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Are your V's becoming uninspiring?

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  • Are your V's becoming uninspiring?

    I recently had some personal revelations regarding my V's and the current state of electronic drums in general. Why the incessant need to simulate acoustics? I realized I've dumped a lot of money in making my V's "more like the real thing" without really concidering or investigating what the V's can do that acoustics simply can not, besides the obvious (silent pads, practice tool, etc...). I've now come to the conclusion for me to fully realize the pontential of the V's is to incorporate them with acoustics and explore the more "electronic" side of them. I would like to open this door of dicussion and see what you all think about this.


  • #2
    It's okay to explore the electronic side of the Vdrums if you want to merge them with acoustic drums. BUT: initialy Roland offered the kit as an e-drum which should be as close as possible to the real thing. Roland and all the other e-companies still offer hi-hat controllers, which should feel like real hi-hats, put sounds in their modules which should sound like the real thing, offer pads which should play like the real thing, offer positional sensing which should .... et cetera, et cetera. (I don't need positional sensing for electronic effect sounds nor need a hi-hat controller for my car-door samples) So, it's not weird that we're looking for an e-drum which resembles much like an acoustic kit. Companies just promote it that we. On the other hand, we drummers ask for it. We are not the most innovative part of the group. We rejected almost all inventions from the past years and return to 1950s acoustic drum kits. We look for the real thing. And if we are seduced to buy an e-drum, then next we start to complain how it doesn't resemble and feel to the real thing.

    [This message has been edited by puttenvr (edited September 01, 2001).]


    • #3
      As for myself, I have always stayed away from edrums that try and replicate acoustics, they simply are not acoustic drums nor should they try and be acoustic drums. I like the concept that electronic drums don't have to be anything like acoustic drums, you can have some acoustic sounds of course, but then you can also have literaly anything under your sticks you can imagine. My acoustic drums are really good at being acoustic drums, my electronics are good at everything else. They give me the abiltity to explore my own creativity above and beyond my drumset.
      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


      • #4
        Haven't lost my feel for the kit I have spent so much time and money on.

        Like most, we all wonder at different times whether or not we have made the right decisions. Maybe it has less to do with the drums and more to do with the process of how we think in general.

        I am sure I will come to the wall someday to either rejoice or lament. Right now I rejoice.

        I think it is a good idea to have a hybrid of both the ekit and akit. Both can do what the other cannot and this helps add variety. I would like to have an acoustic kit someday in the future. Maybe someday I will work a small four piece akit into my ekit if I ever have a sound proof room in my home that is.

        I have had my kit for quite a while now and just started to explore the more interesting effects offered on the TD-10. I think the delays are interesting and a person can really lay down some interesting grooves if they get the timing right.

        Sorry for the LWP.

        Hope it offers some sort of inspiration.

        Kelly Mercer
        Halifax, Nova Scotia

        My Youtube Channel!

        My "home studio" webcam!


        • #5
          Zak, we've visited this before and the comments up to this point are valid. Use most xlnt search engine for more. Keywords 'toy', 'real', 'alien', 'sci-fi', 'Carl Palmer', 'do', 'can't do'.



          • #6
            Yes, all valid comments. I guess it really boils down to a personal aproach and preference. At this moment in time I'm finding my V-drums a little lacking. Probably due to my prior experience with acoustics, and this endless quest to make the V's more like them. For me personally I guess I see this as possibly moving backwards. "Well, how can I make my ride more expressive? How can I make my snare sound like a pearl maple free floater? How can I make my V's feel like an acoustic drum?" Maybe the answers are get a real ride cymbal, a pearl maple free floating snare, and acoustic drums. Now how can I make a percussive sound nobody has heard befor? Maybe another aproach to the V's is the answer.

            These are just my thoughts and are not intended to be a debate between right and wrong. Just thought it might make interesting dicussion.



            • #7
              Originally posted by zmorton:
              These are just my thoughts and are not intended to be a debate between right and wrong. Just thought it might make interesting dicussion.

              Hi ZAk,

              As I previously stated, these concerns have already been hashed out in detail, It's probably best that you locate one of those threads and take it from there if you really need to take it further. Bottomline is, do not expect the E's to 'win' or 'lose' to the A's. It's a no-win-no-lose situation, depending on who you talk to. You will find ardent supporters from both camps.

              As for me? I LUV my V's but I am 'A' all the way when it comes down to the brass-tax! As I mentioned, check out those previous threads for some bizarre discussion. No need to start a new one. Why don't your search off with keyword 'toy'.




              • #8
                Yes, I remember the whole "toy like appearance" dicussion from a while back. I've actually been around this web site I think from the begining. What I'm now curious about is who out there is using the V-drums in a non simulating aproach, and is this a more rewarding aproach? I guess I did get caught up in the novelty of the V-drums back in 1997 when I got my V-pro. Now sure they have some very cool things to offer but now I questioning the direction I've gone with them. Is it really worth the time and money to make these things more "real"? Or would it be better to go a direction that may be unexplored? Of course these are questions I can only answer myself.



