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Electronic Drums or Acoustic Drums

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Chris Tucker:
Well, I'm sure this is not the first time this has been discussed, and feel free to point me to a thread if there is one out there.

We have a 1000 seat venue and currently have acoustic drums with a drum shield (Plexiglas) surrounding them.  It is a challenge to get the drums to sound good (it sounds like a drum kit behind a Plexiglas shield)  within a reasonable volume (reasonable for a church service at 8:00 am).  Leadership is thinking of going with an electronic kit.  Of course all the drummers cringe at the thought - dynamics are questionable, feel is not the same, etc.  So, I'm wondering what others are doing?  Do you think that in a venue that size, we should be able to use acoustic drums?  Are there better ways to isolate the drums?  Is an electronic kit the best win, despite the disadvantages of feel and dynamics?  It has been proposed that perhaps a smaller kit with triggers could be an answer?  I'm just looking to start a dialogue with those that have faced this same challenge.

Tom Young:
This *has* been discussed before. You can search using obvious key words.

In short, the "drums are too loud" issue most often becomes a cyclical exercise in futility and wasted money. Many HOW go from acoustic drums to drums with shields to electronic drums to electronic drums with a monitor that is run too loud or an electronic kit that sounds like crap (or both) and then they go back to acoustic. Then they change Minister of Music or the drummer and start all over again. I know this is very cynical .... but basically it is also true.

Your options are:

1. reduce the level of the acoustic drums by building a"real" gobo system with as much or more absorption as reflection (plexi) and with the plexi designed (shaped) to not reflect into a rear reflective wall and with reduced reflections into the mic's. You can do this by buying one of F. Alton Everest's master books on acoustics (Amazon, new or used). You also can buy real gobo's that are far better than "shields" but they'll cost a pretty penny.

2. research, try and buy a very good electronic drum kit. Read the manual. Spend the time to do whatever it takes to tweak it so it sounds good. Set up a monitor rig that does not defeat what you have achieved. A personal monitor mixing system with headphones and butt kickers would do the trick. A monitor speaker system for the drummer will lead to excessive volume levels all over again. Trust me on this.

3. get a mature and professional drummer who knows how to play to the room. I know this is far easier said than done.

4. stop wasting money and buy a pipe organ and go traditional  ;D


Taylor Phillips:
How loud do you run your service?  In a 1000 seat space volume from the drum kit shouldn't be too much of a problem.  I would take down the shield and see how that sounds before considering purchasing something different.  In my opinion, electronic drums don't have much of a place outside a musician's apartment. 

Michael Galica:
Could you give some details of the room?  Is it reverberant?  Was the building originally designed for acoustic or amplified worship?

For that matter, are the drums mic'd or behind the shield by itself?

Thomas Lamb:
By far this is my favorite!!!!

Exactly what is your setup now? Kit? Microphones? Drum heads?

How old are you drummers? What is their monitor setup and what size sticks do they use

--- Quote from: Tom Young on January 19, 2011, 06:37:40 PM ---
4. stop wasting money and buy a pipe organ and go traditional 

--- End quote ---


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