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  #81  
Old 10-24-2006, 04:03 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
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.
I'm familiar with the classic Pat Steward (Stewart?) sounds, I suspect they're also on the Reckless album (I'm away from my CDs right now.)

As with so many recorded sounds we've come to embrace, there's a certain amount of studio engineering that goes into creating that end result. As for Pat's classic tom sound, they sound like medium to large sizes, muffled slightly on top and possibly the resos as well, hit hard, EQd for some extra punch, and with verb. I happen to love the sound as well, and if I were to recreate it I'd use clear 2-ply heads on 13/14/16" toms, muffled to take away most of the resonance so that just the punch/attack remains, and let the engineer take them the rest of the way.

Part of the drummer's job is to know when something is the engineer's job. :)

Bermuda
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  #82  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:45 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
I'm familiar with the classic Pat Steward (Stewart?) sounds, I suspect they're also on the Reckless album (I'm away from my CDs right now.)

As with so many recorded sounds we've come to embrace, there's a certain amount of studio engineering that goes into creating that end result. As for Pat's classic tom sound, they sound like medium to large sizes, muffled slightly on top and possibly the resos as well, hit hard, EQd for some extra punch, and with verb. I happen to love the sound as well, and if I were to recreate it I'd use clear 2-ply heads on 13/14/16" toms, muffled to take away most of the resonance so that just the punch/attack remains, and let the engineer take them the rest of the way.

Part of the drummer's job is to know when something is the engineer's job. :)

Bermuda
Bermuda, don't you think that the room and mic placement has alot to do with getting drums to sound a certain way, sometimes even more than processing or tuning? I know in the studio that I do most of my session work in, if I muffled the batter and resonant heads of my toms and recorded them, they would sound like crap, or at least crap to me. That also would translate into not being very inspired while playing a crappy sounding kit in the studio, making the session less than enjoyable. I'm not saying that we should have awesome sounding drums 100% of the time, I'm just saying that I think there are other variables to take into consideration in getting a drum sound before you go slapping the duct tape on. I've heard wide open toms getting the same end result as muffled toms due to the mic placement, room ambience, processing, etc. Would you agree?
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  #83  
Old 10-25-2006, 07:49 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 cdrums21
Bermuda, don't you think that the room and mic placement has alot to do with getting drums to sound a certain way, sometimes even more than processing or tuning?
Yep - that's the engineer's job. I can't tune the drums to make a room sound... I can only estimate what they'll need to sound like if the close mic and room mics are blended.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21
I'm not saying that we should have awesome sounding drums 100% of the time, I'm just saying that I think there are other variables to take into consideration in getting a drum sound before you go slapping the duct tape on. I've heard wide open toms getting the same end result as muffled toms due to the mic placement, room ambience, processing, etc. Would you agree?
Not completely, no. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, muffling does more than simply control ring. It accentuates the fundamental (by diminishing the harmonics) and produces a different sound than the same drum, wide open, with the resonance gated out.

Not every drum sound needs to start out open, just as not every sound is benefitted by muffling. I never assume that either is correct until the time comes to decide what sound I'm going for (or have been directed to go for.) Starting from a position of 'toms need to be wide open, and only muffled if absolutely necessary' is a real pitfall. Sometimes the sound needed can only be achieved with some muffling, and those are sounds that cannot be extracted from an open tom... they need to be created with some padding.

With respect to the Brayn Adams tom sounds, the ambience - undoubtedly digital - has more to do with the sound than the tuning. In order to make it work, the toms need to be punchy, not ringy. It's possible that they gated open toms and then added verb, but in that era, gating was used differently (think Tony Thompson & Power Station) so I doubt that's what they did. At least, it's not what I would expect was done given the resulting sound.

