It's the room not the kit !

Captain Bash

Silver Member
A story which may resonate with some.

So last night I turn up to rehearse with a newly formed heavy blues soul band. The band leader asked me to just bring breakables to save on tear down setup time - fair enough. So after a 20 minute drive across town I am greeted with the dubious in house kit, a horrible Trak 4 piece from about 1987 ? The kit has seen some serious mileage and abuse, luckily the kick has a evans 4 head with a felt strip. I fit my kick pedal and give it whirl, wow the kick sounds greeeeeeat, as good as my 22 MCAN. At break time I take the same Trak kick out to a different room and play the same drum..... What I am greeted with is the sound of a totally flat awful cardboard box. So it's the room not the drum. I also took my brass Keplinger snare and it sounded ok but not it's usual mellow crunchy aggressive self but switched this out for a small Pearl Omar Hakim snare and this little 13" thing sounded very full.

Lesson learnt drum rooms make a huge difference to sound, sometimes more than the drums themselves.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
It's the room And the kit And the heads And the tuning Andy the player :)
 

Duck Tape

Platinum Member
Definitely something that we underestimate.

I notice this when I'm shopping for cymbals too.

I think they sound terrible on those cymbal racks.
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
Yup! Room make a difference. My kit use to be in a bigger room and it sounded great, now its in a smaller one and it tends to resonate more....louder too
 

incrementalg

Gold Member
The room in the house where I grew up had phenomenal acoustics. Not sure what it was, but guys always complimented on my drum sound. The room was medium sized, with carpet on one half and tile on the other. It had a drop ceiling and wood wainscoting around the perimeter with faux wood paneling from the wainscoting to the ceiling.

Just a good combination for drums, I guess.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
Agreed, the room is very influential on the sound of drums.

I think maybe the floor has the most influence on the sound..........

.
 

tamadrm

Platinum Member
Joe Morello said to me at a clinic...."tune for the room".He was so right,but there's also lots of other factors involved also,from heads,tuning,drum size,stick size,technique,size of a crowd,and how that effects EQ.,as well as room construction.

But in the end,it all comes down to the guy sitting behind those drums.

Steve B
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
Joe Morello said to me at a clinic...."tune for the room".He was so right,but there's also lots of other factors involved also,from heads,tuning,drum size,stick size,technique,size of a crowd,and how that effects EQ.,as well as room construction.

But in the end,it all comes down to the guy sitting behind those drums.

Steve B
Tuning to the room is true. When I mentioned before that my drums resonated too much I had to mess with the resos to cutnit down a bit.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
I think maybe the floor has the most influence on the sound..........

Most influential factor IMO is ceiling height and shape, along with material, generally speaking.

Sure a riser could be too hollow for example, but the height, shape and material of the overhead ceiling will drastically affect thee sound of a snare drum and toms.
 

mmulcahy1

Platinum Member
So, how DOES one tune for the room? Just by listening to the drum(s)? Is it that simple?

Not having much experience in playing other rooms, I would like to understand and know how to do this?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
OK so here's a question -what's your approach when the 'room' is outside, say open air, wedding etc.? Tune higher or lower?
 

v.zarate

Gold Member
In my case,

I use to have my dw kit in a big room. The sound would travel farther so didnt have a problem. The kit sounded great. Once I moved it into a way smaller room, I noticed that the kit has a long resonance (or sustain, which ever word is correct to use) which I didnt want and a annoying snare buzz. Moved it back into the bigger room and it was great again. Put it back in the smallet room and crap again. I ended up messing with the reso heads on the toms and manged to control the resonances again. Also less snare buzz. Thats what worked for me. I "tuned" for the room. I even went as far as bring the kit outside which I never do and it was fine. Idk I do have the odd ball kit in the dw family.
 

porter

Platinum Member
Agreed, the room is very influential on the sound of drums.

I think maybe the floor has the most influence on the sound..........

.
According to a recent MD, Simon Phillips brings plywood or something to put under his drums at every gig. (of course this is as far as i remember)
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
OK so here's a question -what's your approach when the 'room' is outside, say open air, wedding etc.? Tune higher or lower?
Tune up - every time - unless your tuning is already high.

Who's Andy?
It was a typo, but I left it in place to see if anyone would notice the clearly "not to be taken seriously" piece of self promotion.

Andy :)
 

SgtThump

Platinum Member
So, how DOES one tune for the room? Just by listening to the drum(s)? Is it that simple?

Not having much experience in playing other rooms, I would like to understand and know how to do this?
All it's really saying is that you may need to adjust the tuning of your drums to sound the way you like when you move into another environment. Just by listening to the drums. It really is that simple!
 
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