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Old 02-01-2012, 05:57 PM
cdrums21 cdrums21 is offline
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Default Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Let's pick a genre, say...pop/rock, and let's look at the head set ups of the most popular drummers from the bands that fall into these categories. 99% of these drummers use a clear single ply head on the resonant side of their toms, a clear ambassador or a clear G1. Top heads vary a little bit, but mostly I see clear or coated 2 ply heads. Now if you look at the drummers here on drummerworld that post threads about head choices and the replies they get, there is quite a difference in what people use and recommend compared to what seems to be "standard". I've seen Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, thicker 1 ply resos, no resos....and the batter heads have quite a variance too. My point is, why do you think the successful mainstream drummers and recording artists use basically the same head types, and why don't most drummers follow suit? I would say the reason why these heads are chosen more often than not is due to the sound quality they produce and/or visuals. So why don't more drummers go with the more recognized head set ups? I know for me, when I first became knowledgable enough to start experimenting with heads to get different sounds, I first looked to the drummers whose sound I liked to see what they were using. I soon found that most drummers that I liked used basically the same head set up...I figured there was a good reason for that...so that's what I went with. After a little experimenting with heads, I see why they choose what they do. Have you done the same or do you have a different story?
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

A lot of it may have to do with the fact that less experienced drummers think they can get their drums to sound exactly like a recording, so they'll do things like that. Or even worse, when I first went to rehearse with my band I played on their former drummer's kit that was already set up (we practiced at the church they used to go to for awhile) and he had so much tape and towels and stuff that the drums had no tone whatsoever.

You talk about "standard" head combos, but some of those non traditional ones have been used before. Keep in mind that Ringo used no bottom heads and that this was a fad for awhile. Chad Wackerman also used to use Pinstripe resos under clear Ambassador batters in his Zappa days, so there's nothing wrong with being creative if that's the sound you like.

Basically I think more young drummers need to realize that the reason drums sound like they do on recordings is because the engineer EQs the hell out of the kit which you can't do in the practice room, and that beginner kits will never sound like a DW Collector's no matter how much you muffle them.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by drummindan8484 View Post
A lot of it may have to do with the fact that less experienced drummers think they can get their drums to sound exactly like a recording, so they'll do things like that. Or even worse, when I first went to rehearse with my band I played on their former drummer's kit that was already set up (we practiced at the church they used to go to for awhile) and he had so much tape and towels and stuff that the drums had no tone whatsoever.

Basically I think more young drummers need to realize that the reason drums sound like they do on recordings is because the engineer EQs the hell out of the kit which you can't do in the practice room, and that beginner kits will never sound like a DW Collector's no matter how much you muffle them.
That's a good point. That's probably true. So do you think it's solely because of the experience level of the drummer or do you think there are other reasons?
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:10 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

emporers over ambassadors ftw!!!
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:13 PM
cdrums21 cdrums21 is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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emporers over ambassadors ftw!!!
On this forum, for every emperor over ambassador or G2 over G1, I'll bet you get a dozen different suggestions.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:18 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Even if the drum manufacturers recommend a head setup for a type of shell, not everyone will like the sound that provides for their ear. There are more of us out there playing the heads we want than the pro drummers playing the combos they have if you go by body count, amatures out number pros.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:19 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I think a lot of successful mainstream drummers use what they get for free when in public but dont always use the same gear behind closed doors

just a couple quick examples

some years ago I was working on a project with Matt Cameron and at the time he was endorsing Ayotte drums and and Remo heads

when at his home studio there were DW drums with Evans heads on it

and in the mid to late 90s I was working for Velvet Hammer Management and working closely with System Of A Down ...it was right around the time John Dolmayan joined the band and he was endorsing Tama Starclassic but at his house was a beautiful Sonor kit
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:23 PM
cdrums21 cdrums21 is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by TFITTING942 View Post
Even if the drum manufacturers recommend a head setup for a type of shell, not everyone will like the sound that provides for their ear. There are more of us out there playing the heads we want than the pro drummers playing the combos they have if you go by body count, amatures out number pros.
Ok, but even if you want to play something different than what a manufacturer recommends or a pro drummer uses, why would you choose a head combo that employed heads that are rarely used? Do you wonder why someone else or many others don't use what you use? Do you care? Just asking mind you, no opinion here......
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by moontheloon View Post
I think a lot of successful mainstream drummers use what they get for free when in public but dont always use the same gear behind closed doors

