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  #1  
Old 05-04-2013, 05:23 PM
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Default Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

So it's the week here in my town where all the local bands have a turn at getting on stage during the annual festival week. My drums had the distinction of being first on the stage this year, but not me. I shared my kit with my friend who played in the band before me, as I wanted a chance to hear my drums out in the crowd anyways and there was a quick transition to my band's set. I'm still gigging my first-generation Yamaha Stage Customs, with the new Pearl Sensitone brass snare I picked up a couple weeks ago, and my mix of Ks, As, A Customs, and Zs. Everything sounded great out in front, I've come to accept that my $700 drumset sounds great given proper micing and FOH diligence.

Later in the week, I was watching other bands, most of whom are friends of mine. One band was a mashup of a female singer-songwriter duo, the boyfriend-drummer of one of the singers, and a bassist and guitarist who typically play out as a duo. The bassist had loaned the drummer the kit that he uses as a house kit at the local blues jam. This is an old 80's-vintage Slingerland in a white wrap with square-size toms, old, beat-up Pinstripes all around, an old Pearl steel snare from an Export kit that sounds like a coffee can, and a mix of some old As and Sabian B8s. And after micing them up and doing the FOH mix, guess what? The kit sounded like a kit. You couldn't really tell that the heads were as old as some of the people in the crowd and the funnel cakes at the food fair cost more than some of the cymbals.

Later on in the week the band I used to be in took the stage with their new drummer. He was playing a Sonor budget kit and all B8s. And guess what? Again, it sounded like a really good kit in the outdoors conditions over the sound system.

So maybe we're all tripping about the drums and cymbals we gig with locally. As long as the hardware is up to snuff, is it really a big deal? Bob uses his Club Dates, which are not expensive; I use my Stage Customs. Even cymbals, to some extent, don't appear to have a lot of sonic variance in those sort of playing situations. (I am not, however, suggesting you take a B8 ride to your next jazz club gig. And no, Bermuda, you should probably leave the CB700s at home for your next tour with Al.)

Opinions? Maybe we've all been taken for a ride by the marketing machine?
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Great story Al. PA's really change the game. I remember sharing a bill, and a drumset, with a great band. His drums sounded PHENOMENAL from the audience. When I went up there to play them, OMG it sounded horrible from the throne. I couldn't believe the difference.

No way will I ever admit that I've been duped by the marketers. Everything they say is gospel truth lol.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Maybe it is. The problem I have is that I cannot play for jack on a crappy kit that sounds horrible.
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

I have on old Sonor Force 2000 that I will never get rid of. I played literally hundreds of gigs with it and it sounds great. I can't deny that there are cheap kits that have problems with shells that are out-of-round and lugs that stick and won't hold a head in tune. However, there are many kits that use less expensive shells like poplar, fiberglass, gum wood, etc. that are great. The wood costs less because of greater supply more than anything else. It doesn't mean the woods aren't good. The rest is in the hands of sound guys and drummers themselves. I am seeing a lot of threads here recently that are "players" threads as opposed to "gearhead" threads. We all love to look at cool gear, but in the end, it's the sound the player gets that counts. :)
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:12 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Well, if you're talking gear, I think hardware matters for the simple fact that good, quality gear lasts longer. My reasoning is, you pay a little more and you won't have to replace it in two years or whatever. Like buying shoes or sandals. You get the cheapo shoes at Payless, and they fall apart quickly, whereas a well-made pair of shoes (or boots or sandals) can last for years. I am a true believer in the old saying, "you get what you pay for".

As far as sound goes, I think you're right when it comes to gigging set. It's in the studio where all that top notch gear shines, but as far as gigging, all you need is decent heads, a keen ear for tuning and a good PA man. I personally can tell cheapo cymbals from good ones, especially during the quieter moments, but if all your doing is playing thrash or hard rock covers, then B8/ZHT type cymbals will suffice, IMO.

