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  #1  
Old 01-13-2009, 04:27 PM
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Lukeykookey Lukeykookey is offline
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Question Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


I know this might seem a little long winded!

Right, before I go any further please dont swamp this thread with comments about electronic drums being a cop out, 'not real' etc etc...we all know they are electronic and have synthesised sound.
Also no comments about **** the neighbours etc.

My situation is that I am a father of 2 in a semi detatched house. No garage, no space for a garage.
Now I work shifts, sometimes morning, sometimes late finishing at 2am and sometimes all night finishing at 7am, and I rarely get to play on the drums because of various reasons, mainly childcare commitments, and not wanting to upset the neighbours as they have kids who are young and go to bed early.

I am, however, 'up' for playing on the drums at 3am or at 7am, whenever the time feels right.

I have considered soundproofing but the structural layout of the building wont allow for very good soundproofing.


I currently have a pretty decent acoustic kit in my basement. I love playing acoustic and have never played electronic. I am by no means an expert, but am pretty good. I like perfection, including the different types of sound the hi hat produces depending on how it is allowed to be played. I love how depending how hard you hit every cymbal it creates so many different sounds. I love the 'feel' of playing the drums with some tact, instead of just playing them in monotone.

I have been thinking about buying a practice kit so that when I am watching my little ones I can set the kit up on the ground floor or at night I can set the kit up in the basement. Obviously this would only lead to dead sounds. I would probably still have to play very often on the acoustic kit to make sure I am playing right.

Alternatively is one of these electronic kits, so I could set it up upstairs or downstairs, I could play at night, in the morning, or any other unsociable hours that could affect my children and wifes quality of sleep.

My main question is that with my passion for different sounds of each drum, cymbal and hi hat, is an electronic kit feasible?
Will I get the same satisfaction?
Obviously it wont compare to polishing the cymbals, and sitting down behind 'a kit', feeling the passion of looking at a kit and wanting to enjoy it.
BUT it would mean that I can actually play more often and enjoy it a lot more than I do now. And it will stop the marital arguments and my worries of waking people up.
Play silently to everyone else, have some headphones on and be making a lot of noise to myself...

Anyone with any experience, I would love to get some imput from you.
Any makes to avoid? Any tips? Is there a massive difference in feel and technique that is required?

Do I have to spend the earth or can I get a budget kit that would create the various feels that a real kit does?

Thanks!
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  #2  
Old 01-13-2009, 05:25 PM
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Meddy Meddy is offline
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


Always good to ask questions! Never fear.

My main question is that with my passion for different sounds of each drum, cymbal and hi hat, is an electronic kit feasible?:
Yes! If I understand your question correctly, an electric kit makes this even better as you can choose from a vast array of sounds for each pad/cymbal, so long as the electric module has enough sounds.
Edit: The electric hi hat on my kit, has 7 zones of sound, rim shot closed, rim shot open, normal hit closed and open, and then hitting it very very quietly makes a seperate sound open and closed, and also you can "lift" it up and down with the pedal to make a quiet noiseeeee hehe. The crash cymbals have 4 possible noisessss, bell and rim, hit the bell normally makes a ride bow sound, slightly harder makes a ride bell sound. Rim just has a louder crash and a quieter crash. Same with all the pads, loud and quiet. I cant say for more expensive kits, i can imagine they have zones but I have no idea. Also with 33+ self customisable drum set presets (with which each pad/cymbal can be changed to a different style), you can get a wiiiide range of sounds.

Will I get the same satisfaction?:
Plenty. I have acces to both acoustic and my own electric kit (only a £600 job), and to be honest although of course the feel of an acoustic kit is superior, electric kits are just as enjoyable and satisfying to play.

Play silently to everyone else, have some headphones on and be making a lot of noise to myself...:
Essentially yes, but dont forget that especially if the electric kit is situated inside the house, note that it isnt silent! Unless you pay over £3000 on one of the kits with 100% mesh pads, it WILL make quite a loud noise. Ofc it's nowhere near as loud as a acoustic kit but be warned. Also with my kit if i start getting carried away and play really loudly, the bass drum vibrates the house. Even playing quietly you can here a boom boom from downstairs. Just to warn you that you might not be able to play at 4am!

Any makes to avoid? Any tips? Is there a massive difference in feel and technique that is required?

Makes to avoid: Avoid Most of them except the big names. Roland are the biggest in electric drums to be honest, yamaha are big as well, and Alesis.

Whats your budget may I ask? The least you want to be paying is about £600, for example the Roland TD-3KW. Or if budget isnt a limit I suggest something like the Roland TD-20K... sexyyy kit :P And that will be even quieter.

Difference in feel/technique? Not much. The kit componants will be slightly closer together than on a acoustic kit, unless you splash out the 4 grand. Playing techniques are pretty much the same. You might want to edit the various zones on the cymbal so that for example i've got 2 crashes, a china, a ride bow and ride bell out of 2 electric cymbals, so you'll probably want to do that, which means slightly different playing style but tbh. I played the electric kit for ages before playing my first acoustic kit, and it wasnt a problem at all. As you've played acoustic for ages it will be harder to get used to the electric kit. I shouldn't worry about different feels. It will come to you naturally just as playing on somebody elses kit does.

