AI-Enhanced Electric Drum Systems Mimick Real Thing
Sometimes you can teach an old dog new tricks. Some old dogs anyway. As a former drummer, I always considered electronic drums a sacrilege or a cheat when it comes to making music. I was caught so off-guard by the authentic sound of the new electric drum set in our audio and video recording studios, I felt obliged to the music Gods to apologize for being so old school in my thinking when it came to electric versus acoustic drums.
Electric drums have been around awhile. I first recall recording with Syn-drums when they first hit the L.A. recording studios. They made a range of noises that sounded like loud drops of water striking a wet surface. Interesting and different to be sure, but they were short-lived.
Then with the advent of EDM music, the drum sound they wanted was dry and lifeless in my opinion. As long as there as a simple “chic, chic” beat, that seems to have been the focus of the drums in that era. It was a bass-driven sound that mostly looped over and over without much interaction with the drums.
Now that they’ve introduced AI to the drum kit electric, and it’s a whole different sound. I’m not trying to be a commercial for this Alesis Pro Strike kit, but⏤man⏤does it sound realistic and then goes way beyond. It makes sounds that you can’t imagine until you actually hear them. If you are unfamiliar with an electric drum kit, as I was, may I suggest you stop at your local music store and check them out. You will be impressed. The new sensors are spot on for electric drums
What the engineers at Alesis did was go to a wonderful recording studio. Then they selected the very best microphones that fit the room and the project. Then they brought in assorted drum kits and drummers. The result in a terrific sounding drum kit played by terrific drummers and they made digital samples of their playing.
Now throw in some AI program that watches you or the sample you are selecting and it learns to map the musical beats, and then it can transfer it to digital plug-ins. These then become any drum set that you select, like Rogers, Ludwig, Zildjian and more. All these highly respected brands can be duplicated to the point you can not tell the difference between samples and actual acoustic drums and cymbals. You could play a set of plastic buckets, the AI would make it sound like the most expensive drum kit on the market. Really.
I can not come up with the number of combinations of percussion sounds that this electric set of drums will produce at the flick of a switch. Steel drums, Indian tabla, including a sitar pattern you can play on the cymbals. It’s just astounding.
To sum up, if you are an old school kind of musician like I am, or was, I highly recommend you look into any of the electric drum systems, particularly Roland and Alesis, are just two that have been rated the highest and will produce amazing results for you. Check them out online. You will be stunned.
There are various things you must get used to on electric drums if you have played acoustic sets only. The bounce back of the sticks off the heads of the drums is now nearly identical to regular drums. It didn’t used to be that way.It was more of a rubber pad. But these new generations of “skins” are authentic in sound and response and very adjustable.
Combine these electric drums with online lessons from folks like Drumeo.com and you are in business to become the next Ginger Baker, or Gene Krupa or whoever your current favorite beat keeper is.
Boom Chica Boom, don’t ya just love it?