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advice on studio drum kit


Scott Fehl

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Hello all,

 

I am looking to get a drum kit for studio use only, so DB SPL is not an issue. I play a little bit of everyting, including drums, but have payed more attention to the tones of different types of guitars, keyboards, & recording gear than I have drum types. The problem is that I never payed much attention to what type of kits the studio and drummers I have worked with had.

 

The type of music I do changes somewhat but is a blend of experimental/jazz/rock/ and the occasional funk side project. NO grunge, metal, polka, rap/metal....etc...

 

I know what kind of cymbals I prefer: Zildgen A and custom A, and I have a couple snares that I like for studio use, Pearl brass free-floating 5" and 3.5" hand hammered (both 14").

 

I prefer more of natural rounder, but punchy sound. I like to have depth and space in my recordings, not compressed in your face type drum sounds. I like a fair amount of resonance in my drum tones, and generally do not dampen the life out of them.

 

So what should I get, in terms of brands, models, and materials?

 

I got a lot of other gear to buy now, so i can't spend $3+k on a kit now. Also, if I need to comprimise, I would rather comprimise on tom tone than kick. Since I have everything else, I just need a kick, two rack toms, and a floor tom. Dont' need the double kick, 6 tom Alex VanHalen set-up.

 

Whadda ya'll think?

 

 

This message has been edited by Scott Fehl on 05-31-2001 at 04:04 PM

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Hey, Scott:

 

Check out this thread from a while back. I think it will help:

 

http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/Forum6/HTML/000027.html

 

You are correct to consider the importance of your basics (bass drum and snare) as primary, but if you do your homework and can find a good used drumset, you should be able to find a kit where *all* the drums sound great.

 

Hope this helps.

DJ

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Hey DJ...any luck on finding a quality Jr. Kit...I've looked at the CB stuff and it's just too cheap and shitty sounding. I have a full size kit my son has been playing (you'd be blown away at how well he does...I can't keep him away from it. He's going to be 2 years old in July...I'd like to buy him a drum set that he can reach most everything on but I want it to last him and I want it to sound good.

 

Any ideas?

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I checked out some of the other threads, many of which place importance on drum heads, tuning, room acoustics, and hardware.

 

From by recording and design background I am very familiar with the first 3, but don't know much about hardware quality. What types of brands, materials, and design constitute "good" hardware?

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Originally posted by Steve LeBlanc:

Hey DJ...any luck on finding a quality Jr. Kit...I've looked at the CB stuff and it's just too cheap and shitty sounding. I have a full size kit my son has been playing (you'd be blown away at how well he does...I can't keep him away from it. He's going to be 2 years old in July...I'd like to buy him a drum set that he can reach most everything on but I want it to last him and I want it to sound good.

 

Any ideas?

 

Hey, Steve:

This is my best advice! Buz King, former product manager for Sonor and Slingerland, has started his own company called King Drum USA. (no web-site yet) His starter kit is the best I have ever seen.

They are basically a miniature Slingerland-looking kit with real maple shells, lugs, hoops, etc. Looks like the kit uses a 16" bass drum, 8" and 10" mounted toms, and a 12" Floor tom. The snare is a 4"X10". All hardware is small, but of good quality.

I will try to get a picture up for you.

The contact info:

Buz King (yes, this is his real name!)

King Drum - Koenig Inc.

P.O. Box 6595

Ashland, VA 23005

804-798-7320 ph

804-708-7323 fax

 

I will let you know when I get an image!

Thanks,

DJ

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Originally posted by Scott Fehl:

I checked out some of the other threads, many of which place importance on drum heads, tuning, room acoustics, and hardware.

 

From by recording and design background I am very familiar with the first 3, but don't know much about hardware quality. What types of brands, materials, and design constitute "good" hardware?

 

 

Hey, Scott:

Drums are like a good sleeping pillow. Either you like it ... or you don't!

Most high-end drums are fairly equal.

I personally use DW. I love them. Know that sounds odd, considering my back-ground with Mapex and Slingerland, but I look towards the overall offering by a company. Their hardware is top drawer.

Bart Elliott who posts quite a bit on this site uses and endorses Yamaha. He will tell you that Yamaha is top drawer and will be right.

I have many friends that use and endorse Pearl. They will tell you it is the best.

Personal taste comes into play here.

The bottom line... do not compromise on quality for cost.

