Drums In The Church (again)

We’re still using the electric kit I’ve talked about here. I think they’ve set a timeframe to move to acoustic drums for Memorial Day 2009! I don’t know why such a long time frame but it is progress.

After talking to several of the musicians over the last few weeks I’ve become a fan of the acoustic kit. Here’s why: We’ve had several service where the worship set almost went from good to rockin! But something kept it back. It’s like there has an invisible barrier preventing us from getting to the rock level. My first thought was that it was the musical arrangement of the songs. But as I was talking with the musos they all pointed to the electric drums.

I defended the electric drums at first until they made this point. Electric drums lack the dynamics to build the energy level of a song. They only have about 3 levels they can play at (not playing, sorta soft and loud) but with an acoustic kit they have a dozen or so levels the drummer can play at. This is really the backbone of the musical swells in a song to get it from foot taping to rocking.

So after that and critically listening to some live worship CDs I like I have to admit, they’re right. So I’ve begun my therapy to move from electric to acoustic. Hi, my name is Dave and I like acoustic drums.

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September 4, 2008. Tags: , , . Sound.

9 Comments

  1. mylifeisepic replied:

    it’s about stinkin’ time, Dave.

    We weren’t friends while you were an electric drum lover. Those were your “lame” years 🙂

  2. bslash replied:

    no doubt, acoustic is the way to go!

    When you get ready to buy, try http://www.risendrums.com. They’ll make a custom set for you. O-mazing!

  3. bslash replied:

    by the way, I’m don’t work for risen, we just bought a set for our church. I realized what that last comment looked like (spam advertisement) as soon as I posted it.

  4. Adam Oas replied:

    Wow… you’d really think that in this day and age that someone would be able to make a set of pads that would have the same dynamic (or even greater) range than a real drum set.

    Who-da thunk….

  5. DXEndar replied:

    We use an electric set and we’re pretty happy with it. We didnt have a drum shield for the last acoustic set so it was kind of out of controll.

    We had to tweek the electric set for a couple of months, but it sounds pretty good (Rolland V-Drums).

    Acoustic sounds much better, I will admit . . . as the sound man I have to constantly tweek the volume to give the mix some umph.

    But with our current drummers (who beat the fire out of the electric set as it is, and who think that every song is a drum solo lol) this is the best solution at the moment.

    I’m not ready to make that jump yet . . . but when we get a full time worship leader (who can then spend some time with the drummers and help them understand dynamics) . . . I think I’ll be ready to make the change.

    I’m just not ready !

  6. Jaco replied:

    I have to say I’m very interested to hear how easy a transition like this will be. I guess that your church has been using the electric kit for some time. When I took over the sound at our church die drum kit was my biggest headache. Plenty of shielding later it started sounding a lot better and we could actually start to mix. I’ve never had to opportunity to mix an electric kit but I have wondered how that would sound. But so far I haven’t found a drummer that would voluntary play an electric kit live… 😉

  7. jamesy replied:

    My problem with drums & drummers is that they lose control and often drown out the other instruments, which is why electric drums are better for the church. Should the church be rockin or worshipping and I think there’s a difference. Ergun Caner said that if we think worship is clapping hands and swinging back and forth to the music, we’re morons. Worship is about glorifying God and there’s a right way and a wrong way to do that. I’m not opposed to drums, but drums can become so loud that they cause distraction rather than aiding worship. That’s my view, sorry if you disagree.

  8. jamesy replied:

    I think for a church that has never had a set of drums, introducing electric drums to the older people is easier, though you might make some people mad and some might leave the church. If they go to another church, they’ll likely find drums being used too.

  9. Dave replied:

    Like many things in live this drums in the church is a compromise. It’s a compromise between the sonic quality of the drum sounds vs the sonic quality of the mix. I’ve been in rooms that were too small for a drummer who pounds the drums is let loose. The result is the mix is trying to match the level of the drums. I’ve also been in small rooms where a good drummer can control his dynamics with no cage and the mix sounds great. I’ve also been in rooms that were so reverberant and drums or sound system just muddied up the whole mix.

    All things being equal, I prefer acoustic over electric if the sound can be controlled and I have the dynamics at my disposal to get them sounding good. Is acoustic right for every situation? No! No! No! As with so many areas of media it’s the answer I learned at SynAudCon: “It Depends”.

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