I probably should revise what I said about the drummer/engineer relationship. If the drummer and engineer have been working together for a while - like I have with Al's engineer, Tony Papa - and if they respect each other - and we do - then there is a certain amount of suggestions that we can comfortably make to each other. If we were doing a Bryan Adams parody, I might suggest how I think the tom sound was achieved. NOT to tell him his job, but more to let him know why I've tuned the drums the way I did for that track. But I don't do that in cases where I don't know the engineer, or where my opinion hasn't been asked. Sometimes my expertise is requested, sometimes it's not, and either way is fine - I'm there to play the drums, not try and produce the track.

Bermuda
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  #84  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:29 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
Sometimes you need 6 toms, sometimes you need only one... or none.
Bermuda
This might make you laugh!! Last year, I was doing a double gig day and had to use two sets. The same band was playing the both gigs. The set that I used during the day (we had to load in early for the night gig - hence the need for two sets) was only kick snare and a hi hat. I had to play both Jessie's Girl and Journey's Separate Ways with just a kick, snare and Hi hat. Being the stickler for "playing it a close to the record as possible", I was flipping the snares off and back on every other beat on the Journey song. When the drum breaks came up, the band lost all compusure as the big drum sound was replaced by a "Timbale" playing the figures from the record. Something was then said about Tito Puente and a latin gig.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda
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

As the Marines say, "Improvise, Adapt and Overcome."


This thread has reminded of an old MD article on Steve Gadd (July 1982). Rick Mattingly brought up that some drummer complain about having to take off their bottom heads, use tape or change their tuning. He then went on to say,

"RM: I've heard drummers complain,
"Yeah, but if I do whatever the engineer
wants, how will I ever get known for my
sound?"
SG: I never tried to get known for my
sound. I've never tried to do that. I don't
really have a sound. I mean, a lot of the
CTI dates I played on Rudy Van Gelder's
Gretsch drums. To me, I don't have a
sound. I try to adjust the sound for what-
ever the date is."



Mike

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  #85  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:31 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
I'm familiar with the classic Pat Steward (Stewart?) sounds, I suspect they're also on the Reckless album (I'm away from my CDs right now.)

As with so many recorded sounds we've come to embrace, there's a certain amount of studio engineering that goes into creating that end result. As for Pat's classic tom sound, they sound like medium to large sizes, muffled slightly on top and possibly the resos as well, hit hard, EQd for some extra punch, and with verb. I happen to love the sound as well, and if I were to recreate it I'd use clear 2-ply heads on 13/14/16" toms, muffled to take away most of the resonance so that just the punch/attack remains, and let the engineer take them the rest of the way.

Part of the drummer's job is to know when something is the engineer's job. :)

Bermuda
Thanks for the tips!


Mike

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  #86  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:51 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 Skitch
This thread has reminded of an old MD article on Steve Gadd (July 1982). Rick Mattingly brought up that some drummer complain about having to take off their bottom heads, use tape or change their tuning. He then went on to say,

"RM: I've heard drummers complain,
"Yeah, but if I do whatever the engineer
wants, how will I ever get known for my
sound?"
SG: I never tried to get known for my
sound. I've never tried to do that. I don't
really have a sound. I mean, a lot of the
CTI dates I played on Rudy Van Gelder's
Gretsch drums. To me, I don't have a
sound. I try to adjust the sound for what-
ever the date is."
That Steve Gadd guy sounds pretty smart! I wonder if he ever had any success? :)
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  #87  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:59 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

you have to really earn the right and be darn lucky to GET YOUR OWN SOUND. john bonham had his own sound. lucky guy.

but in the modern arena it should be all song first and ego last. once you have been on many albums, are in a huge super group etc then maybe you can get a signature sound. i'd rather be known for my playing than for how my kit sounds. as long as the kit sounds good in the song my job is to make the drumming sound good in the song.

j
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  #88  
Old 10-25-2006, 09:23 AM
Synthetik
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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 NUTHA JASON
you have to really earn the right and be darn lucky to GET YOUR OWN SOUND. john bonham had his own sound. lucky guy.

j
I think a big part of it is due to how much influence the drummer has in forming the band's sound. Bonham, Gadd, Peart and others have the power to call the shots.

