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Bitten by the V-Drum Curse

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  • Bitten by the V-Drum Curse

    I've been a drummer for about 25 years now. I don't want to go on and on about all my past accomplishments, but suffice it to say I've had the pleasure of sitting behind some pretty heavy-hitters in my day. I'm not accustomed to having to look real hard for work. That is,...before I was stricken by "The Curse".

    I can still recall that fateful day when I walked into Tower Music in St. Louis back in '98' and saw, for the first time, my destiny......The Roland V-Pro kit. Like many of you, it was love at first sight.

    Sometime thereafter, I relocated to a vast musical wasteland devoid of any culture or taste, commonly known as West-Central Illinois. I'll reserve any further comments pertaining to this area for the sake of those who may harbor some kind of twisted affection for this locality. It was here, that I finally bought those beautiful V-Pros may heart had been pining over for so long.

    Since that purchase, I've added an additonal PD-100, 3 V-crashes, a V-ride, a V-hi-hat, a double bass pedal, a triggered acoustic bass drum, an SPD-6, up-graded my TD-10, Hell...., I even added a Roland XP-60 to my rack. It's truly beautiful, guys.

    Recently, I decided it was time to come out of a short-termed retirement and see about getting a return on this investment (around $7500, do the math). So I began going to "open-mic" sessions in the area looking for potential work in some local band needing a seasoned drummer.

    My playing generated a considerable amount of interest, and it sometimes led to invitations to "audition" with some local bands doing weekend work. When I would arrive at the "auditions" with my V-Drums, it, generally speaking, would generate pensive looks of apprehension and millions of questions like, "Do you think they'll work for live situations?", or, "Won't it take forever to set them up?" or, "Don't you think the audience will think they look stupid?". But the one question, invariably asked, that would make me want to slap the S#*T out of these digitally-challenged Prima Donnas was: "Would you consider buying a set of acoustic drums?"

    Guys, help me out here. Have any of you encountered the cruel, narrow-minded sting of "The Curse", or is it possible that I just have the misfortune of choosing a locality dominated by egotistical, retro wannabees that have spent too much of thier time wangin' anhydrous ammonia and munchin' Jimson Weed seeds? I just don't know.......


  • #2
    Welcome aboard Chazz. There have been a few posts on what you are experiencing. I only play the Church scene. I'm kinda lucky in that we get funny looks when a set of acoustics appears on the scene. E-drums are really appreciated in my setting.

    From what I remember of the other posts, several were able to wow them with the sound of the V's and those scumbag non-drummer types had a complete attitude adjustment at that point.

    This did not work for everyone. Some bands just want the look and flash that acoustics can bring no matter how well you play or how well your V's sound. I think your best bet would be to shoot anyone with that attitude.

    With all the additional stuff you have added, you would think they would take on a more impressive appearance and help overcome this problem to a large extent.

    What type of music are you generally going for. I could see where some music types would want the A drum look more than others and how some would want to avoid an electronic connotation.
    Kit Pic 1 Kit Pic 2 Kit Pic 3... And FOR SALE I have: 3 PD-9's, MDS-10 purple rack w/cables/pad and cym mounts. See classified posts for details or PM me.


    • #3
      hey Chazz,

      How 'bout a pic of your set-up?


      • #4
        Well, thanks for the quick response Boingo and C.Jude! Some of the things you've mentioned in your replies I had considered before. Yes, visuals are important to a certain extent. Which begs the question: Are my Vs THAT unsightly? Also, should I have to "give in" to opinionated morons? I mean hey,.....where is it written that electricity was only meant for "standing" musicians?

        Oh,....I suppose I could dump the V-Cymbals and replace them with shiney, new Zildjians and make everybody happy, but how would a guitar player react if I told him "hey man, if you would be willing to dump that old Strat, and buy a new Les Paul, you could play with us. Cuz I think Strats are ugly."?

        Has anyone ever heard of a non-musician that ever said "Man! Those guys rock, but that "electrified" drum set is SO unsightly, that I never want to see them again."? I mean where do these guys get this idea that the mere sight of my Vs will hurt their ability to book jobs? I would think that the mere SOUND of my Vs could do nothing but HELP thier ability to book gigs!

        The problem is NOT with turning off an audience with my Vs. The real issue here, is the inability of these "Victorian" thinking retro-rockers to consider for just one moment that these Vs can go a LONG way to improve thier sound. They fear digital ANYTHING cuz they don't understand it. Or want to, for that matter. It's only musicians that seem to have a problem with the visual aspects of my rig. I've yet to see a non-musician that looks at my rig say ANYTHING other than "Wow! Those drums are COOL!"