I am surprised that in the studio, my drum set is the one that gets used by 90% of all the drummers that visit our studio. I sit back and listen to these guys play it, and it sounds great. We also have a beautiful house kit there. It's a Starclassic with good Paiste cymbals all around, but for some reason they all want to play my old, no-name orphan kit with the concert toms. Actually, I do know that the bass drum is an old Reveille. All the hardware is cheap though and it's not for gigging. I don't think so. That's what I have another set for. You should have seen these drums before I had them wrapped. Hideous. Bought them for $90. All I did was put on a new head and a thicker 2.3mm triple flange hoop on the 13 and 16. Shoot, my snare drum, a Big Black Pork Pie, sounds better than probably 80% of all the snare drums I've ever heard. Man, the sounds that I can pull out of that thing is inspiring. I think that thing cost me about $290 out the door. I do have decent cymbals, but nothing extraordinary.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
Well, if you're talking gear, I think hardware matters for the simple fact that good, quality gear lasts longer.
No argument. If you set up and tear down even once a week, you need hardware that can take the stress of folding and moving. I would never skimp on hardware no matter the cost of the drums or cymbals themselves in a regular gigging situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite Zephyr View Post
As far as sound goes, I think you're right when it comes to gigging set. It's in the studio where all that top notch gear shines, but as far as gigging, all you need is decent heads, a keen ear for tuning and a good PA man. I personally can tell cheapo cymbals from good ones, especially during the quieter moments, but if all your doing is playing thrash or hard rock covers, then B8/ZHT type cymbals will suffice, IMO.
And as long as the drums are fundamentally sound. But I am amazed at how a kit that sounds like ca-ca on the throne can be made to sound better than "decent" in the PA based on this experience. And as far as these bands, nobody was playing thrash, and the B8s still didn't sound bad. Of course, we're a long way from the studio on a somewhat windy stage in a park, in a crowd, with open air speakers. At some point, any cymbal at any price point becomes high-pitched noise in that setting. And so I guess the point is, maybe there is a place for those cheap-o cymbals and drums, so we can leave our prized vintage and high-shelf gear at home now and again.
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Great story Al. PA's really change the game. I remember sharing a bill, and a drumset, with a great band. His drums sounded PHENOMENAL from the audience. When I went up there to play them, OMG it sounded horrible from the throne. I couldn't believe the difference.

No way will I ever admit that I've been duped by the marketers. Everything they say is gospel truth lol.
I've played a few kits that had the opposite effect, that is, sounded great up close, but just didn't make it for me out in the mix. Not sure what the issue was, whether it was a poor sound engineer, bad mics or a combination. That said, it can't hurt if the kit sounds good on its own without mics and pa- assuming a level playing field of engineer and amplification gear, it must make the drums sound better out front if you're giving the engineer a good sound to work with in the first place? Surely?
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Old 05-04-2013, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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I've played a few kits that had the opposite effect, that is, sounded great up close, but just didn't make it for me out in the mix. Not sure what the issue was, whether it was a poor sound engineer, bad mics or a combination. That said, it can't hurt if the kit sounds good on its own without mics and pa- assuming a level playing field of engineer and amplification gear, it must make the drums sound better out front if you're giving the engineer a good sound to work with in the first place? Surely?
Oh, I agree. I try to make my kit sound as good as possible both behind and in front, but with a concentration on "in front" -- since I usually play either through in-ears or with earplugs, the throne sound is usually as good, if not better, than the out front, unmiced. I think that helps when it's time to mic the drums, for sure. And I agree with the other poster -- it's far more fun to play when your drums sound great to you as well as in the mix.

A good FOH guy, though, is apparently akin to a stage magician.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Originally Posted by alparrott View Post
And as long as the drums are fundamentally sound. But I am amazed at how a kit that sounds like ca-ca on the throne can be made to sound better than "decent" in the PA based on this experience. And as far as these bands, nobody was playing thrash, and the B8s still didn't sound bad. Of course, we're a long way from the studio on a somewhat windy stage in a park, in a crowd, with open air speakers. At some point, any cymbal at any price point becomes high-pitched noise in that setting. And so I guess the point is, maybe there is a place for those cheap-o cymbals and drums, so we can leave our prized vintage and high-shelf gear at home now and again.
True. Kinda makes me wonder. Still, you have to listen to the cymbals despite what the audience is hearing, and who wants to hear ca-ca up close if you don't have to? Great sounding cymbals inspire me. :)
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Cost have little to do with the sound.

Here's what I think does though:
- Quality of the instrument.
- Head selection
- Tuning abilities
- Technique - including grip and stroke
- The individuals opinion on each as to what is and isn't good.

