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I love the idea of electronic drums...100+ different kits at your disposal at the push of a button, no huge shells to lug around,
they take less space when they're set up, you can have band practice at low volume, no
more cymbal crashes at ear level, MIDI, and NO MORE MIKING HASSLES !
I've tried out several different brands at music stores, but I don't really see many major differences. Some have more kit presets available, but I wouldn't use them all anyway. Some have a few more pads, but more than your standard 5-piece kit arrangement is
overkill with my lack-luster drumming. I tried the Rolands that are supposed to be
similar to an acoustic drum feel, but they seemed very unnatural to me, and they give off a loud enough acoustic sound to be intrusive and downright annoying.
The set that I found that came closest to my
needs was a Yamaha that was only $1000. The
drawbacks were that half of the kit presets were totally unusable to me, the hardware was
sorta ginchy, and the actual sampled sounds
didn't seem to be of the greatest quality.
Given my scenario, can anyone recommend an electronic kit that would best suit my needs?


SonOfSmawg Thu, 09/28/2000 - 12:50

To expand on the above:
I'd like it to have it so that, at the push of a button, I'm sitting behind Phil Collins' kit, hit another button, I'm sitting behind Neil Peart's kit, push another button, I'm sitting behind Tommy Aldridge's kit, etc...
Also, I'd like to have full programming and storage capabilities. Like, set up all
the parameters and effects for each individual pad, name that set (My Kit 1?),
then store it as a preset. Then have the capability to do that about 500 times.
Then have the capability to put them in
(for the lack of a better description)
sub-orders: Where you can set the presets up to come up in a pre-selected order by simply the push of an 'advance' button. And I would like to be able to have like maybe 50 or 100
of these 'sub-orders', so that complete on-stage sets are available. Even if these these
'sub-orders' could be saved on, say, floppies
it would be cool.
Am I being clear? Does anyone know if there is anything like that on the market? If not, is there a way to do that using MIDI?
Anyone's input or questions to help clarify would be appreciated.

SonOfSmawg Fri, 10/13/2000 - 20:24

No, Greg, no joke. I realize that I can't play a mili-fraction as good as those players, and that each drummer has their own
'feel', but what I'm referring-to is their
'signature' sounds. For example, Phil Collins, he has a huge signal chain that his drums go through. I read about it one time.
I am mainly a guitarist. If I set my general sound to be very similar to that of the guitarist's sound who's song I'm playing,
I can 'feel' it better, and the overall band
sound is closer to the original. That's what
I'd also like to do with electronic drums. I'm not stupid, I know that dialing-up
a sound doesn't magically turn you into another person, but getting a similar
'pallet' to work from is always helpful.
But anyway, I guess you read my posts, so
can you be of any help? Can you recommend
any products or brands, or tell me how I can
achieve what I described? I was as concise
and complete as I could be so that I could
get the best information possible from
someone who knows more in this area than I do. If I was not clear enough, please ask.
I have a pretty good idea of what I need, and
how I want them to function. I just don't
know if anything like that is available or possible. Maybe I'm asking too much? I don't
know... Please help if you can...

anonymous Fri, 10/13/2000 - 21:15

you could get a sampler and the sample the drum sounds of the bands/musician you are interested in. Many do this and it works great. There are many sound moduals out there as well with gads of drum sounds. (note: check with the publisher/artist/record company before you release it for permission of the sound)

Get a sequencer and midi it up. That's how it's done and it's a blast. Clean and tight, blend the sounds/ tune them for the key.

The hard part it making it sound live and not like a machine. That's when it get's real fun, pardon the pun.

good thread


Greg Malcangi Mon, 10/16/2000 - 10:10

Whoa there CB, what you are advocating is against international copyright law. Here in the UK even posting your message could be construed legally as insitement to breaking the law.

SonOfSmaug: AFAIK there is no product available which does what you are seeking. There is an element to the equation which even many drummers/percussionists don't fully consider. Get two top class drummers to play the same drum kit, with the same sticks and pass it through the same signal processing chain. Result: Two very different drum sounds. This is because the physique, body position, angle of attack and the stroke itself has a large impact on the sound quality produced. These are variables that mean no two drummers are ever going to produce the same sound.

