Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?
My original question poses no bias, however, my personal opinion is that not muffling drums is better. I know I might get some guff for this, but a couple of things happen when you muffle a drum. One thing is you lose a little bit of volume. I know if I play someone else's kit that's muffled up, they sound like crap to me and I really have to dig the sound out of the drums. They just lose the fullness and power that I'm used to and I hate it. Also, as I said in my earlier post, some of the desirable sonic qualities are eliminated, which, to me, translates into not getting as good of a drum sound as the drums are capable of...in any room. Now that I have been playing my snare and toms without muffling for a good 25 years, live and in the studio in many different situations, I could never go back to even the slightest bit of muffling. I don't think its that I've gottten used to that kind of a sound as much as that's how I think the drums should sound and anything less wouldn't be acceptable.
Yes, I know it's personal preference, but I think that a younger drummer would benefit from analyzing why most experienced drummers don't muffle. I don't know anyone who started out with a big, full sounding open kit and then over the years, muffled their kit up into sounding like the boxes they came in. It's the other way around and I think it mainly has to do with more experienced players knowing what a good sound is and how to get it.
Have a good time....all the time. - Viv Savage