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  #1  
Old 11-06-2012, 08:41 AM
TipsusMagnus TipsusMagnus is offline
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Default Drum heads for recording

Yes, I know this is kind of a cliche. I've been a drummer for some years now, but I don't have a lot of recording experience. For the most part, I've stuck with Coated Ambassadors on the snare drum and Pinstripes on the toms. My band recently did a demo though, and it was a rock tune. I'm happy with the Ambassadors on my snare, and the Pinstripes were okay, except the engineer said it was a little mellow in the mix. He had to fix them up a little bit so they could cut. I'm thinking of investing in different heads for recordings, ones that will still give my toms depth but will also allow them to cut better.

I'm thinking Emperors or Vintage Emperors. I'm not too familiar with the products of other brands. What do you guys think?
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:50 AM
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

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Originally Posted by TipsusMagnus View Post
Yes, I know this is kind of a cliche. I've been a drummer for some years now, but I don't have a lot of recording experience. For the most part, I've stuck with Coated Ambassadors on the snare drum and Pinstripes on the toms. My band recently did a demo though, and it was a rock tune. I'm happy with the Ambassadors on my snare, and the Pinstripes were okay, except the engineer said it was a little mellow in the mix. He had to fix them up a little bit so they could cut. I'm thinking of investing in different heads for recordings, ones that will still give my toms depth but will also allow them to cut better.

I'm thinking Emperors or Vintage Emperors. I'm not too familiar with the products of other brands. What do you guys think?
Both Emperors and Vintage Emperors should work great. Pinstripes are really designed more with a live-situation in mind. You could try Ambassadors on your toms too, but if you're playing rock tunes you might prefer the Emperors since they're a little darker and give you more attack (plus they are more durable than the Ambassadors). Good luck!
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:09 AM
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AirborneSFC AirborneSFC is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

For the Evans side of the house you might like G2's in clear or coated (clear for more attack but I like coated for recording) or G plus for smaller toms and G14 for floor/larger toms.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:43 PM
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JesusMySavior JesusMySavior is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

I have more experience recording than playing out. The one thing I can say is that when you're recording, the mic picks up certain attributes of the head's character (that you are not used to) and what you hear is either going to be pleasing or not pleasing.

For toms, clear heads to me sound more articulate, watery, and cut through better. Coated heads have the tendency to sound boingy, boxy, or dead (may be a good thing depending on your goal). The warmth you hear behind the kit may not be the 'warmth' the mic picks up. Instead you might have a boxy sound. A lot to sacrifice for a small bit of "warmth". For this reason I almost always use clear heads when recording.

On the snare I've used coated heads 90% of the time. I've been expirimenting with a clear head (with power dot) on my steel snare and it sounds surprisingly sharp and quick. The worst results I've gotten on a snare due to head choice was with the Remo Powerstroke III. Never going back there. Just flat and dead. The most crack I've gotten was with the Evans HD Genera Dry; the most snap was with the Evans Reverse Power Dot, and the most overall tone has been with the Remo Vintage A. These have all been on a Yamaha Musashi Oak snare.

Expiriment but I would definitely start with clear heads on the toms, whichever they might be. If you want openness, go with a 1 ply, if you want attack, go with 2 ply. I recommend Aquarian's Response 2's. Vintage Emps are also nice but I have not recorded with them so I can not say.
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:52 PM
Cleforo Cleforo is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

Hmm most studio engineers I've worked are very strict with using only single ply heads in the studio for just about all types of music. Obviously tuning is what contributes the most regardless of what heads you use!
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:34 AM
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

I use Aquarian:

Studio-X coated w/dot on toms (Classic Clear on bottoms)
Impact II on bass (Regulator on front, no hole)

Studio-X Coated w/dot or Hi-Energy on snares

I only record, never play live. I'm too lazy and refuse to move my drums.
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  #7  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

You mean all that high end recording gear and your toms sound "meh"? Man, I've seen engineers do wonders with mismatched drums with mid matched heads and none of them ever said a drum wasn't cutting it. Really?

