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  #1  
Old 12-17-2012, 11:17 PM
PunchLine17 PunchLine17 is offline
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Default Help with selecting heads

I'm a new drummer and I recently picked up a used Pearl Forum set that was just over a year old but in very good condition for a great price. I switched the stock batter and reso heads for coated Evans G2 on top, and clear G1s on the reso side for all of my toms. I've tried tuning them, and even had a drum instructor tune them for me but I am still not satisfied with the sound I am getting out of them. My toms ring quite a bit, with lots of overtones (even with moon gels). I actually preferred the stock clear batter heads. Any recommendations or maybe I'm just not tuning them correctly... Cheers!
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Old 12-18-2012, 12:52 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Help with selecting heads

Hi! Firstly, welcome to the forums and to drumming in general.

What you are probably hearing, now that you have new, top-quality heads on there, is the actual character of the drum. Keep in mind a few things: Drums ring. It's what they do. That ring and sustain is what cuts through to your audience. In many genres of music, the tom sounds you hear on CDs are heavily processed, gated, decayed, and otherwise treated. If you were live in the studio, you would hear them sounding very similar to yours. Also, what you hear behind the drums is very different than what your audience hears when guitars and bass are crunching.

Have your teacher play the drums while you are standing 15 to 20 feet away, if possible. It will be informative.

If you simply can't stand the sound while practicing alone, try studio rings. I use them myself when practicing or in low volume, acoustic gigs. You might also opt for a more muffled head such as EC2s or Pinstripes.

But whatever you do, try not to muffle the toms to death. I hear drummers at gigs all the time who hear like they're playing on cardboard boxes because they detuned their drums and muffled them to heck. They probably sound just like a recording behind the drums, but out front they sound like poo.

Finally, have a peek on YouTube for Bob Gatzen's drum tuning video. Nice of your teacher to do it for you, but it's certainly something you want to learn to do yourself -- and well.

Again, welcome, and best of luck!
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Old 12-18-2012, 04:33 AM
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Sparkboss Sparkboss is offline
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Default Re: Help with selecting heads

Very good information from mr. Al. I would like to further elaborate on the topic of what the crowd hears. Often in drumming you will have to make sacrifices, and this is a big one! Because the sound you want, will most likely not be The sound you should hear. What exactly do I mean by that? For example, I love how remo's clear pinstripes sound when I'm behind the kit, but I've come to understand that if I want the people I am performing for to hear the same thing, I will need to let the drums ring a little more freely because often the overtones that you DO want will get "lost in the mix". So I chose the Remo clear emperors (g2 equivalent). Same head minus the ring outlay.

When searching for your ideal sound, just try to tailor the sound to what You want the crowd to hear. Maybe you won't be 100% happy ( but you will probbly be about 90-95% happy lol) with the sound as your banging on the drums, but I guarantee you that the frustration from that will be far less than that of a bad sound when performing live.

Now that I'm done rambling on, tell us, what sound are you going for on your drums? And what exactly DON'T you like about the g2s? This information will help us point you in the right direction

- sparkboss
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Old 12-18-2012, 11:21 PM
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JesusMySavior JesusMySavior is offline
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Default Re: Help with selecting heads

Watch some drum videos, some of your favorite drummers. Pick the tones you like the best, and post them here. We can help you understand what you are looking for.
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  #5  
Old 12-18-2012, 11:31 PM
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The Black Page Dude The Black Page Dude is offline
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Default Re: Help with selecting heads

Quote:
Originally Posted by PunchLine17 View Post
I'm a new drummer and I recently picked up a used Pearl Forum set that was just over a year old but in very good condition for a great price. I switched the stock batter and reso heads for coated Evans G2 on top, and clear G1s on the reso side for all of my toms. I've tried tuning them, and even had a drum instructor tune them for me but I am still not satisfied with the sound I am getting out of them. My toms ring quite a bit, with lots of overtones (even with moon gels). I actually preferred the stock clear batter heads. Any recommendations or maybe I'm just not tuning them correctly... Cheers!
Do yourself a solid and seek out a player who is really good at tuning. Half the battle of becoming a great drummer is knowing how to accomplish "your sound". Yes there are great resources on the web, but you cannot replace the interaction and physical action of actually hearing the slight tonal differences.

Second, become friends with any type drum dial or "drum tuner" (aka tympanic tension measurement device). And get someone to show you how to use one. They really level the playing field and teach you how to have good ears. Can you imagine a guitarist who tuned a guitar with their E strings sharp? They would learn to play thinking that sound is "okay".

alparrott had some great advice for you as well ... listen to your tuning from the listeners perspective. What you hear and what the audience hears (or the mics pick up) are two different sounds.
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2012, 09:20 PM
PunchLine17 PunchLine17 is offline
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Default Re: Help with selecting heads

Hey guys, thanks a bunch for the great advice! I viewed a few instructional tuning videos on youtube (one from Bob Gatzen) and spent a few hours playing around and trying different tuning options. I have managed to get them sounding fairly good without using a tune bot or drum dial (which is on my Christmas list :D). I'm still wondering though, that maybe the coated G2's just aren't the right type of head for my toms (poplar shells). I'm looking for that nice deep fat clear sound, with minimal after ring if that makes any sense? Some of examples of drummers I really like and the sound I am looking for: Jimmy Chamberlin, Patrick Keeler (Raconteurs, Greenhornes), and of course John Bonham's sound is excellent! Thanks again for the great advice.
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