"All woods sound the same" - is this a new song?

JDA

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those legendary recordings would still be legendary with either birch or poplar/maple.
there was pro-level of both woods in the 60s (just to remind you)
Premier for the former Ludwig for the latter. legendary were done with both.
I'm thinking luan and some of the young growth saplings used today. It's up to you to make it happen.
 

boonky

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"When someone makes an absolutist statement it is generally wrong."

You're wrong.


Please look up the word "generally" in the dictionary. Without that word it would be absolutist.
I was just joking around. Relax snowman.
 

Houndog

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We can also discuss drumheads forever as well ....heck the bead of the drumstick certainly matters as well ...
 

K.O.

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Hard mounts or iso mounts?

So many variables, certainly wood type is one of them.
 

hsosdrum

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Everything affects a drum's sound: Playing technique, tuning, head, edge geometry, shell material and construction, hoop type and material, stick material and bead, venting, hardware, mounting system; all of it. The question is: How much effect does each have, and which ones are worth our time, money and effort?

For me, as long as I can mount them with Fiberskyn 3 FD heads I can get "my sound" out of any drum. They won't all sound identical, but they'll be mighty close. They won't all play the same, but I can adjust. I venture to say that the same was true for Hal Blaine and any other drumming great who made lots of records. They would have sounded "like themselves" and the records would have sounded the same regardless of what drums they played. (Everyone used Remo Ambassadors — maybe Emperors once in a while — after around 1960, so there's not much difference in heads.)

Oh, and for those who want to quantify the difference in drum shells by making and analyzing recordings, forget it. Microphones do not hear like our ears, and too much of the subtlety we're discussing gets lost in the recording process, regardless of the precision. The only way to meaningfully compare is by listening side-by-side in the same room.
 

hsosdrum

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Sympathetic vibration ??
Hell yes! Sympathetic vibration is part of the instrument's sound. If you dampen the unplayed strings on a piano it won't sound like a piano; the same is true for a drumset, (which is why I think recording gates are evil). You should hear how much my 34" Paiste symphonic gong sings along whenever I play my drums!
 

jb78

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I’ve always felt the type of wood matters but in a recording situation, for example, it’s low on the list compared to heads, tuning, microphones, mix, EQ, etc.
 

noreastbob

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Different shell materials sound different. It's very simple. Do they sound "very" or "much" different? Well it depends. I played an acrylic kit for years until I got totally sick of the sound. Wood shells are warmer and mellower. Do different wood species sound different? Well yeah...but not by much. Certainly not enough to be able to identify species by tone.
 

Bandit

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Marketing, marketing, marketing. When I sit down to play, I have my drums mic'd and run through a board. Then through my isolating earbuds to protect my hearing. At this point does it really matter what the drums are made out of?
 

cwdrums

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Marketing, marketing, marketing. When I sit down to play, I have my drums mic'd and run through a board. Then through my isolating earbuds to protect my hearing. At this point does it really matter what the drums are made out of?
Yep, couldn't agree more. Plus the audience has absolutely no clue and my band mates don't care as long as I am doing my job. In the mix it becomes irrelevant IMHO. Tinkering at home with just me and my drums is a different story.
Coy
 

Bandit

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Tinkering at home with just me and my drums is a different story.
Coy
Tinkering at home is where I am mic'd up, through the board, and into headphones. I never play my drums without hearing protection. I have mild tinnitus now, and don't want it getting much worse.
 

cwdrums

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^Plus 1- I always use hearing protection no matter where I am playing.
 

Ptrick

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All 18” crashes sound the same from the audience perspective. Should we all just buy the same one??
 

Ptrick

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They really don't. It's not an even close comparison.
Being ridiculous to prove a point.

I honestly think it diminishes our clout as musicians and reinforces the thought of drummers as cavemen when over and over people make blanket statements like “it doesn’t matter...they all sound the same, it’s all marketing etc etc”. We are on a drum forum where the minutiae is what is discussed, no?

If you read my first post in the thread, I’ve done exactly what everyone here has said needs to be done...Same dimensions, same thickness of shell, same bearing edges, same hardware, heads, wires, and tunings. And there’s no mistaking the drums sound different.

I personally find it lazy to just flat out say it doesn’t matter, or doesn’t matter enough to notice.

I will add a caveat that most PLY drums sound much more similar than a similar Stave or Solid shell. (Comparing ply to ply of different species, stave to stave etc) The ply shell process seems to take the wood species much further out of the equation.

And I’d speculate most drummers have the most experience with ply shells.
 
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