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How good our v-drums really sound?

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  • dennisdoubleu
    replied
    I have to admit that I bury the beater on occasion too (unconsciously). I've been working on improving this recently. Ironically, I found great satisfaction in seeing Todd Sucherman (one of my heroes) burying it last week while taking a Masterclass lesson :-). I feel better, but will still work diligently to improve my foot control.

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  • Howstamychi
    replied
    Originally posted by Antonalog View Post

    Heh, yeah you're probably right. I just got a KT-10 and it's much more obvious that I'm burying the beater as it were. Although I think this has advantages on the flappy pedal I replaced as otherwise I see many small bounces coming through as low velocity midi notes! I'm finding it a bit tricky to unlearn now but, argh, it's a shame that the beginner kit has built bad habits. Course then there's this guy burying the beater the whole time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IfVRa2xxwE
    No doubt some of the greatest players in the world bury the beater and I think all the terms "stuff the beater" etc. sounds snotty and I apologize for that. I see online demonstrations of how good it feels to let the beater sink into their acoustic style pad. Definitely not required playing to let the beater rebound but it definitely can eliminate a clicking on e pads and will let an acoustic kick resonate provided it is set up properly. I studied with and was a drum tech for a famous drummer who excels at Big Band and Jazz for many years so I am biased. The unwanted triggering on your Kick from the small bounces you are experiencing can be eliminated by adjusting the threshold, mask time and retrigger cancel in Trigger Settings.

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  • Antonalog
    replied
    Originally posted by Howstamychi View Post

    Good points although I personally don't mind the rubber rims with a good pad and a Real Feel drum-tec 3 ply mesh head.

    If I can offer a word of advice learn to make your kicks solid without squashing the bass drum or pad. Don't let your pedal stay sunk in the BD/pad. Place the tip of your foot just under where the DW logo is or would be and learn to let the beater fly back every time. Many of the great drummers learn early not to get in the habit of squashing the kick. They hit the kick so the beater rebounds back every time so the bass drum can resonate and not sound like a Pearl Export in a rehearsal studio with 2 pillows stuffed inside every time. Especially if you play a beautiful vintage acoustic bass drum, it will not resonate if you "stuff" the beater. In the e drum environment this would be good practice for playing an acoustic kit and it will save you that crappy metal clack and feeling like you kicked a tree stump. Conversely a rebound kick hit of a good mesh pad will feel almost as good as an acoustic. Almost. All this said many phenomenal drummers stuff the beater, but if you're a beginner you can try out different techniques perhaps more readily than those who have settled into their comfort zone.
    Heh, yeah you're probably right. I just got a KT-10 and it's much more obvious that I'm burying the beater as it were. Although I think this has advantages on the flappy pedal I replaced as otherwise I see many small bounces coming through as low velocity midi notes! I'm finding it a bit tricky to unlearn now but, argh, it's a shame that the beginner kit has built bad habits. Course then there's this guy burying the beater the whole time. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IfVRa2xxwE

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  • Howstamychi
    replied
    Originally posted by Antonalog View Post
    Downside to v-drums for me is that sticks on plastic/rubber and metal clacking pedals sound pretty unmusical so you need to have great isolation on headphones and/or really crank the volume to obliterate that sound. Everything sounds better louder right? Once recorded though, it all sounds great. Still it would be nice if there was some wonder material that didn't have that problem so much.
    On the plus side, at least my cymbal hits sound better and my wimpy kicks aren't so much of a problem as they are on acoustic, but maybe those are beginner's problems ? Or I should find some better cymbals...
    Good points although I personally don't mind the rubber rims with a good pad and a Real Feel drum-tec 3 ply mesh head.

    If I can offer a word of advice learn to make your kicks solid without squashing the bass drum or pad. Don't let your pedal stay sunk in the BD/pad. Place the tip of your foot just under where the DW logo is or would be and learn to let the beater fly back every time. Many of the great drummers learn early not to get in the habit of squashing the kick. They hit the kick so the beater rebounds back every time so the bass drum can resonate and not sound like a Pearl Export in a rehearsal studio with 2 pillows stuffed inside every time. Especially if you play a beautiful vintage acoustic bass drum, it will not resonate if you "stuff" the beater. In the e drum environment this would be good practice for playing an acoustic kit and it will save you that crappy metal clack and feeling like you kicked a tree stump. Conversely a rebound kick hit of a good mesh pad will feel almost as good as an acoustic. Almost. All this said many phenomenal drummers stuff the beater, but if you're a beginner you can try out different techniques perhaps more readily than those who have settled into their comfort zone.
    Last edited by Howstamychi; 01-20-19, 08:26 AM. Reason: terminology

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  • Peter Warren
    replied
    I always run kick dry,toms slightly wet and snare very wet. This goes back to how I deal with acoustic drums live too. I like some reverb on the snare and sometimes a bit on the toms. That of course depends on the room . I would guess a lot of Edrummers are showing up with lots of room/reverb on kick and toms and it would sound like a mess through subs.

