Originally Posted by Synthetik
Your points were TOTALLY lost (99% eh?) when Bermuda chimed in. You should admit you were gravely wrong in most ways and move on.
Oh, quit being so tiresome. This is a discussion, not some kind of measuring chart for your manhood. Put it away...
The point itself is well-made, and Bermuda has covered it nicely. There are many aspects of drum sound control that affect different points in the room. The first time I heard a Yamaha MCA (just after they came out) I heard it with factory heads from maybe 10-15m away, played by Ralph Salmins. It sounded *phenomenal*. Then I played it, later in the day. From behind the kit it just sounded absolutely nasty. A few days later (this was a school kit) I got to go through the same process (watch from in front, then play) after the heads had been switched out to Evans G2s. The sound had reversed - the sound that I was hearing from the back of the room with the stock single-ply heads was now happening behind the kit, but from out front the drums had no tone and sounded bangy and frankly rather naff.
So if you're recording in a high-quality room and have plenty of time to play with room mic positioning and phase then you're likely to be able to do a lot more with a wide-open sound, taking much of your recorded sound from further back in the room. But if you're recording in a cheap project studio and have to live with the close-mic sound then you may well be much better off muffing a bit to boost the tone of the drum in relation to the overtones.
I think the initial statement could be turned around to refine its accuracy a bit, though:
"The less muffling you see on a kit the more likely it is to be being played by an experienced drummer"
That doesn't mean that a muffled kit disqualifies anybody from the "Experienced drummer" class, it just means that the majority of people you see playing wide-open kits are people who have had some time to learn to play and tune them so they don't sound bad.