriend's house and play sometimes. I just put on headphones and listen to the music and play along with it. I've never been able to have a speaker playing music and be able to hear it well enough to play along to it, no matter what kind of drum set I'm playing.
 
I use a Yamaha EAD10 on a acoustic kit with mesh heads and Zildjian L80's . I have triggers on the toms and bass drum but play the snare mostly with no trigger.

I practiced for 25 years or so on electric sets but much prefer this set up for the feel. The sound is probably not as cool as an electric set for playing along with recordings but the EAD10 is easy to mix and the ipad app has a lot of nice features.
There is a new update for the EAD10, available as a free download from Yamaha's site. Part of the update are settings that are plug and play with mesh heads and triggers. We had a kit set up in the booth at PASIC and it got rave reviews.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
There is a new update for the EAD10, available as a free download from Yamaha's site. Part of the update are settings that are plug and play with mesh heads and triggers. We had a kit set up in the booth at PASIC and it got rave reviews.
That may well be the ticket. I know it won't be like playing real drums through mics, but if things could balance out, there would be no complaints with my current (forced) setup.
 

Mustion

Senior Member
I hear ya. I recently bought a set of the Remo mesh heads and Zildjian L80s and found that even with those, I couldn't accomplish optimally quiet playing (I live on the 2nd floor of a rowhouse). The heads were fine, but the cymbals were louder than expected. I guess it's a bit naive to expect them to be whisper-quiet, but it shows that context is everything: trying them in the din of a Guitar Center doesn't accurately represent one's home. Anyway, my main issue has nothing to do with the heads and cymbals, but is that the kick and hi hat pedals transfer thumps directly through the floor. So, that kit has been sitting there doing nothing as I try to not piss off my downstairs neighbors.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
I hear ya. I recently bought a set of the Remo mesh heads and Zildjian L80s and found that even with those, I couldn't accomplish optimally quiet playing (I live on the 2nd floor of a rowhouse). The heads were fine, but the cymbals were louder than expected. I guess it's a bit naive to expect them to be whisper-quiet, but it shows that context is everything: trying them in the din of a Guitar Center doesn't accurately represent one's home. Anyway, my main issue has nothing to do with the heads and cymbals, but is that the kick and hi hat pedals transfer thumps directly through the floor. So, that kit has been sitting there doing nothing as I try to not piss off my downstairs neighbors.
You'll likely have to go the tennis ball riser route. Thankfully, a cheap fix!
 

Mustion

Senior Member
You'll likely have to go the tennis ball riser route. Thankfully, a cheap fix!
I keep seeing that referenced here and there. In short, what does that entail? In my head I'm picturing myself trying to build such a thing and fighting with plywood and 500 tennis balls bouncing around the room.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
I keep seeing that referenced here and there. In short, what does that entail? In my head I'm picturing myself trying to build such a thing and fighting with plywood and 500 tennis balls bouncing around the room.
It can be as simple as a couple of sheets of plywood, one with holes drilled near each corner and in a grid, small enough to put a tennis ball under without it coming through.

 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I keep seeing that referenced here and there. In short, what does that entail? In my head I'm picturing myself trying to build such a thing and fighting with plywood and 500 tennis balls bouncing around the room.
You do to the feet of your riser the same that folks with walkers do. Cut a slit in the ball and put it on the bottom of the riser legs. The rubber and felt helps arrest the vibrations to the floor by interrupting the direct connection of the wood and floor.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I haven't tried this personally, but I think plywood atop a yoga mat would accomplish the same thing by decoupling the transfer of vibrations directly to the floor. And FWIW, I nearly always play my mesh head/L80 kit with multirods, which I actually prefer over sticks in this context, as it produces a more balanced sound between the drums and cymbals. Through trial and error, I've discovered that multirods with thicker dowels work better with L80 cymbals, as smaller dowels tend to get stuck in the tiny holes as you play and will snap off. I'm currently using Vater Slapstick Rock multirods, and those seem to work great.

I use the mesh heads on everything except the snare, as an RTOM Black Hole sounds and feels noticeably better on that. For toms, I tune the mesh heads fairly low to keep them from feeling overly bouncy, and crank up the bottom heads to achieve the overall pitch/sound I'm going for. A little tape on the bottom heads helps control the tone. For the kick, a pillow inside resting against the mesh head and an impact patch where the beater strikes completely transformed the feel. To me, it feels roughly the same as my other kicks.

As for playing along to music, I have Klipsch ProMedia THX 2.1 computer speakers (roughly $150 or less) that absolutely rock. I keep the music volume about the same level as I would for watching TV, and I don't have any problem hearing that over the low-volume kit.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I use various headphones depending on the volume of the pad I'm using. Having both Super-Pads and Black Holes they both have their pros and cons. The BHs have the advantage of being tunable and do a decent job on top of toms. For snare you'll have to get a bit creative depending on what you like.

