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Pulling Off Electronic Drums in a Live Environment

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  • Pulling Off Electronic Drums in a Live Environment

    I have been acoustic drumming a number of years and would really love to get into the world of playing electronic drums live. I think the sound of a TD 30 KV mixed with personal electronic sounds from a TM2 just sounds awesome.

    It would allow me to represent the sounds we create in the studio through a PA which is so much more massive compared to what a microphone can capture with old drum heads on a festival stage in a couple of minutes.

    Here is where I am hitting the road block. I was at the show in the city (San Francisco) the other night which is the very well-known venue that holds about 500 people. A DJ played throughout the night through the Soundsystem. They have a great line array subs and the whole setup . Once the band hit the stage, it was so much more massive of a sound then what the DJ was able to produce. Standing at the side of the stage I can barely hear with going to the PA. I am hearing/feeling hits of the drums/cymbals and a bass cabinet rocking the room. In this scenario, if there was an electronic drum kit onstage with the PA as it was, It would've been incredibly quiet compared to the rock band that was playing.

    Now if this is a festival for say thousands of people, there would have been a large enough sound system to overpower the sound a kit makes on its own giving you full control. Let's say you are playing a small space with the electronic drums. How do you fill the dead spots in a room so it feels as massive or bigger than a drum kit in the room with zero mics on it?

    My reasoning for playing electronic drums live would be to make a sound that is much more powerful and hi-fi compared to what a mushy drum kit sounds like in a space before microphones are even put on it.


    Does anybody on here have experience with playing electronic drums in a space that is smaller than a thousand, where you were able to achieve a sound for everybody in the room? That means side of the stage and all of those weird angles where the PA isnt able to get to and a live drum kit is? Thanks so much!

  • #2
    Feel like doing some reading on your own? Plenty of threads around on that subject, and especially the one called "Are e-drums only good for practicing at home? "

    There's also the whole section called "On Stage" in this forum. Think you can find it?
    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

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    • #3
      Many threads here about PAs and monitoring systems. Basically, to get the feeling and thump you want, you need a bigger monitor system for your kit on stage, in addition to a kickin house PA with subs. To play a huge outdoor place you can't do it with e drums to get the feeling you want without some subs and a large monitor system. One of the main reasons why folks won't play ekits live, it costs a small amount of money to get a decent monitor system to get the feel right on stage, and then, if it's a larger venue of like 100 people or more, you need a good FOH PA usually with subs.

      Do some searching here on the Forums, there are tons of examples and recommendations as to what speakers and amps you'll need.

      Golden rule....NOTHING underwhelms an audience more than an underpowered e kit. You can't take a $5000 e kit and use a $200 monitor system on stage for it, it doesn't work.

      Post some pics of your progress an gigs!!


      K ;-)
      Last edited by Kenster; 03-26-15, 01:20 PM.
      My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
      E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
      A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
      A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Kenster View Post
        Many threads here about PAs and monitoring systems. Basically, to get the feeling and thump you want, you need a bigger monitor system for your kit on stage, in addition to a kickin house PA with subs. To play a huge outdoor place you can't do it with e drums to get the feeling you want without some subs and a large monitor system. One of the main reasons why folks won't play ekits live, it costs a small amount of money to get a decent monitor system to get the feel right on stage, and then, if it's a larger venue of like 100 people or more, you need a good FOH PA usually with subs.

        Do some searching here on the Forums, there are tons of examples and recommendations as to what speakers and amps you'll need.

        Golden rule....NOTHING underwhelms an audience more than an underpowered e kit. You can't take a $5000 e kit and use a $200 monitor system on stage for it, it doesn't work.

        Post some pics of your progress an gigs!!


        K ;-)

        Amen, Brother!
        Wanna play? Gotta pay!
        "It makes sense if you dont think about it"

        Mimic Pro, SPD-SX, 2-QSC K-10s, K-sub, Yamaha mixer, and a bunch of other expensive cool things!

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        • #5
          I was reading wise words from Kenster, and I had a thought; surely there comes a point where you go to a "big enough" venue and the PA will be supplied to you by the organizer who (hopefully) booked you PA rental company and sound man, or use whats fitted. - At which point you only need funds to look after your own monitoring.

          I think the same would apply other band members too; after all, guitar amps don't have unlimited power either... If you run out of steam, the PA needs to be shared by the whole band.

          Here's where the real advantage of the ekit really pays off imo, because you'll have no mics to rig, and no crosstalk issues for the singer, (if you have your monitor system at sensible levels) and above all, the perfect drum mix and perfect sound; going to FOH.

