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Drums for recording indie, funk, ala Bloc Party Studio Headphones
Old 28th December 2010
  #1
Lives for gear
Drums for recording indie, funk, ala Bloc Party

Hi, I'm not a drummer, but I'm thinking to get a drum to record some stuff.. I like a punchy, detailed sound

I think the answer is maple, and maybe Pearl

I don't have a lot of money to spend, but I've seen bloc party uses Pearl Reference drums and have used Pearl Session drums

What do you think?
Old 28th December 2010
  #2
Lives for gear
 
PhilR's Avatar
 

I think that when Bloc Party started making their name Matt Tong was still playing an old Premier kit. Hardly surprising, old Premier APK/XPK kits are everywhere in the UK. You can pick them up for a song but they're still very solid reliable kits.
Old 28th December 2010
  #3
Lives for gear
well, unfortunately I don't live in UK, but thanks for the suggestion

honestly I'm not so interested in what they used before, but what they used in silent alarm and the next albums, I like the sound of the recorded drums, so if anyone has some informations about what they used in the studio, I just found out they used the session series (I don't know if the session custom or just session series, or if are the same, I'm not a drummer..) and then the reference.. but the reference is too pricey for me (I don't know if they have used these drums in studio or just live)

anyway.. the premier share the same sound?

thank you
Old 2nd January 2011
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

Can't say a whole lot, but he plays pretty deep toms (at least for my taste).

Petter
Old 2nd January 2011
  #5
i gues that when he said "before" he means the early bloc party years.
there is only one EP before silent alarm so before is the "silent alarm" ära i would say.

i already did some recordings with a bloc party/foals influenced band.
to me the drum sound on silent alarm sounds a little lifeless.

to get that tomsound we used "evans G2" drumheads.
they have a good sound and not so much sustain.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #6
Lives for gear
well no, I'm interested in the sound in Silent Alarm and Weekend in the city, not previews releases

anyway, I just took Bloc Party as an example and I was looking to find a drum set that will gave me a similar result (then yes, tuning, proper room, etc)

The only thing seems clear to me is that I like maple sound. I like it in the bass guitar, electric guitar, in fact I almost have only maple instruments (I realized that later..), so I think it will be a maple drum..
Old 3rd January 2011
  #7
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PhilR's Avatar
 

That's a pretty broad assumption considering the massive range of factors influencing the sound of an electric guitar, the actual body/neck wood being probably one of the least important. How maple impacts the sound of a guitar has absolutly no similarity to how maple impacts the sound of a drum.

Frankly to me the drums on Silent Alarm sound very dull and thuddy. You could probably get a comparable sound from almost any drumkit given the correct tuning, damping and playing. If he was using an old Premier kit then it's likely it was a birch kit.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #8
Lives for gear
Phil,

Quote:

the actual body/neck wood being probably one of the least important
that's totally wrong, wood is one of the most important thing for a guitar timbre, in fact who makes custom guitars is famous not only for his ability but also for his wood selection, some woods have been kept for 30/40 years, with the purpose to make a guitar with it

and, for my experience, that means having listened to many instruments of different woods I can tell you the maple has that hi fi sound, clear, detailed, tight, full. I can hear it on guitars and drums.

The Silent Alarm drum isn't dull, is compressed in a natural way preserving the attack of the transients, that's why it doesn't sound too much in your face, well it is in your face but keeping the punch.. that's why seems dull to you, because it's less maximized and is very controlled, not many fancy distortions or parallel comp in that drum.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #9
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PhilR's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by elan View Post
and, for my experience, that means having listened to many instruments of different woods I can tell you the maple has that hi fi sound, clear, detailed, tight, full. I can hear it on guitars and drums.
AFTER they've been headed, tuned, (maybe)damped, miked, recorded, EQ'd, compressed, mixed and mastered?

If your ear is that good, why did you ask in the first place?

"Hi-Fi" is a marketing term. Guitar & Drum makers like to use lots of marketing terms because it helps them sell more stuff. I've heard maple kits that sound terrible, I've heard poplar kits that sound incredible.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #10
Lives for gear
It's probably got samples to augment what was there - so I'd just concentrate on getting a good recording of the band, and try to make a better sounding record than BPs.
Old 3rd January 2011
  #11
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
AFTER they've been headed, tuned, (maybe)damped, miked, recorded, EQ'd, compressed, mixed and mastered?
You know.. trying guitars, basses, playing them, playing some drums, you notice a wood sounds, react, in a way while another wood in another.. A stupid example, but usually for a ballad I would use a rosewood neck while for a bass that needs to growl I'll use maple.. if you need a tight bass I go maple, if I need a deeper bass, I'll not use maple..