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  • MilosDrummer
    replied
    Originally posted by AZ Drummer View Post
    My biggest complaint (about e-drums) as a bass player/guitar player/sound man, is that most e-drum patches have too much
    reverb on them. Sure, it may sound great with headphones by creating a virtual acoustic environment for home practice
    but it needs to lessened or removed altogether for gigs. Some inexperienced sound engineers then add outboard reverb to
    EVERYTHING, making the situation worse, especially if the wet drum signal is compressed at the board.
    Reverb and EQ need to be adjusted for the relative needs of the venue. A lot of churches love e-drums, for good reasons,
    but I see these mistakes in churches frequently.

    A good habit is to send the house a dry signal, then add reverb at the module only if needed. This also helps to keep the monitor
    mix from becoming too wet. I've heard some monitor mixes get so wet that it was hard for the band to stay in sync with the drummer!
    I must confess that I rarely get to hear others playing live e-drums so my 'live' perception is based mostly on personal feel on the stage. Also, I check the FOH , record some gigs and get to see/hear some phone videos from the audience... It's just not so common to use electronics in my world (on the cruise ships yes, but I never get to hear other bands in person cause we replace each other). Anyhow, the previous statement about too much reverb on live e drums comes as counterintuitive for me. If I'm making my own drum sound (so the sound guy is not), I would tend to make it even less wet than needed because I get a different feel of reverb/ambience in the headphones than the FOH deliveres. Hearing the video from the audience, it turns out too dry.

    Just wondering, would the previously mentioned 'too wet' sound result from mixing on stage or studio monitors or possibly bad headphones? I do always play a 'soundcheck' pattern and listen at FOH to have a reality check, but on stage I tend to lower the ambience slider hearing it a bit too much in IEMs. Btw, I use only LR outs for 90% of gigs.

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  • AZ Drummer
    replied
    My biggest complaint (about e-drums) as a bass player/guitar player/sound man, is that most e-drum patches have too much
    reverb on them. Sure, it may sound great with headphones by creating a virtual acoustic environment for home practice
    but it needs to lessened or removed altogether for gigs. Some inexperienced sound engineers then add outboard reverb to
    EVERYTHING, making the situation worse, especially if the wet drum signal is compressed at the board.
    Reverb and EQ need to be adjusted for the relative needs of the venue. A lot of churches love e-drums, for good reasons,
    but I see these mistakes in churches frequently.

    A good habit is to send the house a dry signal, then add reverb at the module only if needed. This also helps to keep the monitor
    mix from becoming too wet. I've heard some monitor mixes get so wet that it was hard for the band to stay in sync with the drummer!

    Leave a comment:


  • MilosDrummer
    replied
    Thanx! I hope people can get this as a useful contemplation, not as just stating subjective preferences. Cheers!

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  • sycle1
    replied
    Great Topic Milos well covered really.
    great post Gingerbaker
    I was going to comment about how our perception of sound changes not just from room to room venue to venue. I think to some extent its like our hearing is learning what it likes as we age, just like our musical taste changes as we age.
    Last edited by sycle1; 12-24-18, 09:08 PM.

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  • MilosDrummer
    replied
    Although I agree completely on the acoustics side of the story, and the resulting need for us to hear things the way we are used to, I think there is a substantial need for tweaking e-drums. First of all, one has to adjust all trigger settings and also, obviously, learn how to hit the damn thing properly, cause it ain't doing the same thing as an acc drum. Secondly, to go back to the original statement, one has to compensate for the imperfections or inherent qualities of the sound source. Thirdly, one has to adjust the levels and eq of everything according to the situation, be it playing to a backing track or with a live band or a dj or whatever. Stock goes only so far to give a starting point, and it depends heavily on the brand, tier, and the generation of the module/kit if it works even for that. Roland is not the single dancer at this party. Many variables.

    Anyhow, tweaking a kit doesn't have to mean turning every knob available. Only selecting proper components and making them sound as a whole works wonders, still that takes skill and good taste/ears. I've never used vex but I think there's lots of mildly tweaked kits, with well chosen sounds and not too much processing. Usually, as in studio work, less is more, good levels and apropriate ambience can make things sound great.

    In my book, it comes down to us being able to recognize if the stock or vex or custom tweaked kit works for the situation or not, and to know what to adjust if needed.

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  • gingerbaker
    replied
    "even stock sounds will be acceptable for the audience. "

    Stock sounds may well be superior to a tweaked e-kit or tweaked acoustic kit. Yes, I said it!

    We drummers probably have the worst idea of what a good drum kit sounds like.... to an audience. That's because almost all of us started out on acoustic drums. We tuned them so they sound great to us sitting behind the kit. But acoustic drums radiate sounds in all directions, and the human ear discriminates volumes on a logarithmic basis, ie, sounds have to be much louder (ten times louder) for us to hear them as twice as loud. (Which is why decibels are based on human hearing which is logarithmic (ten times the energy = double the volume).

