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V-Drums Get Demoted

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  • V-Drums Get Demoted

    Since I got back into drumming in May (after an 8 hear layoff) I've been 100% sold on V-drums. I can practice without killing my hearing. Change drum sounds on a dime. Plug directly into a club's P.A. to make sound checks a breeze, practice with headphones in the middle of the night. The list goes on and on and on.

    Tonight I changed my mind. I played my first gig with the V-drums and I didn't like it at all. After months of tweaking out the perfect sounds in my basement, they sounded like crap on stage. It was a relatively quite set, so everybody could hear the slapping sound of me hitting the Hart and Visu-lite cymbals. I cracked all 4 of my "unbreakable" Hart E-Cymballs II's.

    I'll continue to use them to practice. I'll continue using them at rehearsal. But on stage, it's acoustics all the way. Time to go shopping!

    Drooling Dog
    - Scott

  • #2
    With the exception of cracking all your cymbals, this pretty much mirrors the experience of most e-drummers first live experience. It is a whole different environment, and even extensive planning sound checks, retweaking, etc. can still not foresee everything. The e's can be made to sound as good or better live as they do in your basement (IMO), but it will take some effort and possibly some outboard gear. Don't throw your hands up just yet, unless you just can't be bothered working it out.


    • #3
      I agree with kildrum

      There are three factors to think about
      1) kit settings
      2) stage sound
      3) front of house sound

      If you have a soundman then front of house is his/her responsibility.

      In my experience stage sound is the most difficult, even with good monitoring it can sometimes be tricky to get that stage presence for you and rest of the band. Experience in setting it all up is the only way forward.

      As for the hartís I canít make a comment as I use Vís but you could try acoustic cymbals that could also help with a stage presence.

      Also learn from one of my mistakes, I set one of my JBL G2ís at ear level when sitting on my Vís. Didnít mean to but I was late setting up.

      The sound was great all night however the next morning my ears were ringing (badly) I was lucky it only lasted three days, but it was a silly mistake and could have been permanent.

      [This message has been edited by Daveb (edited October 28, 2001).]


      • #4
        Originally posted by Drooling Dog:
        Tonight I changed my mind. I played my first gig with the V-drums and I didn't like it at all. After months of tweaking out the perfect sounds in my basement, they sounded like crap on stage. It was a relatively quite set, so everybody could hear the slapping sound of me hitting the Hart and Visu-lite cymbals. I cracked all 4 of my "unbreakable" Hart E-Cymballs II's.

        I'll continue to use them to practice. I'll continue using them at rehearsal. But on stage, it's acoustics all the way. Time to go shopping!

        My major problem with the visu-lites is the NOISE that they make (an issue I have brought up before). I played for the last time with my visu-lite splash at a summer festival in July - large venue, probably 2000 people there, loud sound system, and the TV cameras STILL picked up the >WHACK< of my stick on the splash every time I hit it.

        DD, try out the V-Cymbals. They are quiet, play well, solid, and did I mention quiet?

        Or, do what I do (and many others) - use accoustic cymbals in addition to the PD-9/PD-7's as accent points. I use a PD-9 for ride/bell on stright drives, an accoustic ride for more complex work, PD-9/7's for accent splashes and china sounds, and an 8" splash and 16" thin crash for washes, splashes, and other pieces. Play it all as one set, not as two things - accoustic and electronic. Takes some getting used to, but it's an EXCELLENT compromise. I also play accoustic HH and Conga, wind chimes, wood blocks, etc.

        Don't give up! Takes a few gigs to really get it down. can you schedule a few throw-away gigs (thursdays at a ****e-hole bar) to practice and work out the bugs?

        - hans

        [This message has been edited by hmasing (edited October 28, 2001).]
        - Hans


        • #5
          I appreciate your words of encouragement gang. Thank you. But I think my mind is made up that the V's are not for me. That doesn't mean they're not for everyone. I speak only for myself on this one. I'm perfectly content to consider my V's to be the most kick-ass practice kit the world has ever known

          Drooling Dog
          - Scott


          • #6
            I had the same expierence as Drooling Dog
            with Vdrums. You only have them when playing live; not at home.