just a couple quick examples

some years ago I was working on a project with Matt Cameron and at the time he was endorsing Ayotte drums and and Remo heads

when at his home studio there were DW drums with Evans heads on it

and in the mid to late 90s I was working for Velvet Hammer Management and working closely with System Of A Down ...it was right around the time John Dolmayan joined the band and he was endorsing Tama Starclassic but at his house was a beautiful Sonor kit
I can understand the endorsement thing, but I'll venture to say that he had similar types of heads on the drums from both companies and not a G2 as a resonant head or an Evans hydraulic as a batter for example.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Ok, but even if you want to play something different than what a manufacturer recommends or a pro drummer uses, why would you choose a head combo that employed heads that are rarely used? Do you wonder why someone else or many others don't use what you use? Do you care? Just asking mind you, no opinion here......
Yeah, you would think you should follow what they are doing/recommending. At least under the assumption that they know more about tuning, recording etc. than I do. I use studio x's because of the sound they bring out of my drums, i dont even know which pros use them on Pearl drums but i played remo's forever and made the swith because my brother in-law had one in the box and I thought the construction of the head just look so much better than the standard remo. Good question though,.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:35 PM
cdrums21 cdrums21 is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Personally, I think it has the most to do with experience level and trying to cop a sound off of a record, as pointed out by drummindan8484. When I started out, I had crap taped all over my heads to deaden them because I didn't know how to tune, plus that tom sound was in vogue in the 70's. It wasn't until I became more experienced and more intimate with the drum's sound that I understood why a 2 ply batter would work and why a single ply clear or coated resonant would sound best. How to tune, what the drums sound like other than behind the kit, what they sound like recorded, what other top drummers used.... all changed the way I though about heads, which falls under the experience level category I guess....
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:38 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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I can understand the endorsement thing, but I'll venture to say that he had similar types of heads on the drums from both companies and not a G2 as a resonant head or an Evans hydraulic as a batter for example.

most likely...didnt look at the reso heads

do you not match manufacturers from reso to batter?

the only drum I dont match on is the snare

all my reso and batter are Evans except for snare bottom is always Remo
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:41 PM
cdrums21 cdrums21 is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by TFITTING942 View Post
I use studio x's because of the sound they bring out of my drums, i dont even know which pros use them on Pearl drums but i played remo's forever and made the swith because my brother in-law had one in the box and I thought the construction of the head just look so much better than the standard remo. Good question though,.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it works for you. I guess that's the bottom line, but for me, I would wonder to myself "Why don't the majority of guys use these and am I missing something?" Is it availability? Is it brand recognition? Is it the same thing as buying a pair of Levi's over a pair of generic jeans, because you want people to know you have the "better" stuff? I don't know......
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by moontheloon View Post
most likely...didnt look at the reso heads

do you not match manufacturers from reso to batter?

the only drum I dont match on is the snare

all my reso and batter are Evans except for snare bottom is always Remo
I try to match heads with manufacturers. Sometimes I like a clear or coated G2 on the tops of my toms, but I like the way Remo's clear ambassador looks and sounds on the reso side compared to a G1 (The G1 for me looked more dimpled around the edge of the head). My snare batter is an Evans G2 because the coating doesn't wear off as much as an emperor, but the reso is a Remo. Normally, I run Remo heads all around, except for the snare batter. Currently, clear PS3 on kick, clear emps over clear ambassadors on toms, coated G2 over ambassador on snare.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I use EC2s on my batters and G1s for my reso. I choose the EC2 because I was mainly playing my kit at home, so the focus and control of the overtones was handy since I didn't need them to cut through a mix.

I use an EMAD2 kick head to eliminate the need for internal muffling (though I do have a VERY small hand towel to control the head/beater response).

I have used G2s (coated) over G1s when I used to gig more, and I will be changing to G2s (clear) again now that I'm in 2 gigging bands and will have other instruments to compete with.

