Monday, October 31, 2022

No fancy drums, sitting on a broken office chair, and still ROCKS!


I stumbled across this awesome cover by Bunsu from Chile playing a track by The Mars Volta. Though he doesn't use any e-drums, I still think this was very worthy of an Alternative Drummer Post! Look at that snare stand too! It's like a broken tom with the snare just sitting on top of it! T-shirts for cymbal felts, and 100% amazing! Watch this awesome drummer play! Let's get him some more subs too! 

Friday, October 28, 2022

Alternative Drummer Profile: fulkramick


Meet fulkramick (NY, USA)

What is your current e-drum setup? Please be as specific as possible.
I am using the Roland V-Drums TD-17KVX kit with an Iron Cobra 600 single kick pedal, a Yamaha HS740 hi-hat stand, hitting it all with Promark 5B nylon tip sticks, monitoring with Sennheiser HD 202 headphones and sitting on a standard Pearl drum throne.

How do you record your e-drums?
I usually record drums first for a track, so without needing to hear any other sound source, I simply record direct to an SD card in the TD-17. 

You mean you recorded this song without hearing any music or any idea what the music would sound like?
That's crazy!

How did you approach making this video?
I thought about what I like about watching playthroughs - being able to see the stick work and foot technique. I play my kick "heel down", where the majority of drummers are "heel up", and I do enjoy seeing (what to me is) something different. 

What does fulkramick mean?
fulkramick, as an artist name, is the umbrella under which I make music by myself. While I play and perform in several bands and find that experience very dear to me and my expression, being able to say everything vocally and on the instruments I'm using helps push that personal expression in a way I may not ask of the talented people I make music with. With them, my ideas are always embraced and worked with, but having that conversation with yourself about what does and doesn't work is its own growth-driven challenge. To me fulkramick is, at its core, an intensive on that personal expression. 
Why did you decide to start playing e-drums?
It was a dark and stormy winter (as always where I live) and the rehearsal space I am fortunate enough to play at can be a challenging drive in the snowy months. It was starting to discourage me from playing drums outside of band practice, so I started researching what I thought could be a good alternative. It is never fair for drummers, really, that a guitarist could practice in their bathroom but they have to have a space typically not at their home.  

What do you like about e-drums compared to acoustic?
I had sat down behind an e-kit about twenty years ago with no sticks, having to use turned around salad spoons for that jam session, so my expectations were not high. I was immediately surprised with the feel of the e-kit that I play on. The mesh heads are tactile and not overly responsive like I was afraid they would be, and the cymbals on this kit have a choke feature which I think is just neat. Compared to the acoustic setup, the hi-hat does seem to lack the nuance I am used to, but I am adjusting. I made sure to use the same model kick pedal for that muscle continuity between these and my acoustics. What I like the most so far is how every pre-loaded kit inspires a different set of ideas or rhythms, each one turns a dial in your mind for an instantaneous new perspective. For recording thus far,  I made a user-kit modeled on each drum and cymbal of my acoustic with the same sizes and material (steel snare, wood toms, etc.) There is so much more to explore with it. As much as I love and will continue to play on the acoustic kit, I am super happy that I could now technically practice drums in the bathroom like those lucky guitarists (and even luckier shower singers).

Where can people find more of your work?
Solo work can be found at: and on your preferred streaming service (Spotify, iTunes, etc.). I hope to have an album done using the Roland TD-17KVX by mid 2023. For my acoustic drumming in the band Heretofore: (new record coming in 2023). I also play bass in Level:Memory - and drums in the band: The Sound of Stars Communicating (recordings available in 2023). 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Simmons SD1000 / SD1500 Most Underrated Drum Module


I recently picked up this Simmons SD1000 drum module, and I was pleasantly surprised at how freaking amazing this thing is! To give you a bit of background, the SD1000 originally came out in 2012, but was also included in the SD1500 drumkit which came out in 2014, but with a firmware update that expanded upon its already impressive features (more on that later). 

The SD1000 was the post-Guitar Center acquisition of Simmons, and previous to this module, they had mostly only released repackaged / rebranded Medeli drums. However the SD1000 was the first real attempt at a flagship e-drum since the 1980s for Simmons. The drums themselves were a forgettable assortment of rubber pads, with a fairly decent drum rack. However, the module that came with the SD1000 was packed full of great features only seen on Rolands and Yamaha modules at that time, such as dual zone snare, dual zone cymbals, SD card reader, onboard MIDI sequencer, FX, and a whopping 519 voices + 100 internal songs, as well as the ability to save user kits to the module, as well as to an SD card. 

