thread: Drum Tuning
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Old 14th May 2011
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phill brown's Avatar

Originally Posted by 12ax7 View Post
I'm one of those engineers who keeps a drum key on his key chain, because I've found that it's my best "go to" knob to tweak in order to get a good drum sound.

When working with some drummers, I never really have to use it (or wouldn't even dare).

...But I've also found that a lot of drummers actually welcome the idea of having someone spend their time with it, and have even had a few call me in to tune their drums for a session that I otherwise wouldn't even be working on.

So I'm always looking to pick the brains of anyone with an opinion on these matters.

Therefore, since I've always admired the drum sounds on the recordings you've done, I'd love to know anything you may have to say about drum tuning/dampening, etc.

The 1970's drum sound was very dead. Single skins, mic's inside the toms. Lots of dampening and tea towels, close micing. For the past 25 years I have gone for a more 'live' drum sounds. Double skin, little dampening, slightly 'ringy' snare, room mic's.. Although I have worked with many many drummers over the years I have been fortunate most of the time to have guys who know how to tune and get the sounds suggested. Although I used to play drums as a kid - I have never been good at tuning!