Each one of these could take up a great deal of conversation on their own.

Get into recording sessions and then differences in opinions really become apparent.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Cost have little to do with the sound.

Here's what I think does though:
- Quality of the instrument.
- Head selection
- Tuning abilities
- Technique - including grip and stroke
- The individuals opinion on each as to what is and isn't good.

Each one of these could take up a great deal of conversation on their own.

Get into recording sessions and then differences in opinions really become apparent.
I pretty much agree, but would shorten the list even more. I would take head selection out, and even move quality of the instrument down the list as long it was reasonably sound (no bent up hoops, etc). From across a live venue, I doubt 9 out of ten people could tell what heads are being used. Tuning abilities count for most of the sound if unmiced, so I would leave that, and technique would stay for sure.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Miracles can be done with gates and reverb. But I like my drums to sound good to me as well, ya know? But yes a good PA with a good engineer can make a turd sound like a drum. Doesn't mean any old drum will make a pleasing sound to your ears, the ones that count. And not everyone is playing through a big PA.

So again, is top of the line gear necessary? No. Good gear with good heads? Yes, to keep ourselves sane.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:57 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Excellent points about high end gear being not all that necessary. (I won't go to a jazz gig without my Zildjian Bounce Ride though.)

I was at a local club a while back during sound check for some band touring through. Their drummer was playing...no kidding...a gig case for a bass drum. While they were dialing in the sound, it sounded like everything from a cardboard box to a 26" bass drum out front.

So yeah, a good sound guy can work miracles with crap gear.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Ex. Their drummer was playing...no kidding...a gig case for a bass drum. While they were dialing in the sound, it sounded like everything from a cardboard box to a 26" bass drum out front.

So yeah, a good sound guy can work miracles with crap gear.
Trying to puzzle out why a guy was sound checking....a drum case? Hard or soft case lol. JK. Please don't tell me he played the show on a road case for a bass drum. If the case is there, presumably the drum would be too. I'm not getting the why part here.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:03 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Trying to puzzle out why a guy was sound checking....a drum case? Hard or soft case lol. JK. Please don't tell me he played the show on a road case for a bass drum. If the case is there, presumably the drum would be too. I'm not getting the why part here.
No. That would be kind of messed up, wouldn't it? :-)

They were a weird folky type of band. I think it may have just been part of their shtick.

It was a few years ago. It seems like it was either a hardware type of case or upright bass case.

My guess is the sound guy didn't want it to sound like...a drum case.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:43 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

To the average listener this has to be the case.

We have had this conversation many times. What is the increase in sound quality between the mid-level kits and upper level kits and how does it compare to the increase in cost? I am always wanting a nicer kit (Renowns, Starclassics etc..) but every time I site at my Catalina Maple kit I just love it and even more so as time goes by and my tuning skills get better. I could afford one but cant justify the expense for the amount that I play.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Drums and cymbals don't have to be high end to sound good.
I learned that a long time ago.
You mentioned in the first post that I gig with my Club Dates. They are really good sounding drums. They sound like vintage drums both up close and far away. I have also gigged with my Sonor Safari kit. That kit also sounds really good. Inexpensive drums can be tuned to sound good to the player and the audience.
I can't believe how good Z series cymbals sound live. I just don't want to be sitting next to one while it is being played because unlike drums, inexpensive cymbals don't sound good to the drummer. They do however sound good in a mix of live music.

I am getting a vintage Ludwig 3 ply kit next week. I should probably do some sound comparisons to my Club Date kit because the toms are the same sizes and both kits have round bearing edges. I predict that they will be similar sounding.
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Drums are tuning. Expensive drums can sound bad and most cheap drums can sound good. The rest is our ego. Cymbals are another matter, however. They are what they are.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:25 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

I do agree that for the most part, many/most/all mid-level drums today are on par with high end drums of 20-40 years ago in terms of sonic quality. A super high end is not necessary to get a good tone.

But there is some context here. Playing outdoors tends to dry out even the most resonant drums. So I can see in an outdorr setting the differences being less apparent. Then add in the PA, and yes, it's a great equalizer.

