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Old 09-09-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

I'm in a cover band playing rock music from the 90s and early 2000s and we played our first gig last night. I have a beast of a kit that I found out the hard way was way, way too loud for the room (the room was all flat walls and hard floors). After some research I found that thinner, darker cymbals, lighter sticks, thicker coated drum heads and moongel even would be the way to go. So I ask ye seasoned giggers of drummerworld what your go-to cymbals/setup is for playing loud rock music... quieter.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:09 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by m00py View Post
I'm in a cover band playing rock music from the 90s and early 2000s and we played our first gig last night. I have a beast of a kit that I found out the hard way was way, way too loud for the room (the room was all flat walls and hard floors). After some research I found that thinner, darker cymbals, lighter sticks, thicker coated drum heads and moongel even would be the way to go. So I ask ye seasoned giggers of drummerworld what your go-to cymbals/setup is for playing loud rock music... quieter.
You can't really buy your way into effective volume control. It's 100% about your touch.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:36 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Everything you mentioned will help, but as Uncle Larry said most of the volume control is in your hands.
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Old 09-09-2017, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Playing with intensity at pianissimo is easily the most difficult task for a drummer.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:37 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Playing with intensity at pianissimo is easily the most difficult task for a drummer.
How am I supposed to play Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age at pianissimo?
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:45 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

I have trouble with this myself sometimes in smaller rooms because my band is on the heavy side. I find some of the heavier "rock" cymbals can be bright and overpowering. Darker cymbals tend to blend more. I used to use a Sabian HH 21'' ride, and I switched to a 20'' Byzance Dry Ride.

Using lighter sticks can help, but as mentioned, though, most of the volume control is in your hands. If you're a hard hitter, try especially to hit the cymbals lighter and concentrate on making the back beat and kick stand out. It's also listening to the rest of your band and mixing yourself within the parts of the songs (usually soft verses, open up more on choruses).

This is a good lesson on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8saXsMyHBQ

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How am I supposed to play Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age at pianissimo?
Dave Grohl is a very hard hitter, but he can make it work live. If he can do it, you certainly can too.
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Old 09-09-2017, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by m00py View Post
How am I supposed to play Soundgarden, Foo Fighters, and Queens of the Stone Age at pianissimo?
I assume that's an exaggeration, but if you're really trying to play rock at p, you're in the wrong band, playing the wrong gigs.

There are several threads about lowering volume while keeping an assertive vibe. The drummer's technique is crucial, but cymbal size/weight and drum tuning make a large difference in successfully pulling off good sounds at a lower volume.

This is one reason that working drummers (and drummers who want to work) have multiple kits and cymbals, and multiple stick sizes at their disposal. Don't be fooled into thinking that rods are quieter. They provide a different sound, but they have a lot of attack, and don't behave like sticks, so they may be difficult to use, especially for bright tempos.

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Old 09-10-2017, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
You can't really buy your way into effective volume control. It's 100% about your touch.
To some extent that is true, but most rock equipment sounds horrible at low volume. It's either thin and one dimensional because the character only comes out when you really hit it, or it has odd overtones because the fundamental isn't stable. I mean you can play it at Lowe volume with good touch, just doesn't sound good.

I think it is odd that rock are not played at lower volumes like as lounge music or something. I feel like there is probably something missing there, like the timings don't work or something, maybe not enough intellectual stimulation. I saw a jazz band try to cover some Beatles tunes, it was sad.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:08 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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The drummer's technique is crucial, but cymbal size/weight and drum tuning make a large difference in successfully pulling off good sounds at a lower volume.

This is one reason that working drummers (and drummers who want to work) have multiple kits and cymbals, and multiple stick sizes at their disposal.
I get that and I've wanted to have a "work" kit for a minute now that I'm actually gigging.

Since the feedback I got was that my snare and cymbals were the culprits overpowering everything I've decided to invest in a dampening ring and moon-gel for the snare. For the cymbals I read that darker, thinner cymbals work best for volume reduction, so.. y'all got a good suggestion for a 4 or 5 piece cymbal set somewhere in the $700 range that fits the criteria?
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:09 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by m00py View Post
I get that and I've wanted to have a "work" kit for a minute now that I'm actually gigging.

