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  #1  
Old 05-10-2011, 05:59 AM
ikes ikes is offline
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Default How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

hi......i play drums for church, and i was wondering if using hot rods would lower the volume, instead of using the drum shield (we r kinda low budget)

are these a good choice?
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:22 AM
JohnPloughman JohnPloughman is offline
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

I play drums in church also.

Sometimes I use brushes. Sometimes its sticks. Ive never owned hot rods.

I also play out with a gospel group... drums, bass, guitar, keyboard, with very slight sound reinforcement for the vocals. We play in a lot of retirement homes. Rooms are never "big" and range from small and cozy to extremely unfriendly. Some are carpeted, some have vinyl or even stone tile. Ceilings range from acoustical tile to hard finished drywall. Sizes can be anywhere from 20x30 to 30x50 and anywhere in between, and some smaller. I use vintage Rogers sets from 64, 66, 84. Three ply maple, Five ply maple and eight ply maple. 20-12-14-16, 20-12-16, and 18, 12, 13, 14. I use Paiste 2002 Cymbals.

I have had people less than 5 feet away from my setup. I have never had a complaint from being too loud, even in rooms that sucked for acoustics. I do use brushes on some songs, but those are songs brushes are best for.........mostly I use sticks.


This is something you are gonna have to learn. There is no trick, no gadget, no easy road here.

You arent playing solely for your enjoyment here. You play for the enjoyment of others, to enhance their worship experience.

the drum shield would be a waste of money.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:23 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Rods can lower the volume, but they should not be regarded as quiet sticks - they make a different sound and also feel and play different than sticks. I would strive to get comfortable with lighter sticks, and tuning, coated heads, and smaller, thinner cymbals will allow you to play more naturally while keeping the volume down. If you need to be ultra-quiet, perhaps V-drums are the right option to allow you to play well and get real drums sounds without the volume level.

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Old 05-10-2011, 07:27 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

what if i mic the drums, and put the drums in the back of the stage? and play with sticks?
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by ikes View Post
what if i mic the drums, and put the drums in the back of the stage? and play with sticks?
Aren't you aiming for them to be quieter? Micing them up is amplification....the complete opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

If the stage is half a mile deep, placing them at the back may reduce the volume. Of course, if it's a normal stage it's unlikely to have a material effect.

Drums are loud by nature mate. Dynamic control is your best bet.....failing that, look into an e-kit.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:46 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Aren't you aiming for them to be quieter? Micing them up is amplification....the complete opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

If the stage is half a mile deep, placing them at the back may reduce the volume. Of course, if it's a normal stage it's unlikely to have a material effect.

Drums are loud by nature mate. Dynamic control is your best bet.....failing that, look into an e-kit.
i meant micing for the sound guy to have control, and in the back of the stage to not be too loud.

what do u think of changing sticks, and dynamics...........or just dynamics .....

i have an e kit, and i don't really like it because it doesnt seem real, and it doesnt always catch my hits, and there arent dynamics, it just straight forward.

thanks
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Ths sound guy having control is always the best option....however, he can't make you any quieter than the drums are acoustically. If the drums themselves are too loud, the sound guy won't be able to do much about it other than turn everyone else up.....and that's the scenario you seem to be trying to avoid.

I think lots of the idea of changing sticks and dynamics. If I've ever needed to be really quiet, I'll grab some 7A sticks and aim not to play at the same volumes as I would at a rock gig with full PA. Adjusting the way you play to the room you're playing in is the best bet IMHO. You don't use a sledgehammer to knock in a thumb tac......same with quieter gigs. Drop the 5B or 3A sticks in favour of a thinner, lighter model and learn to play quietly, is my best advice.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:01 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Ths sound guy having control is always the best option....however, he can't make you any quieter than the drums are acoustically. If the drums themselves are too loud, the sound guy won't be able to do much about it other than turn everyone else up.....and that's the scenario you seem to be trying to avoid.

I think lots of the idea of changing sticks and dynamics. If I've ever needed to be really quiet, I'll grab some 7A sticks and aim not to play at the same volumes as I would at a rock gig with full PA. Adjusting the way you play to the room you're playing in is the best bet IMHO. You don't use a sledgehammer to knock in a thumb tac......same with quieter gigs. Drop the 5B or 3A sticks in favour of a thinner, lighter model and learn to play quietly, is my best advice.
yeah the control thing for the sound guy was why the drums would go farther back, so it's not loud...............do lighter and smaller sticks help with the volume ????
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:05 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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yeah the control thing for the sound guy was why the drums would go farther back, so it's not loud...............do lighter and smaller sticks help with the volume ????
As I said, a matter of a few feet is not gonna have a material effect on volume....at least not enough to aid the sound guy.

