More experience as a drummer, less muffling of the kit..what does that tell us?

mattsmith

Platinum Member
originally posted by cdrums21
And to Stu Strib and Finnhiggins, thank you for your support, it means alot :eek:) I'm sorry to have participated in such a mean spirited post exchange...shame on me
The weak part of the exchange wasn't your doing. IMO, you were making a very innocent observation regarding young drummers that I have noticed before myself. I also completely understood what you were saying about your studio observations, and although I didn't agree with some of it, your points were deserving of consideration and respect. You didn't come off with any tone of hollow sanctimony or false knowledge that warranted a similarly toned response.

I think the amped up dialogue of one of the contributors was stemmed more in issues of posturing and consensus building, while having very little to do with the subject at hand.
 
M

Mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
How ironic, I make a witty remark concerning his identity and he suddenly becomes 'too busy to participate'.
 

LDGuy

Pioneer Member
*sigh*

Toms sometimes need to be muffled, and sometimes dont. Dont argue about the sound of drums, they all sound different.

And guys, remember, if it sounds good, it probably is.
 

sloppyn9ne

Senior Member
nitro said:
I think more experienced players tend to have better equipment and therefore don't need to battle with crap sounds as much.

I agree, on the tuning elements though - if a good kit is tuned properly, the need for dampening is reduced. Personal choice and genre come into it though.
im pretty experinced and i still have the same s*** from when i was 13.
 

Fur drummer

Pioneer Member
It tells us they become good at tunning. They also become more knowledgeable about equipment. They also my use heads with some muffling built in.
 

ANIMALBEATS

Silver Member
That with time we open up like flowers in summer.

And the sweet smell of rythm, where the listners may follow there nose.
 
M

mlehnertz

Guest
That's very interesting...

Mediocrefunkybeat said:
How ironic, I make a witty remark concerning his identity and he suddenly becomes 'too busy to participate'.
 
D

Drad-dog

Guest
I'm so glad I play with people who don't hassle me about my sound. If some engineer wanted to shove a pillow in my bass drum I'd tell him to shove it somewhere else. I really respect you studio guys who can hang in there with all these people trying to make you sound like everyone else on the radio. Sound is a huge part of my musical personality. I never use muffling 'cause that's the sound I like.

What kills me is when dudes drop 5 or 6 grand on sweet ass DW stuff that sings like a bird and then they wrap the whole damb thing in duct tape.

I can understand producers and pop artists wanting a certain drum sound, and muffling and eq-ing a kit to death to achieve exactly what they want, but I'm happy to announce that thoes types will never want me as their drummer. Because I'm a jazz snob, I tend to think that those dudes just don't like the way drums actually sound. Plug those screw balls into a drum machine, and they'd be perfectly happy. I think practically speaking, sure: it all depends on the room, the tune, the blah blah blah... But for me, it only depends on one thing: what I want to hear.

On the other hand, if my paycheck depended on it, I'm pretty sure I'd change my tune!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Drad-dog said:
But for me, it only depends on one thing: what I want to hear.

On the other hand, if my paycheck depended on it, I'm pretty sure I'd change my tune!
Yep.

And remember, some of the most successful players became successful because they're flexible.

But on the other side of the coin, I'll hand it to Buddy Rich for doing one thing, doing it well, doing it his way, and having young and old drummers still rave about him. However, the drummers who can pull that off are few and far between.

Bermuda
 

Living Dead Drummer

Platinum Member
I have done the same thing over the years. When I first started playing I had a tone of duct tape on the under side of my snare heads, and all kinds of blankets inside the bass drum.
Over time I got less and less muffling. I used those RemO's for a long time on the snare too, but again, I got rid of it after a while.
Now I use no muffling and all, except a small DW pillow in my kick.
 