But in a small bar, with no mics, I think the differences between good heads/bad heads cheap/good cymbals will become more apparent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alparrott View Post

A good FOH guy, though, is apparently akin to a stage magician.
Quote:
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So yeah, a good sound guy can work miracles with crap gear.
True, but having a good sound guy at the gig tends to be a luxury. Anyone's who's done a share of gigging is bound to have horror stories of under-trained, under skilled or just bad sound people. There have been plenty of threads on those around here.

And then of course, some gigs, there are no mics for the drums. And then the difference between a decent set of drums well tuned and a crap set with 10 year old heads is going to become way more apparent. So I still think having drums with good heads tuned properly is still the way to go, just so to be ready regardless of the situation.

I saw a gig a few weeks ago, and the drummer had a Pearl Export with Pinstripes that were old and dented. No Mics, in a small bar. He might as well been playing cardboard boxes. In fact, boxes might have sounded better. Maybe an awesome sound guy with mics could have made this kit sound great, but no such person was there. And I've gigged with Pearl Exports before, I know with good heads they can sound pretty decent in a bar setting.

Touch can also play. I told a story from a little over a year ago of going to an open jam. Most guys made the ride sound OK at best. Then the guy before me made this ride cymbal sound amazing, as if it was the finest vintage K. I go up, and it turns out it's a ZBT that just goes "clang, clang" when I play it. haha.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:42 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

A graphic example about 4 years ago when my lounge band played at the Sando with drums mic'd up. We were friends with the sound guy and we knew he'd be good.

My Pearl Rhythm Traveler sounded great - like a proper kit. 16" bass drum and all. Add a bit of oomph to the bottom end and the 16" kick has a proper boom.

The stage sound generally was great, light years from many other gigs I've played. Afterwards I told him that I loved the stage sound because everything was so crisp and clear - and in a long room with awkward acoustics. He replied, "That's what I do, m'dear - crisp and clear". Obviously easier said than done because a lot of sound guys don't achieve it.

Having said that, the Gurus are a MUCH more inspiring kit to play.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:12 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

I was having a related conversation with a couple musician buddies on Saturday.

My friend who is a bass player wanted to go to a music store to check out a squier 5 string bass to use for jams and goofing around gigs. He's got 8 or 9 5 string basses already, some very high end. To me, I can't tell the difference from one to another when he's playing them, especially live, with the whole band going, and told him so. He told me that us drummers are just as nuts with all our different cymbals, they all sound the same to him.

We do spend a crazy amount of time picking cymbals, sticks, heads and drum kits, and we all love our own, but he does have a point. If there was a big difference, we should be able to listen to any drummer play his kit blind, and tell what he's using. When I listen to other drummers play, I listen to his talent, not his kit. I couldn't tell you what kind of gear anyone uses, unless I sit at the kit myself.

I wonder how much of it is a case of the "Emperors new Clothes" I appreciate the higher end drums are finished like fine furniture and cost more, and some are just beautiful to look at and I love them. But playing with a band with two guitars, bass, keys and vocals all pumping out, I think 90% of those little tone things we spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on all go right out the window. As long as the drums tune up good, and have decent cymbals that don't sound like tin pie plates, it's all good live.
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Old 05-06-2013, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

I did a recording session a few years back with a hot engineer. The guy had just done Avril Levigne's record the week before and he was getting a rep for killer drums sounds.

We talked and he spent almost an hour detailing his drums (yamaha what else?), heads, tuning, mic placement, compression etc.

After all of this I asked: "What about cymbals?".

"They all pretty much go psshhh, don't they?" was his reply. A friggin' ENGINEER!!!

So yes, we are all crazy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:01 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

If you go back to the thread about Wac'd Drums latest endeavour, where he made a kit for a clinic played by Johnny Rabb, one of the toms was made from a heavy, concrete casting cardboard tube. Mic'd it sounded fantastic. It is quite obvious that sound is the most important of the drum factors, but anyone who gigs will tell you that good hardware is a necessity for any kit that is broken down nightly, and carted about. Yes we can make a drum sound just fine but we can't make a cheap kit last.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:26 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Big PA - outdoor gig - good engineer = big equaliser. The bottom line is this, in most other circumstances, all things being equal, a better sounding source is your fastest & most reliable guarantee of better results.
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:35 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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........Having said that, the Gurus are a MUCH more inspiring kit to play.
This is such the truth. To me, I'm so much more inspired to play the instrument when they feel and sound great. Can I do the same thing on a set that doesn't inspire me to play? Indeed. Just so much more enjoyable and effortless to do on something that really hits home to me.