The latest DVD from Peart reveals how he wanted the snare to be mic'd where he liked the sound of it.

I am sure those guys can tell the soundman where to find a new job if they don't like it.
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  #89  
Old 10-25-2006, 11:33 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
Yep - that's the engineer's job. I can't tune the drums to make a room sound... I can only estimate what they'll need to sound like if the close mic and room mics are blended.



Not completely, no. As I pointed out earlier in this thread, muffling does more than simply control ring. It accentuates the fundamental (by diminishing the harmonics) and produces a different sound than the same drum, wide open, with the resonance gated out.

Not every drum sound needs to start out open, just as not every sound is benefitted by muffling. I never assume that either is correct until the time comes to decide what sound I'm going for (or have been directed to go for.) Starting from a position of 'toms need to be wide open, and only muffled if absolutely necessary' is a real pitfall. Sometimes the sound needed can only be achieved with some muffling, and those are sounds that cannot be extracted from an open tom... they need to be created with some padding.

With respect to the Brayn Adams tom sounds, the ambience - undoubtedly digital - has more to do with the sound than the tuning. In order to make it work, the toms need to be punchy, not ringy. It's possible that they gated open toms and then added verb, but in that era, gating was used differently (think Tony Thompson & Power Station) so I doubt that's what they did. At least, it's not what I would expect was done given the resulting sound.

I probably should revise what I said about the drummer/engineer relationship. If the drummer and engineer have been working together for a while - like I have with Al's engineer, Tony Papa - and if they respect each other - and we do - then there is a certain amount of suggestions that we can comfortably make to each other. If we were doing a Bryan Adams parody, I might suggest how I think the tom sound was achieved. NOT to tell him his job, but more to let him know why I've tuned the drums the way I did for that track. But I don't do that in cases where I don't know the engineer, or where my opinion hasn't been asked. Sometimes my expertise is requested, sometimes it's not, and either way is fine - I'm there to play the drums, not try and produce the track.

Bermuda
Good points and well said and explained. I can see why you hold the position you do. :o)
Thank you for being so informative and replying to these threads.
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  #90  
Old 10-25-2006, 12:50 PM
bigbang bigbang 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 bermuda
I'm familiar with the classic Pat Steward (Stewart?) sounds, I suspect they're also on the Reckless album (I'm away from my CDs right now.)

As with so many recorded sounds we've come to embrace, there's a certain amount of studio engineering that goes into creating that end result. As for Pat's classic tom sound, they sound like medium to large sizes, muffled slightly on top and possibly the resos as well, hit hard, EQd for some extra punch, and with verb. I happen to love the sound as well, and if I were to recreate it I'd use clear 2-ply heads on 13/14/16" toms, muffled to take away most of the resonance so that just the punch/attack remains, and let the engineer take them the rest of the way.

Part of the drummer's job is to know when something is the engineer's job. :)

Bermuda
Yeah it's Pat Stewart , also played with" the odds" and does session work.
I remember reading how this sound was achieved in a modern drummer issue from the 80's
He used big drums ( power toms , large sizes ) and if I'm not mistaken there were 3 mics on the snare drum ( one on top , two underneath ) and all toms had 2 mics on them ( one up top and one under). Everything else Bermuda mentioned sounds accurate.
Interestingly, Pat also had a similar sound going with " the odds". I don't know if they recorded in the same studio , with the same engineer or if it's Pat's way of recording drums.
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  #91  
Old 10-26-2006, 04:32 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Hi everyone

I was just wondering if this Muffling thing has anything to do with the drums. Yesterday I bought New Evans J1 Batter for all my Snares.