My practice kit requirements are sort of simple. These days I mostly use pads by themselves. The headphones help taking away some of the annoying attack of the L80s

Mesh heads are many different things and the best ones are alo the least quiet. There's a physical reality there, though you can obviously do a bit inside the drum or on the reso side. You can never remove the sound of the attack completely if you want any real type of feel. Isolating vibration does a lot, thogh.
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
@Arne, an you elaborate on the pros and cons of Super Pads vs Black Holes? I’m within my 45 day return window and trying to decide which is best for me. I only got to play on one 14” Super Pad before purchasing, so have no experience with the Black Holes.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
@Arne, an you elaborate on the pros and cons of Super Pads vs Black Holes? I’m within my 45 day return window and trying to decide which is best for me. I only got to play on one 14” Super Pad before purchasing, so have no experience with the Black Holes.
Isn't too much to add really.

I generally tune to what I guess would be referred to as medium to medium high. I got the BHs on the toms to feel pretty close. For being mesh they're pretty good. They're also slightly less expensive than the Super-Pads. If I go that route for work I'll definetly get BHs for the toms, but undecided on how to solve snare and BD.

I initially got the Super-Pads when they were the only option and for the most part I just needed a pad kit. As it stands now, I just have a couple of other pads up for one rack and one floor now and recently I've been useing the new 7" Moongel pad so much I just ordered three more.

My needs are probably a bit different. I work on basic indepence and hand technique most of the time. It's not a replacement I have to always live with, though I can't play my acoustic kit nowhere near as much as I used to.

It's all about feel to me. Just having something that won't mess with my technique as regular rubber pads tend to do.

These things have never been about tone for me. If I lived where I used to I'd put them on my kit after my focused practice to extend the TV practice to the full kit.

Super-Pads do not mess with my technique either.
 
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newoldie

Silver Member
I practice with a modified combo of those 3 items by using a wireless bluetooth headset or a regular headset, covering one ear only, the other ear is open to the practice set sounds. This works pretty well in hearing both the drums and music. White it's not perfect, it allows me to rehearse relatively quietly, can't make much volume due to condo/neighbors.

I've modified the setup by not using a silent stroke bass drum batter but taping my PS3 with microfiber cloths and placing moleskin over the beater pad. I also took off the resonant side wood hoop and placed a blanket over the bass drum for further sound reduction. Using lighter sticks also helps reduce the volume a bit more, if needed.

For the snare, I place an Aquarian super pad on top to allow some snare resonance, otherwise I turn off the snares for an even quieter sound.
I've learned many songs for gigs this way, drumming into the late hours...
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I'm not at home where my kit is now, but having one the 14" BHs I thin I have the best solution so far.

You obviously need to adjust your snares accordingly for this. They'll be a bit ringy on any regular setting.

I saw someone put a Supar-Pad underneath the BH on a snare. It can prbably be anythjng. A HQ pad or something home made.

The fina adjustment, that I really hold have thought of sooner is to actually put some muffling on top of the BH. You can get most any feel you want then, so for this use, it wins.

There's a reaso I use a Xymox laminate pad as a snare though and that reason still holds for me. If you tune low, that not hold true for you
 
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AzHeat

Platinum Member
The decision just doesn’t get any easier. I was pretty content with the Super Pad on the BD, but yesterday I went to do a quick change out to go full volume when the wife was out and it was a no go. It was tough getting it on there, but no way it’s coming off without removing BD claws, then retuning. All I had was about an hour and the quick change didn’t happen. Like the sound of it enough, but fully defeats my ability to take advantage of those moments. Maybe the BH is a better option there too. Don’t know.

I’ve been playing around with practice options and leaving one ear bud in is an option, so long as it’s covering the left ear. The L80 HH are too harsh otherwise. I played around with mics more and if the overheads are pointed at the underside of the 16 (L) you can actually hear it and it sounds like a cymbal. I moved it as far away from the HH as possible to even up the volume, but had to still keep the mic away from both the bell and edge. Otherwise there are some bizarre overtones that get picked up that don’t sound anything like cymbals. I tried the same from the top, but hats get way too bright and loud. There’s also some bleed through that was kinda nice and added to a fuller sound, but the hats made a mess of things. I did the same under the 18 (R) and got more even tones in the mix. Both ride and China com in clearer too. Overall, the cymbal challenge has been solved, but not getting much at all from the toms, even close mic’d from top or bottom. The Super Pads actually sound better by themselves at this point, because the mics are so hot they are picking up the stick tone more than the pad tone from top, and just crazy tones from the underside. I think I’ll eventually find a workable solution for me, just have to keep working through options.

I really like the full blown practice pad setup with different pads, but back to the limited space thing again. That would certainly keep my drums as is for those opportunities with a quiet practice option for all other times...more to come I suppose.
 
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