To a small degree they'll aid with keeping the volume down. But for the most part, dynamic control comes down to the player.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:28 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
As I said, a matter of a few feet is not gonna have a material effect on volume....at least not enough to aid the sound guy.

To a small degree they'll aid with keeping the volume down. But for the most part, dynamic control comes down to the player.
what do u think if like everyone else is mic ed.......but just not the drums?


hahah......again......sorry...........

it has to do with dynamics........
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:06 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Depends on the room - but usually getting the stage volume low enough that the kit can be miced & put through the PA will help get a more even drum sound across the congregation. For church stuff this tends to be very important because God is supposed to be the focus - not the musicians (apart from performance pieces of course). So if the drums are too loud near the front - and too quiet near the back - it's hard for the drummer to underpin the music without distracting...
Personally I use a Steve Smith Tala wands (great feel & sound - and quieter than most rods) for louder songs - but often smaller sticks (Vic Firth AJ6 - great rebound) for quieter songs! What I find is that my dynamic control is better when playing slower/quieter/less busy parts. But when we're doing more intense (faster/louder/ more exuberant) songs I can overplay - hence the rods :)
Eventually I'll get my dynamics under control enough to just use sticks - but I'm not there yet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x50mu...el_video_title

has some good advice on this sort of stuff...
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by YorkshirePudding View Post
Depends on the room - but usually getting the stage volume low enough that the kit can be miced & put through the PA will help get a more even drum sound across the congregation. For church stuff this tends to be very important because God is supposed to be the focus - not the musicians (apart from performance pieces of course). So if the drums are too loud near the front - and too quiet near the back - it's hard for the drummer to underpin the music without distracting...
Personally I use a Steve Smith Tala wands (great feel & sound - and quieter than most rods) for louder songs - but often smaller sticks (Vic Firth AJ6 - great rebound) for quieter songs! What I find is that my dynamic control is better when playing slower/quieter/less busy parts. But when we're doing more intense (faster/louder/ more exuberant) songs I can overplay - hence the rods :)
Eventually I'll get my dynamics under control enough to just use sticks - but I'm not there yet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x50mu...el_video_title

has some good advice on this sort of stuff...
thanks


have u tried the 8D's???
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:01 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by ikes View Post
....and i was wondering if using hot rods would lower the volume...
Yes, the hot rod, bundle type stick is a very easy way to lower the volume. But with that, add into the equation ... dynamics .... don't hit so hard ... use smaller cymbals .... maybe a smaller snare (my 12x5 wood is certainly quieter than my 14x5 steel) .... and a soft wool "vintage" type beater. And different heads and drum tuning.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:32 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Quote:
have u tried the 8D's???
Yup - they're quite nice - but I prefer the rebound you get from the AJ6 - at least when playing quietly. If I need to play a bit louder then the SPE2 (Peter Erskine ride stick) is good - nice and chunky, but good rebound. I certainly find it easier to control the dynamics when playing quietly with a stick that wants to rebound, even when tapped lightly.Of course for playing medium/loud then anything will rebound enough - and I usually end up picking a 5A - or the SPE2 :)
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

bunch of RUTES (dowel & plastic brushes) & Smith's Tala Wands. my Hot Rods seems to be gathering dust as these are so much better.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

I use an 8D for loudish gigs, and an AJ5 for quiet-moderate gigs. I get planty of whack & volume from the AJ5, and because they're long, they have a good feel without much volume.

Don't forget that unlike amplified instruments, a drummer must actually change the way he plays in order to control the volume. This can result in different feels, and because the drums are acoustic, in different sounds from them.

But the compromise is two-fold: the player needs a lighter touch with lighter sticks, and the drums and cymbals should also be adjusted so that they don't sound like a kit being played lightly. As I mentioned before, this can be accomplished with coated heads on the toms, lower tunings and some muffling to cut down on the attack (perceived as volume,) and smaller, thinner cymbals which are generally quieter but sound bigger because they're thinner and lower in pitch.

Good luck,

Bermuda
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:40 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

thanks to all who replied...... i would much rather change the way i play, instead of being trapped in a cage....hhahaha jk

thanks
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:16 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Practice on a pad. It does wonders. I went away and did some serious practice a few weeks ago, a lot of it focussed on low volume rudiment playing and I found a pair of sticks I was comfortable with.