Since the feedback I got was that my snare and cymbals were the culprits overpowering everything I've decided to invest in a dampening ring and moon-gel for the snare. For the cymbals I read that darker, thinner cymbals work best for volume reduction, so.. y'all got a good suggestion for a 4 or 5 piece cymbal set somewhere in the $700 range that fits the criteria?
I do have suggestions. Don't. Hit. So. Hard.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by m00py View Post
I get that and I've wanted to have a "work" kit for a minute now that I'm actually gigging.

Since the feedback I got was that my snare and cymbals were the culprits overpowering everything I've decided to invest in a dampening ring and moon-gel for the snare. For the cymbals I read that darker, thinner cymbals work best for volume reduction, so.. y'all got a good suggestion for a 4 or 5 piece cymbal set somewhere in the $700 range that fits the criteria?
Also, counter intuitively much of the gear designed to sound good at lower volumes is actually louder. The reason being is that it doesn't need to withstand as much abuse. Take for example ambassador coated heads played with brushes vs. power strokes played with brushes. The coated heads are way louder.
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Old 09-10-2017, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Playing soft is oood practice and it will help with everything, but if there's no way to mix volume with the way you have to play, then there's that place where an e-kit might be the solution.
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  #13  
Old 09-10-2017, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
I do have suggestions. Don't. Hit. So. Hard.
Is that by Meinl or..?

I'm using Meinl's Byzance vintage sand series. I could hit the cymbals softer but I feel like these cymbals in particular are especially loud because I've played other thinner sets of cymbals that didn't produce nearly as much volume as these do.
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Old 09-10-2017, 05:51 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

If you are playing in a rock band and your drums are too loud, consider yourself lucky. The guitar players must have a very good sense of musical discipline.

When I need to soften the drums I use thin small control rings. And I put my wallet on my snare. And I use smaller diameter cymbals.

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Old 09-10-2017, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Smaller drier drums, smaller thinner cymbals, and tell the guitarist to turn down. You play a little quieter too. Maybe use nothing heavier than a 5a.

But below a certain volume threshold the whole equation falls apart. You should probably be able to make the big drums work at any volume at which anyone should be playing that music, you know?
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Old 09-10-2017, 06:56 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Electronic kit w/ volume set to 1. ;-)

I believe all though workable ideas have been suggested. Good luck!
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Rather than forking over a ton of money for new cymbals, consider a thin maple stick with a small barrel tip. You may be surprised how much of a difference that alone can make, if going from a giant hickory rod.
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:09 PM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by m00py View Post
I get that and I've wanted to have a "work" kit for a minute now that I'm actually gigging.

Since the feedback I got was that my snare and cymbals were the culprits overpowering everything I've decided to invest in a dampening ring and moon-gel for the snare. For the cymbals I read that darker, thinner cymbals work best for volume reduction, so.. y'all got a good suggestion for a 4 or 5 piece cymbal set somewhere in the $700 range that fits the criteria?
Rings and gel reduce volume a little, but head type, stick weight, and how you play will do more to control actual volume.

For cymbals, thinner will have less attack, and they're also lower in pitch. So it's a good idea to also get smaller cymbals so they don't sound as dark, and also to reduce volume.

Whatever drums you have are probably fine, and the tuning will make a huge difference in the attack (perceived volume.) Coated heads will sound a little less loud, and lower tunings will curtail the attack and cut of the drums, so they'll seem quieter.

You need to adjust your style a little as well, but don't get too light or you'll lose some energy from holding back. You can physically play quieter and still get some attack by catching some rim, esp. on the snare. It doesn't take much to get a good but quietish whack from the snare, it will sound like you're hitting hard. Use a felt bass drum beater to reduce the attack.

Get some lighter sticks, too. Rods aren't the answer (unless you happen to need the sound that they make.)

Bermuda
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Old 09-11-2017, 01:22 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Rings and gel reduce volume a little, but head type, stick weight, and how you play will do more to control actual volume.

For cymbals, thinner will have less attack, and they're also lower in pitch. So it's a good idea to also get smaller cymbals so they don't sound as dark, and also to reduce volume.