tonedef

Member
cdrums21 said:
It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less. I know for me, any type of muffling on my snare or toms takes away certain sonic characteristics that I find desireable.... the high end bite of the snare, the attack and full resonant tone of the toms. But, when I was a beginner, I muffled the crap out of my kit to get rid of any excess overtones that sounded unnatural and was perfectly happy. Obviously, becoming a more mature player, an experienced tuner and acquiring a "taste" for wide open sounding drums will lead most drummers to not use any muffling devices whatsoevr, but is there more to it than that? Is it better to not muffle your drums since most more experienced players don't? What are your thoughts?
I used to do the same thing and i couldnt imagine doing that now . Its the worst thing you could do to drums is muffle them . the whole reason is because of being a more experienced tuner . most drummers dont even know how to tune and when i was coming up as a rookie drummer that was the first thing i learned was how to tune . I couldnt stand the sound of untuned drums . Another reason is that its kind of embarresing to muffle 'cause that just shows you dont know anything about tuning .
 

druid

Silver Member
bermuda said:
Yep.

And remember, some of the most successful players became successful because they're flexible.

But on the other side of the coin, I'll hand it to Buddy Rich for doing one thing, doing it well, doing it his way, and having young and old drummers still rave about him. However, the drummers who can pull that off are few and far between.

Bermuda
I happen to like very open drum sounds as well. Granted if I were being paid well to get a certain sound I can totally understand changing to fit the music. However I do understand both sides of the issue ...just my personal taste leans toward a live sound with tone....it seems like more an more people agree with this these days from lot's of recordings I have heard. A return to a 'real sound' is happening.

One thing I have noticed when doing some recording is I have found it is easier to take out overtone and ring at the board afterward...than it is to add sound back in if it is not there in the first place? Not sure if this makes sense but the last recording I did we were able to start off with a pretty live open sound as the basis of the drum track...and work from there. We also used more distant miking and not close miking which I am sure contributed to this.
 

onemat

Senior Member
In the early sixties most kits were played with little or no muffling with single ply heads. Around '64 the Beatles cut the Larry Williams tune "Slow Down" and it was the first time I noticed a clear nice sounding tom sound. At this point Ringo was using a 12 and a 14 x14 with a 20" kick. On "Slowdown" in particular Ringo does a bunch of fast triplets around the kit and those Luddies just sang to me. I had to have some and to this day whenver I'm in a band that does rock and roll we play Slowdown.
Fast Forward to about '68 or '69 and Listen to Ringo playing with cigarette packs taped to his drums, and later with bottom heads taken off, all to create that "Dead Sound" which incidently was highly copied. I can't imagine listening to Abbey Road without those muffled sounding drums. Sorry I go to Ringo for these examples but in those days EVERYBODY followed what the Beatles were doing. Later on I listened to Mitch Mitchell and noticed he maintained the opened unmuffled sound pretty much on all the Jimi Hendrix records, such as the album Axis Bold As Love. The tune "Wait Until Tomorrow" enjoyed this sound and also close miking, something which was new and rare in 1967.

My point is, muffling is not always a bad thing. I love the way younger players frown on it all the time. Look at the title of this thread. I got the impression the writer thinks drummers with more experience would never muffle a drum. I disagree. I will continue to change the sound of my drums to fit the music and artist I'm working for. Muffling to me is just another technique you can use. I often like to change the sound of what I'm doing to fit the song and sometimes the style of music. Another Muffled Drummer that I think is at times just brilliant when it comes to grooves is Levon Helm. Check out The Band doing Mystery Train to know what I mean.

Matt
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
onemat said:
In the early sixties most kits were played with little or no muffling with single ply heads. Around '64 the Beatles cut the Larry Williams tune "Slow Down" and it was the first time I noticed a clear nice sounding tom sound.
And they would have sounded completely different if close miked.

There are a lot of scenarios regarding when and to what degree muffling is appropriate, and the only possible rule is that the drum sound fit the music, regardless of personal preferences. With so many wonderful sounds out there, it's hard to imagine that anyone really thinks drums should sound 'one way'. Might as well ask who the best drummer is, or what the best fill is, or what the best snare sound is... and be surprised when there's not a unanimous response.

Bermuda
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
druid said:
One thing I have noticed when doing some recording is I have found it is easier to take out overtone and ring at the board afterward...than it is to add sound back in if it is not there in the first place?
Ideally, the drums should sound right (for the job at hand) in the first place. The less fiddling around at the board, the better.

