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  #1  
Old 05-07-2019, 10:47 PM
beeter beeter is offline
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Default Playing good vs. Sounding good?

My drum set is in an untreated basement, therefore I'm not sure if my playing isn't good enough which may be why I feel I don't sound as good, if that makes any sense. I'm sure a compressor would make every drum hit sound as if balanced due to the compressor effect, right?
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:07 PM
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bermuda bermuda is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Playing well is a more important goal than the kit sounding good, ideally you'd have both. But if your playing isn't good, no amount of EQ or other fixes will make it better.

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Old 05-07-2019, 11:13 PM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

How long have you been playing? Have you played with others? These scenarios may better answer your question.

You can always try deadening the basement a bit, even with cheap foam mattress toppers hung close by the drums and maybe a rug to cut down on reflecting sound. You mentioned compression, so assuming youíre recording. I donít think compression will help you determine if your playing dynamically. If anything itíll give you the opposite results. The loud and faint are pushed more to the middle, so less variation between the two.

If you can get a recording and post here, thatíd be more helpful.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:25 PM
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Just play with ear protection and it will "tame" your room for you....to your ear.

Easiest way out.

Then you can better judge what you are trying to judge.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:34 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeter View Post
My drum set is in an untreated basement, therefore I'm not sure if my playing isn't good enough which may be why I feel I don't sound as good, if that makes any sense. I'm sure a compressor would make every drum hit sound as if balanced due to the compressor effect, right?
Untreated rooms will always make the drum sound harsh and ringing, but won't make your drumming sound better or worse. Put on ear protection and it'll help a lot. You don't need compression, you probably just need practice.
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Old 05-07-2019, 11:51 PM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Save the money you're about to spunk on a compressor (and everything else that will be needed to go with it) and spend it on lessons.

At the moment you're "all show and no go" as the old saying goes. You keep accumulating gear you have no idea what to do with.

Time to change that.
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  #7  
Old 05-07-2019, 11:53 PM
Mustion Mustion is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Just play with ear protection and it will "tame" your room for you....to your ear.

Easiest way out.

Then you can better judge what you are trying to judge.
Bonus: you protect your hearing (which you should be doing anyway)

I suggest a good pair of isolation earmuff-style protectors, like what runway workers at the airport wear. Vic Firth makes a good one.
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Old 05-08-2019, 12:30 AM
bud7h4 bud7h4 is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Does your basement have carpet? That alone would make a difference in sound clarity.

Last edited by bud7h4; 05-10-2019 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:13 PM
EricT43 EricT43 is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

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Originally Posted by Mustion View Post
Bonus: you protect your hearing (which you should be doing anyway)

I suggest a good pair of isolation earmuff-style protectors, like what runway workers at the airport wear. Vic Firth makes a good one.
I agree with this. I got some earmuff protectors from Lowe's and my drums sound amazing when I wear them.
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Old 05-10-2019, 05:50 AM
Peedy Peedy is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

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Originally Posted by EricT43 View Post
I agree with this. I got some earmuff protectors from Lowe's and my drums sound amazing when I wear them.
Uhhhhhhh, ok.

Pete
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2019, 01:58 PM
beyondbetrayal beyondbetrayal is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

As someone who went from a concrete room with a metal band to many basements, studios and jam rooms I have tried everything. Lucky for me now I have a great room with a ton of treatment I have done.

First off. Hang some blankets from the roof. Preferably a foot or so in front. You can also hang carpet over the walls which is nice and heavy. I had a friend use that in a jam space before and it helped. Carpet on the floor if it's concrete as well. Unfinished basements sound bad because of the sound reflecting off the walls and floors. It's an echo chamber.

A cheap easy option is some earplugs/isolation phones. It will at least bring the volume down and save your hearing, but it does help some of the harshness.


Now. You mention compressor. You didn't even mention recording. Whats your goal? I had one of my first bands record in a concrete room. It turned out fine. A compressor will squash your loud hits and even out the volumes yes, but remember when you OVERcompress it changes the sound too. It's a very obvious and specific sound.

