Least responsive heads?

TMe

Senior Member
I provided TMI in the original post. and overstated the technique issue.

The question I wanted answered was, "If I want to buy heads that provide the most even volume and controlled sound - meaning that the dynamic range is quite narrow, what would you suggest?"

And the answer is that hydraulic heads might be worth trying out.

THX
 
Last edited:

LittleLegs

Senior Member
Hydraulics are a good choice. Something else you could try which would make a much bigger difference is taking off the bottom heads and playing as concert toms. It’ll make the drums less responsive and reduce the dynamic range.
 
  • Like
Reactions: TMe

timmdrum

Silver Member
If you put slackly tuned hydraulics on a kit, and then try to play quiet Jazz, it probably won't sound great. If you put Diplomats on a kit, and then try to Rock out, that probably won't sound either. Heads do make a difference. Even I know that much.
You didn't state/question any of this previously, thus, no one has argued any of this. Your question is about loud/soft dynamics.

The question I wanted answered was, "If I want to buy heads that provide the most even volume and controlled sound - meaning that the dynamic range is quite narrow, what would you suggest?"

And the answer is that hydraulic heads might be worth trying out.

THX
This is what we're arguing. There are no heads that provide "the most even volume and controlled" volume, i.e. increase or decrease dynamics. The answer is NOT hydraulic heads. Accentuating/damping overtones and/or maximizing/reducing sustain has nothing to do with volume. They're as loud as any other heads. It's still true that no heads do what you're asking, except an electronic kit with mesh heads and a volume knob.

YR WLCME :LOL:

@LittleLegs , single headed drums aren't any lower in volume either; much less sustain, but if anything, they're louder.
 

TMe

Senior Member
There are no heads that provide "the most even volume and controlled" volume, i.e. increase or decrease dynamics.
Consider the flipside. Are there heads that offer MORE dynamic response than some others?
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Consider the flipside. Are there heads that offer MORE dynamic response than some others?
Because that would imply the opposite is true- No. More sensitive? Certainly. More full-bodied, not inhibiting any overtones? Yeah. More volume? No. Still.
 

TMe

Senior Member
Because that would imply the opposite is true- No. More sensitive? Certainly. More full-bodied, not inhibiting any overtones? Yeah. More volume? No. Still.
Not more volume. More range. Are you saying that all heads have the same dynamic range, the same range of volume where they'll voice reasonably well? (I'm not disagreeing, I'm wondering if that's the case.)
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Not more volume. More range. Are you saying that all heads have the same dynamic range, the same range of volume where they'll voice reasonably well? (I'm not disagreeing, I'm wondering if that's the case.)
"Dynamics" is a description of range of volume. You literally used the word volume multiple times in your OP:

If I want to buy heads that provide the most even volume and controlled sound - meaning that the dynamic range is quite narrow, what would you suggest?

My volume levels go up and down like a yo-yo because of poor technique. I'd like to minimize that by using less responsive hardware, so I don't need as much compression to make the drums sound half-decent.

If thin single-ply heads, provide the biggest range of volume and expression, I'm assuming that two-ply hydraulics would provide the smallest range of volume and most consistent sound. Is that correct?

Any specific suggestions for heads?
And yes, it's still true, heads do not increase or decrease volume.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
Evans coated G14 over coated Reso 7.

Good luck with this combo.
 

LittleLegs

Senior Member
@LittleLegs , single headed drums aren't any lower in volume either; much less sustain, but if anything, they're louder.

The question is about limiting the need for recording compression to mitigate inconsistant technique. So this is about reducing the difference between the quietest note and the loudest note.
As a drum’s quietest note is largely unaffected by head choice/shell thickness/wood type (it’s mainly about technique) the answer to the original question is really about limiting how loud the kit can go.

In my experience - but maybe not yours - I have found that concert toms might be a way to go for what they want to achieve. They are much less responsive than a wide open drum so are easier to control, and have less headroom. At the very least, it’s an experiment they can try without spending any money.

Actually what might also be much better than buying new heads of any kind is buying a set of O-rings.

Of course, the sound might now be one that pleases the OP and the kit might not have the resonance to cut through a band, but that’s not an issue for recording. Developing technique to master dynamics is the way all of us would encourage, but that takes time that maybe the OP doesn’t have right now.
 
Last edited:

TMe

Senior Member
The question is about limiting the need for recording compression to mitigate inconsistant technique. So this is about reducing the difference between the quietest note and the loudest note.
Exactly.
I have found that concert toms might be a way to go..
That makes sense. Using a single head on the kick drum certainly reduces the dynamic response - especially if it's a slackly tuned hydraulic with damping.
Actually what might also be much better than buying new heads of any kind is buying a set of O-rings.
That makes even more sense. Maybe the solution is damping the drums, not changing the heads. The 70's guys didn't have a lot of head options, but they did a lot of stuff with damping. That way I could leave the kit wide open for practicing alone (so I can hear what's happening with my dynamics) and then use damping to tighten it up for recording.

When playing live, a wild and wooly, wide open kit sounds best to me. But apparently other musicians and sound tech's don't agree.

Thanks.
 
Last edited:

TMe

Senior Member
Evans coated G14 over coated Reso 7.
Thanks. I'm not familiar with either of those heads. I suspect a thick, single ply would sound better to my ears than a two-ply head or a hydraulic, but still be more focused than something like a Remo Ambassador/Diplomat combo.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
Thanks. I'm not familiar with either of those heads. I suspect a thick, single ply would sound better to my ears than a two-ply head or a hydraulic, but still be more focused than something like a Remo Ambassador/Diplomat combo.
The thickness requires a very hard hit for max vibration. A light stroke/hit/note is quieter than on a 10 mil head (to my ears). The thin reso head kills long resonance.