            The problems are:
            1. the processed sound from Vdrums, which sounds killer with your headphones on and crap with a normal (= affordable) sound system;
            2. the need of a very huge sound system (if you can afford it) to reproduce the processed Vdrum sound
            3. the need of outboard gear (suggested by dr. kildrum). Gear of which you initially thought you didn't need it ('cause there is already so much control on the Vdrums and when you played acoustic drums you needed this gear neither) but gear from which you now know you doneed it to controll the aforementioned processed sound a bit.

            Where my expierences ended; you all know.


            • #7
              I am with Drooling Dog. I used mine all last winter on corporate gigs and private parties. I spent most of the gig trying to find "that setting". I spent very little time thinking of drumming. I tweaked every which way using JBL 15 pak as a stage monitor and house PA. They sounded ade3quate out front, but processed. I could never get a good crackin snare drum. That was always the BIGGEST issue. Acoustics always win my bandmates over...the drums breathe, the drums can be felt on stage. Now putting that aside, I am sorry I sold them. I would like to have a good practice kit. But, I will always use acoustics live. I tried E's live and could not get them to work for me....too many distractions taking away from my core responsibilty.....drumming.
              Roland V-Pro TD20 expanded with V Expressions
              Presonus Firepod
              Acoustic- Spaun drums, Dunnett snare & Paiste Signature Series Cymbals.


              • #8
                God, we're re-hashing this again. Electronic drums are not acoustic drums, not even Ddrums. There are significant differences between the two instruments, they are ,in fact different instruments. Something keyboardists heve known for years, an electronic grand piano will not give you the same feel or visceral impact as a 9 foot Bosendorf or Steinway. There are reasons to use one or the other in a given situation, but don't think one will ever replace the other, it won't happen any time soon in all playing enviornments. In small studios and in certain live situations electronic instruments can be very useful if not prefered, but in other situations, when you want maximum impact, you want acoustic instruments, but not in every case. It depends on the client, if some guy calls me and tells me he hates electronic drums, I'll probably bring my acoustic kit and a Drumkat for small percussion things like tambourines and such. If, on the other hand some guy calls me with a small corperate party and hands me a song list with a bunch of Whitesnake and Def Leppard tunes on it, it's a pretty safe bet I'm going to bring an electronic kit to reproduce those huge drums recorded in big rooms at low volumes. Whatever works is what I'm getting at.
                Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


                • #9
                  My experience was the complete opposite. My bandmates loved the sound from the get go. One thing that concerned me before I introduced the v's to the band was that I wanted to maintain the presence of the acoustic drums. I mean the volume and depth of the v's had to be very close to the acoustic drums. Unfortunately that meant spending as much on my stage sound system as I did on my vdrums, not to mention carrying all the extra stuff along for every job. After about six months of lugging all that stuff around, I went back to acoustics. The band was mad at me for switching back to acoustics. I have to admit that I have more fun playing acoustics. But depending on the gig, I will use the v's again.


                  • #10
                    I always figured, when I started playing live, I would mix accoustic with electronic. I thought maybe an accoustic snare, some accoustic cymbals mixed with electronic bass drum, e-toms, and some e-cyms. Has anyone tried this before? I know there is always talk of using accoustic cymbals with the e-drums, but what about an accoustic snare? That way you get the accoustic sound of the cymbals and snare, but still have the versatility of e-drums. It would also save inputs as well. You would have more room for more percussion sounds that are too expensive and take too much space to have all in accoustics. I don't have any experience with this since I have only had my e-drums for a few months, but this is just what I thought might work.


                    • #11
                      I've tried playing combo kits, but, wth the exception of acoustic with a Drumkat off to one side, I don''t care for that type of setup. I prefer one or the other.
                      Drumkat Turbo 4.5, Emulator X3, Superior 2.1, Roland Fantom XR, DTXtreme III, SPD-20 etc.......


                      • #12
                        I use a mixed kit consisting of:
                        Acoustic: Kick, snare, all cymbals
                        Electric: Triggered Kick, Toms, percussion, 2nd Snare

                        I have plenty of stage prescence and can combine with the versatitility of electric sounds when needed.

                        However, sometimes I just couldn't be stuffed setting it all up so go all acoustic, or just use a KD-7 for kick, whatever... Our band has a great sound man who manages (most of the time) to get a killer sound whatever setup I use.

                        '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...


                        • #13
                          Dog... sorry to hear the Vís did not do the trick (this time out ).