I think the crux of it for me is that pro drummers play on pro level drums, and tune them to a pro level standard. Hence the prevelance of overtone control heads and thicker reso heads in amateur players - they are not always playing the quality of kit and tuning it to the same skill level. Also a lot of amateur drummers are more concerned with their driver seat sound, which is often improved with the more unusual combinations.

My thoughts anyway.
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Old 02-01-2012, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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I use EC2s on my batters and G1s for my reso. I choose the EC2 because I was mainly playing my kit at home, so the focus and control of the overtones was handy since I didn't need them to cut through a mix.

I use an EMAD2 kick head to eliminate the need for internal muffling (though I do have a VERY small hand towel to control the head/beater response).

I have used G2s (coated) over G1s when I used to gig more, and I will be changing to G2s (clear) again now that I'm in 2 gigging bands and will have other instruments to compete with.

I think the crux of it for me is that pro drummers play on pro level drums, and tune them to a pro level standard. Hence the prevelance of overtone control heads and thicker reso heads in amateur players - they are not always playing the quality of kit and tuning it to the same skill level. Also a lot of amateur drummers are more concerned with their driver seat sound, which is often improved with the more unusual combinations.

My thoughts anyway.
Good points all of them. I agree. Those scenarios have alot to do with the head choices guys make. Nice comment!
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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I try to match heads with manufacturers. Sometimes I like a clear or coated G2 on the tops of my toms, but I like the way Remo's clear ambassador looks and sounds on the reso side compared to a G1 (The G1 for me looked more dimpled around the edge of the head). My snare batter is an Evans G2 because the coating doesn't wear off as much as an emperor, but the reso is a Remo. Normally, I run Remo heads all around, except for the snare batter. Currently, clear PS3 on kick, clear emps over clear ambassadors on toms, coated G2 over ambassador on snare.
you ever try the Evans super tough or st vented on the snare batter

the coating lasts forever

you may like it

I love them
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Let's pick a genre, say...pop/rock, and let's look at the head set ups of the most popular drummers from the bands that fall into these categories. 99% of these drummers use a clear single ply head on the resonant side of their toms, a clear ambassador or a clear G1. Top heads vary a little bit, but mostly I see clear or coated 2 ply heads. Now if you look at the drummers here on drummerworld that post threads about head choices and the replies they get, there is quite a difference in what people use and recommend compared to what seems to be "standard". I've seen Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, thicker 1 ply resos, no resos....and the batter heads have quite a variance too. My point is, why do you think the successful mainstream drummers and recording artists use basically the same head types, and why don't most drummers follow suit? I would say the reason why these heads are chosen more often than not is due to the sound quality they produce and/or visuals. So why don't more drummers go with the more recognized head set ups? I know for me, when I first became knowledgable enough to start experimenting with heads to get different sounds, I first looked to the drummers whose sound I liked to see what they were using. I soon found that most drummers that I liked used basically the same head set up...I figured there was a good reason for that...so that's what I went with. After a little experimenting with heads, I see why they choose what they do. Have you done the same or do you have a different story?
Honestly, I don't think there is enough data to support the basis of your initial suggestion. Even if you actually look at every post and every response and compare that to every known pro drummer, that is still a very small sample.

I agree that there are a going to be a lot more newb drummers searching for "their sound" or compensating for the lack of quality drums/tuning/production awareness where as experienced pros have likely settled on those issues.

That said, I've been playing for over 30 years and still haven't quite settled on batter side head choices. Honestly, until you start recording yourself in a serious way, I don't think it's really possible to resolve head choices. It's that shift from only experiencing your sound from behind the kit to experiencing it through mikes or from out front that drives people to their final choices. Now that I've gone some ways down that road, I feel that I'm closing in on "my sound" via Aquarian Studio-Xs for my toms. Just a touch of sustain control for close miking in my small studio seems to work the best... for now. :)
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Old 02-01-2012, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Honestly, I don't think there is enough data to support the basis of your initial suggestion. Even if you actually look at every post and every response and compare that to every known pro drummer, that is still a very small sample.
This is my thought too.

And has for the examples in the OP: Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, etc, those posts have been a very small handful of posts out of the thousands of posts on here. I'd say those are more a few isolated exceptions than anything.

