studio, heavy metal, toms and bass, need advice

Aquarian, Evans, Remo etc. All about drumheads.

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Miketh
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Post Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:23 pm

My last studio experience...
Went in with toms 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16" PDP MX series, with clear Pinstripes top and clear Ambassadors bottom.
22" kick wtih Emads 2 and Emads reso, with a plastic click pad and wood beaters (Iron Cobras).

The studio guy put a mountain of rem-os and moon gels on the toms. They ended up having the general sound I wanted in terms of pitch and tone, but they lacked attack and power. I want definition, and I want them to boom. Should I change my head selection? Is it better to have a dot on your tom heads? Clear or Coated? Could I have chosen a better reso head? Sticks? (was using Vater 3a wood tip) Thought about trying Aquarian Performance 2s but read here they are muffled sounding.

I'm generally happy with the kick sound I got but the click was too sharp. Will changing to one of those aquarian power dot impact badges still give me a nice defined click? I just want to lessen it a little not remove the high end attack altogether.

As can you tell I'm really inexperienced in all this and don't have my own studio to just try shiz. haha!
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wmpdrummer13
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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:58 pm

You can put on any head and it wont matter if you are not tuning your drums properly. Not saying you arent but if ya want that power and attack you need to tune them so they are wide open and take all that damn muffling off of the drums. I generally tune my top and bottom head the same, sometimes i will tune the bottom head a little higher depending on where i am playing. If the "studio guy" is putting a bunch of muffling on your set its either 1. they are inexperienced 2. your drums are not tuned properly and they want to get rid of all the distored overtones 3. they want tone-less drums. Pinestrips with the ambassadors are a great combo and the pinestrips should have all the muffling you need. But if you have an experienced engineer who knows what they are doing they would be able to explain this to you that the drums are not tuned properly and they would be able to do a lot, post-recording, to shape up the sound to your liking. Good reference site is called the drum tuning bible, they have some good tips and insight but keep tweaking until you get a sound you like, thats all that really matters. Also dont let the engineer boss ya around, do your research and know exactly what ya want before you go in and let the engineer know what you want. You are paying for it!
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wmpdrummer13
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Post Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:59 pm

A lot of it could be about the mic placement as well.
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Miketh
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 3:18 pm

Thanks for the response!

I use the tuning tips on Aquarian's website. I.e., finger tighten with pressure on the rim, 1/2 turn followed by evening of the pitch around each lug, then another 1/2 turn follow by evening the pitch again. And I make the reso head just a little higher than the batter. The sound I get is very even; a very flat decay. But it has a very long sustain. I get the attack I want at that point, but as soon the muffling goes on to reduce that sustain, the attack weakens.

I play live shows WITHOUT any rings or gels per advice on this forum, and it sounds great! All this muffling is by the engineer in the studio. The same thing happens at a church I play on a different kit (isolation glass / foam, mics), with the same heads and my tuning (same result, high sustain, flat decay, engineer piles on the muffling).

Just so I'm clear, I CAN have long sustain in the studio and take care of it in post processing?
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 4:51 pm

I was told once to bring beat up old dead heads to record with, and they would adjust the sound afterward. I thought that was funny.
I chose to bring heads that were not brand new, but still had some life in them.
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Post Thu Mar 04, 2010 5:41 pm

Miketh wrote:
Just so I'm clear, I CAN have long sustain in the studio and take care of it in post processing?


Yes you can, any half decent sound engineer could have told you that. It´s a matter of the sound processing that takes place after the recording, working with the eq, compression, etc. Usually it´s better to have more sound to work with, at least it´s easier to dial out too much sustain than to artificially reproduce it.
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Post Fri Mar 05, 2010 9:06 am

Thorsteinn wrote:
Miketh wrote:
Just so I'm clear, I CAN have long sustain in the studio and take care of it in post processing?


Yes you can, any half decent sound engineer could have told you that. It´s a matter of the sound processing that takes place after the recording, working with the eq, compression, etc. Usually it´s better to have more sound to work with, at least it´s easier to dial out too much sustain than to artificially reproduce it.



I agree its always better to cut than to try and generate. That engineer is probably pretty inexperienced and/or he doesnt know anything about mixing drums. The pre-recording sound of your drums goes a long way in the post-recorded mix. If he is going to kill your tone before you record, it is just going to sound bad when he trys to get the sound you want in the mix. Tell him you can bring in some garbage cans and jugs if he wants just the slap and no tone! Are you recording to a click and is he mixing samples in with your kit? That might be his way of easily mixing drums is to record more of the slap of the kit and then mix in some drum samples, if that is the case find a new studio bro!
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Miketh
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Post Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:04 am

Thanks for the responses.

Unfortunately I don't know much about the sound board side of things. Where does the engineer start with processing this sustain? If it's a discussion beyond the scope of this thread, no worries, I'd just love to be able to point the guy at my church in the right direction. Would it be a gating thing that he could put on my toms?

The professional recording engineer on the other hand should know better so yeah guess I'll have to find a new studio for recordings.
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Post Wed Mar 10, 2010 6:36 pm

Don't let them gate the toms if they are as incompetent as they sound. A gate when used wrong will make the drums sound totally un-realistic, it will give them a boom that will stop abruptly. Believe it or not but when you mix the toms in with the other instruments you are going to loose a good amount of audible sustain but the sustain will make the drums sound a hell load fuller than pinstripes with tape/rem-o's/moongells. Try using an un-muffled two ply head, tune it to your liking and have him record 'em. If you still feel that you must muffle to get your desiered tone, then take out the moongells and cut them in half and put one half on the drum. I would really suggest keeping the rack toms wide open and only putting the muffling on the floors.

OH AND NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER USE BEAT UP HEADS TO RECORD, PUT NEW ONES ON A COUPLE OF DAYS BEFORE YOU RECORD!!!!!!!!!! You wouldn't want to record a vocalist with a blown out voice or a guitar with old strings because the tone is gone, heads are much the same. Only time I would ever suggest old heads is if you want the terrible sounding Phil Collins style toms.
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Post Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:12 pm

I don't know anyything about studio recording, but I always tune my drums higher than I want them to be. They don't sound good from behind the kit, but they sound real good from anywhere else.
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