Drum Nerdines... getting it the way you want, or excessive customizing?

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
In the spirit of fun in the other "nerdiness" thread (now with V2!), I wonder what other people have done to make their kits fit to them, instead of just going "stock".

My family was in auto racing for many years (my uncle was just inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame this year), and part of that has rubbed off on me for my hot-rod. For good, or bad (haha!), it's "caused" me to soup up parts of the kit (and implements) to my "specs". I even made hardware things when I was young when something wasn't available, I didn't have money, or it maybe wasn't even a real part way back when. It didn't always look pretty, but it worked.

So..... Things I've done over the years....

I put different feet on all my floor tom legs (Pearl Air Susp.), and different wing nuts on my floor tom brackets (all 13 ft's) because they were more comfortable...so that's 39 wing nuts, and 39 rubber feet.....

I adjust hi hat rods to the exact length I want, according to the amount sticking above the clutch (this is probably an Aspergers thing, because I know it's pretty psycho, but, it'll bug me if I don't...). I have a few different ones, because I have a couple hat stands.

The shells and edges I have are "stock", but, I've gotten a couple special depths of things made because the "standard" just didn't sound/feel exactly right for what I wanted to accomplish sound-wise, and/or fitting a space. I haven't regretted a purchase, & it's all worked out by some miracle :)

I special order snare batters because they get me the sound character I want, without tape or moongel.

I've made my own outside bass drum muffle, because I hate the pre-muffed head sound.
It's portable, easy, works perfectly, and was pretty much free.
I use 3"x4" cut pieces of old Coated Ambassador heads for my beater patch. Sounds awesome, and it's FREE.

I like a double butt stick, and a particular bead, taper and diam. on a "regular" stick.
Regal had cut down a model for me before that I liked (that was way too long) but they stopped doing that service. So, I sought out a custom stick builder to make sticks to my specs. I have a couple diams, and slightly different lengths.
This was going back 5 years before a couple Custom Stick companies became more known and available. Now it's not a big deal, and it's pretty economical if you know what you want. I use a special spray I found on the sticks to get the feel I want, so I buy the sticks unfinished and do the rest myself.

I still want to do the larger oval tip, sloped neck into the shaft stick design though. It's like a real beefed up Buddy Rich stick. Could I just get Buddy sticks? No, because they don't have the feel and sound I want, and I figure, I CAN get it done, so why compromise?
It'll cost a few bucks for the initial gearing up for it, but, I think I've come up with the diams and exact shape/slope I want for it (finally after about 6 years...) which was holding me back from just doing it before.

I put nylon spacers in all of my snare drums rather than the cup washers, because one came with the nylon washers and I liked it... so I went and did all of them like that.
At least the nylon spacers are fairly cheap at the hardware store. Kinda fun tinkering, and working on doing it too.

I went through about 4 years of really customizing hardware. I have been able to keep stands pretty much stock this last year though. Only a few slight adjustments like the felts and sleeve, or maybe a different tilter. That's kind of a big thing for me--to just leave the hardware alone.

It's like an ongoing hobby project to tweak things, or make stuff and it's been fun (except for the hi hat rod thing--that's pretty psycho haha!).
I am an artist by trade, so it's kind of like a sculpture that's never "finished" too. That's why it also has to look, and feel right. Sometimes it'd be nice to just "let it go", and I have been able to do that more and more this past year.
I'm also on my way to using "normal" depths in bass drums :)
I like the sound of the deeper shells, but the lugging around is starting to get to me a bit lately. I LOVE the sound of the Black Glass Glitter 20x26. It's a super awesome sounding drum, but it's so dang heavy with that thicker wrap, AND the Mach (long) lugs on it.

With all the stuff I've done over the years, I still just use plain old Coated Ambassadors on everything but the snare head.

Yep, I am a drum nerd, blahblahblah.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I adjust hi hat rods to the exact length I want, according to the amount sticking above the clutch.
Me too, but often for practical reasons as well as plain nerdiness :)

I suppose you could argue that everything I do is drum nerdiness in one form or another, but almost always for a reason, & that reason is usually advancement of sound.
 

keepitgreen

Senior Member
KarlCrafton, I've been following your posts the past few days, and think they're nothing short of awesome. Your quiz/poll was brilliant, and has really opened my eyes to what a lot of other guys here are using on their kit! Great stuff!

However, I have one issue with it, and that's the language. It's an old debate (one that I have with my friends often!), and it may never get resolved, but I think what you're really describing is GEEK vs NERD. IMO, drummers are more geek than nerd.

