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Playing with Subs


J. Dan

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Our drummer's in Cozumel this weekend. First of all, since it's about 0F here (-15 or so wind chill), I hate him already. But regardless, we have a fill-in drummer. He played with us once on short notice when our drummer came down with the flu a couple years ago. He was supposed to fill in with us the night after I messed up my hand and ended up needing surgery - so that one was cancelled.

 

Anyway, 2 things:

 

1) I'm humbled by how awesome this guy is. Sat in, never practiced with us, never played half the songs. Played our drummer's kit - which is 80's era Simmons pads (plywood covered with rubber in plastic octagon shaped shells), through a Roland drum brain, IEM's, a few songs sequenced - so click track. Have to change the drum patches for each song... you get the idea. Yet, I can count the flubs on one hand. A few of the tempos were different (not necessarily wrong), and some fo the patterns weren't exacly right. The pauses between songs were longer than normal. But God - under the circumstances, I think that's awesome!

 

2) All of the above was in addition to having to deal with a kick drum that wasn't always triggering. He had to play this busted up piece of plywood with scraps of rubber hanging off of it and a duct taped trigger that kept falling off. He's mid-song trying to tape the trigger back on, besides having to worry about what song is next, how it starts, and what patch the drum brain needs to be on. I was frankly embarrassed.

 

This leads me to my rant. There is no reason for anybody's gear to be at that level of disrepair. If I was leaving my gear for a sub to play, I would make sure it was tip-top. Quite honestly, we make enough money that he could replace the whole damn thing with a weekend's pay, yet his crap is always breaking and he does nothing about it. His extension cord that feeds his drum brain and IEM headphone amp crapped out a few weeks ago. After that, he borrowed my power strip once. I'm glad I checked everything out today before leaving for the gig, because I found he had not replaced it. I grabbed an ext cord out of our Christmas light bin to power the drums right before I left.

 

So anyway, tomorrow, I'm just going to go buy a Roland or equivilent Drum (kick) trigger head, and Just set the big Simmons octagon up in front of it for looks. When he gets back, I'll bill him for it. If he doesn't have the money, he can pay it off over time. Reasonable?

 

I mean, the minimum we clear each in a night is $450, and we just did NYE for over $1,300 cleared each for the night. I think he can afford a couple hundred dollar pad, right? Am I out of line? I'm just going to buy it, and if he has a problem, we'll replace him with the sub!

 

I don't want to give the wrong idea - I like him and he's an excellent drummer. But there is just no excuse at our level for not having your crap in line.

 

(rant over)

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Hey Dan,

 

Well, it certainly sounds reasonable on the face of it.

 

Maybe I'm misreading your post here, it can be hard to catch the nuances of communication via email, but it almost seems like you are hoping your drummer will have a problem with this, so that you can have it out with him over the state of his gear. Have you addressed this topic with him directly in the past?

 

But at any rate, it certainly seems reasonable to bring the gear up to snuff for your sub.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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Hey Dan,

 

Well, it certainly sounds reasonable on the face of it.

 

Maybe I'm misreading your post here, it can be hard to catch the nuances of communication via email, but it almost seems like you are hoping your drummer will have a problem with this, so that you can have it out with him over the state of his gear. Have you addressed this topic with him directly in the past?

 

But at any rate, it certainly seems reasonable to bring the gear up to snuff for your sub.

 

--Dave

 

NO, no, no - I didn't mean to give that impression. But I guess you have to know him. When things are smooth, they are great. But this is the sort of thing that could trigger a blow up - maybe I'm just gearing up for it. He's definitely the hardest personality in the band to deal with, but I don't want to replace him. i guess I want to make sure I'm on solid ground before things blow up. I don't want to be unreasonable. If I feel like I'm justified, then I'll be firm and he'll just have to deal with it. I want to be fair.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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If you're getting paid like a pro, you're gear should be of pro quality and taken care of like a pro. And a pro always has backups when gear breaks down.

 

If you're making that kind of money then you guys are an act to be taken seriously. Therefore your drummer must take his gear just as seriously.

 

No excuses!

