The sound of the drum is within the heads

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Finally someone with sense when it comes to drum construction and the sound produced by the heads not the shell. I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of shell thickness and wood versus metal. One major, major point is.....Roto Toms. There is no shell and they can sound great. I found a set of CB 700s sitting by a dumpster waiting for the garbage man. I took them home, stripped the crappy wrap, stained the Luan plies, put good Remo Ambassadors all around and those drums sounded great.
Damn, that's great work. Great minds think alike!

My drumsmithing "career" started like this. Buying shit-kits from people for next to nothing & using woodworking skills to give them new life. Sometimes it was in the form of a cocktail kit, or short depth fusion kit. Other times it was like what you did here. Just make them look & sound good.
The possibilities are endless.
 

johnwesley

Silver Member
Damn, that's great work. Great minds think alike!

My drumsmithing "career" started like this. Buying shit-kits from people for next to nothing & using woodworking skills to give them new life. Sometimes it was in the form of a cocktail kit, or short depth fusion kit. Other times it was like what you did here. Just make them look & sound good.
The possibilities are endless.
Absolutely. I spent a bunch of years rebuilding and refinishing antique furniture, so applied those skills to drums. At first I was a bit nervous about doing something that would destroy the integrity of the "musical instruments". After a while I came to the conclusion that wood is wood and these round cylinders were no different than working on furniture. Matter of fact I decided they are just furniture that makes sound. So far I've refurbished a half dozen kits, couple dozen snares, and no matter the brand or type of wood, I've made them sound like top of the line drums. Only problem is when I finish a project I'm attached and don;'t really want to sell them or give them back to the person I'm dong the work for. But I do.
 

CommanderRoss

Silver Member
Only problem is when I finish a project I'm attached and don;'t really want to sell them or give them back to the person I'm dong the work for. But I do.
Struggled with that too for a while. What solved it was doing a fix or a build for myself & getting tired of all the drums taking up space in my shop. So I'd do a massive sale & really enjoy the space. ;)
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
In addition to the original post:

It REALLY Helps the sound when you use your stock camera/video recorder on you phone to really capture all these nuances.
Yes the NAMM floor which has an ambient decibel level of a football game all in the exact mid frequencies of tom resonance and recorded with a cell phone is scientific proof positive.

(However - having been there for years and doing the whole hitting of Sonor toms - all of Sonor's drums sound AMAZINGLY similar. I always wondered if was the 20lbs of hardware they put on each shell.)
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
Yes the NAMM floor which has an ambient decibel level of a football game all in the exact mid frequencies of tom resonance and recorded with a cell phone is scientific proof positive.

(However - having been there for years and doing the whole hitting of Sonor toms - all of Sonor's drums sound AMAZINGLY similar. I always wondered if was the 20lbs of hardware they put on each shell.)
I have an SQ1 birch and a Prolite maple setup side by side. Believe me when I say they don't sound anything alike.
side by side.jpg
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
There is the production of sound by instruments then recording said sounds. All this became apparent to me losing my hearing and adapting to aids. The first generations were awful “representations “ of sounds and even now with more advanced digital it just can’t compete with the human ear. I’ve lost directionality completely - can’t tell where a sound comes from and I often wonder “Is what I’m hearing the sounds actually produced”? Or is it just another representation within the limits of the apparatus mics/speaker of my aids? Course mics have improved at all levels so likely getting closer-they have improved dramatically in hearing aids.
Now human hearing has limits to and just like vision can be deceived. I’m sure there is a means of recording each Tom and break down its frequency pattens of total sound produced to see if nuanced differences that we are limited to detect just with our ears. My 14 in djembe gets down to 58 HZ and much lower tone than my 14 in Tom. The shape of acoustic chamber and depth definitely have an audible influence even if the material it’s made of is of no matter
 
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MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
In addition to the original post:

It REALLY Helps the sound when you use your stock camera/video recorder on you phone to really capture all these nuances.
The initial note is the same amongst them, but what the drum does with it is different. I can hear the difference in the roundness of some of the drums. The first one is more pleasant than the second. The sixth one is definitely different. Number 12, the acrylic drum, sounds different also.

