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Steve Hill
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Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Recording drum kit - worth buying? new
      #20805 - 23/09/04 11:59 PM
I am not a drummer, but am thinking about buying a drum kit for my studio. The idea is to keep it damped, tuned etc for the best recorded sound (a good drummer will help me with this bit!) and keep it more or less permanently installed to minimise get-in times for bands. Two questions -

1. In the forum's experience, would drummers be remotely interested or will they generally prefer their own kit (even if I am trying to save their studio time!)?

2. What would be a good kit to buy? Funds are not unlimited, but adequate for the job. I'd rather not introduce a topic involving every drummer's wish lists regardless of cost (if possible!).

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iceman
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Joined: 17/10/03
Posts: 1187
Loc: Liverpool
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #20822 - 24/09/04 12:56 AM
personally i would always prefer to use my own kit in a studio, better the devil you know i spose, i never use anyone elses kit when gigging after finding out the hard way i took that decision!!, as for a good kit, consider yamaha or mapex for decent quality but low price tag stuff, i personally have a yamaha stage custom and am well pleased with it

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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5661
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #20835 - 24/09/04 01:50 AM
If funds are limited then you run the risk of an inferior kit that will never sound 100% no matter how hard you try. Plus some bugger of a drummer is going to crack the cymbals. Plus you need to fork out for new skins and re-tune them constantly on your time. Plus the snare may not fit the style of music. Plus it's a pain in the armpit to move it if the next band's drummer brings his own kit - again on _your_ time. Plus every drummer will complain that 'it doesn't feel right' and use that as an excuse for poor drumming. Plus it will be the wrong configuration for most drummers ( ride should be over here, I need more/less toms, etc ).

If you can get a nice kit, then it's a good idea to have it handy as an alternative / better bit of kit. Buy I'd suggest keeping it small and taking it up and down between sessions ( and cased! ).

Sorry, but my new gripe is drums.... a keyboard player or guitarist may spend a few grand on nice gear, but drummers always end up with tons of garbage - nasty cheap toms, boomy kicks, bland metals and a single boxy snare.... (shudders) Cheap / Bad kits should be banned by the Geneva Convention under the heading of Cruel and Unusual Punishment


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Steve Hill
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Joined: 07/01/03
Posts: 13141
Loc: Oxfordshire
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Dave B]
      #20838 - 24/09/04 02:15 AM
Thanks for the feedback. I said the budget was "adequate" and am certainly not looking for something cheap and nasty. As Dave says, I'm really more keen on getting something better than the average pile of crap some drummers turn up with. Everybody gets frustrated with the hours you then spend trying to make it sound halfway respectable!

To put this in some perspective, I'd spend a couple of thousand pounds if I thought it was a good investment. Sure, some players will want to move things around, or maybe swap the snare for their own. And yes, I'd keep it cased between sessions. Cracked cymbals is a risk you have to take, I suppose...

--------------------
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Ricky Chilcott
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Joined: 11/11/03
Posts: 69
Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #20847 - 24/09/04 03:46 AM
Well, as a drummer I would say it wouldnt be that bad of an investment. It's nice to walk into a studio and have a nice kit there. Typically drummers will bring their own cymbals, bass drum pedal, and snare drum so that they get their own 'sound'. I have a small studio, and since I play I have it their, and every band that I have recorded ended up just using my set. Its alot easier to keep everything set up as it cuts down on time and the repeatability of good results is more likely.

May I suggest getting a Gretsch kit they sound really nice ... its currently what I'm playing on, a Gretsch Renown Maple. The 5 piece only cost me $1200, which isnt too bad. May I also recommend Drum Workshop Kits ... very pricey, but amazing or a Yamaha Session Custom. As for drum heads I use Evans G2s which are good for Jazz/Funk or you can try the Evans G1s. And for cymbals take a look at Sabian or Zildjian A Custom. Anyway, If you can spare the cash go ahead and spend it. Just make sure that it will be used, no sense in spending alot for 3 people to use it. Although a nice kit always make the studio look professional!

