This is a great thread. I appreciate the discussion. Here's my 2 cents:
•With a sampled kit, you are are always playing SOMEONE ELSE'S vision of
what a drum kit should sound like. It's never your vision, I mean unless you
manually sample your own acoustic kit, or EQ something to death to get it
where you have your own voice. There are two components to my playing- what I play, and what I'm playing on. I'm kinda' anal about using my own kit because of
•With the pads, you add two extra elements into whether you sound well or not.
These are the SOUNDMAN, and the P.A. No big deal if your in the studio with
someone who knows what they are doing, but in a live situation, this is a bugger.
Many bands, churches, and clubs have soundmen who are just hobbyists that like to tinker, but really don't know what they are doing, or even have 'the ear.' Many times, when checking the levels, if they can at least hear the pads, they are satisfied. Numerous times I had to ask from stage to have the level of a pad raised, because the beat was integral to the feel of the song. The pad was turned up, but nowhere near the soundlevel of the rest of the kit, or even the rest of the band. And playing in church on pads? Yikes! When you see the drummer and hear the sound of stick on rubber above the sound of the sample because Joe the tin-eared soundman & storm door salesman is performing his "ministry" every Sunday?
Then a band will often run the samples are maybe run through mains that should really be monitors - 10" or 12" woofers trying to mimic a bass drum? blecch!
I guess in the studio, or with a band that has decent PA and a competent soundman, the pads are great. But a majority of playing situations with us poorer musicians only show the rubber drums' shortcomings. I know that my acoustics will sound great every time, and their volume levels are instantly adjustable - by the drummer
"If you send a damned fool to St. Louis and don't tell anyone he's a damned fool. no will be the wiser." -Mark Twain