I tune all the snare at my Living Room similarly....Funny thing is I find all my snare drums sound better with the Ring...except for one Snare...My Old 1970s Ludwig SuperSensitive Snare (My Instructor gave me) which sounded so nice without any muffler.....I mean..It's the oldest one I have there.....what a surprise - I love this snare.
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  #92  
Old 10-31-2006, 05:44 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
That Steve Gadd guy sounds pretty smart! I wonder if he ever had any success? :)
Bermuda,

Here is the issue that I face and maybe some of the other drummers here as well....

Since I play in a cover band most of the time, the music spans decades and, therefore, it can be downright impossible to recreate the exact drum sound for each era, short of triggering. What do you suggest?



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  #93  
Old 10-31-2006, 08:25 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 Skitch
Bermuda,

Here is the issue that I face and maybe some of the other drummers here as well....

Since I play in a cover band most of the time, the music spans decades and, therefore, it can be downright impossible to recreate the exact drum sound for each era, short of triggering. What do you suggest?
I face that on the very gig for which I pride myself on specific sounds when recording each song. And while I'm a prime candidate for triggering in concert, I don't prefer it for a few reasons. But that's for another thread.

What I do is tune to the most average, normal sound possible. I realize that's very subjective, but what I mean is I stay away from extreme tunings and sounds - no specialty cymbals except for a China, the snare is not high-pitched or overly pronounced, the kick is slightly muffled, not too poppy and not too boomy, and toms are very round and tuned right in the middle of their tunable range, maybe a little towards the low end.

My drums are thin fiberglass (Impact) and when I say they sound very average, it's meant as a compliment. They sound like... drums. Maybe somewhere between a resonant '60s kit, and a slightly tighter '70s kit. Just kinda normal... maybe even kinda "eh" to most ears. BUT, it's the non-descript sounds that work for more music than the specific, extreme tunings.

Also, in concert, sounds are a bit more forgivable than on a CD. To an extent, there's a consistency and certain energy in having the kit sound the same on every song, as opposed to triggering sounds and really duplicating the production of the recordings. We're perfectionists, but we're also a real live band.

So, short of triggering, the best that can be done is to find a middle ground tuning-wise and know that it will work well over more styles/eras than a tightly or loosely tuned kit.

Bermuda
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  #94  
Old 10-31-2006, 04:48 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 Synthetik
Here is the timeline for popular drum sounds:

Up to the 60's: few plies, mixed woods, a lot of fat, resonant, warm sound

70's/early 80's: Dead, thuddy minimal resonance (except for Bonzo) Hydraulic heads, heads taped to death, single head drums etc...

Mid 80's-present- market splits. trends of more resonant shells, and also shells that have a big attack. Very few thuddy sounding kits anymore. A demand for a "More sophisticated/whole" tone from drums.

Generally, drums that don't resonate well are not as widely accepted anymore. Drummers have become very musically aware of the sound of thier kits (much the domain of Jazz drummers in the past) and maximum resonance with some overtone control is the new standard. Sustain is one of DW's big selling points.

Since I lived through the changes, I can say that my taste definately leans toward the original "full" tone with sustain and minimal overtones.

Illustrating the "now": a very inexpensive Gretsch Catalina club outfitted with coated G1's really had a tone reminiscent of the 60's. It was a far cry from entry kits just a few years ago (and some now) that just thud, or have this attack but no presence.
The thing I hated about the 80's snare sound is when the snare would sound like a floor tom with some snare wires underneath. makes me cringe.Blah,and like you said about the 70's drum sound (concert toms) they kinda sounded like Rubbermaid garbage cans Blah also

Bonzolead
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  #95  
Old 11-01-2006, 12:14 AM
Synthetik
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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 bonzolead
The thing I hated about the 80's snare sound is when the snare would sound like a floor tom with some snare wires underneath. makes me cringe.Blah,and like you said about the 70's drum sound (concert toms) they kinda sounded like Rubbermaid garbage cans Blah also

Bonzolead
Yeah I remember that. That was also an era of hydraulic heads on top and bottom(!) Something about putting a drumhead as thick as a trashcan lid on a snare that just doesn't do it for me.