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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If you're getting paid like a pro, you're gear should be of pro quality and taken care of like a pro. And a pro always has backups when gear breaks down.

 

If you're making that kind of money then you guys are an act to be taken seriously. Therefore your drummer must take his gear just as seriously.

 

No excuses!

 

I think the wig detracts somewhat from the equation.

 

http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/58/m_d76a158c32fd8e3332555e04fcb06955.jpg

No guitarists were harmed during the making of this message.

 

In general, harmonic complexity is inversely proportional to the ratio between chording and non-chording instruments.

 

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No, just my reply to DH - don't worry about it, it was OT and personal. Carry on.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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I guess I remember it wrong, but I thought you mentioned on another thread that the electronic drum kit that your drummer uses was actually purchased by the band.

 

If it's band owned, and would stay with the band when/if the drummer leaves, isn't it the band's responsibility to pony up for any repairs?

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I hate being embarrassed by someone else's incompetence.

 

And I saw that lack of caring about their gear in the studio a lot, in particular from drummers and keyboard players. They'd come in all worried about MY gear and their own wasn't ready to be recorded. Drummers are the worst, with squeeks, loose hardware, crappy heads, missing/worn out cymbal pads, and "dude, ya got a drum key?...." But keyboard players, usually with the most complex rigs of any of us, have messed up cables, patch levels all over the place, and please shoot me the next time I agree to record a guy with a B-3 and Leslie, because everyone is really proud to own them, but no one spends a dime to maintain them.

 

"If it's band owned, and would stay with the band when/if the drummer leaves, isn't it the band's responsibility to pony up for any repairs?"

 

If I'm giving you a tool for free which enables you to do your job and make lots of money, unless we agreed otherwise I would expect you to maintain it in good working order ALL THE TIME. Our end product depends upon it. Seems to me that the band did him a favor, and like all favors, the band is getting screwed for doing it. Make the lazy bastard buy his own gear.

 

 

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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Definitely a polarizing thread. Bandmates who continue to use chronically broken equipment drive me nutz! So do those who's primary selection criteria for their rig components is price. I try not to be a gear snob - but please, when everything is the cheapest thing you can find on Craigslist...
The SpaceNorman :freak:
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I hate being embarrassed by someone else's incompetence.

 

Drummers are the worst, with squeeks, loose hardware, crappy heads, missing/worn out cymbal pads, and "dude, ya got a drum key?...."

 

Yep, myself being a drum tech for so many years I can tell after the first 5 seconds of hearing a drummer if he's a bum or not. For some reason drummers don't know how to tune their own instrument. Its a bizarre phenomena. But whats worse is the rest of the band doesnt hear it either. How drums get over looked by an entire group of so called "musicians" baffles me lol

 

The incompetence of one is reflected on the entire group in my opinion.

 

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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Yep, myself being a drum tech for so many years I can tell after the first 5 seconds of hearing a drummer if he's a bum or not. For some reason drummers don't know how to tune their own instrument. Its a bizarre phenomena. But whats worse is the rest of the band doesnt hear it either. How drums get over looked by an entire group of so called "musicians" baffles me lol

 

A great drummer I played with over the last 4 years is so obsessive about his tone that he spends a good 15-20 minutes at soundcheck just tuning all his heads. And then, throughout the night, you could hear him tweaking his tuning in between songs. I don't really know what he searches for, but his drumming is incredible and he has one of the tightest sounding kits of any drummer I've played with.

Ian Benhamou

Keyboards/Guitar/Vocals

 

[url:https://www.facebook.com/OfficialTheMusicalBox/]The Musical Box[/url]

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If you're getting paid like a pro, you're gear should be of pro quality and taken care of like a pro. And a pro always has backups when gear breaks down.

 

If you're making that kind of money then you guys are an act to be taken seriously. Therefore your drummer must take his gear just as seriously.

 

No excuses!

 

I think the wig detracts somewhat from the equation.

 

http://c2.ac-images.myspacecdn.com/images01/58/m_d76a158c32fd8e3332555e04fcb06955.jpg

 

I don't know if it's the wig, really, so much as the head band. ;)

 

Hi Dan! :wave:

 

--Dave

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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I guess I remember it wrong, but I thought you mentioned on another thread that the electronic drum kit that your drummer uses was actually purchased by the band.

