Today I wanted to go over the basic pros and cons of owning an electric drum set, compared to the common acoustic drum set. Just incase you aren’t familiar with these terms, electric drums are pads that require an amp or headphones to hear the sounds, as they’re electric. Acoustic drums are the real deal, and they’re what electric drum sets attempt to mimic.
I own both types of drum sets (electric- Roland TD-6V acoustic- Ddrum and Meinl) and have played each for quite some time now. The main reason why people choose to buy an electric kit (which are quite expensive I might add) is because they are MUCH quieter. Although it’s still possible to disturb people with it, as I know from first hand experience living in an apartment. And this reason makes sense, considering acoustic drums can be extremely loud. In fact, this is the sole reason I play my electric drums more frequently (no noise curfew).
The large bank of sounds that you can utilize from your electric kit pretty much guarantees that you’ll find at least one drum kit sound you’ll like. Of course, your choices are limited depending on how much money you can spend on it. And although I think the electric kits sound better than my acoustic kit (I’m not that great of a tuner), the feel of an acoustic setup beats the electric kit almost always in my opinion. Acoustic drums just feel great when you hit them. Whatever material the electric kit is made of, it’s just not the same (though it is has a decent rebound). Plus the cymbals on electrics are rubber, which have poor rebound, and you can’t capture all the neat small noises you can get from a real cymbal.
The nice thing about electrics is you can customize a whole plethora of sounds and be playing with an orchestra or a band in no time. I don’t even need to get very technical with my electric kit to be satisfied. Another positive quality is that you can record drums waaay more easily onto a computer through electric kits than acoustic. Acoustics require special, expensive mics, that are positioned appropriately, as well as decent room dynamics to ensure you don’t record echoes. And I’m sure I’m leaving out other vital information about recording acoustic drums because I’m not an engineer. It’s much simpler just to use electric kits for recording drums (although I’m not saying it’s the best way).
These are what I see as being the basic pros and cons for both types of kits. Overall, I’d say nothing beats an acoustic kit. If the circumstances were right, I’d prefer to play my acoustic drums over my electric drums almost every day of the week. However, this is not to say that electric drums are necessarily worse. They can provide functions that acoustic drums cannot. Either way, you can’t really go wrong.