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What's with Drummers

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What's with Drummers

Postby greg on Thu Jul 10, 2003 8:30 pm

... who don't care about how bad their drums sound?
It's your instrument, so what's the deal with the tape and the 14 year old heads. I know that isn't the sound you're going for, you just told me so.
I feel bad when a band I'm recording (at home) wants to record and mix 12 songs in two days and their drumset sounds like cardboard and dead fish I don't know either.
Does this happen to anyone?
Do you have the answer?
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Postby ROB on Fri Jul 11, 2003 1:58 am

hey, its cool to sound like u dont really know how to play your instruments nowadays! :roll: so they can afford studio time but no equipment? half way there, but just the wrong half first.
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Postby MTAR on Fri Jul 11, 2003 9:43 am

their drumset sounds like cardboard and dead fish

hahaha...

Yeah, that's a big suck. The worst is the drummer comes in with cracked crash cymbals, and they complain that they are too "harsh" and there isn't enough sustain. Being in a college town, I find myself in shitty-band-gear central. You know, the 8th year undergrad with the same drum heads on his kit that came on it when he got it as a christmas present in 10th grade.

In those situations where the kit really sounds terrible, I just try to exploit that sound. On a recent project I just put a TC30K on the floor about 2 feet from the front of the bass drum, and a mono overhead (AT 4047) behind the drummer's head.. Then I compressed the hell out of the floor mic, with aggressive attack (slow) and release (fast) settings. This sounded much better (for the tune) than trying to mic the kit naturally. While this might sound good for a particular track however, it can get annoying for an entire record.

I personally hate it when the drummer comes in with a piece of cardboard and a dead fish and wants it to sound like a drum kit.

[/code]
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drummers

Postby andteater on Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:38 am

greg,

you are not alone.

the problem is that alot of drummers dont know how to tune their drums and in some cases, there are some who "took lessons" who think that they know what they're doing when they really dont...those are the worst cuz they are so stubborn, nothing is worse than a poorly tuned kick drum....i never understand it cuz i play drums and when you sit down to play at a really well tuned set, it really inspires you ---

the only thing that matches the feeling is when you play a show and whomever sets it up asks you to play the "house set" or the set of the band before you/after you and that set always sounds like shit...

i actually remember benj kanters (i assume he was at columbia when you were there) having a long speach about crappy drummers wanting their kit to sound like john bonham. hehe.

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shitty drummers

Postby benadrian on Fri Jul 11, 2003 11:51 am

well, being a drummer, I tend to take charge and do my best to get it to sound plausable. Most bands I've recorded have known that I'm a drummer, so they give me reign to tweak.

I know a lot of drummers who never learned anything about music. If you're going to play guitar or bass you still (uaually) need to learn about harmonic relationships, etc. Most rock drummers with no traditional musical background see the drum kit as something that they hit and goes whap and thud, not something that resonates and has harmonic qualities.

Then again, I could go on about rock/punk/indie guitarists that don't understand rhythm or syncopation at all. that drives me up the wall. Actually, it makes me want to get out staff paper and start explaining half notes, quarter notes, syncopation and rests.

anally yours,
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bad drummers and bad drums

Postby stewie on Fri Jul 11, 2003 12:15 pm

I agree wholeheartedly. As a drummer, I spend a lot of time getting the things tuned and experimenting - in fact I really do enjoy spending hours playing with different tunings. It *galls* me to hear a fairly decent brand of kit sound like unforced farts from the arse of an unwell senior citizen.

I think I can count on one hand the number of drummers I've met that knew something about the relationship between the head and the shell, and the fact that harmony between them can be achieved with patience, a quiet room, and some technique.

Actually, it's quite funny to watch the face of idiot drummers when you get their drums even slightly in tune for them. "Maaan....what did you do? It sounds awwwesome!". At which point they pound the living crap out of them and we're all listening to pensioner flatulence again.

My other favourite is hearing Lars-wannabees ask how to get a big boomy sound from their shitty 3-ply 10-inch tom with a much cratered head.
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Re: drummers

Postby hurricaneE on Fri Jul 11, 2003 3:55 pm

andteater wrote:greg,

you are not alone.

the problem is that alot of drummers dont know how to tune their drums and in some cases, there are some who "took lessons" who think that they know what they're doing when they really dont...those are the worst cuz they are so stubborn, nothing is worse than a poorly tuned kick drum....


Why does this happen ... in my band?!! That's rhetorical. -E
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Postby lee on Sat Jul 12, 2003 9:54 am

Hi- i am a guitar player but have been learning to play drums for the last month or so. I am playing a friend's kit and it sounds OK to me but when I ask drummers about how to tune the kit it seems like some kind of arcane science. I found the link below for snare tuning info and will continue to search for more tuning info.
If any of you have any simple tuning tips you could share with us would-be drummers it would be much appreciated.
As for the Bonham thing, I was just discussing this with an engineer the other day and he pointed out that "the thing about the Zep drum sounds that people most often overlook is the man behind the kit". Nobody else will ever really sound like John Bonham or James Jamerson or Tom Verlaine or fill-in-the blank and that is one of the coolest things about music. This will be totally obvious to most of you, but it seems like a fundamental thing that escapes a lot of musicians. What do y'all think about it when people come into the studio and say "I want a (name of famous player) sound" ? Is that kind of description useful at all or is it just irritating when you know for a fact that the guy will NEVER sound like player X?



http://www.ludwig-drums.com/education/care_snare.html
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Postby cgarges on Sat Jul 12, 2003 3:25 pm

Any time I go in to play drums in the studio, I always tell the engineer that I want the recording to sound like me. I have ALOT of money invested in good kits and their upkeep, and even more TIME invested in learning to tune and care for each kit (each of whiich requires different approaches to maintenence). Taking time to experiment and learn how to tune and care for drums is more important than any one thing you can read. Use that stuff as a set of general guidelines for experimentation, but don't expect any magic answers. If you've never felt the difference in the feel of tension rods on a 60s Rogers drum versus a new out-of-the-box Noble and Cooley, you may be in for a shock.

