Weights in the bass drum? - Sounds Like a Drum Video

stevil

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To reduce the ping you need increased surface area of high-frequency absorbing material. So blankets, towels, canvas sandbags, anything like that will help.

TThe original DW Collectors kits are a classic example here, most complaints that I heard were that drummers loved the toms but the bass drums couldn't keep up - it's because they're too light!
This is a great point. I've noticed that I've always liked DW toms but haven't cared as much for their bass drums.
 

stevil

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Again, I’ll gladly show them how I tune my drums. I’ve seen Simon a few times live, by the way, with no cans or bags in the drums. Perhaps someone showed him the truth? He also once suggested standing on the drums to seat the heads. I wonder if he’s learned another way to do this? Why have a drum if you just fill it with objects? Proper heads and tuning.
In the interview with Simon on Youtube he says that he uses the paint cans (to this day) in the studio, but that he was disappointed with the paint can sound live. So he views it as a studio application, not a live application. That's why I was asking if people here use them live. What appeals to me in the Sounds Like A Drum video is their observation that the drum felt easier to play with weights in it. I'd love to get that improved feeling, but most of the playing I do is live, not in the studio. It wouldn't be a good sacrifice to harm my sound for the sake of feel.
 

stevil

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My bad. In context, "complicated" is a different animal. "Advanced" stays.

I also cross-file paint cans and sand bags under Anal, regardless of what studio gurus, sound men, Pop disciples, self-absorbed Pro's and assorted YouTube snake oil pitch-men say.
What "snake oil" are the Sounds Like a Drum guys pitching here exactly? If they offend you so much then not watching their videos is a great way to avoid them. But I challenge you to identify the product they are trying to get the audience to buy. The only thing the video does is offer a technique (which is FREE) to alter the sound you get from your instrument.
 

ARGuy

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Not rude or disrespectful. Simply truth. Your comments (opinions, choices, etc..) are as easily dismissed as rude and disrespectful. Follow the crowd if you wish. We will agree to disagree.
Simply opinion. By calling what you write as "truth" you are saying that anyone who writes differently from you is lying, and I would call that rude and disrespectful.
 

Mongrel

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You took it literally. That's anal.

Look, you can spend the rest of your life chasing a recorded sound which is generally agreed to be a frustrating, losing proposition, given the uncontrollable variables in the recording process, etc...

Why not find your own sound and stick with it regardless of what happens to be the flavor of the day. Miles said It takes a long time to sound like you. Forget about trying to sound like someone else. Chasing an elusive sound in your head can lead to premature hair loss, anxiety attacks, dry scalp, halitosis and erectile dysfunction.
I'll play "drummers advocate" for a moment....

You get the call....they have an opening in the studio to play for a "name" artist.

You arrive and sit down at the kit. Hmmmm....something is wrong here. This isn't 'my sound'! So you start monkeying with the bass drum tuning. Looking for a reso, pulling out the sand bags and paint cans...

Next thing you know you wake up in the alley with a bruise on your noggin....

It dawns on you that you just blew the biggest opportunity of your career over your sound vs. their sound.

How many working drummers have the kind of mojo required to set their own parameters in the studio, or even live for that matter?

If you get the call to hit the road or the studio with a serious artist or band and they want that thuddy "Nashville" bass drum sound, I bet that will become "your sound" in a hurry.
 

MrDrums2112

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Simply opinion. By calling what you write as "truth" you are saying that anyone who writes differently from you is lying, and I would call that rude and disrespectful.
Call it what you will. It’s your opinion. I never said anyone was lying and I never implied that at all. You made that interpretation. It is very true that you can change the sound with heads and tuning. I was neither rude nor disrespectful to you or anyone else.
 
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dcrigger

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Call it what you will. It’s your opinion. I never said anyone was lying and I never implied that at all. You made that interpretation. It is very true that you can change the sound with heads and tuning. I was neither rude nor disrespectful to you or anyone else.
No you implied they were incompetent - and that is rude.

Again quoting - "Honestly, most of the drums I hear today on these vast swatches of popular music sound like garbage because, big surprise, no one knows how to tune drums anymore."

An Opinion would've been "Honestly, most of the drums I hear today on these vast swatches of popular music sound like garbage because of these muffling techniques being used."

THAT'S AN OPINION.

But you had to include - "...because, big surprise, no one knows how to tune drums anymore"

AND THAT'S AN INSULT.