I saw this chart on io9.com last month, and I think it sums it up perfectly.

"Geeks are fans, and fans collect stuff; nerds are practitioners, and practitioners play with ideas. "

Obviously there's a fair bit of overlap, and maybe I'm just rambling on over semantics, but I prefer the connotations that go with being labeled a geek...
 

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radman

Senior Member
Sooooo.... the guy (or gal) who had time and inclination to create a chart like that - a geek or a nerd? Based on the supplied definition, it would have to be a practitioner - i.e. a nerd.

(sorry, I had to ...)

radman
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Thanks KIG. I can't take credit for the poll though, edvia put that together--and did version 2, which made me an uber-geek! Nothing I didn't know :)

I'll go with GEEK too.
There's been method to my madness, and like keep it simple said in his post about the advancement of sound, that's what I was after.
An advancement of sound, and performance out of a kit that I was/am gigging with (AKA hauling around) and having it as fast and easy to deal with.

Oh, heck yeah, I'd play 4 floor toms (which adds 3 or 4 more points) again, but having the 4th one made me start to think while I was doing a show.
I'd seem to naturally go to my left a lot, and then think "I need to use these over here (the normal side)". I want to play the songs, not think about what drum I should hit.
It was too much stuff I guess, because just one on the hat side doesn't do that to me at all. 4 sets of legs tearing down was not that much fun either, but 3 still doesn't bother me....oh I made a floor tom leg bag, similar to a stick bag. That's probably gotta add some points...and the gong bag I made, and....

Hot glue makes all things possible.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
In the spirit of fun in the other "nerdiness" thread (now with V2!), I wonder what other people have done to make their kits fit to them, instead of just going "stock".

My family was in auto racing for many years (my uncle was just inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame this year), and part of that has rubbed off on me for my hot-rod. For good, or bad (haha!), it's "caused" me to soup up parts of the kit (and implements) to my "specs". I even made hardware things when I was young when something wasn't available, I didn't have money, or it maybe wasn't even a real part way back when. It didn't always look pretty, but it worked.

So..... Things I've done over the years....

I put different feet on all my floor tom legs (Pearl Air Susp.), and different wing nuts on my floor tom brackets (all 13 ft's) because they were more comfortable...so that's 39 wing nuts, and 39 rubber feet.....

I adjust hi hat rods to the exact length I want, according to the amount sticking above the clutch (this is probably an Aspergers thing, because I know it's pretty psycho, but, it'll bug me if I don't...). I have a few different ones, because I have a couple hat stands.

The shells and edges I have are "stock", but, I've gotten a couple special depths of things made because the "standard" just didn't sound/feel exactly right for what I wanted to accomplish sound-wise, and/or fitting a space. I haven't regretted a purchase, & it's all worked out by some miracle :)

I special order snare batters because they get me the sound character I want, without tape or moongel.

I've made my own outside bass drum muffle, because I hate the pre-muffed head sound.
It's portable, easy, works perfectly, and was pretty much free.
I use 3"x4" cut pieces of old Coated Ambassador heads for my beater patch. Sounds awesome, and it's FREE.

I like a double butt stick, and a particular bead, taper and diam. on a "regular" stick.
Regal had cut down a model for me before that I liked (that was way too long) but they stopped doing that service. So, I sought out a custom stick builder to make sticks to my specs. I have a couple diams, and slightly different lengths.
This was going back 5 years before a couple Custom Stick companies became more known and available. Now it's not a big deal, and it's pretty economical if you know what you want. I use a special spray I found on the sticks to get the feel I want, so I buy the sticks unfinished and do the rest myself.

I still want to do the larger oval tip, sloped neck into the shaft stick design though. It's like a real beefed up Buddy Rich stick. Could I just get Buddy sticks? No, because they don't have the feel and sound I want, and I figure, I CAN get it done, so why compromise?
It'll cost a few bucks for the initial gearing up for it, but, I think I've come up with the diams and exact shape/slope I want for it (finally after about 6 years...) which was holding me back from just doing it before.

I put nylon spacers in all of my snare drums rather than the cup washers, because one came with the nylon washers and I liked it... so I went and did all of them like that.
At least the nylon spacers are fairly cheap at the hardware store. Kinda fun tinkering, and working on doing it too.

I went through about 4 years of really customizing hardware. I have been able to keep stands pretty much stock this last year though. Only a few slight adjustments like the felts and sleeve, or maybe a different tilter. That's kind of a big thing for me--to just leave the hardware alone.