~Ricky

Edited by Ricky Chilcott (24/09/04 03:52 AM)


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..
The REAL Thing


Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 1641
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #20880 - 24/09/04 07:52 AM
steve I've asked the same question myself a while back, if you do a serch in the old sos section you'll find a couple of really usefull and informative threds with contributions from our drummer freternity here.


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Steve Hill]
      #20940 - 24/09/04 09:09 AM
Hi Steve Hill,

If your tracking room is helping to make quality drum tracks then yes.

I personally dislike Pearl kits so my recommmendation is not to get a Pearl! Pearl snares on the other hand can be excellent. Go to a drum shop and tell the salesman that you won't to buy 3 or 4 secondhand snares. Then ask if it would be alright to bring back ones that you don't like ie don't record well.

Regards,
bassdude


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Matt Downing



Joined: 20/01/03
Posts: 1539
Loc: London
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Octopussy]
      #20950 - 24/09/04 09:20 AM
In my limited experience of recording pro drummers, they like to bring their own snare, kick pedal and cymbals, as mentioned above. Apart from that, they've drummers have been happy not to lug the rest of the kit around.

It would let you take the old Motown approach to studio drums, where the kit was reputedly bolted to the floor because once they got it in a position where they liked the sound, they didn't want anybody to move it.

Matt


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Sean Monkey
wise monkey


Joined: 05/08/04
Posts: 152
Loc: Glasgow, Scotland
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Matt Downing]
      #20961 - 24/09/04 09:35 AM
Bassdude, I couldn't disagree more on the Pearl thing. I've been gigging and recording with a Pearl BRX Masters Studio for about four years now. It's the most versatile kit I've ever owned (and I've owned quite a few: Premiers, Yamahas and Sonors).

Matt, you're right on the issue of not lugging loads of gear around. In my youth I was really picky about using all my own gear. But if your technique is sound and the kit you're playing isn't a total piece of crap, things are generally fine. So nowadays I prefer not to take all my own kit just for the sake of an easy life!

Cymbals and snare are the exception. They're generally much more of a personal choice, and I think most drummers would want to be using their own.


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Wease



Joined: 17/07/03
Posts: 2239
Loc: Sunny Walsall
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Matt Downing]
      #20970 - 24/09/04 09:59 AM
I'd get one - It's always nice to go to a studio where you can use your own kit in conjuction with other bits and bobs - a different snare, extra toms - etc etc
you'd have different guitar amps and maybe a rhodes and different vox mikes etc etc - so why not a kit

DW/Yamaha (my fave!)/gretsh (nice and unusual - may help for a differnt kinda sound than the drummers are likely to bring)

I'd also invest in some midi triggers that can be attached to drums...and a trigger module (alesis d5 are still great) - just for the ease of adding samples to boost some drum sounds...
just me 2p!

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Arse Bandit



Joined: 17/09/01
Posts: 2795
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Wease]
      #21002 - 24/09/04 10:40 AM
Most drummers I know have been more than happy with just taking their own snare, pedals and cymbals, but so long as the kit that is in the studio is of good quality, well maintained and tuned, and also appropriate to the type of music that's going down. As a bass player I was always happy to use whatever amps were around. Until I bought an Ashdown - nowadays I lug it to the studio every time unless my back's playing up!


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Ultimate Fish
posting's fun


Joined: 06/12/02
Posts: 1910
Loc: York, UK
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Arse Bandit]
      #21021 - 24/09/04 10:56 AM
Last time I played a studios kit it was a Yamaha hipgig setup, really nice. Compact and easy to stash away, but well tuned so it sounded good. The studio owner made a point of checking my drumming style before he let me use it though. If someone gives their kit a hard time he insists they use their own.

