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Need A Good Drum Kit for Studio Use
Old 21st September 2005
  #1
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obostic's Avatar
 

Need A Good Drum Kit for Studio Use

Dear Slutz,

I would like to know what type of Drum kit a proficient drummer would like to see in a studio environment. I am about to purchase a kit for the studio and need some recommendations. I was considering DW, but what are other contenders in that class?

Thanks in advance.

Old 21st September 2005
  #2
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ryguydrum@netsc's Avatar
 

Can't go wrong with a DW. You could also look at any high end Yamaha drums, High end Pearl drums, High end Ludwig, High end Gretsch, Pork Pie, OCDP, blah, blah blah. Really if you have a kick ass drummer, he/she will make anything sound good. But if you are going to go with a company who makes drums for all skill levels, generally the higher quality stuff sounds better. . .but again, Steve Gadd could kill on a $20 no name kit from K-Mart.
Good luck
Ryan
Old 21st September 2005
  #3
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KurtR's Avatar
 

If you want something "cool" and great sounding...
http://www.tama.com/drums/bubinga_omnitune.asp

It has a pretty intresting tuning system.

Kenny Aronoff uses it and I think he knows what to use in the studio...
Old 21st September 2005
  #4
Gear Nut
 

pearl masters custom
Old 21st September 2005
  #5
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obostic's Avatar
 

Yeah,

Steve Gadd is fantastic and has more energy than a sixteen year old kid when he plays drums. I get thirsty just watching him play on DVD!

Old 21st September 2005
  #6
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KurtR's Avatar
 

almost forgot...

For snares Dunnett and Brady make some very nice ones!
Old 21st September 2005
  #7
84K
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Best kit I have ever heard is a DW. I know a drummer who has a Yamaha Custom Recording kit that (with his masterful tuning) destroys anything (You'd have to hear this dude's drums.... even I sound good when I hit them... and I suck at drums ). Pork Pie, Brady and Spaun are also very note worthy and relatively new to the scene. thumbsup
Old 21st September 2005
  #8
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Gretch kits with a 22" kick drum are very popular in pro studios. The "Radio King" snare drum is another mainstay of the studio. DW pedals are very popular- their double bass drum pedal with the chain drive connector rod setup is probably like the most popular pedal contraption ever. You can play single pedal, but then you can also use your other foot which has its own pedal off to the side. So you are only playing on one bass drum, but you get two pedals so you can go twice as fast. Most drummers are finicky about their pedals and will often bring their own. But there's a good chance they use that exact same DW thing anyway!

I don't think anybody could call you a moron if you had those three things in your studio.
Old 21st September 2005
  #9
Gear Nut
 

If the drums are for recording only...Go with a DW or Yamaha. Really, all the major player's "high end" drums are fine. It's the mid and low level kits that sets each apart. The Yamaha recording customs have a solid studio history. Also, Yamaha's lower line drums seem to be of really high quality. I have not been impressed with DW's pacific line. I would only go with Ludwig if you plan on buying their top of the line Maple customs. Tama has good drums through all thier lines. I'm not much of a Pearl fan...but I've never owned them. Really a big thing, as a drummer myself, that can ruin a good recording is loose/noisy hardware. Keep bass drum pedal chains and High Hat clutch/pedals lubed. Cymbal stand stems need to have plastic sleeves, tighten loose lugs etc.... Even the drummers throne must be noise free. A good hardware "going over" before each session will help tremendously. Also, if the funds are available, a couple of snare drums. Even vintage ones. Just like microphones, you can never have enough snare drums. Vintage, new, wood, metal (less for recording), each has a special charactoristic. The old Ludwig and Slingerlands really stand out. Cheap cymbals will definatly sound cheap when recorded. Many drummers may bring their own cymbals and snare drums. But, if they are low quality...it will stand out. The Neil Peart Paragon cymbal line is a good place to start. Also, many (probably most) studios use smaller bass drums. You can make a 20 inch bass drum sound huge in a studio. But, the larger 22 and 24 inch bass drums need a lot of doctoring if you want to have the ability to record variety of sound styles. Just a few thoughts
Old 21st September 2005
  #10
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SLy_drums's Avatar
 

