Electric drums?

Let's talk about kits and mics, new and old. What are you using? What do you want? What's the difference?

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Electric drums?

Postby HA_DA_JA » Fri May 27, 2011 5:42 pm

Do electric drums really work in a recording environment?
I hear BFD ect being used and I think it takes ages just adjust the nuances of the sounds and then programming it, I htink I would be better off just playing a electric drumkit and quantising the result.
Who uses electric kits?
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby ChrisW » Fri May 27, 2011 5:57 pm

I don't like the sound of e-kits compared to the software drum libraries.
I agree, drums generated by recording with BFD, Superior etc can take an age to edit, fix up and it's definitely quicker to record a good drummer in a good room. Probably more satisfying too.
However, if you can't get to a good room and don't have the budget for a studio day and a good drummer, the software drum programmes are a fantastic alternative IMO.
Also, you can keep changing the parts and tweaking/changing the sounds right up to a final mix, something you can't do as easily with a real drum recording.
I'm for making decisions and committing, but in film & tv for example, you often need to change the music last minute.
Declaration: I have a financial interest in a couple of software drum programmes.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Drumstruck » Fri May 27, 2011 7:13 pm

Love a good e-kit - TD20 especially - I play / record with it always now - got BFD2 also - the biggest pain with s/w kits (e.g. BFD/Superior etc) is trying to configuring it in the computer whilst you're playing - a module is much easier from the player's perspective.

I find the best option is to record DI from the analog outs on the TD-20 (8 - 12 tracks) and also record a MIDI track - then if I decide that I want BFD sounds I just configure them from the MIDI track. So far the Roland kits that I've configured have won out (for me).

One of the best things on the e-kit is the volume control - it's so easy to match your level to the band / artist - even if you're playing with an acoustic instrument. I found my e-kit worked beautifully with a grand piano playing some jazz standards.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby danander11 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:18 pm

A friend of mine in Nashville uses a TD-10/12 kit into Superior Drummer with excellent results. He just has a small studio so it's practical for him. Also it allows him to easily clean up any sloppy drummers that come through. Tuning is never an issue and you can swap drums/kits at the drop of a hat.. (something I wish I had right now)

If I ever find a TD-12 or 20 kit for the right price, I'll probably do this myself.. (or maybe not :)) )
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Chinagraf » Sat May 28, 2011 10:43 am

I'd love a couple of stand alone pads with zone sensing to use with BFD2. Mainly for hihat and snare, a few toms. The rest I'm happy triggering off keys. I tried one of the nanopad 2's recently. Epic fail. Worst velocity sensing ever. Man, even just one pad with zones and the ability to change the note it sends would do.
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Re: Electronic drums?

Postby Drumstruck » Sat May 28, 2011 11:25 am

danander11 wrote:A friend of mine in Nashville uses a TD-10/12 kit into Superior Drummer with excellent results. He just has a small studio so it's practical for him. Also it allows him to easily clean up any sloppy drummers that come through. Tuning is never an issue and you can swap drums/kits at the drop of a hat.. (something I wish I had right now)

If I ever find a TD-12 or 20 kit for the right price, I'll probably do this myself.. (or maybe not :)) )


For studio work I'd really recommend paying a bit extra for the TD-20x. You get 10 analog outs (8 dedicated + 2 assignable masters) compared to only 4 on the TD-12 (2 dedicated and 2 assignable masters). You also get more dedicated faders, better HH sensitivity and a lot more sound choices and kits....
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby DwaneHollands » Sat May 28, 2011 12:13 pm

Yeah I use BFD2 with a real cheapy Legacy Electric kit. It was about $900 new. Rubber kit. 2 zone snare (middle and then rim), 3 toms, 2 zone cymbals (2x) and the rubber 2-zone hi hat with digital pedal.

Load up BFD2 and it's great fun to play. Sounds fantastic too! The Orange County snare is just magic even on this rubbish little electric kit. You can drum roll for days and ramp with it, it just feels so natural. I'm not a drummer, but my mate who is just loves the combination.

The main issue is latency, which we've got under control now with an SSD as my main drive. We run about 43 samples buffer in reaper and with headphones it's not noticeable. Running out of the monitors, they about 3m away from the drummer, which I thought just the distance of the speakers would introduce latency. (snare sound to head on an accoustic kit is 2ms?)

