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Electronic Drum Sets

The first electronic drum sets were used in the early 1970's and recorded by Carl Palmer of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Once the synthesiser was developed, it was inevitable that the electronic drum sets would eventually be incorporated into the electronic sound.

During the early 1980's. drummers such as Bill Bruford of King Crimson incorporated large electronic drum sets within their acoustic setups. Bill Bruford almost completely diminished his need for acoustic drums. Electronic drum sets like those used by Bill Bruford were primarily made by the now defunct Simmons company.

Later electronic drum sets were made by Tama of Japan. Many people have criticised the use of electronic drum sets, but the level of acceptance is greater now. There are some drummers, such as Akira Jimbo and Tony Verderosa, that incorporate electronic drum sets into their acts in interesting and innovative ways.

Yamaha, Roland and many others companies have created electronic drum sets which use pads or triggers that are mounted on acoustic drums. This is done to play sampled or synthesized sounds. The cuurent trend in electronic drum sets since the late 1980s has been to move away from the overtly electronic sounds and towards an intense acoustic sound.

The sound of electronic drum sets has changed considerably towards a more naturalistic approach. The electronic pads on electronic drum sets have improved over the last few years and now feel different. Companies like Roland and Pintech that make electronic drum sets now offer popular styles like 'Mesh' or 'V-drum' pads. Those electronic drum sets have pads that are designed to emulate the feel of a real drum head



The Yamaha company offers rubber pads that are designed to mimic the feel of a real drum set. The pads on the first sets of electronic drum sets were very hard and very unforgiving. Because the pads on the older electronic drum sets were not like traditional acoustic drums, many drummers suffered from wrist pains and other related injuries.

The positive side of the old style of pads for the electronic drum sets, they offered a high level of rebound. This made it easier to play double stroke rolls up and down the toms. There were a lot of drummers that looked down on this feature of electronic drum sets while others liked it. Rick Allen, the drummer of hard rock band Def Leppard, had custom electronic drum sets made for himself after a car accident in 1984 that left him without his left arm.

One of the later electronic drum sets that Rick Allen had made played back the sound of the pre-recorded parts of his acoustic drum kit whenever he struck each respective pad. Omar Hakim was one of the first mainstream drummers to really take electronic drum sets seriously. He toured to promote Roland's vDrum line of electronic drum sets for several years and continues to promote them to this day.



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