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I need drum recording advice...


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As far as drum heads, what's your choice for recording, if you were going after a classic big tom sound? Are the oil filled still popular? What about dead-ringers?

I appreciate all insights to help out this non-drummer recordist.



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Hey, Tuchel:


There are some threads already on this forum regarding head combinations and drum tuning. You should check them out for more information.


As far as studio heads, though. It depends on what you are looking for.


Much of today's music uses drum heads that are more "open" in the sound. Using a Emperor Head on the top and Ambassador on the the bottom. Also, I use a Powerstroke three on the top and Ambassador on the bottom. The Powerstroke III is much like an old pinstripe.


If you are looking for more of the old Nigel Olson sound of early Elton John, this may be a great way to go.


Many folks stand by the use of Coated Ambassador on top and Clear Ambassador on the bottom.


It comes down to preference.



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I prefer single ply, coated heads; Aquarian Textured Coated heads to be exact.


The coated, single ply heads gives the best overall sound without coloring the overtone frequencies. Nice clear, sharp attack. Most professional engineers prefer single coated drumheads. When recording, it's always easy to remove unwanted frequencies rather trying to ADD them by boosting all over the place.


Again, it's all about what it is you are looking for sound wise. I can get a deep full sound out of my single ply Aquarians just by tuning the top head loose; getting the pitch from the bottom or resonant head (I use Aquarian Hi-Frequency).


If you are set on using two ply heads, you might want to check out the Aquarian Double Thin; "dry" yet sensitive with an excellent attack.


The other thing that is cool about Aquarian textured coated heads is that the coating lasts six to ten times longer than Remo coated heads.




Good luck!






Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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As far as dampening goes, I like to start out wide open, and if there are any annoying out of tune ringing overtones, while hitting the drum SOFTLY run your thumb around the outside of the head next to the rim. When you find the spot that makes that annoying overtone disappear, tape a small piece of cloth over that spot, with just enough pressure to make it stop. This usually works fairly well for me. As far as all of the overtones go, finish tracking with the drums wide open (except for the annoying tones we just got rid of), you can always go back and tweek the sound and take out whatever you don't like in the mix-down process. Remember, keep it as natural as possible while tracking.
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