But we tracked the other day and he didn't use the headphones, just the monitors.

One thing I did recently in order to tame the dynamics of the kit and get some more volume out of the monitors in order to get a louder tracking volume for feel etc, was to group the whole kit through a stereo channel and run it out to the SSL 4000G clone that I bought off Matt Robins. Man, I just smashed it with that comp and sounds great! Squashed and agressive, still maintaining the punch kick and the toms just start getting fat and snare agressive, cymbals and hihats just sound juicy! haha.

That was fun bashing the life out kit, while the speakers are safe!

And it meant I didn't have to use another plugin to put strain on the CPU so we can maintain the low latency.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Drumstruck » Sat May 28, 2011 1:09 pm

yes, latency can be a problem - the low buffer you've set pretty much fixes it - I use 64 samples buffer when I'm playing (overdubbing) and bump it backup when mixing.

I did an experiment with the TD-20x module to test it's inherent latency - recorded one track DI from the analog outs and mic'd one of the e-cymbals and recorded the actual strike on another track. When you expand them right out you can see that there is about 1ms latency within the module itself (and no way to fix that). As you guys would know, most people won't notice 1ms but I find it changes the feel of the drums ever so slightly and I (sometimes) drag those track forward in the mix.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby DwaneHollands » Sat May 28, 2011 11:38 pm

well its good to hear about the buffer of 64 that you find managable. Its good to know what is working for others!

1ms is pretty good too!
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Kurt » Sun May 29, 2011 1:44 pm

I have recorded an electronic kit with real cymbals with excellent results in my spare room. Being in a small fairly dead room doesn't do acoustic drums any favours. Roland Alesis et al spend an awful lot of time and money getting better sounds than I can get with my gear in my room.. An Alesis D4 lets you have 4 outs, so I did kick/snare/stereo toms. Ceiling height OH spot mics on hats and ride.

I was less happy using a base model Roland (TD6?) as it had stereo out only but the drummer wanted to use it rather than my D4.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby rick » Sun May 29, 2011 2:39 pm

i cannot tell you how many records i have mastered that were done that way ...lots and lots
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby AnthonyMF » Sun May 29, 2011 9:38 pm

Kurt wrote:I have recorded an electronic kit with real cymbals with excellent results in my spare room. Being in a small fairly dead room doesn't do acoustic drums any favours. Roland Alesis et al spend an awful lot of time and money getting better sounds than I can get with my gear in my room.. An Alesis D4 lets you have 4 outs, so I did kick/snare/stereo toms. Ceiling height OH spot mics on hats and ride.

I was less happy using a base model Roland (TD6?) as it had stereo out only but the drummer wanted to use it rather than my D4.


Record the MIDI, play it back into the module and record the stereo outs with the module's faders down for all but one kit component. Then you wind up with separate kick, snare and toms.

I used to use my TD-8 as a kick drum sample replacer by taking a recorded kick track, HEAVILY gating it such that the signal below 100hz would trigger the gate so quickly it would make a pulse/click, then fed an output from my DAW into the kick sensor input on the TD-8 and recorded it back in.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Kurt » Mon May 30, 2011 1:27 am

never had any luck recording midi.. Either I'm shit or my soundcard is. Probably both.
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby Drumstruck » Mon May 30, 2011 10:24 am

DwaneHollands wrote:
1ms is pretty good too!


1ms was enough delay for me to be unhappy with the recorded tracks when I was listening to the recording - it really "felt" like someone else was playing it and unnerved me - when I nudged it forwards it felt like me again x_x
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby stosostu » Thu Aug 11, 2011 5:08 pm

Has anyone had any experience with the Yamaha DTXplorer electric kit, or has an opinion they'd like to share?
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Re: Electric drums?

Postby chribble » Thu Aug 11, 2011 8:20 pm

Kurt wrote:I have recorded an electronic kit with real cymbals with excellent results in my spare room. Being in a small fairly dead room doesn't do acoustic drums any favours. Roland Alesis et al spend an awful lot of time and money getting better sounds than I can get with my gear in my room.. An Alesis D4 lets you have 4 outs, so I did kick/snare/stereo toms. Ceiling height OH spot mics on hats and ride.

I was less happy using a base model Roland (TD6?) as it had stereo out only but the drummer wanted to use it rather than my D4.


hey thats a good idea

YOIIINK
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