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My drummer has a kit that every damn drum on the kit rings like what seems forever to me. What does everybody do to get the tightness to the kit and keep them musical for recording purposes.

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KurtFoster Sat, 06/04/2005 - 09:55

Have you tried recording them yet? I love the sound of toms sustaining in the morning ... smells like ........... a record! (Do you surf son?)

I have found that even toms that have a lot of sustain, sound killer when recorded.

Moon Gel, maxi pads, noise gates set to cut the sustain after a hit, are methods used to dampen drums.

Davedog Sat, 06/04/2005 - 11:55

Toms that are open sounding and have that sustaining power are always great sounding...until the mix...This is where the LENGTH of the sustain can become a problem.So, for me, the dilemma is how to keep the beautiful open sound while controlling the length of the sustain so that it doesnt spill too much into the next set of beats.This spill can be nice, but for the most part,especially on a faster song, it becomes a muffler for other instruments and vocals.A good quality gate with a very good release is the only way I know of to tame this situation.Muffling can work also but it will affect the tone of the toms.If this is a secondary issue then the products mentioned are the way to go.Work with the drummer on the tuning first however.If he has both heads on the toms then you can tune them for length of sustain(somewhat) before ever using damping effects or gates.Again, sometimes the spill is a good thing, but is always predicated on the song as to what is going to work.

Guest Sat, 06/04/2005 - 13:07

I like drums that have some sustain. But these damn things ring forever. And it's not like he is a simplistic drummer. It'd be different if he only played 4 4 beats or just a simple 2 4 beat.
I just like the drums to ring out with a nice natural tone, not so much like the ringing out that is going on with these drums. They sound like they are ringing with overtones, and I would rather calm them down quite a bit. So that they sound more full and not so loud and lingering.

anonymous Sat, 06/04/2005 - 17:13

Try different, lower tunings of the bottom head. They call it the "reasonant" head for a reason.

He's probably got it cranked as high or higher than the top head. A tight bottom head will give him better stick response, but lengthen the ring.

Loosening the bottom head or maybe muffling it, will change the tone, but not as severly as the top.

KurtFoster Sun, 06/05/2005 - 13:31


Go to GC and GET SOME MOON GEL ... it's cheap and it works and it's very simple to use... just stick it on . It comes off easily and can be stored in it's own little "pilbox" container for futher use. If it dries out or gets dirty you can re hydrate it / wash it.

You didn't answer my question .... have you recorded the drums yet? Is this even really a problem in playback or mix? I have recorded drums that have a LOT of sustain and it has never been an issue for me ... in fact I think they sound a lot better that way. I hate it for live, but on recordings it works.

Guest Sun, 06/05/2005 - 16:52

Kurt Foster wrote: :roll:

I was tryin to keep the question simple, but I admit it sounded really elementry the way I made it such a basic question. I should have typed "what crazy insane secrets to do drummer's use to get the drums to calm down". But I didn't. Sorry to disapoint you Kurt! :lol:

Kurt wrote: Go to GC and GET SOME MOON GEL

What? Moon gel? Do you mean Moon shine? Kurt that stuffs, illegal. :lol:
I will try some out, thanks Kurt!

Kurt wrote: 1) You didn't answer my question .... have you recorded the drums yet?
2) I hate it for live, but on recordings it works.

1) Yes we have recorded some stuff, and most likely will start doing more tracks this week, they sound fine but I am experimenting with a few new ideas before the pressure of time constrants exist.---you know
2) I hate it for live use too. And that's exactally why I want them "not" so live sounding, but more of a real tight punchy dense sound with big boobs and long legs....
...wait a minute. I got a little off track. That the other thing I want 8)
They don't sound bad at all, I just want them to calm down just a bit, and the trigger with the kick drum sample should help with the recorded sound Vs the live sound. I hope :roll:

anonymous Mon, 06/06/2005 - 09:34

Excess sustain could be caused by a couple of things.. Is he using single ply or double ply heads on top? double ply will cut the ring significantly. Also different shells and number of plys will effect sustain.. personally I love my Recording Customs (birch) the sustain is awesome..

For a quick fix; moon gel
-my favorite trick is the Steve Gadd trick of cutting out 'zero-rings from old drum heads (you can buy them but.. you miss the cheap thrills by slicing your fingers with an exacto-knife!). They float on the surface which doesn't impede the natural vibration of the head and are evenly distributed around the head. I have different widths for different rooms, but I usually use them on the snare with no muffling required on my (2ply head) toms. Sometimes I use them on the floor toms - but rarely.

Many people will say that single plys are the way to go bla bla.. but I find single plys are better suited to jazz, have a more hollow twangy sound, have a sharper attack; also they break down a lot easier..

Guest Mon, 06/06/2005 - 16:46

vividsonics wrote: The "rings" previously mentioned work really well too. And of course the tape trick mentioned earlier.

Tape & rings----That's what I've done in the past. Thank you all for all the great info.
Cotton balls is a good idea too. I think that "Drum bible" link that Rimshot put up on the other post was very helpful as well. I am much more confident about my approach to recording drums now. Thanks again guys! Now I need to go get some Moon shine...I mean Moon gel :lol:

anonymous Tue, 06/14/2005 - 16:19

First of all, make sure the drum is in tune well with itself (same tension all around the head). Before using tape or rings to dampen try using thicker heads. If you still find that there is too much sustain I'd go with the cotton ball idea. It doesn't seem to choke the drum as much; when you hit the drum, the cotton balls float up to let the drum ring naturally, then fall back onto the resonant head to dampen the sound.

Randyman... Tue, 06/14/2005 - 18:36

That Cotton Ball idea sounds like it may be worth checking out. Been playing for 23 years, and never heard that until I read it here! :eek:

One bad thing - if you need more/less damping, I guess you have to remove a head, and re-tune?

Between head selection and tuning, you probably won't need much damping for a nice drum sound IMO (Obviously minus the kick and a small peice of tape on the Snare if needed).