Back when I worked in drum shops, the vast majority of sales were pretty standard. Although the industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years with more varieties of heads being offered.

On the flip side, where you might be right in batter heads is pros on big tours, who have endorsements and are getting heads for free or super cheap. They can afford to change their heads often. If they destroy their single play heads, so be it. The vast majority of us who have to buy our heads can not afford to go through a single ply head all the time. Durability is a bigger factor for the working/gig-ing drummer than it is for the pro who has a tech change his heads for him.
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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This is my thought too.

And has for the examples in the OP: Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, etc, those posts have been a very small handful of posts out of the thousands of posts on here. I'd say those are more a few isolated exceptions than anything.

Back when I worked in drum shops, the vast majority of sales were pretty standard. Although the industry has changed a lot in the last 10 years with more varieties of heads being offered.

On the flip side, where you might be right in batter heads is pros on big tours, who have endorsements and are getting heads for free or super cheap. They can afford to change their heads often. If they destroy their single play heads, so be it. The vast majority of us who have to buy our heads can not afford to go through a single ply head all the time. Durability is a bigger factor for the working/gig-ing drummer than it is for the pro who has a tech change his heads for him.
Well, I did an experiment and here's what I found....I went to Remo's site and picked the drummers I had heard of that played in rock/pop bands. Did the same with Evans site. The drummers all played either Remo clear or coated ambassadors and Evans clear or coated G1's on the reso side. Then I went to search on drummerworld and typed in resonant heads. Of the heads mentioned, about 2/3 used or recommended ambassadors or G1's, the others were EC 1's, G pluses, G2's, pinstripes and a hydraulic. Yes, the latter group is a minority, but none of those heads were mentioned on the Remo or Evans artist sites being used as resonant heads. So is it because people are looking for a different sound? Inexperienced and don't know any better? They just prefer these heads for whatever reason? Just wonder what the thought process is with the obscure picks for resos....
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Old 02-01-2012, 08:12 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

because the "innovations" in sound control (evans hydraulics and ec2's mainly, which are particularly popular), lend the drums to be tamed and easier to tune, while giving you that great tupperware punchy tone!!!lol, don't ya just love it? COATED AMBASSADORS FO LIFE MUTHAF*CKAS!!! lol

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Old 02-01-2012, 10:13 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Several things play into this.
Professional drummers usually don't have their kits (the ones you're referring to) set up in their bedroom, their spare bedroom, their basement, a corner of their dining room, their garage, etc.
Professional drummers (the ones you're referring to) don't usually play Yamaha Stage Customs, or Tama Rockstars, of Pearl Export or Vision kits, or Ludwig Accents, or PDP's, or Gretsch Catalina kits, or Mapex Meridians, or Sonor Force kits, etc. Now me, personally, if I was gaga for Joey Jordison (which I'm not), but he plays a Pearl Reference kit. So why would I buy a Joey Jordison 7 piece Pearl Export kit? Is the Export kit even made in the same country as the Reference?
Personally, I like variety. I have 7 acoustic kits. They're all different, and they all sound different. But beyond that, I like to try different head combo's ... to further spice things up. Gee, if all we ever played was Emperor over Ambassador, or G2 over G1, boooooooooorrrrring !!! And without personal experimentation .... you wouldn't know how to get that "John Bonham" boom, or that fat, funky punch .... It sure ain't gonna happen if you play just 1 type of head combo, and only 1 combo of drum sizes, and only play 1 brand and make of drums.
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Old 02-02-2012, 02:30 AM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Gee, if all we ever played was Emperor over Ambassador, or G2 over G1, boooooooooorrrrring !!! And without personal experimentation .... you wouldn't know how to get that "John Bonham" boom, of that fat, funky punch .... It sure ain't gonna happen if you play just 1 type of head combo, and only 1 combo of drum sizes, and only play 1 brand and make of drums.
Indeed and I agree, maybe it was a dumb question and a lame thread. :-/ I guess I
have too much time on my hands!
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I just reinstalled a Clear Evans EC2 SST, supposed tom head on my snare. I had it on once before and thought I would try it again. It is the best snare head I have used. Now, it is on an 8 ply maple Gretsch Renown, 5.5 x 14, 8 lug with die cast hoops, so I can only speak for this drum, and the single ply Vaughncraft steam bent I have and there is a bit of ring but it dies quickly and I must say this is one of the best sounding snare heads I have heard. It may not have been intended for that but it sure works. So why not the "standard" set up. There are so many heads and combinations that people keep trying that I don't think anything will be standard again. Keep in mind this snare has a hazy 300 on it but I could put a 200, or 500 on it and get even more sounds. I keep experimenting and finding better combos.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I like the way single-ply heads sound, but I use them up too quickly. As said above, many touring drummers get heads cheap or free. I just cannot afford to use single-ply batter heads on toms. I also like to try out new heads. My toms currently have Evans clear G2 over EC Resonant, and I really like how that sounds. Until something better comes along, that is what I will be using. Peace and goodwill.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Indeed and I agree, maybe it was a dumb question and a lame thread .....
No, not dumb ... or lame. This is how we learn ... we exchange ideas. You either confirm what you already thought might be true ... or you possibly get some exposure to an idea, or concept, that you would not have pondered otherwise.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Most of the time I see something other than an Emperor/G2 over Ambassador/G1 suggested is when the original post specifically excludes those "standard" choices.