But if I were to recommend anything, it'd be the black dot heads.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:36 PM
TipsusMagnus TipsusMagnus is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

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Originally Posted by Bo Eder View Post
You mean all that high end recording gear and your toms sound "meh"? Man, I've seen engineers do wonders with mismatched drums with mid matched heads and none of them ever said a drum wasn't cutting it. Really?

But if I were to recommend anything, it'd be the black dot heads.
Oh, he did wonders all right. It sounds great now. I meant, when we did a practice run of the song we were going to record, he said the toms sounded a little mellow. Before I could say anything, he told me, "Don't worry, I got it." So I didn't do anything. I couldn't shake what he said though.
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Old 11-07-2012, 06:42 PM
TipsusMagnus TipsusMagnus is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

How do Aquarians compare to Remo and Evans in general? While I haven't used Evans heads before, I've heard drummers who do. The only ones I have no experience whatsoever with are Aquarians.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:15 PM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

I'm more inclined to think that it is tuning and micing techniques, rather than head choice. The same drumset can sound a zillion different ways. Tuned low, muffled and close miced will yield an opposite tone of an unmuffled, higher tuned drum, that is not close miced.

I prefer a higher tuned set of toms not close miced, so the overtones contribute, but that means nothing to you. Your engineer hopefully is capable of getting more than 1 drum tone. Some engineers make all the drum tracks from all the different bands they record sound the same, according to what the engineer is used to doing, as opposed to what works for the music and/or what the drummers idea of their preferred drum tone is.

I think the drummer should know exactly what drum tone for what song should be rendered on recordings, so he can convey that to the engineer. In my mind, letting the engineer decide the drum tone....well I guess it depends on the engineer., but I think that is a musician decision. Like you should know if you want them open and singing or flappy and dead/wet, instead of blindly accepting what the engineer wants....unless you really like what he wants. But a lot of engineers deal with drums as a one size fits all situation. No thanks. Give me a guy who can tailor a drum sound to the song and the band.

It's like going into a restaurant wanting lasagna but all they can do is hot dogs and beans. You either accept that or go somewhere else.
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  #11  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:19 PM
TipsusMagnus TipsusMagnus is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSFC View Post
For the Evans side of the house you might like G2's in clear or coated (clear for more attack but I like coated for recording) or G plus for smaller toms and G14 for floor/larger toms.
Might try the G14's. I've heard a lot of good things about them.
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  #12  
Old 11-07-2012, 07:31 PM
TipsusMagnus TipsusMagnus is offline
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm more inclined to think that it is tuning and micing techniques, rather than head choice. The same drumset can sound a zillion different ways. Tuned low, muffled and close miced will yield an opposite tone of an unmuffled, higher tuned drum, that is not close miced.

I prefer a higher tuned set of toms not close miced, so the overtones contribute, but that means nothing to you. Your engineer hopefully is capable of getting more than 1 drum tone. Some engineers make all the drum tracks from all the different bands they record sound the same, according to what the engineer is used to doing, as opposed to what works for the music and/or what the drummers idea of their preferred drum tone is.

I think the drummer should know exactly what drum tone for what song should be rendered on recordings, so he can convey that to the engineer. In my mind, letting the engineer decide the drum tone....well I guess it depends on the engineer., but I think that is a musician decision. Like you should know if you want them open and singing or flappy and dead/wet, instead of blindly accepting what the engineer wants....unless you really like what he wants. But a lot of engineers deal with drums as a one size fits all situation. No thanks. Give me a guy who can tailor a drum sound to the song and the band.

It's like going into a restaurant wanting lasagna but all they can do is hot dogs and beans. You either accept that or go somewhere else.
This is good advice. I wouldn't blame the engineer, though; I'm the newbie. He actually talked to the band before we played a practice run to get an idea what kind of music we wanted to do. To my ears, he made me sound better than I thought I would, so yay!
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:57 PM
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Default Re: Drum heads for recording

I would be interested in hearing samples of the recordings with whatever heads you decide on.
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