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How good our v-drums really sound?

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  • #31
    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!

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    • #32
      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.
      •A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•
      •Roland TD-12 brain, SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•
      •Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•

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      • #33
        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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        • #34
          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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          • #35
            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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            • #36
              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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              • #37
                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.
                E-kit: TD50KV with KD A22, SPD-SX, BT-1, Acoustic: DW Custom, Maple Mahogany, Zildjian K Customs, Sweet and Darks, Pork Pie Thrones, Tama Speed Cobras and DW HW, Zildjian sticks. Midas 32C, MD421, EV ND46, ND96, SM57, SM81. Past kits include Roland TD9 Mesh and TD30K.

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                • #38
                  With acoustics, one has to use various techniques depending on what sound you're after and what tuning/muffling you use. With e drums, it's all about the feel and response which results in dynamics. So if you set up the triggering to omit the unwanted ghost strokes (caused by burying the beater), you loose dynamic range and the low velocity response, or in the worst case, even fast double strokes. None of this affects the sound itself but can lead to poor playability which results in unnatural sounding kit as a whole. For some genres that's fine, metal, hard rock or pop music rarely calls for feathering the kick. Still, I'd say it's good to have the ability to play as many different techniques well. That way you can adapt to the instrument and still play what ever you want.
                  •A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•
                  •Roland TD-12 brain, SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•
                  •Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•

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                  • #39
                    Thanks, mostly I'm ok with the V-drum kick sound, but getting speed/stamina is something I need to work on (acoustic on the other hand, way harder). Actually the thing I'm having more trouble with at the moment is getting dynamics out of the high hats on the V-drums. Firstly the shoulder-tip thing doesn't sound nearly as dynamic as it does on acoustic hats, plus trying to play quieter tends to get lost under the rubber thwack sound, it's a bit annoying trying to play 16th notes on the hats for instance. Hats too cheap maybe? Not sure. Hard to beat real life for dynamic range.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Antonalog View Post
                      Thanks, mostly I'm ok with the V-drum kick sound, but getting speed/stamina is something I need to work on (acoustic on the other hand, way harder). Actually the thing I'm having more trouble with at the moment is getting dynamics out of the high hats on the V-drums. Firstly the shoulder-tip thing doesn't sound nearly as dynamic as it does on acoustic hats, plus trying to play quieter tends to get lost under the rubber thwack sound, it's a bit annoying trying to play 16th notes on the hats for instance. Hats too cheap maybe? Not sure. Hard to beat real life for dynamic range.
                      This derives from the fact stated in many topics here, most recently in the 'snobbery towards electronic drums'. There you can find great examples of drummers playing intricate patterns and wild solos with great dynamics and great sound. Granted, most of them use flagship kits/modules but more importantly, they all are masters of different techniques crucial to playing acoustic drums. Playing and practising on e drums exlusively might get you a fair amount of skill, but mastering the real thing gets you even further and enables a player to depend less on the equipment used.

                      I'll just make one example from personal experience. When I sit behind an acoustic set after playing only e drums for months on the ship, it takes more than a week to feel comfortable again. Reverse is not true since after one or two days/gigs on the ship I play without a glitch because I would've been playing acoustics for 90% of the time on shore.

                      As for the HH or any other part of the kit, I guess it does depend on the quality of parts and the module, but it also depends on what you listen on (to go back to the original topic). The better the monitors/IEMs are, the better you hear what you play, and in case of in-ears, you hear less of the rubber. Basically, you enjoy more and kind of 'upgrade' the sound and feel of the kit with better sound source.
                      •A kits: Mapex Saturn ltd. Mapex Meridian, Ludwig and Pearl snares, Paiste, Anatolian, DW5002TW•
                      •Roland TD-12 brain, SPD-SX, Roland RT triggers•
                      •Ship kits: TD-12KV, TD-30K, TD-50K•

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Antonalog View Post
                        Thanks, mostly I'm ok with the V-drum kick sound, but getting speed/stamina is something I need to work on (acoustic on the other hand, way harder). Actually the thing I'm having more trouble with at the moment is getting dynamics out of the high hats on the V-drums. Firstly the shoulder-tip thing doesn't sound nearly as dynamic as it does on acoustic hats, plus trying to play quieter tends to get lost under the rubber thwack sound, it's a bit annoying trying to play 16th notes on the hats for instance. Hats too cheap maybe? Not sure. Hard to beat real life for dynamic range.
                        The high hat is the hardest thing to simulate for sure. Just make sure if you are using a VH-11, 10 or anything other than a VH-12, 13 or ATV 14" (I think those are the top 3) you have the High Hat cc max at 90, not 127. This definitely applies to the less expensive high hats that have a separate trigger pedal and do not mount on a real high hat stand. Check your manual to make sure but yours is likely 90 maximum dynamic range like mine. Same goes for VST settings as well as inside your module, bring the High Hat cc max 127 down to 90. This will greatly improve dynamic range. I actually go down to about 83 max on a VH-11. Won't get rid of the rubber sound though
                        Last edited by Howstamychi; 02-12-19, 09:22 AM.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Howstamychi View Post

