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Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

with Kris Crummett

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  •   01 Class Introduction


Class duration: 8h 47m

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About The Class

make sure your drums sound amazing.

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.

Lesson Plan

  1. 01

    Class Introduction

  2. 02

    Drum Head Replacement and Tuning

  3. 03

    Choosing the Right Drums

  4. 04

    Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 22x18 Evans Coated

  5. 05

    Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 22x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

  6. 06

    Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 24x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

  7. 07

    Choosing a Kick Drum - WFL 26x16 Clear Remo Powerstroke

  8. 08

    Choosing a Snare - Tama Monarch 14x6.5

  9. 09

    Choosing a Snare - Tama Starclassic Maple 14x6.5

  10. 10

    Choosing a Snare - 1950s WFL 14 x 6.5

  11. 11

    Choosing a Snare - Ludwig Black Beauty 14x6.5

  12. 12

    Choosing a Snare - Pearl Reference Brass and Tama Bell Brass War

  13. 13

    Choosing a Snare - Pearl Jimmy Degrasso 14x5.5

  14. 14

    Choosing a Snare - Black Panther Walnut 14x5.5

  15. 15

    Choosing Toms

  16. 16

    Choosing Cymbals

  17. 17

    Kick Drum Microphone Choice and Placement Part I

  18. 18

    Kick Drum Microphone Choice and Placement Part II

  19. 19

    Snare Microphone Selection and Placement Part 1

  20. 20

    Snare Drum Microphone Selection & Placement Part II

  21. 21

    Tom Microphone Selection and Placement

  22. 22

    Overhead Microphone Selection and Placement

  23. 23

    Room Microphone Selection and Placement

  24. 24

    Room Effect Microphone Choice and Placement

  25. 25

    Room Acoustics and Treatment Options

  26. 26

    Knowing the Drummer's Playing Style

  27. 27

    Final Thoughts on Drum Tones

  28. 28

    Tracking Drum Parts Separately

  29. 29

    Skype Q&A


Meet Your Expert

Kris Crummett

In the past In the past 10 years, Producer/Engineer Kris Crummett has worked with hundreds of bands and labels around the globe. He prides him himself on his ability to work efficiently anywhere while still having Interlace Audio as his ... read more

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Bonus Material

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  • pdf Kris Crummett - Syllabus.pdf
  • zip Kris Crummett - Pro Tools

100% of students recommend this class.
See what some of them have to say.

  • Kevin Howard

    Kevin Howard

    December 2018

    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 !


    February 2016

    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.

  • Julio Paredes Rosero

    Julio Paredes Rosero

    July 2015

    Why this video does not have any type of preview? How do I Know the potential of this course?

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