The subjective words in my comments though are "what feel and sound great to me." That can mean something different to each of us.

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Big PA - outdoor gig - good engineer = big equaliser. The bottom line is this, in most other circumstances, all things being equal, a better sounding source is your fastest & most reliable guarantee of better results.
Agreed.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:20 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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To me, I'm so much more inspired to play the instrument when they feel and sound great. Can I do the same thing on a set that doesn't inspire me to play? Indeed. Just so much more enjoyable and effortless to do on something that really hits home to me.
Exactly. You can play the same things on different kits, but will you? The new kit is pulling different things from me to the RT.
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Old 05-06-2013, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Just for the record, let me interject my agreement with the following: Yes, much more fun to play a great kit than a sucky one. Yes, much easier to pull good sound out of a good kit, and it also takes less time. Yes, a bad, poorly tuned kit, in an unmiked bar situation will sound bad.

And truth be told, the sound check for those lousy kits was a bit longer than mine was, to be sure.

I don't think this experience has convinced me to rely on budget drums or cymbals exclusively, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't expecting anyone to talk me into it either. Basically I was just reflecting on how, despite the very gear-oriented mentality of many drummers, and to some extent this forum, a hodgepodge of cheap budget gear ended up sounding pretty passable on a festival stage.

And I'm with you, Grea. I'm sure I'd sound like angels singing while riding unicorns down rainbows if I had a Guru kit myself. For sure, it would be easier to get inspired than on the old blues jam kit.
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Old 05-06-2013, 10:50 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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a hodgepodge of cheap budget gear ended up sounding pretty passable on a festival stage.
With a good engineer, yes. I've heard some pretty terrible stuff sound most passable on a festival stage.
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Old 05-08-2013, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Play my Yamaha Oak Customs when gigging and a Tama Swingstar kit at church every Sunday...in the acoustics of the big church sanctuary and with the sound system in the church the Swingstars sound great.

Love my Yamaha's and bought the kit because I wanted a better kit for my personal use. I admit I love the finish and the hardware...marketing? No I think that finally buying a better kit after 40 years of playing cheaper kits was something I did just for me...

One note..my Yamaha Anton Fig snare is light years above the Tama snare that came with the Swingstars...don't even use that snare any longer.
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:51 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Exactly. You can play the same things on different kits, but will you? The new kit is pulling different things from me to the RT.
Interesting Anon La Ply....With your superlative verbiage skills, could you somehow expound copiously on this rather titillating juxtaposition?

In other words, how so lol? Got any examples you can relate?
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Old 05-08-2013, 04:57 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Exactly. You can play the same things on different kits, but will you? The new kit is pulling different things from me to the RT.
Gretchen, you have been really quiet since you have received the new kit.
I was wondering about how you were doing with it the other day as a matter of fact.
It must still be a shock to you.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:03 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Attended an open mic jam last night. The guy had some inexpensive Sonors. Pinstriped, tuned low, laundry in the kick, ported head, sloshy low tuned snare with loose wires, hi hats that sounded like they were the opposite of crisp, clangy Rock ZBT cymbals, pretty much opposite of my sound. Typical bad drum kit sound, nothing special. Didn't do a thing for me. I could have done wonders with that kit. So it's not how much you pay, it's what you do with them after you paid for them.

Written as I'm waiting for my Guru's lol.
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Old 05-08-2013, 05:38 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Attended an open mic jam last night. The guy had some inexpensive Sonors. Pinstriped, tuned low, laundry in the kick, ported head, sloshy low tuned snare with loose wires, hi hats that sounded like they were the opposite of crisp, clangy Rock ZBT cymbals, pretty much opposite of my sound. Typical bad drum kit sound, nothing special. Didn't do a thing for me.
See, he needed an FOH guy...
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:06 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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I think that finally buying a better kit after 40 years of playing cheaper kits was something I did just for me...
I did the same.


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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Got any examples you can relate?
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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Gretchen, you have been really quiet since you have received the new kit.
Ah, peer pressure. Confessions. Keep verbiage minimal.

