Bwaa! Advice when picking drums.
I made the trip to my local store for new heads.
Columbus Pro Percussion – BTW there are some nice videos and tips on their site.
What I like about these guys is that they offer a "buy 5 or more heads and get 50% off" policy that has been a staple in their store for as long as I can remember. (Yes, I know you can get nice prices on Musician’s Friend as well.) CPP’s policy doesn't apply to any specific brand... it is just pick 5 or more and you get 1/2 off. Plus, being a local store, I get the added benefit of supporting them, talking with other drummers, and being able to see what I am buying before I take it home.
So this is what I walked away with tonight:
20" Bass: Gets the EMAD2 clear batter, and EMAD reso ported head.
14" Snare: Gets the ST Dry batter, and Hazy 300 reso
8,10,12,15" Toms: EC2 clear batters, G2 clear used as a reso
They also had some of the slug percussion impact badges for sale... $2 each.
They only had two left so I picked them both up.
I took this deal for $251.
So... Just for drum heads and a couple of impact badges to save the bass drum head I will make my drums sound killer for studio work at home. I can take the old G2 and G1 heads
and pack them away for spares, should I break a head. The reason I like Evans heads is for this very reason… all my heads, except the snare reso and 12” batter (unfortunately got dented in a tom movement incident) sound great as is. They look a little worn but can
still be tuned to specific notes and hold them quite well.
Now for my advice part in this on drum heads:
-When picking out a drum kit take a look at the big picture. Bigger drums have more expensive heads, more drums mean twice as many heads, newer styles of drum heads can also cost more than heads that have been around a while.
- Try them out for yourself. Go to a store where you can test some out and pay attention to the differences. Log into the web sites to learn about drum heads and why there are things like dots, oil, double ply, coatings, dampening rings, etc… If you have an idea of what sound you are looking for then you can pretty much zero into a couple drum heads that will get you there.
- Also, I see so many people who buy a drum kit that has the heads from the manufacturer still on them. You know the 1-ply-might-as-well-be-remo-diplomat-thin-drumheads. Please invest in brand name drum heads and if you are confused find a knowledgeable drummer to speak with. Taking the time to talk to someone can help you learn a lot on where you can compromise.
- Trying to turn a 1 ply drum head into a two ply oil head isn’t going to work. I don’t care what tape, muffle ring, moon gel, or other modification you have on your drums it just isn’t going to get you where you want to be. Learn how to tune your drums… I can’t stress that important feature enough. Think about some of the stuff you are doing as well… if you fill your bass drum half way with blankets and pillows expect to have very little volume out of the drum. Drums work because they move air and if you take any drum and reduce ˝ of the volume of air it will sound off. If you want a specific sound from a specific song go speak with someone who has experience as a sound tech… The drum might be triggered and the sound might be layers of other samples.
- not only is the choice of head going to change the sound you get.. but whatever you hit it with will do the same. So if you are not getting enough meat from your sound it just might be that you need a heavier stick.
- find what works for you… If you look at what I am doing above you will find I am going to use a G2 as a reso head. Normally this would be used as a batter head… but my drums are way too open for my taste… I need them to calm down a bit without sacrificing warmth. I don’t want them bright sounding either… I like my low end even in drums as small as mine.
- do what you want but embrace it. If filling the bass drum with 50% muffling makes a sound you dig then keep it. If layering the inside of your snare drum with aluminum foil gives it a certain “crunch” sound you have been missing all your life then go for it. I am not trying to tell anyone what to do or that one way is better than the other… I just want people to be informed on what things impact their sound.