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Are E-kits only good for practicing at home?

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  • Are E-kits only good for practicing at home?

    Reality check for E-drums

    Sorry for the long post…

    Folks, I’ve come to crossroads and need your honest opinion and reality check for E-drums.

    ‘Are E-kits only good for practicing at home?’

    Because I don’t think my biased utopian view is cutting it. I ask this particular question because there appears to be a general mindset, negative mind you, regarding E-kits. I might be fighting a biased battle.

    I want to join/start a band, but if the general attitude by my fellow musicians is I’m coming to the game as sub-standard because of an inferior sounding or looking instrument, I need to know now and stop wasting everybody’s time, especially mine.

    Kenster recently responded to one of my comments in the “Where did everyone go” thread, with…

    But some of the reasons why you won't find discussions here about bands and gigs and professionals, venues, etc is because in general, for the most part, that is not what is going on with the actual members here. If you read thru all the regulars who post, and all the new folks that join every day, very very few are actually gigging with e kits. Even I don't gig with mine much because my new band prefers A kits.

    I'm speaking in generalities so I am NOT trying to offend any of our members. All this is based on my experience here on the forums and all bands/drummers I know in person here locally in my town. Very few people are teaching with e kits....very few are gigging, very few are in actual bands, and if it is a band, they don't gig often or play parties/home recording only; most members here are home noodlers or play in church or are doing the occasional drumaoke video, and the list goes on and on. If there are a huge number of VDrum Forum members that are pros or band members out there tearing up the gig circuit, they don't post regularly for whatever reasons.
    That made me stop to think. Why is no one playing in a band or performing live?

    This past weekend, I was talking to my friend and ex-band guitarist on equipment, primarily PA speakers. At one point he made the comment that my kit (Roland TD-15K w/ VExpressions) never quite lived up to a real acoustic kit. It wasn’t a slam. It was a passing remark. I respect his opinions about music and sound. Now I know for the most part the kit was adequate for rehearsal, but I was hearing apprehension in him. He said, you can’t beat an acoustic kit.

    Again, I had to stop and think some more.

    Because of a recent bad audition where the band did not have the equipment to handle my kit, I realized I need to bring the proper equipment to auditions and practice. I also realize it’s going to be expensive to buy the right equipment. I would also like to upgrade to a better kit.

    So before I go spend lots more money to properly audition for a band, are the cards already stacked against me, by the other musicians not accepting me, purely because I have an E-kit?

  • #2
    I use my TD-12 live on stage with the band. The band doesn't care for them because they were too used to my acoustic kit, which is "in your face" type of sound. It's live, ambient, right there. They don't like listening to monitors with drums in them, no matter how good they sound. I have done 3 videos about live performance with electronics, so have a look see if you care to. They will show the benefits and the caveats...

    Using E Kits Live

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o52KkQEbzg

    Drum Latency in Live Environment

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HClEIkG4XNs

    Setting Up E kits for Live Environment

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiQtrkZVH0s
    Don't even tell me us old farts still don't have something to say and learn! Just give me some ghost notes and I'll Purdie your brains out!:cool:

    Playin' for over 50 years (21 years 5 & 6 nights a week) and still lovin' every minute of it!!! TD-12 noob and growing!:p

    Comment


    • #3
      Easy answer:

      No.

      Next question?

      Heh heh, in all seriousness, fire up Ye Olde Searche Engine and type in the following:

      bigotry

      It's not the most comprehensive search term but it's only 2 pages of results and only about half of those pertain to your specific question. I know we've had other discussions in here over the years about this.

      There's no easy answer to this. However, you've learned the most important issue when it comes to auditioning your ekit: you need the "right equipment". Actually, I can be more specific: you need an adequate amp. Nothing more. Your Vexed TD-15 is more than enough drum kit for any local band. Period. If any local band doesn't think that, screw em, audition for another band. But, if you're up against some widespread edrum bigotry, spring for a nice powered cabinet like a JBL EON 515XT (or any of the other equivalents). Make sure you have a generic kit setup and accentuate the low end. If this means also springing for a small mixer (any 4-channel mixer would do) or some other kind of EQ box that sits between the TD-15 and the powered amp, then do so. Actually, it just dawned on me that a good hardware combo would be any kind of powered cabinet like the 515XT (or from Mackey, Peavey, etc) and a BBE Sonic Maximizer. Go to ebay and search on the term "sonic maximizer" and you'll see that you can get something like the 482 model from $50-80 bucks.

