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E-Drums for church no cymbals, drums only. Who rules?

Discussion in 'Rides / Cymbals' started by Christ's_own, Feb 7, 2001.

  1. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    I need excellent feeling and sounding e-drums for stage noise purposes. I will never use sampled cymbals, because they are sterile. But I know that the drums themselves can sound really good when sampled right. I have some samples from Sonic Implants that I love. So I know its possible, but is anyone out there "making it happen". Please help me to preserve the hearing and voices of our congregation. :)
    God's Love,
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Hi, sounds like an eq fix and a PA mix problem. I get awesome cymbals from samplers! They're not perfect but certainly not a problem if sampled right and toned down in live rooms.

    If your playing live it's your PA and mix more than the sample if people are complaining. (I'm assuming your using a good sample)

    Playing live do this:

    I found when playing live, pain is from 2.5 to 8 k, this area may need some tweeking somewhere. If your playing in a church, it's live sounding for sure and brutal in some older churches lol! a sound mans nightmare.

    Ring out the room and find the hot spots.
    High freq. travel fast and get to ones ears before the warmer tones do. Tinny horns make everything harsh. Taking out the area's that travel the most in the room will please your crowd.
    To ring out a room set up a flat mic and turn your PA up just before it squeals. Then start lifting the freq. until you find the most active spots that make it feedback. The ones that squeal or howl are the ones you need to pulled back.

    Having a seperate eq. or track for the cymbals might be your answer. To save money you can always sample the cymbals with the upper mids cut out. Use reverb for cymbals!

    I'd say it's your mix and PA

    Works everytime.

  3. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    I've been researching electronic drums for my studio for a few months now. It hasn'tbeen high on my priority list, but I've found a few products that will definately be part of my system. The pre-packaged systems from companies are a rip-off. If you do your homework, you'll find that you can get a lot more for your money by shopping carefully for individual components that will suit your needs.

    First of all...the "BRAIN". Yamaha has recently come out with a new one called the DTXtreme (NOT DTXpress!). This will definately be my pick. The sounds on this brain are sampled sounds, and may just solve your cymbal prob. You can pick it up for under $1000.

    As for 'drums', check out the Pintech ConcertcastST drums. Mesh-head drums for only a little over $100 each! If you don't mind using real drum heads, and would really like to save some money, check out this link... http://www.electronicdrums.com/pads/ As for electronic 'cymbals', companies usually want to nail you for $75-100 each!
    You can get the Pintech TC series cymbals for $35-40 each, LIST! Personally, I'm not concerned with the traditional cymbal look, and I'm leaning toward getting a Hart Dynamics Multipad for cymbal-sound triggering. It has six 4.5" X 6" rubber pads.
    As far as bass drums, there are a jillion options. Personally, I don't want the mechanical nuisance of pedals, chains, beaters, etc... so I'm going with Hart Dynamic 'Hammer' triggers, which I can trigger by just tapping (or stomping) my feet on them!

    The one thing that I haven't made up my mind on yet is the high-hat. I've tried a few, but there's more that I still want to try. The
    methods that companies use to create the high-hat effect vary greatly. I would strongly urge anyone looking into buying an electronic drum kit to pay close attention to this part of your system, and try as many as you can to find the one that is right for you.

    Lastly, your drum monitor(s). The drummer has to hear him(her)self. You can go mono, stereo, or SURROUND. The better it sounds, the more enjoyable playing electronic drums can be. BTW, playing an electronic kit with headphones as monitors SUCKS! Your ears will be tired within about five minutes.
    Hope some of this helps...
  4. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    Thanks for the great responses. Both helped a lot, but I'm affraid I wasn't real clear on my first post. We are currently using acoustic drums and the noise from them is what's causing the problem. We are looking to purchase e-drums. We have a make shift iso booth for the drums. that is quite effective but it still is not enough. However it is enough to stop cymbal noise. Hooray! Because I really hate the lack of character, especially from the high hat, that e-cymbals give. So that is what I tried to say. Not that what you have said was not a help. I will check out the Pintech. And I was already leaning toward the DTXtremes. But I have not had a chance to play anything. So, thus I ask for insight.
    Thank you, and Gods Love
    Jamey :cool:
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

  6. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Play softer.
  7. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    Pllleease, :D I don't think so. After all it is about artistic freedom. Now I'm not rebuking you please hear me, it's just that I've heard that argued so much and I it just does not make sense. Because if a drummer is expressing themselves and they are feeling aggressive. Then who am I to tell them to stop doing what I really want them to do, doesn't work. I want them to feel comfortable and expressive. I want it from their gut. Not concerned if they are playing to loud. But I need control, this is the goal.
    Gods Love,
  8. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Christ's_own, forgive my "hehe" after SonOfSmawg's and your reply, lol I was laughing at all our effort and here you are on a different zone. We are here to help if we can!
    You are between a rock and a hard place.

