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  #41  
Old 10-15-2006, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
originally posted by cdrums21
And to Stu Strib and Finnhiggins, thank you for your support, it means alot :o) I'm sorry to have participated in such a mean spirited post exchange...shame on me
The weak part of the exchange wasn't your doing. IMO, you were making a very innocent observation regarding young drummers that I have noticed before myself. I also completely understood what you were saying about your studio observations, and although I didn't agree with some of it, your points were deserving of consideration and respect. You didn't come off with any tone of hollow sanctimony or false knowledge that warranted a similarly toned response.

I think the amped up dialogue of one of the contributors was stemmed more in issues of posturing and consensus building, while having very little to do with the subject at hand.
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  #42  
Old 10-15-2006, 11:43 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

How ironic, I make a witty remark concerning his identity and he suddenly becomes 'too busy to participate'.
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  #43  
Old 10-15-2006, 11:52 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

*sigh*

Toms sometimes need to be muffled, and sometimes dont. Dont argue about the sound of drums, they all sound different.

And guys, remember, if it sounds good, it probably is.
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  #44  
Old 10-16-2006, 12:09 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nitro
I think more experienced players tend to have better equipment and therefore don't need to battle with crap sounds as much.

I agree, on the tuning elements though - if a good kit is tuned properly, the need for dampening is reduced. Personal choice and genre come into it though.
im pretty experinced and i still have the same s*** from when i was 13.
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  #45  
Old 10-16-2006, 04:12 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

It tells us they become good at tunning. They also become more knowledgeable about equipment. They also my use heads with some muffling built in.
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  #46  
Old 10-16-2006, 04:20 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

That with time we open up like flowers in summer.

And the sweet smell of rythm, where the listners may follow there nose.
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  #47  
Old 10-16-2006, 06:28 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

That's very interesting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mediocrefunkybeat
How ironic, I make a witty remark concerning his identity and he suddenly becomes 'too busy to participate'.
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  #48  
Old 10-17-2006, 12:38 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I'm so glad I play with people who don't hassle me about my sound. If some engineer wanted to shove a pillow in my bass drum I'd tell him to shove it somewhere else. I really respect you studio guys who can hang in there with all these people trying to make you sound like everyone else on the radio. Sound is a huge part of my musical personality. I never use muffling 'cause that's the sound I like.

What kills me is when dudes drop 5 or 6 grand on sweet ass DW stuff that sings like a bird and then they wrap the whole damb thing in duct tape.

I can understand producers and pop artists wanting a certain drum sound, and muffling and eq-ing a kit to death to achieve exactly what they want, but I'm happy to announce that thoes types will never want me as their drummer. Because I'm a jazz snob, I tend to think that those dudes just don't like the way drums actually sound. Plug those screw balls into a drum machine, and they'd be perfectly happy. I think practically speaking, sure: it all depends on the room, the tune, the blah blah blah... But for me, it only depends on one thing: what I want to hear.

On the other hand, if my paycheck depended on it, I'm pretty sure I'd change my tune!
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  #49  
Old 10-17-2006, 02:12 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drad-dog
But for me, it only depends on one thing: what I want to hear.

On the other hand, if my paycheck depended on it, I'm pretty sure I'd change my tune!
Yep.

And remember, some of the most successful players became successful because they're flexible.

But on the other side of the coin, I'll hand it to Buddy Rich for doing one thing, doing it well, doing it his way, and having young and old drummers still rave about him. However, the drummers who can pull that off are few and far between.

Bermuda
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  #50  
Old 10-17-2006, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I have done the same thing over the years. When I first started playing I had a tone of duct tape on the under side of my snare heads, and all kinds of blankets inside the bass drum.
Over time I got less and less muffling. I used those RemO's for a long time on the snare too, but again, I got rid of it after a while.
Now I use no muffling and all, except a small DW pillow in my kick.
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  #51  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:13 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21
It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less. I know for me, any type of muffling on my snare or toms takes away certain sonic characteristics that I find desireable.... the high end bite of the snare, the attack and full resonant tone of the toms. But, when I was a beginner, I muffled the crap out of my kit to get rid of any excess overtones that sounded unnatural and was perfectly happy. Obviously, becoming a more mature player, an experienced tuner and acquiring a "taste" for wide open sounding drums will lead most drummers to not use any muffling devices whatsoevr, but is there more to it than that? Is it better to not muffle your drums since most more experienced players don't? What are your thoughts?
I used to do the same thing and i couldnt imagine doing that now . Its the worst thing you could do to drums is muffle them . the whole reason is because of being a more experienced tuner . most drummers dont even know how to tune and when i was coming up as a rookie drummer that was the first thing i learned was how to tune . I couldnt stand the sound of untuned drums . Another reason is that its kind of embarresing to muffle 'cause that just shows you dont know anything about tuning .
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  #52  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
Yep.

