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  #1  
Old 09-04-2014, 11:28 PM
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JimFiore JimFiore is offline
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Default Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

OK, back to my atypical kit (pic in this thread: http://drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119219 ). The transition from the e-drums was up and down. Some days good, some not so. I didn't realize how much the volume difference was affecting my playing. First, I think I was reticent to hit them for fear of the loudness (in spite of wearing Etymotic plugs), and second, how the loss of articulation (due to the ear plugs or headphones) threw me off.

I decided to purchase some Ultraphones, partly due to the numerous recommendations on this forum, and partly due to the fact that I have some around-the-ear-muffs that I use for loud chores and they are very effective. Given that the Ultraphones are similar muffs with Sony drivers inside, it made sense. Well, they arrived today and the isolation is clearly superior to the Audio Technica ATH-50 that I've been using. I think the audio quality of the ATs is better though. The Ultraphones seem rather brittle with too much high end emphasis while lacking deep bass. For my e-kit I much prefer the ATs.

For the acoustic though, the Ultraphones win hands-down. The drums sounded a little too muffled (I assume the high frequency attenuation is greater than for the lows, that would be typical). To compensate, I hung a pair of condensers (AKG 214s) over the kit and added a D112 on the kick. I was going to do this anyway for recording later on, so it wasn't any extra work. I then added a little reverb to them as the studio is very dry and mixed them in at a low level, just enough to even out what I was hearing. The result was brilliant. It was like I could play again, almost as if I was playing my e-kit. I never realized just how much I rely on a really good mix of my drums and music in my headphones.

Then just for comparison sake I took off the Ultraphones and the noise level must have jumped a good 20 dB. So even with the leveling feed, the SPL was way down. Happy happy!

Now as much as I like the maple snare (and which I wanted for a variety of reasons), I have to admit that for general playing I like a metal snare. So I went out and bought a Tama Starphonic Steel. One of these:

Beautiful stuff. Happy happy joy joy!

One funny thing: When I was testing the overheads, one of them was way low on level. I couldn't imagine why. I swapped the inputs on my board and it was definitely the mic. It turns out that I brought this particular mic to class one day to show my Science of Sound students what a condenser actually looks like (you can see the diaphragm through the screen). Apparently, one of them hit the recessed 20 dB pad switch. I never use the pad and it's actually not easy to accidentally switch on so I tend not to check it. Duh.


I should add that there is a bit too much resonance with the G2/G1 head combination (better too much than too little as it's easier to remove than add). Gels help but not enough. I was thinking of different heads but I have to say that I really like looking through the G2s and seeing the clean inside wood shell. It makes the kit seem airy. I like Evans heads and I think the next clear down is the hydraulic glass. That might be too much. I have a black hydraulic head in the closet I'm going to try. If that's halfway decent then I think the glass should be OK.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2014, 05:13 AM
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

Glad you're liking them! I'd try EC2s or EC resos before Hydraulics, but whatever floats your boat. Obviously you're aware that the E-kit sound are processed, eq'd, etc. and that much of the head sustain you're hearing up close will dissipate very quickly, moving away from the kit.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:56 PM
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JimFiore JimFiore is offline
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

I forgot about the EC series, thanks!

I can hear the resonance in the mics and since this will mostly be used for recording I think new heads will be in order.
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:01 PM
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

Ah, recording :) cool. People seem to like the EC series a lot for double 45 edges, so should work out well :)
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Old 09-05-2014, 06:21 PM
kallewille kallewille is offline
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by JimFiore View Post
OK, back to my atypical kit (pic in this thread: http://drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119219 ). The transition from the e-drums was up and down. Some days good, some not so. I didn't realize how much the volume difference was affecting my playing. First, I think I was reticent to hit them for fear of the loudness (in spite of wearing Etymotic plugs), and second, how the loss of articulation (due to the ear plugs or headphones) threw me off.

I decided to purchase some Ultraphones, partly due to the numerous recommendations on this forum, and partly due to the fact that I have some around-the-ear-muffs that I use for loud chores and they are very effective. Given that the Ultraphones are similar muffs with Sony drivers inside, it made sense. Well, they arrived today and the isolation is clearly superior to the Audio Technica ATH-50 that I've been using. I think the audio quality of the ATs is better though. The Ultraphones seem rather brittle with too much high end emphasis while lacking deep bass. For my e-kit I much prefer the ATs.