It's not just sharing your opinion - it is making the case that YOUR opinion is SUPERIOR by the nature of your superior skill (you know how to tune drums and THEY don't).

And this is not just semantics - because every single post you've made has made the same presumption.

And that sir, is rude.

And if you want to belief my calling you out on it is the same thing, that's up to you. But the fact is I've posted nothing that questions your opinion as to what you like. I know and respect tons of players that have the same preferences. But I also won't stand for them telling me that MY tastes and preferences are invalid - that I only use the techniques I use because of my limitations of skill. training and insights. That's BS - which is why I've posted what I've posted.

Like what you like and don't what you don't. That's what we're here for - to discuss this stuff.

You want to make a case for your preferences - great. But simply stating "I'm right, everyone else is wrong and incompetent" is NOT a legitimate case - it is disrespectful and rude.... PERIOD.

So please - join the discussion, but leave your all knowing superiority at home.
 

MrDrums2112

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No you implied they were incompetent - and that is rude.

Again quoting - "Honestly, most of the drums I hear today on these vast swatches of popular music sound like garbage because, big surprise, no one knows how to tune drums anymore."

An Opinion would've been "Honestly, most of the drums I hear today on these vast swatches of popular music sound like garbage because of these muffling techniques being used."

THAT'S AN OPINION.

But you had to include - "...because, big surprise, no one knows how to tune drums anymore"

AND THAT'S AN INSULT.

It's not just sharing your opinion - it is making the case that YOUR opinion is SUPERIOR by the nature of your superior skill (you know how to tune drums and THEY don't).

And this is not just semantics - because every single post you've made has made the same presumption.

And that sir, is rude.

And if you want to belief my calling you out on it is the same thing, that's up to you. But the fact is I've posted nothing that questions your opinion as to what you like. I know and respect tons of players that have the same preferences. But I also won't stand for them telling me that MY tastes and preferences are invalid - that I only use the techniques I use because of my limitations of skill. training and insights. That's BS - which is why I've posted what I've posted.

Like what you like and don't what you don't. That's what we're here for - to discuss this stuff.

You want to make a case for your preferences - great. But simply stating "I'm right, everyone else is wrong and incompetent" is NOT a legitimate case - it is disrespectful and rude.... PERIOD.

So please - join the discussion, but leave your all knowing superiority at home.
We will agree to disagree then. You do what pleases you, sir. I don’t care in the least what you like or don’t like. I apologize that you were so easily offended.
 

jansara

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What "snake oil" are the Sounds Like a Drum guys pitching here exactly? If they offend you so much then not watching their videos is a great way to avoid them. But I challenge you to identify the product they are trying to get the audience to buy. The only thing the video does is offer a technique (which is FREE) to alter the sound you get from your instrument.
You can't know if a video is offensive unless you watch it. Being an optimist, I hold out hope that every now and then the odd drum video may rise above the noise of worn out platitudes, half-truths and disguised BS sprinkled with the magic dust of YouTube authority. Buy into whatever turns you on.
 

Hop

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In the interview with Simon on Youtube he says that he uses the paint cans (to this day) in the studio, but that he was disappointed with the paint can sound live. So he views it as a studio application, not a live application. That's why I was asking if people here use them live. What appeals to me in the Sounds Like A Drum video is their observation that the drum felt easier to play with weights in it. I'd love to get that improved feeling, but most of the playing I do is live, not in the studio. It wouldn't be a good sacrifice to harm my sound for the sake of feel.
Easier to play is a very subjective and non-scientific claim, I don't think Cody can offer any proof to validate that.
Maybe the placement is more firm translating something into the pedal feel???

Live, Simon doesn't dampen the beyond the small rolled towel against the bass batter head, as he wants all those different tones and knows that it will sit in well with a band. That's approaching the most natural sound his drum kit can make.

When I strike one of my bass drums, the others respond sympathetically, that is a natural phenomenon of the instrument. This natural sound gets lost a bit when each drum is mic'ed separately with differing mics and placements, dampened, then is also mixed with "ambient" or room mics to get back that natural sound. Can you imagine a guitarist isolating individual strings (not via a pick-up) or dampening strings with felt/moon-gel/tape?

I think the big problem in the studio is that the instrument is treated heterogeneously vs. homogeneously - as multiple instruments vs. one instrument. This is especially true as multi-track recording start to come on the scene and be developed.