And remember, some of the most successful players became successful because they're flexible.

But on the other side of the coin, I'll hand it to Buddy Rich for doing one thing, doing it well, doing it his way, and having young and old drummers still rave about him. However, the drummers who can pull that off are few and far between.

Bermuda
I happen to like very open drum sounds as well. Granted if I were being paid well to get a certain sound I can totally understand changing to fit the music. However I do understand both sides of the issue ...just my personal taste leans toward a live sound with tone....it seems like more an more people agree with this these days from lot's of recordings I have heard. A return to a 'real sound' is happening.

One thing I have noticed when doing some recording is I have found it is easier to take out overtone and ring at the board afterward...than it is to add sound back in if it is not there in the first place? Not sure if this makes sense but the last recording I did we were able to start off with a pretty live open sound as the basis of the drum track...and work from there. We also used more distant miking and not close miking which I am sure contributed to this.
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  #53  
Old 10-17-2006, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

In the early sixties most kits were played with little or no muffling with single ply heads. Around '64 the Beatles cut the Larry Williams tune "Slow Down" and it was the first time I noticed a clear nice sounding tom sound. At this point Ringo was using a 12 and a 14 x14 with a 20" kick. On "Slowdown" in particular Ringo does a bunch of fast triplets around the kit and those Luddies just sang to me. I had to have some and to this day whenver I'm in a band that does rock and roll we play Slowdown.
Fast Forward to about '68 or '69 and Listen to Ringo playing with cigarette packs taped to his drums, and later with bottom heads taken off, all to create that "Dead Sound" which incidently was highly copied. I can't imagine listening to Abbey Road without those muffled sounding drums. Sorry I go to Ringo for these examples but in those days EVERYBODY followed what the Beatles were doing. Later on I listened to Mitch Mitchell and noticed he maintained the opened unmuffled sound pretty much on all the Jimi Hendrix records, such as the album Axis Bold As Love. The tune "Wait Until Tomorrow" enjoyed this sound and also close miking, something which was new and rare in 1967.

My point is, muffling is not always a bad thing. I love the way younger players frown on it all the time. Look at the title of this thread. I got the impression the writer thinks drummers with more experience would never muffle a drum. I disagree. I will continue to change the sound of my drums to fit the music and artist I'm working for. Muffling to me is just another technique you can use. I often like to change the sound of what I'm doing to fit the song and sometimes the style of music. Another Muffled Drummer that I think is at times just brilliant when it comes to grooves is Levon Helm. Check out The Band doing Mystery Train to know what I mean.

Matt
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  #54  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onemat
In the early sixties most kits were played with little or no muffling with single ply heads. Around '64 the Beatles cut the Larry Williams tune "Slow Down" and it was the first time I noticed a clear nice sounding tom sound.
And they would have sounded completely different if close miked.

There are a lot of scenarios regarding when and to what degree muffling is appropriate, and the only possible rule is that the drum sound fit the music, regardless of personal preferences. With so many wonderful sounds out there, it's hard to imagine that anyone really thinks drums should sound 'one way'. Might as well ask who the best drummer is, or what the best fill is, or what the best snare sound is... and be surprised when there's not a unanimous response.

Bermuda
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  #55  
Old 10-17-2006, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by druid
One thing I have noticed when doing some recording is I have found it is easier to take out overtone and ring at the board afterward...than it is to add sound back in if it is not there in the first place?
Ideally, the drums should sound right (for the job at hand) in the first place. The less fiddling around at the board, the better.

Yes, overtones can be dealt with somewhat at the board, but it's not preferable to having the drum make the correct resonance in the first place. And if a ringy tom sound is right, then the drum should indeed be allowed to ring out. No amount of digital wizardry will make a thuddy tom sound naturally live again.

When I go into the studio, and I know I'm going to cut 6 different sounding tracks, I bring as many snares, cymbals, different heads, and appropriately sized kicks and toms to make all of the sounds the songs require. The last thing I would do in the studio is bring one kit and expect the engineer to modify the sounds as needed. Come to think of it, that probably would be the last thing I ever do in a studio.

