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Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Lesson 5 of 29

Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 22x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

Kris Crummett

Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Kris Crummett

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Lesson Info

5. Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 22x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

Lesson Info

Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 22x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

Get this in the exact same place setting the spurs one thing when you're switching out kick drums just pull the rug back towards you and just kind of dig the spur and a little bit because otherwise it will shift when they're playing even though we have this it can kind of shift at an angle I'll put this back on want the hardware to be nice and tight thiss rug is also cool uh in case here this record set up like a heart a really nice hardwood floors of them and uh with with that board in front you don't have to make the spikes the spurs go down so far you can just use the rubber part so it doesn't have to dig in on that way it won't go because you might not think about it but man put a rug down put your spurs down, pack up and you look down and there's huge scrapes and divots and your nice wood floor yeah and that is like, you know, I my first experience of that was like setting up drums at my parentshouse and then looking and realizing that I had totally messed up my parents for him th...

at is not a place you want to be when you're a kid and your parents are the ones buying your drums and stuff yeah luckily my dad was a drummer so he didn't ban it from the house but I did, I did get in trouble. Um, and I did know better because he warned me about it, but, you know, even as an adult, anything, you just want to be careful about that. So the rug like that, like he said, is really good because you don't actually have to have to put the spurs down today. I'm not worrying about the spurs because we're just carpet on carpet, and I'm guessing a carpet pad and cement so there's nothing to really worry about, and I will get the deep one twelve back in here, we'll get it as close as possible, the holes in a little bit different place it's in his head. Actually, I have to put the pillow back in there because we don't need to hear this without the pillow anymore. No way! And you can hear that I'm velcro ing it in on that side side sneak this in here and I was wrapped my cable around this part of the microphone stand just so it's hanging here so it doesn't end up hitting any side of the drumhead cause that's another sound that you might not realize when you're scratch tracks or going and everything's happening, and then all of a sudden you have ah, rattling sound when you solo your kick drum and that's something you don't want now I have to adjust this a little bit because like I said, the hold in a different spot so trying to recreate the sound that we had with the other drum and really make just the heads in this specific drum be the only major variable so the d one twelves back in there I'm gonna make a marker here w twenty two by eighteen um red and black no copy my info is probably still on the clipboard. Yeah, so the mikes of the same with heads or different this batter head is ah evans gey mad um and the g mad is now they have the gym out in the magazine is the gym at the single ply the heavier single ply or is it the thinner duel? It's just there's two different versions and I honestly forget him as a little heavier yeah demands a little heavier but I do know that I like the g mad and uh I also know that it comes with this dampening bring that I can show you when when uh we've pulled the drum out here probably she was shown in the first place, but what we're hearing now is ahead with that that's a little more pre cute and a little more dampening so the better head is on evans gey mad, very cool head and outside just by default on what I have in this room is a remo um power stroke resonant head since the power stroke three present so we kind of went in reverse that one had a remote on the batter side and evans um on the resident and this was the other way around but it's okay to mix brands like that but again it's all about the combinations you like, but I find that a lot of times mixing the brands on kick drums is kind of cool because evans leans towards the e cued side and remo leans towards the more natural side. So if you have one head that's a little morning cued on one that's a little more natural, you kind of get a good in between because if you get both being super acute or supernatural sometimes it's a little too much to one side there's nothing wrong with that sometimes that's the sound you want, but but I kind of for the examples I kind of wanted to keep things somewhat reined in, so this is a remote, partially through residence inside mike is still the e k g d one twelve overheads, which shouldn't have a capital the our norman came eighty four's meeting my monitors arming my tracks and I want to give us that drum notice that he's showing you this drum how it's affecting the snare to every time we're listening to it a couple hits with no snare ringing and then a couple with the snare ringing because that's something you have to keep in mind and and I personally don't mind hearing a little bit of the snare sound a little bit of a rattle on the kick drum that doesn't really bother me, but it's, good to know if it's too much, or if it's causing some were tuning conflict it's just a good thing and it's cool that you're showing us that because personally, keystone light itself, I'm gonna make another note in here that we're using the plastic beater rubber or rubber yyets rubber, not plastic and it's ah, on a thoma iron cobra, which has a little bit more of a snap by the nature of the way the pedal works not going to get way into that cause. That's more of a drummer preference. Yeah, but I'm an iron cobra guy through and through, so I brought my iron cooper's, they're great pedal. Nothing feels awesome. Yeah, that I've been playing one since I was like, fifteen years old or something. So rubbers nice in between peter to yeah, exactly exactly what else does the softer, less attack plastic? Is this it's the most attack? And then I play with wood beaters, gets a really nice attack, and it's kind of like a naturally warm sound because it's wood and then there was rubber which is a nice in between sound you get a really big punch with it too