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-   -   Electric drums vs. Acoustic (http://www.christianguitar.org/forums/t193522/)

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 02:15 AM

Electric drums vs. Acoustic
 
Pro's and Con's
based on the setting up of sound, and mics etc.
for live use.

Ethan.Bassist. 04-07-2011 03:23 AM

Well naturally, with an acoustic set, you have to set up the mics and run the cable. An electric set you essentially just plug in right?

But. Electric drums sound like crap. Unless you have a really crappy acoustic set, in which case the electric will be a step up. But I don't like them. I'm a bassist, and while I don't typically "sit in a groove" I like to be able to hear the kick. Unless it's cranked in the monitor, you don't hear it.

jamforchrist123 04-07-2011 08:28 AM

Electric drums just don't sound the same. There are some amazing sounding kits, but there is just something about how an acoustic drumset sits in the mix that you can't replicate with an electric kit.

That said, I REALLY want an electric kit so I can practice in my dorm room. I would NEVER play it out live, but it'd be woooonderful to be able to practice quietly and whenever I wanted.

gtrdave 04-07-2011 09:03 AM

Acoustic pros:
Typically great sounding drums
Easy to adjust and replace parts/heads/etc
Comfortable for most drummers to play
Capable of intricate and wide dynamics

Acoustic cons:
Can be unbearably loud
Typically requires 4+ mics to capture audio into sound desk
Can be bulky/difficult to fit in some spaces

Electric pros:
Typically smaller footprint than acoustic kit
Can be captured via stereo output
Somewhat easy to adjust (unless you're dealing w/ left and right-handed drummers)
Easy to control volume

Electric cons:
They don't sound like acoustic drums
They don't play like acoustic drums
They're typically much more expensive than a decent acoustic kit, both to purchase and to repair/replace

We have an acoustic kit upstairs in the main sanctuary and an electric kit downstairs in the youth meeting room, so I and the team experience all of the above. I'd love to able to use an acoustic kit downstairs, but the room size and stage size just don't allow for it.

thesteve 04-07-2011 11:25 AM

The answer to this question varies from player to player and from room to room. Whether or not an electric kit sounds like an acoustic kit depends on the quality and volume they are being run at. My church used to have a top of the line Roland kit (TD-20, touch sensitive everything). It still didn't have quite the feel of an acoustic kit, but if you turned it up and tweaked the settings it sounded like one. Unfortunately the sound guy didn't want to run them that loud so that purpose was moot.

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesteve (Post 3643810)
It still didn't have quite the feel of an acoustic kit, but if you turned it up and tweaked the settings it sounded like one. Unfortunately the sound guy didn't want to run them that loud so that purpose was moot.

me too....i use my old TD-10, and it would sound sort of like an acoustic set, but the sound guy said to turn it down, but in the end, it ended up being to soft......

did you hook up to the sound system?

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 03:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtrdave (Post 3643746)
We have an acoustic kit upstairs in the main sanctuary and an electric kit downstairs in the youth meeting room, so I and the team experience all of the above. I'd love to able to use an acoustic kit downstairs, but the room size and stage size just don't allow for it.

how do you guys hook up the electric drums to the sound system?

thesteve 04-07-2011 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3643874)
me too....i use my old TD-10, and it would sound sort of like an acoustic set, but the sound guy said to turn it down, but in the end, it ended up being to soft......

did you hook up to the sound system?

Yeah. We just ran the mono output into a direct box that ran a low-Z signal up to the soundboard.

I'm sure the better the sound system you run it through the better an electric kit sounds.

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 03:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesteve (Post 3643876)
Yeah. We just ran the mono output into a direct box that ran a low-Z signal up to the soundboard.

I'm sure the better the sound system you run it through the better an electric kit sounds.


do you guys use monitors, so u can hear yourself, or just headphones?

thesteve 04-07-2011 03:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3643881)
do you guys use monitors, so u can hear yourself, or just headphones?

Monitors. a few of us have floor wedges. Three of us have Hot Spot monitors.

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesteve (Post 3643810)
My church used to have a top of the line Roland kit (TD-20, touch sensitive everything).

do you guys still use that?

thesteve 04-07-2011 04:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3643886)
do you guys still use that?

No, we replaced it with an acoustic drum set when the music director and pastor that wanted the e-kit left the church.

fenderboss7 04-07-2011 08:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thesteve (Post 3643901)
No, we replaced it with an acoustic drum set when the music director and pastor that wanted the e-kit left the church.

why did they want the e-kit in the first place?
out of curiosity

thesteve 04-07-2011 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3643978)
why did they want the e-kit in the first place?
out of curiosity

We had received complaints from the congregation that the music was too loud, so we started looking into options to tame our overall volume. Part of the issue was that because of the dimensions of our building (built in the 1950s) we were basically a big echo chamber. This was great in 1955 when you had a choir and needed to amplify them without microphones. It's not a good option for a five piece worship band.

