Does anyone really notice?

Cottontop

Senior Member
Seriously, do you guys think that if you brought a high end kit to one gig and an intermidiate kit to the next people would actually notice the sound?

Don't get me wrong, i would love to have a Mapex Saturn but then i listen to videos with good sound quality like this...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p72X9khBhuk&feature=related

and start wondering if its even worth it. What do you guys think?
 

azrae1l

Silver Member
looks a lot like a tama promo to me. so the first thing i think is how much of that is typical starclassic and how much is beefed up and better made for that clip, how much of it is synthed, how much is the mics or heads... you get the point.

personally i look at what i enjoy. i play guitar as well and it's all about the same. i can play a $2000 dollar les pual that feels awesome to play or a $200 squire strat starter guitar and most listeners won't really know the difference but my hands do. a drummer will know what feels good and what he wants but the listener only knows whats popular.

so yeah i think it's worth it to spend much more on something that feels right and is a pleasure to play versus just getting something that will work.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Seriously, do you think ...... people would actually notice the sound?
95% or more probably wouldn't. But you didn't say what kind of a gig. Really, the only people who'd notice are other drummers. They might, or might not care, but at least they'd notice.
 

mrchattr

Gold Member
Nope, but I would. Music is my art, my expression, and I want to use the best tools to accomplish that for myself. Other people may enjoy it as well, or may not notice, but that doesn't matter to me.
 

grannydrums

Senior Member
Once when my snare was ringing and driving me mad the band said they could not hear what i was on about. so i got the singer to sit at my kit( rare privilage, i am a bit anal about who can play it) and hit the snare---no ring, got him to hit the bass and the toms and they sounded so much different to what I hear at my side.

So the answer is as long as the kit is tuned ok only drummers in the audiance will notice, but it is your feeling when playing it that matters. If you love playing an expensive kit because of what you hear and what you see then that will reflect in your playing.
 
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Big_Philly

Guest
When a kit is mic'd and eq'd, especially in a studio situation, nobody will notice the sound difference between a pro level kit and a kit like the superstar, given that the kit is properly tuned etc. The feel of those intermediate kits also entirely depends on how you tune and maintain them (and on head selection of course). So getting a pro level kit is not something you do for the audience, or for the music - it's just for yourself and maybe your fellow drummer who likes to drool over nice pro-level kits.
 
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audiotech

Guest
I've heard many lower cost kits rival the sound of "pro" kits. It's the operator not necessarily the equipment. What you do get in professional equipment is better finishes, shell construction and hardware.

Dennis
 

dairyairman

Platinum Member
i honestly think that almost no one in the audience could tell the sound difference between an intermediate kit and a high end kit, especially if you're in a situation where you're all mic'ed up and a sound engineer is manipulating your sound (like in that video). an intermediate kit, and even a low end kit can sound really good if it has good heads on it, is well tuned, and has the right amount of muffling.

speaking from my own experience, until recently i recorded and gigged with an entry level tama rockstar kit. no one, and i mean no one, including recording studio engineers ever complained about that sound of that kit. when i listen to the studio recordings, it sounds great, and when i listen to live recordings it sounds great too. i have a mapex meridian maple kit now and i think it sounds better, but only i can tell the difference.
 

veggo32

Silver Member
To me it sounds like an intermediate kit, it is what it is.
Search phoenix and other high end kits with recordings like thiis one and its not even close. The snare sounds crap and the toms and kick drum are mediocre sounding, there is just no depth to anything.

On the other hand the K's rock.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
No, The patrons at the gig wouldn't know the difference as long as the kit is presentable and tuned reasonably well. It,s not worth the wear and tear on your high end kit to bring it to most gigs. From twenty feet away and in the mix of the other instruments people can't tell a difference in both sound and appearance. Ok to bring a good snare if you wan't to and good cymbals are great also. That is mainly for your comfort!
I can tune a cheap snare and inexpensive drums to sound good to a live audience with no problem. I can also use medium quality cymbals. I know the difference, they don't!
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
To the average person in the audience, no.

And intermediate and professional are relative terms. Plenty of kits that were considered "pro" 25-30 years ago would be considered "intermediate" by today's standards.

And further proof is how many albums were made with drums that were muffled, or mixed to sound flat and dull, but still sold well.
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have three kits that I gig with.
74 vintage Gretsch
Tama StageStar
Pearl Rhythm Travler

I frequently use the Rhythm Traveler for small gigs.
No one has ever come up to me and commented that I should have used a different kit. They say things like "What a cool little kit" "Are those electronic drums?" or "You guys played good tonight" People don't notice that the RT doesn't sound that great as long as I play reasonably well and make a connection with the audience. Even other drummers that have played my RT have said that they liked it for what it is. The average person in the crowd doesn't give it any thought at all that I am not playing a high end kit. I do always use high end cymbals.