Otherwise, I think the 2-ply over 1-ply is the most recommended combo I see around here.

I'd also say very few people start a thread asking for suggestions on getting an open, resonant tom sound with full overtones. They are usually asking for "fewer overtones, less ringing, thumpy, punchy, dead" kinds of sounds.

If they do, what else can you suggest besides Hydraulics and Moongel? Nobody wants to be told the sound they're trying achieve sucks and isn't natural and I've realized giving subtle and not so subtle hints trying to steer players into accepting more open sounds doesn't work. Everyone needs to find their own way and their own sound and it isn't always helpful to just suggest "the standard" as if it is a one size fits all sound.
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Old 02-02-2012, 08:34 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

For the last 10 years at least, I've used plain old Coated Ambassadors over Coated ambassadors on almost all of my drums.
My Red Sparkle kit sounds better to me with Clear Ambassadors on the reso side.
Coated Ambassador bass drum batters too.

I tried all sorts of stuff over the years, but always just liked the CA sound best.
I used Emps. for a long time because I thought I might break an Ambassador--until I really tried one.
Never really "went back" after that--other than feeling like using something different for a week or so, and going back to the C.A.

Less experienced drummers use pre-muffed bass drum heads, and deader batter heads to replicate sounds on recordings.
Playing in a bed room, or basement, when you are starting out, and don't have a lot of tuning experience, the muffled heads "sound better".
Longer playing drummers would use them because they like the sound.

A single ply head--coated or clear will give an recording engineer more to work with tone-wise. You can tweak in the studio, at home, it's a different story.....
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:03 PM
rschuh rschuh is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21 View Post
Let's pick a genre, say...pop/rock, and let's look at the head set ups of the most popular drummers from the bands that fall into these categories. 99% of these drummers use a clear single ply head on the resonant side of their toms, a clear ambassador or a clear G1. Top heads vary a little bit, but mostly I see clear or coated 2 ply heads. Now if you look at the drummers here on drummerworld that post threads about head choices and the replies they get, there is quite a difference in what people use and recommend compared to what seems to be "standard". I've seen Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, thicker 1 ply resos, no resos....and the batter heads have quite a variance too. My point is, why do you think the successful mainstream drummers and recording artists use basically the same head types, and why don't most drummers follow suit? I would say the reason why these heads are chosen more often than not is due to the sound quality they produce and/or visuals. So why don't more drummers go with the more recognized head set ups? I know for me, when I first became knowledgable enough to start experimenting with heads to get different sounds, I first looked to the drummers whose sound I liked to see what they were using. I soon found that most drummers that I liked used basically the same head set up...I figured there was a good reason for that...so that's what I went with. After a little experimenting with heads, I see why they choose what they do. Have you done the same or do you have a different story?