So they decided to take a two-pronged approach to taming the volume. One prong was to run everything direct that could be run direct. The other was to replace the acoustic drum set with an electronic drum set.

Initially we picked up a Roland TD-6 and later (a year or so) upgraded to the TD-20. Initially I would say that the transition achieved the goals we wanted to achieve, however they were not without their drawbacks. We were now running everything through the monitors. We have three available monitor banks. One was dedicated to the vocals/worship leader (two wedges). One was dedicated to the electric guitar, bass and drums (two wedges and a Hot Spot) and the last was dedicated to the piano player(Hot Spot). This gave us three available mixes for each instrument. We found out fairly quickly how frustrating it would be to try to get a mix that everyone sharing a mix would be happy with.

I was probably the biggest problem. I played the bass and needed to hear what I was doing. Unfortunately by the time I had enough volume to be comfortable it was also pumping through the other two speaker in my monitor chain which, combined with the acoustic issues of the room, were just a mess. The same problems didn't exist when the electric guitar or drums were turned up in the mix because the frequencies just didn't carry. I worked around this by using my Crate Power Block as a small amp on stage which I used to power the floor wedge I was supposed to be using as a monitor.

When the worship leader and head pastor left (not together, one left, then the other left 6 months later) we picked up a bunch of new staff people. The interim pastor was an old jazz drummer. The youth (among other things) pastor was a DJ on the side. Both of them appreciated modern, louder worship and neither of them understood the need for electronic drums. Our drummer jumped at the opportunity to put his kit back on the stage and that has been the state we have been in since.

fenderboss7 04-08-2011 01:41 AM

wow.....yeah
we meet in a cafeteria of a school, and we were just playing out of our amps for all the instruments, and the vocals in the sound board......now, since were not going to be getting an acoustic set any time soon (although i really want one) were probably gonna run everything through the new sound system that we just got.

JesusFreakGirl 04-08-2011 11:56 AM

I'm a bassist, so naturally the drummer is my best friend and he's right behind me on our stage. Our church made the switch to an electric drumset about nine months ago. I hated it at first. All I hear behind me it a tapping. It was annoying. But I've grown past that. I don't have any problems anymore. (note that we use in ear monitors and I can adjust my monitor to hear what I want to hear and how much I want from each person in the band, so I can control what I hear from the drums) When we made the switch it was hard for the drummers to adjust, but now they like it because people in the congregation aren't complaining when the drums are "too loud" because there's more control at the soundboard. Also, we got a high end eletric set, so it doesn't sound electric. It sounds legit. And there's hundreds of settings and even more that we can download. And it looks like a real trap set. I also like that I don't feel like I'm going deaf with the drums behind me. Now that I'm used to the electric set, I don't miss the acoustic one. And our drummers like it too. It was just an adjustment, and once we realized that it was better in the mix, being able to control it just like we can control all the other instruments, we welcomed it with open arms. We have a better balance in the house now.

fenderboss7 04-08-2011 01:29 PM

before.....did you guys use a clear plastic sound wall thingy...(i don't know the technical term)?

JesusFreakGirl 04-08-2011 01:47 PM

Yes, we did.

gtrdave 04-08-2011 02:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3643875)
how do you guys hook up the electric drums to the sound system?

2 1/4" unbalanced cables going to the end of the snake via 1/4-to-xlr transformers.
We're using a Roland TD4SX kit and I installed extra floor tom and high hat mounts on each side to accommodate our 2 drummers, one left handed and one right, without having to take the legs off of the stand every time we switch.

I and one of the drummers have tuned the kit to where it sounds acceptable for what it is, but it's still nothing like a real acoustic kit.

FYI: we use a ClearSonic shield for our acoustic kit (older Pearl Export, Evans heads, Sabian cymbals) upstairs and I run mics on the kick, snare and 2 overheads.

JesusFreakGirl 04-08-2011 02:15 PM

This is our electric drum set: Buy Pearl E-Pro Live Electronic Acoustic Drum Set | Complete Electronic Drum Sets | Musician's Friend

gtrdave 04-08-2011 02:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JesusFreakGirl (Post 3644170)

I saw that kit being advertised recently.
Does it sound like an acoustic kit? Is it as loud as one?
$3k is not a bad price at all if it does what they say it does.

JesusFreakGirl 04-08-2011 02:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtrdave (Post 3644176)
I saw that kit being advertised recently.
Does it sound like an acoustic kit? Is it as loud as one?
$3k is not a bad price at all if it does what they say it does.

