Sunday, November 05, 2023

Very occasional quote of the day: electronics

“A kid who doesn't have to whack the drums to me is kind of missing something. He is going to buy a bunch of pads and not even know what it is like to lay into a bass drum. It's like piano and synth. I couldn't imagine getting chops on a synthesizer unless you know how to play piano. There is a direct physical link between a human and the drums that, as far as I'm concerned, you just can't get with the machines. And the beauty of it is not hitting it the same volume every time and not in the same spot. It's the little nuances that makes the difference. 

When you hit a pad, it triggers a pick-up that creates voltage. Maybe it does it faster than a drum head vibrates— and the electronic drum brain is a great alternative for sounds— but you just can't recreate that physical interaction you get with acoustic drums. I don't think the electronic drum brain can translate two small notes played on a drum. It measures it and spits it out exactly, whereas on a drum it was not mean to be exactly the same. 

The microprocessor turns voltage into sensitivity. Wonderful. But it's no the same as hearing a cymbal encompass your whole body, or hearing a bass drum, or if you stand in front of a giant gong and you feel those waves go through your body. Sure, with electric you can feel the PA speakers through the floor, but you don't need that to get it from a gong or drum set. It's just different.” 

- Vinnie Colaiuta, interview in Percussioner International, 1987 

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