Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?
What gets me is that if you tighten your heads to where they sound great out front 15 feet, but not maybe what you're thinking from the driver's seat, you're tuning for 15 feet away. If you ignore 15 feet away and tune from the driver's seat, then you get that tuning. I know, obvious stuff ...
But, if you put your ear right down on the head where a mic would be placed, you get yet another sound to tune to. I tend to think that tuning for optimum driver's seat sound will be closer to where you want when a mic's on it.
I tune for the driver's seat for rehearsal and recording (adjusting as necessary) but crank 'em up a bit higher for live shows with no micing where I'm mostly concerned about how well they throw and resolve 15 feet away. To be honest, I'm not terribly scientific about it - I get to a club, and just crank the rack and first floor up a bit, leaving the 2nd floor, kick and snare as they were. Funny that first practice after a show, I'm like, "What the hell? ... oh, yeah..." and bring them back down a bit.
You can leave them cranked up for the 15 feet away sound all the time and get used to that. Stewart Copeland always did that. His drums always sounded really tight on their own, but when mixed in with the band they sounded great even mic'd. If you can get used to that much tension and higher pitch and make that work for you, then just leave 'em there.
Last edited by MikeM; 04-08-2013 at 10:20 PM.