The debate as to whether you are a proper drummer if you play an electronic drum rather than an acoustic one is probably similar to the one between being a proper photographer if you use a digital camera rather than a film camera.There will always be the purists who will never be persuaded to use either an electronic drum or a digital camera, and I say good luck to them because after all that is what choice and democracy is all about.
There are a number of considerations you would have to make when buying a drum kit and these considerations will influence the type you would buy.
If you have never played the drums before, It is recommended you purchase a set of acoustic drums. This will enable you do develop the feel of the drum when you hit the skin. You don’t need to spend a fortune or buy that many pieces of kit, just enough for you to get the feel and different sounds they make.
Size of budget is definitely a consideration. A cheap acoustic drum kit is far better than a cheap electronic kit which is prone to things going wrong. Anything under $600 is regarded as being cheap. If money is no object then there will be other considerations you will need to take into account.
The practice area.This is the big one. If you have your own studio, sound-proofed room or you live in the desert without neighbours then you can get away with an acoustic drum and bang away to your heart’s content and no one will bother you. However,if you are one of the majority, then you are surrounded by people either in a college dorm, your bedroom at home or a local hall. If you want to remain in one piece you most definitely will have to consider the neighbors. This is where the electronic drum scores over the acoustic.The drums are plugged into the Module and the volume can be controlled.You cannot mute an acoustic.
The amount of space that is available for the kit. This means your practice area, the size of the gig and the vehicle in which you are going to transport it.On the whole, electronic drum kits takes up less space than acoustic particularly if you are planning to add further instruments to your acoustic kit.
Microphones and recording. One of the downsides of using an acoustic drum is that you need a mic for recording. Unfortunately, the mic picks up every noise such as coughing, sneezing, scrape of a chair etc. You, the musician may not hear that sound but the sound engineer will and guess what? He is going to ask you to play it again. This gets pretty boring after a while so many recording artists now use an electronic drum because it does not require a mic. Just plug the drum cable directly into the sound board and off you go.
The same applies to live concerts. To pick up the sound on every drum you would need a mic per drum. Quality microphones will cost a lot of money. Using electronic drum triggers means it is easier to mix down because the cable is plugged directly into a sound board and the volume can be controlled.
I think a lot of people think that playing an electronic drum means you plug the set into the module, switch on the power and all you have to do is go through the motions of playing a drum because ‘the brains’ does all the work for you. It might have been like that in the past but these days ‘the brain’ or The Percussion Module responds to how you hit the pads. So if you are playing rubbish then the sound coming out will be rubbish.
The mesh heads can be tightened or loosened. They are sensitive to the way you hit them therefore you are getting the rebound that you want.
Adaptability.This is the biggest difference between the 2 types of drums. With an acoustic drum the snare will only sound like a snare and a tom like a tom. If you want to add the sound of a timpani to your repertoire then you are going to have to buy a tympani drum. The extra different sounds you want from your acoustic kit, the more drums you have to buy. The impact will be on cost and space.
The electronic drum kit solves those problems in one fell swoop. You can have hundreds of different sounds coming from your kit. The Roland TD20SX V-Pro is a very good example. It is Roland’s latest creation. You can customize your kit 100 different ways using over 900 independent sounds.
In conclusion, over 90% of professional drummers now play or have played on an electronic drum kit, so I would say that yes, the electronic drum is now more popular than the acoustic drum.
Davina outlines the benefits of the new Roland TD20SX V-Pro electronic drum kit. To see the details please go to http://rolandtdseries.com/roland-td20sx-vpro/roland-td20sx-v-pro-a-must-have-for-the-serious-drummer