I have decided that my personal favorite drum sound has to have thick midrange presence. That type of sound generated by 1960's Rogers drums, or modern stuff like DW Collectors, Tempus, Mapex Saturn and so on. I prefer that nearfield warmth to something else that may have reduced midrange in favor of attack.

I enjoy that throaty resonance and sustain. The 70/80's had it's sound and that's fine. But nothing like that rich, punchy (mostly) open sound. I do wonder what some of those artists would sound like if the same tune was recorded now. Wait...overproduced and ruined.. :P
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  #96  
Old 11-01-2006, 07:36 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
I face that on the very gig for which I pride myself on specific sounds when recording each song. And while I'm a prime candidate for triggering in concert, I don't prefer it for a few reasons. But that's for another thread.

What I do is tune to the most average, normal sound possible. I realize that's very subjective, but what I mean is I stay away from extreme tunings and sounds - no specialty cymbals except for a China, the snare is not high-pitched or overly pronounced, the kick is slightly muffled, not too poppy and not too boomy, and toms are very round and tuned right in the middle of their tunable range, maybe a little towards the low end.

My drums are thin fiberglass (Impact) and when I say they sound very average, it's meant as a compliment. They sound like... drums. Maybe somewhere between a resonant '60s kit, and a slightly tighter '70s kit. Just kinda normal... maybe even kinda "eh" to most ears. BUT, it's the non-descript sounds that work for more music than the specific, extreme tunings.

Also, in concert, sounds are a bit more forgivable than on a CD. To an extent, there's a consistency and certain energy in having the kit sound the same on every song, as opposed to triggering sounds and really duplicating the production of the recordings. We're perfectionists, but we're also a real live band.

So, short of triggering, the best that can be done is to find a middle ground tuning-wise and know that it will work well over more styles/eras than a tightly or loosely tuned kit.

Bermuda
Again excellent information!


I have a 15" rack tom ( I am a floor tom aethiest) that has mondo resonance. I was thinking of trying out a remo PS3 on it just to tame it down. But the funny thing is, is when there is a competent soundman on the gig, it never a problem. But when it someone who isn't a very good soundman, usually band member running sound form the stage, there is usually a problem of feedback. I run across this problem frequently when playing in country bands (a staple gig in my parts). The typical soundman on this gig wants a flat dead compressed sound with lots of reverb added to it. Listen to Gary Allen's version of "Runaway", a worthy remake to say the least, and you'll have an idea of the drum sound I am talking about

Anyone else run across this?


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  #97  
Old 07-19-2007, 06:09 PM
Tim Wingham Tim Wingham is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I'm no professional and I do sometimes muffle my snare with a mylar ring, which produces a fantastic fat sound. (Good enough for Gadd good enough for me!) The joy of using a ring is that you can take it off and on as you please. A ring can make such a difference on a steel snare. Virtually gives you two drums in one.

On toms I always try to have batter and resonant heads tuned exactly (and I do mean exactly) the same.

I think sometimes people overly muffle because they are only listening to the kit from behind - ie where you are playing from. Get someone else to hit your drums while you stand in front and listen. (And not necessarily too close). That's where the sound is going. What might sound excessively ringy behind can be far less in front, especially when playing live with other amplified instruments.

However, Steve White does use a Moon Gel in the studio at times, - he told me - and they don't come more professional than him.

TW.
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  #98  
Old 07-19-2007, 09:17 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I know that I've developed a better taste in sound over the few years I've been drumming.
At first, I didn't know what I wanted from a drum, but I think I tried to get very little resonance from toms, bass and snare. When I progressed, I bought moongel, used Hydraulic heads, taped the heads, tuned them dead.

I still favor a relatively short tom sound, but as I said I've developed a better taste IMO, and I want the toms to sound more lively, so I'd sooner choose single ply heads than double or muffled heads.

