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Why didn't I like the Meshheads?

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  • Why didn't I like the Meshheads?

    Hi everyone...

    I'm a newby at e-drums and I love my V-Club set (TD6K). I have lurked around these forums for a few months now and I have read several times that Meshheads are much better than the rubber pads of my V-club.

    Last weekend I finally had the opportunity to try a friends V-Custom (TD8k) set with Meshheads, and I must say I didn't like them at all!!!
    I was expecting a more realistic feel (like A-drums), but this wasn't the case.

    I was wondering if the tension of the meshheads had anything to do with this. If I pressed on them with my finger I could easily depress it for at least 1/6 of an inch. (in the middle ofcourse). How 'tense' should they be?... rockhard? or is this more like a personal preference?

    What I also found out is that combining E-drums with Acoustic elements (like real cymbals, high hat and crashes) sounds like crap... I would go 100% E... or 100% Acoustic.

    Anyway... I'm starting to like the rubber pads more and more.

    Johan van Emmerik
    (The Netherlands)

  • #2
    I think your friend had his heads screwed on to loose

    Comment


    • #3
      I never cared much for single-ply mesh heads - just too weak, IMHO. The Roland double-ply mesh heads can get very tight and feel pretty good to play on if tuned correctly...but they will still have a more bouncy feel than a normal acoustic head. Hart makes some double-ply mesh heads that many say feel fantastic. In addition, it may be possible to put a foam ring underneath a mesh head to reduce the bounciness and possibly make it feel more natural...but it all comes down to a matter of personal preference.

      [This message has been edited by Jimmy C (edited November 06, 2001).]
      E-drums: TD-20, RT-5S triggers on snare/toms, KD-7s, VH12, CY-14Cs, CY-15R, Pintech splash.
      A-drums: Zickos (amber) w/ all Zildjians.

      Comment


      • #4
        I just bought a PD-120 and I hated the feel as well, it's going back, as well as the TD-10 module. I had expected the cymbals to sound much better, they don't hold up next to my Kurzweil, oh well. You live, you learn. The PD-120 was like hitting a screen door.
        Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jimmy C:
          I never cared much for single-ply mesh heads - just too weak, IMHO. The Roland double-ply mesh heads can get very tight and feel pretty good to play on if tuned correctly...but they will still have a more bouncy feel than a normal acoustic head. Hart makes some double-ply mesh heads that many say feel fantastic. In addition, it may be possible to put a foam ring underneath a mesh head to reduce the bounciness and possibly make it feel more natural...but it all comes down to a matter of personal preference.

          [This message has been edited by Jimmy C (edited November 06, 2001).]
          Wow. Jimmy C is 100% right on the money. Sturdier two ply mesh is the best start, a few little tweaks, and you can have your cake and beat it too. Even the Roland heads can be improved tremendously with the right approach, but if you just got to have perfection, large fiber two ply's, Remo muffl'rs (for snare and toms), and tight even tuning will get you most of the way to unbelievable feel and playability (IMHO).

          Comment


          • #6
            When I play acoustic drums, I play them like acoustic drums. When I play electronic drums, I play them like electronic drums. The problem is when people confuse the two. They can be blended if you know what you are doing and have the right equipment. The pros do it. I wouldn't really recommend using electronic cymbal sounds with acoustic drums though. That's kinda dumb anyway.
            "I'm not a guitarist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by dr. kildrum:
              ... but if you just got to have perfection, large fiber two ply's, Remo muffl'rs (for snare and toms), and tight even tuning will get you most of the way to unbelievable feel and playability (IMHO).

              ok, dr, i know you have done extensive research in this area, i know that certain heads work with certain pads and don't with others, and i know that certain manufacturers make certain sizes of heads. i just don't know who makes what and how to get it. i am looking to make my pintechs (10", 12", 14" pads) feel as much like A's as possible. i practice all week long on my V's and when i finally go in for my private lesson, i don't play as well on the A's because i am not as used to the feel.

