Drum kit styles

Discussion in 'The Rehearsal Room' started by animal.22, Feb 25, 2010.

  1. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Just wondered what people prefered for brass band purposes :-

    Standard "rock" sizes 14" snare 12" 13" & 16" floor toms & 22" kick bass or

    "Fusion" sizes 14" snare 10" 12" 14" toms and 20" kick bass

    Also steel or wooden snare?

    Finally - "ported" or "full" kick bass resonator head ?

    Just asking because "EVENTUALLY" I will have the finance to purchase a new kit for the band I play with.
  2. iaindrum

    iaindrum Member

    Go fusion as it responds far better to the player were a rock kit wont have the control for most pieces and wont be as subtle, I use a steel snare which is very crisp but you will find these to be slightly lounder than say a maple snare, other things to think off is that a maple kit is brighter sounding than a birch kit which will give you a fatter tone.
    Hope this helps
  3. Bass Trumpet

    Bass Trumpet Active Member

    I think if you were to ask most bands what drum kit they prefer they would answer: 'One that comes with a good kit player who doesn't rush/drag and doesn't charge anything!'

    Sorry if this is a flippant answer, but so many bands I've been involved with end up being charged the earth by drummers/percussionists who really aren't up to the job.

    Back to the matter in hand though, this is an interesting question. A kit player in a brass band has to be a real jack-of-all-trades. They might find themselves playing big band jazz one minute, then William Rimmer the next. My (uneducated) answer would have to be that the player chooses the set-up the enables them to get the most variety of sounds within one kit. Sadly, a kit player joining a band often finds themselves playing on whatever happens to be in the cupboard, as so many bands often leave percussion on the bottom of the list when it comes to instrument purchase.
  4. brassneck

    brassneck Active Member

    That's the advice I've been given from many session guys over the years. The last thing they want to do is have a van load of kit being moved from gig to gig. Reasons are more practical than becoming a travelling percussion exhibition.
  5. Andrew Norman

    Andrew Norman Active Member

    "Pearl Rhythm Traveler" (yes that's the spelling !!)
    A friend of mine has one of these .Compact, easy to transport and with a good all round sound that is suprisingly "big".
  6. Mr Guinness

    Mr Guinness Member

    Go with the fusion kit. Iaindrum is right - it will provide a good basis for all styles. The kick doesn't have to be as small as 20" - mine's 22". It's a matter of taste.

    Steel and brass snares are generally brighter whereas wood snares are warmer. I favour steel as a 'one size fits all' solution. Having the option of both is great though. And how you tune them is important too.

    The ported head issue is pretty much irrelevant. It's great if you need to stuff a mic in there or need to adjust a damper etc, but otherwise has little effect. The cost difference is negligible however, so go with whatever you prefer the look of.

    Depends entirely on what you are trying to achieve. The Traveler is a 'half way house' solution providing good portability at the expense of sound quality. If you drive a Smartcar buy one of these, if not, buy a kit that you genuinly love the sound of. After all, it's your instrument - it's a personal thing. :D
  7. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    I think if you were to ask most bands what drum kit they prefer they would answer: 'One that comes with a good kit player who doesn't rush/drag and doesn't charge anything!'

    Fully agree with you there,a good player on a rough kit will sound ok but a bad player on a good kit is a waste of time and space.

    On reflection I could be tempted into fusion sizes.
    Thanks for the input guys :)
  8. fartycat

    fartycat Member

    Almost any kit will sound half decent with some decent skins on tuned right. I say almost as I've never been able to tune a few kits to my liking (Pearl Export being one make I just can't get on with having tried to tune six of 'em straight out of the box, never could get them sounding ok).

    Also, I think it's moving away from simply 'rock' or 'fusion' kits nowadays with many kits being sold with fusion size toms and bass drum but a rock size floor tom (16") or vice versa and personally I like big bass and floor toms but small rack toms - that suits a lot of the jazzier pieces we play (for example I don't like playing Sing, Sing, Sing on a 14" floor tom!).

