What heads are you currently using?

YamahaPlayer
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby YamahaPlayer » Wed Dec 08, 2010 11:37 am

Henry II wrote:Funny, I keep the same heads on my drums for years at a time. To me, as long as I don't dent the heads (and I rarely do), the older the head, the better it sounds. I change batter side snare heads when the coating or texture is too smooth to get a good brush sound on it.



That is always interesting to me. On one hand you have super expensive, highly researched drums that are designed through numerous angles to resonate the most they possibly can.. PHX's for example. And players who are renown for having amazing drum sounds.. Dave Weckl for example.

And then you have people who really enjoy that muffled, dead(ish) drum sound. Which is totally cool.

It's like, as someone said previously in this thread, you get people with expensive drums and the most dead heads, it makes you wonder. I saw a PHX set with pinstripes and duct tape on it recently, it's like looking at a Ferrari with flat tires towing a trailer.

Then again, I've never been in a studio that kept worn heads around because they sound better *shrug*
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Henry II
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Henry II » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:02 pm

YamahaPlayer wrote:
Henry II wrote:Funny, I keep the same heads on my drums for years at a time. To me, as long as I don't dent the heads (and I rarely do), the older the head, the better it sounds. I change batter side snare heads when the coating or texture is too smooth to get a good brush sound on it.



That is always interesting to me. On one hand you have super expensive, highly researched drums that are designed through numerous angles to resonate the most they possibly can.. PHX's for example. And players who are renown for having amazing drum sounds.. Dave Weckl for example.

And then you have people who really enjoy that muffled, dead(ish) drum sound. Which is totally cool.

It's like, as someone said previously in this thread, you get people with expensive drums and the most dead heads, it makes you wonder. I saw a PHX set with pinstripes and duct tape on it recently, it's like looking at a Ferrari with flat tires towing a trailer.

Then again, I've never been in a studio that kept worn heads around because they sound better *shrug*


I personally don't like a muffled drum sound. I play single ply coated batters and clear resos on all drums (with no other muffling), except my bass drum which has a built in felt muffle ring but no other muffling. There's just something about the sound of a well worn head . . . it's mellow. I don't consider that muffled myself. Double ply heads with large dots, muffle rings, moon gel, etc., etc., that's muffled.

Further, IMHO, maximum resonance doesn't necessarily make the most musical sounding instrument. In large part, it depends on the venue you're in. Bigger spaces swallow resonance and make the most resonant set up sound boxy from 20 feet away. If you're in a small venue, or in a very live, acoustically perfect, auditorium, and you're playing large drums wide open with new heads etc, etc, it's not going to sound very good or be balanced with the band. If you're playing amplified music and you're mic'd up, resonance is, at best, irrelevant and, at worst, unwanted.
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Lucas Ives
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Lucas Ives » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:45 pm

Henry II wrote:If you're playing amplified music and you're mic'd up, resonance is, at best, irrelevant and, at worst, unwanted.


This is only true if your FOH engineer doesn't understand what s/he's doing. :)

But yeah, in 99% of live situations, pretty much every club I've ever been to with a "house guy," this is true.
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Rhythmatist
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Rhythmatist » Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:18 pm

Coated Ambs forever basically...clear amb resos the last 30 years or so.

The best live foh guy I ever worked with was, of course, a drummer himself...he loves my wide open kit and welcomes a cranked snare with no muffle. He gets a very huge yet musical sound.
chris Hendrich
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby chris Hendrich » Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:57 pm

YamahaPlayer wrote: And yes, if any of us are going through heads at a consistently faster rate then you, it in all likelihood means we play that much more then you.


really? in my eyes it just means you might hit harder or in a wrong angle.
And I don't really know a lot of drummers who buy heads in huge bulks. The guys with bulks are usually guys who are endorsed and don't have to pay , or just a fraction.
What music are you playing that you use so many heads? You have a metal gig everyday?
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Matus
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Matus » Thu Dec 09, 2010 1:29 am

