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Played my buddy's acoustic kits over the weekend.... Ugg....

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  • Played my buddy's acoustic kits over the weekend.... Ugg....

    Well, I have to say, I love the look of acoustic kits, especially with beautiful stain, lacquer, or wrapped finishes. I love the size, the hardware, the shiny cymbals, etc. All of it is awesome, visually. Then there is the sound. Oh the sound... Holy crap is it loud. I mean deafeningly loud. Not only is it loud, but everything blends together to create a nasty white noise that obscures all articulation. All the drums and cymbals resonate in to a mess of chaotic feedback. Ugg... It really makes me appreciate the sound of an electronic drum set.

    Many people say electronic drums don't sound like acoustic drums, and I have to say, I am happy that they don't. The ability to tune an electronic kit to have just the amount of resonance you want, to adjust the volume of each instrument, the sensitivity of each pad, etc. all lead to a better drumming experience, in my opinion. I used to love playing on my acoustic kit, but being away from it for 6 or 7 years and playing solely on my electric kit for the past year and a half, I have to say electronics are winning the battle in sound. They don't have the beauty of an acoustic kit, but having studio quality sounding drums I believe beats this out.

    Yeah, something like a TD-30KV costs a lot of money, but so does a DW collectors, or a Tama Starclassic, or Pearl Reference, etc. Not to mention if you want to record your acoustic drums, you have to buy a bunch of microphones, a mixing console, studio software for mixing, etc... It all adds up really fast to the point that electronic drums, even something as expensive as a TD-30KV, becomes very cost effective. Add in the fact that an electronic kit can be tuned to whatever sound you want, you have hundreds of kits all in one. An acoustic kit can give you maybe 3 or 4 different turnings that sound good. Your cymbals always sound the same though. So you have maybe 3 to 4 kits with the acoustic and hundreds with the electric. Which one is a better deal?

    Again, I love the beauty of acoustic kits. Visually, they are stunning. Electronic kits, at least the pre-packaged Roland, Yamaha, 2Box, etc, just can not compete. Sound wise, I think I will take an electric kit any day of the week.

    P.S. The kits I played over the weekend were Yamaha Oak Custom, DW Collectors Maple, and Tama Starclassic Maple - Stewart Copeland signature series (only 35 of these kits were ever produced). So they weren't any crappy kits. All top of the line stuff.

    Anyone else feel this way?
    I think my work is done here.

  • #2
    No, I definitely don't feel that way. There is nothing like an acoustic kit, I agree they are loud but you have to learn how to use dynamics and technique to get the sound that you want out of the drum. It also depends on what kind of music you play, if you're a rocker and just bash, then of course it's going to be loud. If you're a Jazz or fusion guy and you need to rely on different sounds or change to brushes or get decent rim shots, it becomes a challenge on an e kit. My biggest problem with E's is the hi hat and the snare drum, I find myself altering my technique to get the sound or more importantly the FEEL of the of the instrument. I find that the reason the hi hat doesn't compare to an acoustic is the e cymbals are just too heavy and they just don't respond as quickly. With the snare I just can't get a good crack out of it, and I kind of feel the same with the bass drum. And with the overwhelming options, I spend a little too much time tinkering to get the right sound, which would be better spent practicing my instrument.

    Don't get me wrong I love the e drums, but only for what they are...they do sound great and love them for practicing late at night or when you don't want to bother the neighbors. But I just feel disconnected, sort of like playing on a practice pad. Give me my Yamaha recording customs any day. But of course this is just my opinion.


    • #3
      It may depend on what module you use. The TD-30 gives me so much flexibility in dynamics and playing style that it can do any type of playing I need. I would have to set up a new set of trigger settings, but I can save 4 different trigger settings on the module at one time. Add to the fact that I can save backups of everything, I can save as many different trigger settings as I want and just load them up in a matter of seconds. Its ridiculous how many different things can be done with the e-kit that are limiting on an acoustic kit.

      Yes, there are some things you can do with an acoustic kit that you cant do with an electric, but I am not finding my electric kit limiting my playing. Actually because of the vast amount of tuning I have with an electric kit, I find myself wanting to play many different styles of music that I never did when I only played mt acoustic kit.
      I think my work is done here.


      • #4
        You may be right with the TD-30....I only have a TD-12 with a VH-11 hi hat which I find very annoying. Also through headphones everything sounds great, I have a Simmons Da200, which came highly recommended, but when I play through that there is a definite drop in sound quality. I'm just not feeling it!


