studio resident drums


Amighetti Ronnie

first time for me here on the drums forum.
I'm facing the need to get a drum set for the studio, just if the drummer can't get his in or can't rent somethign in time.
ANyway, I would like to know what shoudl be a very basic setting that can make 90% drummers happy.
Which better place to ask than a drummers forum? :)
Anyway, how many pieces? which misures? which brand? cymbals?

Oh, main genre in the studio is rock (drums, bass, 2 guitars and voxes).

any suggestion??




Well-Known Member
Jun 29, 2001

I will put my 2 cents in but by no means is this the final word, i'll give you some insight from my perspective:

To make 90% of drummers happy will be a toughy.

First recomendation, if you get a thrasher that will destroy your heads in a day...make it clear that they are to supply their own heads..or buy some from your stock room. Keep at least 2 extra batter heads and one resonant head per drum in stock. You will be sorry if you don't. Drums are high maintenance learn all you can about them.

Secondly: Most studio drummers and even rockers like to use their own cymbles and snare. Before you invest a thousand dollars on hand hammered paistes' to have a thrasher ruin them, feel out your clients. Good zildjens can be had for a good price and ask your music store /resident drummer what is good cross between durable, affordable, and good sounding. Sometimes the cym. that will last through a thrash session... will sound like ass. Try to find a balance. Really light, thin cyms. for Jazz, sound wonderful...but can be destroyed by a single whack from a thrasher.

Snare drum. Find something medium sized. If you get a piccalo...well it may lay around a lot. Decent drummers demand the use of their own snare. Have them bring theirs.

Look toward a good kit at about the 900 to 1400 dollar range. You almost cannot go wrong. Pay special attention to the quality of the racks. You don't want stripped threads every 2 or 3 months. Go for quality.

Used. This is where the bargins are. Look at used sets. A good used set, with a new kick pedal and new skins...are like new drums. You can save a bundle, go 1st class. One dude hard up for money left his tama's here for a while. At one point I could have gotten the entire kit, snare and all for 350. Look around some.

Finally, most drums are good. I have selected Yamahas myself. I like paiste cymbs. I like a zild. hat. I like a good ride, two crashes upper/lower tom, and floor tom. 5 drums with snares.

Go to a few live gigs and ask questions. I am not a drummer, but I can play them. make sure you have plenty of different sticks on hand, for sell and use. Tell the drummer that if they break be prepared to leave them as they found them. One gig, I just bought a killer set of 30 dollar brushes. They were destroyed that day. I still have not replaced them because I did not keep my eyes out for them. The drummer wore them out with misuse. A drummer does not necessarly have to be careful to spoil his vibe. Just make sure that they bring as much as they you don't have a waisted kit on your hands and all your session money gone to fix them back up. Pro drummers will care for them. Know what your gig will be like before you use the red button.

Greg Malcangi

Well-Known Member
Oct 12, 2000
Hi Ronnie,

Good advice there from Bill. I would like to add Sabian to the list of cymbal manufaturers worth looking at.

The most used sizes of toms are 16" (floor tom), 14", 12", 10" and 8". If you can't afford this many, drop the larger sizes. If you are doing mainly rock you might want to look at a double pedal system for the bass drum. As far as cymbals are concerned you will ideally need at least a good hi-hat, ride, splash, crash and chinese. Although you could leave cymbals out altogether and just provide some boom stands as most pro drummers are very choosy about their cymbals and will bring their own.

Also be aware that no drummer is going to treat someone else's kit as well as their own. Most drummers I'm sure will not deliberately abuse your kit but they maybe prepared to hit them a little harder and take more risks than they would with their own gear. You need to particularly watch the cymbals as one hit too hard can easily destroy many models. The other main problem area is the rack. When it's not their own equipment there is a tendancy to over-tighten all the fixtures and fittings. Keep your eyes on the drummer or do it yourself, and keep some spare parts handy. Lastly if you are going to supply drumsticks take Bill's advice and sell them. It doesn't take many rimshots to ruin a good pair of sticks. Any reasonable pro though will know their stick usage and will bring all they require.



Jul 17, 2001
I'm pretty sure 80% of drummers want to play with their cybals, snare and double kick system. If they don't own these themselves, they can borrow them very easily. So what I would get is a stands, couple of BD's and a bunch of good toms, so you can put together a different set for every drummer. Lerger " for heavier music, play with tom sizes, etc. And this way your drums don't sound the same every time you have to use yourown drums.

Well my $ .02 anyway,

planet red

Well-Known Member
Jul 25, 2001
Make sure you have some really nice high hats, ride, and a couple good snares around. Kick drums and toms are easy to get sounding good with new heads and tuning/eq/compression, but good cymbals and snare sounds are hard to do anything about once they are on tape. Most drummers that I record bring in there huge cymbals they use live and squeaky poorly tuned snare drums. I find I can tune their kick drum and toms to sound decent and just give them one of my snares and cymbals to use and everything sounds good.


I agree in principle with most of the other posts. However, I'd like to get a little more specific for you.

First, the single biggest difference in most drum kits comes at specific price points. And its easy to get talked up into a higher and higher price point level.

A good drummer who knows how to hit and tune can make even a low dollar set sound pretty darn good. So don't go overboard. Look for a set that has an element of ease of tuning associated with it, and recognize, this doesn't always come in the high dollar sets.

As an example, I play YAMAHA Maple Customs, which are one of the higher dollar sets. They can be difficult to tune well.

Next I think you have to consider what type of sound you want top work with? An open live sound or a tight controlled sound? This can guide you towards what type of set you should have. Drummers are funny, most have a purest approach to their sound with little regard to the overall mix of the music. Most engineers want to control the sound with tape and muffling (which has its merit) and most drummers want to use Maple drums and have them opened up (unless they are just beginning then they don't want anything but a very dry tone - no tone).

In my humble opinionm, you need the likes of a YAMAHA Recording Custom set outfitted with PinStripe heads or the likes of a Pearl BRX outfitted with Evans G1 Coated heads, and the EQ3 kick drum system. Why?

First, they are birch shelled drums, which mean they can give you either a warm sound with coated heads or a sharp defined sound with clear heads. Second, they are bullet proof, tried and proven, in an acceptable price range, easy to tune and liked by many drummers. They both record spectacular either with a close mic approach or otherwise. The EQ3 kick drum system allows alteration of muffling and tone of the kick quickly and easily.

As for the snare, find a Ludwig Superphonic 5x14 old chrome snare on ebay. Put a Evans Genera Snare coated on top and a hazy 200 on the bottm and it will sound like a million bucks on almost all types of music. Get some Moon Gel to have on hand and you have got it covered. However, if you buy either one of those kits mentioned, the packaged snare is very good.

As for cymbals, this is very much a personal preferance issue to any drummer. A good starter pack would be Sabian AAX series, Zildjian A series. I prefer Paiste Signature cymbals, but to give you an idea, even a basic cycmbal setup that is good can be almost as much as a kit with some of the higher end lines.

So I agree that you may only want to supply the hats, and I'd have two sets on hand. One with a so-called sound edge to them like the Zildjian Mastersounds or Paiste Signature sound edge and a second set that has no rippled edge to them, like the Sabian AAX, or Paiste Signature Hats.

The Rippled edge will give a loud "chick"sound for music that requires it. In many cases, you will not even need a hat mic for these. The smooth edge is for a softer "chick" and will be used accordingly.

More then maybe you wanted, but I thought this would be helpful.