Once you have a goal and plan you can kindof set up around that. Are you planning to mic every drum? overheads are often not as happy with that many reflections which is why drummers will record in a studio. Adding reverb/delay is easier than removing it.

Last. One life changer for me was building sound baffles out of Roxul Safe and Sound insulation. You can google/youtube it. It changed the sound of my recordings drasticly.

There are plenty of resources for sound. But the biggest advice is play quiet. If the room is boomy learn to play so quiet it doesnt' sound like a wall of noise. Playing good > sounding good at home. At live gigs as long as my drums are in tune the sound guy makes that happen.
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  #12  
Old 05-10-2019, 03:22 PM
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mrfingers mrfingers is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricT43 View Post
I agree with this. I got some earmuff protectors from Lowe's and my drums sound amazing when I wear them.
...and they cost less than $20!

Last edited by mrfingers; 05-10-2019 at 03:23 PM. Reason: Spelling
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2019, 06:46 PM
TMe TMe is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

As everyone else has said, treating the room will make a big difference, but so would using ear protection. Most ear protections lops off the high end frequencies a lot more effectively than the low end frequencies, making the kit sound warmer and less harsh.

There's no substitute for a good room, be we have to work with what we've got.
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  #14  
Old 05-10-2019, 08:43 PM
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Odd-Arne Oseberg Odd-Arne Oseberg is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Lots of questions that need answering here.

In any case. If you have room try treating the room a bit. Pillows, carpets, big cardboard boxes for bass traps. Something in ceiling if it's low and reflects too much. A big mattres in front of the BD, a big fat couch.

It won't be perfect, but it will certain help.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:57 AM
beeter beeter is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

No, just tiles. I'll consider the earmuffs that was suggested.

How's these:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F132576317573

Playing quiet makes sense too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bud7h4 View Post
Does your basement have carpet? That alone would make a difference in sound clarity.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2019, 05:37 PM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by beeter View Post
No, just tiles. I'll consider the earmuffs that was suggested.

How's these:

https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F132576317573
I own very similar ones and they're great. If needed you can slip earbuds under them to play along with music.
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:33 AM
beeter beeter is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

I guess studio headphones could work too like the ones I already have: Beyerdynamic DT770 (open ears) and the Sennheiser HD280 (closed ear). Although the wires might be a bother dangling around.
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2019, 03:57 AM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

The HD280s will definitely not work, as they let in far too much. Youíre far better off with Alís recommendation of the 3M Peltor and some ear buds.
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Old 05-19-2019, 04:50 AM
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notvinnie notvinnie is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

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Originally Posted by AzHeat View Post
The HD280s will definitely not work, as they let in far too much.
Wrong. They attenuate 32 dB and sound great. Highly recommended.
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  #20  
Old 05-19-2019, 05:15 AM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

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Originally Posted by notvinnie View Post
Wrong. They attenuate 32 dB and sound great. Highly recommended.
As the saying goes, YMMV. To me, drums come through way too loud, so volume gets cranked to ear bleeding levels to match. I would have saved a bunch and not had to purchase the GL Ultraphones if they did.
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  #21  
Old 05-22-2019, 01:03 AM
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AzHeat AzHeat is offline
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Default Re: Playing good vs. Sounding good?

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Wrong. They attenuate 32 dB and sound great. Highly recommended.
I pulled those out of my closet and gave them another go. Thereís no way those things block 32dB. The GKs are rated at 29dB and easily double the isolation if not more. It goes back to numbers meaning nothing. Iíll buy into the Sennheiser blocking 32dB at one narrow frequency range, but so far as blocking mids to lows are concerned. Nowhere near 32dB.

Iíve taken them apart before and thereís nothing between the driver and the hard plastic outer. While most reviews rate them well, most drummer reviews say they are a no go.

We all hear differently though, but I found the Vic Firth headphones lacking in low end isolation too. They were great for mids and highs though. Lots of drummers like those, so my recommendation to the OP is try the Vic Firthís. Cheaper too.
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