Brann Dailor tries out Mapex.

M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
Again, I refer to my comments on Mapex fanatics.

I doubt Mastodon would sound any different with Mapex drums, kiddo.
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
On a recording like Mastodon's, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between one make and the next unless there's something very specific about the drums. The processing involved in almost all commercial music (metal or otherwise) will see to that. Unless the production is very unprocessed it is unlikely you or I would be able to tell the difference and even then it would be a minimal difference. Most modern drums in this market (mainstream lines) sound very similar and use similar shell construction and bearing edges.

I challenge you to listen to any album of the last ten years and conclusively tell me which drums are being played. If I were asking you to identify which heads the drummer were using, that would be a little easier but still very difficult. Don't trust the brands that the player has a deal with, either.
 

classicstar

Senior Member
There was a picture of him using a pearl live a while back. Not to stir the pot, but on Crack the Skye he used bubingas. But on The Hunter he used Gretsch that was maple, and there is a VERY noticeable difference in sound. Just throwing that out there.
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
There was a picture of him using a pearl live a while back. Not to stir the pot, but on Crack the Skye he used bubingas. But on The Hunter he used Gretsch that was maple, and there is a VERY noticeable difference in sound. Just throwing that out there.
The drums actually used will probably only be a small proportion of the change; that's my point. The sound might change between albums but usually (unless the production is naturalistic - which I doubt) it has nothing to do with the kit being used and more to do with the production applied after recording.

Having a good source is only part of the process. The overall sound is usually the product of source, mixing, correct microphone technique, microphone selection, time correction software, (sometimes even) pitch correction software (for effect), compression, EQ, reverb, the mastering process, head selection, stick size and relation to the rest of the mix. I'm not even going to talk about wood type because in ply drums the effect is relatively miniscule. To actively be able to 'tell' what he's playing is nigh-on impossible in a production like that and just because there are pictures of the 'recording process' they might not be truthful. Often, 'pictures of the recording process' actually aren't truthful because the drummer will stage them to please whichever company might be involved.

Lars Ulrich is the classic example. On 'The Black Album' it's widely reported that he played Sabian Hi-Hats and Gretsch kick drums. Will you find that from 'official' photographs? Of course not. His deals are with Tama and Zildjian. Unless you are physically there during the recording process what they say they are playing with often bears little relationship to what is actually being played.

To pre-empt anybody trying to demonstrate a logical inconsistency in my argument ('Why would they change what they play if they all sound the same then, MFB?') my response is this:

In the studio environment itself, drums sound different to each other. Here we are talking about the 'source'. Gretsch sound different to Ludwig and Mapex different from both of those. This is established. The drummer or producer might prefer that sound in the studio. Often, this will be reflected on the final recording and sure enough, the drums will sound different.

What we are talking about here is twofold, in the case of Mastodon. Firstly, the drums are heavily processed. Strike one. It almost doesn't matter what the source is because of the post-production. Some metal players trigger electronically, even and there the actual drum they are playing is irrelevant (maybe Mastodon do this, maybe not, I don't know). Secondly, you play different drums for effect. In the case of this 'switch', the Tama and Mapex drums are very similar in construction. The shells are roughly the same thickness, the bearing edges will be similar and the heads will probably be the same. In ply drums, the actual material of the wood is the 'final' perhaps five or ten percent or so of the sound - the rest are bigger factors, like head selection, stick size (tip shape), etc. So in a natural environment, the Tama drums he 'used' on the last album will sound very similar to the 'Mapex' drums used on this album. Add in post-production and I doubt you'd be able to say with absolute certainty what he way playing; or even make a guess based on sound alone.

Add into that everything I've already said about the nature of studio kits and there's no guarantee he even played Tama on the last album or will play Mapex on the next.
 

classicstar

Senior Member
The drums actually used will probably only be a small proportion of the change; that's my point. The sound might change between albums but usually (unless the production is naturalistic - which I doubt) it has nothing to do with the kit being used and more to do with the production applied after recording.

Having a good source is only part of the process. The overall sound is usually the product of source, mixing, correct microphone technique, microphone selection, time correction software, (sometimes even) pitch correction software (for effect), compression, EQ, reverb, the mastering process, head selection, stick size and relation to the rest of the mix. I'm not even going to talk about wood type because in ply drums the effect is relatively miniscule. To actively be able to 'tell' what he's playing is nigh-on impossible in a production like that and just because there are pictures of the 'recording process' they might not be truthful. Often, 'pictures of the recording process' actually aren't truthful because the drummer will stage them to please whichever company might be involved.

