Drummer's curse

s1212z

Well-known member
There several curses that come to mind; first being ton of gear to always lug around and the space needed from drums. This comes with the territory and just an acceptance for the love of the instrument.

The 2nd curse that comes to mind is multi-tracking and an engineer that can change an entire dynamic balanced expression that a drummer has honed years to develop. I recall Weckl controlling sub-mixes in the live scenarios for this singular purpose. I can count on one hand the times I was 100% happy with an outside engineer mixing my drum sounds (usually they are drummers or drum fans themselves). Slightly tangential is laying down tracks and later over-dubs from other musicians that don't have good time (which can make it sound like a drum grove problem and why I prefer live tracking whenever possible).

Just a rant, feel free to share stories or any suggestions on what people do to mitigate. I've given my multi-track sub mixes as a starting point on some scenarios but not always feasible depending on the project.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Oh man a rant-I thought you meant like a "curse". I dated two girl back in early 80s both turned out to be witches-one younger who I dated first and she turned me on to her older friend who she thought we'd have more in common-I dated her for a couple years. TBH in my secular mindset of time-she was no more nutty than other religions. We did break up for a bit and I wondered if she cast a spell on me. She basically said I have a powerful aura that makes me a magnet for her because she feeds off my "energy"-sounds like a freaking vampire. Well as long as she "feeds" elsewhere whatever baby LOL. She had some crazy ideas-and for me to say that is saying something LOL. Still I liked her and she was a lot of fun. When I finished my MS I moved so told her bye and I'd keep in touch. It was a touching moment but neither of us must have ever thought about it again as neither called or made contact again. LOL My bad.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Oh man a rant-I thought you meant like a "curse". I dated two girl back in early 80s both turned out to be witches-one younger who I dated first and she turned me on to her older friend who she thought we'd have more in common-I dated her for a couple years. TBH in my secular mindset of time-she was no more nutty than other religions. We did break up for a bit and I wondered if she cast a spell on me. She basically said I have a powerful aura that makes me a magnet for her because she feeds off my "energy"-sounds like a freaking vampire. Well as long as she "feeds" elsewhere whatever baby LOL. She had some crazy ideas-and for me to say that is saying something LOL. Still I liked her and she was a lot of fun. When I finished my MS I moved so told her bye and I'd keep in touch. It was a touching moment but neither of us must have ever thought about it again as neither called or made contact again. LOL My bad.
Art, you continue to amaze and amuse me! Lol
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
the biggest curse to me is that G-Dmned "More Cowbell" skit from Saturday Night Live....FOKKING ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! It was moderately funny the first time...moderately....the FIRST time

the next biggest curse would be stairways, or gigs not on the ground floor

after that...lead singers. Lead singers who don't help in loading; lead singers who thing your drums are a table for their sweat rag, or drink; lead singers who think the bass drum and drum rack are part of the stage....
 

Mick_Link

Junior Member
I am still suffering from the first curse you mentioned, called G.A.S....;)
 
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GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
Well even worms gotta eat-so I'l speak up for us drummers who suck but we still wanna play LOL.
I get the stairways Xstr8edg I've busted my ass several times on a gig navigating steps with an armful-thankfully nothing of value damaged. Carrying a kick you can't see your feet unless you hold it out from you which throws off you balance and give musculoskeletal issues trying to navigate without busting your ass. Some stairwells must have been built in 1800s because steps closer together barely wide enough to pass. I'm like WTH how did you get stuff in the building.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Curse? Perhaps losing drumkeys. Surely some demon put a curse on all of us at some point in time. Did any drummers go to the crossroads and sell us all out key wise?

The rest of it just sounds like normal being a drummer stuff.

Engineers messing with our sound, I don't know how to do it, I rely on them to make it sound good.

Car doors, hallways, stairs, etc., that stuff all existed before you became a drummer.

Carrying around heavy objects, guitar and bass cabinets arent exactly light.

As for the singer, thats just a rude person. I suppose a person of that caliber would also wipe dirty shoes on a Persian rug, leave their trash wherever, and not scrape their dirty plate for whomever is washing it.

