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Old 09-03-2008, 07:42 PM
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Vipercussionist Vipercussionist is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Rhode Island (USA)
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Default Re: holes in the kick drum....

Originally Posted by nate View Post

just a quick question for you all - I have a Tama Rockstar - 4 pce. Pretty basic, but it suits my playing (basic). I've had it about 7 months - I still have the heads it came with on, which I am going to change to EC2's in the next month or so. I have my kick drum tuned as low as possible - I like a big sound - and have no hole in the resonant head. And to my ears it sounds good, y’know big.

I played a gig last night (1st one in ages - went really well, loads of fun). As I was setting up and chatting to the sound guy he said that I should cut a small hole in the front skin for micing. He seemed to think that mics have got a lot better over the last few years and a hole is the way to go.

Thing is I really love a big kick – it drives the song – and to my ears my kick sounded real good last night – and drummers I love from back in the day didn’t have hole in their kick drums…

So what do ya think – hole or not? And why?
I find there's no substitute for what YOU need on stage, if that means NO HOLE, then that's the way it is. You are the musician, and it's about YOU, not the soundman.

I've had soundmen come at my drumheads with razor knives thinking they're just gonna make an incision into a 50+ dollar 26 inch drum head, one guy was about to do it without even ASKING!!!!! I don't THINK so!!

I've played PLENTY of gigs to know that it IS possible to get a cool sound with the heads intact, but it depends on the skillz of the technician, most of which are CLUELESS as to even know how to ATTEMPT it.

OK, that being said you must be diplomatic in your approach to Mr. Clueless as he can make your night miserable.

I would then SUGGEST to him that he "Just try it" as you're SURE a technician of his skill level can make it work. Usually this "brown nosing" technique will get you through the evening without too much hassle..

If he is STILL resistant because he "Knows what the F@rque he's doing" you might suggest a second mic on the batter head to appease his high end deafness from standing too close to high output speakers for most of his life.

This attitude I know you must detect is not from the usual frustration that a drummer might have towards a soundman. It comes from a "been there done that" point of view that many drummers simply have not had.

I was a soundman for about 5 years for a cover band in the early 80's when equipment and outboard gear was no where NEAR as good as it is now, and I managed to figure out how to get things to work, so I don't have much sympathy for guys who can only figure out one way to skin the cat with a myriad of tools like gates and such to help them.

My point of view is NEVER compromise your sound. Did they ask Buddy Rich to put a hole in the kick drum's head? How about Bonham? Would those guys have been who they were without their drumtone? No, it's who they were and who YOU are.

Now that you've gotten through the night, you will of course need a PERMANENT solution to your dilemma which unfortunately WILL rear it's ugly head again.

Two words for you to click: Randall May.

Check these systems out, and if you cannot afford one right from the source take a stab at making a version of your own, I did and it's worked out fabulously. I have NEVER had a soundman complain EVER about my kick drum with an internal mic, EVER. Problem solved, forever.

^^ MAN, I really can go on, 'EH??
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