Electronic drums have been evolving in a daily basis. Its completeness has no difference between the acoustic drums. But in other hand, electronic drum’s usage in the live performance is very low surprisingly. The number of usages significantly differs as the size of the stage gets larger. At this point, the electronic drums are surely positioned at the “sub” of the acoustic drums.
The bands which have succeeded in Japan aren’t so many. The Japanese band “LUNA SEA” is one of the succeeded bands in Japan, and its drummer SHINYA has done a live performance in front of over 30,000 audience. The interesting fact about this live is that he used “electronic drums” throughout a whole stage. Studying and adopting the technologies as a drum manufacturer, absolute “fusion” with acoustic and digital have created the completely new concept electronic drum “e/MERGE.” It has supported SHINYA throughout all the songs at the live and proved the definite quality to all the audience who have participated at the live. (In our understanding) There’s no past evidence of arena class live performance that has been done with a single electronic drum for all songs. And this evidence proves that e/MERGE has no bear comparison between the acoustic drums of its performance in the entire band sound.
Why did SHINYA, who is obsessed about the drums comparing to the other drummer, has chosen the e/MERGE on such a big stage like this? Looking to his internal, there was his belief as a professional drummer, a positive attitude towards challenging to the new things, and the sure potential that e/MERGE could make them real.
With e/MERGE, you can freely change the tone quality, and the musical quality of the live has improved. --- SHINYA
SHINYA Special Drum Seminar held at ESP Entertainment Tokyo Main Building B1 Hall on Sunday, November 27th. It became a fulfilling content to know the innovation of e/MERGE of its looks, function, and the sound. There were talks about unreleased new e/MERGE products with the Pearl's development staff, a real voice of live sound engineers, and SHINYA playing along with LUNA SEA's songs. Now, we are introducing some of the details of the seminar.
-The first impression of playing e/MERGE-
“It’s been already a couple years since after when I first played the e/MERGE. I was so surprised about its amazing quality. It reflected out my expression properly which was the sound I wanted to play on the snare drum, toms, and even a bass drum with soft and loud touches. That is why I thought the e/MEGRE might bring the sound better than the acoustic drums through the speakers. As you know, most guitarist often switch around their guitars on the live performances, selecting by the songs they play. I mean, by switching to another guitar, they can express several nuances or expressions immediately. But drummers can't do that easily. Because it is not easy to switch around the drum sets during the live performance like guitars. The only way we can do about this struggle was to switch our snare drums. At the previous recording session using an e/MERGE, we got some great matched sounds for our songs. Because I wanted the sound to go along with the song on this live performance, I choose the e/MERGE which was the best solution to the drummer’s struggle”, one of Japan's leading drummers, SHINYA said.
“The e/MERGE is an instrument that changes its sound when the player changes. And, adding the 'Shell' makes the sound fuller rich sound."
-Perspective from engineers-
During the seminar, Mr. Akihito Takegawa of Pearl, who has involved in the development of this set, took the stage, and shared the secret story of the development of the new set with SHINYA. “When I first hit the e/MERGE, I immediately wanted to use it. The feel of the kick was amazing. "Starting with this encounter, SHINYA introduced e/MERGE, and eventually wants to make a set entirely with the e/MERGE. Next, Mr. Hisaaki Komatsu, who is in charge of PA at the live, also took the stage. He talked about the advantages of e/MERGE from the perspective of a PA saying "The same sound can be played at any venue. It's very easy to use as a PA, and I think it's the ideal drum set." SHINYA also said, "If the drums doesn't sound a solid sound which becomes a bass of sound, the PA can't create a sound. e/MERGE contains that sound."
“I was very surprised when I heard from Mr. SHINYA that he was going to play the electronic drums on the live performance at the time." He also said, "As I was selecting the sounds, I realized the original tones of e/MERGE were really excellent. It has loaded other sounds very quickly, and very easy to customize to match the parts of the songs. So, everything went well smoothly." Mr. Komatsu, who is one of the great engineers in Japan, said.
SHINYA said, “as a matter of fact, I did the sound check at the stadium the day before the live performance. During the time, I heard the full sound of e/MERGE from the big speakers in the stadium for the first time. All the sound of cymbals, bass drums, snare drum, and toms were crystal clear, well-defined, and each drums sounds individually. Because the sound was prominently beautiful, everyone around there, including me, were so excited at the time. Most drummers understand that the sound what they hear on the stage and the sound coming out from the speakers with guitars and bass mixed up are different. That is why, we truly trust our engineers. And this time after the live show, engineers said "the sound of e/MERGE was absolutely great!" I really thanked both e/MERGE and engineers after the show.”
“If two drummers play the same e/MERGE on the same condition, the sound coming out from the e/MERGE would be different due to their playstyle, technique, sticks, and heads. I feel like e/MERGE is a “MODERN” acoustic drum. As a drummer the time latency of the electronic drum makes us sometimes upset. Because of the difference between the sound of our recognition and the actual sound. But I have never felt the same thing when I play the e/MERGE. To prove it, playing two bass drums, one in acoustic and the other in e/MERGE, these balances were great! As if I was playing the acoustic bass drums for both at the time. Also, I have been trying many attempts to investigate the sound I want on the e/MERGE. Those are like changing the heads or the sticks to hear the difference in sounds. Actually, there was a difference in the sound, and that recognized me the e/MERGE is a “MODERN” acoustic drum even more.
If I could only have one drum set, I would choose the e/MERGE. I can play it at home, at the recording, and can be used in huge arenas, too. I have proved it and were no problem in the huge arena like Saitama-Super Arena. If you have never played any electronic drums, I want you to give it a shot. I absolutely believe, you will say "What an amazing kit! I have never played like this before!" And as you know very well, all the tom stands, and the other hardware are made by Pearl. They are so durable and reliable!” SHINYA also said.
During the seminar, he played the Real-Look e/MERGE which was used at latest LUNA SEA's live performance. At the same time, this kit was unveiled to the world for the first time. SHINYA did minus-one performance, also he explained about his kit with LUNA SEA's PA and Pearl's development staff in public. It was probably quality time for all the audience.
SHINYA's Artist Kit is now available. Go check the URL below to see the more additional information.
We will be soon publishing another news about this seminar. Stay tuned!
Please note: This SHINYA's kit with copper finish is currently still prototype, stay tuned for updates. Thank you very much for your kind understanding.
Artist Kit Collection
SHINYA’s Artist Page
Special Thanks: Rittor Music
Photos: Keishi Sawahira