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  #1  
Old 10-25-2018, 08:17 PM
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Default The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

I've had drum sets that sounded great both behind the kit and out in front of it. Those are the drum sets that I keep. :)

With that said, my Sonor Bop kit sounded horrible behind it, but out front it sounded absolutely great. The difference was night and day. I had another drum set that sounded decent behind it, but out front it sounded sort of flat.

Ever experience a big difference behind the kit as opposed to out front?
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Differences are quite common between sitting behind the kit, sitting in front, and what they sound like to mics positioned a few inches from the heads. I'm always concerned about how my kit sounds out front, and I'll often have someone hit the drums while I stand maybe 20 feet in front of them, just so I can assess how they come across. They never sound bad to my ear when playing, so it's not like I'm cringing the whole time. :)

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Old 10-25-2018, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Huge number of variables - especially the room, but there will always be a difference between the up close sound from the batter heads & the acoustic sound out front. Bigger differences are often noticed with larger drums, as the longer waves take space to resolve.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

I reality the difference is huge, but I've found that I've sort of learned to compensate mentally.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

My trusty little recorder goes a long way to reconcile the two.

I play wide open bass drums and toms and while it's not the greatest sound for the guys onstage, (ring/boom) 15 feet away it sounds ported and muffled and punchy. Toms are alive, not dead. My recorder tells me this, they are my ears. I'm playing for the musicians first, but I tune for the crowd. I'm unmiced, I have to do this.
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Old 10-25-2018, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

I wear hearing protection 100% of the time when playing my drums at home, whether it's shooting muffs or in-ear monitors. I've found that what my drums sound like in the shooting muffs in my home studio is very similar to what they sound like out front in most situations. This allows me to tune them with confidence that no matter what they sound like to my naked ear, they're going to be just fine live.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:11 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I wear hearing protection 100% of the time when playing my drums at home, whether it's shooting muffs or in-ear monitors.
I LOVE the sound of my drums when wearing high-isolation muffs! I don't know exactly what kind of acoustic effects are in play, but it would be cool capture the algorithm for p.a. and recording!

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Old 10-25-2018, 09:18 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Over the years I've gotten grumpy trying to get my kit to sound in a way that I was really happy with, from behind the kit, in different rooms. I'd start trying different things and such, and begin thinking that I needed to upgrade. I almost never have time to really mess with my kit before a gig, let alone have someone else hitting things for me...

Then I'd end up having a gig where we were using my kit to backline, or we'd have a friend sit in for a few songs on mine....then I'd be all happy after listening to them from out front.

Moral of the story is I've lost one excuse to buy new gear :)
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by PorkPieGuy View Post
I've had drum sets that sounded great both behind the kit and out in front of it. Those are the drum sets that I keep. :)

With that said, my Sonor Bop kit sounded horrible behind it, but out front it sounded absolutely great. The difference was night and day. I had another drum set that sounded decent behind it, but out front it sounded sort of flat.

Ever experience a big difference behind the kit as opposed to out front?
As said - there are a lot of different variables. I just roll with it.
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Old 10-25-2018, 09:53 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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I LOVE the sound of my drums when wearing high-isolation muffs! I don't know exactly what kind of acoustic effects are in play, but it would be cool capture the algorithm for p.a. and recording!

Bermuda
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

What about tuning? Who here cranks their drums up for live work? Doing so can make the drums sound thin from the throne, but deep and powerful out front. Itís quite the balancing act we deal with isnít it?
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

I never tune that low to begin with.

I like to have some tone.

Low undiscernible thuds don't do much for me.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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What about tuning? Who here cranks their drums up for live work? Doing so can make the drums sound thin from the throne, but deep and powerful out front. Itís quite the balancing act we deal with isnít it?
I agree with this, Drums will usually sound lower pitched out front. The deader the room the higher the tuning.

Just about every note I play runs through my recording gear. I don't always record but I hear the drums through my mics. I have gradually tuned my toms much higher than I would when sitting behind the kit. They sound high pitched and tinny and then when I put my headphones on they sound just about right.
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2018, 12:29 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by Steady Freddy View Post
I agree with this, Drums will usually sound lower pitched out front. The deader the room the higher the tuning.

