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Picking the right drums
Old 5th June 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Picking the right drums

Hey all- I've been the owner of a sweet Pearl MMX kit (that Dennis Chambers played at a clinic- neat) for a few years now. The kit is very cool- 6 toms, a 16x20 bass drum a big rack, lots of cymbals, etc. The kit worked out great when I was recording (and playing guitar in) a progressive metal band ala Rush or Dream Theater, and has served me well on my newer stuff also.

But I've never been 100% happy with the kit's sound for my own personal music and playing and have been feeling adulterous. I'm thinking about getting some new drums for the express purpose of recording them. For this reason- I don't care about looks or even if any part of the kit is made by the same manufacturer.

If you were looking for really vibey pieces of a kit- say the ideal bass drum, the ideal couple of snares, toms, etc. - how would you set out finding the pieces? Or would you find a kit in some nice drum store that really struck you? Say price were not too much of an issue.
Old 6th June 2003
  #2
For snare (or hell, a whole kit if you're feeling spendy!), I'd recommend a Noble & Cooley Classic 5x14 (one-piece, steam bent maple shell with support hoops) or an Alloy Classic 4.75x14 (cast aluminum).

You should know I work for the company, but even if I didn't I'd still be recommending 'em! heh
Old 6th June 2003
  #3
Lives for gear
 

bleen,

I've got an alloy- it's my #1 snare for everything. No complaints, just looking for an alternate- I want something really big and deep. I pretty much only play bass and snare anyway ;-)
Old 6th June 2003
  #4
Howzabout a 7x14" Classic then?

Or maybe a custom ordered 8x14??!?
Old 6th June 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Well I'm not a metal guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I just want a snare that on tape will be like "wow, wtf? that is amazing." Something unique that really stands out- because the drums are going to be super sparse. BTW- how come there's no mention of Noble & Cooley on your (great) site?
Old 6th June 2003
  #6
Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
Well I'm not a metal guy by any stretch of the imagination, but I just want a snare that on tape will be like "wow, wtf? that is amazing." Something unique that really stands out- because the drums are going to be super sparse.
Try what Kenny Aronoff used to do on the John Mellonhead CD's - take a Ludwig Supraphonic and Black Beauty. Remove the top head from one and the bottom head from the other. Gaffer tape 'em together and whack away!

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
BTW- how come there's no mention of Noble & Cooley on your (great) site?
Thanks for the compliment - haven't had time since the move to update the site. I'm also in the process of building a studio, so I'll wait until it's further along and post news of it's imminent completion as well!
Old 6th June 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 

"Try what Kenny Aronoff used to do on the John Mellonhead CD's - take a Ludwig Supraphonic and Black Beauty. Remove the top head from one and the bottom head from the other. Gaffer tape 'em together and whack away!"

...yikes. Did he really do that? Anything I could download to get an idea of what that sounded like? ;-)
Old 6th June 2003
  #8
I read about this in an interview with Kenny in Modern Drummer back in the mid-80's - it was probably around the "Paper and Fire"-era of Mellonhead's music, but I don't know the album names...sorry!

BTW, I've added a N&C link on my site. Thanks for the prodding!
Old 6th June 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 

That's totally wild.
Old 6th June 2003
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
out1ear's Avatar
 

The drummer in my band has a noble and cooley alloy. I've recorded it many times and never been that impressed, but I suppose it depends on the song and the drummer. I liked the TAMA Bill Bruford signature snare allthough for a snare of it's size, it does seem to lack a little depth.

Ideal kick drum size(for me) is 22X19. My favorites so far have been DW and Gretsch.
Old 6th June 2003
  #11
I'd also add a Ludwig Supraphonic (like Kenny abused above), Gretsch round-badge chrome-over-brass 5x14, Brady 7x12 Jarrah wood, DW 5x13 bronze.

One of the best kick drums I ever heard was an 18x22 Fibes acrylic with Remo Powerstroke heads (solid front head) and nothing in the drum...very scary!
Old 6th June 2003
  #12
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bleen
For snare (or hell, a whole kit if you're feeling spendy!), I'd recommend a Noble & Cooley Classic 5x14 (one-piece, steam bent maple shell with support hoops) or an Alloy Classic 4.75x14 (cast aluminum).
I have every Noble and Cooley snare, well OK not all the sizes, but an Alloy, an SP, an SS and a CD maple. Every one is an awesome drum. Pick the style of sound you're looking for and tune to your pleasure, every one records wonderfully.

I have an '82 Gretsch kit in the studio, bought it from the guy who turned me onto N&C, which he now plays exclusively.
Old 6th June 2003
  #13
Gear Nut
 

IMHO you probably won't find a good kit in a store that sells guitar shaped wood products. Custom is the way to go.

DW is great, but my vote goes to Fibes and Noble & Cooley. Fibes sound kinda "vintage" and their kick drums sound fantastic. Stupid easy to record.

