telling a drummer thats just tooo many toms!

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Fakiekid
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telling a drummer thats just tooo many toms!

Post by Fakiekid » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:40 pm

so i have a session coming up but i was slightly surprised to read an email that said

2x bass drums, 5 toms,(mapex m birch) 10 cymbals

oh dear,

how do i get them to scrap that kit and use my lovely 5 piece Pearl Reference thats tuned well and doesn't move out of the studio?

thoughts?

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Post by E-money » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:45 pm

how do i get them to scrap that kit and use my lovely 5 piece Pearl Reference thats tuned well and doesn't move out of the studio?
Put a hit out on the drummer?

Or tell the band you charge a per-drum fee.
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Post by cgarges » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:49 pm

How about setting up and recording the drummer like the band is asking you? Is that so hard?

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Post by cgarges » Wed Dec 10, 2008 3:55 pm

Before we get too far into this, please be sure to read this thread, so that we don't have a bunch of redundant arguments starting.

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Post by rwc » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:03 pm

How can you complain about his setup before you even hear it?

WTF?
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Post by JGriffin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:03 pm

cgarges wrote:How about setting up and recording the drummer like the band is asking you? Is that so hard?


+1. WAAAAY +1.


I've never understood this.
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Post by JGriffin » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:05 pm

cgarges wrote:Before we get too far into this, please be sure to read this thread, so that we don't have a bunch of redundant arguments starting.

Chris Garges
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good point.
"Jeweller, you've failed. Jeweller."

"Lots of people are nostalgic for analog. I suspect they're people who never had to work with it." ? Brian Eno

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Post by rwc » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:20 pm

This seems to be one of the issues i'd expect to hear from the kind of professional who says "I'd love being a doctor without patients."

I could understand if he was a sucky drummer or played shitty(even THEN there is the argument as to whether it's your perogative to show him another set of drums), but you don't even have this information yet.
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Wed Dec 10, 2008 4:46 pm

whilst i strongly believe that 5 toms is 3 too many, and 10 cymbals is at least 7 too many, i also agree with what others have said. you gotta at least give the guys setup a shot before you complain about it.

i have a nice kit here that i think sounds better than what a lot of people bring in, but personally i would RATHER record their kits just because it's something NEW. i've recorded mine a billion times already. let's hear what yours sounds like. and if something really isn't sounding so hot, we'll retune, or change heads, or swap it out for one of my drums and move on.

if stewart copeland showed up at any of our studios with whatever massive kit he plays, i doubt any of us would be complaining about it.

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Corey Y
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Post by Corey Y » Wed Dec 10, 2008 6:55 pm

The only way I can see it being an issue is if the drummer doesn't use all of them. In that case just don't mic all the toms. If it's too much for you to handle recording just pass on the project. If I didn't have the knowledge or resources to record a particular instrument or band I would either try to figure it out (probably borrow or rent some gear) or just pass. Sometimes the best business you do is the business you don't do, no obligation to say yes to everything.

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Post by Professor » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:22 pm

It may already have been said in that other post that was linked, but just in case, I think it's worth mentioning that waaayyyy too many engineers seem to think that drum sets require every individual instrument to be mic'ed.
Sure it's nice to do that sometimes... even fun to do... but it's the wrong approach because it's not identifying the entire set of drums as a single instrument.
And that mistake leads to questions & concerns like this post.

Does it make a difference if the wooden box with the fretted neck has 4 strings, 6 strings, 8, or 12 stretched across it? Of course not, it's a single instrument.

Likewise, if you think of a set of drums as a single instrument, it is fantastically easy to approach any set.

First, let the guy set it up as he likes, and then listen to it being played by the drummer who will be playing it.
Walk around it a little and get a sense for how it sounds naturally.
Then select and place a pair of overheads that capture as much of the natural sound of the kit as possible. (I use the same approach here as I would use in front of a choir or an orchestra - two great mics in a predictable & repeatable setup that capture the full sound of the instrument).
That should get you better than 75% of the way there.
The catch is that the bass drums are aimed the wrong way and bass drums are kind of important for rock/pop/jazz music. So stick a mic in a good spot to catch that bass drum.
The other catch is that lots of people like the snare drum turned up way louder than is natural in their rock/pop/jazz recordings, but you can plan for this and stick a mic in a good spot to catch the snare.

That's it, man... you're done... at least with the essentials.
For the kit you're worried about, that's 2 overheads, 1 snare, and 2 kick drums - 5 mics total. Meat & potatoes.
Anything else you add is just gravy on top. If you wanna try to take down 5 individually mic'ed toms, then go for it. If you're mixing in surround that could be totally amazing. If the hi-hat is a little thin and could use a boost, throw a spot mic there. If the guy hammers the bell of the power ride and you want that to cut through the 12 layers of distorted guitar, then stick a mic there.


For what it's worth, the kit I have here in the studio has one bass drum, 3 snares available, 5 toms available, 2 sets of hats, 2 rides, 3 crashes, 2 splashes and a china - not including my set that is usually down in my office, and whatever the player brings along. I always feel a little let down when someone comes in and just sets up 2 toms, 1 ride and 1 crash. It's just so much less fun to set up the mics, and so much less potential in mixing.


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Post by drumsound » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:22 pm

MoreSpaceEcho wrote:if stewart copeland showed up at any of our studios with whatever massive kit he plays, i doubt any of us would be complaining about it.
Only if I can take his hihats away... :biggergrin:

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Post by cgarges » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:38 pm

drumsound wrote:Only if I can take his hihats away... :biggergrin:
Only if he can take your Joemeek comp away... :biggergrin:

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Post by GooberNumber9 » Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:55 pm

There are completely unknown under-the-radar drummers who can do sick things with big kits. I've worked with one - he made having three sets of hi-hats awesome.

I've heard a lot worse kits than Mapexes. Give it a chance, it could be awesome. If he really can't make it work, come back here and we'll commiserate.

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Post by centurymantra » Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:26 pm

GooberNumber9 wrote:I've worked with one - he made having three sets of hi-hats awesome.

woah...three hi-hats? :suspect:

That is pretty classic. I'm suddenly having a vision of replacing the rack toms with hi-hats. That actually would be pretty awesome.
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