Which kit to use for my upcoming jazz gig?

evilg99

Platinum Member
I'm a bit late to the party...but here's my take on it.

I recently moved an entire studio into a new room so that my clients would be more comfortable... for just two days.
It was a stressful, panicked, difficult and time consuming job. It took an entire day to setup and another entire day to dismantle and re-setup in its original location, and had to ready to work again right away.

It was worth it. Clients were very happy and very comfortable. I will get more work from them in the future.

So, do the work of converting your Yamaha Bop kit. Enjoy it. It can be fun.
Even better - go get a microfiber cloth and a bottle of Dunlop Formula 65 and clean and polish as you go. It's not a big deal, I do this kind of thing almost weekly - would only take an hour.

Most importantly, take pictures when it's all done and setup at your gig and post here!
 

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TK-421

Senior Member
I recently moved an entire studio into a new room so that my clients would be more comfortable... for just two days.
It was a stressful, panicked, difficult and time consuming job. It took an entire day to setup and another entire day to dismantle and re-setup in its original location, and had to ready to work again right away.

It was worth it. Clients were very happy and very comfortable. I will get more work from them in the future.

Most importantly, take pictures when it's all done and setup at your gig and post here!
If you just take your Yamaha kit and switch the heads, it will be a good chance to dust and clean the "tight space" and polish up the Yamahas. Worth an hour of your time to get it out and to later put it back how it was etc.

Leaving something setup permanently sounds easy, but you always have to shake things up to keep it fresh.
So I had the gig earlier today, and it went really well. As mentioned earlier, I used my Yamaha kit, and it sounded great. The 12" tom especially sounded good. The weakest part, oddly enough, was the 18" kick. Even though I had gotten it up to a jazz tuning before the gig, I felt the need to keep tightening the batter between the first few songs. I eventually got it sounding good enough, but compared to how well that 12" tom sang, it ended up being my least favorite drum on my kit. Which is funny, since that's the reason why I chose that kit in the first place.

This was also the first time I got to play with my 22" Avedis ride in a jazz setting. I had a sizzle chain on it the whole time, and it sounded incredible! I bought it for its great sound overall, but also for its versatility for rock or jazz. Turns out it's the best sounding jazz ride I've ever played! And I've played some good ones, including many Ks and K Customs, Constantinoples, Keropes and a few Bosphorus Vintage series. I'm totally thrilled that my ride sounds so beautiful for jazz. And it opens up very easily, so I was able to get a full sound playing lightly with lightweight sticks (Vater BeBop 525s).

And while I thought it was just going to be a 3-piece (piano, bass & drums), it turns out there was a vocalist as well. Afterwards, both the vocalist and the pianist approached me separately, wanting to work together in the near future. So I may be buying that 18" Gretsch kick after all!

Sadly, in the midst of everything, I forgot to take pictures. My kit looked pretty much the same as in the photo I posted earlier, except I used my 5x14 COB Brooklyn snare instead of the 6x14 nickel-plated Brooklyn in that pic, and I did not use a 3rd cymbal over the floor tom (just the 22" Avedis, a 17" K Custom and my K Custom Special Dry Hi Hats).

And yes, my drums had gathered a bit of dust sitting in the same spot for 2 years, so it was good to get them all shiny-new looking again.

Thanks to everyone who weighed in! If I end up buying that 18" Gretsch, I'll post pics once I have it recovered and setup with my Renowns.
 
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thebarak

Senior Member
Well I was going to mention it. You probably should have used an Ambassador/Weather King batter on the bass drum to get the volume, and the two-note, beater on-off, jazz voice.

The head you used dampened it too much. You said "coated PS3 on the kick batter and a Fiberskyn on the front with felt strip". The felt strip also killed the very important front head that everyone hears out front. That head is like big speaker cone that resonates effectively when tuned lower than the batter side.

