Electronic Drum Upgrades for Churches (Field Cymbals and the Pearl Mimic Pro)

Hey there, welcome back to the channel. Today, I want to take you on a journey we recently embarked on at South Fellowship Church. It’s all about upgrading our electric drum kit. I’m Jake, a member of the church’s tech team, and I’m thrilled to share our experience with you.

Let’s start by addressing the issues we faced. Our trusty old electric drum kit was showing signs of wear and tear. Our cymbals were starting to break, and certain zones on the kit were just not functioning as they should. We even lost the sweet sound of the bell. It was time for a change.

So, why did we decide to embark on this journey? Well, here’s the thing. I firmly believe that providing our musicians with the right tools and equipment can make them better players. It’s all about creating an environment where they can feel comfortable and inspired. With that in mind, we began our search for solutions.

The Quest for Better Cymbals

Our first stop on this upgrade journey was addressing the cymbal issue. The standard rubber cymbals on our electric drum kit just didn’t cut it anymore. They lacked the tactile response and authentic feel that drummers like Eric, our resident drum virtuoso, longed for.

Enter the Field Cymbals. These metal cymbals not only looked the part but also felt like the real deal. They were built like tanks and brought a whole new level of authenticity to our kit. The best part? They came with a touch-to-mute feature that allowed for a more dynamic playing experience. It was a game-changer.

The Drum Brain Upgrade: Enter the Mimic Pro

While the Field cymbals solved our cymbal problem, we still struggled to get the quality bell sound we desired. It turned out our old drum brain just couldn’t keep up with the capabilities of the Field Cymbals. That’s when we decided to level up and invest in the Mimic Pro drum brain.

Now, I had encountered the Mimic Pro before during a visit to Sweetwater, and it had left a lasting impression. What sets this drum brain apart is the quality of the drum samples. It’s powered by Slate samples, which are some of the best in the business. Many of us are familiar with the Slate trigger plugin for drum replacement, and the Mimic Pro packs those same high-quality samples with ultra-low latency right into one compact unit – the Pearl Mimic Pro.

Our kit was somewhat of a Frankenstein’s monster at this point. We started with an Alesis kit, which had great shells but lacked in other areas. The original Alesis brain only had a stereo left-right output, limiting our options. To address this, we had upgraded to the Strike Pro by Alesis, which was a great brain, especially for Alesis triggers. But we were still using both brains simultaneously – the Alesis for the ride and hi-hats and the Mimic Pro for the rest. It was a bit of a mix-and-match situation.

Achieving Unity with the Mimic Pro

However, with the introduction of the Mimic Pro, our kit became more unified in its sound and capabilities. The Field cymbals paired perfectly with the Mimic Pro, and our Alesis triggers also worked seamlessly with it. It was a harmonious match.

One feature we particularly loved about the Mimic Pro was the ability to customize our drum sounds. It had all the major drum kit brands modeled within it, from Ludwig to Tama to Pearl. Drummers could choose the sound that resonated with them the most, making the kit truly personalized.

But the real gem was the Mimic Pro’s capacity to handle two different ride cymbals simultaneously. That level of versatility is hard to come by in drum modules. It allowed us to fine-tune our sound to perfection. The Mimic Pro wasn’t just a plug-and-play device; it was a powerful tool for true drumming artists.

Testing the Waters: Eric’s Perspective

Now, let’s hear from Eric, our resident drumming expert, who had the privilege of testing out this upgraded setup. Eric, who primarily played acoustic drums, was quite picky about the feel and dynamics of cymbals. He found the metal Field cymbals to be a refreshing change from the plastic cymbals of most electric kits. They provided that satisfying metal ping that had been missing, and the touch-to-mute feature added to the realism.

Eric’s experience with the hi-hat was positive as well. He noted that it felt more natural, and double strokes were a breeze compared to the traditional plastic hi-hat setup. The transition from a closed to an open sound was where he noticed a bit of a challenge, but with some practice, he found it manageable.

As for the snare, Eric praised its dynamic range and tonal variation. He highlighted how hitting different areas of the snare produced varying tones, mimicking the characteristics of an acoustic snare drum. This level of detail in response was essential for a drummer accustomed to nuance.

Moving on to the crashes and ride cymbals, Eric appreciated the ability to control dynamics. While the electronic cymbals might not match the full range of dynamics of acoustic counterparts, they outperformed traditional plastic electronic cymbals. Eric found the ride cymbal particularly enjoyable, with its responsive bell and diverse tonal options.

The Mimic Pro: Eric’s First Impressions

Eric shared his initial impressions of the Mimic Pro drum brain, having used it for the first time. He found it to be highly functional with a straightforward menu. While he acknowledged that exploring its full potential might take some time, he was pleased with the preloaded drum kits from renowned brands.

One standout feature was the Mimic Pro’s capacity to handle two different ride cymbals, a rarity in drum modules. Eric also highlighted the drum’s dynamic response, where the snare’s sound varied based on the point of impact, mirroring the nuances of an acoustic snare drum.

Exploring the Possibilities: Hybrid Kits

The journey didn’t stop at electronic upgrades. We contemplated the idea of a hybrid kit – one that combined acoustic drum shells with electronic triggers and the Mimic Pro brain. This hybrid setup promised to offer the best of both worlds – the organic feel of acoustic drums and the versatility of electronic sounds.

Front of House Control

As sound engineers, we were thrilled with the level of control the Mimic Pro provided from the front-of-house perspective. Each drum and cymbal had its dedicated channel, allowing for precise adjustments to achieve the perfect mix. The Mimic Pro even simulated real overhead microphones, adding an authentic touch to the drum sound.

Our setup included a dedicated channel for in-ear monitoring, ensuring that the drummer had a tailored mix separate from the main mix. This level of control allowed for a comfortable and customized monitoring experience.

In Action: Worship Performance

To demonstrate the upgraded electric drum kit’s capabilities, we performed the worship song “Make Room.” Hearing the kit in action showcased its ability to seamlessly integrate into a worship band setting. The natural response of the drum sounds added depth and authenticity to the performance.

Conclusion: Elevating the Drumming Experience

In conclusion, upgrading an electric drum kit can be a game-changer for drummers seeking a more authentic feel and sound engineers looking for superior control. For more tips, checkout the free Churchfront Toolkit below.

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