Bermuda
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  #56  
Old 10-18-2006, 03:30 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Ok, just a quick note for a few of you. MFB and so on:

There is no conspiracy. I have nothing to hide. I am very busy and am in the midst of dealing with a family situation. My absence is due to that and work. I shut off my notices, because I won't have time to hang around and defend myself or care to for that matter.

I have respect for most of you, but some of you occasionally do get on the high horse.
Enough with the drama and sniping at someone who can't be here to defend himself.

I hope to be able to read the forum in the near future, and gain insight from a lot of you. But right now, busy is busy. I hope that others don't have to juggle family issues and work like this, it's not fun.

So peace be with you, and I hope to be able to chat with some of you sooner than later.
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  #57  
Old 10-18-2006, 07:32 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21
It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less. I know for me, any type of muffling on my snare or toms takes away certain sonic characteristics that I find desireable.... the high end bite of the snare, the attack and full resonant tone of the toms. But, when I was a beginner, I muffled the crap out of my kit to get rid of any excess overtones that sounded unnatural and was perfectly happy. Obviously, becoming a more mature player, an experienced tuner and acquiring a "taste" for wide open sounding drums will lead most drummers to not use any muffling devices whatsoevr, but is there more to it than that? Is it better to not muffle your drums since most more experienced players don't? What are your thoughts?
I think the aging process has something to do with it, as well.
I'm in the same boat as you are and have taken the same path.
With exception to any muffling which may already be built into the drumhead, I think it's just less work to not muffle a drum.
Think about it...Remove the old head, slap on the new head, tune, fine tune. At this point you'd be done if you left the drum wide open, but muffling it now requires extra steps and time.
I think as people age, we grow weary of the "unneccessary tedious chores" that we didn't seem to mind going through in our younger years.
On top of all this, I think we realize (later on) that a drum is actually meant to vibrate ( =0 ) and if we really wanted such a muffled sound, why not save a few hundred or thousand dollars and play on the cardboard boxes the drums came in.

In other words, cut out the crap and let's get on with it.

...just my opinion.



Elvis
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  #58  
Old 10-19-2006, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

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Originally Posted by Elvis
On top of all this, I think we realize (later on) that a drum is actually meant to vibrate ( =0 ) and if we really wanted such a muffled sound, why not save a few hundred or thousand dollars and play on the cardboard boxes the drums came in.
Muffling is not an all-or-nothing proposition, and shouldn't (necessarily) result in drums sounding like cardboard boxes. Frankly, if I wanted that sound, I would absolutely sample cardboard box hits and trigger or sequence them!

Muffling is an art - sometimes good art is minimalistic, sometimes it's not.

Bermuda
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  #59  
Old 10-19-2006, 05:18 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I also think no muffling seems more sophisticated.
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  #60  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
Muffling is not an all-or-nothing proposition, and shouldn't (necessarily) result in drums sounding like cardboard boxes. Frankly, if I wanted that sound, I would absolutely sample cardboard box hits and trigger or sequence them!

Muffling is an art - sometimes good art is minimalistic, sometimes it's not.

Bermuda
Well, cardboard boxes do have a certain "resonance" to them....but I digress ( ;) )...

I suppose my statement was a bit overboard, as I do agree with you, but my point was that the muffling process is an extra step and I think, more often than not, the average drummer eventually finds that running their drums wide open will get the job done.


Elvis
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  #61  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:55 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis
I suppose my statement was a bit overboard, as I do agree with you, but my point was that the muffling process is an extra step and I think, more often than not, the average drummer eventually finds that running their drums wide open will get the job done.
In terms of the extra step, believe me, I'm all for streamlining the process of using drums. But, sometimes extra steps are required. I'd love to do my gigs with kick, snare and hat, but I usually need a tom or two. Or three. And a perfect crash/ride would be nice & easy, but it usually serves the music better to have a dedicated ride, and at least one dedicated crash. I don't think any serious working drummer can afford to balk at having to set-up an extra stand or attach an extra tom.

As such, I don't view muffling as an extra effort, any more than tuning or changing heads should be considered an effort. It's all part of the 'cost' of doing business as a drummer.

If we wanted it easy, we'd be singers instead.

Bermuda
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  #62  
Old 10-19-2006, 07:20 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

...but why make extra work for yourself, if it's not needed.
That's my point.