Also the drum sound changes as the different types of strokes are employed and as it gets louder or faster. Again these are variables from drummer to drummer. It is simply not feasible or even technically possible to create the product you are looking for, and that's not taking into account the fact that I can't think of any top class drummer that would be happy to effectively give away their sound.

Hope this helps,


anonymous Mon, 10/16/2000 - 13:45

Greg chill, I'm not talking about looping rhythm tracks of some hit record and looping it for SonOfSmawg to use or anyone else on this exciting thread.

Although this, what I believe your warning about is a gigantic craze in the rap/dance scene in europe from what I've heard.

Never even crossed my mind and for sure I don't advocate looping tracks of artists recordings; excuse me if that's what my advice was here.

I think it's hard for some to realize the advantage of digital technology and how to use it and how to design sounds using samplers, midi and drum machines.

Am I the first musicain to sample a kick drum from a CD, change the pitch and add a gate to it to give it a better impact for that track?

There is nothing greater than seeing and hearing a great percussion solo but when it come to the studio and commercial recordings the drum box for the most part rules. Thank god for samplers/ midi and roger linn. Emu systems, roland, synclavier, yamaha and a thousand more on the band wagon of samplers and midi.

What I'm talking about are samples and sound design. The same thing midi module are based from. For the folks that don't understand how to or have the time to sample, they buy a Planet Phatt etc. and get the U2 snare from there.

That's what I'm talking about.

Should I delete my first statment to avoid a law suit?


Greg Malcangi Mon, 10/16/2000 - 17:11

Hi cb,

<< you could get a sampler and the sample the drum sounds of the bands/musician you are interested in. Many do this and it works great. >>

I know this is common practice, particularly over here in Europe. Top class drummers spend a lot of time in the studio with the engineer getting the sound they want. It is usually a very time consuming and creative process. Not to mention the years of dedicated pratice the drummer has endured to get to that level. I personally find it morally unacceptable that someone without any ability whatsoever, just a few hundred dollars worth of sampler, can rip-off the time and money investment of talented drummer. Fortunately, the law agrees with this moral stance but unfortunately the law has not been applied with enough vigour to stop it happening.

<< Should I delete my first statment to avoid a law suit? >>

Although I know a little about copyright law I'm not an expert. Your opening sentence seemed to me to be sailing a little close to the mark, but whether or not your post is in reality actionable or if anyone would want to take action I couldn't say. I am not the ISP, the web-board operator or the moderator of this forum so it's not place to tell you what you should or shouldn't post. I'm just passing on some information.



NB: I realize that my interpretation of your original message is not what you intended. This post and my previous one are aimed more at other people reading this thread who may not be so aware of the issues. I tend to write in quite a formal style which may have given you the impression that I was angry with you personally or even that I was in some way threatening you with the law. If I have given you that impression I apologize and assure you this is not the case.

anonymous Mon, 10/16/2000 - 19:49

Greg, enjoy all your posts.

I think we have a good one going here and I hope it helps us understand things without it getting to personal. I'm not worried about
this at all and find it fun to talk about.

I've heard comments like this regarding electric guitars verses the good old days. power amps ver. a good hall that doesn't need any amplification.

Everything has two ways of looking at things.

Are we the type of people that stop learning after high school and say only our music was good or do we continue to grow with the
times and hear the passion in the writer or stop listening because he is using a sample. An artists job is reporting the things that are happening in his community, life, love, hate etc. from the heart. In music the composer uses the instruments he feels that work for that expression.

This is the 21 century. That's all it is.

Is music bad or a rip-off if it has samples in it? Is the stuff the kids listen to today not as good as the Beatles or the classics years ago?
poly rhythms ver. melody?

In this topic who cares about how hard it was and how hard it is to make a kick sound good with a mic for a pop song that only needs to have a low freq. kick going at 4 4 time when you can get the job done in two seconds with sequencer and sample that works! To me it's flogging a dead horse and totally redundant to set it up over and over again with this form of music.

This is another example of that. This forum is "electronic drums" so that's what we are talking about. electronic drums. They are
samples taken from real drums or synths.