                • #9
                  I love to play my acoustics as well as my vdrums, I have not mixed them yet as I have not needed to. However the whole experience of es is great for me.

                  I think we have to remember that as far as the rhythm thing goes we have nothing new to play with for years. The kits available to common mortals have been maple or birch with a little smattering of some exotic woods.

                  The electronic thing seems to be where all the growth is, for me its the most exciting thing for drums since I bough my first quality acoustic set. I am only touching the surface at what can be done but the limitation seems to be my imagination and understanding.

                  Our guitarists colleagues started with acoustics, and now look at their set-ups. I just wonder what the drum sound of 50 years time will be.

                  [This message has been edited by Daveb (edited September 02, 2001).]


                  • #10
                    I have been recording and touring for about 10 years now and there is a need for both types of kits.I use the Vdrums in the studio along with an acoustic kit and I like playing both and incorperating both. There have been sessions were time is money and the Vdrums have came up fast and saved the client alot of money on demo stuff. You guys who have did session work know that a well tuned acoustic kit is hard to beat but getting a good drum sound depends on alot of factors and with the Vdrums you can cut down on alot of those factors. I still prefer an acoustic kit for most of my session stuff and some live depending on stage volume but if you are going to be a working player in todays market you will need experence on all kinds of kits , edrums and acoustic. I have did some gigs on a SPD 20( in a pinch) if it works and the artist approves go for it. 90% of it boils down to how good the player is, they might be e drums but you still have to have the ability to play them. Anyway thats my 2 cents.

                    [This message has been edited by zekedrum (edited September 02, 2001).]


                    • #11
                      As for the whole "e"s vs. "a"s thing again, semi-disguised, I still don't get it. While I'm interested (to a point) in other drummer's thoughts/opinions on this, that's all it is. "Better" is always measured by personal preference and usually depends on situation/context as well.

                      But the original question is a little less explored and more interesting to me.

                      I started off with a somewhat lofty notion of the possibilities of "e"s and then proceeded to first and foremost do everything I could to make sure they could duplicate the sound of "a"s. No e-kit that I'm aware of does that very faithfully out of the box, but with the right sampler and additional gear, you can (eventually) get amazing results.

                      Now if I'd have stopped there, I would have had an e-kit which plays/responds very(differently) than an a-kit, but which produces "a" sounds (mic'ed or un-mic'ed, whatever) very accurately. That's a helluva lot of $ for silent practice, in-ear click, a toy sequencer, etc., IMO. But the other benefit that would come close in my mind to justifying it, is that there is really no limit to the number of kits ("a" sounds or otherwise) that I could have at my disposal with a little time and patient programming.

                      But to me now, this is where the real fun STARTS. I'm just beginning to scratch the surface of what else I can do.

                      I initially started out doing most things like placement, and "tuning" the mesh pads (tighter for "smaller" toms, looser for "larger toms), etc., to approximate "a"s. Now I'm starting to ask why about everything.

                      My placement is still pretty traditional because I don't want to "re-learn" everything after twenty odd years, but some things that couldn't be altered that were LESS efficient, now can be. My hat pedal is exactly where it is most comfortable to me and has nothing to do with where the striking surface is. All mesh pads (except for a slightly tighter snare) are at the same tension. You learn to compensate for the differences in head tensions as you play "a"s, but you can re-learn this pretty quickly, and the consistency is really nice once you get used to it. Toms are closer together, and positioned more economically than they could be with the "a" counterparts. All add up to gained efficiencies.

                      I can now not only switch between completely different kits, I can do it mid-song, or can change snares between verses and chorus on the fly, or anything else.

                      I can have sensitivity/response that allows me to double stroke roll my double-bass pedals...or not. (Pretty much regardless of the drum's "tuning".)

                      I can layer sounds...several sounds deep per stick strike and/or have that be velocity relative (still working on this).

                      I can trigger loops using the exact sounds I'm using and/or others.

                      I can create "unique" sounds that it is unlikely someone else gets from their stock brand X gear.

                      I can trigger ANY sound I can find or create, from any pad.

                      And all of the above isn't even really new to "e"s. I've just found existing stuff to help me put percussive sounds together in a way that's increasingly more efficient, expressive, pliable and friendly to me. I hope through the process of experimenting that someday I create something truly new. That would really be cool.

                      Hmmm. Maybe a drum where the positional sensing equates to various notes...oh wait, there are steel drums that do that (albeit no true "E" steel drums--I'm talking one e-drum with "all" those notes). Or maybe I can invent a module that quantizes perfectly, with just the right amount of "human" feel, in real time, as you play...wait, that's both cheating AND putting myself out of a job. How 'bout a module that incorporates everything from the wishlist on this site for under $1K...wait that's just nuts. Er, how 'bout...