I also think that having a better kit encourages tuning instead of muffling... personally I've never owned a semi-pro or pro kit, but I don't think I'll often muffle my drums once I do get a pro kit. *Especially* when it comes to the snare.
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  #99  
Old 03-06-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I've been playing since 1964, and think it's fair to say that I've tried pretty much everything mentioned here. My dad was a drummer too, so he impressed upon me the idea of playing a decent instrument. It doesn't have to be the "best", (and that's subjective, anyway) but it should be good quality. (heads, sticks, cymbals, etc. too)

It's really this simple, from OTHER people's point of view:
If people like your unmuffled sound, they will call it "resonant". If they don't, they'll call it "ringy". And of course, how the instrument is played makes the biggest difference of all. You can always muffle a drum, on a moment-by-moment basis, using your technique, but you cannot ADD resonance to a muffled drum. So to me, muffling limits the "vocabulary".

But, certainly recording the drums with a mic 1 inch from the head, in a small studio booth is a different deal. We often go through all kinds of convoluted things, to achieve a live, resonant sound. Muffle the drums, then add reverb to the sound, and possibly gate it. That's not what I like to do, but it certainly has been a popular method for many engineers. I would think the main reason it's popular is that it's easier than waiting and hoping that the drummer can achieve the sound acoustically, in their particular room. Time is money for these guys, and they often have a formula they want to use. You either adopt the philosophy of pleasing the producer, or avoid that kind of studio work.

Personally, I prefer resonant drums.
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  #100  
Old 03-06-2008, 05:29 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

One other aspect to add to the "debate" as it were...I think there is a HUGE difference between a soundguy who requests muffling because they have a definite idea of what they want to hear rather than some sound guys I've dealt with who are just used to one thing and frankly act like they don't want to be bothered. I have worked with both and the second type is pretty annoying usually spends very little time working on sounds at all.
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  #101  
Old 03-06-2008, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

we mature players also have more finess and our motor skills are finer tuned. i used to play through the drum and beat the skins hard. now, i never break sticks, cymbals or heads and the techniques ive learned have helped me bring the true sounds of the drums out.
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  #102  
Old 03-08-2008, 07:31 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

it's all in the hands.
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  #103  
Old 03-10-2008, 10:12 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 used muffling on my drums in any recording sessions over the last 20 years and I do no less than 300 sessions a year. I have only been asked once or twice to put some (moon gel) on my snare. For what its worth. Joe
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  #104  
Old 03-10-2008, 02:06 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

The original band situation is where one has the ability to develop their 'sound'. Steve Gadd plays with everyone, therefor has to be chameleon. Theres alot of players out there that are in original projects, so they can develop a sound. That said, knowing the history of drums sounds, and the ability to access them is invaluable for even an original band. I saw Pat Stewart play, and he was constantly altering his tuning on his snare between songs for different timbres. One lug can change the sound!
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  #105  
Old 03-14-2008, 10:17 PM
SqueakySpeedKing SqueakySpeedKing is offline
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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 cdrums21 View Post
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 did the same thing. I was intimidated by riveted cymbals. Now my drums are always wide open and I use larger, thin cymbals. Some with rivets. One gains the element of control as one gets older.
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  #106  
Old 03-14-2008, 11:50 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

As we get older, we see things in the proper perspective. And the nuances and subtleties become much more appealing.
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  #107  
Old 03-15-2008, 01:40 AM
PocketGroove PocketGroove is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I think that as you become more experienced, you start to know what sounds you want from your drums, and tune accordingly, in my opinion dampening should never be a substitute for careful tuning, but often a little piece of moongel can take away just the right amount of unwanted ring.
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  #108  
Old 03-15-2008, 02:30 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 druid View Post
One other aspect to add to the "debate" as it were...I think there is a HUGE difference between a soundguy who requests muffling because they have a definite idea of what they want to hear rather than some sound guys I've dealt with who are just used to one thing and frankly act like they don't want to be bothered. I have worked with both and the second type is pretty annoying usually spends very little time working on sounds at all.
The vast majority I've encountered fall into that latter category. Musicians are just there to make their jobs more difficult (and possible in the first place).
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  #109  
Old 03-15-2008, 11:58 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

My opinion is that as a musician gets more experienced he/she knows how to tune the drums to get the sound required & being happy with it needn't dampen the drums too much, or at all.