Part of the problem is the dude wont shut up so we can hear the whole drum. If you disrupt the experiment it doesnt count. Nothing he says just happened matters because instead of the drum, we get to hear him.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
You might be missing the point.
He's taken the worst imaginable shell combo to show you that it STILL sounds like a drumkit.
He doesn't pretend it sounds great - the miracle is that it sounds way better than most would believe possible.
Conventional wisdom says that kit should sound intolerable. It doesn't.
That's what you think.
 
video disproves itself. the shells he tapped with the mallet all sounded different. the trash can set sounds like a trash can set. All rolled up into the finished formula of a complete drum mounted, the distinctions are going to be lessened. In a band setting, the trash can set would fit certain genres.

the only problem is the absolutes. yes, there are subtle differences shell to shell, kit to kit, brand to brand. in some cases wide distinctions can be made. & nonetheless, the over-hyped brand is over-hyped

the heads do totally make up most of the sound. but, there are some sweet sounding kits out there

my opinion is all. hope i don;t step on any toes
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Yes the NAMM floor which has an ambient decibel level of a football game all in the exact mid frequencies of tom resonance and recorded with a cell phone is scientific proof positive.

(However - having been there for years and doing the whole hitting of Sonor toms - all of Sonor's drums sound AMAZINGLY similar. I always wondered if was the 20lbs of hardware they put on each shell.)
video disproves itself. the shells he tapped with the mallet all sounded different. the trash can set sounds like a trash can set. All rolled up into the finished formula of a complete drum mounted, the distinctions are going to be lessened. In a band setting, the trash can set would fit certain genres.

the only problem is the absolutes. yes, there are subtle differences shell to shell, kit to kit, brand to brand. in some cases wide distinctions can be made. & nonetheless, the over-hyped brand is over-hyped

the heads do totally make up most of the sound. but, there are some sweet sounding kits out there

my opinion is all. hope i don;t step on any toes
Worth mentioning that with the trashcan set - the shell depths are all over the place (esp. the bass), the lugs (and therefore tunability) are hopeless and there are no 'edges' and the heads are different sizes to the shells!
 
I should say, I mostly agree with the guys point. shells make little difference. To that effect, the trashcan set goes to show that a wild exaggeration of the point still produces a use-able set. It also kinda hilariously shows that the shells do matter & that it takes kind of a huge leap to demonstrate.

I used to play a friend's CB700 kit a lot & really enjoyed it. the wood grain shells. i found CB's composite shells to be less desirable. much less of a leap but (for me anyway) an effective anecdote
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Andy is showing impressive restraint not contributing to this thread.
More "can't be arsed" than restraint ;)

The thread title is correct - shells don't produce a sound, but they can meaningfully influence the resultant sound, if the construction is designed & executed such that those differences are highlighted. Wether you perceive a difference / value, depends on your reference points and playing environment / context.

I'll use my old analogy. Think of the drum shell as a speaker cabinet, and the heads as the driver cone. It's the driver cone that produces the sound, but the sound delivery is greatly influenced by the cabinet - not just the form of the cabinet, but also it's material of construction.

In addition to the original post:
From the same company that states shell resonance is a myth, yet equips their drums with isolation mounts.

Ford make good drums, they should just stick to that.
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
More "can't be arsed" than restraint ;)

The thread title is correct - shells don't produce a sound, but they can meaningfully influence the resultant sound, if the construction is designed & executed such that those differences are highlighted. Wether you perceive a difference / value, depends on your reference points and playing environment / context.

I'll use my old analogy. Think of the drum shell as a speaker cabinet, and the heads as the driver cone. It's the driver cone that produces the sound, but the sound delivery is greatly influenced by the cabinet - not just the form of the cabinet, but also it's material of construction.

From the same company that states shell resonance is a myth, yet equips their drums with isolation mounts.

Ford make good drums, they should just stick to that.
Nicely put, a considered response... (y) :)
 
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