The musicians that I play with in two different bands don't seem to care what kit I use. I choose the kit for the gig that we are playing. I don't tell my guitar player to bring a certain guitar.
As long as he plays good, I don't care if he plays his Mexican Strat instead of his Les Paul.
 
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wy yung

Guest
Having been around loads of kits in the drum shops where I teach I know the intermediate kits today are great. The new Ludwig Elements are incredible. The main difference between int' and pro' kits is projection. A pro kit will be louder and speak with more definition than the int' kit. If the kit is mic's it wont matter. A pro kit will also likely have better hardware and finish.
 

RogerLudwig

Senior Member
I'm thinking it probably doesn't make a difference to the audience, but it sure would to me. I feel better and I think I play better with my best equipment. To me it makes no sense to buy a high-end kit and keep it in the wood shed whilst playing on a lesser quality kit. That being said, I do understand the reluctance of some folks to take the good stuff to the local biker bar (no disrespect for bikers....I ride, too)
 

Fishnmusicn

Senior Member
I have three kits that I gig with.
74 vintage Gretsch
Tama StageStar
Pearl Rhythm Travler

I frequently use the Rhythm Traveler for small gigs.
No one has ever come up to me and commented that I should have used a different kit. They say things like "What a cool little kit" "Are those electronic drums?" or "You guys played good tonight" People don't notice that the RT doesn't sound that great as long as I play reasonably well and make a connection with the audience. Even other drummers that have played my RT have said that they liked it for what it is. The average person in the crowd doesn't give it any thought at all that I am not playing a high end kit. I do always use high end cymbals.

The musicians that I play with in two different bands don't seem to care what kit I use. I choose the kit for the gig that we are playing. I don't tell my guitar player to bring a certain guitar.
As long as he plays good, I don't care if he plays his Mexican Strat instead of his Les Paul.
Bob, I'd be curious to hear how you like your Stagestars. I've got a set too, and think they're pretty decent little drums for what they are. Do you recommend certain heads and how do you like to tune them? A little off topic I know, since they are below even intermediate status, but wanted to get your take. I'm looking forward to upgrading the heads, cymbals, etc.

Fishnmusicn
 

Skulmoski

Gold Member
Law of diminishing returns applies here: few will notice the sound of the kit (especially if it is miked and managed by a competent sound techie.) If you put together a Bozzio low quality kit along side with a pro quality 4 piece bebop kit, most audience members will favourably comment on the low quality, but impressively big kit. Hardware is another story though; good quality pedals and stands make a difference in that they are less likely to fail.

Just my two cents.

GJS
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
I think with the quality and wide range of head choices available today, even a cheapo set can be made to sound respectable in most situations. Beyond that, there are certain things you can do to your drums to take care of minor workmanship issues (sanding bearing edges, using quality cymbals, etc.) Also, if you are micing the drums, the soundman can solve almost any problem presented by a budget kit. I get great live sound from so-called intermediate kits (I have gigged and recorded a 1998 Yamaha Stage Custom for years now, and the PDP X7 1st generation at my church sounds great with Pinstripes and a great mix in the monitors).

I totally agree that the visual presentation of the kit is a big factor. Set it up like a Tom Angles thread and even a high-end kit looks ridiculous, and the audience will react accordingly. I also completely agree with the hardware comment: Doesn't matter the pedigree of your kit if the hardware can't hold it securely. That would probably affect you as much or more.

As long as you're able to communicate your playing as comfortably as possible through the instrument and don't have to worry about it falling apart, very few would notice the difference between a Rockwood and a Yamaha MCA kit.
 

mcbike

Silver Member
as long as the drum is round and the bearing edges are smooth and flat you can make any drum sound good with good heads.

as a player though you will notice the difference between a cheaper kit and a pro kit. We've all played cheap snares with THIN rims that go out of tune after two or three songs.

There is certainly an aesthetic part of drums too and it's a large part of the cost of drums. audience members will notice the aesthetics of a drumset.

I still would say most of the comments I get on gigs are regarding my drumset and not my playing. I'm not a real flashy player though, and my drums do usually sound great.

btw. that tama drumset doesn't sound good to me. I can see how that sound might be desirable to some, but i'm more of vintage guy, and I like to actually hear the tone of the drums, that kit is very modern sounding, and you mostly just hear the heads, not alot of body.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yb_dpLDLaBI I put this c&c vintage mahogany kit up as a great sounding kit. obviously a totally different style of drum, but this is what I think sounds good.
 
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