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Thomann's Cool Online Guides: E-Drums

2. Acoustic or electronic?

Straight answer: Both. An electronic kit can do things that an acoustic can’t – and vice versa. So what is it, that makes an electronic set interesting for the drummer?

The sound

The sound in an electronic set is being generated by the drum module. Because of this an electronic set can produce sounds that would be just impossible on an acoustic set. This is important for techno, dance , fusion etc. Of course you can also have ‘acoustic’ sounds coming from your drum module. Some manufacturers actually sample their high end acoustic sets onto their modules. This way you have a variety of options at the push of a button. An electronic drum kit really is many sets in one.

The space

An electronic set require less space than an acoustic one. This becomes particularly interesting when working with limited space – at home for instance. It is readily set up and taken down again. You can fold it up and lean it against the wall or put it in a wardrobe. Many sets are easily packed into just one hardware bag. for transportation. That’s just perfect if you want to bring your set to a rehearsal without much fuss. Set up time is no issue.

The noise

As we said, the actual tone is generated electronically. The Drum set does not have drum heads as such but rubber pads, or in the more advanced models mesh heads. When playing either of the above the stick hardly makes any noise. That’s important for people who want to practice at home without actually becoming homeless.

Just stick on some headphones and play away. This sounds fine and doesn’t offend anybody. An electronic set is ideally suited to be a second set. You can work on it at home– as long as you like – and leave the acoustic set in your rehearsal room. Reasonably priced starter sets in particular are unbeatable as an extra drum kit.

The consistency

The sound coming from the module, provided you use the same settings, is always the same. There are hundreds of different , consistent samples available. This is very convenient for small gigs. You select the drum kit of choice from a patch bank – the module connects to the PA – and you are done. (well, you have to play the gig of course J) The volume is no problem whatsoever – you can adjust it on the mixer. The drum set is never too loud or too much in the background.

Electronic drum sets also have huge advantages for studio work. The sometimes troublesome mic-ing of the set is unnecessary and the sound can be controlled 100%. That saves a lot of expensive studio time and makes the whole recording business less troublesome and tedious.

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E-Drums overview

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