 

If it's band owned, and would stay with the band when/if the drummer leaves, isn't it the band's responsibility to pony up for any repairs?

 

When the original drummer left the band, we bought the set since he had no other use for a set 80's vintage Simmons pads, and it kept the new drummer from having to go find a set and buy them. That was 5 years ago. I don't know if any of those pads still remain, as he's replaced some with others found on ebay as they crapped out. Yes, we bought it initially, but with the money he's made from this band over the last 5 years, I think he should be expected to maintain it. It's not just the kick, his pedal's always breaking, cords going bad, etc. If something of mine goes out during a gig, I try to have it resolved by the next one. He'll just keep fighting through gigs with the same unresolved equipment issues.

 

I don't know if it's the wig, really, so much as the head band. ;)

 

Hi Dan! :wave:

 

--Dave

 

Yeah but with the swiss precision of that Swatch, you know I'm keeping good time!!!

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Update: Our drummer's back from vacation and I talked to him. He said it probably wasn't triggering right because at the end of the night he sometimes turns up the threshold on the kick so he can do fast double kick without false triggering and he forgot to turn it back down.

 

He also said he LIKES it all busted up because it has more give like a real kick (instead of plywood), and it doesn't bust up his pedals as much.

 

He's going to come up to the gig before we start and go over it, maybe bringing a new trigger, and make sure everything's set up right.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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A great drummer I played with over the last 4 years is so obsessive about his tone that he spends a good 15-20 minutes at soundcheck just tuning ...

 

 

That is wonderful, but he should be doing this on his time, not yours. (Usually, with an instrument that requires extra attention the tech or player shows up early.)

 

which brings up another point how many of you guys end up rehearsing at the drummers house?

"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."

 

Steve Martin

 

Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.

 

 

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which brings up another point how many of you guys end up rehearsing at the drummers house?

 

Yep!

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Well, I apparently forgot to knock on wood or something.

 

First of all, our regular drummer showed up before his dinner date with his fiance, and re-mounted the trigger, adjusted the threshold, and gave me 2 spare triggers. On top of that, I realized that our fill-in drummer was using soft beaters on his kick pedal and I recall our drummer saying they don't work. So he used our drummer's hard beaters.

 

That ended up being the least of my problems. 10 min before start, my main keyboard started cycling power about every 10 sec. Given it takes about that long to boot, pretty much unusable. I have a spare but it was at home. I called my wife. My 1yr old and 4 yr old were both in bed and it's like 5 deg outside. I called a buddy of mine (also a drummer who's filled in before) who lives close to my house. He ran over, picked up my spare keyboard, and brought it out to me - had it to me about 1/3 through the first set.

 

Ultimately, since I have 2 boards, I made the messed up one work for the 1st set. I figured out it was heat. If I turned it off for a while, once I turned it on, it would be OK for a song or 2. So I did as much as I could on the other keyboard (Korg Triton Pro), and when I HAD to use the other board, I'd fire it up. During the first set, it died before the end of 3 songs, but close enough to the end (and I had backup patches lined up on the Korg) that I made it through.

 

1st break I swapped out the board and had no more problems all night.

 

Our fill-in drummer was AWESEOME tonight!!! and we had a great crowd. Coincidentally, 2 ex-drummers showed up tonight. Weird.

Dan

 

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.

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Dan, glad to hear a tribe member stepped in and knocked out the gig. Definitely keep that number in your rolodex.

 

When it comes to maintaining gear, unfortunately, not every muso cares to the same degree. Sometimes, leadership has to demand it. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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Dan,

 

I hope this doesn't come across as too harsh, but perhaps a bit of "physician heal thyself" could apply to you and your rig as well? I seem to recall you posting previously about problems with your Fusion (I'm assuming that's the board that went down last night), and although having a spare is great, it doesn't do you much good if it's not on the job with you when you need it.

 

If you don't want to haul the spare with you to every gig, maybe it's time for you to invest some of your very nice gigging cash in more reliable equipment for yourself as well?