I'll offer this clip of Rich vs. Roach, hi-fi stereo recorded in '59. This if I'm not mistaken is the height of 2 and 3 channel recording (not sure what this was recorded on though). I just love how clean and gate/compression free this recording is, and how well the musicians sit in this mix. Snares are off for both kits, but I really "get" what their drums sound like here.

 

jansara

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I'll play "drummers advocate" for a moment....

You get the call....they have an opening in the studio to play for a "name" artist.

You arrive and sit down at the kit. Hmmmm....something is wrong here. This isn't 'my sound'! So you start monkeying with the bass drum tuning. Looking for a reso, pulling out the sand bags and paint cans...

Next thing you know you wake up in the alley with a bruise on your noggin....

It dawns on you that you just blew the biggest opportunity of your career over your sound vs. their sound.

How many working drummers have the kind of mojo required to set their own parameters in the studio, or even live for that matter?

If you get the call to hit the road or the studio with a serious artist or band and they want that thuddy "Nashville" bass drum sound, I bet that will become "your sound" in a hurry.
Been on the road, been in the studio, been with "serious" artists (although I'm not sure how you mean that - every great player I've had the pleasure to gig with was "serious").

Not interested in what ifs. I'm only interested in being the best I can be.
 

Mongrel

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Been on the road, been in the studio, been with "serious" artists (although I'm not sure how you mean that - every great player I've had the pleasure to gig with was "serious").

Not interested in what ifs. I'm only interested in being the best I can be.
I'll give you this, you are tenacious man....

And if you got to dictate "your sound" in all those situations you get bonus points...

Peace and Goodwill.
 

jansara

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I'll give you this, you are tenacious man....

And if you got to dictate "your sound" in all those situations you get bonus points...

Peace and Goodwill.
Peace. Be well.
 

dcrigger

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In the interview with Simon on Youtube he says that he uses the paint cans (to this day) in the studio, but that he was disappointed with the paint can sound live. So he views it as a studio application, not a live application. That's why I was asking if people here use them live. What appeals to me in the Sounds Like A Drum video is their observation that the drum felt easier to play with weights in it. I'd love to get that improved feeling, but most of the playing I do is live, not in the studio. It wouldn't be a good sacrifice to harm my sound for the sake of feel.
As an overall thing - over the past 25 years, I haven't found that the differences between playing in "live" mic'd situation and a studio situation to be all that different. There are still tons of choices to be made in both environments AND the most common practices are almost the same.

As for the paint can or even a large sandbag behind a reso with a small or no port - the biggest consideration is it going to be a technique worth paying the price of constantly having to remove and replace the front. As moving the drum with it in place would be very restricted - and transporting the drum could be out of the question. So a lengthy studio project or a semi-permanent theater type gig could be worth it - while jumping from session to session or doing a string of one-nighters??? Probably not - or more like, no way.
 

dcrigger

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I'll play "drummers advocate" for a moment....

You get the call....they have an opening in the studio to play for a "name" artist.

You arrive and sit down at the kit. Hmmmm....something is wrong here. This isn't 'my sound'! So you start monkeying with the bass drum tuning. Looking for a reso, pulling out the sand bags and paint cans...

Next thing you know you wake up in the alley with a bruise on your noggin....

It dawns on you that you just blew the biggest opportunity of your career over your sound vs. their sound.

How many working drummers have the kind of mojo required to set their own parameters in the studio, or even live for that matter?

If you get the call to hit the road or the studio with a serious artist or band and they want that thuddy "Nashville" bass drum sound, I bet that will become "your sound" in a hurry.
In my experience, every "for hire" situation is a collaboration. Figuring out what everybody wants and needs, and then trying to deduce how to bring what you can do best to make everyone - including yourself - happy, satisfied and content is I would think the most important skill a profession drummer can have.

And of course there is a huge range regarding how that collaboration works - from being hired to fulfill an often very specific set of expectations (they really know what they want.. they don't want it "different"... they don't want it "better"... they want what they want & if you're not interested in providing that, "well thank you, but uh, you can leave now") to "Well this is what we were thinking, but what do you think you should play... or how do you think it should sound (but even here, the tie-breaker ALWAYS gets to be the guy writing the check - I mean, this is WORK, not play.) and yes, there can be times in anyone's career where you're not going to be able to make a situation work for them and still feel good about it yourself. But good luck to player using this as their go-to position - because future work is ALL about building on past work. And walking away from work that has already been agreed to is extremely frowned upon. I think most players learned to tough it out through things like this and then make themselves unavailable in the future.