Music is a mix of sounds, all types, cans banging, street sounds, wind, pulse waves and so on.


SonOfSmawg Mon, 10/16/2000 - 21:45

WHOA!!! I am a moderator here, and in my humble opinion, there is nothing at all wrong with this line of thinking. As you pointed-out, no two guys are going to fit behind the same kit and sound the same. And
doubtless, they don't want to! My point throughout this string is just to have a same basic starting point, just as I had mentioned about my guitar settings. If you go out and buy a $1000 digidesign effects
box, there are 'stars presets' in it. I just
wondered if there's similar things in electronic drums. The point is...even if my
electronic setting was just like some star's,
I'm still not going to sound exactly like him, and I know that we all agree on that.
Now, if you guys could please read my other postings in here, and give me very specific
advice on brands, models, sequencing, or
anything that would help me in my quest, it would be greatly appreciated. Drumming is not
my forte', and electronic drums are pretty
foreign to me. You guys seem very knowledgeable, so if you can help me with this a little, it would help me hurdle a major stumbling block.
You guys made some excellent points, and I
think everyone is aware that it's a fine line between borrowing a sample and ripping someone off. Intent?

audiokid Tue, 10/17/2000 - 11:06

<< Quote: I personally find it morally unacceptable that someone without any ability whatsoever, just a few hundred dollars worth of sampler, can rip-off the time and money investment of talented drummer >>

Great string guys.

I think Greg your missing the point here and confusing talent with personal taste.

I've been sound designing for more than twenty years and don't use $200 dollar samplers, a few of mine cost the price of a nice car. I've studied sound and read many books/manuals on the subject of sound.

Producers like Quincy Jones and David Foster to name a few use samplers and produce fantastic music for many of the worlds greatest musicians.

Midi and drum machines are a new instrument. It is a serious and respected art and has been growing since the introduction of the 1979 or 80 "LM 1" Roger Linn's first sample drum machine, later on Akai bought him out and together they developed the MPC 60, a powerhouse midi drum machine. It's a must in my business to have a similar tool and knowledge on how to use them. PT midi is going to be great!

For most of us composing if you don't know midi and presets and understand samplers or keyboard modules a bit, best you start if you wish to compete in the "21 century"

It's not for everyone but I strongly suggest it if you like the sound of commercial music.

Top 40 pop
and so on

just my 2 cents.


audiokid Tue, 10/17/2000 - 12:05


get yourself a Roland or Planet Phatt rack mount by emu system or something similar.

SonOfSmawg , You have PT right? Start using the midi setup and you will like what can be done. PT midi is simple but it works. Vision or DP is really cool software.

The virus plugin for TDM is really cool but it's limited to mostly tech sounds and a mix system is nessesary, I love it and see this technology coming on big.

you could look for an old rack sampler or a full keyboard sampler to get sounds.

Find an older MPC 60 or MPC 2000 and your really rocking.

Lots of choices.

need more info just ask


Greg Malcangi Tue, 10/17/2000 - 15:41

Hi All,

I seem to have given the wrong impression. I am not against the use of samplers or drum machines. I own both an AKAI S3000 and an Emu 4XT Ultra as well as an EMU Procussion and various other synths that contain drum sounds. I use them all extensively in my compositions. My gripe is with the practice of creating drum loops by sampling copyrighted recordings.

SonOfSmawg: << WHOA!!! I am a moderator here, and in my humble opinion, there is nothing at all wrong with this line of thinking. >>

You mean apart from the fact that it is completely illegal?