yeah I like rubber beaters I like rubber and myself I also really like wood for certain kick drum sounds I wasn't able to bring a wood beater today um maybe there's a possibility of having one by tomorrow and I couldn't figure that out yeah that that's great because because what is a is a really, really cool sound like everything else the kick drum beater is just a cz important just like the pillow all these little things andi I did bring a couple different beaters and we'll get into that after we show the different sizes of drums and different drum heads so one thing I'm doing right now backtracking just a little bit and in marking down which peter we used with this so if you're using a session and I like I love that drum and that sound is really cool and then you're trying to do it you know like why doesn't it sound like that? Maybe it's because you're using a felt leader or a plastic peter and we were using a rubber one so I just like tio like I said before like all the information to be there I like to know all of it so I'm going to listen back to this this is the um red and black kick drum with the g mad you can tell it has a little more I'll take the cue off too so you can hear how it's pretty cute now that's the green um kick drum that have the remote on it and this is back to the g men which has more low in but the cool thing about the g mad let me just loop this even though I've kind of e q did around the sound of the other head which is why that's favoring it right now here is without q we can crank the topping on the g man and it stays really clean and if you just widen cue a little bit on a low cut you can get a really like mechanical hungy sound out of the gene mad and it almost has lycan elektronik sound to it, which I like it's good for metal and it's good for like it could be really good for dancing stuff because you get that that clicking that pop and you can't quite get that with the remo is a nice rock sound which I I prefer it for rock with the power stroke three but not for metal and other stuff because you can hear it gets over the top and it actually making the bigger starts to make it sound smaller eso just no no what you're starting with and what you want to achieve and you don't always want to listen with you q on, but it doesn't hurt to check your sounds with e q I'm just going to put this back a little bit because the next heads were using will be power stroke three's, although before I do that I would like to demonstrate that the ji mad comes with two different types of dampening. This is the smaller dampening which I normally prefer because it's it's usually just the perfect amount and it has a little ring on it on the head and I'll let you trade these out, which is really cool because as the drums as you get in a bigger drums, you might want a little more dampening. You continue it really low or really high to where it's rainy and use the bigger dampening and get different sounds, and the cool thing is that you could trade him out on the spot without having to do anything without having a change heads. So we've heard the smaller ring and I'm just gonna slide this guy in here. This is the bigger dampening goring, and I think you can get other ones, but they normally calm with just two it's pretty easy to get even so since we made that change, I should probably note that that other one something that one has a smaller dampening ring will record a quick demo, you know, power stroke he's a really fine details now, especially if this dampening ring but the more kicks kick drums and drums, they record, um, more makes sense. And the more you can hear it yeah, and like I said, it's it's all about having all this stuff stored in your brain so that, you know, um, you know, the kick drum needs just a little more dampening, or it needs this sound instead of going through the three hundred different ways to dampen a kick drum, you already know that just I've got a gym mat on there. It just needs the bigger ring on ge will do that, and we'll nail it. And like you said, it is really minute stuff, but it's all a lot of little things that build up to one big sound on that's part of why I'm recording these seeking, listen back and hear those differences on really get in tune with all the little things that make that one awesome kick drum sound that you like, label this properly make another marker here would be making lots and lots of markers today. This will be the big ring capital and changed copy over the comments and change that is a little all right all roll this and give me some nice hard hits, cool and to my ear that's a pretty cool sound still it's a little more dead but a little more dead means that we can make it a little more punchy with the e q and post so this is still that drastic kiki that I did for the evans head for the g mad now that's the big ring and here's a smaller ring again so small ring a big ring you can hear that almost pitches the drum just a little bit different because putting different pressure again it's a pretty small thing but it really doesn't make a difference and different tunings can make a bigger difference with the two rings this one's but this is how this one's being affected now question yeah not to backtrack but so when you're tuning the snare with your rod I'm I know you like the ranger on eighty seven you have a preferred range for kick you half with yeah usually for twenty two or twenty for a good place to start is about seventy give or take on dh that's on the that's on both sides I usually end up having to do a little more on the resident head with the with the tune bought um and the tune bought I usually do around around sixty on both it kind of changes per drum and per head kick drum varies more than most for me for tom's I started seventy two top and bottom. Well, top and then usually around sixty eight or sixty seven on the bottom gets me close because of the bottom heads thinner. And then the um what I do in the tomb bought is there's, a little app that tells you what frequencies will get you. What notes and a lot of nice drums already have the note written inside. So my starting point, usually especially if it's a drum I don't know, is. I'll look up the note. You can also tap the shell and kind of hear the resonant note of the drunk. But, like I know, that a lot of twelve by nines are around and e tom wise, um, so I will tune into any with this and there's a little calculator for your phone that tells it like this looks pretty simple, but there's an app that can go on your phone or your computer that calculates all the different settings that you might want to use, which is very cool.