It's like an ongoing hobby project to tweak things, or make stuff and it's been fun (except for the hi hat rod thing--that's pretty psycho haha!).
I am an artist by trade, so it's kind of like a sculpture that's never "finished" too. That's why it also has to look, and feel right. Sometimes it'd be nice to just "let it go", and I have been able to do that more and more this past year.
I'm also on my way to using "normal" depths in bass drums :)
I like the sound of the deeper shells, but the lugging around is starting to get to me a bit lately. I LOVE the sound of the Black Glass Glitter 20x26. It's a super awesome sounding drum, but it's so dang heavy with that thicker wrap, AND the Mach (long) lugs on it.

With all the stuff I've done over the years, I still just use plain old Coated Ambassadors on everything but the snare head.

Yep, I am a drum nerd, blahblahblah.

And this is better than getting a new drum kit every year or so? Wow ;)
 

edvia

Senior Member
Thanks KIG. I can't take credit for the poll though, edvia put that together--and did version 2, which made me an uber-geek! Nothing I didn't know :)

It's nice to see that my thread inspired another thread! And I kinda agree with "geek" over "nerd" now that I see it differentiated like this, though I think I was using both somewhat interchangeably on my thread. As for customizing my kit, I haven't done a whole lot. Added nylon washers to all my toms and of course put on my prefered heads (coated Emperors over clear Ambassadors on the toms, coated CS reverse dot on the snare and a coated PS3 on the kick). The only other thing I can think of -- and even though it does work, I'm a little embarrassed to admit this -- I added a Kickport. But hey, at least I don't have (and have never used) four floor toms.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
And this is better than getting a new drum kit every year or so? Wow ;)

Haha right!!!

Notice that I never poke fun at anyone for changing kits and things when ever it happens....

I have so much stuff because I never turn anything over, except for a few cymbals or a snare here and there.

I do art for the shop, so I do a lot of trade with them and it's worked out well for both of us for a long time.
....I'd like to try this size,...haven't had this size.... Black Beauties, floor toms, Acrolites, cymbals.... That's how it all happened.
Thankfully, I have a good sized basement...and a wife that doesn't mind, since it's not "out of pocket" money.

These days, I don't need much of anything, so when the trade amount gets higher, I can get things I normally wouldn't buy out of pocket. Like possibly that Bronze Ludwig snare, or the special order 21" Paiste 2002 crash I'd really like, or (probably) a Red Sparkle 16x26.

I have a few more things I'd like to unload, and I'm not hung up on keeping everything anymore. I'll probably sell the second 24" GB I have, and the 20" GB too. It isn't as nice as the one I sold to a friend a few years ago. I like the hats, but I might unload them too, because the 15" Sound Edge hats are so great sounding I never switch them out.
I wonder how much 16" Sound Edge hats would be?......
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
But hey, at least I don't have (and have never used) four floor toms.

You just don't know what you're missing.
My drummer friends at the shop, yeah, THEY all thought it was crazy too--until they saw it in action! Then, I heard "that was awesome!"

I'm sorry that you have a kickport.
:)

Hey, if it works and it gets someone what they want, it's all good!
 

Leaky Johnson

Senior Member
I have a kickport too!.....scuttles back under his rock
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
I have a kickport too!.....scuttles back under his rock

Aaaaannd you needed to post it to the world too, didn't you?..... *sigh*, should have followed your signature bro...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! JK!

Does it work? Can you hear a difference when you are playing?
I get the point of it for recording, or for live stuff, but for just home playing, it seems like just a gadget to spend money on. I've been there too, so I'm just joking about people buying it.
 

keepitgreen

Senior Member
Thanks KIG. I can't take credit for the poll though, edvia put that together--and did version 2, which made me an uber-geek! Nothing I didn't know :)

Ooops... Sorry edvia! It was early this morning when I posted that, and was half way through my morning cup... Brilliant quiz tho, I haven't posted my own results yet, still waiting for all the kinks to be worked out... Probably version 5.0? ;)
 

Leaky Johnson

Senior Member
Aaaaannd you needed to post it to the world too, didn't you?..... *sigh*, should have followed your signature bro...

HAHAHAHAHAHA! JK!

Does it work? Can you hear a difference when you are playing?
I get the point of it for recording, or for live stuff, but for just home playing, it seems like just a gadget to spend money on. I've been there too, so I'm just joking about people buying it.

