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Old 09-23-2013, 05:30 PM
Norskiepete Norskiepete is offline
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Default Electric Drum Kits

Any drummers here? We are looking to make the switch to electric drums for our church band in order to get a better handle on stage volumes. The two kits under consideration are the Roland TD-30K and the Yamaha DTX790. Our budget is $3500 to $4500.

Does anyone have direct experience with either of these kits?
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Charis GC (#22, 2001) -- Cedar/EIR
Charis SJ (#66, 2004) -- Adi/Braz
Langejans R6 (#1412, 2012, the last one!)-- Adi/EIR
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:04 PM
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cotten cotten is offline
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A year ago, I researched such things rather extensively, in order to buy two kits, one for a church sanctuary and the other for a youth center. In the process, I talked with probably 15 fine drummers. They all preferred acoustic drums, when possible, but when not, preferred the Rolands over others in that price range.

I purchased the Roland TD-15KV V-Drums V-Tour Series Electronic Drum Set DRUM ESSENTIALS BUNDLE from Kraft Music, which was having a decent sale. In buying two kits at a time, I got an even sweeter deal. http://www.kraftmusic.com/roland-td-...ls-bundle.html We've been very happy with it. If we could have afforded it, I'd have gone with the TD30, but we really don't miss the differences.

For the youth center, I got a Roland TD-9KX2. Here it is with a double kick option bundle, which we didn't need. http://www.kraftmusic.com/roland-td-...ls-bundle.html The TD-9 is perfect for their needs.

Some drummers I talked with liked the Yamahas OK, but none liked the Alesis at all. Only a couple liked the kits from Pearl, which surprised me. As with guitars, I'm sure there are lots of different preferences out there, but this is what I found, and my experience in buying electric drum kits in recent months.

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Old 09-23-2013, 08:55 PM
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clintj clintj is offline
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My night job is a gigging drummer for a blues band here. Nothing like a well tuned set of acoustic drums, but if I had to go with electrics it would be a set of Rolands. They have multiple impact sensors and very good sensitivity, so it's more intuitive to a drummer playing them as far as how to vary technique and dynamics to change the sound and response - IOW, they let a good drummer express himself (or herself) better. The pads have a good, lively feeling under the sticks, too. Dead feeling pads encourage bad playing technique and muscle strain.

Another idea is a Plexiglas partition around the drummer to reduce his stage volume, or some sticks like Hot Rods or even brushes. Much cheaper than a new set of drums. And talk to your drummers - a few I know have no idea how loud they are really playing unless someone asks them to bring it down a notch. It is very possible to play both quietly and expressively, and is a sign of a drummer with good technique and touch. There's a couple of jazz drummers here that can dial it back enough to let an archtop player be heard clearly.
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Old 09-23-2013, 09:52 PM
Norskiepete Norskiepete is offline
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Thanks for the reply's! We have a very acoustically live room (fantastic for acoustic guitar, piano, choir, strings, etc.!) and the plexiglass shields haven't really helped a lot. We also have different drummers that are at different levels of development -- some have more touch than others! So this is part of a bigger project that includes electric guitar amp modelers, in-ear monitors and a new digital mix board in order to get stage-levels down and provide a better, clearer mix.

I have heard the Roland TD series held up as the gold standard for e-drums. However, the new Yamaha's get good reviews as well. Some say the drum surface on the Yamaha is more like an acoustic set than the Roland and that they have very accurately modeled their own kits. Any experience with Yamaha?
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Charis GC (#22, 2001) -- Cedar/EIR
Charis SJ (#66, 2004) -- Adi/Braz
Langejans R6 (#1412, 2012, the last one!)-- Adi/EIR
Lowden F12 -- Spruce/Mahog
Lowden S25J -- EIR/Cedar -- Sold
Lowden F35x -- Walnut/Redwood -- Sold
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2013, 10:21 PM
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clintj clintj is offline
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I tried a nice Yamaha set at a friend's studio. The sound is very good, but it didn't have the touch response of the Rolands. For example, playing a double stroke roll I kept getting unintended loud notes in the roll. In other words, the response was not as linear as I would have liked. Sounded really good otherwise, and I liked the pads; they were very playable. They don't have the rebound that a tensioned drumhead does, but it was very good. I would liken it to bouncing a rubber playground ball versus a basketball - the bounce is just as high, but the feel is different. The other thing I missed was being able to 'chick' the hi-hat with the foot pedal on beats 2 and 4. The kit could probably do it, but we didn't feel like rooting through the manual to find it instead of playing. If you're playing a style of music that doesn't need the features I missed, they would be very at home. I play mostly older blues, like sixties and earlier, and have a streak of jazz in my playing with the band. Some classic rock gets thrown in the mix, too.

Yeah, really live rooms can be difficult to play in. The cymbals get extremely piercing, and the snare can make you jump out of your skin. I've packed some very plain fleece blankets in my gear case to help tame a bad room before. And it's great that you have some newer people playing with you. Nothing improved my playing more than playing with others. Good luck with your new setup! And if you have more questions, ask away.
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2012 Yamaha LL16
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2013, 06:38 AM
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Do you have any idea what kind of acoustic drum kit you can get for that price? You are talking a boutique kit with very nice cymbals. If it were me, I'd cut up the PA a little bit, tell the drummer to play softer, and get everyone in-ear monitors.

