I can remember the day my childhood church set up drums in the sanctuary. It was a big deal.
As a teenager who was already leading worship a little bit, I had heard rumors of the drums and made sure to show up to Wednesday night rehearsal. I couldn’t believe it! It was so cool!
Until it wasn’t.
Yes, like many churches in the 90’s, we decided that those drums were too loud and unmanageable. So we went out and bought Roland V-Drums. The drums that were going to solve the “volume problem” for churches all over the country.
And the night they installed the electronic drums? Yep, I was there for that, too. If I’m being honest, I thought V-Drums sounded pretty cool. But it didn’t last long.
After only a few Sundays with the new high-tech drum kit, something happened.
Something that changed me.
In about the third or fourth song, our drummer fell into his drum roll beautifully, the perfectly balanced digital tom samples ringing perfectly as he made his way to that crash “cymbal.” (Not an actual cymbal. It was a rubber panel that looked like a plate, but I digress…)
But when he hit the crash, we got more than we bargained for.
Did you know that V-Drums had programmed practice sequences for drummers to practice with? (Rock beats, Latin music, world percussion patterns, etc.)
Do you know where V-Drums placed the trigger for those sequences?
Of course, on the top left corner of the cymbal pads. Makes perfect sense.
And there, in the middle of some Hillsong tune, the sanctuary was filled with a frantic, zealous Samba sequence that the drummer didn’t know how to turn off. (Heck, the poor guy didn’t even know those drums would do that!)
I hear digital drums haven’t gotten much better – and user friendly. But for me, I’ll never go there again. That samba moment was just too painful.