As mentioned, if a beginner has a real cheap sounding kit & little or no experience in tuning, then the desire to muffle the drums is understandable.

Also....I come across too many drummers that don't get someone else to play/hit their drums so they (the drummer) can hear the true sound of the kit from a distance.
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  #110  
Old 03-16-2008, 10:28 AM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

In your typical bar-setting where the sound guy will usually close mic the entire kit (which is the type of gig my band plays), is it probably best to muffle the snare/toms a bit? Thinking back, I usually don't muffle them AT ALL (I do muffle the bass drum always). Would I probably be helping the sound guy/our sound if I started muffling in this type of situation?
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  #111  
Old 03-16-2008, 11:05 PM
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

The biggest reason I've noticed is that people generally don't know any better. They are taught to believe (from each other and the general market) that you need Remo Pinstripes with muffle rings and pillows and kick pads and such. Then you are told to play on these hard to get a big sound. This is pointless and leads to so many people breaking sticks, heads and cymbals. Personally, I have two kits to cover all extremes. I have my Mapex 6 piece studio kit with the modern suspended toms all with EC2s to get a moderately resonant sound to fit most styles. Then comes my Gretsch Catalina Rock kit with big 26,13,16,18 drums all left open with a warm sound. Muffling drums limits what you can do with them including the sensitivity. Controlling the sustain, or dampening, is ok, and sometimes needed depending on the room.
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  #112  
Old 08-10-2009, 11:41 PM
MadJazz MadJazz is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

I thought of bringing this thread up instead of making a similar one.

My question is: Why don't we muffle cymbals as much as we muffle drums?

The more muffled the drums are, the more dominant the cymbals are perceived.
I think there needs to be a good balance between the sustain of drums and cymbals. How do you cover that? I hardly ever see people muffle their cymbals but we don't want crashes and rides ringing for ages while the drums are focused.
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  #113  
Old 08-11-2009, 06:17 AM
Retrovertigo Retrovertigo is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

i cant believe that this thread has persisted for three whole pages. what is left to discuss? wide open drums sound big and they "sing". thats cool. muffled drums sound dead and warm. thats cool too. GREAT! move on!
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  #114  
Old 08-11-2009, 01:02 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 Retrovertigo View Post
i cant believe that this thread has persisted for three whole pages. what is left to discuss? wide open drums sound big and they "sing". thats cool. muffled drums sound dead and warm. thats cool too. GREAT! move on!
You've actually managed to miss the meaning behind the original question and over simplified the resolution.
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  #115  
Old 08-11-2009, 11:56 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 Retrovertigo View Post
i cant believe that this thread has persisted for three whole pages. what is left to discuss? wide open drums sound big and they "sing". thats cool. muffled drums sound dead and warm. thats cool too. GREAT! move on!
Not always.
Sometimes muffled drums sound dead and COLD.
Sometimes wide open drums sing but sound small.

...and sometimes, that's the sound the drummer is going for.




