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Best Drum Heads for Recording

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tripnek, Jul 22, 2003.

  1. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    A question for all you Studio Drummers. I run a small studio and record mostly Hard Rock and Metal bands. What are the best heads to suggest for my clients for the recording sessions?
  2. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    I am a drummer - and will tell you - i work with my sound - and want you to record em just the way they sound. I worked my butt of to get this sound and it works for me.

    I would not be real receptive to your suggesting i install particular heads on my cans just so you could record me......

    Don't want ya telling my girl what colour panties to wear either...... :D :D :D :D

    Keep smiling and have a great day.....

  3. niconic

    niconic Active Member

    Rod is right
    musicians who go to the studio to record should not be beginners ... they should be able to choose their heads themselves.
    however I think classic remo ambassadors are fine.
    good luck!
  4. niconic

    niconic Active Member

    what I think is crucial is the tuning...
    some drummers are not great at this job, then again its a question of taste...
  5. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    At the risk of starting a flame with my good friend Rod…, :D as a producer, I would not use a drummer on a second session if they were not receptive to my suggestions on the first session.

    I have seen numerous drummers come in and say exactly what Rod just said. "I work with my sound - and want you to record em just the way they sound. I worked my butt of to get this sound and it works for me", But when you mic them up, their drums sound like sh*t.. Drummers are notorious for liking obnoxious sounding drums just because they stand out more in a mix. A perfect example of this is the new Metallica Album.. It is a self produced record and listen to the snare.. it SUCKS! IMO, Lars had his head up his butt on that.. Where's Bob Rock when you need him? He world not have let that POINK! snare tone on the record..

    A sound may work fine for a drummer in a live or practice situation but mics hear sounds different than the human ear hears them and when recording, you should modify a sound at the source when ever possible.

    My favorite heads for recording are Remo frosted ambassador on the snare and pin stripes on the toms and kick ... I also use dead ringers on both heads on the kick.

    Nope never used it! Never heard it! I don't know nothin' about it.. It could be the best thing since sliced bacon! (really!) :D
  6. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member


    Tis impossible to start a flame with me my friend........

    Actually - this thread is running in 2 places - and you need to go to the 2nd one to see my earlier apology for being wro.....wroo..wrrroonnn........wrong (see i got it out ) :D :D :D

    I forgot about this post till i saw your name and mine together.


    Maybe someone can fuse these 2 threads back into one.
  7. golli

    golli Active Member

    Kurt, my dear man, I allways listen to your adwises so I would like to hear what you like about the Remo Pin Stripes, do you take into account what tipe of wood is in the shell??
  8. Guest

    I guess the key word is "producer"... most of the time i'm the engineer, not the producer.

    That being the case, i feel free to suggest whatever I want to the drummer, with the understanding that he's perfectly free to ignore my suggestions.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Yeah, If you are not hiring the players, then what I said doesn't apply.. but I have and bands in before whose drums sucked.. and I would do all I could to talk them into using my studio kit. I was usually successful as my kit was a lot nicer that what their drummers would have, most of the time.. Even when you are "just the engineer' at the end of the project, if it sucks, the blame will fall on you 9 out of 10 times. In situations when there is no producer, the duty usually falls on the recording engineer, like it or not..

    Nope never used it! Never heard it! I don't know nothin' about it.. It could be the best thing since sliced bacon! (really!) :D
  10. downflow

    downflow Guest

    I also would not like to start a flame, because I have a lot of respect for you, but I think the snare sound on Metallica's new album is pretty cool. In fact, St. Anger, #9 (Don't know the name), and the snare sound are about the only things I DO like about the album. Otherwise, I find it kinda stays in one gear. And I could be considered a pretty hard-core Metallica fan. Do you think the snare actually sounded that way, or did they boost the "bad" frequency?

