Studio drummer gear requirements

mikyok

Platinum Member
Communication is a big thing. If you speak to the engineer beforehand and talk gear the session goes a lot easier.

If they have a kit ready to go it should have good heads on and be in tune as should yours if you have to bring one. A good sound at source makes you an engineer's best mate.

Bring some cymbals (maybe a couple of different rides and hats), a couple of snares and your pedal
 

caddywumpus

Archnemesis of Larryace
I usually know what the project is before showing up, so I try to choose the gear I think will sound best, with some options. When I don’t know, I’ll bring 2 sets of hats and 2 rides (something bright and something sloshy/washy) and, like, 4 crashes. I also bring 2 or 3 snares (maple, brass, maybe aluminum), just for the ability to swap the snare sound for different songs.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Your posts have been very enlightening. Nice to know that the studio usually takes care of your shells and you just bring cymbals, 2 or 3 snares, and my pedals with a couple different choices of beaters. Wish that a 2-up 2-down set wasn't thought of so much as a minimum carry to sessions where drums aren't provided, but I suppose I wanted the choice of a couple bigger and smaller toms anyway. But at least the larger Neil Peart sets seem to be a thing that rarely applies in sessions unless it's your own band, and even then it's not all that appreciated in the studio. I love looking at them but I have zero desire to surround myself in drums and cymbals whatsoever. And a gong is right out! :D

Going to be a while before I ever get to a level where I'll need to worry about it, but I certainly don't ever want to come off as less than pro on anything I do. I'm pleased to see I won't need to spend $3000 on a set, either. I'm also pleased to say that after a month of solid practicing at least 1-3 hours a day, I'm starting to get my consistency and flow on the good foot again. Still hitting those pesky rims, but I can even do moderately difficult fills again. Even double bass is starting to come around, despite only being a single pedal player in my previous life.

I know this thread is putting the cart way before the horse, but as quick as I seem to be progressing, I have a feeling that I can get good enough again in a relatively short time. Remains to be seen, though...I'm sure I'll have a few stallouts where I get worse before I get better, and I'm not taking anything for granted. But I can't afford to sully my good reputation on bass and guitar that I worked so hard to build by playing crappy drums crappy :D
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
I'm trying to remember the last time I was in a studio that didn't have a house kit.

Snares and cymbals (including hi-hat) are all that one generally needs to get by.

It doesn't take all that much to get a local reputation for being the right guy for the gig. Show up on time, be prepared, do what the producer and engineer tell you to do without any attitude, and play steady.
 

doggyd69b

Silver Member
Your posts have been very enlightening. Nice to know that the studio usually takes care of your shells and you just bring cymbals, 2 or 3 snares, and my pedals with a couple different choices of beaters. Wish that a 2-up 2-down set wasn't thought of so much as a minimum carry to sessions where drums aren't provided, but I suppose I wanted the choice of a couple bigger and smaller toms anyway. But at least the larger Neil Peart sets seem to be a thing that rarely applies in sessions unless it's your own band, and even then it's not all that appreciated in the studio. I love looking at them but I have zero desire to surround myself in drums and cymbals whatsoever. And a gong is right out! :D

Going to be a while before I ever get to a level where I'll need to worry about it, but I certainly don't ever want to come off as less than pro on anything I do. I'm pleased to see I won't need to spend $3000 on a set, either. I'm also pleased to say that after a month of solid practicing at least 1-3 hours a day, I'm starting to get my consistency and flow on the good foot again. Still hitting those pesky rims, but I can even do moderately difficult fills again. Even double bass is starting to come around, despite only being a single pedal player in my previous life.

I know this thread is putting the cart way before the horse, but as quick as I seem to be progressing, I have a feeling that I can get good enough again in a relatively short time. Remains to be seen, though...I'm sure I'll have a few stallouts where I get worse before I get better, and I'm not taking anything for granted. But I can't afford to sully my good reputation on bass and guitar that I worked so hard to build by playing crappy drums crappy :D
If you want to gage the level of your playing try playing with a metronome, then without, record both and see where you stand. A lot of people associate lots of fills and displays of chops with being a good drummer, But a really good drummer just plays what is needed when it's needed no more.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
If I don’t know the music ahead of time (very rare in my world), I’ll bring 3 toms, bass drum, a couple of snares and a bag of “catch all” cymbals. If I’ve already had time to listen to the demo/scratch, I’ll bring much more specific stuff that’s been worked out well in advance. The last session I did required a basic 4-piece set with hats and 2 other cymbals. I brought a metal and a wood snare just in case, but ended up using the wood one only. I changed the muffling on it to get the specific sounds I wanted for each track.

