Charlie Watts un-miked

charlesm

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singleordoubleheads said:
I hate to be the bad guy here, but I'm sorry--I'm not gonna tune my drums to sound like a hi-pitched tin can from the drivers seat to supposedly make sure they are ok FOH. If they don't sound good to me from the throne, I doubt they're gonna sound very good out front. I've heard PLENTY of kits over the years (mine included) that sounded great from both angles.....you don't see guitarists changing their tuning to get a good mix in the mains, do you?

I always remember the Burnin' for Buddy reheasrsal video, where Steve Gadd's kit arrived before he did, and Neil Peart was tapping on them and thought they sounded bad (too low), but then Steve shows up, and just by the way he PLAYED them, made them sound great!

And, to my ears, Charlies tom doesn't sound much different than usual, and the snare is about the same (wish the clip was a bit longer to get a better sample).
With guitarists, I think the more correct analogy would be changing of tone rather than tuning. And, depending on the room you're in, there's no doubt that both tone and tuning (for drummers) do need tweaking at times to sit right with the natural acoustics.

Most of us are playing in medium-sized rooms on average. In Charlie's case, he's playing in stadiums and arenas with huge sound reinforcement setups behind him, so there is a lot of flexibility to shape the tone to make it work in those spaces, which can get out of control with levels cranked to arena volumes.

However, I suspect that Charlie's tuning, more than anything, comes from his jazz sensibility and background. I think that's just what he likes to hear from the kit.
 

ludwigdrummerbr

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Well, to me , there are a BIG difference how his drums sound un-miked and miked...
check this out ... at 5.40
 
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hawker

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Charley and his kit are iconoclastic for sure. Good thing he has a giant sound system and engineers who are willing to do what he requests, otherwise his jazz drums and old, thin, small jazz cymbals wouldn't project past the front of the stage. :)
 

kb

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Okay, I listened pretty carefully to the original post and ludwigdrummerbr's post.

The two clips SOUND very different, yet to my ear, the actual pitches sound VERY SIMILAR; D in the floor tom, B in the rack. Remarkably consistent...


ludwigdrummerbr said:
Well, to me , there are a BIG difference how his drums sound un-miked and miked...
check this out ...
 


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