Playing softer and yet effectively is an acquired skill. I've been doing worship music for about 20 years now. I've gotten really good about playing softer, but to be totally honest with you, I'd rather play and acoustic drums with a set of hot rods than to play electric drums. It can be done. I actually play without "an aquarium" and I have choir members on each side, and I think we sound pretty good. See what you think: -->http://mpbc.ws/media/ We run 2 services each Sunday, and our P&W leader has left it up to choir members which service that they sing at. Well, we have about 15 choir member that show up for first service, sing, and then they actually stick around just to sing for the 2nd service. And they have to stand beside the drummer! I'm still blown away by this.

I know for us, I don't think that it was the drums that were too loud; it was mainly the cymbals. So now, I actually play smaller Zildjian A Custom fast crashes (14" and 15") and this really helped. I also have an A Custom ride cymbal as well (as opposed to the Sabian Rock Ride that I was playing).

With all of this said, if I had to choose given your situation, I'd go with the Roland kit.
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Old 09-24-2013, 07:53 PM
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That's pretty much what every drummer i talked with said, PorkPie. They all preferred playing acoustic sets over even the nicer electronic ones. However, most of them admitted that it takes a lot of musicianship and stick control to play well softly. Lots more people can do pretty well when wailing away at a forte or above, but it's a challenge to maintain a groove at an mp or softer level.

Like the tip on the cymbals!

We bought the Rolands because our drummers are just getting started, and are learning from rock drummers who play most everything at "11." With the V-drums, they can blast away at their best, and the guy at the mixer can adjust accordingly. It's a compromise, of course, but it works.

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Old 09-25-2013, 06:35 AM
PorkPieGuy PorkPieGuy is offline
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Unless you are a drummer, I don't think that your average musician understands how difficult it is to play softer and for it to still sound ok.

I tell people it's like this: Let's say you play guitar (either electric or acoustic), but you have to play through an amp, and for kicks let's also say that you amp is at a pretty comfortable level set on 3 out of 10. Now, cut your amp up to 6 or 7 and attempt to play at the same volume in addition to the same "passion" you have for worship music. Oh, and if you get too loud, people will turn to you, give you nasty looks, and will voice their doubts as to whether or not you are a good "fit for the team."

It's all about touch and finesse, and it is truly an acquired skill.

You don't have to play loud to be effective.

Exhibit A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8L7JZP97X0

Papa Jo is a storyteller. OMG, those buzz rolls...
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Old 09-25-2013, 08:25 AM
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Love that drum solo by Papa Jo, but, oh, how I wish what I was hearing was in sync with what I was seeing!

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Old 09-25-2013, 08:45 AM
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Joe Morello's performance on the Buddy Rich tribute album is otherworldly. Whisper quiet buzz rolls, and tremendous dynamic range all the way down past ppp. He's so good it makes me want to put away my sticks and quit at times. Kind of like TE on guitar.
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2012 Yamaha LL16
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  #11  
Old 09-26-2013, 10:23 AM
Norskiepete Norskiepete is offline
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Wow! I never thought I'd get so much drummer feedback on this forum!

Yes, all drummers will prefer the acoustic kit -- no different from me preferring the natural acoustic sound of my guitars! When we first started discussing this, I completely turned my nose up to the idea of electric drums. However, as we were digging into the best way to address our volume and "noise" issues (noise = confusing sound that the brain has to work hard to sort out), we started looking at this more seriously.

My opinion was partly swayed by the progress that has been made with modeling technologies in pre-amps like the Aura and Mama Bear as I was most concerned with the quality of the sound produced. Yamaha in particular, directly models all their high-end kits,

None of our drummers have tried out the current iterations of these sets, so many opinions seem to be formed on older technology and maybe lower end gear. That said, I have been told and have read that there is a different feel to the Roland mesh heads and the silicone heads on the Yamaha kits. The specialty drum store guys I've been talking to actually have a preference for the Yamaha -- they say it feels more like an acoustic head.

In the end, we have all come around to the understanding that, in this context (worship), it is not about us (the musicians) as much as it is about those in the seats and their worship experience. Our job is to serve and do our best to lead a service that helps them connect to God and each other!

We are embarking on the whole project next week and hope to have everything upgraded and installed by Thanksgiving! It's an exciting project!
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Pete

Charis GC (#22, 2001) -- Cedar/EIR
Charis SJ (#66, 2004) -- Adi/Braz
Langejans R6 (#1412, 2012, the last one!)-- Adi/EIR
Lowden F12 -- Spruce/Mahog
Lowden S25J -- EIR/Cedar -- Sold
Lowden F35x -- Walnut/Redwood -- Sold
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:29 AM
Norskiepete Norskiepete is offline
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Oh, and I suppose if we had Papa Jones playing with us, it wouldn't be an issue! What creativity and touch!
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Charis GC (#22, 2001) -- Cedar/EIR
Charis SJ (#66, 2004) -- Adi/Braz
Langejans R6 (#1412, 2012, the last one!)-- Adi/EIR
Lowden F12 -- Spruce/Mahog
Lowden S25J -- EIR/Cedar -- Sold
Lowden F35x -- Walnut/Redwood -- Sold
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  #13  
Old 10-02-2013, 09:49 PM
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JDM814 JDM814 is offline
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Like Cotten, I also bought the Roland TD KV 15 V tours and love them. I liked the hi hat set up with this kit more than the lower priced Roland offering. I submerge myself in research before I make a major purchase and my studies confirmed that Roland is the way to go. Right after I bought mine, I went to the Manheim Steamroller Christmas concert and their drummer was playing a Roland kit with a DW snare......sounded awesome.

In my opinion, the Roland feels the closest to a real drum head....not perfect, but better than the competition. My drumming skills have really improved with this setup......especially since I can play without disturbing anyone at night. Now I can play when I want....which is nice.

You will lve the TD 30. I would have bought it but it was overkill in my situation. Good luck.......
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