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What can and can't you do with edrum kits?
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babymoog
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#1
21st January 2008
Old 21st January 2008
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What can and can't you do with edrum kits?

Hi,

I've just joined the board. Just wanted to ask the drum heads in here what their opinion of the currently available e-drum kits is? Specifically, I'm looking at getting an Alesis DM5 Pro for two purposes:

- Learning to play drums
- Using this knowledge to get a more natural feel in my productions

Just wondering if any of the following are possible using these electronic kits:

- Rimshots
- Convincing sounding drum rolls on the snare
- Brush work

Are there any other gotchas that might be worth thinking about before diving in here?

Any help much appreciated!
#2
21st January 2008
Old 21st January 2008
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You can't impress chicks.
babymoog
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21st January 2008
Old 21st January 2008
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My girl wants to learn to play drums too, so I guess we're less concerned with impressing each other and more concerned with having a quiet kit so we don't drive each other nuts
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21st January 2008
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OK. Roland pretty much owns this market. If you can afford the new TD-9 or whatever it is do it.
babymoog
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21st January 2008
Old 21st January 2008
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It certainly looks like Roland dominate this market, but as a non-drummer, I can't see exactly what the Roland gear does that the Alesis gear doesn't. AFAICS, they both have mesh drums, both have dual-zone cymbals, etc etc. From a quick glance at Novamusik, it looks like the bottom Roland kit is about 3 times the cost of the top Alesis kit.

What would you say justifies the extra cash?
#6
21st January 2008
Old 21st January 2008
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Hi babymoog,

I've got a Roland TD3 kit. I love it. It can do rimshot and drum rolls and ruffs etc but it can't do brushes! It's got some kits designed to sound like it's played with brushes though.

I dunno about the Alesis kit but the drumbrain and the quality of the e kit in general on my Roland is robust and functions great. I gig and release CD using the drum brain as a sound source and also triggering Drumkits From Hell.

A few years ago myself and my bro (a gifted drummer) both compared the DDrum kit and Brain to the Roland TD-10. We both found that the Roland gave the best feeling of playing drums, closest to playing the real deal.

Have a go for yourself. And see what feels good to you.

I own an Alesis synth and it serves me well... just so you know that there is no bias nor brand snobbery on my part.

Be well,
cortisol
babymoog
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22nd January 2008
Old 22nd January 2008
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Thanks for the info!

If anyone out there has any direct experience with the Alesis kit and has any comments on pros/cons I would love to hear them.
#8
24th January 2008
Old 24th January 2008
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#9
24th January 2008
Old 24th January 2008
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Quote:
What can and can't you do with edrum kits?
can: you can play drumset on an otherwise "acoustic" or "coffeehouse" gig

can't: you can't really play a rock gig with one of those kits without feeling like a dork

Quote:
What would you say justifies the extra cash?
probably stuff like 'feel', 'touch', ' responsiveness'

If you have never played "real" drums, those things might not matter to you so much. On the other hand, unlike synthesizers, edrums have not really evolved into their 'own thing' - they just try to get closer to what real drums do.

Of the edrums I have tried, I think the Roland comes the closest to playing like a real kit, but I have not tried the Alesis. And like I said, playing like a real kit is MY standard, it does not have to be YOUR standard.
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#10
28th January 2008
Old 28th January 2008
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Quote:
It certainly looks like Roland dominate this market, but as a non-drummer, I can't see exactly what the Roland gear does that the Alesis gear doesn't. AFAICS, they both have mesh drums, both have dual-zone cymbals, etc etc. From a quick glance at Novamusik, it looks like the bottom Roland kit is about 3 times the cost of the top Alesis kit.

What would you say justifies the extra cash?
Sitting down at both kits would tell you instantly...well, as a non-drummer maybe not, but still...why the Roland kits are worth the extra money. The feel and responsiveness of the Alesis kit isn't even close, and the sounds...well, the fact that they're selling this kit with a module that's been on the market for, what, twelve to fifteen years is impressive, but makes it easy to understand why the sounds aren't top notch...they're not close either.

Having said that, I wouldn't recommend learning to play on electronic drums at all if you're serious. If you're just wanting to get your parts into your DAW and tweak them via MIDI then fine, maybe the Alesis kit would work out well for you...but if you really want to learn to play I'd recommend real drums. You can do rimshots and rolls on both kits and they sound all right, and the Roland stuff is pretty impressive when it comes to brushwork (don't know about the Alesis, and after playing on it for about three minutes I lost interest in finding out more), but again, you won't get nearly as much out of an electronic kit as an acoustic. To me the biggest difference is in the cymbals...especially with a ride cymbal, you can get so many sounds out of a ride cymbal, but even with Roland's best three-zone cymbal you're still very limited. For most genres this is fine, but you mentioned brushwork...I don't imagine many jazz drummers would be too excited about playing an electronic kit.
#11
28th January 2008
Old 28th January 2008
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I'm loving my TD6-V. Internal sounds are ok-ish but triggering DKHS (especially custom/vintage) is sensational. BFD is okay too but never quite feels right.

