to muff or not to muff... that is the question

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FunkyDrummer
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Post Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:50 pm

What is your opinion on muffling your snare? I'm asking because I had a discussion recently with a soundman who insisted that I should muffle my snare because he was unable to get "a good sound of it"... we had a long talk and finally I gave up and let him put some tape on my head which IMO made the snare sound crappy especially at lower volume because the overtones were cut out

Anyway what's your view? Do you let your drum breath or not? Why? Maybe there is some reason that I should muffle my snare when microphones will be in use?
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Shalaq
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Post Tue Oct 31, 2006 11:03 pm

I don't recommend taping the snare up, because after the show when you take it off you might take some of the coating as well, co tell that to the sound guy maybe he'll give up. But if a sundman says that he cannot get a good sound of an acoustically good sounding, tuned snare, he's a crappy soundman that's all.
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Post Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:34 am

NO SOUNDMAN WILL EVER MAKE ME TAPE ANYTHING ON MY KIT!

I say fuck him! Obviously he is either 1. a complete moron or 2. had shitty gear.

A friend of mine (death metal drummer) was recently asked by a sound guy if he really needed 2 bass drums and "all" those toms. WTF? I lost it on the guy. What a tool! He obviously didn`t know how to do his job.

Just before their set, sound-dud (not dude!) left. The show was 1/2 hr late starting because we had to wait fr someo to replace him.

The drums were amazing after that!
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Brazilian Drummer
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Post Wed Nov 01, 2006 10:18 am

yeah I had the same problem oen time... but never with, my snare.. the sound guys always love my snares... lol btu my toms thast a diferent situation... I am completly againt puting tape om my drums, I understant puting some moongel if you whant a dryer sound outo of your toms, and evem your snare... but tape is ugly!! and in my opinion it doesnt make the drum sound any better.

now, it the sound guy is not competent enough to know how to work his sound table, and mics, thas another thing, I usualy have my bass a little dry with a good "thud" sound and some guy whent and put a shit load of bass one it so whem I hit teh bass it made a big booooooommmmmm sound, and I was like what the hell is all that bass for, and the sound guy sayd that thats how he likes it...I was like, I dont give a rats ass what you like.. its my set, come over here and listen to my drums... does it sound like booooommm, no, so dont make it sound like that on the PA. he was trying to tell me that it sounds good for pop and stuff. and I was like... my band doesnt play pop, we paly rock, and I use a dubble pedal I whant me bass articulet not sounding like a freeking timpani...
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Post Fri Nov 03, 2006 7:26 am

that's the big question isn't it? I love how my kick drum sound unmuffled (I have only a small towel inside) - a great warm open bouncy kinda sound and every now and then some moron will tell me to stuff my kick drum with clothes, rag what have you because he "can't make the drum sound good"
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Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:08 pm

Yeah, No one likes a bad sound guy. I say if any one besides a certified professionall drum person/ tech guy tells you your drum set sounds like crap and you don't hear it, then it's time to say "Yeah, well fuck you". And just to make sure your getting YOUR best sound you should bring your mics and then threaten the sound man if he makes them sound wrong. They usually respect people they fear. Or they call the cops... :twisted:
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Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:20 pm

Llama_Dude wrote:Yeah, No one likes a bad sound guy. I say if any one besides a certified professionall drum person/ tech guy tells you your drum set sounds like crap and you don't hear it, then it's time to say "Yeah, well fuck you". And just to make sure your getting YOUR best sound you should bring your mics and then threaten the sound man if he makes them sound wrong. They usually respect people they fear. Or they call the cops... :twisted:


lol yeah

the best thing is to ha a roadie or maybe a friend that plays drum with you whem you are doidn the sound check that way you can have teh other guy play and you can listem to how the drums are sounding
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Post Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:49 pm

I never muffle my snare drum. Depending on the situation, I might use a Genera or Powerstroke 3, both of which have an internal muffle ring built in, to bring out the attack a little bit. But that is a rarity. I never muffle the snare live.

Regarding soundmen, I think the problem I most often encounter is that they're all set in their ways- they try to mic up every kit the exact same way regardless of the musical context.

I run into this problem alot at some of the bigger clubs in town- they're used to running sound for these rock bands with heavily muffled toms/kick/etc. But I'm an acid jazz guy- I like my toms very open and my kick drum bouncy and resonant. Sound guys get pissed at me all the time. But hey, it's their job to make me sound good in my musical context- if we were to mic and muffle the drums based on their preferences then my kit would sound completely out of place for the music that we're playing..
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Post Thu Mar 01, 2007 1:27 pm

Here's two opposite points, one from the drummer side of me, the other from the sound guy side of me.

1. Drummer opinion- I've had a sound man tell me he couldn't get Roland trigger sounds to sound good. That to me is a complete JOKE. IF (BIG IF) you know how to tune correctly then stick to your guns. Have someone else hit your snare and go out front to hear what he's talking about.

2. Sound guy opinion- 80% of drummers don't know how to tune. PERIOD, end of story. The snare is usually the weakest area of most people’s kits. TUNE IT RIGHT and let it ring, it's beautiful out front! TUNE IT WRONG and let it ring, it will make you want to vomit!

I've spent countless hours with my drums run into my PA with the headphones on to dial in an awesome drum sound. My wife still does my drum check so I can be out front and make sure they sound like I want them to sound. If your wife isn't a drummer than use a guy/girl in the band or a friend. Go out front and listen to your drums, it's an enlightening experience!
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Post Thu Mar 01, 2007 6:28 pm

I agree with Alien. You'd be surprised how much a competent soundman knows. I trust my FOH engineer completely, and I do whatever he suggests to make my drums sound better. And he hasn't been wrong yet. One of the most important things to do is respect, trust, and learn from your soundman, because in the end, you can have Thomas Lang's ability, but if you piss off the soundman, he'll make you sound like Meg White.
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