Has drum design really progressed?

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Overall: No.

Drums are still a round piece of wood with a layer of plastic stretched over it.

Shell designs come and go, but people still love vintage drums, and we often see drums trying to mimic vintage styles.

Hardware and mounts have improve dramatically, but shells, eh.. But I agree with Bo, consistency is much, much better. Even as recently as the early 90's certain companies struggled with quality control. But that's all in the past now.

As for undersized shells, yes, my Premier Signia has them. I love them, I love the sound. But overall, do they sound better than my DW? Not dramatically. I wouldn't say either kit sounds better than the other. A bit different perhaps, but it's subtle.
 
You bet it has.. Hardware for sure.. And I noticed, the middle money kits arounf 800,, for a 5 pc shell pack,,, let say,,, sound better then ever. Just be sure to put good heads on them..
Drums in this price range mostly have crappy factory heads.. Not sure about that. You would think they would do there best to have them smoking right out of the box..

But they dont??????
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
You bet it has.. Hardware for sure.. And I noticed, the middle money kits arounf 800,, for a 5 pc shell pack,,, let say,,, sound better then ever. Just be sure to put good heads on them..
Drums in this price range mostly have crappy factory heads.. Not sure about that. You would think they would do there best to have them smoking right out of the box..

But they dont??????
How do you think they keep the price down :) Can't have both.
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Two things I think are grossly amiss:

1. Shallow bass drums. I don't need a 20" deep phallic projection of a bass drum! Both my kits have a 14" deep bass drum (one's an 18" the other's a 20"), and they work perfectly! Plus so much easier to carry around and store. My cupboard door just about fits them in. There'd be no way I'd get a 24"x20" drum in there. Plus shallow bass drums look much better, cf Rich's and Gadd's kit.

2. Internal dampeners. So useful! Why don't all snares have them? The dampening adjustment gives you more range than moon gel, or o-rings and is so much easier than masking tape! And best of all it leaves the snare head completely clear from brush playing.

I also hate double-braced, 10 ton stands... so useless. But that's already been mentioned.
OUCH on point number 1. :(
 

Ethan01

Senior Member
A few things:

First, fundamentally drums have changed little over time. You can say the same about any instrument. And it's not because we are "aiming to sound vintage", look at Gibson Les Paul's and SG's which have barely changed in 50 years as well. Or as others have mentioned, violins, pianos, etc. A drum still is a cylindrical shape with a stretched membrane over its ends. That won't change, ever, otherwise it would cease to be a drum.

So what has improved over the ages? Well like the Les Paul which got upgraded and more stable electronics, drum hardware and construction improved, along with now a huge variety of heads and muffling. Coated mylar heads was all that was available after calfskin heads. Then clear, then ebony, and all the while getting pre-muffled heads. All these things I believe were sold at great quantities because people wanted a more focused punchy drum sound.
 
Sticks.. Sure you can have both.. You think the big drum companys pay what we do for a head. If I were say Evens or Remo i w ould give the drum companies the heads at cost. Or even free just to get my name on that drum.

In fact Evens now puts all the heads on Gretshes popular Catalina series.
 

Hercules

Senior Member
So apart from consistency, choice of materials, hardware, bearing edges, mounting systems, mylar heads, cost, variety of finishes and brands - what have the Romans done for us?
 
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plangentmusic

Guest
For what it's worth, the same exact thing has happened with guitars. The vintage ones are still the best but these days you can buy one on line, have it mailed to your house, and chances are it'll be fine. The consistency is better. And you can buy a pretty good budget instrument, whereas years ago, if you wanted quality, you had to pay a higher price. Production has simply improved. But a guitar is still pieces of wood and electronics and a drum is still a cylinder with a head.
 
Maybe I can tune better.. See Bob Gatzin,,,,,, Maybe they just got better drums... I dont know. I do know. I dont need a roll of duckt tape. Anymore.. Miked close,or wide open live. With the right heads and tuning. The old days are over.
 

Deathmetalconga

Platinum Member
Two things I think are grossly amiss:

1. Shallow bass drums. I don't need a 20" deep phallic projection of a bass drum! Both my kits have a 14" deep bass drum (one's an 18" the other's a 20"), and they work perfectly! Plus so much easier to carry around and store. My cupboard door just about fits them in. There'd be no way I'd get a 24"x20" drum in there. Plus shallow bass drums look much better, cf Rich's and Gadd's kit.

2. Internal dampeners. So useful! Why don't all snares have them? The dampening adjustment gives you more range than moon gel, or o-rings and is so much easier than masking tape! And best of all it leaves the snare head completely clear from brush playing.

I also hate double-braced, 10 ton stands... so useless. But that's already been mentioned.
By having a shallow drum, you're counter-compensating for a small penis: "I absolutely am terrified someone might think I'm compensating, so I will play a wimpy shallow bass drum so no one could ever assume that."
 