              so lay it out, once and for all, if you don't mind. i looked at your other posts and they alluded to the fact that you know this information but in none of them really spell it out.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Johan:
                I also found out is that combining E-drums with Acoustic elements (like real cymbals, high hat and crashes) sounds like crap...
                Hi Johan, welcome aboard the flagship Vdrums
                Not to nitpick too much but you are dead wrong about hybrid kits. It may sound like crap if you have a less than decent monitor system. Put a couple of Mackies (and a sub) into the equation and there is no comparison! You won't find too many people who believe that electric cymbals sounds are superior to the real thing (provided you have decent acoustic cymbals).
                Keep you mind open with regards to this! Have fun.
                Steve

                'I only ever quote myself - except when I quote someone else' - me

                , plenty of , and , , triggered acoustics, , and a plethora of PA blah blah freakin blah...I mean does anyone care about the specifics of pedals, speakers, processors, hardware or anything that I'm using?? :confused: Hmmm, maybe this is an appropriate place to mention that I tried out a new cymbal stand the other day...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by digitsone:
                  ok, dr, i know you have done extensive research in this area, i know that certain heads work with certain pads and don't with others, and i know that certain manufacturers make certain sizes of heads. i just don't know who makes what and how to get it. i am looking to make my pintechs (10", 12", 14" pads) feel as much like A's as possible. i practice all week long on my V's and when i finally go in for my private lesson, i don't play as well on the A's because i am not as used to the feel.

                  so lay it out, once and for all, if you don't mind. i looked at your other posts and they alluded to the fact that you know this information but in none of them really spell it out.
                  Let me preface all of this with my standard disclaimer that feel is highly subjective, and varies from individual to individual. Hence my reluctance to advocate anything specific for anybody else, but rather a tendancy to only comment on what has worked for me and my observations.

                  With that in mind; some of the heads I have experimented with are Beta versions (some even custom fabricated to specs per my request) and not yet available for sale, but I will answer your question based on what I have found along the way, (opinion) and what is commercially available today.

                  In general, most available mesh heads are still of a relatively fine material and weave. In general, an unfortunate byproduct is that they can create a "trampoline effect". Remember the thinking behind mesh in the first place is primarily quiet play. Triggered acoustics work beautifully, but you get all that sometimes unwelcome noise. Drum heads or materials similar to real drum heads stretched over foam and in various other configurations can lower the dBs significantly but are invariably somewhat louder than mesh and often some playability goes away with the noise (not always). So if near silent (when using headphones) play is important to you, mesh presents one of the best alternatives.

                  For me, feel was far more important than sound levels. I own a home and have a studio there, and although the studio is really not large enough to accomodate another set of drums comfortably, I would have made it work in favor of better feeling electonic drums if I couldn't get mesh to approximate the feel and response I wanted. I came very close to going with triggered acoustics and even closer to going with ddrums.

                  As a reference point, the Roland two-ply mesh heads are made by Remo and are superior to most of the mesh heads out there (IMO). Before purchasing anything, one of the things I tested (at some length) was putting the tension of the stock mesh head on a V-snare similar to the tension I keep my acoustic snare at. This far exceeds the tension you will find recommended in your manual or are likely to see on a display in a store. Doing so improves the feel/response quite nicely, but you will have to do some minor adjusting to your trigger setting to get the absolute best results (but IMO you have to do this anyway, so what the heck). The Roland heads survived those tensions without failing or causing any adverse effects for several months before I improved upon them.

                  Now, as indicated, the Roland two-plys can be made to perform much better than what most people first might imagine, but you can improve upon that even further.

                  A thicker strand ply mesh material, and at least two-plys is the main ingredient. (I have experimented with three-plys, which show some promise, but have trade-offs. They are not now commercially readily available to my knowlege and may not ever be. But suffice it to say that heavier two-plys are currently the best choice of what I've tested.)

                  For your specific circumstance (because you have some 14" needs), Hart is the best choice. The now have released their two-plys in all standard sizes for sale. The mesh on the Pintechs (SilenTech) or whatever it is called, is particularly springy. Pintech tightens the heads down on the CC101STs, CC102STs and AX-14s to offset this as best they can, but the Harts will make a world of difference. In all honesty I have not torn down a Vision drum yet. I do think I can see enough of the triggering (and have read) to know that the Hart heads should work just fine.

                  If you like, I have a 10" two-ply Hart head (brand new) that I can send you if you will send me a large enough postage paid envelope to put it in and $5. If you prefer, send a money order for $5 and enough for me to cover the shipping to you, and you can have one at a nominal fee, before committing to buying a whole set of them.