None of these things are curses.
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Everyone else of course has great time...its got to be the drummer..hes the time keeper. Guitar players with bad time?..no frikkin way!.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
Well even worms gotta eat-so I'l speak up for us drummers who suck but we still wanna play LOL.
I get the stairways Xstr8edg I've busted my ass several times on a gig navigating steps with an armful-thankfully nothing of value damaged. Carrying a kick you can't see your feet unless you hold it out from you which throws off you balance and give musculoskeletal issues trying to navigate without busting your ass. Some stairwells must have been built in 1800s because steps closer together barely wide enough to pass. I'm like WTH how did you get stuff in the building.

we uses to play a place in Pittsburgh that had the equivalent of 2 stories worth of stairs up to the room...skinny stairway - possibly 2,5 feet wide. It was also t he only entrance/exit for patrons too, so if t here was a line to get in...

the only thing that made that gig worthwhile was Primanti Brothers afterwards
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
One is that your musicianship is often targeted by mediocre non-drummers-- and mediocre drummers occasionally. You have to know you're doing the right thing-- timewise, volumewise, knowing where you are in the music-wise, etc-- and it's their perceptions that are screwed up. All good things to have your stuff extra-together on anyway...

There's also the general sense of inferiority bc other musicians speak a different language than I do, and the feeling I'm doing something easy while they're doing something hard-- again, mediocre players are the ones who vibe that.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
In respect to the unbalanced mixes, I forgot to mention the Bernard "Pretty" Purdie stories of him telling engineers on room mic placement and said he would do the rest. Actually, some of my best experiences have been minimal mic'ing of high quality overheads in a good sounding room as the most natural drum sounds I've gotten to date. Some of the multi-tom, multi-snare mics, multi-BD mic.....and useless HH mic, these are the scenarios with engineers I find way to 'play' with your sound.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
The 2nd curse that comes to mind is multi-tracking and an engineer that can change an entire dynamic balanced expression that a drummer has honed years to develop.

Don't forget that a drummer's concept of balance either sitting behind the kit on a gig, or practicing, is quite different than what the kit needs to sound like in the context of a mix. A seemingly great drum balance standing in the room and recorded with two mics to resemble what our ears hear, may be lost in a mix. The kick may lack definition, toms might not cut through the instruments, etc. and it's not always about balance, but EQ and panning as well. And what constitutes a good mix is typically determined by the producer and artist, not individual players. If the drummer was allowed to solo the drums and make a 'good' mix of just them, it probably wouldn't work well once the music was brought in.

That said, it's crucial for the people mixing to have good ears.
 

s1212z

Well-known member
Don't forget that a drummer's concept of balance either sitting behind the kit on a gig, or practicing, is quite different than what the kit needs to sound like in the context of a mix. A seemingly great drum balance standing in the room and recorded with two mics to resemble what our ears hear, may be lost in a mix. The kick may lack definition, toms might not cut through the instruments, etc. and it's not always about balance, but EQ and panning as well. And what constitutes a good mix is typically determined by the producer and artist, not individual players. If the drummer was allowed to solo the drums and make a 'good' mix of just them, it probably wouldn't work well once the music was brought in.

That said, it's crucial for the people mixing to have good ears.

This is all sensible and I can agree. My context was very much an acoustic setting....granted, I'm broad-stroking a topic that cover numerous genres and musical settings (not to mention various levels of professionalism), there are many examples of exceptions plus producers/engineers that use their talents to the fullest. And in less dynamic musical settings, it's actually far more forgiving I find. I would not want just a high end ribbon mic w/ a bass drum mic on every musical scenario.

However, other instrument classes do not deal with the same challenge we do. You wouldn't, for example, have an individual mic on every key on a piano or control of individual finger weight or even individual bass string; the instrument is treated as a single unit. In our context, we are a conductor of a single unit percussion orchestra but our conductive rights can be over-ridden completely in the final product. Perhaps others have had more positive experiences though.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
the biggest curse to me is that G-Dmned "More Cowbell" skit from Saturday Night Live....FOKKING ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! It was moderately funny the first time...moderately....the FIRST time

the next biggest curse would be stairways, or gigs not on the ground floor

after that...lead singers. Lead singers who don't help in loading; lead singers who thing your drums are a table for their sweat rag, or drink; lead singers who think the bass drum and drum rack are part of the stage....
Cure for that is to hit the singer hard with your stick every time he places his foot or anything of his on any of your drums or slaps your cymbals, slap him back in front of everyone, he'll learn. And yes the cowbell skit was not funny to me even the first time....
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Don't forget that a drummer's concept of balance either sitting behind the kit on a gig, or practicing, is quite different than what the kit needs to sound like in the context of a mix. A seemingly great drum balance standing in the room and recorded with two mics to resemble what our ears hear, may be lost in a mix. The kick may lack definition, toms might not cut through the instruments, etc. and it's not always about balance, but EQ and panning as well. And what constitutes a good mix is typically determined by the producer and artist, not individual players. If the drummer was allowed to solo the drums and make a 'good' mix of just them, it probably wouldn't work well once the music was brought in.

That said, it's crucial for the people mixing to have good ears.
Regardless of whoever's concept of balance, the engineer should be able to create a mix that favors the better output without having to be a drummer or a drum fan themselves.
 
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