Elvis
P.S. I agree with "keep it simple", too.
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  #116  
Old 08-12-2009, 07:02 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 Drummer Karl View Post
good thread, that`s like "How can can I get rid of that dirt on my T-shirt? Throw it away or make the best out of it and experiment?"
I really never muffled drums, NEVER and I hate it. I hate the sound, this typical "bob"- sound, just awful. I think muffling drums extremly is just like making "make-up" on my face, it just hide the actual problems.
Better way would be to experiment with tuning till you find a good tuning and try out different heads. I think it`s good to explore how the drums react on different tunings, it will make you of course much more experienced. I had this problem a few days ago: My 12" tom sounded hoorible because of an awful lot of overtones...a good friend and guitarist said that I could "muffle away" this problem...just don`t like to do it, I kept up experimenting and reading some tuning guides et voilà: I got a good open jazzy sound.
So, just ask yourself: What gives me more experience? To muffle or to experiment till you find and to read? I guess it`s the second possibility...

Karl
You are very wise for such a young man; I do believe you are going to one hell of a jazz drummer. In my case it is the other musicians who are generally insisting on some sort of tone control
( they are not jazz players) so I find a balance, in small spaces I will use e-rings and the Evans pillow in the bass, otherwise I prefer the freedom of full on, unrestricted drums that sing.
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  #117  
Old 08-12-2009, 07:39 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Yes, all points are correct and Bermuda has the experience in the studio (engineers do like less resonance on the drums in most cases) and on the road; what I like was DrummerCarl's observation that he became more personal with his sound and that it perfected his tuning. You may still have to make adjustments for studio and room and band mates but it's like high end audio; once you know all of the rules then you can start breaking them. So in the end it sort of comes back to tuning and like in audio, what sounds good sounds good, regardless of how you got there in the end. My walnut Black Panther sounds great either way but if I am playing some countrified soulful rock it sounds very spot on with an e-ring on it, so I use it.
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  #118  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:12 PM
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Bruce M. Thomson Bruce M. Thomson is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Just a reminder that George Martin made Ringo throw tea towels on his drums for many tracks. Any complaints?
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  #119  
Old 08-12-2009, 08:46 PM
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Strangelove Strangelove is offline
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Default Re: More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

Drum muffling as far as my recollections go (and I am 52 years old) go back to when Remo Weatherkings replaced calfskin heads on drums. While the Remos were great at holding their tune compared with calfskins, they put off the nastiestiest of sounds, a plastic ring or overtone, especially when tuned at higher tensions. I always figured the built in mufflers that drum makers went to during this era was to get plastic heads to sound more like natural hides. Those that do not understand why muffling may have been desirable should sometime play a set of calfskin headed drums, then you may see. I have never played natural hides that needed muffling, even at high tensions.
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  #120  
Old 08-12-2009, 09:26 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 Strangelove View Post
Drum muffling as far as my recollections go (and I am 52 years old) go back to when Remo Weatherkings replaced calfskin heads on drums. While the Remos were great at holding their tune compared with calfskins, they put off the nastiestiest of sounds, a plastic ring or overtone, especially when tuned at higher tensions. I always figured the built in mufflers that drum makers went to during this era was to get plastic heads to sound more like natural hides. Those that do not understand why muffling may have been desirable should sometime play a set of calfskin headed drums, then you may see. I have never played natural hides that needed muffling, even at high tensions.
That is a good point, improvements are always being made. It was Krupa I believe who had hi-hats raised off of the floor for example, was there resistance to that idea? I think not so I don't think there are set rules about what you can or can not do with your drums.
I think adjusting your tone by what ever means you choose to achieve your desired sound is just fine and something drummers seem to have more control of than say a trumpet player (Dizzy being a noted exception, he was criticized back then but his accidental discovery of a bent horn is quite acceptable now) and when you think of it Bonham, who is quite popular on this site used normal heads rather than resonates to achieve the sound he wanted and felt strips on his bass. I read an article where the writer was trying to achieve a similar sound of a tom he heard on a standard R & B number, he could not get it right and it bothered him; finally he was able to meet the drummer from that track and ask him (by the way it was a Al Green song) how he did it. It turned out not to be a tom but a de tuned conga drum. Creativity is as much about drumming as is anything else. By the way, empty restaurant serviette containers make a fantastic percussion tool, try it out.
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