          I guess in a ideal scenario the whole band chips in to a buy an awesome PA system that all instruments play through, and nobody needs to bring dedicated amplifiers ever again - guitarists will flip tables at that idea surely, but, you know, digital effects have come a long way! Surely the amount of players allergic to computers has fallen in recent times.
          ◾ Diamond Drums 4pc in Di-Noc carbon ◾ MegaDRUM
          ◾ Roland UA-1010 / cymbals / KT-10 (x2) ◾ Tama / Gibraltar hardware ◾ JBL LSR3 Series 2.1 Monitoring ◾ Pearl THMP-1
          PA Comparison Sheet

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          • #6
            small venue gigs is why I went to ekit. 2 x 15" 500 watt rms subs and same power for top boxes gave me a system the easily carried a 200 person room 1x500 watt 15" for drums fill and you are all done. in ears for all vocals and a good set for your self that can carry drums is even better mic or DI everything and you get a super smooth sound out front and a nice clean stage mix. good luck

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            • #7
              most of the complaints i can think when playing med to larger venues is with edrums, band members cant feel the kit like they can with A drums. to remedy that would be to have side fill monitors and a good sub woofer on or next to the drum riser. i played a church that holds 800 people. the main pa consisted of two 12" mackie cabs mounted on the ceiling, and 2 15" mackie subs. one at the back of the stage and one in front below the stage. 5 wedge monitors. i my self have a roland kc500 with a bbe sonic maximizer as a personal drum monitor and every thing sounded pretty good and filled the room nicely. the e drums thumped pretty hard. i imagine that if i were in a band playing the typical size club, i would still just use the kc 500 and buy a 15 or 18" powered sub along with the house pa of course and would be more than enough. or like mentioned above, everyone in the band has in ear monitors and have a nice clean mix without the stage volume = better cleaner sound foh.
              Pearl Mimic pro, A to E 7 piece Pearl Decade maple, ddrum Deccabons, Ddrum DDTi, UFO X-bar triggers, Real feel heads, Gibraltar rack, VH13, PD105 side snare, Roc-N-Soc,Tama Iron Cobra, Iron cobra high hat stand, Cobra clutch, Pearl throne thumper, Roland and Kit Toys cymbals, Roland KC 500, Promark

              Comment


              • #8
                I hope my post didn't come off too one sided. You CAN play smaller venues with your e kit without spending thousands on monitoring and a PA, just as long as for it's size it has enough thump that suits your band mates tastes, and for the audience based on the venues you play. To get around some of this as others have said, just play in venues that already have a good PA then all you need to do is supplement your stage monitoring to get the appropriate thump. There is a sweet spot without going overkill on equipment prices and size/quantities. Just knowing where you can and can't take shortcuts in your gear purchases/loadouts is the key.

                K ;-)
                My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

                Comment


                • #9
                  What venue is San Fran? I'm playing the old city hall on July 3rd and Treasure Island on the 4th. Can't wait to get out west again!

                  As for your question, I'm lost. If the venue has this great system, why not run your edrums through that system?

                  As far as how to fill in the sound in smaller venues, any 500-800 dollar monitor will do the job for you. If the band wants more, the can rent or buy fills. I have a couple of great audio vendors in SF who will make you guys sound like a million bucks if you want the info.

                  Keep in mind, even cheap drum mics cost 80 bucks or so a piece. so put the mic money into a nice monitor. I recommend QSC K12's but there are lots of nice ones out there. Go to Pro Star Audio online and you can get a K12 for about $650 and it's a 1000 watt monitor. They have all the brands, pretty simple to sound great with an ekit live. I usually post larger venue vids when making this point, but here's a bar with one sub and 2 15x2 top boxes. I think the kit sounds fine.

                  Before I relearned how to play open handed on DSB, lol. https://vimeo.com/88215420
                  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/

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                  • #10
                    Wouldn't expect an answer from OP... was a hit-n-run from March....
                    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

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So sad....
                      My bands: Alter Ego, Arcanum
                      E Kit = Roland TDW-20s kit // Roland SPD-S// Pearl Demon Drives//
                      A Kit = Tama Swingstar 5 pc (1981) w/roto toms (orig owner!) //Zildjians
                      A Kit = Natal 6 pc with Paiste 2000 & Zildjian/MidiKNights/DrumSplitters

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by perceval View Post
                        Wouldn't expect an answer from OP... was a hit-n-run from March....

                        Ah, well, it was still fun responding
                        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/

                        Comment

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