Let's analyze the problem deeper in order to find a solution. How loud are you playing? Are you hitting your drums as hard as you can in order to produce a louder sound? - There are ways to produce very loud sounds without hitting your drums very hard, to begin with. Different stroke techniques for example, and certainly there are different types of equipment that can help you achieve very loud strokes.
When practicing, most drummers don't have their drum kits mic'ed. But o a gig drum mics are used all over the stage and drum-set. Changing the position of the microphones can sometimes drastically change the overall sound of the drum and the produced volume. Now i certainly understand that some drummers like to play "hard", but the reality is that all drums, drum heads and cymbals have a volume threshold. That threshold is the point where, no mater how much harder you hit them, the instruments will not give you anymore usable musical sound. When you exceed the impact limits then something has to give doesnâ??t it? Whatâ??s really happening? Letâ??s identify some possible scenarios.
1. Your drums arenâ??t mic'd at all, and everyone else in the band is playing very loud. You are playing as hard as you can so the drums can be heard. 2. You have drums, drum heads and cymbals that are not designed for the musical styles (or for use in the musical environment) that you are performing.
Therefore, you are trying to physically pound more out of them than they can produce. 3. Your drum kit is mic'd, but you are in the habit of playing so physically hard, that the sound techs turn you down in the mix. Face the reality If youâ??re playing in a very loud band and you are not mic'ing your drum kit, then you may, indeed, be bashing your gear into pieces in an effort to be heard. Up to a point, the selection of larger sticks, more durable drum heads and heavier cymbals may help you. But, even these have their volume threshold as mentioned above.
Loud, very loud, and hey man! I can't hear my drums! If the reality is that your guitar player has marshall stacks larger than refrigerators, and even you, can not hear your drums, then you really do need microphones on your kit. And some serious ear protection, as well. I am at the right gig, but i brought the wrong gear Okay, dr. John. Are you playing the gear that is just the right one for the gig? If you are playing really loud you need to realize that a 15â? thin weight crash cymbal and drums muffled up like old school studio sets just ainâ??t going to cut it. Drum sizes, drum heads and cymbals, designed for loud volume levels may be the solution for the breakage you are experiencing.
But only up to their own limitations. You can be heard without killing yourself If you are using the appropriate kind of gear and yet you are constantly breaking components in an effort to be heard then you definitely need to mic your kit. With todayâ??s modern sound reinforcement gear, available at reasonable prices, you should not have to damage your drums and cymbals in order to be heard. In fact, the purchase of mic's is going to end up saving you some cash. It may be a little different using microphones on your drum kit makes it much easier for you to play in a relaxed easy style and be heard just fine.
You will need to tune your drums so that the microphones capture the kind of sound you desire to go to the audience. To make sure of that, you need to tune up the kit while listening to the way it sounds through the pa speakers. For example, my drum kit for shows for is set up with tunings for use with microphones, and to be honest, it doesnâ??t sound very good to me without the microphones on it. Thatâ??s because the mic's are capturing sound from certain spots or narrow zones on the kit.
What the microphone â??hearsâ? from that spot is what is going to come out the sound reinforcement speakers. Now combined with some carefully applied eq (equalization. Enhancement of specific highs, mids, and lows) my show kit sounds sound bigger-than-life coming through the pa. Depending on the venue there are sometimes weird overtones, or other undesirable sounds that have to be padded out, so time with the sound techs is really advised before each performance.
Remember now you have power steering - With drum kit microphones, you wonâ??t have to play as hard anymore. You can still play solid, but you do not have to pound the heck out of your kit. So realize that if you do continue to play brutally hard, then the sound tech may have to will probably turn you down in the mix. If that happens youâ??ll loose a lot of the advantages of being mic'd up. So be smart and work with the sound tech so that your mix to the main speakers and your monitor mix are both as good as you can get them.
Hearing a good mix will inspire you to play tastefully and give you a bit of a different perspective about how you play. Cymbals Although drums of any size can be tuned (within their optimum tuning range and size capability) to sound good when miked up, cymbals can't. Other than using different sticks, they are what they are. So we have a completely different situation in selecting the right cymbals to use for loud performances.
You need to select the sizes, weights, and models that will sound good and also survive for the next performance. All of the major cymbal makers today design cymbal models for the various styles of playing and volume levels. So if you're constantly breaking cymbals then you are likely using the wrong kind of cymbals for the music you're performing. Good sounding professional quality cymbals are expensive so i strongly suggest that you choose what you need carefully and take proper care of them. The main set up tip i can offer is do not tighten them down on the stand to tight that they can't move very freely. If they can't move freely, they may not survive the adrenaline rush hits you!.
Different methods of using Drum Mics and Drum Sticks are discussed at the Drum Forum of Drum Solo Artist where real drummers give real tips and advices.