                  The tuning should be quite a bit tighter than you might think. A common misconception exists that would have you believe that as you progressively tighten mesh heads, the trampoline effect becomes worse and worse. This is simply not so. The degree of stick rebound can be pictured as a curve that starts out at almost none at zero tension, becomes very dramatic at pretty quickly at lower to medium tensions, and then comes back down to more typical acoustic type rebound at higher tensions. I will not give a specific recommendation as to tensions, becase it will vary with the drums and heads you are talking about, and what you perceive as best. (One thing to note is that this kind of tension may be too much [and the principal just doesn't apply the same] for single-ply and finer weave mesh heads. Don't try it with your TriggerHeads or Pintechs and stretch them or pull them from the bindings and blame me please.)

                  If you don't have or want a tension meter (separate thread that I never meant to get into), place your subject e-drum on the rack or on a stand right next to an acoustic counterpart (similar sized type of drum that you love the feel of) if at all possible. Do not attempt to "match" the feel without your module on and listening to every hit on the e-drum though headphones loud enough to mask any stick sound on the mesh. Find a sound in your module as close to the acoustic's sound as you can. This is important, because your head will play tricks on you if all the feedback isn't apples and apples, by this I mean to include volume level, mounting firmness, everything.

                  Another option is to measure the tension on a drum of same size and function with a head tension dial, and then simply "tune" your e-counterpart exactly the same. If you can mic the acoustic and send it back into the mix in on your module, even better. At this point, if the volumes are equal, striking either drum should be damned close.

                  For even more subtle approximation, I suggest varying degrees of dampening on the mesh heads. (To oversimplify, the mesh heads, because they are mesh and have tons of little holes, are both a little inherently springy, and do not stop resonating because of air resistance as quickly.) My product of choice (as always, not a specific endorsement) is Remo Muffl'rs. These mount inside so they don't diminish the playing surface size. They consist of plastic trays that mount under the rims and hold foam rings against the outer edges of the heads. Using these has a few benefits (IMO). 1. The heavy duty heads at higher tensions actually produce a not so subtle high ring (just like a "real" drum works but at a very quiet and high pitch). This can actually be heard louder than mesh heads typical stick noise alone, and can worse yet the sound can be picked up by piezos and will color the sound. Muffl'rs or something similar will kill that. 2. The inherent (now higher frequency due to the tension) oscillations of the mesh can effectively be dampened quickly much more like hitting a coated or mylar solid surface drumhead. 3. The minor remaining trampoline effect (if any) can be obliterated and the amount of rebound can be varied to taste by changing the foam pressure and amount contacting the surface (to a reasonable degree). I do not have a formula for this. Just play around with it.

                  Just doing the above things should get you very very close. I have a few other "trade secrets" but they are nothing technical or ingenius. At this point we are talking very subtle changes to very specific taste anyway. One example would be that even after I got my KD-120 to feel BETTER than my acoustic (responding similarly but significantly more precise), I still augmented it further (trying various batter protectors hint hint) to get each impact to have a little more "snap" than the mesh, much more like a coated Evans head say. It adds a dB or two back, but negligible, and the feel...awesome. The rest of the magic is in the trigger settings, you may not need to change anything, depending on your choices and tolerances, but I think you will. In fact, I think understanding these paramters and what they do (or can do) is one of the most underemphasized things going on with e-s. It can really help if you take the time to get them just right.

                  Hope some of that is useful to anyone who is interested. If it helps to hear it, I can confirm that the mesh heads, out of the box, and as they are left in most stores, feel pretty lousy. They can be improved a ton, but the best feel to you is up to you, so all of the above is based on my own requirements and tastes. By way of description, my e-snare feels tight even by acoustic standards, my e-toms all feel like the same mid sized acoustic tom (at no volume... to be truthful, with the module on, your brain tricks you into thinking they each feel a little different according to tone, but they all are in actuality exactly the same), and my kick is a little tighter than my acoustic kick would typically be for me (a fan of large acoustic kicks) but is so by choice because I can in fact choose with an e-pad because size has almost no bearing on tone.

                  So ends a large post even by my standards, FWIW. Phew!



                  [This message has been edited by dr. kildrum (edited November 07, 2001).]

