What to look out for when using a perspex screen?

Davo-London

Gold Member
Wise folk at the church have decided (without consulting me) that we need a perspex screen for the drummer and that the drum will be fully mic'd.

I don't want to debate the decision (which has been done), but I have no experience of using a screen and I would like to know if there are any tips about using them.

Cheers
Davo
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
No direct experience myself, but if they haven't bought the mic's yet, I'd caution against using hypercardoid mic's as they tend to pick up a lot of signal from the back of the bulb.

Our forum member Scott (Yesdog) uses this setup regularly, so I'm hoping he'll chime in. If not Davo, you may wish to PM him.

Good luck.
 

joshvibert

Senior Member
I play behind one at least 2 hrs a week (usually more). Although, mine's more of an enclosed room with a sheild in the front. They're really not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. The key is having everything mic'd. Also, make them get you a good in-ear monitor mix with some Shure E2C (or similar) isolation buds to protect your hearing. At first, it's a little weird listening to your drum sound through earbuds, but you'll get used to it. I actually really like it now, because I can play more the way I want to without being too worried about accidentally cracking a rim-shot too hard on the snare and getting a dirty look from a singer.

Good Luck!
 

inneedofgrace

Platinum Member
I play behind one at least 2 hrs a week (usually more). Although, mine's more of an enclosed room with a sheild in the front. They're really not as bad as everyone makes them out to be. The key is having everything mic'd. Also, make them get you a good in-ear monitor mix with some Shure E2C (or similar) isolation buds to protect your hearing. At first, it's a little weird listening to your drum sound through earbuds, but you'll get used to it. I actually really like it now, because I can play more the way I want to without being too worried about accidentally cracking a rim-shot too hard on the snare and getting a dirty look from a singer.

Good Luck!
I assume you have the rest of the band coming through the in-ear monitors as well?
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I've played behind one for years at church. The first thing you will notice is that your drums are much louder. All that sound they are trying to block from the congregation gets thrown right back at you. That's why you will need in ear monitors. By the time you turned up a regular monitor over that, the volume would be massive. Your drums are also going to sound higher and boxier. The shield reflects back a lot of high end which alter the sound of your drums and cymbals to your ears. Then comes rehearsal. Because you have the shield blocking you and you have in ears in, you can't hear anything said off mic. When the leader turns to you and says he wants to repeat the chorus, your going to yell back " what? Talk into the mic I can't hear you." Make sure you have the pastors mic in your mix. Many times the sound guy has taken the pastor out of my mix for some reason. Then during the service the pastor decides to change things up and I'm left in the back wondering what's going on because I can't hear. Or maybe a special guest is using a mic that normally isn't in your mix and then the same thing happens. The shield might be a good thing for the sound guy, but for the drummer, it's a pain in the butt.
 
S

sticks4drums

Guest
They are a bug reason I used electronic drums at church for 20 years. I don't want to be behind anything or off in a room like a zoo animal. A big part of the worship thing for me was to be part of the people on the stage, and how we all interacted. Plus I used to love the relationship I had with people in the congregation.
 

BillBachman

Gold Member
It's called a "sneeze guard" around these parts. I really don't like playing behind them. There's been great insights here so far, the biggest one would be to use in ear monitors. Without them the wedge has to be so much louder in order to hear your bandmates over your own now hideously loud drums.
 

nanooman

Junior Member
What we ended up doing was adding a "lid" on top as well as foam sheets on the wall just behind and around the inside down low. I don't like the bits around the inside, because they never stay up and block the kit, which I think looks nicer than the black painted foam. Regardless, it does help a ton. Our room is a concrete/steel box and big. It's a sound guy's nightmare, and getting a hold of the drums really changes everything. It has also helped to get rid of all the monitors on stage using Avioms for the musicians and in ear monitors for the singers. I like playing with true monitors, but it only works in club-sized rooms where the sound can be balanced. We actually spent a ton of money on acoustic panels all around the room. Every little thing we have done has helped us achieve a better sound.

I can tell you, it makes a difference to have good headphones. I used to play with one headphone on and one off, because I could never get a realistic representation of my kit in the headphones. I wouldn't be able to hear the "ping" on the ride, for example, so I would play harder thinking I wasn't playing loud enough. Once I started using nicer headphones and mixing the microphones better in my ears, I was able to play naturally and let the sound guy handle my volume. A lot of us ended up taking a pair of nice ear buds to a hearing aid technician and getting them molded. Mine were $100 total, and that's cheap for molded in-ears. I'm very happy with them. The technician took the casing off the ear buds and mounted the guts inside of the mold. I'm getting off subject here, but I just know how much it makes a difference to get a good sound in your ears so you can relax and play your instrument. It's especially important when you're leading people in worship so that you're not distracted and you can just let the music and the spirit do their thing.

JW

EDIT: I should also add that we are planning to eventually have a full enclosure for the drum kit. The screen and foam really help, and a full enclosure, which basically ends up being a separate room, can only be better. The bad thing about separating the drums from the stage is the lack of "umph" from the bass drum, but our sanctuary needs subs anyway to balance the sound.

One more thing - I would much rather be in a cage than playing those crappy electric drums. Our church wasted a lot of money on a nice electric kit. All of the drummers, including myself, beat the crap out of them and they didn't last, not to mention the crappy sound. It's not that they aren't convenient or useful. They just aren't drums. You're not going to get the response of an acoustic from an electric kit, which is why a lot of people just wail on them. I think electric kits should be reserved for practice sessions in small spaces. They are also good for home studios where they can be set up to control a virtual kit in recording software. Even so, after we used them to lay down tracks in a home studio, we still went back and replaced all of the cymbal sounds with actual cymbals which we miced and played separately.
 

Davo-London

Gold Member
Oo er missus. Sounds like I'm in for a treat.

I have some expensive cans that i can bring myself for the monitoring. I can see how you end up playing louder, which is a bit counter-productive, oh the irony.

As for being in a cage. That'll be a challenge. I get on with most people but there are always a few egos and eggshells to navigate!

Thanks for all the responses.

Peace
Davo
 
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