Lars Ulrich is the classic example. On 'The Black Album' it's widely reported that he played Sabian Hi-Hats and Gretsch kick drums. Will you find that from 'official' photographs? Of course not. His deals are with Tama and Zildjian. Unless you are physically there during the recording process what they say they are playing with often bears little relationship to what is actually being played.

To pre-empt anybody trying to demonstrate a logical inconsistency in my argument ('Why would they change what they play if they all sound the same then, MFB?') my response is this:

In the studio environment itself, drums sound different to each other. Here we are talking about the 'source'. Gretsch sound different to Ludwig and Mapex different from both of those. This is established. The drummer or producer might prefer that sound in the studio. Often, this will be reflected on the final recording and sure enough, the drums will sound different.

What we are talking about here is twofold, in the case of Mastodon. Firstly, the drums are heavily processed. Strike one. It almost doesn't matter what the source is because of the post-production. Some metal players trigger electronically, even and there the actual drum they are playing is irrelevant (maybe Mastodon do this, maybe not, I don't know). Secondly, you play different drums for effect. In the case of this 'switch', the Tama and Mapex drums are very similar in construction. The shells are roughly the same thickness, the bearing edges will be similar and the heads will probably be the same. In ply drums, the actual material of the wood is the 'final' perhaps five or ten percent or so of the sound - the rest are bigger factors, like head selection, stick size (tip shape), etc. So in a natural environment, the Tama drums he 'used' on the last album will sound very similar to the 'Mapex' drums used on this album. Add in post-production and I doubt you'd be able to say with absolute certainty what he way playing; or even make a guess based on sound alone.

Add into that everything I've already said about the nature of studio kits and there's no guarantee he even played Tama on the last album or will play Mapex on the next.
I just got SCHOOLED. But seriously thanks for that super long post. Lots of info in there that I didn't know. And since I'm oping to one day be an audio engineer that was really useful!
 

blastbeatkeeper

Senior Member
Lars Ulrich is the classic example. On 'The Black Album' it's widely reported that he played Sabian Hi-Hats and Gretsch kick drums. Will you find that from 'official' photographs? Of course not. His deals are with Tama and Zildjian. Unless you are physically there during the recording process what they say they are playing with often bears little relationship to what is actually being played.
QUOTE]

Very good example. In the Documentary that they shot, in the studio while recording St. Anger, one of the only things Lars uses that is clearly Tama is his sig. snare. The toms are all gretch, and I believe the bass drums are Tama. He does in fact use 15" Sabian hats, as well.
 
Regardless of what is used on the albums, i think it comes down to live sound; which is the main reason drummers choose their endorsements. On that note, I think they will sound excellent with Brann using the Saturns.
 

CreeplyTuna

Silver Member
I cannot believe i missed mastodon when they came to philly in november! Really underestimated how fast tickets would sell out...
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I'm with you MFB. Vinnie still sounds like Vinnie, whether he's playing Yammies or Gretsch. Dave Lombardo still sounds like Lombardo on his new Luddies. Bonham sounded exactly like Bonham whether he was on his Classic Maples, Vistalites or stainless steel kit. Buddy played just about every drum company in existence during his time, yet always managed to sound just like Buddy.

I'm not arguing that different drums don't have different nuances, but a given drummer still sounds like himself regardless of the kit his playing. And once you mic 'em up and add gating, compression, EQ-ing and any other studio or live sound "trickery"............game over.

It's the Indian, not the arrow, guys.
 

jofizzm

Senior Member
On a recording like Mastodon's, you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between one make and the next unless there's something very specific about the drums. The processing involved in almost all commercial music (metal or otherwise) will see to that. Unless the production is very unprocessed it is unlikely you or I would be able to tell the difference and even then it would be a minimal difference. Most modern drums in this market (mainstream lines) sound very similar and use similar shell construction and bearing edges.

I challenge you to listen to any album of the last ten years and conclusively tell me which drums are being played. If I were asking you to identify which heads the drummer were using, that would be a little easier but still very difficult. Don't trust the brands that the player has a deal with, either.
I'm with you. In one of the DVDs, the blood mountain one I think, he was recording on a Premier. You could put the lowest level of ddrum through eq and make it sound like my recording customs.
 
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