                          Send the Ecymbals back to Hart, they will get you new ones no questions asked. Very odd that all of them cracked at the same time.

                          As far as the rest, the good points given by many are more then valid and the answers lie within. It takes a bit more to have the Vís (or any edrums) perform to meet your demand(s)/expectations and more importantly results in a live environment, I have discussed this issue to death before and I still preach the fact that the Vís do not cut it by them selfís Ė unless the FOH has some good toys to run your Vís through, but that takes time to set up, test and you canít count on the FOH doing what ever you want (unless he/she is yours personally) or is a nice FOH with time to burn... which is rare. And you have a good PA for the stage. Yes this means more $ but without some help you will not be able to get the Vís to sound good when you go from home/studio to a gig.

                          The only way I am able to bring my studio sound to a gig and not loose anything in the process, is to recreate the amplification of a gig at my studio. I am not trying to brag here (I got lucky with my studio size and I invested in a very good/strong PA to fill the large studio), but rather tell you that it can be doneÖ. but at an additional cost. Having a good PA is gravy and I do not bring it unless I know ahead of time that I need it. Preparation for a gig with edrums requires planning ahead especially if you do not have a PA to bring with or want to and if never played at the venue.

                          This (the Vís live) has been discussed to death and it will surface again Ií am sure. But I want to assure you that with proper and additional equipment (outboard gear, PA, individual or group sound assignment to a mixers channels, balanced output to the FOH, etc) you will change your mind about the Vís.

                          Stick noise is a factor.... I know, but at lower volumes adjusting/raising the sensitivity helps thus reducing the need to play harder. For that item (stick noise), having a good PA sound on stage helps flat out.

                          As far as having the stick noise being recorded/heardÖ. well having a TV camera next to your drums with a mike on it will pick up the stick noise that is a given. Some things have to be dismissed. I had the same thing happen to me and the camera guy came up to me after the show and mentions that fact to me. I smiled at him and pointed out the fact that the were edrums and the fact that he was close to me with a mike thus picking up the stick noise with drum sounds. He could not believe that the sounds were coming out of a module; he thought it was an acoustic set. That made my day so did not partake in explaining why he heard the stick noise in conjunction to the soundsÖit didnít mater to him anymore.

                          Donít give up dog...... after one good gig, you will change your mind.

                          My .02


                          [This message has been edited by szvook (edited October 28, 2001).]

                          [This message has been edited by szvook (edited October 28, 2001).]


                          • #14
                            We should all stop in our tracks and re-iterate what drums in general, and V-Drums in particular, are to us: Tools to get the job done. Our job being to provide the basis for a band. The groove, the pulse, the character of a song. With preparation you can make any tool work, just like in real life, I can loosen some screws with a nail file if I have to, but I'd rather use a screwdriver.

                            A Gibson cannot replace a Ramirez (I personally prefer the sound of a good Spanish guitar than an electric guitar any day), but it all boils down to the right tools for the job. A guitarist with a Ramirez would be lost in a band playing Korn covers, and a Les Paul player would sound terrible playing Segovia concerti through a Marshall stack.

                            I've long given up gigging and recording with my acoustics, because I found my sounds on the Vs. That's not to say that if I get a call for a Hip Hop gig tomorrow I won't blow the dust off my acoustics and gig with a stripped-down set consisting of a snare, kick HiHat and 2 cymbals like Ahmir ?uestlove Thompson.
                            Sure, V's need some work when searching for those magic settings, but so do acoustics. Even on a brilliantly tuned acoustic set, if a head needs to be replaced there's no way we'll get exctly the same sound back, because there'll be some factor hindering us, not least our own perception of what that sound was like, due to ear fatigue, mood, etc. Even at gigs the sound person is doing a lot of work to make acoustics sound good on stage, work we're often not really aware of.

                            What I'm getting at is, if you're prepared to walk that extra mile you can make any piece of equipment work for you. I don't believe that E's and V's are easier to make sound good than acoustics, I don't think they're supposed to be. They're supposed to sound different, no matter what the sales hype is.

                            Make any sense?

                            "Fry that sound effect, Moriarty, we're having it for breakfast"


                            • #15
                              I think it's also fair to mention that I do not intend to replace the V's for home studio recording. When I run directly to my sound card it comes out sounding just as good as it does in the headphones.

                              Drooling Dog
                              - Scott