    You are also faced with the most common problem in live music.
    Drummers and live drums lol! ;)

    Ever seen a clear cage around a kit on stage?
    Welcome to the fix.

    I've played thousands of hours live and 80 percent of the drummers I've worked with start out sweet and end louD! ;)
  9. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    << After all it is about artistic freedom ... Because if a drummer is expressing themselves and they are feeling aggressive. Then who am I to tell them to stop doing what I really want them to do, doesn't work. I want them to feel comfortable and expressive. >>

    Hi Jamey,

    I'll let you into a secret. In the vast majority of cases it's not about freedom, artistic or otherwise. In fact, it's about the opposite; limitations and lack of artistry. For the majority of drummers out there, both students and professionals, drumming has become a sport not an art form. For example, many articles in the drumming press either imply or directly state that drumming is purely about accuracy, speed and power.

    It is possible to be extremely expressive at very low volumes, just look at the work of someone like Peter Erskin. The ability to use a wide range of dynamics as a musical tool has all but vanished in the world of rock/pop drumming. With few exceptions these skills are now generally only found in the jazz, ethnic and classical arenas of drumming.

    Sorry Jamey, I can't give you any solutions, only an understanding of the problem. Although it should be absolutely possible to find a drummer that can balance acoustically in a relatively small space, in practice you may have real difficulty finding a drummer with these skills. That unfortunately means that turning to e-drums is probably the most realistic solution.

  10. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    You guys are beautiful! And you might find this strange, after my last post and all. But I agree completly with you guys. But my experience with softer playing has been from players that are more intimidated than inspired. So that is why I speak of hating the "limp wristed" approach. I believe whole heartedly in what you guys are saying. I also believe it to be a superior way of playing, when done right. But I have been playing for 15 years and have yet to meet the person that can do it. I'm positive they are out there. But the vast majority seem to have no concept of this, thus spawns my problem.
    Notice that in my post I'm not saying it can't be done I'm saying to walk up to a leopard and ask it to change it's spots does not yield the ultimate response I am reaching for.

    My query is how do I control these people without infringing on "their" expression. And have the kind of sound quality that I demand.
    You guys are talking about hand picking people I'm talking about how to deal with the people that walk through my door :)
  11. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Good stuff here, it's not a waste of words! Thanks for your support on RO :D

    The e-drums are the ticket then. I love them anyway. Excellent for hard to control rooms to say the least.

    As for your quest, you get what you pay for. ;)

    I must say this though, by letting the band hear the mix or better yet (the sound of the room) ;) from the audience side, should help everyone achieve the goal. You won't need to say much if it's that obvious. We all know what things should sound like in general. It's easy to pick out the loud guy. Blame most of it on the rooms acoustics.

    A getto blaster works perfect. Something you should do regularly.

    Good luck!
  12. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    I would like to set RO apart from the "semi-Pro" (and even most of the "Pro") publications that would immediately suggest you run out and spend all kinds of money to fix your problem. audiokid's suggestion is an excellent idea. Money can't buy that kind of sense.

    With that in mind, I must tell you about some potential problems you may encounter if you end up going electronic.

    These drummers, who can't hear well enough to play for the size of the room they're in, might not be satisfied to hear themselves in a set of cans. They might force you to get a huge side-fill monitor (maybe a simple keyboard or bass amp) so they can "feel" when they are hitting a pad. Once you have this type of monitor in place, they will ask for it to be turned up to the point where it is louder than the live drums were in the first place. You will have the same problem as before, but now with mushier bass, more wash on hi mids, less overall clarity, and less control over the whole mix.

    More often that not, throwing money at a problem buys you a set of new problems. But education is both free and liberating. Everyone profits from it in the long run.

    The plexiglass idea might work well for your situation, but see if you can try it out before you buy. (Can't hurt to ask.)