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  #63  
Old 10-19-2006, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

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Originally Posted by Elvis
...but why make extra work for yourself, if it's not needed.
That's my point.


Elvis
First, if muffling isn't needed, then no, there shouldn't be any effort.

Second, muffling takes 5 minutes.

Ok, I exaggerate... it takes 3 minutes.

In drumming - in life itself - some things are effortless. Some things are not. Of all the things about drums that take any effort, muffling is the least time-consuming. Try telling a soundman or engineer or producer or artist that it's too much effort to muffle your drums.

I can already guess their response. :)

But I digress. I think the answer to the original question has been stated a few times: if muffling is necessary, do it. If it's not... don't.

Bermuda
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  #64  
Old 10-19-2006, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by onemat

My point is, muffling is not always a bad thing.

Matt
I would just like to point out that all of your examples of muffled drumming are over 30 years old. Drums and sound engineering have advanced a lot during that time. If drums were able to sound like they do now back in the 60s/70s I'm not so sure the cardboard box sounding drums would have ever been popular?

But then again, there were a lot of wonky fads and fashions back then so who knows!
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  #65  
Old 10-19-2006, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

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Originally Posted by bermuda

As such, I don't view muffling as an extra effort, any more than tuning or changing heads should be considered an effort. It's all part of the 'cost' of doing business as a drummer.
Muffling is actually a short cut. Instead of taking the time to get the reso and batter head in tune with themselves and each other, it is easier just to throw a slap of moongel up there. I think this is why some people frown on it, as they see it as a cheap trick instead of learning how to tune. Me, I just don't like the sound of muffled drums!
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  #66  
Old 10-19-2006, 03:04 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_Strib
Muffling is actually a short cut. Instead of taking the time to get the reso and batter head in tune with themselves and each other, it is easier just to throw a slap of moongel up there. I think this is why some people frown on it, as they see it as a cheap trick instead of learning how to tune. Me, I just don't like the sound of muffled drums!
I agree... And I must also add the lack of time in studio. Sometimes people don't want to take enough time to tune and set the microphones in the right places to not get weird overtones, or just to choose the right ones!
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  #67  
Old 10-19-2006, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu_Strib
Muffling is actually a short cut. Instead of taking the time to get the reso and batter head in tune with themselves and each other, it is easier just to throw a slap of moongel up there. I think this is why some people frown on it, as they see it as a cheap trick instead of learning how to tune. Me, I just don't like the sound of muffled drums!
But muffling isn't only about controlling ring from ill-tuned heads. A tom may sound excellent on its own, but it may not be the right sound for the song/style at hand. Also, muffling helps accentuate fundamentals in a way that EQ at the board cannot. Assuming of course that that's a desired sound. Some genres dictate a wide opne sound, some do not, and others are in-between. The more experienced we become as drummers - as musicians - the more we are expected to know that.

The posts tell me that each drummer has a preference - a sound they personally like - and some even seem to insist on it, critics (and clients) be damned. I play drums in the context of music, not just to hear myself play, and my preference is to have the drums sound the way they sound best for the job at hand. And with "more experience as a drummer" I know up front how to make my drums sound for the job I'm about to do... it's rare that I have to be told. But I would never instist on a drum sound for a project or gig just because I happened to like it. The sounds have to work in context, not just on their own.

Sometimes I muffle, sometimes I don't. The important part is, I know when.

Bermuda
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  #68  
Old 10-19-2006, 04:59 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Also of course I think miking...head selction...and type /brand of drums come into play alot here as well in deciding whether or not to muffle drums. I know one recording I did I used Remo Mastertouch series drums with a Pork Pie snare with Remo Rennisance batter heads on the toms and Ambassadors on the bottom. The miking we used was not close miking and although up close the drums had some ring and tone from 4 feet away( cathing toms in overheads) ...not as much.In live situations those same Remos have worked well with close miking... My DW drums have alot more tone than those Remos do so depending on how they were miked...the type of music...etc...I maybe would use some minor muffling in that instance. And I can hear the sustain much longer on those toms so if they were close miked...they may require some muffling.

As Mr Bemuda said though...I do not think muffling is an excuse to not tune your drums properly. and I think given all the other variables the decision to muffle or not is not a sign of not being able to tune.

I just know personally what I like is something more alive sounding but of course well tuned also....just like a flat boxy sound is not my thing...I don't like an open sounding drum that is poorly tuned (ie: noisy) either.

