#$%^&* Electronic Drums

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#$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby Father Gino » Sat Nov 21, 2009 11:21 pm

I'm in this band that's just played it's 6th or 7th gig and this is the first one with a real set of drums. All the other gigs were with these electronic thingies. I hate the %^&* things!!!!!! Tonight was such a pleasure. Maybe his electronic drums are crap or maybe he doesn't know how to set them up, but I just can't catch a groove with them. When he plays them just by himself, they sound great, like drums on a recording. With the band they invariably sound like crap. Like drums in a cardboard box or drums on the AM radio in my 67 Buick. The bass drum is muddy, the snare is inaudible, the cymbals just don't produce the right "air", there's no dynamics, I just can't "feel" them. Crap, crap, crap, crap. Our fearless leader is convinced these electronic nightmares are essential for us being successful (not too loud) in small rooms. Maybe he's right but I'm almost at the point of saying: "If we're too loud for a room, then f**k 'em; we won't play there."

Anybody else have any experience with these things?
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby nolabass » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:37 am

Father Gino wrote:Our fearless leader is convinced these electronic nightmares are essential for us being successful (not too loud) in small rooms.


I don't agree. It is a matter of the drummer being competent enough to play softly with feel. It's hard....like asking us to pluck the string with half as much attack, but it is a standard skill set here for a drummer. Jazz combos have been playing dinner clubs forever with low levels. Subbing a electronic kit for volume is kinda lame IMHO.

Brushes and blast sticks......brushes and blast sticks.
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby hmagman » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:43 am

nolabass wrote:
Father Gino wrote:, but it is a standard skill set here for a drummer. Jazz combos have been playing dinner clubs forever with low levels. Subbing a electronic kit for volume is kinda lame IMHO.

+1 [smilie=cool-smiley-031.gif]
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby harleyyy » Sun Nov 22, 2009 8:46 am

nolabass wrote:
Father Gino wrote:Our fearless leader is convinced these electronic nightmares are essential for us being successful (not too loud) in small rooms.


I don't agree. It is a matter of the drummer being competent enough to play softly with feel. It's hard....like asking us to pluck the string with half as much attack, but it is a standard skill set here for a drummer. Jazz combos have been playing dinner clubs forever with low levels. Subbing a electronic kit for volume is kinda lame IMHO.

Brushes and blast sticks......brushes and blast sticks.


Agreed.

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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby GonzoBass » Sun Nov 22, 2009 11:44 am

I have a couple drummers here that I like to work with
who have a volume knob that actually goes all the way down to 1.
Rare.

Suggest to your "fearless leader" that you play keyboard bass.
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby aussiemark » Sun Nov 22, 2009 2:41 pm

Best volume control is for the drummer to use brushes, or those sticks that look like a dozen wooden satay skewers tied together in a bunch (name escapes me right now)
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby Father Gino » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:00 pm

I agree with all that's been said here. I've played with drummers using blast sticks, brushes and even brushes on just a snare and a hi-hat. And I've preferred all of that to these electronic thingies even playing Hendrix tunes. My question is: what is the point of these electronic thingies? Do they ever sound good?
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby aussiemark » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:07 pm

The trouble with electronic drums is that it introduces at least two more skills into the overall equation. Firstly, the drummer needs to understand how to tweak the controls on the kit module to make it sound similar to a real kit. Yes, the drummer - good luck with that. Secondly, whoever is running sound needs to understand how to best make the electronic kit sound good through the PA. If you're lucky, you get a house engineer at the venue who has a lot of experience with electronic kits. But the other 99% of the time the house engineer has never seen an electronic kit (or despises them), or it's you guys trying to mix from on stage with your own PA. Too many variables, no wonder they always sound like crap.
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby harleyyy » Sun Nov 22, 2009 4:08 pm

Father Gino wrote: Do they ever sound good?


I thought they did with The Cars on record, but I struggle thinking of anything else. [smilie=coz.gif]
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby kennans » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:11 am

Best case scenario; you're using them because you're playing a high paying casino gig, and everything runs through the board, where a competent soundguy runs the in-ear monitors, and everything is sticky-sweet.

More likely scenario; you're adding one more damn amplifier to the stage noise, and giving the drummer (!?!) a freakin' volume knob.

Blasticks. The "buncho' little rods taped together" thingy's. If the drummer doesn't have them, I get worried. Drummers who can't play appropriate volume? I don't even keep their numbers.
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby SonicBlueJoe » Mon Nov 23, 2009 10:53 pm

kennans wrote:Drummers who can't play appropriate volume? I don't even keep their numbers.


You lucky bastid [smilie=cheeky-smiley-025.gif]

My only experience with electronic drums was a positive one. First off, their owner had serious playing skills; a nice tasteful groove. He also had a small powered mixer and a couple of 3-way mains, 12ers I think, that he set up behind his kit on the floor, and he knew how to dial it into the mix. And from what he said, it was not a cheap set. Played 2 gigs with us with that kit, an indoor and outdoor on a patio, and I thought it sounded good. Different, but I enjoyed playing with him on those gigs, no objections to the sound or mix whatsoever, the groove was all there, lots of nice tight little rolls and embellishments you couldn't really get on a real kit. Still, he played with us on 2 or 3 gigs before those using his DW kit, and given the choice between the two, well c'mon now, no choice at all. DW all day every day.
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Re: #$%^&* Electronic Drums

Postby basswinn » Tue Nov 24, 2009 11:29 pm

Electronic drums are like vocals and bass. What sounds good by itself rarely sounds good in the mix. My experience with e drums is just the opposite from the drummer being lower in volume. Everyone I've played with was louder than shit .... "but mine goes to eleven".
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