It may not sound nice like this in the practice space, but on stage when the band plays, it's heaven, and loud.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
Well I was going to mention it. You probably should have used an Ambassador/Weather King batter on the bass drum to get the volume, and the two-note, beater on-off, jazz voice.

The head you used dampened it too much. You said "coated PS3 on the kick batter and a Fiberskyn on the front with felt strip". The felt strip also killed the very important front head that everyone hears out front. That head is like big speaker cone that resonates effectively when tuned lower than the batter side.

It may not sound nice like this in the practice space, but on stage when the band plays, it's heaven, and loud.
Actually, the sound I was going for with all the drums is like the Birch Custom Absolute in this video. As you can see, he's using a coated PS3 on the bass, and that's precisely the sound I wanted. Unfortunately you can't see what front head he's using, but I assume it's a standard Yamaha front head, which has a built-in muffle ring. My front Fiberskyn head is just a single-ply without a muffle ring, which is why I added the felt strip.

It sounded good in my apartment, but since I can't really play it without annoying the neighbors, I figured I might need to make some adjustments at the gig. Once playing it there, it initially sounded too boomy, which is why I kept tightening it. Once I got it high enough that the boominess went away, it sounded a bit thin.

I would definitely be curious to hear it with a coated Ambassador and no felt strip on the front, but given the sound I'm going for, I'm not sure if that would be the right approach. If anything, I was thinking that I should have added a felt strip to the PS3 batter head, so I could have kept the boominess down at a lower tuning. That's something I may try next time.
 
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thebarak

Senior Member
Actually, the sound I was going for with all the drums is like the Birch Custom Absolute in this video. As you can see, he's using a coated PS3 on the bass, and that's precisely the sound I wanted. Unfortunately you can't see what front head he's using, but I assume it's a standard Yamaha front head, which has a built-in muffle ring. My front Fiberskyn head is just a single-ply without a muffle ring, which is why I added the felt strip.

It sounded good in my apartment, but since I can't really play it without annoying the neighbors, I figured I might need to make some adjustments at the gig. Once playing it there, it initially sounded too boomy, which is why I kept tightening it. Once I got it high enough that the boominess went away, it sounded a bit thin.

I would definitely be curious to hear it with a coated Ambassador and no felt strip on the front, but given the sound I'm going for, I'm not sure if that would be the right approach. If anything, I was thinking that I should have added a felt strip to the PS3 batter head, so I could have kept the boominess down at a lower tuning. That's something I may try next time.
I hear you. But you know YouTube, you cannot tell how it is recorded. As far as the physics of it are concerned, your description of the gig issue means you should at least try two single-plys and no felt or rings. Again, it may sound like a crazy kettle drum in the house, or from the throne, but at the gig, from in front of your kit, and with the other guys playing piano and bass etc., it changes. The boominess is not noticed as much. I over-muted for years until someone did the Batman smack and set me straight.
 

TK-421

Senior Member
I hear you. But you know YouTube, you cannot tell how it is recorded. As far as the physics of it are concerned, your description of the gig issue means you should at least try two single-plys and no felt or rings. Again, it may sound like a crazy kettle drum in the house, or from the throne, but at the gig, from in front of your kit, and with the other guys playing piano and bass etc., it changes. The boominess is not noticed as much. I over-muted for years until someone did the Batman smack and set me straight.
Very good point. I've actually decided to buy that 18" Gretsch bass drum after all, as it's looking like I may be playing some gigs with the singer, and I don't want to convert my Yamahas to a jazz kit every time a gig comes up (nor do I want to give up my "apartment" kit by keeping it in gig-ready shape).

I'll try the Gretsch with my PS3 for the first gig or two, and if I'm getting the same issue with that one, I think I'll try your approach. I'll let you know if that happens.
 

Gooosseeeyy

Junior Member
Should just swap the heads out on that yamaha kit.

I dont understand how swapping the heads is too much but rewrapping a shell and changing the heads on it is not.
 
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