View attachment 110525
I'm fascinated by this kit, especially the kick drum and throne. What's the throne, and what change did you hear/feel in the sound of the kick when (if?) you cut out the resonator head?
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
If you want to gage the level of your playing try playing with a metronome, then without, record both and see where you stand. A lot of people associate lots of fills and displays of chops with being a good drummer, But a really good drummer just plays what is needed when it's needed no more.
Aw, no wanking? Why the heck am I even playing the drums again, then? :D

But seriously, while I love a good drummer who can do blinding fills and double bass work, I've worked with drum wankers on bass and it's not fun. Meanwhile, I sometimes work with a dude on drums who can do anything but plays like Ringo or Al Jackson most of the time, and he is a real pleasure.
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known Member
I'm fascinated by this kit, especially the kick drum and throne. What's the throne, and what change did you hear/feel in the sound of the kick when (if?) you cut out the resonator head?

Thanks for the interest, Lefty. The throne is a Motion Pro and is one of my MVP equipment pieces. My back thanks me for using the Motion Pro every time I sit down to play.

The bass drum, with the large cutout of the front head, is simply a sound thing. A hole that large makes the drum essentially single-headed. The single-headed w/muffling bass drum sound can be heard on thousands of popular songs spanning the last 50+ years. I personally prefer that sound and use it in most of my playing situations, even outside the studio.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
Thanks for the interest, Lefty. The throne is a Motion Pro and is one of my MVP equipment pieces. My back thanks me for using the Motion Pro every time I sit down to play.

The bass drum, with the large cutout of the front head, is simply a sound thing. A hole that large makes the drum essentially single-headed. The single-headed w/muffling bass drum sound can be heard on thousands of popular songs spanning the last 50+ years. I personally prefer that sound and use it in most of my playing situations, even outside the studio.
Right on. I like the, ah, relief in the middle of the throne...

I cut out the heads on my toms for the vintage sound I (we) like, but have hesitated to do it to the kick. For the toms, I used plates to get a radius about 2" less than the radius of the hoops. What did you use to get that nice-looking cut on the kick, and how much of the resonator head is still left, looks like 2"-3"?
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Right on. I like the, ah, relief in the middle of the throne...

I cut out the heads on my toms for the vintage sound I (we) like, but have hesitated to do it to the kick. For the toms, I used plates to get a radius about 2" less than the radius of the hoops. What did you use to get that nice-looking cut on the kick, and how much of the resonator head is still left, looks like 2"-3"?
I just noticed that...Fart channeler? :D

I respect everyone's choices and I love concert toms, but I do wonder why you'd make your toms into concert toms but not de-front the bass drum. Usually that's the first reso head to go.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
I just noticed that...Fart channeler? :D

I respect everyone's choices and I love concert toms, but I do wonder why you'd make your toms into concert toms but not de-front the bass drum. Usually that's the first reso head to go.
Laughing at the "fart channeler". I was thinking more about the other side. I'm fine with a round throne, but those bicycle seat style thrones...feel like riding a bicycle, which...you get my drift.

I've read various opinions here about cutting the resonator heads, and I'm pretty new to drumming, so I've been conservative about making changes to the kit. All of the batter and resonator heads on my snare and toms are (were) Remo UT, which I don't care for, so I didn't mind cutting them up, and I'm very glad I did! The only head on the entire kit that strikes me as anything but trash is the nice, black kick drum resonator with the Yamaha logo on it. I guess the coated snare drum batter head is sort of alright, too.

I did cut out a hole for a boundary mic on the kick, but it still resonates for much longer than I would like, despite various tunings, so I think I'll snag a cheap resonator head and cut it. So, just looking for a sense of how much resonator head I can/should leave intact. My wife is an excellent artist, so I'd like to give her a "canvas" to create something interesting on whatever is left of the kick drum resonator head.

Does that make any sense whatsoever?
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known Member
What did you use to get that nice-looking cut on the kick, and how much of the resonator head is still left, looks like 2"-3"?

18” cymbal centered on the 22” drumhead. Used an Xacto craft/model knife to cut the hole. 2” of head remains. Another method I use is to cut out the head portion of a Powerstroke 3 head and just leave the muffling ring. Here’s an example of that on my main gigging bass drum.

FBCE9285-B3DA-45E1-A58E-BC952B0DA09A.jpeg
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Laughing at the "fart channeler". I was thinking more about the other side. I'm fine with a round throne, but those bicycle seat style thrones...feel like riding a bicycle, which...you get my drift.

