Favorite drum tone?


Junior Member
Just curious to see what people's preferred drum tone(s) might be, why you like them, and some example drummers with that kind of tone.

I personally love the late 60s-70s tone in general. It always strikes me as jazz-based, although it's definitely rock, with higher pitched toms, thinner cymbals, bright snares, and delicate, intricate strokes. I love Mitch Mitchell's sound and playing. I still wonder how much of the bias is due to the recording equipment of the era...but anyway I love that kind of sound.

Any others?


"Uncle Larry"
Like: Single ply heads, coated or clear, tuned medium to medium tight.

Dislike: Thick heads, flappy tom tuning, concert toms, tom muffling, slack tuned snare drums. Era notwithstanding.


Platinum Member
Yeah ,I really dug Mitches sound.Bonhams sound on the first two Zep albums,especially the first one.Buddy's drums always sounded great.Ginger Bakers live sound.Elvins sound and Joe Morello's live and studio.I guess thats a pretty wide range ;maybe it was the Ludwigs(Elvin excluded)

Steve B


Platinum Member
My favorite seems to change quite a bit.

I love Steve Gorman's snare sound and then I'll hear Steve Jordan on a track and think a nice poppy, ringy snare would be cool too.

Same thing with toms. I love Max Roach's tom work and then I'll hear a Zeppelin song or watch one of the Tommy Igoe DVDs and end up loving those toms too.

Generally speaking, I like a nice open tone without much muffling.


Gold Member
Its strange I play alot of harder rock so my set is tuned pretty low with G2 heads on the toms, snare tuned up to medium... however when I play my Roland I always seem to play the "light" set on it which is the opposite..


Silver Member
Craaaaaaaanked snare drum., somewhat muffled kick drum (but not dead - it's an ambassador head with a pillow in there), wide open toms.


I'm a hard rock drummer, so I use emps on the toms, but no dampening is needed if you tune those babes to perfection for a low, punchy sound, yet still resonant and wide open with natural overtones to cut through the distortion and not sound dead ;)

Snare-I do a reasonably cranked single ply reverse dot head, yet still left with a good sensative feel for press rolls and ghost notes, and minimal dampening to get a but more focus but still leavin her sounding open to cut through...nobody enjoys a ploppy dead ass snare sound!

Kick-I tend to go back and forth with single ply and double, cuz either way I use a falam psych for increased beater attack, as well as the evans pillow that muffles the kick for a nice thump, but it moves outward with each hit, allowing the drum to resonate and not be dead. Tune the batter head just past finger tight, maybe a bit past if a lil more "boom" is needed.

Last but not least, resonant heads are wicked important. Single ply all the way, tuned a step above the batter head. Makes those puppies sing through the mix!


Senior Member
I prefer deeper toms than a snare that ends up getting cranked. I play metal but for some reason my cymbals are more jazz oriented.


Platinum Member
The beginning of "When the Levee Breaks" my fav. drum tone of all-time I even have it for a ring-tone lol, but I also liked Ian Paice's tone on Machine Head & Mitchell's tone with Hendrix.

Something about the Ludwig Sound.