                          The high hat is the hardest thing to simulate for sure. Just make sure if you are using a VH-11, 10 or anything other than a VH-12, 13 or ATV 14" (I think those are the top 3) you have the High Hat cc max at 90, not 127. This definitely applies to the less expensive high hats that have a separate trigger pedal and do not mount on a real high hat stand. Check your manual to make sure but yours is likely 90 maximum dynamic range like mine. Same goes for VST settings as well as inside your module, bring the High Hat cc max 127 down to 90. This will greatly improve dynamic range. I actually go down to about 83 max on a VH-11. Won't get rid of the rubber sound though
                          I'm still playing with a TD-10 exp., so I have been out of the loop for a long time. So, you are saying that many hi-hats do not have 127 levels of midi volume level, but only 90, so you should set your module's volume output to 90, not 127? And this will increase dynamic range? Why?
                          Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Antonalog View Post
                            Actually the thing I'm having more trouble with at the moment is getting dynamics out of the high hats on the V-drums. Firstly the shoulder-tip thing doesn't sound nearly as dynamic as it does on acoustic hats, plus trying to play quieter tends to get lost under the rubber thwack sound, it's a bit annoying trying to play 16th notes on the hats for instance. Hats too cheap maybe? Not sure. Hard to beat real life for dynamic range.
                            I am thinking this is a volume set-up issue. Theoretically, there should not be a situation where you can not get the volume of a pad voice to be loud enough. Simply put, if the H-H rim "bark" you are looking for is not loud enough, why not raise your speaker's volume or your master output volume as high as you need it, and then turn the sliders on your non-high-hat pads down?

                            I have a feeling most people tend to keep inching their sliders up and up until they are all maxed out. This is not how they should be used, I think. Something on your kit is always going to be the lowest or weakest volume, because of a long list of issues - cone wear, sensitivity, sensitivity curve, volume chain issues in the input/output/effects/compression sections of the module, etc. It sounds like for you it is your high hat.

                            So, your "weakest" output pad voice is the pad voice that should determine how high you set your speaker volume or module main out volume, right? Set those up so your high-hat bark is as loud as you want it, and then turn the other stuff down. Same for your high-hat non-rim volume. You should be able - theoretically - to get your hi-hat to play quite closely to a real high-hat as far as volume, sensitivity, etc. The good thing is the rim and non-rim do have separate control tweaks. It is a pain, tho, because over time, you have to keep tweaking the controls, but then that is what we signed up for.

                            Is this helpful, or am I being too didactic? Or obvious?
                            Last edited by gingerbaker; 02-12-19, 12:15 PM.
                            Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by gingerbaker View Post

                              I'm still playing with a TD-10 exp., so I have been out of the loop for a long time. So, you are saying that many hi-hats do not have 127 levels of midi volume level, but only 90, so you should set your module's volume output to 90, not 127? And this will increase dynamic range? Why?
                              I don't believe I said set the volume output level to 90 but the Midi cc value. If they are the same forgive me, but I think midi cc value as it relates to the high hat is the range of articulation from open to close not the volume. Otherwise I should have said High Note # border. Obviously setting a dynamic range your trigger doesn't support will result in improper functioning. My VH-11 is set to open and close smoothly within a range where the High Note Border # is 90, I believe those extra levels of midi are reserved for the tighter articulations when your foot is depressed on a VH-12 or 13 to get the higher pitched sounds. I'm pretty sure you're high hat doesn't support that feature. My VH-11 doesn't.

                              For example, when I set my trigger input on the TD-50 for VH-11 immediately it sets the High Note Border # to 90 automatically. When I use a VH-12 and calibrate it, it immediately defaults to # 127. Best case scenario find the default setting for your high hat in your module and it will set it for you. Also when I calibrate my VH-11 in SD3 it immediately sets the max level at 90. VH-12, 127. I think 90 was always the max High Note Border # for the High Hat until the VH-12 came along but I could be wrong. Sorry if I misused the proper terminology. I am definitely not saying to set the volume of the high hat to 90, make it as loud as you want.

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                              • #45
                                hehe thank guys. Yeah I think I'm finally starting to see the justification for the higher end kits, I don't have any of those settings at all.

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