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Author Topic: edrums acceptance?  (Read 5862 times)

Art Hays

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edrums acceptance?
« on: April 10, 2011, 10:32:03 am »

Have you noticed current generation edrums being any more embraced by drummers?  For any churches that use them how bad (and expensive) is the maintenance issue?
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Thomas Lamb

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 03:26:05 pm »

NO!!




Seriously
I have had many experiences with e drums and know of very few drummers who like them (actually 1 out of maybe 100 and that guys kinda weird anyway). I being a sound guy really used to think I loved them. I was wrong! I loved the idea behind less stage volume but honestly didn't really care for the tone. However, I tolerated it because it was for the greater good. I Primarely work with churches and church musicians now days and have adopted the theory of tackling it directly. Sometimes this may be through the worship leader or sometimes directly with the drummer depending on the relationship. (sidenote)This morning during sound check i was up by the stage and they were asking for less of this more of that and i said i needed less snare and the drummer said "i can move the mic further away from the snare" I laughed on the inside and politely too him no Its too loud right here at the stage and it's not in the house he said oh ok and no problem the rest of the day! I digress. However, I know there are many good arguments against drum shields and rooms and why they are bad but if they can help at all I use them not so much in our 1000 seat room but in our 200 cap rooms definitely. I also have an understanding and I use this as a threat more than anything. If we can't keep it down we might have to use e drums. I don't really mean it but it keeps them thinking about playing to the dynamics of the room. We keep an open discussion about the drums and most of my drummers come up and ask me after sound check if they are playing to loud. I always say something positive before I nail them about the snare or open hat. It seems to work.
My .02
T
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bigTlamb

"If you suck on a functional analog desk, you'll really suck on a complex digital desk...." Dick Rees

Jeff Scott

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 07:46:03 pm »

Our band uses them and loves them. Our sound...especially in small venues is fantastic. I mean.."we sound like the CD" ...is the comment most heard. the sound is even thruought the venue....we can play as loudly or as quietly as needed. We are going to be integrating the sounds and articulation from Superior Drummer in the near future. We currently use the Stock Yamaha kits that came with the Drum brain. Good enough but a far cry from Superior Drummer. As a Sound tech..I don't like what drum shields do to the "tone" of the kit. You've got a huge amount of sound bouncing around inside of a whole bunch of hard surfaces. Makes Phase cancellation a major issue. I've found that a shields ability to really lower the volume is marginal at best. Unless you are working inside a totally enclosed case...the sound is still bouncing out into the room at a slightly lower level.

Our drummer took an old set of acoustic drums he had and converted the skins over to Edrums. He did it in such a way that he uses the same skins as he used to..only they trigger the Yamaha E brain. The feel or response of the stick on skin is the same as a "true acoustic' kit...just that there is no Acoustic drum tone. The only criticism i would make is that there is a "slight" difference in a drummers ability to impart dynamics. However...our drummer has almost minimized that with careful attention to articulation, internal Brain settings etc.

The bottom line is...are you going to let 1 individual determine what the balance of the congregation hears? I mean...as a guitar player...I'd like nothing more than to crank my amp so that I can soak myself into the tone of my Power tubes on 10. But in respect to the rest of the congregation..I have to turn it down and consequently live with a "poor" tone...or use a modelling pedal of some sort that may or may not reflect what the amp truly sounds like.  Same goes for the drummer. Sure....it feels differently..and the articulation may be a little different....but WHO is this about? This is a worship service. You are there to serve. Serving does not mean dictating what 3 or 400 other people will hear. It does mean working within the whole to serve the many. I've st thru too many worship services whose volume level was dictated by the individual sitting on the drum stool. Enough already. Edrum technology..especially with the integration of Studio quality drum platforms like Superior Drummer or Steven Slate Digital...have come to the point where drum shields and band aid solutions will no longer be required. Get your drummer to learn how to put together an Acoustic / hybrid kit as i mentioned above...and enjoy the richness of studio quality drum sounds in your sanctuary.
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Art Hays

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2011, 12:06:47 pm »


Our drummer took an old set of acoustic drums he had and converted the skins over to Edrums. He did it in such a way that he uses the same skins as he used to..only they trigger the Yamaha E brain. The feel or response of the stick on skin is the same as a "true acoustic' kit...just that there is no Acoustic drum tone.


Jeff- can you please provide some more details on this conversion process?  I'm not quite following how it was done.  Thanks!
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Michael Galica

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2011, 12:22:11 pm »

I'm a drummer who used to be vehemently opposed to e-drums, emphasis on used to be.  Basically what changed my mind was two things.  The first was that the quality of e-drums has increased steadily over the years--both sound quality and "feel".  The second was the realization that e-drums v. acoustic drums is really the same as a keyboard/synth v. a piano.  A keyboard can do quite a bit more than a piano can, with multiple samples like strings, pads, leads, harpsichords, organs, and can even be a pretty convincing piano, but a good acoustic piano will almost always sound better than the sampled piano sound from the keyboard.

In the same way, e-drums have a lot more variety than acoustic drums.  If I'm playing an upbeat song, I can switch to a preset with more attack and punch.  When we go into the quieter songs, I can switch to a preset to match it.  Do they sound as good as a quality, well-tuned acoustic kit?  No.  But I'm willing to trade a little bit of tonal quality for the increased versatility.  (And quite a bit less cost.)

