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Drumming for a Pantomime

Posted by Andy Anderson on 5th December 2011

Hi Guys hope all is well,

another busy two weeks has past, hence the lateness of this blog! since my last blog I’ve had more rehearsals with The Danny Allan Band and RJ Thompson for up and coming shows, a few function gigs, one which stood out was the one for Asthma UK which is close to my heart, from having severe Asthma from a young age, it was a fantastic night and the event raised thousands of pounds towards the charity. All this along with my teaching, and the beginning of the Pantomime Jack & The Beanstalk at Durham Gala Theatre.


Monday the 28th saw the beginning of the Pantomime, we had a long 12 an a half hour technical rehearsal, making sure the sound was set, music/underscoring was placed correctly as well as the lighting and of course making sure the dog would enter and exit the stage in the correct places!!

Throughout the run of the show I have to use an electronic drum kit as stipulated by the shows company, and they have supplied me with an Roland TD6 electronic drum kit. This may not be the top of the line Roland TD20KX V-Pro Series electronic drum kit, however the sounds that come from the electronic drum kit are very well balanced and sound great coming through the in house system, and more importantly don’t stand out too much sounding like an electronic instrument. The Roland TD6 electronic drum kit has now been replaced by the Roland TD-4K2 V- Compact Series electronic drum kit. I have found the TD6 electronic drum kit to be very user friendly, changing sounds, sensitivities and thresholds, and saving customised drum kits is very easy to work out even without the manual. If I was to complain about anything it would be that it sometimes doesn’t trigger when you want it too, however this is purely down to the age and past of the electronic drum kit itself, as it is a hire item and has probably been bashed around by many drummers for a fair few years now. If this electronic drum kit had been a personal item and used with care there would be no problem at all this is a fantastic electronic kit for a great price.

Ear Moulds

Although the Roland TD6 electronic drum kit has a huge sound bank, there just aren’t enough pads available at one time to cope with mental slop scenes, requiring boings, honks, bangs, whizzes, splats etc… so I have used my Roland SPD-S sampling pad.

I have had my Roland SPD-S sampling pad for about 2/3 years now and have used it mainly for my work with Spector/Code:Manta for this I use the SPD-S sampling pad with acoustic triggers, playing my Shine Select Custom drum kit and using a Roland RT-10S snare drum trigger and a DDrum Acoustic Pro bass drum trigger, to trigger the exact sounds used on the tracks which have been loaded on the Roland SPD-S sampling pad via the flash card drive.

At first I was unsure if the latency would be a problem (if it would trigger quick enough), but i was amazed as there was basically no latency what so ever!! Now for the Pantomime I have loaded the Roland SPD-S sampling pad with all the sound effects that I require for the show making each one easily available, again this is very user friendly and it was quick enough for me to change and move sounds to different pads and patches in between scenes if needed without disruption.

These Roland electronic percussion instruments are really great products which are versatile for many situations, and enable me to adapt well when playing electronic music with a mix of electronic and acoustic instruments. Have a look on my YouTube channel for some rough early spector videos of the Roland SPD-S in a live situation.

I have also just sent off my ear impressions for my In-Ear Monitors and Ear Plugs, so I’ll be putting up a review when I get them. Thanks for the continued support, and I will try my best to help where I can.




Tagged in Author: Andy