      That will at least maximize the audio portion of the edrum kit. If any given band still doesn't want that, move on, it's their loss.

      www.digitaldrummermag.com
      www.dauphinehotel.com
      TD-12, DTX502, SD1000, EZDrummer, Diamond Drum 12" snare, S1000 toms/cymbals/kick, PCY10/100/135/155, CY-5/14, Hart Ride, Hart Acupad 8" kick, Epedal Pro II, Concept 1 pads/cymbals, SD1000 & Roland V Sessions racks, PD-7, Kit Toy 10" splash, DMPad ride, SamplePad, PerformancePad Pro

      Comment


      • #4
        "This past weekend, I was talking to my friend and ex-band guitarist ... He said, you can’t beat an acoustic kit."

        Does he only play an acoustic guitar? Does your bassist only play an upright? Does your keyboardist lug a Steinway grand onto stage?

        FFS. An electronic kit is to an acoustic kit as a Strat is to a Spanish acoustic.

        I've been playing electronics (pretty much exclusively) for nearly 3 decades. Regularly. Live and recorded. 100 people in a small London club to 10,000+ people in the world's largest club. Did anyone complain it wasn't "real"? No. Never.

        Perhaps you're just auditioning for the wrong bands.

        Guitarists got over the invention of the electric guitar and saw that many more sounds could be created from it.
        Bassists got over the invention of the electric bass and saw that many more sounds could be created from it.
        Piano players got over the invention of the keyboard and synthesizer and saw that many more sounds could be created from it.
        (I think you see where this is going.....)
        *** MIDI IN: good. Cable snake: bad ***
        Yamaha & Roland modules. DTX,TM-2, EC-10, EC10m, SP-404. Multi12. TrapKat. ControlPads. Octapad, SamplePad, Wavedrum. Handsonic. Dynacord RhythmStick. MPC. Paiste 2002/Signatures. Cajons. Djembes. Darbuka. Windsynth. MIDI Bass. Tenori-on. Zoom ARQ. Synths. Ukes.

        Comment


        • #5
          You just can't beat the sound and feel of an acoustic kit and cymbals. In small venues (pubs as we call them in the UK) we tend to use a vocal PA only so you would need a full rig for the ekit. I use my TD20 expanded at home to practice on (I have it with the exact copy of my acoustic kit) and for recording I use VST instruments. For live and band rehearsals out come the acoustic kits. In fact I only record with VSTI's to add extra bits or on my own projects. I use real drums for recording with the band. No matter how well I play a VSTi and edit it it just doesn't have the same feel as a well recorded real kit. By the way I'm really not against Ekits for live. I bought a pair of Mackie speakers about 10 years ago with my ddrum4 intending to use them live. I even had a simmons kit in the 80's but never got on with them in a live situation. Anyway my band would chuck me out lol.
          Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

          Comment


          • #6
            "The band does not like the way they look?" Are you kidding me? When was the last time the band members voted on what guitar was used? I don't like Les Pauls, you need to use a Strat! Really? I think you need to stack three keyboards cause it looks cool! Please. If you play well, that is all that should matter.

            Comment


            • #7
              Agreed how they look doesn't matter but how they sound does
              Roland TD30 module on TD20 kit SD3 with various kits. Pearl Masters Kit, Yamaha 9000RC original natural wood finish. Cymbals from Zildgian Pasite and Sabian. Loads of percussion bits. Cubase and Wavelab always current versions.

              Comment


              • #8
                Lol! Of course not! All you need to do to please the mases ( if you feel the need to do so)is have a custom kit that looks like A's(DIY conversion will do), sound like A's using samples( 2Box module fits nicely) and a gut thumping amp system( your choice just don't go cheap and use a sub too) if they still complain seek better musicians with less ego. Just my 2 cents.
                8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                Comment


                • #9
                  On the original question about e-sets being for anything other than practice ---- POSH!! I'm no longer performing regularly, but the last few years when I have it's been with my e-set. It gives great flexibility in sound and volume as needed for different songs. Another way to please (fool) the masses if you feel you need the look of an acoustic set ...... mount a bass head and hoop on your rack in the traditional position of a bass. It looks like an acoustic bass to the audience if that is something you desire. I've posted this image in other threads, but here it again, I used a cheap bass shell cut down to use it's lugs/tensions rods to hold the head from my acoustic set, hung it from the rack as shown.