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sticks4drums

Guest
Well I am of average size and have a 22 x 20 :) What does this mean.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
By having a shallow drum, you're counter-compensating for a small penis: "I absolutely am terrified someone might think I'm compensating, so I will play a wimpy shallow bass drum so no one could ever assume that."
Yeah, well I think you're un-counter-compensating with those LONG drums of yours! :D
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
at what point are we fighting against ourselves when we don't just accept that in many modern performing environments, that studio quality sound is expected?
Most unfortunately, I have to agree with that, but I do enjoy a good fight, & as I'm not reliant on drumming for a living, I can afford to lose.

I think this snare answers the question.

I don't care how good or bad it sounds, IT'S FREAKIN EPIC.
Yes, & it's exactly that kind of innovation that drives real advancements. I've developed many products (non drum related), & some of them are commercially very successful. I've always worked on the basis that risk & benefit are inextricably linked. Superb!

By having a shallow drum, you're counter-compensating for a small penis: "I absolutely am terrified someone might think I'm compensating, so I will play a wimpy shallow bass drum so no one could ever assume that."
Hahaha, ok, when I started this thread, I didn't think we'd get to this, lol! I'm a fan of deeper drums in certain situations, but not for reasons of subliminal middle leg justification. It's true that there's a fashion element to deeper kick drums, & most who buy them driven by that, end up with a crap sounding drum. I've used deeper drums (& shallow ones too) for many years, but I do so for sonic reasons, & I know how to get the best out of them.
 

druid

Silver Member
I'm not so bothered because I tune for sound, not for the evenness of the lugs, though the two are often related. But they aren't always. Ninety-nine percent of the time I start from even lugs and then I work from there. I picked up the trick of detuning one lug to flatten out the sound of a drum many years ago. It works nicely on bigger, slacker drums like floor toms especially. I went up on stage after a Vinnie C. clinic in Toronto and noticed that his floor tom heads were wrinkled all in one spot. I asked if it was because they had detuned during the performance and he said, "No, I do that to get a certain sound. It's a trick I picked up from...."
I have heard before Vinnie tunes his drums in ways that often up close might not sound that great but both the tuning abviously the man playing them gives it the great sound he produces. Did you get to tap around on them at all? Just curious to see if you learned anything new when talking to him.

I pretty much favor even tuning all around the drum but also experiment sometimes depending on the drum size or what I am going for. Tuning floor toms for example wiht the resonant head a little lower in pitch to get certain effects.
 

utdrummer

Senior Member
So apart from consistency, choice of materials, hardware, bearing edges, mounting systems, mylar heads, cost, variety of finishes and brands - what have the Romans done for us?
"I hate the Romans already." "Yeah right, how much?" "A lot." "Right, you're in." "Whatever happened to the Puppets Front?" "He's over there." "SPLITTER!"
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
Yes, & it's exactly that kind of innovation that drives real advancements. I've developed many products (non drum related), & some of them are commercially very successful. I've always worked on the basis that risk & benefit are inextricably linked.
I swear I'm gonna end up buying that...
 
Haha, yes, it does seem odd, but there's a multitude of reasons for "engineers" to go the muffle down then build the sound from the outboards route.

1/ A high proportion of drummers outside of the top performers turn up with kits that aren't tuned properly.

2/ A high proportion of "engineers" only know of one way to mic drums.

3/ Many "engineers" wouldn't know the difference between sustain of the fundamental tone and uncontrolled overtones if it hit them in the face.
+ a ton of other variations of drummer/engineer inexperience manifestations.

4/ (one of a few genuine reasons) The stage situation's too tight in overspill terms to position mic's such that the instrument has some chance to resolve the sound.

Even with the very best of drums out there, it takes some skill to hit the tuning/head selection sweetspot, & most engineers expect the worst, so go into default mode.
So true! so many times engineers muffle the hell out of drums just because they are lazy/dont have the skill to tune out nasty overtones or dont know how to mic a kit properly.
A good engineer can pull a warm fat and full drum sound out of 2 well placed mics, compared to the weekend warriors that throw 20 mics at you and still cant make the drums sound good.

As for drum making evolution. something has been lost over the years, the companies that try to make 'Vintage' sounding jazz kits are no where close to it.

And i think that a combination of better bearing edges. shell construction and wood choices has allowed sizes to come down without compromising on volume.
for example being able to make a 16x18 bass drum have a fatter warmer tone than what used to be only be produced by 24"
same for tom sizes.
 

BassDriver

Silver Member
And i think that a combination of better bearing edges. shell construction and wood choices has allowed sizes to come down without compromising on volume.
for example being able to make a 16x18 bass drum have a fatter warmer tone than what used to be only be produced by 24"
same for tom sizes.
Totally agree, there are small drums that are louder and singer more openly than freaking huge tom-toms that are monsters to put into a good position on you kit.
 
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