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  1. Formerly: hoffy22

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    Default Studio Tips for Drummers!

    Alright I'm recording drums in the next couple weeks for my bands debut EP. I've never ever been in any type of situation (well I have with friends bands, but I was never playing). I just wanted some tips from you guys with the experience. I thought this would be a great help for all drummers with little experience in the studio. Thanks!



    Sonor Select Force - Smooth Brown Burst
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  2. *new noise*

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    1) First and foremost, if you're not comfortable with playing with a click, do so now. Make sure you learn how to "bury the click".

    2) I would also suggest you start thinking about how you want your drums to sound on the album... your drums sounding "good" is only half the battle because you gotta think on terms of how you want the drums to fit into the sound of your band.

    3) You MUST re-head your entire set before stepping into the studio! This makes a TON of difference even when compared to heads that are one week old.

    4) This is overlooked, don't be afraid to communicate with the studio engineer/producer/etc... there have been times when I hesitated to ask the engineer to change something that would have made the album sound better.

    That's all I have off the top of my head, good luck!

  3. Gumbercules

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    1- Be able to play your parts perfectly, punching drums is not easy/good sounding unless there are breaks in the song (where you aren't playing).

    2- Be able to play along with a metronome/click track.

    3- Be able to not play along to a metronome/click track but still keep time perfectly. (ie. if the song goes from 4/4 to 5/8 setting up a click can be a pain. It is often easier to be able to stray from the click and then go back in to the 4/4 click without stopping and be on time.)

    4- Do not drink alcohol.

    5- Don't make a mess of the studio, this includes food, drinks, magazines, books, muddy shoes, you name it. Someone has to clean it, and it isn't you... so be respectful.

    6- Know the engineer's first name, this is usually attained with a friendly introduction. (ie. "Hi, my name is ________" *extend hand for hand shake*)

    7- Work with the engineer, not against them. Sometimes they ask you to do silly things and you can say no (like being in a jazz band and removing the front head from a kick when your sound requires it be on), but you have to be open to their suggestions and honestly evaluate them instead of just shooting them down. Knowing them by name often helps with this, and not just saying "no" but being able to give a good reason for the refusal and ask them if there is anything else they could do to achieve the sound YOU are looking for.

    8- Don't use old drumheads, don't use new drumheads. You want the heads to be broken in, but not so old they sound dead.

    9- Don't hit the microphones with your sticks. If you think the placement may cause you to crank the mic, tell the engineer and they will move it.

    10- I prefer tea to have a nice, calm session.

    11- DO NOT HIT THE DRUMS WHILE THE ENGINEER IS STANDING NEXT TO THE KIT. Their ears are their livelihood, they don't like it. If they ask you to hit it, feel free. If they don't, stop playing when they enter the studio.

    12- Play the way you play. They can turn the mics down, but wussing out on the hits comes through on the mics when it is recording. If you hit hard, hit hard. They will adjust for it.

    I'm sure there is more, but I can't think of them for right now....

  4. Hot and Dangerous

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    Don't suck.
    Here's a confession: I'm in love with a man. What? I'm in love with a man... a man named God. Does that make me ***? Am I *** for God? You betcha.

  5. Hot and Dangerous

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gord The Drummer View Post
    12- Play the way you play. They can turn the mics down, but wussing out on the hits comes through on the mics when it is recording. If you hit hard, hit hard. They will adjust for it.
    I like watching studio recordings of drummers to see how they actually play off stage. A couple that surprised me were that The Rev and Joey Jordison are actually super soft players.
    Here's a confession: I'm in love with a man. What? I'm in love with a man... a man named God. Does that make me ***? Am I *** for God? You betcha.

  6. Bronx NY, and West Palm Beach

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    Just make sure you know the songs. REALLY know them, that way you can focus on playing nice and stress free. Keep your volumes consistent, and dont sweat it; if it sounded good in rehearsal, don't change anything for the recording.

    And as far as changing heads, I disagree that you MUST re-head your entire set. Of course, you don't want damaged or badly pitted heads on the set, but I say just make sure theyre in tune and you'll be fine. The first real recording I ever did was in a SERIOUS recording studio, and the drums were Pearls with old skins. It sounded awesome, and all these years later when I play the recording for my students they always comment how amazing the drums sound. Play well, and youll sound good. By the way, I now keep a skin on my bass drum (batter side, no less) that is 23 years old.