SonOfSmawg Tue, 10/17/2000 - 16:40

Since I bought my digi001 system in February, I also inherited with it a major learning curve. Before February, my only experience was strictly analog. I'm studying
furiously to try to catch-up with the digital technology, and realize all of it's potential. I see all of these possibilities,
but don't yet have the knowledge to implement
the technology to my needs. Plus, I am on a very limited budget, so I must get a lot of information on gear before I go out and drop a bundle on anything, and need to know beforehand that what I'm buying is exactly what I need to accomplish my goals.
The basics of my system are as follows:
Mac G4 400
Samsung 700IFT Monitor
Yamaha 8x4x24 CDRW
Klipsch Audio Monitors
Alesis QS 6.1 Synth
So, as you see, I have a very basic system.
My next need is definately a drum kit, that's why I'm trying to get all of the pro
input that I can. Being mainly a guitarist,
I'd really like to get some input from people
who use electronic drums on a daily basis.
Without an actual kit to play and trigger,
a MIDI 'drum' track sounds way too steril to
be useable with my personal music, and I would never even dream of suggesting doing a
rhythm track that way to a client.
I will also want to be able to use this kit for live performance.
I don't think, at this point, that a drum machine is something that I really need. For that sort of thing, I can run my Alesis into my 001, and do what I need in that area.
In order to fill my needs, I'm just not sure what components and brands to get. In looking at the 'pre-packaged' kits by Roland
and Yamaha, they seem to just have a bunch of 'pre-configured' kits as preset numbers,
which you have to access by either scrolling up and down or entering it's number. That's
completely unusable to me. None of the 'pre-
configured' kit settings were to my liking.
Although this may be redundant to my previous post, I'll again try to explain the
capabilities that I am looking for, maybe it will come out more clear this time...
First, I want to be able to set-up each individual kit. If there are, for example, 12
triggers, I want to be able to assign a sound to each individual trigger, whether that sound came with the system, was imported from somewhere else, or was sampled.
Then I want to be able to save that 'kit'.
I want the capability to be able to store and name and/or number about 100 of these self-constructed 'kits'.
Then, I want to be able to line these 'kits'
up in order...hard to explain...Say you're playing live and have 13 songs in a set. Pop-
in a floppy, labeled 'set 1', and your 'kits'
come up in your pre-selected order, with only having to advance to your next 'kit' by
hitting a footswitch. No scrolling for patch
numbers in the middle of a song or between songs, no memorizing which patch numbers
to use in which songs, no patch lists to have to read.
Any help, advice, guidance would be appreciated. I know that Roland, Yamaha, and
Alesis make electronic drum gear. Does anyone know other brands that I can look-into? I believe, that in order to do what I described, I will need a separate sequencer.
Can anyone recommend a good one that will fill my needs at a reasonable price?
I hope I was more clear this time.

SonOfSmawg Wed, 10/18/2000 - 05:14

I think you're missing the picture here.
No one has said, "record a whole drum loop of a song and make some money with it illegally". Sure, people do it, and I'm sure nobody here condones it, but that's not the topic. My question in the first place was if any manufacturer's systems came with 'stars'
sounds. Another member brought up the fact that if I really wanted a particular sound so bad, it can be done through sampling. I
believe that is common knowledge, and not
someone suggesting to go out and break the law, so let's PLEASE drop the repeated legallity mumbo-jumbo and get constructive,
and discuss music. Everyone is aware that it is 'chic' to claim that somebody ripped off
your sound and all of that garbage, but if that's the case, then they had better start
arresting a lot of guitar players for sounding like Chuck Berry!!! The bottom line is that we're all professionals in here, and
we're all very aware of the law and the morallity of sampling, and I believe that the
Golden Rule probably would be the best rule to follow. OK?

audiokid Wed, 10/18/2000 - 05:49

I know what you are thinking. Played many years on the road using the Akai MPC 60. Pop in a floppy and bam! The libray that Akai has is awesome. It's got the tightest sequencer on the market in my opinion.
The MPC kit has ext triggers for concerts stuff. In other words you can mix a drum track in the studio and later on if the drummer wants he can link his drums upo to it and use that sound/sounds for his kit. hard to explain.

From ZZ top and many more use MPC's. It's no toy. And 90% of all my studio work is using this stuff.
No drummers come in the studio, they learn the stuff I lay down for the live stuff and you would never know it was a Drum machine.

Been sequencing since to begining. Awesome for live work as well. foot switches and gads of midi ins and outs.

MPC 2000 is a good older model and I believe their is a 6000 model now.