I'm coming from an acoustic Jazz background, so I've always been a coated Ambassador for batter and a coated or clear Ambassador for reso heads. I play only stave kits. Here's my new Cocobolo kit I built about 9 months ago:



but I've never wanted to sound like another drummer except when I was a kid and put black dots on top and bottom like Tony Williams did. I think that choosing drum heads and tuning is one of the biggest short comings in most drummers. I've given probably 100 lessons over the years just on tuning. I think when you see guys using double ply heads for reso heads, they just don't know what they've been doing. We all hit the drums differently and have different drums. I know I've had drums over the years that sounded great with one type of head and another set that sounded like ass with the same heads! :-) There is so much misinformation posted on these boards that if you ever have a question, track down a pro that you trust and run it by them. Bottom line, if some one wants to put hydrolics on top and bottom and have his drums sound like cardboard boxes, more power to him! It's just like religion. If you want to worship Kermit the Frog and you're not hurting anyone, who cares? :-)
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:05 PM
rschuh rschuh is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by burn-4 View Post
emporers over ambassadors ftw!!!
How can you say that? If you were playing an acoustic Jazz gig and had to play quietly, I would prefer Amb over Emp. If I was doing something a bit louder and didn't want as much resonance, I would go with the Emps.
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Old 02-02-2012, 10:15 PM
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KarlCrafton KarlCrafton is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Emps over Amb...not optimum for me either. Like the combo, but don't love it.

Amb over Amb works for everything I do, from hard hitting rock, to stuff with a lot of dynamics, and sound fantastic doing it.

BTW rschuh, how is that Gibraltar rail mount?
Pretty much as sturdy as a regular rail, or does it need a lighter touch?
Nice drums too!
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Old 02-03-2012, 01:00 AM
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Midnite Zephyr Midnite Zephyr is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I think I did.

I'm using a 13" concert tom and 16" concert floor tom on my kit so I choose the the proven style head for it. So I got Aquarian Performance 2 heads because they fit the profile of the heads I should use for these toms. But I could have got Black Dots, Pinstripes or EC-2's just as easy because they are also a proven head style.

But when I have reso heads, I always use a 7mm thin clear Diplomat or equivalent on the toms and snare. The Bass Drum always gets an Ambassador. My batter head choices can vary, but I'm sticking with the SuperKick 2 on my BD. Just picked another one up today.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21 View Post
Let's pick a genre, say...pop/rock, and let's look at the head set ups of the most popular drummers from the bands that fall into these categories. 99% of these drummers use a clear single ply head on the resonant side of their toms, a clear ambassador or a clear G1. Top heads vary a little bit, but mostly I see clear or coated 2 ply heads. Now if you look at the drummers here on drummerworld that post threads about head choices and the replies they get, there is quite a difference in what people use and recommend compared to what seems to be "standard". I've seen Evans hydraulics mentioned for resos, 2 ply resos, thicker 1 ply resos, no resos....and the batter heads have quite a variance too. My point is, why do you think the successful mainstream drummers and recording artists use basically the same head types, and why don't most drummers follow suit? I would say the reason why these heads are chosen more often than not is due to the sound quality they produce and/or visuals. So why don't more drummers go with the more recognized head set ups? I know for me, when I first became knowledgable enough to start experimenting with heads to get different sounds, I first looked to the drummers whose sound I liked to see what they were using. I soon found that most drummers that I liked used basically the same head set up...I figured there was a good reason for that...so that's what I went with. After a little experimenting with heads, I see why they choose what they do. Have you done the same or do you have a different story?
On the one hand, it's really good for business for all the young drummers to be experimenting. They buy heads and discover they don't work, then they go buy more heads searching for that elusive sound they heard on a recording.

On the other hand, once I started working all the time, a consistently good sound is the name of the game, and I don't have time to be experimenting. Since I like the same weight head on both sides of the drum, it's either Ambassadors or Emperors top and bottom (or the Evans equivalent, depending on my mood and what I buy). And I can quickly get a good sound all the time. At this point, I have too many other things that have to go right to be trying to find a different sound with different heads all the time. Although I must say, if you can really play and tune, you should be able to get an acceptable sound regardless of what you're presented with.