The SD card can also be used to play MIDI files using the SD1000's internal MIDI sequencer. You could also record directly to the MIDI sequencer with the drums or even an external MIDI controller to play it's onboard voices like piano, guitar, bass, synth, and percussion! You can even quantize MIDI with this thing! The internal sounds are really not bad, and it really excels at electronic type sounds. There are a plethora of vintage original Simmons sounds, plus 808s, 909s, and lots of other great sounding electronic tones. There are also some really good acoustic sounds! The vintage Simmons samples are some of the nicest I've heard outside of an actual SDS kit. 

With the 1000 firmware update this thing really turns into an awesome beast of a module. The update expands the snare to 3 zones (center, rim/center, and rim) this allows you to play center sounds, rimshot sounds, and cross stick sounds all from the same drum without changing settings. This works on a standard 2 zone snare. Tom 4 is also expanded to 3 zones in a similar fashion, and can be used to trigger midi sequences, or a 3rd sound from the pad. The update also expands the ride cymbal to a 3 zone ride over a single cable, makes all other toms dual zone, makes all the other cymbals dual zone and chokable, and improves hi hat dynamics, as well as adds some new voices to the module. It's crazy they were able to cram this many updates into a single firmware update, but they did. 

Some warnings on the update though: DO THIS FIRST! Don't even create any custom kits or anything until AFTER you update the firmware, because YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING! I found this out the hard way. Backups made on the old firmware will not work on the 1500 firmware, so make sure if you get an SD1000 module, you update the firmware immediately before doing anything else. 

At the time of writing this post, these modules, while not exactly abundant, they are very affordable. Between $10-$150. Make sure you get one with a snake though, because I've noticed the snake doesn't seem to have the same wiring of any of the other drum modules I have. However, it does seem to work on most Simmons/Roland style pads. 

The module also features two expansion ports, standard MIDI input and output, USB MIDI I/O, Headphone Jack, L/R Master out, aux input, and powerful metronome. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Dario Rossi from Italy takes "Bucket Drumming" to a completely new level!


Since I live in NYC, it's not uncommon for me to see a "Bucket Drummer" on the street or in the subway, and quite honestly in my 10 years of living in the city, I have never seen ANYONE with the insane skills for this artform as Dario Rossi from Italy!

What is really amazing about this is not only is he using a variety of pots and pans, buckets, bowels, broken cymbals (and non-broken ones), he also incorporates real drums like a piccolo snare drum, roto toms! In addition to that, this is a "Hybrid Bucket" setup, haha. Two of those buckets are actually housing some Roland mesh drum pads that are being fed into his Roland SPD-SX. 

The end result is a completely infectious hard techno groove played with relentless precision in this highly enjoyable video!

Thursday, October 13, 2022

The REAL Reason Eric Singer of KISS uses triggers on his drums (it's probably not what you think)


Eric Singer is the 3rd drummer of KISS, yet has been playing for the band longer than anyone else at this point. To say the guy knows his stuff is an understatement. Check out this amazing video by Modern Drummer where Eric gives the full rundown of his current vintage/modern Pearl drum kit. He goes over the shells, lugs, cymbals, heads, and even the cowbell he's using!

What I found really interesting was his use of ddrum Pro Elite drum triggers along with a no longer in production ddrum D4 drum module. Instead of processing his drum sound through the front of house, it's strictly for the stage monitors. Himself and the rest of the band find that triggers are more consistent and easier to deal with on stage than having to worry about getting the perfect monitor mix night to night on different stages! Pretty neat!

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Alesis Nitro Missing Manual updated links!

 Since I migrated over to my new website, some of the old links were dead. The Nitro Missing Manual post was one of those, so I've fixed it here! 

You can also check out my latest video on why you shouldn't upgrade the hi hat on the nitro below!

Thanks to YouTuber CM Ralf for pointing out the missing link! If you see any other dead or missing links on my site, please let me know!

Updated drum lesson playlist

It's hard for me to update this website constantly with all of the new drum lessons I am making, so I figured I would make a playlist wh...