We personnaly have both a Premier Signia Maple and a Pearl Master Studio (BRX = birch).
I'd say go for a sort of custom kit, with assembled parts of different models.
The Premier Signia sounds awesome, especially the toms, I never heard such a huge tom sound : roundess, warmness, resonant, both "open" and deep. I love them. They have a personnality that I never heard out there. Plus you can get them very cheap now (Premier doesn't manufacture them anymore, they are replaced with the famous Premier Series).
When it comes to the bass drum, I think OCDP, DW or Gretsch (22x18 or maybe 20x18 would be a good choice, not more) will do the job very well.
To have a bunch of snare drums is always great as you can really choose what matches the songs. 4 or 5 snares is not too much. 1 maple, 1 birch, 1 aluminium, 1 brass, 1 steel for instance... ; each different depth.
Cymbals : I love Sabian (HHX, HH and AAX series for the studio... HHX hats mmmmmmh), and also Zildjian (Avedis, A Custom, K, K Custom... you can't go wrong there). The top would be to have 2 different cymbal sets : one medium typed (HH, HHX), and one more brilliant (A Custom, AAX...).
Huge drum sound with all that stuff ! thumbsup
Old 21st September 2005
  #11
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brendondp's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KurtR
Kenny Aronoff uses it and I think he knows what to use in the studio...
Yep, that's true. And it's no less "true" in spite of the fact that he has a massive endorsement deal with Tama that's been in place for over a decade.

And it's no less "true" that major company endorsed session guys frequently use stuff from, say, Ross Garfield's Drum Doctors, in spite of the fact that the gear used on actual sessions is NOT that of the endorsed company.

In fact, several major company endorsed session guys have kits made up from older shells (from Rogers, Ludwig, Gretsch, etc) fitted with hardware and badging from their endorsed company.

My two cents is this:

Brand is irrelevant. Shell composition is irrelevant. Relative age is irrelevant.

Get something with shells that stay in round, can be tuned with a large tuning range, stays in tune, can accept a wide range of heads (Pinstripes to Coated single-plys), has some sort of reliable system for placing toms and cymbals in place, and avoids extreme sizing (28" kicks, 6" toms) and you'll be fine.

Again, brand, shell composition and relative age is irrelevant.

Unless you feel the need to attract business by the brand of your gear, walking into a studio and seeing a flashy, big-name kit says more about your budget than it does anything about the expertise of your staff in getting good drum sounds.

Cheers,

bdp
Old 21st September 2005
  #12
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My own personal feeling when I walk into a new studio and see a house kit, or for that matter am on tour and have to use a rental kit, is that nowadays I'm most happy to see a Yamaha......
Don't get me wrong, DW make GREAT drums (or they used to..... since they stopped using Keller shells there have certainly been issues with 'roundness'), as do Pearl and Tama...... and I've made good sounding records with all of those makes. My own personal choice is Gretsch - I have an early 80's and an early 90's.....
BUT..... I hand picked my Gretsch's, and it's well looked after....
I've played some DW's that have been absolutely terrible, and I also find that the hardware tends to 'die' a little after a lot of abuse (I've stopped requesting DW as a rental kit for exactly that reason - the tom mounts get so 'soggy' that the drums don't stay where you put them!
Yamaha shells are probably the most consistent on the market, and I'd be really surprised if anybody disagreed that their hardware is unsurpassed.
I've played Yamaha rental kits that have seen a lot of abuse, over a long period, and they are still totally playable... I'm sure any rental company would say much the same..... Yamaha are very solid.
I think if you're buying something that's going to see a lot of use and hopefully last a long time, then the Yamahas would be top of my list. I would back that up by saying that ALL the house kits that I've used recently have been Yamaha, and I've not been disapointed.
BUT get a couple of DW kick pedals heh
Old 21st September 2005
  #13
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I bought a Sonor Delite maple kit for my studio. Couldn't be happier. I've gotten fantastic jazz drum sounds with it when you tune the toms a little higher. My kick is a 22X17. I get super big drum sounds with it when I tune them lower. Great rock kit but with a really pure drum sound. Easy to tune as well. My drummer plays a DW kit and I love that as well. They don't really sound anything alike though. The Sonor is way more pure in the note of the drum with more depth. The DW is super beefy and big. The DW is definitley hard to get sounding good but stays in tune longer than the Sonor once you get it. The kick drum sounds amazing with just a little muffling, almost wide open. I have a Sonor 6X14 maple delite snare that just kills and a DW
6 1/2X14 Collectors Series Copper drum that is like a tank. Great rock snare. I love drums.
Old 21st September 2005
  #14
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PhilE's Avatar
Yamaha

BUT! thats only cos they're safe... as an engineer I like to see vintage kits even though they can be a bi*ch to get the sound from it's the best sound when it pops out!
Get a few snares and alt hats and a bigger kick (as well) instead of spending all that cash on DW!
Old 21st September 2005
  #15
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I'm with Brendon on this. I have Ludwig Custom maples & Yamaha's at my place. But my "el cheapo" partner says get a set of Mapex drums...only $800 including stands. So I did. They are so "unslutty", it still bugs me 'cause I'm real slutty.

