Drum quality and recording

AZslim

Senior Member
All,

I am lucky enough to practice with a band where the leader has built a recording studio. The drums are miked in a booth. I have a DW collectors set and my practice set is '66ish Slingerlands.

Normally, I keep my practice set at the rehearsal space and gig with the DW's because they soud better live than the Slingys. They are a bit beat up, but intact so they sound OK.

Now that my rehearsal space is essentially the recording studio, I would like still like to keep the Slingy's at the studio and gig with DW's. It's a real pain to unmike the drums in the booth, tear them down and take them to a gig and then set them up again. Since we practice in essentially a recording enviornment, we may choose to record at any time and you never know, the track may be a keeper.

The other issue is that other people may be using these drums to record with. It's up to me, the band leader is very nice, and if I tell him nobody can use my drums he will honor that. However, it would be a big help to him if people can use the set in the booth. There isn't too much traffic yet as the studio is just now coming on line and he isn't ready yet to start advertising for clients. I don't mind if others play the Slingy's until a permanenet drum solution is arrived at as they are a bit worn, anyway. The DW's are different story, though.

My question is, how much difference does the drum set used for recording make? With all of the technology around its seems that most drums can sound great after processing.

Yes, of course I will try them both and see what happens, but I'm interested in hearing your experience with drum quality and recording.

Sorry for the long explination, but I thought it might help with answers to my question.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Why do the slingerlands sound bad? with good heads and tuning, id rather record on them than a dw kit. are the sizes for both kits the same?
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I would say the Slingerlands will record great, assuming there aren't any structural issues like separating plies, out of round or edge problems. Certainly processing can modify/improve the sound of virtually any instrument, but it's preferable to have that instrument sound as 'correct' as possible to begin.

Bermuda
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I would say the Slingerlands will record great, assuming there aren't any structural issues like separating plies, out of round or edge problems. Certainly processing can modify/improve the sound of virtually any instrument, but it's preferable to have that instrument sound as 'correct' as possible to begin.

Bermuda
Absolutely!

A good sounding set's contribution to the finished sound depends on many things, but a real big one is the room. For example, if the recording space is small & fairly dead, you'll get far less benefit from using a great sounding kit.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
Sounds like a typical homemade drum booth. Barely enough room for the kit, walls lined with foam and mics right on top the heads. Probably damped heads or with stuff on them. In which case, the sound of the drums is entirely up to post production processing. e.g. the way things were done in the '80s.

The more you can get the drums into a good acoustic space and record what they really sound like, the more the quality and sound of the drums comes into play. Kind of self evident.

The problem with the Slingerlands may be the space they're in. Have you tried using them on a gig after putting some effort into setting them up, good heads and tuning?
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Crap in, crap out. I always insist on getting the instrument to sound its very best and Not rely on processing as a crutch or "we'll fix it in the mix" mentality.. This usually saves all kinds of time and money in the long run. Unless there is damage to your Slingerland shells, there's no reason why they shouldn't sound great on recordings. This past week I've recorded a nice 66 vintage set of Slingerland drums that sounded spectacular. My only advice would be, if they're in need of new heads, do it a week or two in advance of the session.

Dennis.
 

BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Crap in, crap out. I always insist on getting the instrument to sound its very best and Not rely on processing as a crutch or "we'll fix it in the mix" mentality.. This usually saves all kinds of time and money in the long run. Unless there is damage to your Slingerland shells, there's no reason why they shouldn't sound great on recordings. This past week I've recorded a nice 66 vintage set of Slingerland drums that sounded spectacular. My only advice would be, if they're in need of new heads, do it a week or two in advance of the session.

Dennis.
Absolutely.

The only reason the Slingerlands in themselves might cause issues is wear-and-tear. Recording puts everything under a microscope so all those tiny issues that you don't notice in everyday playing can suddenly become very apparent. Squeaking hardware or rattling lugs are two issues that come up frequently, with the latter sometimes particularly difficult to narrow down. As a result, you need to make sure that everything on the kit is set up correctly and all those small maintenance tasks that need doing are done before a microphone is put anywhere near the kit.

As Dennis says, new heads (if required) a week or so before and reasonably 'played-in' to get the best seating on the bearing edge isn't a bad idea either. Lubricate the tension rods and any pedals you might be using as well.

As for the actual recording process, that's another can of worms that there are huge websites dedicated to. My best advice is to get the drums sounding as good as possible before taking a microphone to the kit and to play around with location in the room. Sometimes, putting the kit over a different floor surface (e.g. a wooden floor) or closer to a wall can change how the kit sounds enormously. The best recordings are done in great rooms with appropriately positioned microphones and a controlled, experienced studio player.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I agree with Bermuda - if there aren't any structural problems, the Slingerlands should sound great. They were pro drums when they were new, and they're still pro drums today. Get some new heads on there and do a proper tuning. You might find you can still gig with them, too!
 

AZslim

Senior Member
Thanks for the answers. The bearing edges are ok and I have good heads on them. Evans G1 on top and clear Ambassadors on the bottoms. The only thing I really notice is bass drum is (22 x 14) is weaker.

It looks like I'll go with them.
 

