Originally Posted by abapicaltaenia
Definitely, Bo. Kits that breathe, in my experience, sound better to the audience than most others. Even a tiny bit of duct tape on my floor tom head decreases the volume so drastically that I wouldn't dare bring it to a gig without properly tuning it beforehand. I can't imagine what the volume difference is like between, say, an Aquarian Force I and a Super-Kick 10.
It works for practically all performance situations- at PASIC this year, the Santa Clara Vanguard battery director (forget his name right now) was talking about this same concept on marching snares. If you crank the heads to the point of 'dead'ness from the player view, that's all there is the sound and it gets 'eaten away' if you will by the air on the way to the audience. However, with a ring & resonance to that sound, it has sort of a fatty shell for the air to eat through that leaves the core sound intact & louder to the audience. Man, I'm hungry now.
Regarding the drum corps reference, they're kinda the purveyors of what they don't like. In their quest for cleanliness from say, twelve snare drummers, the drums would not sound as clean if you went back to drums they used back in the 70s and early 80s, which to me, sounded more like snare drums. And not the over-tightened tabletops they are today. I was at DCI show this past summer and I was surprised that the modern bass drum section sound sounds like bass drums with pillows in them. I didn't get that. I really liked it when tonal bass drums were new and they rang a bit so you could actually hear the tone. But then again, they want clean, so that's the only way to get it.