But I've got to say tha they record really well. No rattling, nice small lugs etc. But the main thing for me is you gotta have good cymbals, hats, and snares. That's where you should spend the big money. We recently replaced a ride cymbal with a Paiste signature series ride (for eg) and what a difference. The ride sounded great, but more importantly it added so much air to the songs themselves - it's like we eq'd the 2 bus when we didn't. Same with the hats. And what can you say about snares? 2nd biggest sound of a song, it better be good.

So for us, our hats and cymbals are worth more than the kit. One of our snares is worth more than the kit. That's where we spent the money. The shells get new skins, are tuned properly, and always sound good, but we are not invested heavily into them.
Old 21st September 2005
  #16
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RecTeach's Avatar
 

As a percussionist I can tell you my thoughts...

All around great sounding kit: Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute with the vintage finish. Very versitle tuning wise; a good WOW factor look with the natural shell color and the vinish ages slightly over time and gets darker... also very cool.

Extra snares: first the 4x14maple that comes with the Yamaha kit is fantastic so don't over look it as you might do with most "bundled" snares. Other choices would be (in particular order): Yamaha Brass shell (4x14), Brady Bubinga (4x13 or 4x14), Dunnett 5x14 Titanium, Dunnett 4x13 Solid Copper, Yamaha 6x14 Birch and I could keep going on and on....

Hope this helps!
Old 21st September 2005
  #17
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obostic's Avatar
 

This is why I love Slutz University! Don't know what I'd do without you guys. heh

Thanks for all the replies.
Old 21st September 2005
  #18
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Alexi's Avatar
 

an old Sonor 3000 (birch shell) or a starclassic Performer (Birch shell)
Old 21st September 2005
  #19
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dim light's Avatar
 

Yes Sonor Delite is awesome - ! -
Old 21st September 2005
  #20
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Igotsoul4u's Avatar
DW overall for me, especially the kicks. I am drooling.
Old 21st September 2005
  #21
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zarembo's Avatar
 

compare/contrast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexi
an old Sonor 3000 (birch shell) or a starclassic Performer (Birch shell)
What is the sound of Birch?

I'm pretty familiar with maple in drums and guitar/bass necks/bodies

but Birch is a mystery...

fanks!
Old 21st September 2005
  #22
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Yamaha recording customs are great. I personally love my Pearl Masters Custom (maple) which is fatter than fat, due to the maple and thin shells.

For a all-round recording kit, I'd go for one of the Yamaha's with at least something like a Pearl sensitone brass snare and a wood snare.

But I agree that any high-end kit will do fine with a set of new, well-tuned coated ambassadors.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 21st September 2005
  #23
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Bishbashbosh's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zarembo
What is the sound of Birch?

I'm pretty familiar with maple in drums and guitar/bass necks/bodies

but Birch is a mystery...

fanks!
Sound of birch? Yamaha Recording Custom.... Also known as the 9000. The most recorded drums in history...... Maybe a fraction darker in tone than maple, but not as much difference as tuning the drum up, or changing the heads. The sustain of birch is also slightly shorter and more focused than maple.

Honestly, if you're gonna buy a house kit for your studio, get a Yamaha..... Unless you know EXACTLY what you're doing, or can guarantee that you're only gonna ever do one style of music, they're the safe choice.
The shells are really consistent, the hardware lasts forever, and they sound good in pretty much any room.
There's a reason why they're so popular- it's cos they're well built. The drum equivalent of a 1073..... You can use it on most stuff and it'll be great.
Old 22nd September 2005
  #24
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I'm not much of a drummer, but I have a DW. Dunnett snares also rock.

Here's a company you probably haven't heard of. I record this guy and his drums always sound great.

Ford Drums
Old 22nd September 2005
  #25
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Jamz's Avatar
Recorded a 17 year old kid that was exceptional. His Mapex sounded exceptional.

I have 2 sets of black Yamaha Custom Recording drums. A little over 20 years old.
Toms: 8,10, 12, 13, 14. Fl Tms: 14, 16 Bds: 20, 22.
Same brand and color...I can mix and match according to songs needs.