        To answer your question Boingo, the style of music I play ranges from Classic Rock to Blues (country only if I HAVE to). I don't care much for "techno-House-Rap-Hip-Hop, or Industrial-Speed-Thrash Metal. I am 38 years old. I'll leave that for the kids. If I were playing any of the aforementioned styles, I suppose my Vs would be a welcomed addition to any local band.

        I've been a digital musician sequencing background tracks since the Mid-Eighties when I bought my first keyboard workstation (Ensoniq SQ-80), and even back then I don't recall hearing any adverse comments about using "digital" music equipment. Apparently, this only applies to drummers, and I'm damn sick of it!

        I believe that things could be better pertaining to the acceptance of digital percussion if companies like Roland would ever part with a few of thier precious dollars and grant some endorsments to some high-profile drummers. The way things are now could only hurt V-Drum sales. Who will buy them if when you do, no one will play with you?

        Please pardon my vitriolic demeanor. I'm just tired of dealing with Bone-Heads. Perhaps Boingo is on to something here,.....let's kill all the "acoustic drums only" advocates!



        • #5
          Chazz I have ran across the problem you are having. I was on a tour with a Contempoary Christian act about a year ago and we were play some churches and some arenas (opening act). Sometimes I would use the headliners kit and sometimes the FOH tech would perfer me to use my kit. When I signed on for the dates I was using a Vdrum , Ddrum mixed kit with Hart pads when I showed up for the reheasals they asked me if I had a "Real" drum kit I said I did but for stage volume and over all sound control this is what I wanted to use. Me and FOH tech set down and went throught the sounds and did some tweeking to his liking and I used the kit for all the dates. When you are in a church as soon as they see a drum kit it is too loud ( I am sure Boingo will back me up on that one) So volume is a key factor in that realm of playing. I would suggest play what you want to play and what you are most comfortable with and just set down with the FOH tech and work things out with him he is your eyes and ears for the audience. If you play well and your sounds are good they will come around.If they don't hire you because you play E drums then it is probably not a very opened minded group anyway so you would be just a hired gun anyway..


          • #6

            Sorry, but I don't have any pics (or a scanner or digital camera for that matter). But if you guys are interested, I'll see about posting one for you soon.



            • #7
              They're just Neanderthals. If you can rock and your kit sounds good, they should be cool with it.

              I was going to go back to my acoustics on our last gig because we had a transportation problem and didn't have a way of transporting the subs. When our rhythm guitar player heard about it, he rented a van with his own money(and he's not rich) just so I would play the e's. The bandmates are all committed and love the e's, so there's no turning back now.

              IMHO if you don't have the CY cymbals, you may want to add them and make sure you expand your module if you can afford it. I think the movement and sound of the CY's adds alot to the impression of the kit. Also, make sure you use good pro quality amps and speakers so that when you pound out a heavy beat, they can all feel it.

              I don't know where these people you're auditioning with rehearse, but we play in the lead guitar player's living room and the e's have been a godsend as far as hearing what we're doing so that we can learn the songs and preserving our hearing, because we can play at lower levels in rehearsal. I just never could play lightly and quietly on my acoustics and we were going deaf. I think it was mainly the cymbals that were causing the ear ringing (ie. permanent damage). I tried to muffle the cymbals but then it was too "chuck chuck" instead of "smash bash" sounding. I can now pound away in true rock maniac fashion at rehearsals without everybody losing their hearing.

              PS. You may want to head up north a bit closer to Chi town if you still can't find what your looking for. I wish I was still only 38. You're too young to put up with crap heads.


              • #8
                Too young you say, Bagman? Well, I thank you right kindly for that. It serves as an encouraging ray of sunshine on an otherwise dismal day.

                As for the cymbals, I do have the CYs (I know I refered to them as V-cyms. Please forgive me for the mis-statement). And I do have an expanded module. And you would think that with this kind of low-VU control, others would be just as pleased as the guys in your group. I'm just dumbfounded!

                In reference to re-locating to Chicago, well,....Girlfriend, kid, career,......(need I say more?). But believe me, I've considered it! I guess at this point, I'd make the drive (about 190 miles)for the right gig. Any working bands in Chi-Town got any offers?