Noble & Cooley are more expensive but sound every bit as good as DW or Fibes. Different, but good. They have a more "modern" sound. Think of a _very_ good sounding Yamaha kit or something similar. I recorded a drummer in Atlanta that used a Noble & Cooley kit... I was floored. Again, stupid easy to record.

Love, D.
Old 6th June 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 

"I recorded a drummer in Atlanta that used a Noble & Cooley kit... I was floored. Again, stupid easy to record."

His name wasn't Kevin, was it?
Old 6th June 2003
  #15
Lives for gear
 
drundall's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by bleen
Try what Kenny Aronoff used to do on the John Mellonhead CD's - take a Ludwig Supraphonic and Black Beauty. Remove the top head from one and the bottom head from the other. Gaffer tape 'em together and whack away!
Wow. Great info, got to try it someday.
Old 6th June 2003
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

I don't know if that is true about Kenny. He definitely used the Pre-62 Supraphonic 400 for the majority of the records and on occassion the Black Beauty. I never heard of him taping the two together, but I will ask him about it.
Old 6th June 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 

I just got this response from Kenny on the dual drum thing:

Dewey, Yes I did that , but with a wood drum and a Ludwig. RUMBLE SEAT was
the song. : )
Old 6th June 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 

hah- thanks! btw- perfect sound looks like a perfect place!
Old 6th June 2003
  #19
I asked Jay here at N&C about the Aronoff snare and he said it was a Supraphonic and, coincidentally, a Noble & Cooley Classic.

We have the issue of MD around here, so I'll try to dig it up and post a quote.
Old 6th June 2003
  #20
Gear Nut
 
drummerman15's Avatar
 

If you want the "go-to" snare drum, try a slingerland radio king or a ludwig black beauty. Very hard to go wrong with either.
Old 6th June 2003
  #21
Lives for gear
 

Those Slingerlands are supposed to be the biz, right? How would you go about finding and selecting a great specimen?
Old 6th June 2003
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

The Trackmaster, Kenny's signature snare from Tama, absolutely rocks. He also has a 6.5x14 that is also killer. Must haves in any serious snare collection.
Old 6th June 2003
  #23
Gear Nut
 
drummerman15's Avatar
 

Quote:
Those Slingerlands are supposed to be the biz, right? How would you go about finding and selecting a great specimen?
eBay is my place, but also try vintagedrumcenter.com.
Old 6th June 2003
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Gretsch also seems to be a favorite for bass drums- do the new broadkaster kicks fare up to the older ones?
Old 6th June 2003
  #25
Gear Head
 

I'm on a constant quest for drum tone. I own 2 special edition hand engraved black beauty 6.5/14 and 3/13 both these pieces have incredible tone. Have a Brady 5/14 very cool and phatt, Ludwig super phonic 5.5/14 bought it in Virginia for a Gwar record I was producing a classic (early 60's). Love the Knobble and Cooley stuff, DW, OCP (orange county percussion, old camco stuff is incredible they speak, this NYC guy artie smith has a bunch of killer kits and is a tuning god.
On another note checked out Brian Blade and Dan Lanois at the Bowery Ball Room last week and Blade was the most amazing human behind a kit- he made "everything speak!
Old 7th June 2003
  #26
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
"I recorded a drummer in Atlanta that used a Noble & Cooley kit... I was floored. Again, stupid easy to record."

His name wasn't Kevin, was it?
Naw. Chris was his name. A guy who does mercenary type drumming, studio drumming and has a couple other things in the fire as well. A fine drummer.

Cheers,

D
Old 7th June 2003
  #27
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by DannyDay
Naw. Chris was his name. A guy who does mercenary type drumming, studio drumming and has a couple other things in the fire as well. A fine drummer.
Mercenary style drumming? I don't even know what you mean, but I like the descriptive.
Old 7th June 2003
  #28
Lives for gear
 

I think he just means he's a hired gun ;-)

But it'd be cool if you saw him crawling around in the jungles of south america following Tom Berenger around with a marching drum ;-)
Old 7th June 2003
  #29
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
I think he just means he's a hired gun ;-)
Yeah, that's most likely it. But I'm surrounded by mercenaries; session musicians, demo singers, guys who will play in broadway shows or for weddings, funerals, and supermarket openings. We're a bunch of folks who will do anything for money; infact, the only difference between me and a prostitute is that there are some things that THEY won't do for money.

But I had not heard the phrase 'mercenary drummer' before; I like it.
Old 8th June 2003
  #30
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
I think he just means he's a hired gun ;-)

But it'd be cool if you saw him crawling around in the jungles of south america following Tom Berenger around with a marching drum ;-)
Yeah, I meant hired gun. Sometimes "mercenary" is an good description of what he has to do at times. I feel sorry for him at times. :>)
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