I've read various opinions here about cutting the resonator heads, and I'm pretty new to drumming, so I've been conservative about making changes to the kit. All of the batter and resonator heads on my snare and toms are (were) Remo UT, which I don't care for, so I didn't mind cutting them up, and I'm very glad I did! The only head on the entire kit that strikes me as anything but trash is the nice, black kick drum resonator with the Yamaha logo on it. I guess the coated snare drum batter head is sort of alright, too.

I did cut out a hole for a boundary mic on the kick, but it still resonates for much longer than I would like, despite various tunings, so I think I'll snag a cheap resonator head and cut it. So, just looking for a sense of how much resonator head I can/should leave intact. My wife is an excellent artist, so I'd like to give her a "canvas" to create something interesting on whatever is left of the kick drum resonator head.

Does that make any sense whatsoever?
100% sense. But I've seen them cut in so many different ways, from little mic ports to almost everything gone and in between. Honestly, I think it's less about what's left and more about leaving a big enough hole to make it sound front headless. You can always muffle what's left if need be, and I think it's a great idea to commission your wife to make a cool piece of artwork out of it. That will also disguse the muffling if you need it.

But if you can't wait and want to try it, there's always just plain removing the front head and hoop. It's a time-honored practice.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
18” cymbal centered on the 22” drumhead. Used an Xacto craft/model knife to cut the hole. 2” of head remains. Another method I use is to cut out the head portion of a Powerstroke 3 head and just leave the muffling ring. Here’s an example of that on my main gigging bass drum.

View attachment 110605
Cymbal. Seems totally obvious now that you mention it.

I've got a 16" ride/crash, I'll try using that when I get a new resonator head for the kick.

Much obliged to you for taking the time. Oh, and another really nice kit! The vintage-style cymbal stands are an especially nice touch. :)
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
BTW, I looked up Motion Pro and they do have a round seat with a fart channeler :D Turns out that's to help keep proper spinal alignment between the two sides of your body.
 

Lefty Phillips

Well-known Member
100% sense. But I've seen them cut in so many different ways, from little mic ports to almost everything gone and in between. Honestly, I think it's less about what's left and more about leaving a big enough hole to make it sound front headless. You can always muffle what's left if need be, and I think it's a great idea to commission your wife to make a cool piece of artwork out of it. That will also disguse the muffling if you need it.

But if you can't wait and want to try it, there's always just plain removing the front head and hoop. It's a time-honored practice.
Someone on some thread around here advised against simply removing the hoop, but he or she may have been talking about toms, or...just really doesn't understand how strong drum shells are?

I think I'll follow your advice and just remove the front head and hoop to confirm that it's the sound I'm looking for. I don't see how that could possibly harm the shell, and I've been working with wood for decades. If it does what I think it will do, I'll get a cheap head and cut a big hole in it, and let the wife do her thing to the remainder. Oooh, that'll give me an extra head to put on top of the snare batter. Win/win.

"Fart Channeler" will never not be funny...
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
Someone on some thread around here advised against simply removing the hoop, but he or she may have been talking about toms, or...just really doesn't understand how strong drum shells are?

I think I'll follow your advice and just remove the front head and hoop to confirm that it's the sound I'm looking for. I don't see how that could possibly harm the shell, and I've been working with wood for decades. If it does what I think it will do, I'll get a cheap head and cut a big hole in it, and let the wife do her thing to the remainder. Oooh, that'll give me an extra head to put on top of the snare batter. Win/win.

"Fart Channeler" will never not be funny...
LOL! Well thanks, Lefty!

So apparently even though most will give you good advice on here (it seems), forums are often known for misinformation. I've known people who have done headless bass drums for years and their shells never go out of round. Ringo did it...good enough for me. Just watch those bearing edges while it's off.
 

Chris Whitten

Well-known Member
JR Robinson said in an interview once that he showed up with a 2-up, 1-down Kit, quite a few cymbals and quite a few snares.
That would be the basics, to answer the OP. I know successful studio drummers who show up with minimal gear, which IS generally a three tom kit, with choice of cymbals and choice of snares.
I have regularly had discussions with producers about changing cymbals out, and definitely alternate snare drums. Drum Doctors exist for a reason and it is quite common for a record producer to hire in a coupe of their favourite snares, no matter what I might bring.
Nowadays a lot of drums are tracked remotely, so it's less abut what you 'take' to a studio and more about what you offer from your home.
I would say about four snares (two metal, two wood, different sizes and designs) is an absolute minimum.
A coupe of hi-hat choices, two or three ride choices. Spare heads!
 
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