For the acoustic though, the Ultraphones win hands-down. The drums sounded a little too muffled (I assume the high frequency attenuation is greater than for the lows, that would be typical). To compensate, I hung a pair of condensers (AKG 214s) over the kit and added a D112 on the kick. I was going to do this anyway for recording later on, so it wasn't any extra work. I then added a little reverb to them as the studio is very dry and mixed them in at a low level, just enough to even out what I was hearing. The result was brilliant. It was like I could play again, almost as if I was playing my e-kit. I never realized just how much I rely on a really good mix of my drums and music in my headphones.

Then just for comparison sake I took off the Ultraphones and the noise level must have jumped a good 20 dB. So even with the leveling feed, the SPL was way down. Happy happy!

Now as much as I like the maple snare (and which I wanted for a variety of reasons), I have to admit that for general playing I like a metal snare. So I went out and bought a Tama Starphonic Steel. One of these:

Beautiful stuff. Happy happy joy joy!

One funny thing: When I was testing the overheads, one of them was way low on level. I couldn't imagine why. I swapped the inputs on my board and it was definitely the mic. It turns out that I brought this particular mic to class one day to show my Science of Sound students what a condenser actually looks like (you can see the diaphragm through the screen). Apparently, one of them hit the recessed 20 dB pad switch. I never use the pad and it's actually not easy to accidentally switch on so I tend not to check it. Duh.


I should add that there is a bit too much resonance with the G2/G1 head combination (better too much than too little as it's easier to remove than add). Gels help but not enough. I was thinking of different heads but I have to say that I really like looking through the G2s and seeing the clean inside wood shell. It makes the kit seem airy. I like Evans heads and I think the next clear down is the hydraulic glass. That might be too much. I have a black hydraulic head in the closet I'm going to try. If that's halfway decent then I think the glass should be OK.

How many tuning variations have you tried? My recently purchased Prolites sang a lot. A lot, a lot. I had tuned the batter and reso the same, plus they were both single ply ambassadors. I put G2s on top and made the reso heads a little higher and now they're just right. I can't remember which recommendation I used from tune-bot, but I'm very happy with how they sound. I just bought a bunch of G2 coated and G1 clears for the bottom...gonna swap them out this weekend and see how I like them. I've always used clear everywhere except the snare and am curious to hear how they'll sound.

That kit is simply gorgeous! I've always thought Tama made beautiful looking drums and the maple SC series sound simply beautiful. I actually wanted to go with a SC setup but two companies couldn't get me a quote within two months, so I stepped away from Tama for the first time since I started playing drums. Sonor got my arm and leg instead (still bought all Tama hardware though).
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2014, 07:05 PM
Yoshinya Yoshinya is offline
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

Quote:
Originally Posted by porter View Post
Ah, recording :) cool. People seem to like the EC series a lot for double 45 edges, so should work out well :)
Only thing is, the Tama Starclassic bearing edge is not a double 45 bearing edge. It's a sharp 45 on the inside cut with a round-over on the outer.

I would suggest trying out the EC2s over the G1s and seeing if you like that before buying EC Resonants. You may find that the addition of EC2s alone might give you what you want, and then you won't have wasted money on EC Resonant heads that you might not necessarily need.

I've liked EC2s on both my Starclassic Maple and Starclassic Bubinga toms quite a bit for hard rock and metal, so it might work nicely on yours.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2014, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Starclassic Maple: Second Week Report

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Originally Posted by Yoshinya View Post
Only thing is, the Tama Starclassic bearing edge is not a double 45 bearing edge. It's a sharp 45 on the inside cut with a round-over on the outer.
Oh, good for them. It isn't advertised on the website so I assumed it was the 'default' edge. What I meant by that comment was that a construction with more of a head sustain focus rather than shell sustain (I.e. most ply kits) would be changed more than a highly resonant shell. Agreed on EC2s first, then Resos if you want even more control.
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