    Good luck with the recording!

  7. Formerly: hoffy22

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    Both kicks just received new batter and reso heads and my band agreed to outfit the toms/snare with our band money. One good thing is that the guy recording with us is actually our bass players cousin. He has worked in a studio for a long time but recently got his own stuff going. He has a small studio at his place that we are doing the guitars and vocals at and the drums are actually being done at our practice space. He has a portable set-up, I have a big kit, his room is small, ours is a decent size with good acoustics. After recording scratch guitar tracks the other night we went out for drinks and got to know him better. I'm excited that my first time recording can be on MY kit in MY environment with someone I'm comfortable around.

    Oh and he is sending me the guitar scratch tracks this week so I can practice to them and get comfortable with it before we do the actual recordings.



    Sonor Select Force - Smooth Brown Burst
    22 x 20
    22 x 20
    10 x 6.5
    12 x 7
    14 x 12
    16 x 14


  8. mind over manners

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    good posts in this thread already, but again I will reiterate that you MUST BE PREPARED!! Know your parts inside and out and don't deviate; on the clock in the studio is not the time to be trying out new licks.
    SHUT THE **** UP, DONNY...

  9. Formerly: hoffy22

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    Quote Originally Posted by space jeff View Post
    good posts in this thread already, but again I will reiterate that you MUST BE PREPARED!! Know your parts inside and out and don't deviate; on the clock in the studio is not the time to be trying out new licks.
    The only thing I feel slightly unprepared for is some of my fills. In a few of our songs I seem to rotate 2 or 3 fills through various spots...I just need to decide which ones I like. Also, being "on the clock" isn't really an issue for us. We are getting a 4 some EP done for free with a rate of $100 per extra song. The only reason it is so cheap is because the guy is just starting up his own studio and is hooking a couple bands up from different genres so that he has a portfolio to show other bands. He has recorded, player on and mastered quite a few CD's. I'm also not worried about him doing a half-assed job due to the fact that 1) it is for his portfolio, 2) his cousin is in our band AND we all know him fairly well and 3) He is a fan of our band and usually comes to every show. OH and not to mention that were are the very first band he is doing with HIS own stuff. He told us that he is as excited to record us and we are to get recorded because he gets to play with his new toys!



    Sonor Select Force - Smooth Brown Burst
    22 x 20
    22 x 20
    10 x 6.5
    12 x 7
    14 x 12
    16 x 14


  10. mind over manners

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    yeah, fills don't have to set in stone, but I usually have a really good idea of what fills I'm going to use before I go into the studio and then just play whatever I'm feeling is comfortable and really jiving with the feel of the song at the time.

    good luck!
    SHUT THE **** UP, DONNY...

  11. Registered User

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    Just like any performance: be sure to warm up! I've been lucky to have been called on to help out with drums for a number of recordings over the past few months, and the more I go into different studios, the more comfortable I am in the setting. Regardless of my comfort level though, I always make sure to warm my hands up so I can sound my best on each take.

    Also, on some instances I've found that what I hope to be a quick session can get drawn out a lot longer than I had initially imagined because the engineer keeps messing with mics to get the sound he/she wants. Be patient and humble! Networking is obviously key in our profession, so it doesn't help to be rude.

  12. Registered User

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    Quote Originally Posted by DCdrmwthme View Post
    And as far as changing heads, I disagree that you MUST re-head your entire set. Of course, you don't want damaged or badly pitted heads on the set, but I say just make sure theyre in tune and you'll be fine.
    I agree with this. A couple of months ago on this forum I compared the recorded sound of 8 year old resonant heads to new. Few people if anyone could hear the difference. They sounded fine to my ears so I left the old heads on. I just went into the studio with them to record a CD a week ago. No one on that session knew the heads were 8 years old.

    It's not critical to have NEW heads but it is a good idea to have your drums in a state where they sound really good to your ears.
    Last edited by Coach McGuirk; 04-04-2011 at 11:36 PM.

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