It doesn't have to be a metal gig. I, for instance, have to change heads every once in a while because my deal isn't that good anymore and I really don't feel the need to do so. A snare head would last a good couple of months of regular gigging (we're talking coated Emperors, of course) and for the last few years that's been part rock/metal and part pop artists who demand high stage pressure. When you're playing big open places for 2000 or 3000 people in a worst case scenario and it's a high energy show, you just have to deliver. And yes, I've gone through the first ply of a snare Emperor a couple times, it's just bad luck and part of the job.
The other factor is the kind of sound you expect from your drums. An older, more gently played head won't sound exactly muffled but contained. You won't get all the overtones you get from a new one, at least not that much. And some people don't really like them, so it's cool, it depends on what you're looking for. I know people who really enjoy worn out snare heads and they really know what they're doing.
As for a FOH engineers, the best one I've ever worked with was a guy who didn't want to use any gating/compression on the drumkit. My drums were wide open (coated G2s at the time) and all he did was proper mic placing, a bit of EQ and some gating on the BD and bottom snare mics. Then put them into place and let us do the magic. Again, big open places with big PA systems. Overtones aren't necessarily bad, either live or in the studio. It all depends on how the guy will treat your sound afterwards. For instance, if you have a wide open snare drum and the man is going to compress the hell out of it, it's gonna be a mess because overtones will be all over the place. Same with the rest of the kit and the cymbals, of course. Good live engineering will never make a problem of a good sounding kit.
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Rhythmatist
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Rhythmatist » Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:25 pm

Matus wrote:Overtones aren't necessarily bad, either live or in the studio. It all depends on how the guy will treat your sound afterwards. For instance, if you have a wide open snare drum and the man is going to compress the hell out of it, it's gonna be a mess because overtones will be all over the place. Same with the rest of the kit and the cymbals, of course. Good live engineering will never make a problem of a good sounding kit.


Well said, and so very true!
YamahaPlayer
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby YamahaPlayer » Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:15 pm

chris Hendrich wrote:
YamahaPlayer wrote: And yes, if any of us are going through heads at a consistently faster rate then you, it in all likelihood means we play that much more then you.


really? in my eyes it just means you might hit harder or in a wrong angle.
And I don't really know a lot of drummers who buy heads in huge bulks. The guys with bulks are usually guys who are endorsed and don't have to pay , or just a fraction.
What music are you playing that you use so many heads? You have a metal gig everyday?


Heck man, I play 100x more notes with a latin gig then a hard rock one. And my technique is beautiful, if I do say so, not a dent in any given head and the true signs of movement wear - around the edges, where the head flex's the most. They just run out of tone. You take em off, and tap em, just dead heads. Worn out.

Also, I probably log 4-5 hours a day on a kit on average. Between shedding, gigging and teaching, it's just a lot of hours on the heads. Simple as that. Rotating snares helps because they get the most use by far, but even still.

Call it like guitar strings or otherwise - I'm in love with tone. I'd use new heads constantly if I could afford it, I do get a decent break, but even still. There's a reason I dropped a grip of cash on my PHX's... it's not cause they are pretty, well they are but.
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Matthijs Ament
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby Matthijs Ament » Tue Dec 14, 2010 12:48 am

For some reason I find that used heads are great to play on, my own heads that is. It's known that Gadd likes to play on his heads for the longest possible time, to the point where it gets scary ;-] But the overall sound of new heads is more complex, full, rich and more open. The whole thing depends on the drummer. Some drummers, like Gene Hoglan, manage to 'kill' a head in 20 minutes. The older head, the less harmonics it has. To me, a coated amb sounds a bit muffled. I like those heads for big band and jazz, but for modern pop and rock I often use the clear ambs for their sharper attack. Today we have so many different great quality products to choose from. I'm with Remo for the most part because I like both the sound and the feel of these heads.
YamahaPlayer
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Re: What heads are you currently using?

Postby YamahaPlayer » Tue Dec 14, 2010 9:42 am

Oh for sure, Danny Carey changes heads out for every take when recording. I've never seen Vinnie NOT be playing on brand new heads in any situation. I think every studio situation I've been in was using new heads, at least for the entire session if not more then once.

Here's a REALLY cool and enlightening write up someone did on drum head vibrations, complete with pictures and video:
http://www.snarescience.com/forums/view ... f=6&t=9256

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