Yeah, for me it works. I can feel the drum better from the driver's seat and I find I can hear it better in smaller venues w/o mics.
I gig quite regularly and have had the old stink-eye from sound guys when I'd show up with an unported reso. Trying to explain technique in micing to them seemed to be like talking to a brick wall...and the first rule of gigging is be nice and helpful to the sound guy. So I port it and forget it, really.
And perhaps a bit of nerd shows in the fact that I like the way it looks too. And I can't tell you how many resos I've had ripped and marred by sound guys putting the mic in too close to the hole and the drum moving around.
I guess it comes down to the fact that not only do I notice a difference, but after installing the kickport I've had no end of positive comments from bandmembers and sound guys alike. One sound guy went so far as to say it was the easiest thing to get a great sound out of that he had ever encountered. And that from the head guy from the top rated venue here in Western Australia.
 

Red Menace

Platinum Member
Great idea for a thread Karl. I also did enjoy the drum nerd quiz more that I should have.

First off I need to thank you for the tip on using a cut up head for a bass drum patch. Works great and doesn't alter the tone the same way a flam-slam patch would. Plus it's free!

As for my own customizations... I had both the kicks on both of my kicks sliced down to a 14" depth because I just didn't care for the look or extra rumble of a deeper kick. MyStage Custom has been wrapped and then laquered over with a red snakeskin fabric. Three of my snares are custom jobs. One was made by my drum guy for himself and the other two are old Ludwig shells that have been turned into all new drums.

I have also had to replace the spring mechanism and hand cut a hex-pattern like a hex wrench on the rod of my axis pedal. I love the pedal, just needed a little modding to work properly.

My rides have been covered with a salt-lemon juice mixure to form a nice patina layer. Really curbs the highs to fine tune the sound.

Karl, do you really have Aspberger's or was that a joke?
 

edvia

Senior Member
Ooops... Sorry edvia! It was early this morning when I posted that, and was half way through my morning cup... Brilliant quiz tho, I haven't posted my own results yet, still waiting for all the kinks to be worked out... Probably version 5.0? ;)

No worries, mate! It's funny, I thought of the idea behind my quiz while watching a recent Styx concert on Palladia (if you don't know what Palladia is, it's an all-music channel that shows mostly concerts and rock documentaries, and covers a lot of cool bands like Rush, Foo Fighters, current bands, classic rock, etc.). Anyway, Todd Sucherman (Styx) is such a great drummer, but his double bass kit, gong bass drum, wind chimes and more just made me think he's gotta be a massive drum geek (in a good way, of course), and that led to me to coming up with my quiz. It was a lot of fun, and I loved some of the responses!

Oh yeah, I thought of one more way I customized my kit. I use a snare stand for my 12" tom (that's minus 2 points, I think), and I wanted to add sustain to the tom, so I cut up an old mouse pad into strips that fit where the snare rests on the stand. I used 3 strips per snare basket arm and taped them in place using black electrical tape (so it'd match the rubber tips on the basket ends). Works great, and now I have all the resonance I need.
 

Ian Ballard

Silver Member
I don't think there's anything wrong with unlimited customization. Personally, I wish ALL the drum companies would follow in Pearl's footsteps and have nearly unlimited options for wood types, plies, bearing edges, etc. The Reference Series makes so much sense it's weird that nobody thought of it before.
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
Yeah, for me it works. I can feel the drum better from the driver's seat and I find I can hear it better in smaller venues w/o mics.
I gig quite regularly and have had the old stink-eye from sound guys when I'd show up with an unported reso. Trying to explain technique in micing to them seemed to be like talking to a brick wall...and the first rule of gigging is be nice and helpful to the sound guy. So I port it and forget it, really.
And perhaps a bit of nerd shows in the fact that I like the way it looks too. And I can't tell you how many resos I've had ripped and marred by sound guys putting the mic in too close to the hole and the drum moving around.
I guess it comes down to the fact that not only do I notice a difference, but after installing the kickport I've had no end of positive comments from bandmembers and sound guys alike. One sound guy went so far as to say it was the easiest thing to get a great sound out of that he had ever encountered. And that from the head guy from the top rated venue here in Western Australia.

I now take back the joke. It works.
As long as you can detect some difference from behind the drum, it's something to think about getting if you use a 22" or smaller bass drum.

Red--yes, I have Aspergers. One of the reasons for long posts that go into extra depth sometimes...and, adjusting hi hat rods :)
 

Otto

Platinum Member
artist vrs hack?.......
 
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