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  1. Registered drum user

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    Post Church Drummers: Electronic vs. Acoustic Drums - The age old debate

    For all you drummers who play in churches or smaller venues: what kind of drum setup do you find works for lower volume music? Our church right now is going through the age old electronic vs. acoustic drum debate. Some people don't like drums period and continually complain about the volume and noise, while others like acoustic drums and wish it was louder. The past couple weeks we've been trying electronic drums and I've talked with a number of people who feel that e-drums lack the flavour of acoustic drums. As one of the regular drummers I don't want to go to electronic drums just because a couple of people have complained, but we need a happy medium as a solution. I think that going with electronic drums would be a reactionary step and I really don't think it's the solution. I don't think I've ever talked with a drummer who would choose to play an exclusively electronic kit over an acoustic one and I think e-drums are plan b at best. I think it is possible to manage the volume of the acoustic drums. How do you guys go about managing the volume of drums in church and what is a good way to present the benefits of acoustic drums to the congregation?
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  2. In God We Trust

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    Been there. I would rather dampen the crap out of my a-drums/cymbals than play an e-kit. I'm actually selling my Rolands(I suppose I should put that in my sig while I'm thinnkin about it), I originally got them for church, but jeez I hate playing them, an entire different instrument.

  3. Ew, is that a snake?

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    I've never really been to a church service other than funerals and weddings, but based on the Praise and CCM music I've heard, electronic drums would both fit the style and be more appropriate for the venue. Generally, I'd assume a church service would include parishoners of extremely varying ages and musical tastes. Therefore, I would assume the music should be at a reasonable volume to appeal to the more sensitive ears in the audience.

    I do have experience playing in former churches and venues that are similar in size. Aside from using my little bebop kit or playing behind a drum shield (which I hate), the only option is to "turn it down" by playing quieter and often times un-naturally. Granted, if I'm playing one or two shows somewhere, I'll dampen down my gear to make up for the noise needs, but I assume a kit at a church needs to be the most useful for the dollar spent as churches are generally run on donations... Electronic drums seem to offer a great solution by allowing the player to hit with full volume but still play to an audience at low levels. In fact, I'll give a rare recomendation involving the ePro and say that worship halls seem like the perfect place for a hybrid kit like that.

    Of course, I see a ton of drummers on the PDF that play for their churches and use their acoustic kits, so I guess it just depends on the type of congregation and the minister's approach to the sermon. The kit at the church my girlfriend's mom attends is acoustic but has mesh heads and Ddrum triggers.

  4. In God We Trust

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    Quote Originally Posted by barjack View Post
    I've never really been to a church service other than funerals and weddings, but based on the Praise and CCM music I've heard, electronic drums would both fit the style and be more appropriate for the venue. Generally, I'd assume a church service would include parishoners of extremely varying ages and musical tastes. Therefore, I would assume the music should be at a reasonable volume to appeal to the more sensitive ears in the audience.

    I do have experience playing in former churches and venues that are similar in size. Aside from using my little bebop kit or playing behind a drum shield (which I hate), the only option is to "turn it down" by playing quieter and often times un-naturally. Granted, if I'm playing one or two shows somewhere, I'll dampen down my gear to make up for the noise needs, but I assume a kit at a church needs to be the most useful for the dollar spent as churches are generally run on donations... Electronic drums seem to offer a great solution by allowing the player to hit with full volume but still play to an audience at low levels. In fact, I'll give a rare recomendation involving the ePro and say that worship halls seem like the perfect place for a hybrid kit like that.

    Of course, I see a ton of drummers on the PDF that play for their churches and use their acoustic kits, so I guess it just depends on the type of congregation and the minister's approach to the sermon. The kit at the church my girlfriend's mom attends is acoustic but has mesh heads and Ddrum triggers.
    I agree about the glass thing. I absolutely hate playing behind that. However it helps a ton, and I'd pick an acoustic over a e-kit anyday. My current church will fit about 100 max, and my kit behind the glass with moongel, sounds absolutely amazing.(Click my sig to see kit) It's just a matter of trial and error with the volume levels. That said, I don't really play that hard. If someone who plays louder were to come in, it might would a problem. So if you have multiple drummers, and some are too overbearing when they play, in that case an E-kit might be a good idea. Coming from someone who played an E-kit for 2 years at church, and hated every second of it, I would strongly recommend doing that as a last resort.

  5. Registered drum user

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    Quote Originally Posted by barjack View Post
    I've never really been to a church service other than funerals and weddings, but based on the Praise and CCM music I've heard, electronic drums would both fit the style and be more appropriate for the venue. Generally, I'd assume a church service would include parishoners of extremely varying ages and musical tastes. Therefore, I would assume the music should be at a reasonable volume to appeal to the more sensitive ears in the audience.

    I do have experience playing in former churches and venues that are similar in size. Aside from using my little bebop kit or playing behind a drum shield (which I hate), the only option is to "turn it down" by playing quieter and often times un-naturally. Granted, if I'm playing one or two shows somewhere, I'll dampen down my gear to make up for the noise needs, but I assume a kit at a church needs to be the most useful for the dollar spent as churches are generally run on donations... Electronic drums seem to offer a great solution by allowing the player to hit with full volume but still play to an audience at low levels. In fact, I'll give a rare recomendation involving the ePro and say that worship halls seem like the perfect place for a hybrid kit like that.