Me bad tuner. Played 80s style single-headed cardboard boxes for yonks. RT is single headed. Sounded bad anyway lol

Public recordings from me not do Guru justice. Unbelievably resonant despite stray overtones. Nowhere for bad tuner to hide. Learning curve. Enjoying playing out of tune anyway. Still sounds cool. Just want flow and can't be effed with details. I am a lazy bad person. Sue me.

:)
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Old 05-08-2013, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Attended an open mic jam last night. The guy had some inexpensive Sonors. Pinstriped, tuned low, laundry in the kick, ported head, sloshy low tuned snare with loose wires, hi hats that sounded like they were the opposite of crisp, clangy Rock ZBT cymbals, pretty much opposite of my sound. Typical bad drum kit sound, nothing special. Didn't do a thing for me. I could have done wonders with that kit. So it's not how much you pay, it's what you do with them after you paid for them.

Written as I'm waiting for my Guru's lol.
Went to an open jam about a year ago where they guy had a beautiful set of DWs that sounded terrible. The only time I ever played into a drum to try and just get a decent flat sound out of it. Pulling the stick back like I normally do sounded way worse. Even a local hero on break from touring couldn't get a good sound out of them. Nobody sounded very comfortable on them. The regular guy usually brings a set of older Renowns with a 10 and a 13. He takes lessons from Wally Schnalle and learned how to tune. Same stage, drums at half the price, and they sound great unless a total hack is playing them. There's another local guy who typically hauls around a set of beater '60s Pearls he found in a dumpster. No resos, dented pinstripes and all. But he plays great and tunes them to get the most out of them. When he's playing, they sound like drums.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:26 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

Amplification can do wonders for a drum sound, though I think if you start with a decent sound, it's going to make the engineer's job easier.

One thing to note is that the quality of mid-market drums is so much higher than it was even 10 years ago. The build quality, the shell materials, etc. are all as good or better than a lot of the "classic" and "vintage" kits that many drool over.
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Old 05-08-2013, 12:43 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Originally Posted by Anon La Ply View Post



Ah, peer pressure. Confessions. Keep verbiage minimal.

Me bad tuner. Played 80s style single-headed cardboard boxes for yonks. RT is single headed. Sounded bad anyway lol

Public recordings from me not do Guru justice. Unbelievably resonant despite stray overtones. Nowhere for bad tuner to hide. Learning curve. Enjoying playing out of tune anyway. Still sounds cool. Just want flow and can't be effed with details. I am a lazy bad person. Sue me.

:)
I see! I remember having to make an adjustment after playing my 70's Gretsch kit with concert toms for many years.
Bottom heads do come as a shock after not having them for decades.
You will catch on soon. It took me a few months of experimenting to get tom tuning.
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Old 05-08-2013, 08:27 PM
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Default Re: Maybe at that, the cost of the gear doesn't matter.

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Opinions? Maybe we've all been taken for a ride by the marketing machine?
Heck yeah we've all been riding the marketing machine! However, as pointed out too, the PA makes a big difference. We did the same thing when I was a student in recording engineering class learning how to mic up a drum set for the first time. The drums sounded much better in the control room than it did in the playing area. The guy playing them sounded alot better in the control room too ;)

I still contend that anyone with the proper ability should be able to take any kit and make it sound good. Drums are not hand-made violins or brass or woodwind instruments. There's a distinction I draw the line at. And not to slight the hand-made steam-bent crowd, but there's not too much difference between those and mass-produced ply drums. But as Al points out, if the hardware is up to snuff, I'd trust it to survive on the road. But in reality this is unwise as 'the road' for musical instruments is made much harsher by weather conditions and sun and stage lighting, that's really what you buy when you get into pro-level stuff.

The problem with that is we all think we're gonna be in those situations. We all think we'll be the next Steve Gadd recording the next discerning jazz track with Chick Corea. We all think we'll be Neil Peart going from motorcycle to stage in front of 70,000 screaming fans. The reality, of course, is much different. I think I've made a career out of playing out once in a while on weekends in between all the other maverick work I do, and I've never found myself in a studio or playing to more than small church (mouse gig notwithstanding). But dang it, when I do - I'll be ready ;)

Thank God I'm told what I need!
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