Also if you are recording something with your own band or some solo effort you obviously will have more control over preferences than when working for a client who may or may not have very specific ideas regarding sounds for the drums. I think this is what Mr. Bermuda is saying...and he is right.
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  #69  
Old 10-20-2006, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
First, if muffling isn't needed, then no, there shouldn't be any effort.
I think the answer to the original question has been stated a few times: if muffling is necessary, do it. If it's not... don't.
Bermuda
That's all I was trying to say.

Elvis
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  #70  
Old 10-20-2006, 02:50 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I haven't read every single post within this thread, but I'd like to mention what I'm doing with my kit on this subject and a few other thoughts. First of all, I use a Remo Controlled Sound head with an Aquarian dampening static-cling ring on it to make it close off and stop ringing instantly (it works like a charm) and I also have a 42-link snare chain on it to get extra crackle and snappage. For all of my toms (12", 13", 16"), I use Remo Emperor Weatherking Coated's on the batter side and Ambassador Clear's for the undersides to control tone and stuff, but that's it - no dampening rings are needed and the sounds that come out are sweet so I let em sing. On my kick, I use an Aquarian (22") SuperKick II that has an internally glued-on foam ring around the edge and then an Aquarian Regulator (that has a 4 1/4" hole and inner circle glued-on foam ring in the center of the head) for the non-batter side. Everything sounds perfect to me. Just thought I'd share. Another really nice-looking batter head I've seen lately for toms is the Evans EC2 head. It's two-ply with a inner dampening ring that looks like it's some kinda super, super-thin piece of silver plastic. I might try them after my current Emperors die. I've taken them and the EMAD bass heads out of the boxes and the tom heads look great, but the EMAD bass heads are pieces of crap in my opinion.
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  #71  
Old 10-20-2006, 05:53 AM
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RudimentalDrummer RudimentalDrummer is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21
It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less. I

But, when I was a beginner, I muffled the crap out of my kit to get rid of any excess overtones that sounded unnatural and was perfectly happy.

Obviously, becoming a more mature player, an experienced tuner and acquiring a "taste" for wide open sounding drums will lead most drummers to not use any muffling devices whatsoevr, but is there more to it than that? Is it better to not muffle your drums since most more experienced players don't? What are your thoughts?
Yeah...I notice my Drum Instructor doesn't muff his drums too and when he play, it sounded so nice. On the other hand - I muff all my drums to get rid of over-tone. I once took it out, then after a few minutes, I put it back on...overtones.....I am using Remo e-rings & Evans Dampers

I asked my self ... should I muff or not muff my kit - I still don't know the answer till now. My guess is that - Maybe at home where my place is small (I need to muff them, no sound-proofing, open space not in a room) - On the other hand, if I were to bring the same kit out and play in a big space where it is very open - I might have to take out the muffling.

I went to see a few clinic, those people like soundman and such...takes a long time I guess making the drum sound right - There is no muffling...so I guess it's a long & tedious process of tunning. Maybe muffling is a short-cut - but don't look so nice??? At the Music shop they muff their drums somehow using e-rings to make it sound better (a short-cut to tunning drums rather than tunning so many set that they don't have the luxury of time I guess).

If I know & could tune well, maybe I really don't need to muff - but muffling has it's disadvantage too - When I do a Press-Roll, of course it will sound so much better & easier without an e-ring on my snare...right?

Last edited by RudimentalDrummer; 10-20-2006 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 10-20-2006, 09:16 AM
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Skitch Skitch is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

When I was starting out, I used Remo Pinstripes and Evans Hydraulics on the toms of my Ludwigs. I currently use ambassadors on my DWs.

I think it all depends on the sound that you are going for and the genre you are playing. For instance, jazz and fusion tend to allow for the more open sound and this may be due to the fact that most of these gigs are more acoustic in nature (not a lot of close micing), while rock and pop gigs seem to lean, but not to the exclusion of open sounds, to more muffled sounds, due to more close micing. For most country from the last 10-15 years, the sound is more muffled and lots of reverb and usually everything is triggered with some overheads to catch the ambience of the drums and cymbals to give the mix more life and snap. Currently, on the projects I have worked on, the more open sound is in fashion and there seems to be a more tolerant attitude of open sounding drums. That being said,

Here are a couple of points I would like to make:
  • Microphones hear differently than we human beings. A microphone doesn't care what kind of head is on the drum. A microphone can only represent and reproduce sound.
  • Microphones do not like toms.