        • #5
          Tommy...I couldn't agree more. That's particularly why I have always pursued the A2E conversions....best of both worlds.
          8 piece DIY Acrylic, 2x2Box DrumIt5, Gen16 4xDCP, DIY Acrylic&Gen16 Conversions, Sleishman Twin-QuadSteele hybrid, Gibraltar&DrumFrame rack, DW9502LB, Midi Knights Pro Lighting


          • #6
            I agree with the DA200s. I have that as well and it is just not anywhere near the sound quality of a good set of cans. It works for giving sound and playing with some people in your basement/garage, or a small gathering, but there is a very large drop in sound quality.
            I think my work is done here.


            • #7
              I will always have a foot in both camps here.
              After years of experimenting, I have the perfect acoustic kit for my sonic requirements (a Natal Bubinga custom kit) and a stunning set of cymbals (UFIP and Diril).

              However, I hear what you say about the noise. I actually find it very tough to play without in-ear monitoring now and I am a quiet player and the kit I have is more about tone rather than volume.

              As for my 'e' kit, i'm certainly not one to put all my eggs in one basket as my 'e' kit now has contributions from 2Box, Roland, Jobeky, Zildjian and Smartrigger and that allows me to play at any hour (yes I do play at 3/4am with people unaware and sleeping) and have the perfect sound through some quality Sony headphones.

              I am very picky about my sound on both and have spent a lot of time (and $) to get to where I am now, but I have the tools to play any gig or do any session now and feel happy and relaxed with my tools of trade from both sides of the spectrum.

              Best of all is blending the two and I almost always use a hybrid acoustic electric kit these days.


              • #8
                I feel completely the same way! I hit pretty hard and enjoy playing that way, acoustics are just too loud for too many situations I play. I also play a lot of Latin rock and it's great to switch pads over to percussion instruments with the push of a button. The look however is why I built my drums out of real shells, with those and the Gen 16's, it looks like a compact acoustic kit.

                Sound guys love it too, they actually get to mix instead of just try and get things over the sound of the acoustics in smaller venues.
                TD50 Digital Pack, TD30 and TD9 Modules, custom made pads, Gen16 crashes, and hats plus a few other things that I'm not sure what to do with or why they're still in my kit. Bands: Espada http://www.musicaespada.com/ and JamCo https://www.facebook.com/JamcoEntertainment, https://www.jamcoband.com/


                • #9
                  I suppose I wouldn't mind the noise if there was better definition between the various drums and cymbals, but it just becomes a mess of sound after a quick drum fill. Toms still resonating, cymbals still washing away, meanwhile I'm a couple measures in to the next verse and the damn things are drowning out my hi-hat and snare ghost notes.

                  I remember watching videos online of some of my favorite drummers wondering how they had such nice articulation, and how their toms were so well defined in their sound. Why couldn't I get that with my acoustic kit? Then I get the TD-30 and finally I get articulation and definition. After playing on acoustics again this weekend, I realized it wasn't my playing and it wasn't my kit that prevented me from having these things, it was the damn noise that just wouldn't stop with an acoustic kit.
                  I think my work is done here.


                  • #10
                    Well, if you mic up a nice sounding kit and EQ it, add gates, comps, verb, etc. It will sound really great through a PA or in a recording. Or, you can just hit the power button on a great ekit and have that stuff already done for you, lol. I wonder if I was still playing big shows if I'd go back to acoustics or just have Roland custom make an ekit that looked the way I want it to.

                    I've become so used to controlling my own sounds rather than relying on a sound guy, it's really nice to have that control. Nothing was worse than when it was supposed to be a HUGE snare on a hit and they missed the effect. You raise your arms over your head just before the big hit, make all the perfect face, swing your hair and.....nuttin, lol.

                    Speaking of "the look" a buddy emailed me this pic from the late 80's today...I had police lights mounted to my rack, lol. Ahhhh, the good old days!

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                    TD50 Digital Pack, TD30 and TD9 Modules, custom made pads, Gen16 crashes, and hats plus a few other things that I'm not sure what to do with or why they're still in my kit. Bands: Espada http://www.musicaespada.com/ and JamCo https://www.facebook.com/JamcoEntertainment, https://www.jamcoband.com/


                    • #11
                      I played a Pearl Masters Custom at an awards show the other night. It was the first acoustic kit I've played in 3 years (i've had a yamaha dtx750 and now have a td30kv). It was good fun and the volume really lifted the mood (the artist/song i played for is in the rock genre). After the gig i reflected and two things came to mind

                      1) it was loud and sounded crap (tuning was questionable) live, but the audio guys made it sound good in the mix. Unfortunately I had a few wedges and no option for in-ears, so earplugs it was to keep the volume to more comfortable levels i'm used to.