Quote:
If your ear is that good, why did you ask in the first place?
What? I asked which drum kit do you suggest me to get that kind of sound, I don't know drums very well, I just played them sometimes, but not in a band, is not my instrument

Quote:
"Hi-Fi" is a marketing term.
So what? It's a term and, as every word, describe a kind of thing, in that case, a kind of sound, which may work or not. For example take a Twin Reverb and a Boogie.. the Twin is more "Hi Fi" sounding, while the Boogie has more mids and is warmer, in a different way, sometimes in a song the Twin is perfect while in another song the Boogie makes really a guitar part alive.

Quote:
Guitar & Drum makers like to use lots of marketing terms because it helps them sell more stuff. I've heard maple kits that sound terrible, I've heard poplar kits that sound incredible.
Yes sure, when I speak about wood differences I speak about comparable products, for example I can compare a Precision Bass in alder, rosewood, or another one in maple.. Then, obviously, when you compare other products of other brands, you'll find out the similarities, even supposing you are comparing products "at the same level" obviously if you take a maple Roytek and an hi end birch Mapex, the Mapex will sound better, but if you compare it whit another good, at the same level, drum, you'll hear also the difference the wood makes (other than different design, etc)

I said that about Silent Alarm because it's easy to judge an album dull because today there are high level of compression and this album is very compressed too, but in a different way, letting pass more attack in the comp.. that makes the album sound at a lower level and with a more pronounced attack, which, if you compare it with other more compressed albums, makes it sound lower in volume, so you perceive it dull because our ears are not linear
Old 3rd January 2011
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by -Noodles- View Post
It's probably got samples to augment what was there - so I'd just concentrate on getting a good recording of the band, and try to make a better sounding record than BPs.
Hey man, I don't want to emulate bloc party, just I like how it sound that drum and I was curious to know what they used because probably will give me a result closer to what I like

BTW, I know which drum they used (a Pearl Session Series, maple or a Pearl Reference Series, I don't know which actually, but one of these, I just think the second is an upgrade of the first, but I think they would sound similar..and for me it's ok even the Session Series)

What I would know is just which drums will give me a similar timbre, then I know processing and everything, but listening to BFD there are some drums I like, other I totally dislike.. so I wouldn't get a drum I don't like how it sounds from the beginning and I haven't the opportunity to try them, for various reasons
Old 4th January 2011
  #13
first of all,..the drum sound on silent alarm and a weekend in the city is coooooompletely different! the whole recording was different.

silent alarm was recorded in about 20 days while a weekend in the city took 6 weeks to finish recordings.
second album was recorded in a bigger studio with more budget.so i guess that there wasn´t only one kit used on the album.

a weekend in the city was mixed by cenzo townshend.i´m pretty sure that he used samples on the drumtracks.
Old 4th January 2011
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilR View Post
Frankly to me the drums on Silent Alarm sound very dull and thuddy. You could probably get a comparable sound from almost any drumkit given the correct tuning, damping and playing.
I agree with this - there doesn't seem to be a whole lot of tonality in the drum sounds on Silent Alarm. I think the character of the drum tones has more to do with the way they are tuned and dampened than with the type of wood being used (that is, I agree that you could get comparable sounds with almost any drum wood). It sounds to me like there's a TON of dampening and/or thick drum heads being used - their drummer is a beast and plays hard enough that they can get away with this kind of extreme dampening on the kit.

It's important to realize that you can get "hi-fi/tight/clear/detailed/full" sounds from any decent drum material - maple is not the end-all wood for drum construction. The wood type, bearing edge, hardware, head type, and tuning all play important roles in the sound of a drum, and it's incredibly difficult for most people to tell what type of wood a drum is made from (from listening to a recording) without some kind of frame of reference. Factor in mics, rooms, EQ, compression, reverb, etc. and it's even more difficult.

Personally (regardless of what they actually used) I'd prefer using a birch kit for Bloc Party's style of music, purely for the added punch/attack and the drier sound compared to maple. I generally prefer maple for songs that call for bigger, slower, and/or fuller drums with more sustain and resonance. That's more a matter of taste than anything else.

FYI the Reference kits are NOT pure maple kits - they are actually made from a combination of different woods, depending on the drum - they are quite different from Pearl's maple kits.
Old 4th January 2011
  #15
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLUElightCory View Post
"hi-fi/tight/clear/detailed/full" sounds from any decent drum material - maple is not the end-all wood for drum construction.
I agree with that, but also considering I don't have tons of preamp, etc to shape the sound I prefer to start from something already in the direction I like.. I just want to make clear I'm not a maple fan because I'm born as a maple supporter..

I owned 2 non maple bass guitars and 2 maple, 2 non maple guitar and 2 maple, in 10 years.. so I got time to judge them.. they were all jazz bass/precision/telecaster/strato.. so not a gibson or other totally different instruments.. and always preferred maple.. at the point to tell myself.. why have you lost so many time?

Then I noticed the silent alarm drums are maple.. and I thought.. what a coincidence..!

But then.. maple or not maple, which kits do you suggest me for "that kind of sound"? (bloc party in general, klaxons, moving units, soulwax.. so on)
Old 5th January 2011
  #16
a birch kit with evans G2 drumheads.
short but detailed sound.
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