    So, we sit behind our acoustic kits, bombarded by sound frequencies from very close sources and we evaluate those sounds with our ears, not oscilloscopes. Meanwhile, the sounds from our kit which radiate toward the audience are not the exact - heck, not even close to the - sounds which radiate to our ears. Plus, sounds which go toward the audience have different directional dispersions (spreads) based upon their frequencies, and the frequencies fall off as the square of the distance from the source to the ear of a listener.

    In other words, what we hear behind an acoustic kit is very different from what members of the audience hear. When we tweak our e-kit, we tweak it so it sounds like what we believe a tweaked acoustic kit should sound like. Which is quite likely to not be the sonic ideal for an audience.

    Guess who knows all of this? The engineers at Roland, that's who. Many of the stock kits, which most of us think sound terrible "out of the box" and which we strongly believe need a lot of adjustment, are actually designed to cut through an electric band and project to the audience clearly without being obnoxious or muddy.

    I attended a Roland drum demo at my local music store... jeez, probably twenty years ago now(!) it would appear. The TD-10 was being demo-ed, at first by playing along to a pre-recorded track of an electric prog-rock group played through two Mackie powered subs and Mackie powered PA speakers.The drums sounded great. Musical, well-defined, not harsh, not muddy. Cutting through the mix, but not intrusive. After the demo, I asked how the Roland pro had tweaked his module. My jaw dropped when he told me that his module wasn't being used. It was a brand new module provided by the music store, completely untweaked, and was using Kit 1 (I think with the TDW-1).

    And then we had a conversation right along the lines of what I just wrote. I doubt very much if anybody went out and gigged with Kit 1 off a TD-10 with a TDW-1. Because it sounds pretty bad to us as drummers who think we know how a drum kit "is supposed" to sound. But we are probably all wrong.
    Last edited by gingerbaker; 12-24-18, 01:04 PM.

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  • MilosDrummer
    replied
    Hmm, I feel missunderstood to a degree... Let's say that e-drums are the opposite to the acoustics in more than just being a totally different instrument. Maybe I shouldn't have mentioned them in the first place . Electronics sound inherently processed because the only way we hear them is through speakers/headphones. Acoustic are what the name suggests... Only way to make them processed is to overpower or exclude the natural raw sound of them.

    The thing I'm trying to explore is the difference in what we expect to hear from any drumset (e or a) and what we get from our kit.

    Originally posted by BWaj View Post
    It's because the natural sound of the drum is not appealing to the masses, only the purist.
    This is a very good point. The raw sound of the acoustic drumset has become unfavorable under heavy influence of electronics (previously of record production) so almost everything we hear and want to hear is coming out processed through a speaker. It's genre specific also. A matter of taste. Still, there's objectively good sound and bad sound, and what makes it so is our know-how. I guess what I'm trying to say is: learn what is good sound, refine your taste and try to get as near to it as possible instead of buying fancy gear expecting it to do the work for you. Expensive e drums can sound just as bad as the cheap ones, hence many negative opinions on them. We can skip the obvious analogies to the acoustics tho... no need to write and read same things twice, right?

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  • BWaj
    replied
    Originally posted by MilosDrummer View Post

    I've had so many gigs playing acoustics in places tuned for a DJ with soundguys used to DJs and sounded crap... with well tuned drumsets... No, an e-drum is not a solution to all problems wether it's a drummer that doesn't know how to 'tune' them or the tech unused to them or the PA set for a DJ.

    'E-kit has to sound good first' is the topic here. Yes it's subjective, and yes some of us get it wrong. Yes, we should talk about it cause also the opposite happens... Mid tier e-drums can also sound great if you know how to tune them and if they go through a proper chain, and if you listen through a decent system/headphones. Sounds obvious, right? Wrong, many flawed opinions come from not understanding these points, and people expect to have good sounding kits just cause they're electronic. How do you make sure they sound good in the first place?
    But that's the point, an a kit also has to sound good first. Most bands playing out feature a drummer with old heads and a broken crash cymbal, lol. Many have no idea how to tune or mic a kit. Or if the kit is not mic'd, you have to know how to play within the mix. Balance how hard you hit the snare, HH and ride as to not overpower everything. Many drummers don't understand that either.

    Absolutely you have to have a decent sounding Ekit as well. But so long as it's a reasonably decent one, even stock sounds will be acceptable for the audience. Heads won't ring out or be too dead, etc.

    In a small venue, you can control volume but still have a sound similar to a fully mic'd and processed kit. You could never achieve that in a venue you don't mic an akit. You'll sound like a garage band because the kit is not in the PA. There is a reason studios have so much gear and live even the best sounding kits have a mic per drum, gates, comps, reverb, eq and often times triggers. It's because the natural sound of the drum is not appealing to the masses, only the purist.

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  • MilosDrummer
    replied
    Originally posted by Intruder View Post

    Just this thread, or the whole forum? LOL
    Yup, the forum is coming down with identity crisis

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  • Intruder
    replied
    Originally posted by MilosDrummer View Post

    You just made most of the topics here redundant :-D
    Just this thread, or the whole forum? LOL

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