Of course, to get the the point where e-drums are behave correctly requires a good deal of work, both on the part of the drummer and the sound tech.  They are a different beast, and it requires a good deal of cooperation.  Personally, I think the benefits of e-drums (the versatility, negligent acoustic noise, and not having to an hour to tune them regularly) make them worth it, even though in a perfect world I'd much rather play or mix a good, well-tuned acoustic kit.

Yet there are still lots of drummers who are unwilling to try e-drums, either due to perceptions or a bad experience several years ago.  For me, it was the latter.  But current-generation kits are light years ahead of what was out even five years ago.

TL;DR Converting to e-drums will likely be a touchy issue, but remember: e-drums are to acoustic drums what keyboards are to pianos.
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Mike Galica
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2011, 05:27:28 pm »

Have you noticed current generation edrums being any more embraced by drummers?  For any churches that use them how bad (and expensive) is the maintenance issue?
Embraced by churches, yes, drummers not so much.  The good kits seem to be pretty resilient, but I've seen a couple of kits where one of the pads stopped working.  Not sure if it was an age or wiring issue, but they are constantly hit with sticks, so you can't expect them to last forever.  In those cases, the drummers just took that pad off and used another one for whatever drum it was supposed to be - sacrificing an extra tom or cymbal.

I haven't had much good experience with e-drums.  One drummer spends a bunch of time getting all the right sounds and it sounds good one week, then the fill-in guy the next week accidentally changes the hi-hat to a whistle sound - never had that problem with acoustic drums.  There are a lot of different sounds you can get from e-drums, but none of them as good as a decent drummer who knows how to change style to match the song.  It also seems like I have to really ride the fader on e-drums more than acoustics, especially if the drummer is used to playing acoustic kits in small room right (not hitting very hard).  The drum volume is controlled entirely at the booth, rather than onstage.  It makes transitions from loud songs to soft songs pretty tough. The other thing that bothers me with them is that drum rolls sound very unnatural.

I'm not sure how to convert acoustic drums using the same heads, but you can put silent mesh heads and triggers on acoustic kits and make the electric.  I had a drummer who did this a while back.  It's a whole lot less trouble and money if you get your drummer some multi-rods, though. And don't forget that different acoustic drum kits are made for deferent volumes and styles.  Look at jazz kits for a church setting.
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Jeff Scott

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2011, 07:35:35 pm »

Jeff- can you please provide some more details on this conversion process?  I'm not quite following how it was done.  Thanks!

Hi Art...I don't have the info in front of me at the moment...but I can point you in the right direction. Go to Electronicdrums.com. There is a nominal membership fee to get to the advanced tutorials on how to do this but it's well worth it.

Essentially...it involves attaching a "sandwich" of foam, a resonating plate, the piezo and some more foam. This is then placed just up against the Drum head. When the drummer plays the drummer there is a muting effect of the Foam/piezo sandwick but he recieves the feel and give of the drum head itself. It feels much better than the Roland type mesh heads and far better than the Yamaha / practice pad type pads.

That's a condensed, simplistic version. You'll have to go over to the website. They have an excellent pictoral tutorial to follow.
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Mike Spitzer

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 11:11:09 am »

My experience has been mixed. I'm not a drummer, so I can't really speak for the feel, but I do know that most drummers don't like the feel of most e-drums. Also, I've mixed a few that sounded like somebody was just banging on Tupperware. I've had standard kits sound like that, too, though. I did visit a church at one point that used e-drums and all of the drummers swore it felt like a real kit. They only needed the one, since it was easily configurable and it sounded awesome. If I hadn't seen it, I wouldn't have realized that they were e-drums.

Unfortunately, I believe the guy said they spent over $8k on all of the equipment they used to get that sound. Not sure how much of that was the kit itself. It looked like it was running into some kind of processor before being sent to the board.

So, basically, some e-kits can sound great. Even those that do, though, may not be comfortable for your drummers. If they're not comfortable, it's probably not going to sound good, no matter how good the equipment is.

-mS
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Arnold B. Krueger

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2011, 11:16:43 am »

Have you noticed current generation edrums being any more embraced by drummers? 

I went to a churchmusic festival a few years back, and the only groups that I felt weren't tryiing to sing and play over their drums were using e-drums. I'd bet money that many of the groups would deny that they were having problems, but that's how they sounded to me.

Quote
For any churches that use them how bad (and expensive) is the maintenance issue?

We've been using our Roland TD-12 set for about 6 years and the only *maintenance* was getting an Aviom system to  help exploit them. ;-)
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Taylor Phillips

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Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 10:22:51 pm »

I went to a churchmusic festival a few years back, and the only groups that I felt weren't tryiing to sing and play over their drums were using e-drums. I'd bet money that many of the groups would deny that they were having problems, but that's how they sounded to me.
I wonder if any of that could've been mental, or your opinion of the mix.  Most times I've been at worship services with e-drums, it seems they always get buried in the mix and therefore the music lacks a good bit of energy.  I was at Disney World a while back and one of the bands that came out and did a show in one of the parks used e-drums, and it was the first time I'd heard an electric kit sound anything close to right.  I'd say it was because they actually turned them up pretty loud to match the band. 

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ProSoundWeb Community

Re: edrums acceptance?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2011, 10:22:51 pm »


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