Why do drummers care what their drums sound like?

keep it simple

Platinum Member
they can do wonders with a PA with crappy tuned drums.
Well, some can, many can't - depends on gig status to some degree. Although it's easy to add definition, reduce overtone prominence, & add weight (i.e make it "impressive"), adding rich defining tone & enhancing dynamic / expressive capacity isn't an option. For any sound engineer, having a great sounding source not only pretty much guarantees a better result, it also saves time.

There's just a wall of ignorance....generally speaking...when it comes to drums.

I'm convinced a certain percentage of other musicians think drumming is a brainless activity, and the tones of the instrument don't matter at all. That attitude is rooted in the attitude of drummers as laughingstocks, JMO.
TBH, I think an appreciable minority of drummers are also responsible for these attitudes. Many "sound engineers" are jaded when it comes to drums, partially because some drummers turn up at a gig with a s&^t sounding kit. This promotes the attitude that we don't (collectively) care about our own sound, hence the easy option of a back line kit is deployed without a second thought, or the default "tape it up & apply compression + smiley face EQ" is applied.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Well, some can, many can't - depends on gig status to some degree. Although it's easy to add definition, reduce overtone prominence, & add weight (i.e make it "impressive"), adding rich defining tone & enhancing dynamic / expressive capacity isn't an option. For any sound engineer, having a great sounding source not only pretty much guarantees a better result, it also saves time.
This was the early 80's too, and my tastes weren't what they are today. If I heard that same show with 2015 ears....that would be cool but impossible.

I just remember being very impressed then, it was a big room and a big PA.

It was called The Satellite and was situated way back in the farmlands of Burlington County NJ if anyone remembers.
 

New Tricks

Platinum Member
I just realized that I have never disliked a drum sound on a record/CD.

Live local music? I don't really notice the tones. Flat as hell or tuned up tight, as long as they are balanced in the mix they hit em at the right times, they sound good to me.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
There are plenty of things on a recording that the average listener does not notice that make differences to the overall presentation of the song...drum tuning is one of them.
 

tcspears

Gold Member
I don't know about this; I get comments all the time from other musicians that they love the tone of my drums. People notice your tone, even if they dont necessarilty know how ot describe it.

I don't think drum tone is the same as tuning for a guitar, it's more like the tone. The tone of any instrument needs to fit the music. This is why you can't use a heavy metal kit for jazz, or a jazz kit for rock, the tone won't fit the style, for the same reason a jazz guitar player doesn't use a Marshall Stack and a distortion pedal... even if it is in-tune, the tone of the instrument won't make sense with the music being played.
 

GrimmReefer

Senior Member
I find it very enjoyable to sit behind my kit and have it sound good. Granted it sounds good to my preference and my preference alone.

Luckily the sound I like gets a lot of compliments from sound guys but probably only a handful of audience members throughout my gigging career.

I do want to point out that on many occasions I have jumped on others peoples kits that sound like crap. Some of the fun in that case is playing with the sounds I'm forced to work with and make it sound good.
 

Bigdumbdrums

Senior Member
Depends on your band mates. My bassist noticed I was using my Tama Bubinga snare instead of my Tama Starphonic chrome over brass. He told me how good the Bubinga sounded in the particular venue we played.

I've had several band members and sound men notice and compliment my kick drum sound over the years.

I care about how the drums sound because it effects how I play and my enoyment playing. I'm quite anal about having a great stage sound unmic'd pre EQ.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Nobody, even other musicians, cares if the drums are out of tune so why do we bother?
Out of tune may not be a big deal to most listeners, but the overall sound probably is important to them, even if it's not something they have ever stopped to think about.

All my years playing guitar, a drummer's sound was just as important to me as my guitar sound.
Same goes for listening to another band. For example I'm an Yngwie Malmsteen fan but never could stand to listen to the awful drum sound on his albums.

I also play much, much better on a great sounding kit than on a kit that sounds bad to me. Like trying to have sex with someone you find hideous.
 
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caddywumpus

Platinum Member
When my drums and cymbals sound how I want them to sound, I can coax the sounds out of them that I want to, and express, musically, what I want to say. That's all there is to it, for me at least...
 
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