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Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Lesson 6 of 29

Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 24x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

Kris Crummett

Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Kris Crummett

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Lesson Info

6. Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 24x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

Lesson Info

Choosing a Kick Drum - DW 24x18 Clear Remo Powerstroke

We're going to continue and continue on our kick drum quest in finding the right kick drum for the sound we want right now granted, I didn't really set up a sound you know that we're looking after we didn't really discuss the right sound, but right now I just want to go through the different drums and we'll hear the different sounds and then me and k j will decide on what what kick drum news and we'll build the rest of the kids from there. So we've already heard both twenty two's and done examples of different head types two pretty popular head types for twenty two by eighteen inch kick drum. Next thing I want to show you is ah twenty four by eighteen so it's the same depth it's going to have a similar field but it's going to be a little bit lower because it's a little bit taller and there's a little more space and said a little more wood to it so we'll pull the do you want twelve off here and I will take this pillow out because I only brought one pillow way could have brought more the...

pool but I just want to drive that home taking off the bass drum pedal and get twenty two out of the way and we'll bring in a fairly similar looking um twenty four and you know what I want to do before I set this up I did want to show you guys what the g mad looked like in case you're not clear on what we were talking about what the dampening rings um this is the batter side head and it has this plastic piece right here that's attached is glued on and it allows you to put different size rings inside it. So that's what we were doing when we were discussing that I know that that's on the opposite side of camera and this twenty four inch drum is also maple it's really pretty much the same build same bearing edges as the twenty two's same brand so the main difference here is the height, you know, or the radius whatever. However you want to describe the size of a circle and it has the evans um emad on the front imad resident resonant, which is a little bit of any cute head like I was talking about and has the power stroke three on the batter side, which is similar to the green drum green twenty two and now this is something that you want to keep in mind with bigger drums. You might be focusing on the sound thinking about how you want a big sound but again, you gotta remember the player one thing that people don't always think about when factoring in um when factoring in larger drum sizes and kick drums is that it's going to put the racked on taller so when you're doing stuff like this, make sure your drum drummer is, um comfortable with iraq tom being higher because the taller the drum the taller the rack tom's going to be which is going to put its symbols a little bit higher and probably have to put a snare a little bit higher depending unless he can just deal with the tom higher so just keep that in mind because that's a pretty big variable you could get like your favorite kick drum sound and it's a twenty six that's two inches taller than this and then all of a sudden you realize that your favorite tom is like ten inches deep and instead of the tom being here the tom is like here now and you know, that's kind of an uncomfortable place to be in a really good drummer can work with that, but your drummer might not be able to work with that, so keep that in mind and be courteous you know you're not the drummer's, not your enemy, you want to make sure he can play in a way that works for himself let me spill back in here and this one actually has the smallest hole of any of them luckily we have a thin pillow fits right in cage is fixing the kick drum little that doesn't didn't wantto clamp down there got it excellent doing twelve back in here again the smaller hole on the resident had makes a little tricky so angling the mike down fitted in putting it back in position and now this lower so I have to bring the backside of the stand down but I'm gonna push the mic up in the clip just a little bit so that it evens out make sure we're not hitting on that leg needs to be down oh yeah huh good calling it will one like a drum also think about having the legs down in a kick drum that makes a difference in the sound is that usually you want the feet toe lift the front of the kick just slightly off the ground so the ground isn't dampening because the you know the great if you have a drum sitting on the ground you pretty much have the weight of the drum dampening the drum you know it's it's holding itself down so if you want it to be lively just lifted off the ground a little bit on and that's the importance of having the legs down and there might be sounds you know I've used a vintage drums that have legs that aren't as good and they're a little ringing set it on the ground used this kick uh blocking carpet and it still sounds great but for this I want all the kick drums to be as close to each other as possible so she's saying right so I want the feet up just like the other one's core. Now write this down in my session also gonna put the queue back to where it was less drastic just because we're not using that e cute head one had more bass. This is more of the q I had on the green drum it's a little bit of a guess, a little bit of uneducated kiss there so make a marker this's the dw twenty four by eighteen um black and red my comments were still in the clipboard they are this is going to be power stroke three on the batter and then and evans e mad, which is a little different than g mad resident inside outside mike is still doing twelve overhead. There still came one eight fours and we're still using, um the rubber beater on the iron cobra arm these me, my monitors you want to give us a couple nice hard hits on that notice how that kick is actually making the snare ring a little bit differently, just something you may or may not want to compensate for. I'll play these back on will compare them to the twenty two that's twenty four and here's the twenty two with this with the same president or same batter head and similar resident it's a little tighter twenty four again it's lower in a little click here so you the center of the drum is a little different too, so I'm finding that the mike actually probably needs to be adjusted a little differently and also bigger drum you might want a little bit more dampening in there, and the fundamentalists is the lower note, and so it might not be hating the chest hard. Yeah, exactly especially, um with the q scheme I have going on it's, it was based around the twenty two so right, I probably want to change where I'm scooping out frequencies for the twenty four you can hear without the and then here the twenty two without the queue, just a very different sound, but I find twenty four's you had to be more open, but they can actually have more top end because there's, the tone of the drum and the frequencies that are being focused on are a little bit lower than then what you're here wants to focus on, but again e q a little more dampening can make a drum like that sound really cool? Um what record that one more time with the adjustments I made and see if it makes enough difference? Listen back to that a little bit of a difference, not a huge difference, this is a situation and we'll talk about this more later we're also you may we just want to choose a different mike this maybe just isn't the right mike for this drum and that's kind of how I'm feeling right now and that's just a natural feeling I get doing stuff like this over the years, the second I hear something like that for me, one of the biggest problems is it needs a little more dampening but also it's just not really the right mike or the right placement for this particular drum, so we could we'll dive deeper into that when we get into mike's and mic placement and what not. But the interesting thing I find about this drum is that the twenty two seems a little more forgiving as to where a twenty four and twenty six you're going tohave teo, you could get a sound you like more and I do all the time I love recording twenty four it's one of my favorite drums but you do have to work a little harder because it's a little less forgiving of a drum because it's bigger the tuning varies a little more and like he said, the um the note of the drum is just lower, so you have to compensate for that it's a little more of an odd place than the twenty two would be so let's switch this out and we're going to go even bigger but shallower with twenty six what I hear the difference between the twenty two and twenty four is the attack well, I know a lot of metal jammers will choose twenty four's because there's more attack and then a twenty two or twenty inch kick dramas little more well rounded for various styles exactly and twenty four because the note is lower it nationally pushes the high frequencies higher, so you have that click and you have that boom which is cool for metal or like really radio rock type stuff but if you want focused more like clomid style kick drum that's when you would get into like a twenty two by eighteen and also I've used twenty four's that are like twenty four by twenty and you get even a little bit more of a cannon sound out of them. The deeper you get, the more of that scoop you're going to get and the shallower you get like a twenty four by sixteen is also a really cool sound because twenty four sixteen sounds a little more like a twenty two by eighteen because you have the same air space basically that you're filling even though it's a different shape I know it will still be lower, but if we if we were trying to match the twenty two frequency range with a twenty four we'd want is a twenty four sixteen but I didn't have one on hand, so I brought what I could

Class Description

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.


Kevin Howard

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 !


this is a great class! i play drums personally, and i love percussion! he also teaches well


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.