Just about every note I play runs through my recording gear. I don't always record but I hear the drums through my mics. I have gradually tuned my toms much higher than I would when sitting behind the kit. They sound high pitched and tinny and then when I put my headphones on they sound just about right.
Yeah. It's a whole volume and length of soundwaves thing, too. A small rom doesn't help with that unless it's really dead sound, but then you have different issues.

The awareness is what helped me as a guitar player to develop what I call PA speaker ears. Simply an awareness of the entre band mix, what amp setting works and so on. It took a while with drums. I didn't exactly learn to tune them in one day. It was hard. Now I feel I know that sound and both go for and prefer what I know will cut and work.
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So, kick drum...or...bass drum? I'll tell you what. If it's 18" or less, it's a FOOT TOM.
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  #15  
Old 11-02-2018, 03:12 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by gish View Post
What about tuning? Who here cranks their drums up for live work? Doing so can make the drums sound thin from the throne, but deep and powerful out front. Itís quite the balancing act we deal with isnít it?
Yes higher tuned drums for me live. Not cranked though. Balancing act yes. With the drums, as long as I'm not the loudest person onstage, and the vocals are prominent, then my volume is good. I've grown accustomed to higher tuned drums. To the point where they don't sound good to me unless they are at or above a certain tension.
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  #16  
Old 11-02-2018, 03:55 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by Steady Freddy View Post
I agree with this, Drums will usually sound lower pitched out front. The deader the room the higher the tuning.

I have gradually tuned my toms much higher than I would when sitting behind the kit. They sound high pitched and tinny and then when I put my headphones on they sound just about right.
I absolutely agree with this assessment, and it is why I tune my drums a bit higher when playing live than when I'm just at home in my drum room.
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  #17  
Old 11-04-2018, 11:55 AM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
I LOVE the sound of my drums when wearing high-isolation muffs! I don't know exactly what kind of acoustic effects are in play, but it would be cool capture the algorithm for p.a. and recording!

Bermuda
It's weird, I've always thought my drums sounded much better when wearing hearing protection, almost like they've been processed.

When I take the hearing protection off the snare and cymbals especially sound "brittle" and harsh, at least in my tiny practise room.
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  #18  
Old 11-05-2018, 02:11 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
I wear hearing protection 100% of the time when playing my drums at home, whether it's shooting muffs or in-ear monitors. I've found that what my drums sound like in the shooting muffs in my home studio is very similar to what they sound like out front in most situations. This allows me to tune them with confidence that no matter what they sound like to my naked ear, they're going to be just fine live.
Agreed.

I forget the topic but there's a Billy Ashbaugh tuning video and he relays a personal anecdote/pro tip that if you wear those foam earplugs and put your ear near the batter head and strike the drum, the pitch and response you hear is what a drum microphone will pick up.
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  #19  
Old 11-05-2018, 02:41 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

The severity of the difference varies depending on a lot of variables, especially the room itself. The more time spent trying to get the drums to sound good from the throne, it seems like the worse they're going to sound up front.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Drums come with their own attributes, to be sure, but as a guitarist I would like to say the phenomenon is not unique only to the drum kit. Standing 4 ft in front of my amp does not sound the same as it does 25 ft from the stage, which in turn also sounds different to the guy in the back of the club.

A decent PA, a concert hall and great soundman can mitigate some of these differences, but not all.

Occasionally, when the drummer knows and trusts me, I will play their drums while they go stand out front. It can be enlightening for those that can handle someone else playing their kit.
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2018, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Huge for me. I noticed it the most when I first got my K Custom Dry ride. Behind the kit, it sounds like a trash can lid. In front, people love it.

I only heard this when I listened to a recording of a song at a show. Then I got the gist of the behind/in front difference.
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  #22  
Old 11-08-2018, 02:06 AM
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Default Re: The sound behind vs. the sound out front - big differences for you?

Years ago I had a Yamaha maple custom absolute kit. The bass drum sounded like shit behind it but in front of it it sounded wonderful. I even remember modern drummer reviewing the kit andsaying that the thin shell of the bass drum really threw the sound out front and didn’t leave much behind it. Even though I knew it sounded good in front of the kit it was depressing having a bass drum that sound like shit behind it. I eventually sold the kit. No offense meant to any Yamaha lovers.
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