But it is good to have some spice added by those who try different things all the time.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:05 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by rschuh View Post
How can you say that? If you were playing an acoustic Jazz gig and had to play quietly, I would prefer Amb over Emp. If I was doing something a bit louder and didn't want as much resonance, I would go with the Emps.
I dont think I would re-skin my whole kit for one gig unless I was like a resident Jazz drummer (doubtful that will ever happen as Jazz is by far my weak point)- but the point I was making was that emporer over ambasadors is "my sound" and nothing beats that in my eyes

If I was playing a quiet acoustic jazz gig I would use lighter sticks/ play french instead of german. No need to re-skin my entire kit- I certainly wouldn't go for ambassadors OVER emporers- can't think of anything worse!
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

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Originally Posted by cdrums21 View Post
On this forum, for every emperor over ambassador or G2 over G1, I'll bet you get a dozen different suggestions.
absolutely! Nothing wrong with that either just saying this is my preferred head choice :)
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:22 PM
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I feel that there are "standards" that may be what a majority of drummers use or at least migrate to. As a drummer gets more involved into his sound and wants to "fine tune" a bit, other choices become welcome. For a new drummer, these choices can get a bit confusing.

Dennis
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:25 AM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I can only speak for myself however I have been experimenting quite a bit with heads for my walnut snare, I have used both Remo & Evans, Remo seems to suit it the best but I never quite got the sound that suited my ears (not recordings) and just now I put the Fyberskin 3 on and viola, just the right sound for me.It can be a drag trying out different heads all of the time (I have quite a collection now) but I think it is important that it sounds right to you and I think this reasoning applies to any caliber of kit. I agree that ambassador or Emperor is always a good choice as are many Evans but there is a reason for a variety to choose from.
On a different note I had a post regarding trouble tuning properly with the drum dial leading me to think there was a problem with the snare or hoops and I finally got the ambassador tuned up but it took awhile; the Fyberskin 3 tuned up perfectly and quickly, not sure why but the snare seems to love it.For the record I have Emperor on my toms with Evans EC resonate, previously I had pinstripe coated and then the Evans EC clear on top but the Emperor suit them better.It is up to you if you want to experiment, one thing is for sure; I can't understand why the drum companies sell their product with those generic versions; you would think that they would want them to sound great right out of the box.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:30 AM
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makinao makinao is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

I've been through a number of head combinations since I got my first kit in the 70s. Coated single ply stock batters and resos, Black (Remo) and Silver (Ludwig) dots batters and single ply resos, Pinstripe batters and resos, and now coated Ambassador batters and resos. In each case, I had a particular sound in mind, and except for the stock heads, I pretty much got what I was going for even if they were not fashionable, or "standard" for a particular style of music. It all depends on what you want, how different you want your kit to sound, and more importantly how you play that particular head combo.
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Old 02-04-2012, 11:43 AM
Otto Otto is offline
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Default Re: Why don't more drummers choose a more "standard" and proven head combo?

"My point is, why do you think the successful mainstream drummers and recording artists use basically the same head types, and why don't most drummers follow suit?"


We all know that head choice is WAY below engineer skill when it comes to recorded sound(within reason...)

We also know that live sound is far more influenced by miking and skill.

Ive heard pin stripes sound as rich as gently played ambasador reso/batter combo...and cheap knock off factory heads blow away remo/evans skinned sets.

Drum heads, within reason, are pretty low on the 'influencing end product quality' in my opinion.

We like to believe that the small things we decide are profound...the illusion of omnipotence(sp?)

That tendancy is exploited in advertising.(and can be used as a tool in song writing....literary technique)

Put a popular figure on the label and take the buyers money because the buyer believes the hype.(hmm..that would almost work as a lyric line)

The real question is why anyone allows themselves to follow advertising...even when it appears to benifit the consumer. Encouraging manipulation at the level it is commonly accepted is exactly what creates so much pain in the world.

I believe people in the far future will view advertising much like we now view slavery and other forms of abusive authority...with sadness and probably more than a bit of superiority.

In short, I think drummers dont use the same heads as sucessful mainstream drummers for the same reasons we dont play the same things...its art...not a way to line up and give resource poolers our lives($ is a measure of human life).

...can you tell I dont have any sponsors?...lol!!!...maybe Fiona Apple will hire me...

Last edited by Otto; 02-04-2012 at 05:13 PM.
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