Electronic Drums

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Johnny Fingers, Aug 1, 2021.

  1. Passed by an obvious drummer today who had a window sticker saying “Electronic Drums Have No Soul”.
    Didn’t want to stop him for an interview as he seemed to have his set with him.
    Having played with both types of drum kits on stage and they sounded great to me, I wondered what the TB community would comment about that sticker statement.
    ColdEye and Hummergeist like this.
  2. MikeSpector


    May 14, 2018
    I like the sound of a great acoustic kit but a good drummer will put "soul" into an electric kit. My drummer is a Beat Buddy and that thing can groove. I actually considerred getting a cheap electric kit to mess with. I would love a giant set of Tamas but drums are expensive and loud.
    Anyway,not sure about the whole "soul" thing. The drummer supplies the soul,the kit is just the tool. My bass doeant have "groove" or "funk" or "attitude"..any of that stuff. That's what I'm supposed to deliver.
  3. joelns


    Mar 10, 2014
    My daughter is a drummer. She has 2 accoustic kits and 1 electronic one. One of those accoustic kits is a hand down from a very influential drummer that cut his chops with some very influential groups in the 60's. She's extremely honored to be the caretaker of that kit which was given to her by the drummer's daughter (no names). I recently bought her a Roland e-kit. College is coming and she'll need it to practice with headphones. She told me the other day that it's just a tool to drive the groove. It was a proud dad moment.
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  4. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I once did a theater show playing electronic drums and didn't especially care for it. I had to program quiet sets for quiet songs - my worst nightmare would have been to have the memory settings somehow get fried. Cross-triggering was a problem. The BL loved it from a control freak perspective. ("I don't like the sound of the toms for this tune - can you pull up something rounder?")
    For what I do, I just prefer the nuanced dynamics from playing an acoustic set.
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  5. salmon256


    Jul 10, 2021
    This later winter/early spring I impulse bought a real Tama kit for beginners. For the longest time I planned on getting a Yamaha electronic kit or a real Yamaha kit. I ended up getting the real kit since I fear that playing ecteronic was going to ruin my future playing on real kits, plus my sisters told me a time to practice so no one would get bother in my house for being loud (It all depends on how you play, what you know how you learn etc, also I ended up keeping bass my main after this) All I can say is drums are expensive and they for me were a pain to set up. As a bassist primary I wished I got the electronic drums, if you have a pad or a real snare which I also had before my main kit I would of felt a lot better. Also I just look at my drum kit and think "That will be the biggest pain in the ass to bring" yeah as bassist we have amps and other things but at least we can put our bass on our backs and also the amps and pedals can all be put in one bag and can take a little bit of a rough moving compare to real drums.

    So basically what I mean is, are electronic drums the best? No, really high up 1k-3k models can be great and have a good feel but I have friends who had trouble playing things like rolls and some other techniques. Are they good for hobbyist of getting better at rhythm? Hell yeah, though playing a pad is just fine. I credit my drum playing time for helping improve my rhythm on bass A LOT.
    So morale is, electronic drums are very great for hobbyist or those familiar with acoustic kits already, hell the high up end Roland and Alessi models can be good, there's a lot of drummers who prefer to be the at home weekend warrior player I think since they have so many issues of practicing being too loud or just beating on them. So I think electronics can be great but for a serious player they should start on a pad and get guided or at least take lessons on a real kit. So for your statement and sorry for the long post, I disagree with that comment some people make electronic drums work and they are also use for times of avoiding being loud or simply a much more easier start for some. This is all just my opinion also, I am no where near a pro! Have a good day!
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  6. MikeSpector


    May 14, 2018
    You never really understand how loud an acoustic kit is until you have one in your living room. Electronic kits have made life easier for aspiring drummers for sure. You coukd give me a $10,000 acoustic kit and I would have to either move or rent a place to play the thing. We used to complain about how hard it was to find drummers. I eventually realised why.
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  7. Eli_Kyiv


    Apr 7, 2020
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    My band's drummer played our first 3 gigs on a cheap Chinese toy e-drums kit that had no dynamics whatsoever (i.e. wasn't velocity sensitive). This kit was my birthday gift to him that I've meant as a joke.
    But even this thing exuded soul when he played it.
  8. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    Nothing pressurizes a room the way that an acoustic drum kit does, and no electronic kit can match the nuances of tone and feel of acoustic drums (though this gap continues to close).

    That being said, electronic kits afford drummers a flexibility in volume, timbre, sound, ease of recording, etc. that no acoustic kit could ever begin to have.

    I get why there is a divide, but each one is a tool that has its place.
  9. Hummergeist

    Hummergeist Commercial User

    Jul 21, 2020
    Tutorials, reviews, and interviews for Future Publishing.
    Sounds like he needed a new sticker "Electronic Drums Threaten Me"
  10. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    Right under the one that says, "if the bass don't say Fender, I'll go on a bender". ;)
  11. lfmn16

    lfmn16 Inactive

    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    The drummer grooves, not the drums.
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  12. Sierra Hotel

    Sierra Hotel

    Mar 21, 2019
    Northeast US
    I’m fortunate in that the drummer in my current band is really gifted. He plays an acoustic rig that brings out his artistry and makes the band so much better.

    I recently went to listen to a local band where the drummer was nowhere near as polished or technically cabals, but still a competent drummer who played well with his band mates. The LG and bass player were both musically talented, and three of them meshed well.