I play in an acoustic swing band and it's easy to overpower the band if I play loudly and this was the case until recently. When I came back after a month of practice, not only was I a cleaner player, but I was half the volume with the same intensity. That surprised a lot of the band - it's not like I was a hugely loud player anyway, but it made a lot of difference.

So, two messages here. One, practice, practice, practice. Low volume ability is a sign of good technique and control. Two, find a pair of sticks you are comfortable with. The size or tip shape doesn't actually matter but if you're comfortable with the sticks, then you'll have more control.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by mediocrefunkybeat View Post
Practice on a pad. It does wonders. I went away and did some serious practice a few weeks ago, a lot of it focussed on low volume rudiment playing and I found a pair of sticks I was comfortable with.

I play in an acoustic swing band and it's easy to overpower the band if I play loudly and this was the case until recently. When I came back after a month of practice, not only was I a cleaner player, but I was half the volume with the same intensity. That surprised a lot of the band - it's not like I was a hugely loud player anyway, but it made a lot of difference.

So, two messages here. One, practice, practice, practice. Low volume ability is a sign of good technique and control. Two, find a pair of sticks you are comfortable with. The size or tip shape doesn't actually matter but if you're comfortable with the sticks, then you'll have more control.
thanks.............................
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:00 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

One approach to lowering volume is, don't think about playing quieter... think about playing lighter. Yeah, it's the same thing, but how you approach it makes a difference in the outcome.

Bermuda
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:11 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
One approach to lowering volume is, don't think about playing quieter... think about playing lighter. Yeah, it's the same thing, but how you approach it makes a difference in the outcome.

Bermuda
thanks........................
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:50 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Aren't you aiming for them to be quieter? Micing them up is amplification....the complete opposite of what you're trying to achieve.

If the stage is half a mile deep, placing them at the back may reduce the volume. Of course, if it's a normal stage it's unlikely to have a material effect.

Drum lessons are loud by nature mate. Dynamic control is your best bet.....failing that, look into an e-kit.
I agree. Drums are made for loud music. E-drums is one of your option. Why don't you use beat box instead. In our church we just use beat box.

Last edited by StephenC; 08-29-2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old 08-23-2011, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

IDK, I play some pretty quiet gigs. I can't stand rods. Brushes are only good for songs that need the brush sound. When I have to play really quiet, what I do.....is I play really quiet. What is so hard about this? If you can hit with say 5 lbs of force, then 1 lb of force should be no problem, right?

I don't have to change sticks or anything, I still use my 5B's. People say drums are loud, I say they can be played at any volume desired. There's one song in particular my one band does...this song cooks. It's a fast uptempo number and I play THE hardest beat I do, a fast "quasi" double shuffle. At one point in the song, the leader drops the volume, and keeps dropping it until it's barely audible. Seriously, my normal conversation volume is at least twice as loud as my drum volume when it gets really quiet. And the song is cooking with intensity.

My point is it's not a terribly hard skill to pull off, because I can do it. I didn't have to work on it at all, I just play quiet, what is the big deal? Drums can be played whisper quiet w/ 5B's.
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Old 06-16-2014, 12:40 AM
westerlu77 westerlu77 is offline
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

I have done a lot of church services and I have many times used this sticks.
Is works quite good with smaller setup, smaller drums and quite dry cymbals.
The brand is called Flix. http://www.flixproducts.com/productsbrushes.html
One advantage is that it is easy to play with sidestick with this brushes.
Highly recommended! I also use really thin ProMark cafe sticks sometimes.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:15 AM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

Broomsticks are a good option for lower volume without feeling held back. May not be the sound you are looking for but it is an option. I kinda like 'em.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:03 AM
westerlu77 westerlu77 is offline
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

I have them too. They fit to certain things but if you want more natural sound but with lower volume Flix is better just because of good side stick sound.
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Old 06-26-2014, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: How to make acoustic drums softer....hot rods?

A really great drummer told me (about 4 years ago when I started) to have the lightest grip possible on the stick. Focus on this while practicing. Let the swing of the stick create the energy at the batter head, and harvest the rebound accordingly.
The softer I play, the closer to the head the stick tips remain through each stroke. The louder I play, the higher off the skins they rise. All loosely rocking on the fulcrums of my hands.
There are some pros here who may have alternate coaching though.
FWIW, I often play with rites, brushes, 7As, 5Bs, Erskine ride sticks, and others.
7As are quieter. If I want more definition on attack, I'll use a nylon-tipped pair.
Cheers!
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