                  Lyle

                  and the jukebox plays..... !! (the Nails - Home of the Brave )

                  E-set : TDW-20, 2 up & 2 down, VH-12, 6 cymbals (5 CY14, 1 CY15), 2 Pintech Dingbats all on a Gibraltar rack, thru a Simmons DA200S
                  VExpressions Gigging Kits & Top 50 Drummers #1

                  A-set : 1968 Ludwig Hollywood in Burgundy Sparkle

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There was a little bit of talk about this recently on a FB group too. I have been gigging with my Rolands since 2002. Right now I gig weekly with my Vexed Td-12 and in a few weeks I am going to try my new 2box (with roland pads) in a live situation. Not only does the v-drums keep our stage volume low (we dropped our backline and only use monitors now) it has allowed one of my projects (a semi-acoustic trio) to play very small rooms that only had duos and solo before. I like that my roland kit looks interesting and 9X out of 10 people complement on the look and sound. Sure you'll get an Old schooler once in awhile saying they hate 'em but I dont care. With a decent PA they sound good.. IMO.
                    Ostrich Hat
                    www.ostrichhat.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Lemme add something that I know I've said elsewhere before.

                      Bands who get their panties in a twist over what they think are the shortcomings of edrums fail to realize that the most important judge of their band, any given audience, DOESN'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THE DRUMS!!!!!!! For that matter, most band members don't. Well, they don't if "giving a crap" goes anything beyond "how much does it thump?"

                      Sure, the drums are important, can't be just about any type of gigging band, regardless of genre, without em. Sure, we here agonize over the nuances of both edrum sound and performance but ask yourself this: when was the last time you were at a show, be it a local band or perhaps an indie band with no national following, etc., and somebody in the audience commented on the drums? I go to a fair number of shows in small clubs that book both local and touring acts and I'm never afraid to ask total strangers what they think. In no instance has anyone ever said something to the effect of "oh, the drums just make this group.".

                      Another example of this is how we've discussed various e-HH rigs over the years with the fairly constant theme of how an electronic HH still doesn't quite match up to an acoustic one. Now go watch a local or small touring act (particularly in rock) and see just how little the drummer utilized the HH. It's almost always always closed.

                      Sure, I'm undoubtedly over-generalizing here but my point is any band that thinks acoustic drums will make or break it when it comes to gigging is deluding themselves and have *no* idea how an average audience member, even if they're paying close attention to the show, ie., aren't being Concert Fooles by yakking to a neighbor or have their nose glued to a smart phone, reacts to a performance.

                      The drummer is needed and lord knows a poor drummer can derail everything on a bar-by-bar basis. But, if you know how to get good sound out of your ekit (another thread entirely) and you're a decent drummer, the audience won't know the difference. Bands/band members who insist otherwise, well, as I said above, those are bands/people you don't want to play with.

                      Thus endeth my meta rant for the day.

                      www.digitaldrummermag.com
                      www.dauphinehotel.com
                      TD-12, DTX502, SD1000, EZDrummer, Diamond Drum 12" snare, S1000 toms/cymbals/kick, PCY10/100/135/155, CY-5/14, Hart Ride, Hart Acupad 8" kick, Epedal Pro II, Concept 1 pads/cymbals, SD1000 & Roland V Sessions racks, PD-7, Kit Toy 10" splash, DMPad ride, SamplePad, PerformancePad Pro

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by grog View Post
                        Lemme add something that I know I've said elsewhere before.

                        Bands who get their panties in a twist over what they think are the shortcomings of edrums fail to realize that the most important judge of their band, any given audience, DOESN'T GIVE A CRAP ABOUT THE DRUMS!!!!!!! For that matter, most band members don't. Well, they don't if "giving a crap" goes anything beyond "how much does it thump?"

                        Sure, the drums are important, can't be just about any type of gigging band, regardless of genre, without em. Sure, we here agonize over the nuances of both edrum sound and performance but ask yourself this: when was the last time you were at a show, be it a local band or perhaps an indie band with no national following, etc., and somebody in the audience commented on the drums? I go to a fair number of shows in small clubs that book both local and touring acts and I'm never afraid to ask total strangers what they think. In no instance has anyone ever said something to the effect of "oh, the drums just make this group.".