It does exactly what it says it does - you just have to learn how to use it. And its pretty simple. You can get the sound and volume you desire from it.

gopats1479 04-09-2011 04:35 PM

My church uses a Roland TD-7 kit that I've kinda reconfigured. We run it mono through a DI.

fenderboss7 04-09-2011 05:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gtrdave (Post 3644167)
2 1/4" unbalanced cables going to the end of the snake via 1/4-to-xlr transformers.

so are the 2 1/4" cables in the R and L inputs on the drum module?

do they go into the snake with separate xlr adapters for both?

gtrdave 04-11-2011 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3644445)
so are the 2 1/4" cables in the R and L inputs on the drum module?

do they go into the snake with separate xlr adapters for both?

The 1/4" ends come out of the L and R outputs of the drum module and then into the two 1/4-to-XLR transformers. The transformers act as a mini-DI box and properly convert an unbalanced signal to a balanced signal, which is what the mixer ultimately needs to receive.
We use two mixer channels for the drums and assign them to one of the four sub-mix groups so that they can be controlled via 1 fader and independent of all other instruments and the vocals.

fenderboss7 04-11-2011 12:13 PM

yeah i got it now.....we just got our new sound system, and i was able to hook it up......
thanks

metropolis4 05-01-2011 06:57 AM

Acoustic pros:
They respond to your touch, you can pull so many different sounds depending on how you play them
Better control of dynamics
They sound like real drums
9 times out of 10 your drummer will play better and sound better on an acoustic set than electric

Acoustic cons:
Inexperienced drummers may have difficulty controlling their volume
No electric sound options

Electric drums pros:
sound guy can control volume for inexperienced drummers
access to electric drum sounds


Electric drum cons:
they don't feel or respond right, especially the cymballs and toms
they don't sound anything like real drums
9 times out of 10 your drummer won't play as well or sound as good playing them
they don't allow as much expression, or dynamics from the player

I can't stand electric drums. They don't feel right, they don't respond right, they don't sound right, you can't pull the same sounds out of them you get from an acoustic set, you get the occasional odd sounds where you intended to hit one sound, but the vibrations trigger a rim or something else, the bass drum trigger is always spotty at best. They're especially horrendous to play if you come from a jazz background, or any other drumming background where you are used to using lots of ghost notes and fill; the electric drums make this stuff sound weird and too present because they're not responsive enough, so you end up having to change your whole style to play them and it makes if feel wrong and uncomfortable.

For guitar players, imagine that instead of using your guitar you had to use a keyboard to play your guitar parts one day. You would technically be able to hit all the same notes, but it would feel awkward trying to hit keys instead of fret strings, and you would lose the ability to use all the subtle technique you know with the guitar, and you would lose the control you had over the notes. It would feel foreign and you would have to change your whole style to accomodate which would make you uncomfortable and would make you play worse. That's what electric drums do to drummers.

fenderboss7 05-01-2011 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by metropolis4 (Post 3649373)
Acoustic pros:
They respond to your touch, you can pull so many different sounds depending on how you play them
Better control of dynamics
They sound like real drums
9 times out of 10 your drummer will play better and sound better on an acoustic set than electric

Acoustic cons:
Inexperienced drummers may have difficulty controlling their volume
No electric sound options

Electric drums pros:
sound guy can control volume for inexperienced drummers
access to electric drum sounds


Electric drum cons:
they don't feel or respond right, especially the cymballs and toms
they don't sound anything like real drums
9 times out of 10 your drummer won't play as well or sound as good playing them
they don't allow as much expression, or dynamics from the player

I can't stand electric drums. They don't feel right, they don't respond right, they don't sound right, you can't pull the same sounds out of them you get from an acoustic set, you get the occasional odd sounds where you intended to hit one sound, but the vibrations trigger a rim or something else, the bass drum trigger is always spotty at best. They're especially horrendous to play if you come from a jazz background, or any other drumming background where you are used to using lots of ghost notes and fill; the electric drums make this stuff sound weird and too present because they're not responsive enough, so you end up having to change your whole style to play them and it makes if feel wrong and uncomfortable.

For guitar players, imagine that instead of using your guitar you had to use a keyboard to play your guitar parts one day. You would technically be able to hit all the same notes, but it would feel awkward trying to hit keys instead of fret strings, and you would lose the ability to use all the subtle technique you know with the guitar, and you would lose the control you had over the notes. It would feel foreign and you would have to change your whole style to accomodate which would make you uncomfortable and would make you play worse. That's what electric drums do to drummers.

would u rather have an entry level drum kit, rather than an expensive electric?

metropolis4 05-02-2011 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fenderboss7 (Post 3649442)
would u rather have an entry level drum kit, rather than an expensive electric?

Any day of the week :)

Give me a cheap set with a good set of heads and I'll be good to go. I'd take a Percussion Plus set over the most expensive set of electric drums out there.

fenderboss7 05-02-2011 10:25 AM

i would love to get acoustic drums


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