                      2) acoustic cymbals chew up sticks. I looked at a pair of sticks i've used for 3 years on electronic kits and i looked at the pair i used on the acoustic kit for 4min (same model, used on e-kits only)...lots of wood missing now

                      Something special about acoustic, but that said, I'm using Nathan McLaren's custom wraps on my TD 30 and i have had non-musos say to me "where's your e-kit" (thinking my td30kv is an acoustic)...

                      Roland TD-30KV, Pearl Demon Drive Double Pedal, Pearl H1000 hit hat stand, Shure SE530 IEMs, AKG K171 MKII Headphones, Mackie DLM PA, Yamaha MG102C mixer, Roland Studio Capture

                      Natal Walnut kit (US Fusion X), Bosphorus Antique 16" Crash & 22" Ride, Bosphorus Gold Series 14" hats.


                      • #12
                        I have to say, I have to disagree on this one. One of the reasons I just recently bought a new Akit is because I played one last month and I have to say I really missed it. I missed the cymbals, the instant gratification of acoustic sounds and just the fun of it. I do agree, its LOUD. But whatever, us drummers have always been loud. Even on stage playing my ekit and td30 its loud as well but CLEAN. I think thats the key. Ekits are CLEAN. But I still love them and I love acoustics.

                        My final result and plan is to play acoustics for the fun of it and for the traditional side of it, because the band is used to it and you get a nice room sound of acoustics but trigger my 2Box module for FOH and stage monitors and mix the OH mics in. If Im not happy with external triggers and the way they track, I will most likely use mesh heads / internal triggers when I or the band wants EKIT or go acoustic and just mic it when the band wants acoustics. I like the versatility of having both. Im REALLY hoping that the Ddrum triggers work well because this will be the best case scenario for me. But all in all, playing acoustics is fun.

                        I also think that we as EKIT drummers, we get used to the quietness and we THINK its loud on the other side, when in reality, all along weve never really complained before we got into EKITS. Thats my theory
                        - EKIT: Jobeky Drums: Custom 5 piece "Lacewood fade" & Hart 13" Pro Chrome snare. ROLAND MG V-CYMBALS
                        - AKIT: PDP Concept Maple by DW. Zildjian K & A Custom cymbals. Hybrid acoustic mic'd / 2Box triggered kit

                        MY YOU TUBE DRUM COVER CHANNEL: www.youtube.com/gregthegroove


                        • #13
                          To each their own... I am completely happy using an e kit, an a-kit or combination of both...


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Greg The Groove View Post
                            Even on stage playing my ekit and td30 its loud as well but CLEAN. I think thats the key. Ekits are CLEAN.
                            I think this is a good way of describing the differences between e-kits vs a-kits. E-kits have that nice clean studio sound. A-kits (not mic'ed, eq'ed, mixed, etc) are just a big mess of sound. Everything just bleeds in to everything else. People who only play acoustics will say that's not true, but when you take a break from the a-kit for a while and play solely on electrics you will feel this same way.

                            I also believe the cleanliness of e-kits is what is a drawback to many people. This is probably why Roland has snare buzz and kit resonance on their modules to add that bit of bleed. Sure it would be great to have more control over the bleed (perhaps assigning bleed from one pad to another would be the next step) but when listening to many professional recordings of just drum tracks, you don't find much bleed at all between the various drums and cymbals. Everything is pretty well focused. Its a very different sound than playing acoustically.

                            This focused and clean sound is what I really like about electronic kits. Acoustics are nice for their beauty, stage presence, etc, but by themselves, they are just a mess of sound and require a lot of work behind a mixing board to get a nice clean and focused sound. If I can get that right out of the box with my e-kit, I'm a happy camper.
                            Last edited by Tommy_D; 12-04-13, 10:21 AM.
                            I think my work is done here.


                            • #15
                              Of course the TD30 is clean sound. You are playing a computer generated sound, and especially true if you are using headphones.
                              VSTs are the same as they are recorded in an amazing recording room with all conditions being perfect for a nice clean sound.

                              Going to play an acoustic kit in a garage will result in a big mess! ... not saying you were playing in a garage, but sure was reading it like you were!
                              Having a nice clean acoustic drum sound means that you need to play in a nice room or stage where you can control the acoustics of the room... I know you can't always do ... but if you find yourself in a good room or stage, the a-kit will (to this day) provide a lot more nuances than an e-kit...
                              DTX700, eDRUMin 4+10, A2E Dixon kit, Yamaha cymbals, FSR HH
                              Kit Pix http://vdrums.com/forum/album.php?albumid=613

                              My new venture, HiEnd Speakers. : voglosounds.com