                        Another example of this is how we've discussed various e-HH rigs over the years with the fairly constant theme of how an electronic HH still doesn't quite match up to an acoustic one. Now go watch a local or small touring act (particularly in rock) and see just how little the drummer utilized the HH. It's almost always always closed.

                        Sure, I'm undoubtedly over-generalizing here but my point is any band that thinks acoustic drums will make or break it when it comes to gigging is deluding themselves and have *no* idea how an average audience member, even if they're paying close attention to the show, ie., aren't being Concert Fooles by yakking to a neighbor or have their nose glued to a smart phone, reacts to a performance.

                        The drummer is needed and lord knows a poor drummer can derail everything on a bar-by-bar basis. But, if you know how to get good sound out of your ekit (another thread entirely) and you're a decent drummer, the audience won't know the difference. Bands/band members who insist otherwise, well, as I said above, those are bands/people you don't want to play with.

                        Thus endeth my meta rant for the day.

                        www.digitaldrummermag.com
                        www.dauphinehotel.com
                        Exactly!
                        8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting
                        http://www.airbrushartists.org/DreamscapeAirbrushRealm

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Macarina,

                          Macarina wrote:
                          This past weekend, I was talking to my friend and ex-band guitarist on equipment, primarily PA speakers. At one point he made the comment that my kit (Roland TD-15K w/ VExpressions) never quite lived up to a real acoustic kit. (snip) He said, you canít beat an acoustic kit. (snip) Because of a recent bad audition where the band did not have the equipment to handle my kit, I realized I need to bring the proper equipment to auditions and practice. I also realize itís going to be expensive to buy the right equipment. (snip) So before I go spend lots more money to properly audition for a band...
                          You started your comments with the statement: "reality check for e-drums". Well, here's the reality. Given the current state of electronic drums and P.A. systems, to get an electronic kit to work in a variety of situations, you've got to spend a lot of money and bring a lot of gear. Once you've done that, though you may solve the volume problem, the electronic drums still don't have the dynamic range and expressiveness of acoustic drums. So yeah, that's the bottom line for me. I take the easiest path that allows expressing my ideas with the most range and freedom, and therefore I use acoustic drums. Electronic drums are great for practice, but I never use them for actual music making because I find their present capabilities too limiting. If you consider limited capabilities along with the high cost, that's probably a good summary of why electronic drums haven't become mainstream.

                          Comparing the electric guitar to electronic drums isn't a reasonable comparison. The brilliance of the electric guitar is it's an electromechanical instrument that provides similar expressiveness to its acoustic counterpart. This simply isn't the case when comparing current generation e-drums with acoustic drums.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Macarina,

                            Just found a great video example. Check out this clip of Brian Blade with Daniel Lanois. Fast forward to the 10:30 mark and listen to the skunky, New Orleans groove Blade lays down. Bass drum, snare drum, and hi-hat. Nothing else. Electronic drums don't have this degree of expressiveness, yet. It's not about the quantity, but rather the quality.

                            Brian Blade with Daniel Lanois
                            http://www.npr.org/event/music/37671...y-desk-concert

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              While I agree with TangTheHump that electronic drums don't offer the dynamic range and expressiveness of acoustic drums, many find the trade off worth it. I've played in 3 small-ish churches and in one prison ministry band. The churches prefer the electronic drums! Why? Easier to control the volume. The prison ministry band preferred the electronic drums, too. Why? Portability.

                              I loaned out my TD-9 set (without the Vex pack) to a church for a demo. By the time they hooked up 2 electric guitars and a bass and got to jamming, I had a hard time believing these were electronic drums. And the average person in the audience sure can't tell.

                              My current church has acoustic drums. And we seat about 1500 people. Guess what? The drums are behind the plexiglass and are mic'ed. So they're still running through the PA.

                              And to address range and expression, you can setup a few kits to nearly exactly meet the needs of particular songs. Try that with an acoustic kit without going all Neil Peart.

                              In my not-so-humble-opinion - electronic drums are certainly more than good enough for a lot of situations. The purists, of course, disagree. So be it.
                              TD-25KV, Yamaha DXR15, MG10. Senn 280HD.

                              Comment

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