Yes, overtones can be dealt with somewhat at the board, but it's not preferable to having the drum make the correct resonance in the first place. And if a ringy tom sound is right, then the drum should indeed be allowed to ring out. No amount of digital wizardry will make a thuddy tom sound naturally live again.

When I go into the studio, and I know I'm going to cut 6 different sounding tracks, I bring as many snares, cymbals, different heads, and appropriately sized kicks and toms to make all of the sounds the songs require. The last thing I would do in the studio is bring one kit and expect the engineer to modify the sounds as needed. Come to think of it, that probably would be the last thing I ever do in a studio.

Bermuda
 
S

Synthetik

Guest
Ok, just a quick note for a few of you. MFB and so on:

There is no conspiracy. I have nothing to hide. I am very busy and am in the midst of dealing with a family situation. My absence is due to that and work. I shut off my notices, because I won't have time to hang around and defend myself or care to for that matter.

I have respect for most of you, but some of you occasionally do get on the high horse.
Enough with the drama and sniping at someone who can't be here to defend himself.

I hope to be able to read the forum in the near future, and gain insight from a lot of you. But right now, busy is busy. I hope that others don't have to juggle family issues and work like this, it's not fun.

So peace be with you, and I hope to be able to chat with some of you sooner than later.
 

Elvis

Silver Member
cdrums21 said:
It seems that the more experienced one becomes as a drummer, the need for muffling and muting the kit becomes less and less. I know for me, any type of muffling on my snare or toms takes away certain sonic characteristics that I find desireable.... the high end bite of the snare, the attack and full resonant tone of the toms. But, when I was a beginner, I muffled the crap out of my kit to get rid of any excess overtones that sounded unnatural and was perfectly happy. Obviously, becoming a more mature player, an experienced tuner and acquiring a "taste" for wide open sounding drums will lead most drummers to not use any muffling devices whatsoevr, but is there more to it than that? Is it better to not muffle your drums since most more experienced players don't? What are your thoughts?
I think the aging process has something to do with it, as well.
I'm in the same boat as you are and have taken the same path.
With exception to any muffling which may already be built into the drumhead, I think it's just less work to not muffle a drum.
Think about it...Remove the old head, slap on the new head, tune, fine tune. At this point you'd be done if you left the drum wide open, but muffling it now requires extra steps and time.
I think as people age, we grow weary of the "unneccessary tedious chores" that we didn't seem to mind going through in our younger years.
On top of all this, I think we realize (later on) that a drum is actually meant to vibrate ( =0 ) and if we really wanted such a muffled sound, why not save a few hundred or thousand dollars and play on the cardboard boxes the drums came in.

In other words, cut out the crap and let's get on with it.

...just my opinion.



Elvis
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Elvis said:
On top of all this, I think we realize (later on) that a drum is actually meant to vibrate ( =0 ) and if we really wanted such a muffled sound, why not save a few hundred or thousand dollars and play on the cardboard boxes the drums came in.
Muffling is not an all-or-nothing proposition, and shouldn't (necessarily) result in drums sounding like cardboard boxes. Frankly, if I wanted that sound, I would absolutely sample cardboard box hits and trigger or sequence them!

Muffling is an art - sometimes good art is minimalistic, sometimes it's not.

Bermuda
 

Elvis

Silver Member
bermuda said:
Muffling is not an all-or-nothing proposition, and shouldn't (necessarily) result in drums sounding like cardboard boxes. Frankly, if I wanted that sound, I would absolutely sample cardboard box hits and trigger or sequence them!

Muffling is an art - sometimes good art is minimalistic, sometimes it's not.

Bermuda
Well, cardboard boxes do have a certain "resonance" to them....but I digress ( ;) )...

I suppose my statement was a bit overboard, as I do agree with you, but my point was that the muffling process is an extra step and I think, more often than not, the average drummer eventually finds that running their drums wide open will get the job done.


Elvis
 
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