                • #9
                  I have just recently started playing V-drums but I have to share a related story. I have been playing drums since I was 12....played in several band in HS and college. Once i was out on my own....it was kind of hard to play my full acoustic kit in an apartment so I kind of let drumming fall by the wayside to my real career(Can you say "Biotechnology"??) I had to sell my big set of Pearls....Boo Hoo!!!!

                  A few years later my new wife, knowing that I missed drumming, gave me a set of DD 11 yamahas to bang on....it was one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone had ever given me.

                  Anyway, I had told some people that I played drums and they asked me to play a party with them one night (80-100 people).....they new I played drums but NOT what kind.....I show up to the gig with everythiing I need to play in an over the shoulder duffel bag....They say "where are your drums??"....I say "right here"...pointing to the bag. I set up (3-4 minutes) and do a sound check and they are blown away. We start playing for the party and people just can't believe that I am playing drums on that 8 pad unit. When we took a break, I was in heaven.....everybody was coming up to me to see what I was playing......The band is coming up and telling me how great my little set sounds.....I was called "the drum machine they didn't have to program".

                  Bottom line.....it is how you sound and play.....not what you play, that is important to most audiences.

                  I have not played my V's live yet but cant wait to do it.


                  The Captain
                  The Captain


                  • #10
                    I just want to thank all my fellow V-Drummers for thier advice and broad shoulders for me to cry on.

                    To follow-up on my original posting,I have an up-date. It appears as though, on the very same day of this posting, I received not one, but TWO offers from bands that are cool with the whole Edrum thing.

                    I begin rehearsals with a blues band out of Peoria IL. this Sunday! And dig this,.....the coolest part of this band is thier bassist. Rock solid. Never misses a note,..even when improvising. Possibly the best bassist I've played with in quite some time. I know,......you're probably saying, "so what's the cool part?" right? Well, did I mention that this bassist was a woman? In fact, she's a 50+ year old grandmother! Oh, this is TOO much. I saw her play last night at a club in Peoria. They had a guy sit in that was a Rolling Stones freak. I watched this woman play 3 Stones tunes that she had probably NEVER played live before. She played "Miss You", "Paint it Black", and "Honky Tonk Woman" with her vintage Fender J-Bass, and I swear, if you would have closed your eyes, you would have thought it was Bill Wyman! Note-perfect. Rock solid.

                    The other band I got an offer from, is a band out of St. Louis that does a "theme-related" show. Thier songlist includes only tunes that mention cars in thier titles. Ya know,....."Little GTO", "Mustang Sally", "Little Deuce Coupe", ect. Sounds kinda interesting actually (being a classic car buff myself).

                    I'd love to sit around and chat with you guys all day, but the truth is, I need to get busy with some sequencing and presets to prepare for Sunday.

                    Once again, TYVM guys. "The Curse" has been lifted!!!

                    P.S. Where was this little punk-a**, L.A. sissy with the "Does EVERYONE here SUCK?" posting, yesterday? IMHO, you guys let him off too easy. Personally, Id like to see that sissy and Marc get it on in MTV's Celebrity Deathmatch! (is it just me, or did Marc seem to be excersizing an admirable amount of restraint in that thread)?


                    • #11
                      it was, but t-bone reared it's ugly head.


                      • #12
                        What do you know? That WAS a revived, older posting. Boy, is MY face red! Looks like I picked a bad week to give up sniffing glue! (ala Burgess Meredith from the movie Airplane.......I STILL love that movie!)

                        By the way, I saw a pic of your rig on that edrum pic site, C.Jude. Very impressive! Triggering samples from HALion, huh? I also run Cubase and HALion. I think I'll try that. Any tech-tips before I dive in? Have you tried the Waldorf Attack? Voodoo? B. Box? Any others? Which do you like? I'm all ears.


                        • #13
                          That was not Burgess Meredith. That was Lloyd Bridges.

                          Though he might look like Burgess Meredith if you've been sniffing glue.

                          Congrats on the gigs, fellow Illinoisan.



                          • #14
                            You have been sniffing glue!!!

                            That was Lloyd Bridges!!!
                            I'm a drummer. I don't play the timpani! Hire a percussionist!!!


                            • #15
                              You know, a misstatement around here is a VERY dangerous thing. I stand corrected. You guys are right,...it WAS Lloyd Bridges. Now if you'll all excuse me, I'll just tie this rag over my eyes, light my last cigarette, and go over and stand by this wall. Ready? Aim......FIRE!!!!

                              As for C.Jude,...Do you think you could share the results of your field-testing of Kontakt with the rest of us when completed? I'm intrigued.