    Getting the drummer to play softer will definitely solve your problem, without question.

    I know several drummers who can play quietly. Don't even think about calling them "limp wristed". They have enough feeling to command a whole spectrum of human emotion. Unfortunately, I don't know any one in OK. Sorry.

    Best of luck. I hope you find a path that is successful. :)
  13. Greg Malcangi

    Greg Malcangi Member

    Hi Jamey,

    Just noticed you are in OK. The biggest percussion organisation in the world, the Percussive Arts Society (PAS), is based in Lawton, OK. If they can't find you a decent drummer, no one can. Their website is: http://www.pas.org

  14. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    Thanks everybody! I love all the suggestions. I was not emplying that people had wasted there time. I was merely trying to head off any feeling that anyone had wasted there time on posting in this. Based on my continual need to further explain myself. I didn't want to give anyone the impression I was not listening.
    Because you have all given me good stuff to "chew" on.
    Now, does anyone have a favorite e-drum set? I am not going to run out and buy anything. I am aquiring info from several sources. And will make no decision based on one persons recommendation.
    I have not decided that is the best route to go. Largely in part to some of the posts here. I will exhaust all the ideas I have been given for a-drums first. But if it comes to that I would like some professional input as to who is best in a live app.
    Gods Love,
  15. SonOfSmawg

    SonOfSmawg Well-Known Member

    Glad you're staying open to all ideas, help, and opinions. Doing thorough homework on issues like this will better-guarantee that you get the best system to suit your needs, and hopefully allow you to get the best and most for your congregation's money.
    There are a few things that I would like to stress with you. First of all, with electronic drums, you do not always get what you pay for. Paying four to eight times as much for a given component will not necessarily give you something that functions any better. Remember that almost all of the edrum products manufactured are compatible with each other. Definately try the products before you buy. The Pintech products which I mentioned in my previous post are a perfect example. Try the Pintech concertcastST drums and Tc series cymbals through the same brain as Roland, Yamaha, or whatever-brand mesh-head drums and ecymbals.
    See if you reach the same conclusion that I did...
    There are a lot of different e-bass drums and e-high-hats out there. Since you'll have many different drummers playing this set, I recommend that you get ones that are reasonably close to a 'real drum' feel. It would probably be a good idea to get a couple of other drummers to come with you to check these out, to get a concensus.
    After reading Ang's post on this thread I want to stress again to you the drummer's monitoring system. If you plug a nice e-drum system into a guitar, bass, or keyboard amp, you WILL run into the volume problem, and they WILL sound like crap. Small surround systems solve the stage volume problem, because you have 4 speakers and a subwoofer, each at much lower volumes than a single sound source, which all contribute to give the drummer the volume and sound he(she) needs while projecting very little of the sound out onto the rest of the stage. You put the subwoofer right behind the drummer, the two main speakers in front, facing the drummer, and the two satellites behind. It makes you feel more like you're playing an acoustic set, too! A good analogy of this is...if you take a 100 watt guitar amp and plug it into a 15" JBL, it'll be loud 100' away. If you take the same amp and plug it into two Marshall cabinets loaded with 25 watt Celestion Greenbacks, it'll be loud within 10 feet of it, but 100' away you can hardly hear it. PROJECTION, or lack-of.
    I'm stressing this monitor issue because it can make or break the success you have with drummers enjoying and 'feeling' the set, and it will make or break whether the e-set solves your acoustics problem.
    I really hope this helps you... :)
  16. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    Hows this for monitoring. The drum platform also houses one of the 2000w subwoofers that drive the house. :D
    What do you think?
    Gods Love,
  17. PlanB

    PlanB Guest

    Christ's Own,

    If it is realistic drum sounds you are looking for, I would be sure to check out the dDrum4 system by clavia (http://www.ddrum.com).

    It uses multi-samples of real drum kits (e.g. yamahas, pearls, dw...), and even has signature sound sets from people like Mel Gaynor.
    The die-cast pads have real drum heads, positional sensing (to control the multi-samples. E.g. the new signature soundsets use up to 8 samples per pad to give you a realistic sound, according to where and how hard you hit the pad).
    It's not cheap, but it's a solid and very realistic sounding system. We are using it in the studio here for almost 2 years and are very happy with it.
    Just a suggestion.
    Cheers from Belgium

  18. Christ's_own

    Christ's_own Guest

    Thanks Arthur, I will check them out.

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