As an engineer, I never understand the guy that comes in wanting something TOTALLY DIFFERENT from what he's giving me.

Along another set of lines, it amazes me how few engineers actually come out and listen to me play my kit in the room. In fact, it's rare that I see engineers walk out and take the time to listen to a guitar amp or upright bass or even a vocalist (or group of vocalists).

Sorry about the gripes.

Greg, I feel your pain.

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happy day

Postby benadrian on Mon Jul 14, 2003 1:32 am

So, as an about face to what we've been talking about, I recorded this pop-punk kind of band this weekend and the drummer had a very nice, well tuned kit and put on at least a fresh snare head for recording.

It came out great, and reminded me that not every drummer needs hand holding by the drummer/engineer.

That's all.

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Postby adc on Mon Jul 14, 2003 8:04 am

lee wrote:Hi- i am a guitar player but have been learning to play drums for the last month or so. I am playing a friend's kit and it sounds OK to me but when I ask drummers about how to tune the kit it seems like some kind of arcane science. I found the link below for snare tuning info and will continue to search for more tuning info.
If any of you have any simple tuning tips you could share with us would-be drummers it would be much appreciated.
As for the Bonham thing, I was just discussing this with an engineer the other day and he pointed out that "the thing about the Zep drum sounds that people most often overlook is the man behind the kit". Nobody else will ever really sound like John Bonham or James Jamerson or Tom Verlaine or fill-in-the blank and that is one of the coolest things about music. This will be totally obvious to most of you, but it seems like a fundamental thing that escapes a lot of musicians. What do y'all think about it when people come into the studio and say "I want a (name of famous player) sound" ? Is that kind of description useful at all or is it just irritating when you know for a fact that the guy will NEVER sound like player X?



http://www.ludwig-drums.com/education/care_snare.html



come on you wingers, answer this fellas question!! i'd be interested to hear it too, since although i would say i can tune a kit the way i like it, i'll bet i learn something.

come on guys dont be shy.
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it's beyond me

Postby nick92675 on Mon Jul 14, 2003 11:08 am

one thing greg told me a while ago that resonanted (god, pun not intended) with me was something along the lines of... if you want to sound like the drums on the green day record, all we need to do is get the exact same drumset in the same room it was in, and then get the guy who played them - and then maybe we'll be on the right track.. and while it was a total joking thing, it kinda reminded me of the fact that rather than sounding LIKE bonham, mcneilly, trainer, etc. your drums should sound like you playing your drums. i was always amazed how mcneilly's snare sounded the same when you'd see them in a bar as it did on the record. and every time i'd try and tune my snare to sound like _______ - it'd never work. so, i just got comfortable with the fact that i sound like i sound, and my kit sounds like my kit sounds. and i get it the best that it can sound (new heads/tuned) when recording, and focus on the songs and playing rather than, hey greg - make me sound like _______.

when recording people, i usually send them this link:

http://www.drumweb.com/profsound.shtml

it's the most detailed explanation of how this stuff work's that i've ever read. i've also made it a point to bring it up before the band comes in, and talk to the drummer and say, "are you planning on changing your heads the night before and tuning them up so they seat themselves?" and stress that if thier drums sound like shit in the room, i can't do much to help them. also make this clear to the rest of the band, or thier leader to say, hey - as the dude responsible for making your record, i think you need to have your drums tuned/heads changed ahead of time. if that's not done, that's a choice you're going to make right now, and when it comes to mix and you're not stoked on the drum sounds, i've gone on the record saying they're not going to be as good as they can and should be. that way it's the band's decision,, and you've presented the pros and cons of it. tell them, look - ok, you're saving what, 60 bucks by not changing the basics (tom/snare top heads) - to have a record that sounds like shit for the rest of your life.

after that speach to the last band i recorded, the main guy totally bitched out the drummer for not taking pride in his craft and said if he was serious about the band, he'd better show up with new heads. the guy ended up getting up at 7am to change and tune his heads before coming in. nothing like instilling the fear in them. and if you can use the internal band dynamic to your advantage - that's all the better.
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Re: it's beyond me

Postby adc on Tue Jul 15, 2003 6:59 am




that site offers a very comprehensive answer to the gent above who asked how he should learn more. thats great. i'm taking a copy home to study.
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Postby lee on Tue Jul 15, 2003 12:51 pm

Thanks!
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Postby spoot on Fri Jul 18, 2003 11:11 am

As a drummer and owner of a fucked-up but remarkable sounding drum kit, let me say that there are times when a fucked-up drumkit has a sound that is worth trying to capture. It's likely that, say, changing the 30-yr-old heads on a 60-yr-old drum kit will significantly alter the sound of the kit - possibly in a good way, possibly in a "it-sounds-'better'-but-the-magic-is-gone" way.

Changing drum heads is a perfectly sensible request, of course, and is a good idea 92-99% of the time. But there are cases where a kit should be listened to before the change-your-heads mandate is instituted.
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Re: drummers

Postby electrons on Fri Aug 15, 2003 3:05 am

andteater wrote:greg,

you are not alone.



Seriously. So stop talking out loud so loud loud.
Ryan Kevin Rezvani (:u)~

japmn wrote:...I am aware of my balls and what they are up to at all times...
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Postby Jeff on Fri Aug 15, 2003 6:34 pm

As the guy who plays the drums in our band, I'm always happy to get a little extra hand-holding from the engineers. Then again, everything I know about tuning drums came from the back of an Evans drum head package, so I'll take all the help I can get.
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