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Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Lesson 9 of 29

Choosing a Snare - Tama Starclassic Maple 14x6.5

Kris Crummett

Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Kris Crummett

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Lesson Info

9. Choosing a Snare - Tama Starclassic Maple 14x6.5

Lesson Info

Choosing a Snare - Tama Starclassic Maple 14x6.5

Now um we will do an all maple thoma that's the same dimensions, but it has a little bit different head because it's also less plies um it's a little bit thinner of a shell and there's another head that I know that I like on it. It has the same snares though, so it's going to be similar in the way it's set up, but this has a ream oh, emperor x, which is just a little different honestly couldn't tell you the exact difference between the heads I find that I can get a little more thump out of an emperor x andi has a little less crack I feel like the controlled sound has more mids and has kind of a nice woody sound to it, but this drum is very woody sounding itself, so it does not need the head that has the more mid range is sound about the same amount of moon gel on that um just because I know that's what I'm going to do in the end and that's a thomas starr classic maple from the mid nineties there a little bit different drum now they make him thicker now, but I do like this trump and it ...

looks like that had got put on backwards, but we'll pretend like it isn't what's and it's also tuned to the exact same numbers on the drum doll uh, because the head is a little different the pitch is slightly different. Um it's also eighty six on top in seventy six on the bottom make a marker here thomas stark classic mabel I love tom listeners talking make some of my favorite snares and they've made a lot of innovative snares over the years very, very cool company um just like the monarch that I showed you there's not a lot of drums that air quite like that. Really? There is no other drum that's quite like that that's that's a signature that's a player simon phillips is drum to signature snare what when he was playing for taba and uh it's really need is a really cool drum that he developed with them this one's about as basic as it gets, but it's also a very cool drunk so need the monitors and play the same beat and you can hear that mabel is a little more lively. It's got a little more bucket to it but it has less of that like hard mids which are cool about the monarch which comes from the building and the different reinforcement rings. The reinforcement rings are a lot thicker so there's more wood on the monarch so where the reinforcement rings on that air thinner although I believe that the new tom a maple snares are more like the monarch and the reinforcement rings but I could be wrong yeah I think there which is which is cool which I like and I should probably get one of those sometimes soon I just have I got that drum when I was like fifteen as well and just it was attached in my heart but we don't have to use it about that attach play it back and you can hear that that head itself brings in a little more low in which I like for that drum um but it also but and the drum itself has a little more low in and a little softer overall but on by low and I mean kind of that bucket he sound that three hundred hertz two hundred hertz era area but the thing that I have always noticed about this drum and you can hear is that from hit to hit it just naturally doesn't sound quite as consistent so it even I mean it sounds pretty consistent here but if you have a drummer who's less consistent than kj it may not be the best choice yeah but yeah I heard a big difference between the rebels shot and the non rem shot versus the other standard yeah very a little difference yeah the other stare stays consistent on state has a wider tuning ranges well even though I'm not going to demonstrate that right now because of the wood and because of the way it's made it has a wider tuning range but in this snares defense non rem shots actually sound really cool in this snare and have kind of a thirty sound without being tuned super low because that's not low tuned I mean it feels pretty solid on the top right yeah but you can hear that kind of bucket e um splatter sound that's the monarch it's a lot tighter than a lot more consistent I'd say overall the more sophisticated especially a snare drum as the more you can do with it but maybe the lest less vibe overall room vibe has like an older job there's less you could do with it it's got mainly just one sound and that might not be you know the best for like the close might be really good for like the yes exactly and it and it depends on the song and the player and all that stuff also this drum has die cast hoops which him which which affects the sound it's a little hard to compare this drum to that drum hope wise but this drum with uh triple plant oops is just out of control because it's already kind of lose sounding and triple flinch can give it a little bit more of open sound it is just a little too much which is why I keep die cast hoops on it as you can hear even without room mike's just the overheads there is more of like a space filled by this drum as to where the bigoted and maple drum is a little bit tighter. Focus sounds more like in your face, which would be way better for, like ghost notes and aggression type stuff. But if you just have, like, a mid tem bowed rocker, this could be really cool. Snare. Yeah, it's, a little more, uh, is good for the open sound, I think. Yeah, yeah, that has a nice open sound, too.

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.