As for your studio example - pretty rare for that to happen - because there really no calls regarding an opening that just gets filled. 99% of the time, there is a need for a player and someone is specifically recommend by a trusted member of the project's existing team. Maybe a band member, maybe the engineer, maybe the studio owner (we had a new kid in here last week who just nailed that session - playing music not that different than what you guys are doing). Gain 99% of the time - that's how your "big opportunity" call comes - on the reputation you've built doing lower level work. Work that you've built up over maybe years, by continually proving yourself to be not just someone that can play the music, but get along with the team, not be a flake, etc.

Looking back, I see little difference between what the jobs was for me between being in the studio or on stage with established artists compared to playing jazz band in high school or that first band that played local high school dances. In every situation, I was playing with people that I wanted to keep wanting me to play with them, for them. So yes, I was always looking out for what I wanted to express, but with one eye always on pleasing them as well. Because if I couldn't please them - they wouldn't want me to play with them. And I knew full well, that if I chalked up too many of those that I'd be back in my bedroom playing with records forever.

Finally - the only drumming situations where I knew I was 100% calling all the shots with absolute final say was leading my own band, while taking full financial responsibility for ever aspect of the project. Everything else has been a collaboration. (The leader project were collaboration - but being the "buck stops here" guy has a very different feel needless to say)
 

rculberson

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I absolutely love the purists in my town. There are about 10 of them who can play circles around me. They couldn’t fathom putting anything inside the bass drum, and most pop tunes are way “beneath” them. I truly enjoy seeing them in the audience at my gigs.
 

Mongrel

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In my experience, every "for hire" situation is a collaboration. Figuring out what everybody wants and needs, and then trying to deduce how to bring what you can do best to make everyone - including yourself - happy, satisfied and content is I would think the most important skill a profession drummer can have.

And of course there is a huge range regarding how that collaboration works - from being hired to fulfill an often very specific set of expectations (they really know what they want.. they don't want it "different"... they don't want it "better"... they want what they want & if you're not interested in providing that, "well thank you, but uh, you can leave now") to "Well this is what we were thinking, but what do you think you should play... or how do you think it should sound (but even here, the tie-breaker ALWAYS gets to be the guy writing the check - I mean, this is WORK, not play.) and yes, there can be times in anyone's career where you're not going to be able to make a situation work for them and still feel good about it yourself. But good luck to player using this as their go-to position - because future work is ALL about building on past work. And walking away from work that has already been agreed to is extremely frowned upon. I think most players learned to tough it out through things like this and then make themselves unavailable in the future.

As for your studio example - pretty rare for that to happen - because there really no calls regarding an opening that just gets filled. 99% of the time, there is a need for a player and someone is specifically recommend by a trusted member of the project's existing team. Maybe a band member, maybe the engineer, maybe the studio owner (we had a new kid in here last week who just nailed that session - playing music not that different than what you guys are doing). Gain 99% of the time - that's how your "big opportunity" call comes - on the reputation you've built doing lower level work. Work that you've built up over maybe years, by continually proving yourself to be not just someone that can play the music, but get along with the team, not be a flake, etc.

Looking back, I see little difference between what the jobs was for me between being in the studio or on stage with established artists compared to playing jazz band in high school or that first band that played local high school dances. In every situation, I was playing with people that I wanted to keep wanting me to play with them, for them. So yes, I was always looking out for what I wanted to express, but with one eye always on pleasing them as well. Because if I couldn't please them - they wouldn't want me to play with them. And I knew full well, that if I chalked up too many of those that I'd be back in my bedroom playing with records forever.

Finally - the only drumming situations where I knew I was 100% calling all the shots with absolute final say was leading my own band, while taking full financial responsibility for ever aspect of the project. Everything else has been a collaboration. (The leader project were collaboration - but being the "buck stops here" guy has a very different feel needless to say)
Thanks, David, I appreciate your thoughtful reply.

As always, very helpful to get your point of view and the perspective of your experience.
 

ARGuy

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Call it what you will. It’s your opinion. I never said anyone was lying and I never implied that at all. You made that interpretation. It is very true that you can change the sound with heads and tuning. I was neither rude nor disrespectful to you or anyone else.
No, using your way of thinking, it's simply truth.
 


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