They've been extremely consistent sounding in both studio and live situations.
I've owned Slingerland, Gretcsh, Tama, Pearl and Ludwig. All fine. Liked some more than others but I think the Yamahas "sing" like none of the above.
While walking through GC I played a set of DWs that blew me away. However, the other DWs that were set up didn't sound nearly as good.
Ultimately, I do believe it's how the drums are tuned and played.

To me the primary variables that set manufacturers apart are:
- Consistency of round & bevel
- Lug system
- Mounts
- Hardware
- Finish

Collecting snares is addictive...not as bad as mics...but close.

If name recognition is important than do what you must. Beware of fads.
I've endured the oversized tom craze of the 70's and the deep sized drums of the 80's. Mine are normal dimension drums. Have recorded fine in all genres so far.

On a tight budget: Buy a set of Mapex with Yamaha hardware. Replace the front head of the Mapex bass drum with a Yamaha tagged head. Hire someone whose drum sound you like to tune the drums.
Old 22nd September 2005
  #26
Here for the gear
 

I'm all about DW, Sonor or some OC drums, in that order. Since this is a big investment, I'd suggest taking a few drummers with you to the music store, If at all possible. One that sucks but thinks he's Danny Carey (repreesntative of about 80-90% of drummers), One that's good, and one who blows everyone away so you can hear how they sound when *really* played. figure out which works best across the board and which fits our sense of aesthetic the best.

I'd stick with maple shells, but that's because they've always sounded best to me. Some people like birch, others swear by . . .others. Someone sugested composition isn't important, but given the physics of sound I'm not sure how that's possible. The best made drums will have the widest tuning possibilities and widest sweet spot for each drum, so if you can try tweeking the heads whil you're auditioning the set, see how far out you can take them and still make them sound good (this is great excersice when the drummer blows)

Obviously check for warped shells, cracks, splinters around the rims, etc.

then, make your decision.

Hope this helps!
Old 22nd September 2005
  #27
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True North's Avatar
 

I own three kits - one Gretsch, Yamaha Recording Custom and Arbiter (English brand , one lug tuning). I find that a recording series kit is the best is the best for recording (imagine that). The combination of Birch shells and full shell lugs help keep the overtunes to acceptable levels. Yet with the right heads and tuning they can also sound open as well - maybe not as open as my Gretsch but good enough.

I agree that the player will make a big difference but you are not always going to get great players in your studio. The Yamaha's are the most forgiving for people who don't know how to tune or play all that well. You can usually get useable to great sounds up and running fairly quickly.

As far as snares, although I have never been a fan of Yamaha snares I picked up a Yamaha Oak Series Snare (14" x 5 1/2") and it sounds great. Other than that I like to go my Black Beauty (Brass 14" x 6"), Brady Bubinga Stave Shell Snare (14" x 5 1/2") and sometimes I pull out the big guns with my Tama Superstar 14" x 8 1/2 - hope that helps cheers!
Old 22nd September 2005
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obostic
Dear Slutz,

I would like to know what type of Drum kit a proficient drummer would like to see in a studio environment. I am about to purchase a kit for the studio and need some recommendations. I was considering DW, but what are other contenders in that class?

Thanks in advance.

I've got a Gretsch kit for sale and I live in the Chicago area.....

it's the Catalina elite series (fusion sizes) with Mahogany shells...really cool black walnut finish and natural maple drum hoops....

cymbals are all Zildjian with HHX Sabian Evolution hats....I'll even throw in the cases....

the heads are practically new with the EMAD on the kick batter and Evans internal kick muffler system...

it's considered the middle line of the newer Gretsch's and it records very well....

$1100 would take it all...also have pix..
Old 22nd September 2005
  #29
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obostic's Avatar
 

Thanks Guys,

A very talented studio drummer and I decided to go with DW. We tried the Pearl Master Customs and Yamaha Pro kits and to my ears, the DW sound was what I was after as far as an overall studio kit goes. I ended up going with a five piece lacquer finish candy apple red kit, 9000 series hardware, and various assortments of Zildjian ride and crash cymbals (A, K customs) and the New beat hi-hat. The Unfortunate side of providing a house kit is now; I must have on hand an assortment of snares for the studio. Fortunately, you guys have provided me with a solid starting point to audition addition snares. Again, this thread has been very informative.

Thanks all,
Old 22nd September 2005
  #30
84K
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Congrats! Great choice on everything (including cymbals). Best Of Luck!
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