In most scenarios, using acoustic drums in your recording studio is just not practical. Even if you would love to have it, for many its just not possible.
If space and/or budget is not a constraint, you can definitely have it. In that case, you can even have an acoustic piano in your studio.
But then, its not practical for most setups to have these instruments.
In that case, you have a couple of substitutes for recording drums:
- Virtual instrument drums, or
- Electronic drums
And the next obvious question is “Which one is better?” Here are the pros and cons of each.
Electronic Drums vs Virtual Drums (VSTs)
If you’re a drummer, you can definitely extract the best from an electronic drum kit, as opposed to using a software. They would be easier to use and you can play the most difficult nuances with easy (if yo’re skilled). In that sense, you can get more realistic patterns using electronic drums, compared to virtual instrument software.
However, for your studio, electronic drums may be overkill.
- If you only want repetitive loops (with some variety of course), a virtual instrument can get the job done.
- On the other hand, if you wish to record lengthy drum solos, you can do that better and faster using electronic drums, and it would be too much of a hassle using software. In this case, you either do it the old fashioned way with real drums and microphones, or you use an electronic drum kit.
How’s Your Budget Like?
There’s no doubt that Electronic drums are the BETTER tool, without a doubt, especially so when you can play it well. But then, the good quality ones can be expensive.
A good drum software program will cost you anything around 200-500 dollars, whereas a good electronic drum kit will cost you anything between $3k to $8k.
If yo’re a good drummer, you’ll definitely need electronic drums. If you DO have the money, then electronic drums are definitely preferable. But if you DON’T have the dollars to spend & you’re basically not a drummer, your choice would be virtual instrument drums.