    However the drummer played an e-kit, and the sound was just so . . . artificial. Where an acoustic kit can signal changes in the song with changes in how hard the drummer hits the surface of the drum or cymbal, the d-kit just sounded flat, regardless of how the drummer was playing.

    FWIW, I had a Roland kit not too long ago that I sold to my younger brother who is a drummer. It was wonderful for practice, but I wouldn’t want to gig it . . . .
    Johnny Fingers likes this.
  13. cmcbass

    cmcbass Supporting Member

    Jan 4, 2018
    I have both and like them for different reasons. I mostly play the electronic kit because my Girlfriend works from home until 6 pm and I get home at 4:30. My electronic kit is pretty cheap, and more of a practice tool, but still fun to play. I always record with the acoustic kit. I feel like acoustic kits have more nuance and tone variation, though I might feel different about that if I had a quality electronic kit.

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  14. Aloe


    Apr 10, 2016
    electric drums are meh, this is a widespread opinion among drummers. sadly, sometimes it's the only way to tame a very loud drummer for the rehearsals or even gigs.

    this all said, I convinced a drummer for electric set in the past, this wasn't an electric drum kit, but a Roland HPD though. and guess what? it was a breeze on soundcheck, but we got a complaint from the audience like 'that thing sounds too electric'.
    Johnny Fingers likes this.
  15. lordradish

    lordradish Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2006
    As a bassist who's played tons of jazz and funk, and now plays a lot of synths and such, two things.

    1) It's not always about having soul.
    2) That drummer's a pretentious ass.
    equill, RyanKinBK, LBS-bass and 3 others like this.
  16. nnnnnn


    Oct 27, 2018
    That seems like a complaint about that specific kit rather than an ongoing problem with most modern electronic kits. Never been a problem with my Roland kit which at the time was mid-level, the Roland tier that came with the proper mesh heads and good rims like their expensive kits but with a less versatile controller/sound module.
    Sure. But that's not to say that an electronic kit doesn't have any dynamics at all, they do. Or at least the better ones can be pretty dynamic, and they keep improving the tech.

    All else being equal I'd rather play my acoustic kit, but for home recording my electronic kit sounds better because I don't have appropriate microphones for drums.
    Johnny Fingers likes this.
  17. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    It really all comes down to the music - and the drummer.

    I prefer acoustic drums (Ludwig w/Black Beauty snare/Zildjan K or Constantinople series cymbals since I’m dreaming and it’s not coming out of my pocket. ;)) over electronic drums. But it’s just a personal thing.

    I’m fine with electronic drums for some (most?) music too. And you can’t argue about using them when it comes to practicality.
  18. 31HZ

    31HZ Glad to be here Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2006
    Central VA, USA
    The latest high-end Roland kits are really incredible, and the technogy is advancing rapidly. Play one, through good headphones, if you get a chance; I promise it'd be a real treat.

    Having said that, imagine if bass players had to contend with a market that moved towards plastic instruments with triggers, touch sensors, and sound libraries instead of wood, strings and pickups? There'd be broad consensus on TB about the merits of such products, I'm pretty sure. :woot:
  19. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2020
    Austin, TX
    Came up with a couple thoughts.
    Wow, when I type it I hope our drummer doesn’t read this.

    Electronic Drum Cons:
    Can’t fire ‘em!
    Can’t help load out. (Instead of Won’t help load out)
    Not as fun to watch live.

    Show up on time.
    Can’t bail.
    Not drunk (whenever you read this)
    Start the song the same way every time.
    End the song with everyone else.
    Don’t click when the singer is taking.
    Is no worse at driving the van than a human drummer.
    Easier to teach new songs.
    Not flirting with your SO during load out.
    Won’t want to try to play your bass with drum sticks “just once”.
    Smells just fine.
    Doesn’t own a sleeveless shirt from a strip club in Florida.
    Can’t debate why it thinks said shirt is “cool”.
    Won’t want you to learn its terrible original song because it’s not fair that that everyone else can write songs.
    Can’t shake its head and hit you with sweat during a gig so you have to be cool and act like it doesn’t happen.
    Never clicks 1-2-1-2-3-4 as if to assume you can’t catch on in 4.
    NEVER twirls or throws sticks.
    Max Bogosity likes this.
  20. Sushi Box FX

    Sushi Box FX Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 23, 2020
    Chicagoland, USA
    Sushi Box FX, owner
    I'm a hack of a bassist, drums are actually my main instrument. I own both acoustic and electric, and for recording and gigging I go for the acoustic every time. For casual practice though the electric kit is my go-to.

    The obvious disclaimer is that a drummer that's used to an acoustic kit, even a low-end one, will never be satisfied on a low-end electric kit. A low-end kit can be instantly upgraded by swapping out the module, which is really what determines the feel and sound as it controls how triggering is handled and processes the sounds. Nowadays low end kits are getting better, even at $300 or so you're starting to see mesh heads, which are way more natural feeling than rubber pads, but a decent module that makes the kit "feel" right will easily run $500+ by itself.

    My electric kit (Alesis Strike) is excellent, the only thing that keeps me reminded that it's electric is the cymbals, but there are other brands that make more realistic feeling cymbals, so I'm thinking about trying some of those out. You can get an electric kit that sounds and feels as good as an acoustic kit, but it takes about $2-3k worth of electric drums to sound/feel as natural as a $500 acoustic kit.