    Of course, I see a ton of drummers on the PDF that play for their churches and use their acoustic kits, so I guess it just depends on the type of congregation and the minister's approach to the sermon. The kit at the church my girlfriend's mom attends is acoustic but has mesh heads and Ddrum triggers.
    You do have a good point here. The thing I find with e-kits is that they are so different from acoustic kits it's like playing a totally different instrument. I have never met a drummer who would choose to play an e-kit over an acoustic one. Electronic drums sound so packaged I find. You hit an e-drum pad and you get one tone. There is no possibility for variation depending on where you hit the drum, what kind of sticks you are using and so on. Also, my church is not in a position to buy a $5000 top of the line e-kit. We would be looking at the cheaper e-kits that have only limited dynamics on the pads.
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  6. Used Market Mod

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    im going through the same thing as you right now. lol.
    my church's main room (sanctuary) is under construction now. so we had to move upstairs to the multipurpose room and that place is not meant for live music lol.
    wood flooring. no sound damping material.

    and i thought about getting electronic drums for a while, so when i went to guitarcenter to try out a few, i was like, theres no way i can give feel in the worship on this thing.

    my solution:
    shield + upholstered fiberglass panels (say 5'x5') + foam wedges on the corners of the walls + this experience really taught me how to play softly but still firm.

    i recently made a thread asking for recording help. on the overheads pic you can sort of see the room im playing in.
    (note. the fiberglass panels are not in the pic. but theres 1 behind the kit and im currently working on how to get one above my kit.)
    http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...rding-Help-pls.
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  7. In God We Trust

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    Quote Originally Posted by xJcx View Post
    im going through the same thing as you right now. lol.
    my church's main room (sanctuary) is under construction now. so we had to move upstairs to the multipurpose room and that place is not meant for live music lol.
    wood flooring. no sound damping material.

    and i thought about getting electronic drums for a while, so when i went to guitarcenter to try out a few, i was like, theres no way i can give feel in the worship on this thing.

    my solution:
    shield + upholstered fiberglass panels (say 5'x5') + foam wedges on the corners of the walls + this experience really taught me how to play softly but still firm.

    i recently made a thread asking for recording help. on the overheads pic you can sort of see the room im playing in.
    (note. the fiberglass panels are not in the pic. but theres 1 behind the kit and im currently working on how to get one above my kit.)
    http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/sh...rding-Help-pls.
    Some good advice^

    Haha when I got fed up with the e-kit that I was on a few years back, I brought my snare, my hihats, and a crash. Even though I was extremely limited, it was a lot easier to get into the service.

  8. Registered drum user

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    Quote Originally Posted by xJcx View Post
    im going through the same thing as you right now. lol.
    my church's main room (sanctuary) is under construction now. so we had to move upstairs to the multipurpose room and that place is not meant for live music lol.
    wood flooring. no sound damping material.

    and i thought about getting electronic drums for a while, so when i went to guitarcenter to try out a few, i was like, theres no way i can give feel in the worship on this thing.
    I think that's the issue right there. E-drums lack the feeling and personality that you can express through acoustic drums. The church I went to in the the town I used to live in went through all the volume issues and decided to go with electronic drums. Once they brought in the electronic drums the sound people essentially muted the drums. You literally could not hear the drums. So in that case it was almost a way to eliminate the drums while still scheduling a drummer on Sunday mornings. That's another issue I'm sure many church drummers have dealt with. In that kind of case, I would rather not play at all.
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  9. Psychdrummer

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    There are a lot of factors involved here. I faced this problem for years and tried several things to address it. On a very limited budget we just could not please everyone. The best solution that I found gave the best results included a lot of compromise from various people. A rather progressive church that my friend is the musical director for had the best set up. They used acoustic drums and cymbals with a clearsonic system including the sorber panels and the top. So basically the drummer was in a complete box. Mic's picked up the drums and the sound guy had it sounding great. However, The church had to spend a pretty penny on the enclosure, mics, and an in-ear monitor system. They also had to be ok with the look of the system and the drummer and other musicians had to make concessions brought about by using this system. I actually wrote a paper for a college course entitled, "Equalizing drumset volume in houses of worship" a few years ago.
    Here's a link to the ClearSonic panel system: http://www.clearsonic.com/IsoPacs.htm There's actually a video on the site.
    Hope this helps somewhat.
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  10. Used Market Mod

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    Quote Originally Posted by livingstone View Post
    I think that's the issue right there. E-drums lack the feeling and personality that you can express through acoustic drums. The church I went to in the the town I used to live in went through all the volume issues and decided to go with electronic drums. Once they brought in the electronic drums the sound people essentially muted the drums. You literally could not hear the drums. So in that case it was almost a way to eliminate the drums while still scheduling a drummer on Sunday mornings. That's another issue I'm sure many church drummers have dealt with. In that kind of case, I would rather not play at all.
    i dont know what kind of church you go to but you cant let those things prevent you from praising the lord.
    like what Puma said, you cant please everyone. so those people that have sensitive ears gotta kick it in the back cus during praising time there is no volume limit lol.

    go acoustic. ask your church if you can sell those e drums, buy mics + sound proofing material with that money and that way you can say "look i made an attempt to control the volume of the drums so bare with me" ofc in a nice manner.

    @Puma those iso rooms are expensive. ive looked into those myself.
    its way cheaper to make your own.
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  11. For an Audience of 1

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    Acoustic Drums, unless the electronic drums are running on custom drum sample sounds and not the ones provided by default in Yamaha modules etc..

    I've heard some amazing virtual drum kit sounds and on a recording you cannot actually differentiate whether it is an acoustic set or not.
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  12. Used Market Mod

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    Quote Originally Posted by SoliDeoGloria View Post
    Acoustic Drums, unless the electronic drums are running on custom drum sample sounds and not the ones provided by default in Yamaha modules etc..

    I've heard some amazing virtual drum kit sounds and on a recording you cannot actually differentiate whether it is an acoustic set or not.
    thats in a recording though... where hours of editing takes place.

    in this case, this is live music.
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