Yes, a good engineer should be able to work with anything, theoretically. But the real world isn't theory. And I have all too many times run across the guys who think because they own a PA, this makes them a soundman. And some people are only used to working with what they have always worked with and can't handle anything else.

One of my favorite tom sounds that I would love to copy is the tom sounds on the Reckless album by Bryan Adams. Maybe Bermuda can let us in on how to get this sound.


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  #73  
Old 10-20-2006, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
But muffling isn't only about controlling ring from ill-tuned heads. A tom may sound excellent on its own, but it may not be the right sound for the song/style at hand. Also, muffling helps accentuate fundamentals in a way that EQ at the board cannot. Assuming of course that that's a desired sound. Some genres dictate a wide opne sound, some do not, and others are in-between. The more experienced we become as drummers - as musicians - the more we are expected to know that.

The posts tell me that each drummer has a preference - a sound they personally like - and some even seem to insist on it, critics (and clients) be damned. I play drums in the context of music, not just to hear myself play, and my preference is to have the drums sound the way they sound best for the job at hand. And with "more experience as a drummer" I know up front how to make my drums sound for the job I'm about to do... it's rare that I have to be told. But I would never instist on a drum sound for a project or gig just because I happened to like it. The sounds have to work in context, not just on their own.

Sometimes I muffle, sometimes I don't. The important part is, I know when.

Bermuda
Can you give us an example of the context of which you speak? This would be extremely useful! There seems to be so much misinformation out there and can be found anywhere from music videos (which should be viewed as entertainment anyway) to the marketing of studio rings as "Studio Rings".


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  #74  
Old 10-20-2006, 05:33 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Heya Mike!

Couple of examples of drum sounds being in (and out) context:

Bonham - perfect for Led Zeppelin, not good for funk. Or jazz. Or pop. Or most other rock for that matter.

Classic Joe Morello - perfect for Dave Brubeck, not for Led Zeppelin. Or most pop or rock.

Classic Jeff Porcaro (think Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown") - nice tight sound, great playing, but not suitable for much outside of 70s studio pop/rock.

I could make a really long list of drum sounds thatappeal to a lot of us, but - for better or worse - are stereotyped for certain genres and even bands (Led Zep is a prime example.) It's all well and good to be a pioneer, to take chances, to be a visionary, to think outside of the box with drum sounds... but they still have to sound good with the music in question. If a rockin song had a thin jazz-tuned kit in it, the song wouldn't work, no matter how ell everything was played, and how perfectly tuned the kit is for jazz purposes.

The matter of what's 'right' is very subjective of course, but we all have a sense of it and follow certain rules. Nothing to be ashamed of or try to fight the feeling, it comes with experience. And we all exercise the concept of what's 'right' in many ways and to varying degrees. Simple example we can probably all relate to: when we sit down at a bop kit, most of us start playing jazzy or drum & bass licks. When we sit at a big rock kit, we play some obvious rock beats & fills. When we sit at a classic Simmons kit, we play Thomas Dolby's "Blinded With Science." Well, a little exaggeration perhaps, but the idea is, drums make a lot of different sounds, and those sounds have certain genres and production values where they work best, and other genres where they don't work at all.

Experienced drummers know what sounds/drums to use for particular styles. If a drummer plays only jazz, they're not going to use a Bonham kit. And a drummer who plays only death metal is not going to use a Yamaha HipGig.

Bermuda
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Old 10-20-2006, 07:00 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Thanks Bermuda! These are great examples!



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  #76  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:12 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
Heya Mike!

Couple of examples of drum sounds being in (and out) context:

Bonham - perfect for Led Zeppelin, not good for funk. Or jazz. Or pop. Or most other rock for that matter.

Classic Joe Morello - perfect for Dave Brubeck, not for Led Zeppelin. Or most pop or rock.

Classic Jeff Porcaro (think Boz Scaggs' "Lowdown") - nice tight sound, great playing, but not suitable for much outside of 70s studio pop/rock.

I could make a really long list of drum sounds thatappeal to a lot of us, but - for better or worse - are stereotyped for certain genres and even bands (Led Zep is a prime example.) It's all well and good to be a pioneer, to take chances, to be a visionary, to think outside of the box with drum sounds... but they still have to sound good with the music in question. If a rockin song had a thin jazz-tuned kit in it, the song wouldn't work, no matter how ell everything was played, and how perfectly tuned the kit is for jazz purposes.