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Rig
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Joined: 31/05/01
Posts: 155
Loc: the countryside
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Ultimate Fish]
      #21059 - 24/09/04 11:33 AM
We have a Pearl kit on constant set up in our drum booth, fully miked fed into 8 channels on the desk. Its just a matter of fine tweaking & hit record

We have found bands generally like to use our kit rather than their own because:

a) set up time is eliminated, making more time for actual recording
b) less kit for them to lug along

Sometimes they want to use their own snares etc but this is a simple swap over.

We do however insist on drummers bringing their own sticks


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iceman
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Joined: 17/10/03
Posts: 1187
Loc: Liverpool
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Rig]
      #21148 - 24/09/04 01:25 PM
I agree that some drummers turn up with a van load of what can only be described as tea chests, i think Yamaha as used by say bobby rondinelli(Rainbow) or Mapex as used by the dude from fear factory do sme decent quality kits, i know im more than happy with my kit, if however you have a couple of grand to invest then yeah go the whole hog go for ludwig or possibly a vintage rodgers kit, they sound really nice, as for cracked cymbals as long as there properly felted up with decent quality collars on your stands you should get a good long life out of some decent zildjians or sabians dont forget to clean them regularly as well, so many drummers dont, i never used to i tell you the difference was amazing!!!

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Dave B



Joined: 03/04/03
Posts: 5661
Loc: Maidenhead
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? [Re: iceman]
      #21361 - 24/09/04 06:23 PM
Quote:

dont forget to clean them regularly as well, so many drummers dont




Yeah... I've heard the 'they record better when they are dull / dirty' a few times before. Sheer laziness. It should be written into the law that you are allowed to slap drummers who say that....


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Ricky Chilcott
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Joined: 11/11/03
Posts: 69
Loc: Ohio, USA
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Dave B]
      #21418 - 24/09/04 09:20 PM
While I don't agree w/ drummers that do say that they record better when they are dull... I do agree that cleaning them has the potential to take the coating off the cymbal, thus making it thinner and brighter... eventually causing them to bend or break. I could be wrong on this but thats what all my drum teachers have told me...

I personally have never cleaned my cymbals. I feel that the cymbal will age on its own and has a life span, nothing in music is about the looks, well it is, but it shoudlnt be. If you have the crapest looking guitar and it has an amazing tone, everyone will want it. Cymbals are the same type of beast, learn to work w/ your equipment to get your best possible sound, don't give into what everone else thinks is the best or coolest thing... Just my 2 cents.

~Ricky


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Octopussy



Joined: 01/09/04
Posts: 562
Loc: Melbourneo
Re: Recording drum kit - worth buying? new [Re: Sean Monkey]
      #21431 - 24/09/04 10:34 PM
Hi Sean Monkey and t'others,

I have almost always prefered the sound of Mapex, Yamaha, Sonor, Tama and Gretch toms over Pearl. I've heard too many Pearl Export and Masters series drums that have that congested tom sound.

I realise that Pearl are now making their Masters series kits in upteen different woods including cheaper woods but at the same price!

I think that alot of drummers want sounds that they are used to but.. slightly nicer. So if you buy a Birch kit then it might freak drummers out until they adjust to the new sound so maybe stick with some kind of maple or maple and t'other wood combination and use a touch of eq as per usual.

I'm glad for you Sean Monkey that you have found a kit that you are enjoying even if it is a Pearl.

As for snares I think that alot of drummers fudge a sorta tuning on their own snare and generally go for a mixture of sound and a tension that they can relate to and have more importantly become acustomed to using for stick technique. BUT that doesn't mean their snare will record well so by the time you've eq'd out all the harmonics or you've recorded their carboard box sound ie gaffer taped all over the drumhead the effectiveness of their sound is diminished or ruining the track.

I find that I can make the drummer feel like they are making artistic decissions in having a choice of snare. They feel more creative by making choices and decission etc and by having a few snares that you know will record well then you are half way there. Unless you will just resort to drumagog or whatever it is.

Cymbal wise I will not provide cymbals as they are mine...MINE! Unless the drummer has a refined jazz or funk technique but then again in such circumstances they usually have well chosen cymbals.

Regards,
bassdude


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