The single ply batter also tunes lower than a double ply without a flabby sound (but still needs more tension than a thin single-ply head).

The coating reduces the attack sound, producing a “softer” sound.
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
The question is about limiting the need for recording compression to mitigate inconsistant technique. So this is about reducing the difference between the quietest note and the loudest note.
Did anyone question that this was the question? The answer is still no.

In my experience - but maybe not yours - I have found that concert toms might be a way to go for what they want to achieve. They are much less responsive than a wide open drum so are easier to control, and have less headroom. At the very least, it’s an experiment they can try without spending any money.
That makes sense. Using a single head on the kick drum certainly reduces the dynamic response - especially if it's a slackly tuned hydraulic with damping.

Actually what might also be much better than buying new heads of any kind is buying a set of O-rings.
That makes even more sense. Maybe the solution is damping the drums, not changing the heads.
Still incorrect. Equally loud (concert toms are louder but with much shorter sustain). "Easier to control" sustain and overtones (fixed it for ya) with concert toms or with damping heads with either external or built-in damping materials, but volume is not affected. Shorter sounds do not mitigate volume of sound.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
I wonder if @TMe is using the term "dynamics" wrong? Do you mean responsiveness?

because there is no way that a head will be a factor in increasing, or decreasing volume. I can play a Diplomat head, and a Coated Emporer at the same volume, and they will make (roughly)the same decibel level....BUT....their response to my stroke will be waaaayyyyy different because of the construction of the materials
 

LittleLegs

Senior Member
Did anyone question that this was the question? The answer is still no.


Still incorrect. Equally loud (concert toms are louder but with much shorter sustain). "Easier to control" sustain and overtones (fixed it for ya) with concert toms or with damping heads with either external or built-in damping materials, but volume is not affected. Shorter sounds do not mitigate volume of sound.

Take a deep breath my friend. Being rude to strangers isn’t going to make you any happier. The OP can try some of the suggestions in this thread and see what happens. My suggestion might help - it’s not the first time I’ve encountered this recording issue - but of course it might not be the exact or complete remedy. 🙏
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
Take a deep breath my friend. Being rude to strangers isn’t going to make you any happier. The OP can try some of the suggestions in this thread and see what happens. My suggestion might help - it’s not the first time I’ve encountered this recording issue - but of course it might not be the exact or complete remedy. 🙏
I've been neither anxious nor rude. Conversely, I find the anxious and rude insistence in the face of multiple people earnestly and factually providing the answer to the question posed mildly amusing.

I propose it's time to quit discussing it and test both methods with a decibel level reader- ensuring stick strikes are of equal velocity and technique- record the process on video, and post the unedited video here. Proof is in the pudding. 😁 (Other than some scientific way of ensuring velocity consistency, I've seen these results myself on mixing console VU meters.)
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I don’t think anyone has been rude, just realistic. Realism can seem rude at times, but I have had plenty of people get real with me, and it’s always made me the better for it. At some point, collective pro wisdom has to count for something. Not that I have it when it comes to drums , but I do know a thing or two ;)
 

LittleLegs

Senior Member
I propose it's time to quit discussing it and test both methods with a decibel level reader- ensuring stick strikes are of equal velocity and technique-

I’m clearly missing something! I thought the whole point of this thread is that the drummer’s stick strikes are NOT of an equal velocity or technique. Anyway, I’m off to look at some crazy tom angles! Good luck TMe, I hope you solve your immediate issue and in time get your technique to the place where you can play any kit and make it do what you want it to. Enjoy the journey!
 

TMe

Senior Member
Still incorrect.

I wonder if @TMe is using the term "dynamics" wrong?
So what term should I be using? Imagine you're playing a cheap electronic keyboard, and then you play an acoustic piano. The electronic version isn't as responsive to your light playing (it might not make a sound at all), and the volume doesn't ramp up as much when you hit the keys harder. On a very cheap keyboard, there may be no difference at all in sound when you hit the keys lightly or with more force.

When I was playing around with e-drums, that quality was referred to as "dynamic response", and the difference between the quietest note and the loudest note was called "dynamic range".

Are there different terms I should be using? Response/responsiveness?
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Diamond Member
So what term should I be using? Imagine you're playing a cheap electronic keyboard, and then you play an acoustic piano. The electronic version isn't as responsive to your light playing (it might not make a sound at all), and the volume doesn't ramp up as much when you hit the keys harder. On a very cheap keyboard, there may be no difference at all in sound when you hit the keys lightly or with more force.

When I was playing around with e-drums, that quality was referred to as "dynamic response", and the difference between the quietest note and the loudest note was called "dynamic range".

Are there different terms I should be using?

Or am I using the correct terms, and you're saying that the choice of heads won't make any significant difference?

I feel like "dynamic response" means how the head responds to your strike. That does NOT create volume. The head will vibrate in a certain way after the strike, but the initial movement of air is what causes the volume...the resonance after word is an after effect that gives a perception of volume...

like a drum head that rings/sustains is perceived as being louder, but really isn't. In fact, the resonance/response after is always going to be softer than the initial strike, and will be fading away.

i think it is physically impossible for a drum head to get louder as the vibrations die out...same with cymbals

heads are advertised as "projecting more" sometimes, but that is in reference to the dryness of the initial attack, rather than residual volume
 
Top