The matter of what's 'right' is very subjective of course, but we all have a sense of it and follow certain rules. Nothing to be ashamed of or try to fight the feeling, it comes with experience. And we all exercise the concept of what's 'right' in many ways and to varying degrees. Simple example we can probably all relate to: when we sit down at a bop kit, most of us start playing jazzy or drum & bass licks. When we sit at a big rock kit, we play some obvious rock beats & fills. When we sit at a classic Simmons kit, we play Thomas Dolby's "Blinded With Science." Well, a little exaggeration perhaps, but the idea is, drums make a lot of different sounds, and those sounds have certain genres and production values where they work best, and other genres where they don't work at all.

Experienced drummers know what sounds/drums to use for particular styles. If a drummer plays only jazz, they're not going to use a Bonham kit. And a drummer who plays only death metal is not going to use a Yamaha HipGig.

Bermuda

From what I have read here, Bermuda, it sounds as if you are saying we shouldn't fight the evolution of drum sounds. For instance, in the era of motown's golden age, the drums were basically a jazz sound but recorded from a distance since close miking hadn't been refined yet. The point is that the drum sound should be "in character" with the genre.

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Old 10-24-2006, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I am not sure there is any completion to this topic. But I will make a short list of the points made so far.

1) Following the genre/what the music calls for...(IE no Bonham sound for funk)

2) Following your taste, (or the engineers taste)

3) Generally speaking, skill has little to do with amount of muffling inasmuch as genre does. (IE it is generally common practice that modern music demands more drum resonance and less muffling than they did in 1976.)

4) Wide open sans muffling: as is mention the mics repeat what they hear. If wide open works, then it is good. According to a few of the videos I have been watching, many drummers don't have any visible muffling.

5) With better drums, better electronics than 30 years ago, it's probably easier now to use less muffling anyway.

6) Using tuning and drumheads to achieve overtone control.

I hope that sums up the salient points thusfar.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:38 AM
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Freddie Freeloader Freddie Freeloader is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

muffling drums isn't a bad thing. i mean, try to imagine what the beatles or the stones or many of the earlier jazz drummers recorded on the equipment we use today. they'd sound terrible. i mean, they'd still probably be playing the same way.... but sound on their recordings wouldn't be what it is.
its all about context. sometimes muffling works for the music, sometimes it doesn't. if some of those fusion guys like weckl and bissonnette or whatever muffled their drums, they'd sound horrible playing their cutting edge music with those sounds.
everytime time i've done any kind of recording in a studio, i've had engineers tell me how drums are supposed to be tuned, muffled, and even played. but there simply can't be a 'norm'. every drummer is different and every drummer hears sound (his own sound, or otherwise) differently. when i finally got to do my own thing at home, i dampened my drums sometimes and often put absolutely no dampening on my drums other times. all depending on the music i was playing.

i find it hard to believe that 99% of studio guys don't dampen their drums in studios, like someone said above. there will be occasions when they have to because recording rooms vary and make drums sound very different.
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Old 10-24-2006, 09:47 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I have to concur with Freddy. I find it diffacult to understand that every live or studio situation can be handled wide open, without muffling. Overtones have to be a bear in certain rooms.

I know that jazzmen like thier kits close to a specific note, or at least a full, resonant open tone.

Incidentally, I still enjoy 70's music (like Mark Craney with Gino Vanelli) and his sound.

I have seen 70's acts, and they aren't as dead sounding as on record.

Also, I'd like someone to address the rumors I keep hearing about how problematic DW's are in the studio. I have heard that Gretsch have been substituted in. (IIRC Hal Blaine mentions this in his book from back in the day.)
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Old 10-24-2006, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skitch
From what I have read here, Bermuda, it sounds as if you are saying we shouldn't fight the evolution of drum sounds. For instance, in the era of motown's golden age, the drums were basically a jazz sound but recorded from a distance since close miking hadn't been refined yet. The point is that the drum sound should be "in character" with the genre.
Exactly.

For those who don't like certain drum sounds, they would do best to simply avoid playing those musical styles (rather than insist on an inappropriate sound just because they happen to like it.)

Sometimes drums will be muffled, sometimes not. Sometimes they're tuned high, sometimes low. Sometimes you need 6 toms, sometimes you need only one... or none. Drummers who know when and how to do what, and who are willing to evolve and grow, will enjoy success. Those who are too rigid will have a difficult time getting ahead.

Bermuda
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