 

Tough love, brother. Tough love. ;)

 

Noah

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It seems that stuff worked out eventually. Glad for you. Regarding the subject - my bass player never cares for his equipment. His cords are always busted, never has a spare battery. Doesn't own a spare instrument.

Stage: MOX6, V-machine, and Roland AX7

Rolls PM351 for IEMs.

Home/recording: Roland FP4, a few guitars

 

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Is it wrong to practice at the drummers? Typically they have the most gear to move. I practice at my drummers. He has a great setup in an easy access basement. Full Sonar setup to record, PA, mics, stands- I leave a practice amp and spare seat there and bring in whatever keys I need for that particular rehearsal.

 

Our former guitar player was notorious for failing gear. One of the reasons we got rid of him. He used a 30 year old Peavy chorus amp and he'd complain about "power surges" because his amp would drop in volume. Meanwhile everyone else was on the same power and worked perfectly. He had a dozen foot pedals and half the patch cords were always failing. He'd replace a bad one, and throw it back in his bag, to be reused again.

Live: Korg Kronos 2 88, Nord Electro 5d Nord Lead A1

Toys: Roland FA08, Novation Ultranova, Moog LP, Roland SP-404SX, Roland JX10,Emu MK6

www.bksband.com

www.echoesrocks.com

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He'd replace a bad one, and throw it back in his bag, to be reused again.

 

Yeah, what is it with that? I've known guys who do that. I even see it in my day job with ethernet cables. WTF? We just spent 30 minutes troubleshooting a live network to find a bad cable, and you throw it back in the bag?

 

When I find bad cables or cord I literally cut them in half if there isn't a trash can nearby. I don't want to forget that it's bad and pick it up on the way out.

 

--Dave

 

Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.

 

My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/

 

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The sound guy for one of the bands I play in puts masking tape on any bad cable he finds marked FU. Throws them in a different case and takes them home and fixes them. The bass player, who owns the PA, bought really cheap cables so this happens more than it should. Once the sound guy repairs a cable we never have an issue with them again. The sound guy is also a drummer and his kit is immaculate.

 

Jamie

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A great drummer I played with over the last 4 years is so obsessive about his tone that he spends a good 15-20 minutes at soundcheck just tuning ...

 

 

That is wonderful, but he should be doing this on his time, not yours. (Usually, with an instrument that requires extra attention the tech or player shows up early.)

 

which brings up another point how many of you guys end up rehearsing at the drummers house?

 

That's kind of an ignorant statement, especially for a guy with the name "Studios" in his moniker. Drums, like every other physical instrument, go through shifts when being moved, banged, transported, packed and unpacked, and of course are subject to climate changes, and room acoustics like every other instrument. It shows that the guy KNOWS about his instrument and cares enough to make it right at the gig that he tunes it before the gig. :thu:

 

But thanks for sharing.

Hitting "Play" does NOT constitute live performance. -Me.
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A great drummer I played with over the last 4 years is so obsessive about his tone that he spends a good 15-20 minutes at soundcheck just tuning ...

 

 

That is wonderful, but he should be doing this on his time, not yours. (Usually, with an instrument that requires extra attention the tech or player shows up early.)

 

which brings up another point how many of you guys end up rehearsing at the drummers house?

 

That's kind of an ignorant statement, especially for a guy with the name "Studios" in his moniker. Drums, like every other physical instrument, goes through shifts when being moved, banged, transported, packed and unpacked, and of course is subject to climate changes, and room acoustics like every other instruments. It shows that the guy KNOWS about his instrument and cares enough to make it right at the gig that he tunes it before the gig :thu: .

 

But thanks for sharing.

 

But the biggie is drums are severely affected by hot/cold changes in environment. For example, when driving to a gig an hour in the snow like up here in detroit area, the drums skins tighten RIGHT UP while in the trailer, and need to be re tuned. Drums need to be tuned on stage before every gig period! This must be standard procedure.

-Greg

Motif XS8, MOXF8, Hammond XK1c, Vent

Rhodes Mark II 88 suitcase, Yamaha P255

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