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Unread 04-07-2011, 02:15 AM   #1
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Electric drums vs. Acoustic

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

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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:23 AM   #2
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 08:28 AM   #3
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 09:03 AM   #4
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 11:25 AM   #5
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:28 PM   #6
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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?
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:30 PM   #7
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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?
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderboss7 View Post
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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #9
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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?
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 03:52 PM   #11
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My church used to have a top of the line Roland kit (TD-20, touch sensitive everything).
do you guys still use that?
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Unread 04-07-2011, 04:09 PM   #12
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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.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 08:41 PM   #13
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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
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Unread 04-07-2011, 09:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fenderboss7 View Post
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.
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Unread 04-08-2011, 01:41 AM   #15
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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.
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