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by zmorton:
                        ... who out there is using the V-drums in a non simulating aproach ...

                        Great question and something that's been gnawing at me too. I mean, like Hey! These are 'electric' drums, right? Give me 'electric' sounds! To be played with 'electric' sticks. Personally, I was a little disappointed that the module didn't come with alot more 'effects/electronic' sounds than it did. But alas, the general public wants them to be as acoustic-sounding (and 'looking') as possible. Not me.

                        Is it really worth the time and money to make these things more "real"?

                        Obviously for some people it is, and I would think the studio is where the greatest value exists. This and 'silent' play is where I would say the majority of e-drum value exists. For you? As you said, it's your call.

                        Or would it be better to go a direction that may be unexplored?

                        For me and alot of others who 'witnessed' the Brain Salad Surgery tour back in 1973, Carl Palmer settled that question once and for all. No more frontiers left. Just like our planet. I challenge anyone to provide a compostion that will give Palmer's 'Tocatta' performance a run for it's $.

                        About the only thing left now is to somehow integrate the triggering technology with some type of visual media. Lasers? Halography perhaps?

                        Happy Exploring Zak,


                        • #13
                          Bigger... better... faster... more...

                          Does it ever end? I just got a TD-6 Club kit, adding a PD-80R to it so that I can have a 6-piece kit with rimshot/cross stick capabilities. My current living situation will not allow me to use my a-kit, so I either give up playing altogether, or finally discover an e-kit for less than $3K and, thanking God profusely in the process, procure them.

                          So, for me, the question wasn't so much, does it do this... can I expand that... does it sound "real"... It was a question of keeping my sanity by finally being able to play again. To be able to play again...

                          Some of you remember the good old days, when you used to collect garbage cans, or empty paint cans, or whatever you could put together that, at least, looked like an a-kit! Remember being the "one" who could play Wipe Out? You remember... And these ekits are very much like that, for me. And the best thing is, is that they do play like, and sound like, their a-kit bigger brothers. That, to me, is fantastic!

                          Now, I am not a professional, and I realize that some of these discussions are based on some of you who are professionals, who need to keep adding more sounds and versatility to their kits to keep things fresh, so I certainly do not want to belittle that reality. Speaking for myself, I think it's absolutely fan-freakin'-tastic that we can have such instruments!

                          Someone mentioned Carl Palmer... When he recorded Tocotta, that was the >first< time anyone had used a drum kit as a synth trigger. Amazing, since back then it was a real nightmare for him just to get them to trigger reliably, never mind do triplets, etc. Hell, I think he even put together the trigger/interface units for each drum! Talk about bigger, better, faster! And look what we have now... Incredible!!

                          Does that mean I'll never play my akit again? Heaven forbid! Someday when my living conditions change, I will most definitely be using the akit, adding to it, even. But, for now, the V-Clubs keep me in the game, as it were. That's why I'm all smiles...


                          [This message has been edited by HolShot (edited September 04, 2001).]

                          [This message has been edited by HolShot (edited September 20, 2001).]


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by HolShot:
                            Someone mentioned Carl Palmer ...
                            Someone? ...SOMEONE ?!?! ...


                            • #15
                              When some ancient dude first stretched an animal skin over a hollow log, most of the other guys who had hitherto only beat rocks together seeking the approving "ugs" of their fans, probably thought that was it.

                              Luckily a few folks somewhere down the road, continued writing symphonies, even when they had heard some pretty intimidating ones already. And later still, James M. Hendrix didn't listen to Muddy Waters and say, "That's it, that's all there is, man."

                              By no means am I baggin' on Marc. I may be wrong, but I really want to believe that "e"s are at the beginning of another cycle of percussive expression, not at the end of it all. People have been beating on things to make noise for a pretty long time, so it's true that it is pretty hard to come up with a truly "new" rhythm, and few created sounds are so unique as to stop people in their tracks. Nevertheless, the possibilities in putting them together ARE endless. Add to that now being able to trigger traditionally non-percussion instruments and sounds really adds almost too many possibilities to fully get a handle on.

                              Palmer probably didn't say, "that's it" when he finished that piece. But even if he did, I wouldn't. I bet any one of you are capable of creating something interesting that none of us have heard yet. Doing it well is agreeably not easy, but I like to think that it may be getting easier, rather than harder. If I ever become convinced that creativity is exhausted and the best I can do is copy, I'll be devastated. There was a time when I thought that if I could faithfully play (a certain piece), I'd never want for anything again. Shortsighted to say the least. I've raised the bar too many times to remember since then and before realizing that imitation is only one facet of a many-faceted whole.