Taught myself to play (badly) on it but I've recently moved to a real kit although I still sound better on the v-drums. I say go for it, especially if you can't play a real kit at home cos of the volume.

At the very least its load of fun.
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28th January 2008
Old 28th January 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
I'm loving my TD6-V. Internal sounds are ok-ish but triggering DKHS (especially custom/vintage) is sensational. n.
+1. The Roland sounds are not that bad but using DFHS or even EZDrummer takes it to all *whole* new level. (I still play like a ****** though )
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28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Triggering DCHS and BFD

how are you guys triggering the DKHS and BFD with your TD6? I mean technically the actual interface and cabling etc.?

Thanks,

Woods
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28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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It's pretty straightforward. The TD6 brain has a midi out...plug the midi cable into the midi interface on your pc/mac (midisport 8x8 in my case). Fire up you DAW software of the standalone BFD, Toontrack application and you're good to go.

I say it every time but Toontrack hi hat response is MILES better with vdrums than BFD. You can fiddle as long as you like with the many, many parameters in BFD but it's never gonna be as good as the preset from toontrack .......it's all in the transmuting (IMO)....

to be fair I havent upgraded to bfd v2 yet - but I don't hold much hope for improvement.
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28th February 2008
Old 28th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orange View Post
I say it every time but Toontrack hi hat response is MILES better with vdrums than BFD. You can fiddle as long as you like with the many, many parameters in BFD but it's never gonna be as good as the preset from toontrack .......it's all in the transmuting (IMO)....
Agreed. I have a TD3-SW which I use to trigger DFHS Custom & Vintage and the hat response is excellent. In fact it's better than the TD-3 by itself, since you can do heelsplashes using the software. The TD3 alone won't do them.

V Drums are great for quiet practice and can be used for recording when combined with DFHS but you'll always prefer playing a real kit due to all the subtlety and nuance that acoustic drums are capable of. This is the real drawback to electronic drums.
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2nd March 2008
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Orange, does toontrack work with any kit. I have a Hart with TD-12. Will it improve the hi hat response (it's actually fairly good and it's the top of the line Hart)?
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2nd March 2008
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I've not used the TD12 - but yes the toontrack stuff (and BFD) will work fine.

Hat response in DFHS is certainly much better than the inbuilt td6v one.

Here's a demo of somebody using a homemade hat controller triggering DFHS CV. I think it's pretty impressive.

http://www.gearslutz.com/board/attac...funk-demo1.zip
#18
2nd March 2008
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What's goin on boys?

Can anybody tell me a good thread or a site or a magaziune article that basically is a primer for Electronic / software drums. And talks about them together as a combo. It seems that there is alot of mingling of the two technologies.

I can understand a little bit about Vdrum technology but when you start talking about them in conjunction with the software stuff I get lost. Just for example what is BFD and DFHS etc etc etc. I read alot of Slutz threads but they all seem to assume you know quite a bit to begin with.

Thanks guys
Woods
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2nd March 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woods View Post
What's goin on boys?

Can anybody tell me a good thread or a site or a magaziune article that basically is a primer for Electronic / software drums. And talks about them together as a combo. It seems that there is alot of mingling of the two technologies.

I can understand a little bit about Vdrum technology but when you start talking about them in conjunction with the software stuff I get lost. Just for example what is BFD and DFHS etc etc etc. I read alot of Slutz threads but they all seem to assume you know quite a bit to begin with.

Thanks guys
Woods
Hey Woods....not sure about the primer, but simply put...the pads on an e-kit are counterpart to the keys on a keyboard. Surely you've played drum sounds on a keyboard just messin' around. Midi that keyboard into another synth and now you can trigger the sounds in synth B. Think of the e-kit as a drum shaped keyboard...that's what it is..plug it in via midi to any number of sound sources, synths, etc...and/or also drum software on your PC...and you can now play those sounds.

My V kit is sweet for tons of reasons and the drum softwares are great for writing and having a quick initial groove laid down, but when it's time to go to tape (HD)..I use a hybrid of real hats, real ride...the ocassional real snare and drum samples from a variety of synths, modules and software.

The more I hear and see about the upcoming Superior Drummer 2 from Toon Tracks...the more I suspect my real brass may be set aside...man that sampler looks and sounds like the sauce!
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4th March 2008
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