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bmjfelts1988

Roland Electronic Marching Percussion

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I'm sure there have been other threads on this product but I'm not about to go trying to dig one of them up. I believe this product came out sometime around 2008 and even after 4 years I don't think I've ever seen them used in DCI and maybe not even the few BOA events I've been to...

What are your opinions? I sort of have mixed emotions. At first glance I sort of think "wow, those are cool". Yet as I think longer, I find it somewhat depressing. Mainly out of sentiment. One thing that helped get me interested in marching band and drum corps when I was a little kid was hearing the high school drumline practice around the corner from my house. Battery percussion is one of those "sense triggers" (kind of like the smell of bus fuel LOL) that immediately brings me back to a time when I was first introduced to the activity. I would hate to see the organic make-up of the Battery Percussion Ensemble (i.e. accoustic marching percussion) become obsolete.

Thoughts? Again, probably a topic that has already been discussed at length, but I missed it so here's a new thread. Please humor me.

Edited by bmjfelts1988

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dislike. could be useful or cool in other settings, but should not be used on the field. Perhaps it would be tolerable in the pit... I guess it's similar to a synth piano but with drums.

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Well I think the fact that adding comments to the video have been disabled says it all.

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The grandfather clock patch is awesome and I and I can imagine that used in any field show based on the music of Milton Babbitt. There are certainly some interesting (if not utterly fascinating) sounds it can produce, but the patch that sounds like a replication of hockey pucks bouncing on frozen linoleum needs some tweaking.

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I don't think it would have much use on the field. I'm pretty sure some pits use a synth drum. If i remember correctly i think BD had one of these by their booth at the RCC show.

Edited by Daniel

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Similar instruments are already being used in DCI pits.

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Well I think the fact that adding comments to the video have been disabled says it all.

I got one just as good as that. I think the fact that after being around for FOUR YEARS and not ONE drum corps has used it.....AS A BATTERY option (not including the front ensemble uses that others on this thread have mentioned) says it all.

Here's the problem with use in the battery. The amps for all of our electronics are up front, correct? The snareline depends on the sound of their fellow drummers next to them to "play clean". Obviously with this instrument, there is no sound next to them. It's all coming out of the amps. Even if a corps put the amps in the back, time delay and echoing is going to cause problems. The ONLY way I can see this used effectively in a battery percussion setting is for the battery to have some form of in ear monitor system. But even with THAT, how will the rest of the drum corps stay together. I suppose you can attach some sort of a small monitor/amp to your hip or to the harness, but then it would not be loud enough for anyone outside the area of the battery to hear. THEN...you would STILL need to have it come out of the pit amps for a quality sound in the audience ear....which means that the drumline is going to constantly be fighting the echo of their sound coming from right in the front of the field.

Conclusion...I DON'T see an instrument like this working in a battery setting.....YET.........we still lack the technology needed to overcome all of the obstacles mentioned in my paragraph above. Again...supporting my point in my first paragraph. The fact that it's been around for four years now and not ONE DCI drumline has used it in the battery...not even for an EXPERIMENT says it all.

Nice idea, but we're not quite there yet...and we might not ever be. I for one don't care for electronics drums anyway. Not even electric drum sets. Isolated electric drums are cool for sound effect purposes. But electric drums just don't have any kind of personality in the sound. They just sound computerized and mechanical. Nothing musical. Even with the dynamic contrast the above video demonstrates doesn't come close to creating the timbre changes that go with dynamic contrast.

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The grandfather clock patch is awesome and I and I can imagine that used in any field show based on the music of Milton Babbitt. There are certainly some interesting (if not utterly fascinating) sounds it can produce, but the patch that sounds like a replication of hockey pucks bouncing on frozen linoleum needs some tweaking.

Oh I know! The marching snare sound is HORRIBLE!!!

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Conclusion...I DON'T see an instrument like this working in a battery setting.....YET.........we still lack the technology needed to overcome all of the obstacles mentioned in my paragraph above. Again...supporting my point in my first paragraph. The fact that it's been around for four years now and not ONE DCI drumline has used it in the battery...not even for an EXPERIMENT says it all.

There is a very simple and obvious reason why this had not been used in a battery setting yet. The battery moves, but the sound source is stationary and in FRONT of the performers. This is a phasing nightmare.

Have you ever tried to talk on the phone with a slight echo and delay, where you hear your voice just slightly behind? It becomes impossible to talk. It is the same sort of thing here.

This could work only if the battery was stationary for the duration of playing and the sound source was immediately behind them... or if there was a reasonable enough speaker (projecting enough to be audience audible) connected to the device.

One final way it could work and one that is most ideal... is that the source from the instruments on the field is connected to a computer. This computer is running a software application with receivers that detect the individual performer's exact physical distance from the receiver and has their anticipated movement and velocity (based on dril charts). The software would basically process the sound as if it were an acoustic instrument, using algorithms to mimic natural acoustic behaviors, sending the signal to the speakers on this sort of elastic delay based on the distance from the speaker and movement of the player.

It would be an interesting experiment... but not so practical and a hell of a lot of work.

Where I do see these instruments as being VERY interesting, however, is in CLEANING a line. Score is in the computer... software analyses the performer's playing and marks the score in spots that need to be fixed. Learn and clean on digital... fine tune on acoustic.

Edited by danielray
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Oh I know! The marching snare sound is HORRIBLE!!!

who-me.jpeg

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