Greg Malcangi Wed, 10/18/2000 - 12:37

<< My question in the first place was if any manufacturer's systems came with 'stars'
sounds. >>

Simple, the answer is no! With this in mind there are two options for electronic drums: An integrated electronic kit or a MIDI trigger (such as a DrumKat) hooked up to a sampler and/or drum module/s. I would personally prefer the second as it is far more flexible and should allow you to take advantage of any new killer samples/modules that become available.


audiokid Sat, 01/20/2001 - 02:04

Roland V Drums seem to come closest to responding like a real kit from the players point of view (changing timbre across the head or with velocity). They also have great editing possibilities - type of drum, size of drum, environment the sound is produced in etc. Unfortunately (or fortunately if you are a drummer) the feel (or positioning of the notes relative to the rest of the music)is still up to the player (or programmer)if we are talking sequences/loops.

anonymous Mon, 02/19/2001 - 08:24

I own a drumkat - it's cheaper, and V-drums weren't available when I bought it. There are now 2 flavors of v-drums - one is cheaper with smaller heads. If you have the dough, get the v-drums - it comes with some great sounds, and it is midi (allowing you to expand to whatever). However, if cash is low, and you don't need any sounds, then maybe a drumkat would fit your bill.

anonymous Wed, 02/21/2001 - 16:42

I've only browsed the thread going on here, so if I'm being redundant, I apologize....

There are an infinite number of sounds I can get out of my snare drums. Same goes for my kicks, hats, toms and cymbals. It all depends on how I tune them and hit them. Electronic drums cannot give me this kind of flexibility. If you really listen to a recording of a real cat playing a real kit (no editing or gating or replacing, etc. ..), it is difficult to hear two snare hits that are identical. I'm talking minute differences here - but these are the differences that give it a feel, complimenting the emotion of the song. Isn't that what it should be about?

Capture some emotion! To hell with canned sounds.....

Dave g

anonymous Thu, 02/22/2001 - 15:55

Hi guys, another opinion here

I'm a drummer, I had an electronic kit in the 80's when that was the big thing, man you could hit a rubber pad and make a noise. Awesome. I had it for about 18 months, it sucked.

They have come a long way, a few years ago I had one of the Rolands (don't remember model) on loan for a while and loved it. It didn't feel the same as the acoustic but it was pretty good, it would trigger a different sounds if hit hard or soft or on the rim, so you could play across the rim, you could grab the cymbal pad and kill the sustain. It had a Hihat pedal that worked much the same as a real one, but the most important thing was that it felt the best when using a real drum kit sound. You could pick different sounds and set up your own kit. It had 20 preset drumkits on board, unfortunately most of them sucked but it had one good one.

SonOfSmawg I agree with you, they should bring out more with a lot more real kits on board. I don't want to get in to the argument of having big name sounds on board but it is possible. That's up to them. But they could easily go into a studio with a heap of great kits and mics and sample away. Most of what you want is possible, maybe not in the numbers you want though.

Don't get me wrong gentlemen, I am an acoustic kit player and always will be, but the electronic kit has it's place. I used it for practise only, I was playing 4-5 hours every night without any noise complaints. I will eventually buy one again for practise, but at this stage would only ever take an acoustic on a recording/gig. That may change.............. ;)

anonymous Sat, 03/03/2001 - 18:35

My Question is : What exactly do people use to achieve a modern tight drum sound? After all drums hold the unity of the whole song and if they sound crap then the "bed" of the song won't carry the rest of the instruments too well.

I hear many Britney Spears, Destiny's Child and Samantha Mumba tunes which have excellent sounding "fake programmed drums" and would love to know what modules or machines produce the good "kit" sounds which are included in those songs. It surely doesn't sound like a bunch of samples thrown together, it sounds more like the sounds come from an excellent tailored preset kit? I could be wrong as good producers have good ears and can with a lot of hard work make hand picked snares and kicks and hats mix well together.

Thanks for raising the "Electronic Drums" topic :)

Ang1970 Thu, 03/08/2001 - 19:48

Originally posted by antonio:
...good producers have good ears and can with a lot of hard work make hand picked snares and kicks and hats mix well together.

That pretty much sums it up. And not just throwing any of them together, knowing which ones to hand pick is also an important factor/skill.

The guys I work with don't use any pre-programmed stuff, and I expect them to be around at least a couple more years. Can't say as much for the "creatively challenged".