Originally Posted by cdrums21
I didn't say every recording is done with wide open toms and snares, I'm saying that alot of them are that I know of and alot of pro drummers play their kits live wide open. If you read my post carefully, that's what the 99% comment pertains to, live work, not studio, and 99% just meant alot..I didn't mean for it to be taken literally.
True, I only skimmed over the thread, saw 99% mentioned a few times, and then addressed the original statement: "It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less."
With respect strictly to that, I'd say instead that the more experienced one becomes, the more they understand when and how
to muffle, rather than abandoning it over time. I've done many things to muffle my drums, the most counter-productive (and often unspeakable) methods of which occurred while I was younger and inexperienced.
One thing I will add is that in an acoustic situation - no mics - I am more likely to leave toms wide open, use only a little padding on the snare (maybe just a light touch of the internal muffler if present) and may use little or no extra padding in my kick (although the Evans EMAD tames a wide open head just right.) But as I mentioned in an earlier post, the sound the drummer (and audience) hears from a distance is devoid of the unwanted overtones that a mic hears and which muffling corrects. That is, the problem that muffling is normally intended to correct, isn't an issue in every situation.
But, apart from just controlling overtones, muffling the edge of a head also enhances the fundamental note of the drum's tuning. However, only a mic interprets the effect well. In an acoustic situation, and even though the drum may sound rich and punchy when sitting right above it, the effect diminishes over distance and the audience, even just 20 feet away, will hear it as overly-dead.
So yeah, there's a simple basic answer to the question of muffling: do what's right for the situation. But there are so many facets and variables to the concept of what's 'right' in a given situation.