    I think that steel snares (unless they are very good and tuned well) sound cheap for my eyes or rather ears! I prefer wood although I do also have a nice Pearl brass free floater. Again, wood for me tends to fit in more with jazzier and orchestral stuff.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2010
  9. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    Don't skimp on your snare...and make sure you get something that has as little sympathetic resonance as possible...then if you end up recording you won't incur the wrath of the producer for wrecking things....
  10. yep, definetely the fusion set up, the toms are evenly spaced 10" 12" and 14" this comes in very useful if there are tom parts in test pieces, this is becoming increasingly popular these days. the 20" bass drum will cut nicely through the band too, maple for warm open sounds or birch for cutting controlled sounds. snares are totally personal choice.......i use a 1964 ludwig acrolite and a 1975 ludwig supraphonic or the 400 as its better known. :) hope this helps
  11. jim

    jim Member

    Decent skins for me on a kit are vital, so many bands drum kits have been knocked around and have dented ripped skins which can make them sound awful. Most kits are selvigable with new skins and tlc cases also even if there cheep 'bags' there worth there wait in gold in the long term. I have a goofdfriend who used a Yamah Stage customer which he put some evans skins on sound excellent for band work. 20' bass drum 10' 12 toms 14 free standing floor tom.
  12. drumstyx

    drumstyx New Member

    this maybe all well and good saying that a fusion kit is best for brass.. but the 8 years i've been playing kit in brass bands.. i've had a rock drum kit.. and its worked really well for me. i fint that my Mapex has the right tone for the brass bands ive played with.. and well.. tuned correctly.. can work for anything. i think the more important part of the thread should be what cymbals.. as alot more band pieces are being written with cymbal effects these days, like the lovatt cooper upturned cymbal on timp.. or just general cymbal rolls.. which cymbals do people think fit the bill when it comes to the perfect cymbal roll?
    during pieces like.. i'll walk with god.. or anything in that kind of genre.. i find that my Sabian AAX 18'' has a perfect sound to it.. it rolls well and has a good sustain.. but for more up beat pieces.. i'm not sure what i'd use..

    what do people think?
  13. i think any kit with decent heads and a little bit of effort in the tuning department can sound good to be honest, as far as cymbals go, most bands i have depped/played with have had lottery grants and have been given some zildjian/sabian cymbals and they have sounded awful. at least you can tune or swap heads on a kit, but if you get a duff cymbal you have had it. even the top brand cymbal makers arent consistent and no 2 cymbals sound the same, my advice is try before you buy and dont buy online to save yourself £10.00!:)
  14. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    Aha! Tuning! I know what I like the sound of behind the kit but from an audiance point of view I'm not so sure.Having heard myself on a recording I find what I "like" sounds very deep and boomy with not much tonal definition between all three toms.

    Cymbals are another story, I use Zyldjian ZBT which I think are the bottom of the range and find them to be a bit unresponsive and clangy at anything less than a forte dynamic.Definately try before you buy.
  15. Ali Woodman

    Ali Woodman New Member

    I have never been a fan of rock sizes unless you can closely mic them up. For me the bigger toms sound better tuned low, but have very little projection unless amplifiled and damped.

    Fusion toms cut through in leve situation so much better, and smaller the size, the easier to tune.....at least that's what I find. Also, take some time to listen to your kit from 'front of house'. Very often your kit might sound great when you are sat behind it, but get in the audience and it sounds like a sack of cack!

    Personally, I use a Mapex Pro M Fusion, 10,12 and 14, 16 Floor Toms, 22x18 Kick. This set up suits me for all situations. I use Evans G2s on the rack toms, and EC2s on the floor toms with no damping (apart from when recording, and then only a bit of moon gel.

    I am no so keen on metal snares, but it's just a personal thing. I have a couple but my main snare is Mapex Black Panther 6.5 Maple/Walnut Hybrid, which can be tuned to suit any style.

    I would take some time to try a few kits out, Mapex, Tama, Yamaha, gretch, Sonor, Ludwig all make really decent mid-price and semi-pro kits that with some decent heads and a bit of tuning will sound very cool.
  16. SallyArmyBando

    SallyArmyBando New Member

    Apologies if any of this has already been mentioned, i'm just on a quick trip on the computer.

    In our band, we use a Mapex Maple Kit. It's a fusion and it's very nice to play! As like Ali, we also use Evans G2's. They are easy to tune, and give out a very nice sound. I'd also invest in some E-Rings.. They go very well with the evans heads. On the snare we're using a Coated Power Centre Reverse Dot. This gives a nice sound, especially towards the centre of the head.

    I hope this has been of some help to you.
  17. Tub Thumper

    Tub Thumper Member

    Fusion set up every time - versatile enough for all styles a brass band covers, easier to control the volume and as someone has already said the 10, 12 & 14 toms are handy for tom parts in test pieces (even space between their sizes makes it easier to tune them to nice intervals).
  18. animal.22

    animal.22 Member

    It would seem ,as most of you have said,that fusion sizes are the way to go.I get the impression that you get a much broarder tonal spectrum in the toms at these sizes.
    Food for thought,many thanks guys. :)