You will be sorry in the long run. Better to hold off and save your money and buy quality verses settling for second best in the short.

I also have to say that there are some great quality mid-line sets that will work great for you as well.

Hopefully others will be able to help.

Thanks,

DJ

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They are basically a miniature Slingerland-looking kit with real maple shells, lugs, hoops, etc. Looks like the kit uses a 16" bass drum, 8" and 10" mounted toms, and a 12" Floor tom. The snare is a 4"X10". All hardware is small, but of good quality.

I will try to get a picture up for you.

 

Thanks Dendy, that sounds like exactly what I'm looking for.

 

As far as the topic goes...a good friend of mine just bought a Tama Swingstar kit and is very happy with it...American Musical Supply sells a 5 piece for under $500.

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First, let me appologize for asking what may be a very broad/ lame question. I know what type of sound I like, but I am not a drummer. I am usually hanging out on George's forum talking about mega-geek stuff.

 

I agree with the principle of spending more on better quality gear. However I have been using that philosophy my whole life on everything else; computer, pre-amps, guitars, mics, samplers, compressors, ect.....

 

Spending $3500 on kit means no EL7 FATSO for the rest of the year. I have been in major gear acquisition mode, and have to draw the line somewhere.

 

What do you think about a birch Tama Starclassic? (I think a kick & 3 toms goes for about $1300). Pearl also has something in this price range as well. Any thoughts on these? I would like to stay in the under $1500 range, but don't expect to get anything decent under $1000.

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Hey, Scott:

 

Have you thought about going with a high end used?

 

You can often find a kit that was well maintained and rarely played.

 

You also can find drum nuts like me that so very well maintain their gear!

 

Ebay is also a great source. Unlike electronic gear that you may want to purchase new to obtain the warranty, you can hardly go wrong with good quality used drums.

 

Thoughts?

 

DJ

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I have no problem with used gear, as long as I know what i am looking for in terms of wear and abuse. Can hoops go out of true if not maintained properly, can the wood warp or develop stress marks that may not be visible but get worse over time. I suppose hardware can strip out. Is there something in particular to look out for: or if it looks good and sounds good, it is good?

 

 

 

I realize that you have been around for awhile and have affiliations with manufactures, but is that a polite way of saying not to waste my money on a starclassic? http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

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Hey, Scott:

 

I have not had any personal experience with Tama. I know several folks that have worked with them and know many folks that play the product.

 

Most drummers that I know use Tama for live work. I have not seen that much of the product floating in studios.

 

As I mentioned, it will really come down to personal taste.

 

DJ

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like I said, my friend has a birch pearl and it is punchy.

 

you ought to look at some used kits and put the extra 3 grand you will save in some killer mics or pres or heads/cymbals

 

look long and hard and use the "force" /pray, meditate, get expert opinions (like mine for example 'see above')

 

I would try to listen to as many kits as I could and don't get stuck on brand names...get out of the music stores for a while and then go back to them...don't rush and you will be happier.

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Thanks for the input guys.

 

I realize this was a very broad question that often comes down to personal taste. I was kind of looking to see if anyone thought "stay away from **blank**, its a pain to tune, sounds like cardboard, and is not very durable".

 

But it sounds like if you get the mid-high to high end product from any manufacture it will be good but different, just a matter of taste. I tried out some kits last night, and I liked how the Pearl Masters Studio Birch sounded, as well as a DW kit.

 

 

Thanks again!!

 

I got another question about cymbals, but I will start a new thread.

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As an engineer, I have to say that the kit I most like to see out in the room is a DW. The most important points for me are that it can cover a lot of different drummers and styles. A pounder won't fold it, a weaker drummer will still have life and tone. Its richness presents lots of frequencies, so lots of types of music can be covered with the right eq.
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My favourite drums to record are Sonor (in particular "Hi-Lites"). I've recorded most drum brands with good results, but for me, the Sonors give a bigger, more resonant sound with less effort than any drums I've ever come across. I bought some Hi-Lites used for a pretty cheap price, and some of the drummers that have recorded using mine, ended up buying some for themselves! YMMV!

 

Brent

Brent Bodrug

www.bgroupmusic.com

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  • 2 weeks later...

My drummer bought the first DW Timeless Timber kit. OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Spend the money. Spend all the money.

The kick sounds like it is miked up through a high end p.a. acoustically.

 

This message has been edited by Jason Poff on 06-18-2001 at 10:07 PM

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