Pros and Cons of Electronic Drums in the Studio: Since a lot of our members often use these, we thought we’d give our “Pros and Cons” style analysis of using E-Drums or V-Drums paired with virtual drum instruments in the DAW. Hope it’s helpful to you!
Often made of mesh or rubber as well as shaped and arranged to be played as a real (acoustic) drum kit would be, Electronic drum kits can be a valuable asset to any pro or home studio. Here are some reasons you may (or may not)want to consider using electronics drums on your next project
-You don’t need an actual drummer
Drums are backbone to most musical recordings. Finding a drummer at your disposal isn’t easy and playing drums on a keyboard isn’t always the most intuitive. As long as you or someone else can play a basic drum beat. You’ll find the v-drums quite handy.
-You don’t need a drum recording studio space
If you are looking to record a real drum set, an issue you will quickly run into is the need for an isolated, sound proof (and good sounding) recording studio space. Drums are loud & bulky, typically requiring a specialized location. Luckily with V-Drums you can record quietly with headphones or you can crank it up on your speakers.
-You don’t need microphones
Another factor with recording real drums is the amount of microphones needed. A standard drum microphone setup typically requires multiple high quality microphones as well as the same amount of microphone preamplifiers and inputs on your audio interface. With V-drums all the data is midi and will translate into the computer via USB.
-You can pick from almost any drum sound available on the Internet
Getting the right drum sound is an art form in itself. So many famous recording studios and records are famous for their drum sound. With V-drums you can instantly pick the pre recording drum samples you want. Many of them taken from those famous studios that we dream of being in.
-You can create your own custom drum kit
Want the snare sound from that record and the kick from another? Not a problem when using pre-recorded samples you can choose any combination that you would like. You can change the specific drum sounds after the recording is done no annoying microphone bleed /leakage between drum microphones
-You can “fix” the drum performance afterwards
Know what you want the drum part to be but don’t have perfect rhythm or missed a beat? With MIDI data editing features, you can make that drum part perfect.
-you have to play a little softer on the drum pads than you would an acoustic drum kit Got a drummer coming in who’s expecting to play an acoustic drum kit? You’re going to want to let them know that this is a different experience. Electronic drums tend to have a much different feel. The heads are “bouncier” and don’t have to same reactions, not to mention that v-drums are much more delicate than acoustic drums.
-extra midi notes (unwanted ghost notes)
All that sensitivity on the mesh pads can cause a drum piece that is not the one you are playing to be triggered. Although this can be somewhat annoying while performing, it can be easily fixed with the editing of MIDI data in your DAW.
-Cymbals and High Hats may need to be played harder.
While playing rubber cymbals, the opposite problem from the mesh pads often occurs, missing the softer note performances. (This can also be fixed by adding the notes in afterwards with MIDI editing)
-Some extra editing may be required to get the midi recording to sound “a little more human”.
Aspects such as timing and velocity data alterations may be required in editing, not to mention any false triggers and those tricky open & closed high hat parts.
-Not an absolute replacement, but a powerful studio tool.
Electronic drums are definitely no substitution to a real acoustic kit as far as actual drumming by a drummer, they certainly won’t be replacing them anytime soon. However with the hefty requirements with recording the real thing. V-drums can be great for anyone who wants to produce tracks, practice or keep things in the studio quiet and customizable.
-Your Drummer might complain
Either because you’ve asked them to play on mesh and rubber…or because you don’t invite them to the studio because you’ve decided to do their parts without them !