I hope this helps! =]

Meddyyyy

Last edited by Meddy; 01-13-2009 at 05:47 PM..
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  #3  
Old 01-13-2009, 05:30 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


IMO the best around for a half decent budget is the Roland TD9.

Its important you concede that electronic kits are NEVER going to respond like real drums, but you can work around this.
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Old 01-13-2009, 06:14 PM
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Talking Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


I played the Roland Td 3 and the Yahama Explorer.
Both were very nice to play!

For me the ham-question is wheteher you like to take them on a gig or not.
I know that Bill Bruford had a terrible experience with an electronic kit which spit the dummy during a performance, it did put him off electronic kits big time.
This was years ago so that might not even be an issue anymore.

I find electronic kits very different from acoustical ones, the feel is different, the sound is different, which is not surprising because the primary source of sound from an electric kit comes straight from the speakers and not from the heads.
That also tells you that the more you mike up (and trigger) an acoustical set the more it comes closer to the sound of anelectronic kit.............

Does anybody has experience with gigging using an electronic kit, with regards to the easae of sertting up, and the reliability (vulnerability)?

Cheers and happy drumming,

Harry
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  #5  
Old 01-14-2009, 02:25 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


I just got the Alesis USB Pro Electronic Drum Set and I'm in love! Just hook it up to your laptop or desktop computer. It comes with BFD Lite which sounds amazing however I would upgrade to something a little more robust like BFD2 or something like that. BFD Lite doesn;t have many options for sounds or kits. Crap, that reminds me, I was gonna post pics and stuff...Oops, I'm slacking.

GOT
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  #6  
Old 01-14-2009, 05:01 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


I've been in the same boat. Okay to answer your questions. Even the most expensive roland kits only have two sensors on the drum pad, for head hit and one for rim shot. The sound that is produced when you hit either will not change per hit accept in volume depending on how hard you hit and some will change the pitch a tiny bit for bigger hits aswell. Overall, it won't feel the same as an accoustic kit.

However you will probably find that it will feel nice in a different way as you continue using it. The added punch you acheive from your toms and bass drum are quite appealling, the metronome you can play along to is something your kit can't offer and immediate programmability is great. I'd suggest getting a cheap electro kit for your practicing and keep the bigguns for when you can have some real fun. This is what I've done.

Speaking of which, I have a band new Roland td-3 module in the for sale section at the mo'. I could show you where to get some cheap pads and racks too if you're interested. Should easily stave off those need-to-hit-something blues.
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  #7  
Old 01-14-2009, 10:35 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


Go for it. You got all the good reasons. Digital has changed everything eh !!
Puritans are usually dickheads anyway.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2009, 04:29 AM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


Electronic kits can work in band situations. In reality, many drummers ARE using elements of acoustic and electronics on their setups now, so its all fair game.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2009, 12:41 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


Pads are great for quiet practice. WORLDS ONLY ELETRIC DRUMS are the only drums that can be quiet or loud and still be acoustic. If you spent just a minute behind a kit you would realize alot more opportunity than any other setup.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2009, 08:52 PM
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Re: Are elctric drums good enough to replace acoustic?


I personally have a Roland TD-10 V-Session drum set (4 toms, KD 120 Kick, snare, hi-hat, ride and 2 crashes). I loved this kit wen I got it and purchased it for exactly the same reasons you are looking at electronic drums as an alternative now.

They certainly can be used for live performance or recording but I found them better suited to practice (gotta keep the chops up but the cops out!) The cymbals (as you described your affinity for them) are nowhere near as nice as the real thing and are, in my opinion, the biggest weakness that electronic drums have no matter the manufacturer. There is just too much data, too many different sounds that one cymbal can make, and today's technology would be hard pressed to reproduce one cymbal accurately with all the nuance, dynamics and overtones available across its surface-- let alone a whole kit of them.

Next biggest weakness is the need for a PA that can handle the bottom end of the kit if you ever want to use them to play live. Big wattage is necessary so you could spend a small mint just getting the setup playable live.

However, if you are just looking to rehearse and keep your chops up the electronic drums are wonderful for doing it quietly. On my kit I can plug in a CD or mp3 and play along with a mix control for volume--great for practicing cover tunes etc. There is a built in programmable sequencer that you can play along with (say you need to work out some 5/4 or 9/8 grooves and are having trouble counting it) no problem the sequencer will click it out and you can see where you are in the measure on the screen. You can also make drum loops etc for background tracks that you can play along with as well...

I think the electronic drums give you greater versatility overall, but I just recently had to purchase a new acoustic kit for the gigs I'm playing. Sound guys love the E drums but acoustics have far better articulation and I LOVE real cymbals--always complimented for my cymbal work and found that I could do less than 10% of it with the E drums....
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