  11. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    That was the snare on metallica's new record? I though there was a guy in the background yelling poink, and boooiiing, every time lars hit the snare!!!! :)
  12. vinniesrs

    vinniesrs Active Member

    Oh yeah! The question was about drum heads! Right?
    For a really fat, deep tone, I like the remo pinstripe heads. I always use emporer clear for a resonant head.
    For a more alive, but tonally warm drum, I like to use remo ambassoder coated on top.
    If I'm playing funk, or fusion, I prefer to use ambassader or emporer clear, depending on how brash I want the kit to sound.
    I would have to agree with kurt however, in that if I HIRED a drummer to do a job, he would give me the sound I asked for or he would not be re-hired.
    If I was producing a band, and just knew that the drummer would be too pissed off to work with after his sound was changed, I would just use samples at mix down. He could be mad at me after the cd's finished.
    With a band that self produces, and hires me for an engineer, I always offer my studio kit, and tell them that bringing their own kit costs more money, since mine is always set up. I also tell them that since drums are crucial to the sound of a cd, if they take that into their own hands I won't be responsible for how they sound. That comment usually strikes fear into the hearts of indy bands! :D
  13. Guest

    I guess you can get away with that more easily with pop music.

    But if you do a lot of jazz, try telling the drummer with forty year old Gretsch or Ludwigs that he better play your DW set or he won't sound as good!!! :eek:
  14. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Ahh, so much to address here.. in chronological order..

    Yes, Treena pointed out to me as I was making that post that a lot of people seem to like that sound… I don’t. I find absolutely nothing attractive in it. It masks vocals and guitars and is generally irritating. But to each his own.

    Arr-Arr-Arr-chortle snarf! That’s funny!

    Words of wisdom, little pearls! Hey kids! That’s the way to do it!

    If the kit sounds like sh*t you bet I would… And if they don’t like it they can get the f%&k out! I would rather piss some drummer off than have a crap recording circulating with my name on it! Fortunately, most jazzers with a nice kit like that know how to tune them and they usually sound pretty good. Actually, jazz is the easiest to record for drums. In jazz, the drum tones are pretty natural sounding. In pop and rock, kick drum tones usually have nothing to do with what a real kick drum sounds like and the rest of the kit is usually pretty hyped sounding also..

    Nope never used it! Never heard it! I don't know nothin' about it.. It could be the best thing since sliced bacon! (really!) :D
  15. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    SO i get penalized for being short and left handed?

    Dayam - doesn't life suck?


  16. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Well guys - if i was being hired to do studio work - i would play whatever you wanted me to play - to acheive the sound you were looking for.

    You would - however - have to wait while i set it up to work for me - i play a real REAL tight kit....(tight as in close to my body)

    If however - i was recording my band - i would have to play mine - set up only what i needed for each song (i too do not like the extra noise that carries from the other drums in a recording session)

    So my short kit to start - and remove the ones i don't play for our latin stuff...... record them second -

    but i will tell you - i am not the best drummer n the world (far from it in fact) but i DO know how to tune a kit - tune before every practice - take a lot of pain to make certain my kit is perfect - and have spent tons of money to get what i need for each sound i want...... so no matter what you charge me to use my kit - tis my kit i use for my band -

    and steve buddy - when it's done it will sound great - and you won't have to screw around to make that happen............ ;)

  17. Consul

    Consul Guest

    I find this kinda sad, in a way, as I have always loved the natural sound of a well-made and well-tuned drum set. For my own music (which I may finally be able to start producing next decade :c:
  18. golli

    golli Active Member

    The best thing I've done for my bass drum is getting me a Remo Powerstroke-3 on it, BigMeat sound.
  19. Guest

    i guess that begs the question of who decides what is an appropriate drum sound: the drummer or the engineer?

    "sorry elvin/philly joe/roy haynes, etc., but I don't particularly care for your sound. You'll have to play my kit or we'll just get someone else... maybe Rod is available?"
  20. JeffWebb

    JeffWebb Guest


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