October 21, 2022
For the purist, the idea of using electronic drums on stage may sound like blasphemy, but there’s plenty of reason to do it – even if you’re in a full-on traditional rock band. An electronic kit may not be the beastly instrument a real drum kit is, but it can be useful either in place of or as an adjunct to the real kit. Here we’ll go over a few reasons why.
Perhaps the number one reason to consider electronic drums is to expand on the timbres you can create on stage. After all, there are only so many snares you can bring, and if your set calls for some sonic variety, an electronic kit is easy to change – just change the patch as you would on any synth, and voila. This is a great way to match the sound you’ve got on the record if you’re looking to create a live experience that’s close to your releases.
You could replace the real kit entirely for this purpose, but you could also integrate electronic pads into the main kit to give yourself an interesting mix of sounds to work with.
Some genres just don’t use real drums. Hip-hop, pop, and dance, for example. But a live show can be pretty boring if it’s just a glorified karaoke performance, so adding real players to the mix, including a drummer, can be a great way to create an interesting, engaging set.
This is true if your act is one of these genres, but it’s also true for cover bands that want to recreate the way famous records sound. This can be novel and cool to audiences if done well, and again, the electronic drums can either replace or augment your real kit.
A real drum kit is loud. This is a great thing, but there are times when that can cause issues, especially in smaller venues or overly reverberant rooms. Controlling your stage volume is crucial to getting the mix right and protecting your hearing, and an electronic kit can be a great way to do that. Since the pads make almost zero noise on their own, you’ve got complete control over your mix.
Continuing in that vein, having total control of your timbres and volume can make it easier to play alternative venues like small rooms, and even if you don’t want to fully replace your live kit, having an electronic kit on hand can give you the opportunity to adjust to different venues.
There are drawbacks to electronic drums. They don’t necessarily have the same feel as real drums, they’re obviously different so they do change the visual aesthetic, and it’s true that sampled or electronic sounds can never substitute for the real thing.
But that doesn’t mean electronic drums have to be cheesy and weak. The right pads can give the drummer a great visceral feel and if you spend time creating the right samples and patches, you can make them crush faces and melt souls.
It may fly in the face of old school sensibilities, but go ahead, give an electronic kit a try – it could prove quite fruitful.
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December 09, 2022
Musicians can be notoriously hard to buy for. Not all music equipment is equal, choices are personal, and musicians tend to snap up what they want when they want it. So, when Christmas comes around, it can be hard for loved ones to come up with the right gift. Still, it’s not impossible. Finding the right gift for a musician you love just takes a little patience and listening.
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"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord all of the earth; make a loud noise and rejoice and sing praises. Sing to the Lord with the harp and the voice of the psalm." - Psalm 98:4-5