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Geez, this post was 1,639 words. A virtual thesis on mesh heads. I nominate the good Dr. as "V-Drummer of the Month" for this most excellent post. Can I get asecond? You rawk Dr. Kildrum!

                    [This message has been edited by halfnote (edited November 07, 2001).]

                    [This message has been edited by halfnote (edited November 07, 2001).]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Second!

                      Great post though!!!

                      (cranking up the tension on my Pintech AX14)

                      ------------------
                      TD-8, TD-7, Roland rack, Pintech AX14, ConcertCast and Roland PD-9/7/5 pads, Yamaha and Pintech cymbals, Dingbat, Nimrod, Vertikik & KD-7, FD-7 , DrumKat DK-10, Fender Bassman 60.......2000 Eclipse GS
                      I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        dr - thanks for that awesome post. i am going to contact you offline about trying out that spare head you have. thanks for the most generous offer!


                        >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

                        ok, i exchanged another email with dr. k about this topic and thought i would post his answers to my question: "do all mesh heads work on all brands of pads? i thought there were some that didn't."

                        i am posting this here so it doesn't get lost in the ra-ra dutch banter below.

                        <begin>
                        As for the depth issue that I once raised, I thought I had posted a follow up to that, but if not, I probably should. Turns out, the heads are not made that way at all. Once Roland heads are placed on a drum and tightened up, an inherent property is that they sort of take the shape they are pulled into (in other words, when you take them off, they will probably have a large downturned edge). Because I only had the Roland heads that came on my kit, mine all looked that way and I speculated that they might be formed that way. Not so. A new one, I later found, looks exactly like any other head...until you put it on and tighten it. After that, if you take it off, it will retain its new turned down edge.

                        The heavier heads (like the Hart) won't do this much if at all. The material tends pretty much to stay the way it looks originally, even after it is taken off a drum it has been on tightly for some time. Another thing (that turns out to be a fortunate property) is that because they are so thick and firm in ply like that, they actually require quite a bit more tension to seat down to the same height as for instance Rolands (or Pintechs).

                        To put another way, lighter weight mesh heads tune down from handtight with only a few turns of the lugs to where the rim is a typical height over the flat surface of the head. This is because that kind of mesh is very pliable (read: inferior [in my book]). If you want those heads really tight (not recommended), you have to turn a bit more, and the rim will probably end up lower than usual to get a very firm tuning. You will still have a bad trampoline effect, your rims will be the wrong height, and you may even damage the lighter heads. The Harts (and others) that are far less pliable (also read: springy) will still be sitting up pretty high with the lugs at hand tight. It will take much more clockwise turning of the lugs (and hence application of tension) to get the rims down to the same height above the head surface that they would normally be at.

                        Translation: This is a good thing. If you measure the distance that the surface of your Pintech head is from the top of the rim, and you replace the Pintech head with the Hart, by the time the Hart is screwed down to a similar position it will be much much tighter (and less springy). Viola!

                        So the depth thing was actually a misconception on my part that I later cleared up. I have not specifically tried to put a Hart or similar head on a Vision as I have said, because I simply haven't had a Vision drum to play with yet. But, FWIW, I feel fairly confident, it is a standard 10" rim they use on those drums. *If it were a rim designed to accommodate an ususual hoop binding or something, the head might not work properly, but I am not aware of Pintech doing this. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the Visions come with the same mesh heads that the Concert Cast stuff was using already. If so, you should be fine too.
                        </end>


                        [This message has been edited by digitsone (edited November 15, 2001).]

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Johan:
                          Hi everyone...

                          I'm a newby at e-drums and I love my V-Club set (TD6K).
                          Johan van Emmerik
                          (The Netherlands)
                          Hi Johan,
                          Where did you buy your V-Club-Set? I live in Huizen, Nederland and am looking for the best buy!
                          Gegroet,
                          Cas

                          DIY!!! www.mosphat.com/drumcas

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Caspar:
                            Hi Johan,
                            Where did you buy your V-Club-Set? I live in Huizen, Nederland and am looking for the best buy!
                            Gegroet,
                            Cas

                            Hallo Cas,

                            I Bought mine at Feedback in Rotterdam. I think it was 3199,- for the complete kit. This was two months ago so maybe it's cheaper now.

                            Have fun with your new drums!


                            Groeten - Johan

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'll third that. That was a fantastic post Dr.!!
                              V-Club

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