AZslim

Senior Member
Sounds like a typical homemade drum booth. Barely enough room for the kit, walls lined with foam and mics right on top the heads. Probably damped heads or with stuff on them. In which case, the sound of the drums is entirely up to post production processing. e.g. the way things were done in the '80s.

The more you can get the drums into a good acoustic space and record what they really sound like, the more the quality and sound of the drums comes into play. Kind of self evident.

The problem with the Slingerlands may be the space they're in. Have you tried using them on a gig after putting some effort into setting them up, good heads and tuning?
Yes, I'm not saying they sound bad, I just like the DW's better.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Thanks for the answers. The bearing edges are ok and I have good heads on them. Evans G1 on top and clear Ambassadors on the bottoms. The only thing I really notice is bass drum is (22 x 14) is weaker.

It looks like I'll go with them.
Weaker in what way? Not as loud as the toms? Is there a full front head or a ported one? What kind of batter head is on it now? PS3? Evans EQ3?
 

AZslim

Senior Member
Weaker in what way? Not as loud as the toms? Is there a full front head or a ported one? What kind of batter head is on it now? PS3? Evans EQ3?
It just doesn't have the low end punch the DW does.


My DW factory head on the front and EQ3 for a reso. I put an EMAD on th DW. Hmmmm, maybe an EMAD for the front as well?
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Thanks for the answers. The bearing edges are ok and I have good heads on them. Evans G1 on top and clear Ambassadors on the bottoms. The only thing I really notice is bass drum is (22 x 14) is weaker.

It looks like I'll go with them.
Sounds like a tuning issue to me.I have a Slingerland mid 60's kit with a 22x14 bass drum that has way more punch that any modern deep bass drums.Use a PS 3 batter and an ambassador reso with a felt strip.Experiment with different micing tequniq

Plenty of punch and bottom end,and certainly loud enough for any situation,and it records great.

Experiment with different micing techniques like using 2 SM 57's ...one adout 3 " away from the reso head,and another about 18" away...cover the whole deal with a movers blanket creating a tunnel like effect.

Tune those Slingys right,and they will more than keep up with those DW's

Steve B
 

AZslim

Senior Member
Sounds like a tuning issue to me.I have a Slingerland mid 60's kit with a 22x14 bass drum that has way more punch that any modern deep bass drums.Use a PS 3 batter and an ambassador reso with a felt strip.Experiment with different micing tequniq

Plenty of punch and bottom end,and certainly loud enough for any situation,and it records great.

Experiment with different micing techniques like using 2 SM 57's ...one adout 3 " away from the reso head,and another about 18" away...cover the whole deal with a movers blanket creating a tunnel like effect.

Tune those Slingys right,and they will more than keep up with those DW's

Steve B
No port in the reso?

Thanks, sounds like a good project. My mikes are on clips so I'll have to lose the stick savers and triple flanged rims, which I thyink is no big deal, although I like the look of the sticksavers because they are unique to Slingerland and mune are all still shiny.
 

opentune

Platinum Member
No. EMAD si a batter head. EMAD or PS3 would be good for your batter.
Reso should be singly ply, Ambassador. Felt strip cuts the overtones.
Port? No, not i f you're complaining this drum doesn't keep up to your DW. Thats surprising because 3 ply bass drums can kick some butt. I have a 20 x 14 Slingerland (1965) that out-does a lot of larger bass drums I've had.

Other thing is Slingerlands, and lots of other 3 ply drums are great for recording....but they can also play out too.....as history shows.
 

NerfLad

Silver Member
My '69 3-ply 22 x 14 Ludwig bass drum has a lower fundamental than any other drum I currently own. The old Ludwig is my go-to recording kit (although sometimes I do admittedly switch the bass drum out if I want a more modern sound). I use a Clear Emperor on the batter and the original '69 Weathermaster (the equivalent of a Smooth White Diplomat) on the resonant side, both tuned high (the batter is lower), muffled with shirt sleeves. It kills dude. Play around until you find tone that you like. You've got the gear for it.
 

AZslim

Senior Member
No. EMAD si a batter head. EMAD or PS3 would be good for your batter.
Reso should be singly ply, Ambassador. Felt strip cuts the overtones.
Port? No, not i f you're complaining this drum doesn't keep up to your DW. Thats surprising because 3 ply bass drums can kick some butt. I have a 20 x 14 Slingerland (1965) that out-does a lot of larger bass drums I've had.

Other thing is Slingerlands, and lots of other 3 ply drums are great for recording....but they can also play out too.....as history shows.
Oh crap. I'm sorry. Now I see. D'oh! When I said front I meant batter side. Geez.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
No port in the reso?

Thanks, sounds like a good project. My mikes are on clips so I'll have to lose the stick savers and triple flanged rims, which I thyink is no big deal, although I like the look of the sticksavers because they are unique to Slingerland and mune are all still shiny.
Ports ......on a 60's vintage Slingerland.......NO....NO.....NO.Sacrilige.

Get some flexible goose necks and clip the mics to them.Part of that Slingerland sound is in those sticksaver rims......especially rim shots on the snare.

I'd rather chew worms than to port any of my vintage bass drums....its like calling them "kick" drums.........I have to wash my hand now for even typing that.....:)

Steve B
 
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