Whatever drums you have are probably fine, and the tuning will make a huge difference in the attack (perceived volume.) Coated heads will sound a little less loud, and lower tunings will curtail the attack and cut of the drums, so they'll seem quieter.

You need to adjust your style a little as well, but don't get too light or you'll lose some energy from holding back. You can physically play quieter and still get some attack by catching some rim, esp. on the snare. It doesn't take much to get a good but quietish whack from the snare, it will sound like you're hitting hard. Use a felt bass drum beater to reduce the attack.

Get some lighter sticks, too. Rods aren't the answer (unless you happen to need the sound that they make.)

Bermuda
Thanks for the input. I currently use a coated Remo controlled sound reverse dot batter on snare and promark pw5aw shira kashi oak sticks. I don't think there's much more I can do about the cymbals other than maybe go down to a 7a stick and not hit as hard. If that's not enough then I'll start looking into smaller, thinner cymbal sets. I got no complaints about the drums so I'm just gonna leave 'em be and I already use a felt beater. Hopefully that'll do the trick as I'm not really ready to invest in a whole 'nother cymbal set but I will if I have to.
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Old 09-11-2017, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Volume is the biggest problem I see with bands. That and a crap PA sound. Volume does not equal energy. Energy can be had at low volumes. The music you play doesn't sound suited for sensitive rooms. That's a conundrum for sure. A proper band sound is a whole band effort. People can play great but if the delivery is wacked out, meaning if the volume is way too high and the PA is muddy...the stellar playing is negated.

Volume control....and good time...are IMO the 2 hardest things that drummers face.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

If you are playing, and all you can hear are drums, play quieter until you can hear the band and vocals. Hot Rods are always the last resort, and sometimes they are necessary cause sticks just may not work well in a shit room.
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Old 09-11-2017, 04:35 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by m00py View Post
Thanks for the input. I currently use a coated Remo controlled sound reverse dot batter on snare and promark pw5aw shira kashi oak sticks.
I would go for an Ambassador to have the snare remain as sensitive as possible, and stay away from from rim shots. I would also swap out those oak sticks for some maple.
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

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Originally Posted by ineedaclutch View Post
I would go for an Ambassador to have the snare remain as sensitive as possible, and stay away from from rim shots. I would also swap out those oak sticks for some maple.
I played an Ambassador X before this and I think I'm gonna switch back. I thought the thickness, coat, and reverse dot would equate to quieter for some reason 🤷
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Old 09-11-2017, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

I should've expanded on that. Only go the Ambassador or G1 route in conjunction with playing much softer. The thin, single-ply head will be easier to excite at a low volume so you can still have a full sound without having to hit a thicker head harder to excite the snares. Thicker heads tend to sound dull and boxy when played quietly.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

Dude very recently tried going down the travel kit road for this very problem and smaller kits are as loud as any.

It's a real crap situation to find yourself in and whilst in some instances there are drummers who are too loud and wont/can't go quieter, there's also venues which shouldn't bother having bands. When you're down at ppppp trying to put a bit of dynamic feel in you're going to struggle and it's going to sound awful regardless of how good your technique is.

For the real bad rooms I use the Steve Gadd sticks in the extreme situations I've used a 10"A Splash for a crash, 10" AA mini hats and a 18" Giant Beat as a ride. Usually I go for a 13" Istanbul Traditionals, 20" Meinl Dry Ride, 18 Giant Beat and 19 K Dark Thin Crash. You get far more control with thin cymbals.

Kit wise if I know in advance (and that's another point) I'll use 18/12/14. Problem is unless you're told in advance about the volume issues you can turn up with a 24" unmuffled bass drum, the Paiste Rudes and you're using the old Regal Tip quantum 9000s!
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Old 09-15-2017, 03:24 AM
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Default Re: Cymbal sets, drum heads, and accesories for quieting down a monster kit for sensitive rooms?

One trick I've found with large loud cymbals, is to clamp them down. The reason being that they actually need to flex to open up into higher harmonics. Normally flexing is accomplished by whacking the fuzz out of them, or getting thinner cymbals. Clamping the cymbal gives you some leverage to get them to flex and open up, without hitting them as hard. It's counter intuitive, most people think clamping damps overtones, but it works after you play them for a while like that you'll hear the full pallet of tones at lower volumes.
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