Class Description

Drums are one of the hardest instruments to record, because in reality, a drum kit can be upwards of 20 or 30 instruments being played by a performer at one consistent time. Each drum head plays a huge role in determining the overall tone. The range of frequencies is broader than any other recorded instrument, with sub-kicks extending down below 60 Hz and hihats and cymbals with presence and ring above 16kHz. The dynamic range can include subtle ghost hits and flutters to pounding snares that fill a room, and yet somehow all of this is supposed to fit inside a mix without getting lost in a sea of guitars.

Kris Crummett has over a decade and a half of experience recording bands like Sleeping with Sirens, Issues, Alesana, Further Seems Forever and Emarosa. Kris will walk you through every step of the process to capturing killer drum sounds.

Which Drums to Use?

  • The size and type of the kick drum is a good place to start, and will largely dictate what kind of tone you end up with when you get the final mix. Do you want a modern sounding kit with a big low end and a bright punch or a more vintage tone with a rounder, softer low end punch?
  • Snare sounds can often define the tone of an entire record with a range of sizes, head choices and tuning options. How much ring is left in the resonant head can be deceiving when listening to an drum kit on its own, but can often be lost when blended in with the rest of the band. From maple and birch full bodied and nuanced tones to aluminum or even brass bodies, the snare drum can have one of the biggest impacts on your final track.
  • Drum heads can also have a huge impact on the transients that you capture when recording. Coated heads can offer a punchier, thicker sound while clear heads are a bit brighter. Tuning the top head and the bottom head to resonant together is an essential art that takes practice and expertise.

Which mics to Use?

  • There’s no right or wrong way to mic a drum kit, from the famous ‘When the Levee Breaks” 2 microphone room tone to modern metal drum production with 30+ mics in place.
  • Deciding when to use a condenser and when to use a dynamic mic is dependent upon the style, the drummer’s playing style and even the room in which you’re tracking. What sort of room mic techniques can give you that big open kit sound? What about a tight, small room trap kit sound?
  • Kris is prepared to walk you through all of these choices, with examples from his storied career and tips and tricks that only years in the studio can earn you. With legendary guest drummer KJ Sawka, you’ll have an experienced team to guide you through how to overcome the biggest challenge for a home studio engineer, the drum kit.


Kevin Howard

Kris is methodical and goes over everything related to drum recording in great detail. He covers heads and even how much moon gel he uses for damping the heads, Mic placement, shell choice( size, wood etc ). Listen to Dance Gavin Dance to hear some of his work. I found this class to be super informative and very practical in it's approach. Thank you Kris !


this is a great class! i play drums personally, and i love percussion! he also teaches well


This is an amazing class! Kris is a very scientific instructor. This really opened my eyes to the drum recording process. Take Notes!!!! There are about a thousand unique facts and techniques that you should know. This will help you to record drums correctly at the source so that you can minimize the amount of digital destruction you will do later and thus get a "Professional" sound.