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Best Recorded Drum SOUND

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  • Best Recorded Drum SOUND

    Here's a subjective one for you:

    What (in your opinion) is the best recorded drum SOUND you've ever heard?

    Now bear in mind, this doesn't mean your favorite band or drummer necessarily, or best performance, or anything of that sort. What I mean is, what do you think is the ultimate drum tones/sound on vinyl or disc, the one you'd like to achieve in your own recording, independent of all other factors.

    Extra credit: Explain why?

    Remember - best SOUND, not performance, drummer, song, or band.

    Discuss amongst yourselves....

    Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.

  • #2
    Jimmy C

    Yea, Moving Pictures and also the later Police stuff really influenced my tastes in drum sounds. But one that always gets me is when I hear the live version of Paul McCartney & Wings' "Maybe I'm Amazed." Amazing sound, indeed .
    E-drums: TD-20, RT-5S triggers on snare/toms, KD-7s, VH12, CY-14Cs, CY-15R, Pintech splash.
    A-drums: Zickos (amber) w/ all Zildjians.


    • #3
      Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" I love the way all the drum sound on this album, espeasially the toms. Dave Mathew's, the drums always sound good live or studio.


      • #4
        Here we go!

        Cool, the ball is rolling. I was just listening to Moving Pictures (24kt. Audiophile disk) in my Jeep yesterday, and was thinking about what I liked & didn't like about the sound...

        Favorite "Live" recording: Rush - A Show Of Hands. Great sound! Don't know exactly how "live" it was, if you know what I mean, but the definition, depth, clarity, and the absolutely gorgeous cymbal sound were and are tops among live recordings in my book. IMHO, their last live recording (Different Stages)was a step back in drum sound. Good thickness, etc. but the cymbal sounds weren't as good as ASOH. I attribute that to the post-production work, after hearing the show live.

        Favorite studio (all-time): TIE - Audie DesBrow, Great White "Shot In The Dark"/"Once Bitten"; Tre' Cool, Green Day "Dookie"; Jon Farris, INXS "Listen Like Thieves"; Chad Smith, Red Hot Chili Peppers "Blood Sugar Sex Magic".

        Audie got beautifully clear & crisp sounds on Shot In The Dark, and his ride cymbal sound on "Rock Me" from their next album is sublime. Tre' Cool got amazing, best-ever punk drum sound on Dookie, Jon Farris - just listen to "What You Need" by INXS to hear what FAT drums sound like. Amazing for the 1980's. Chad Smith on "Blood Sugar..." album was the shee-yacht. How much was him, the kit, Rick Rubin, or the old house doesn't matter. The end result was premium.

        My critical points in drum sound are cymbal sibilance, drum clarity, and depth. Clarity/attack without depth (thin or boxy), plus cymbals mixed too low, is the perfect formula for ruining a recording. I think that too many of Rush's studio recordings were mixed in such a way that they did Neil much disservice. It really all came together for them in the Permanent Waves/Moving Pictures years. Signals is just horrible, and too many of the later recordings sounded like they cut off everything below 80Hz and above 16KHz.

        My current/contemporary favorite drum sounds are probably Danny Carey on Tool's "Lateralus" album, and Chad Sexton on 311's self-titled album. Tool seems to have very well-produced records, and Chad Sexton's snare sound (the piccolo/soprano POP) is just plain fun.

        So many recordings with great performances are hard for me to listen to, because muffled high-end (cymbals) just makes me insane. Many rock recordings of the 1980's fall into this catagory, with the cardboard box drum sounds and barely-audible crash cymbals. Guess it was called guitar rock for a reason! Being a PITA about recording quality, long before I ever started dabbling in recording, is what turned me off to many classic bands such as The Beatles, Hendrix, etc. I had to learn to see past the sh!tty fidelity in order to appreciate them as I got older.

        Worst recorded drum sounds: Vinnie Paul, Pantera (any), Alex Van Halen, VH "1984" (sounds like he's playing on plastic 2-liter soda bottles!), Lars Ulrich, Metallica "And Justice For All" (redefines BOXY! "Put down the compressor and slowly back away..."). Just my opinions, mind you.

        As a side note, I think the coolest overall album production in recent years was Tonic's first album. It made them sound friggin' HUGE! Had a gorgeous, fat analog sound to it. Don't know who produced it, but he can work with me anytime.

        Rambling on...

        Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


        • #5
          Bill Bruford on almost all albums but this time I remember his recordings with YES.

          Beautiful open, lively snare sounds, very broad sounding cymbals, just breath taking ....

          It also approves that in the late 1970s / early 1980s sometimes drums were recorded more naturally (or should I say: better) than today with all the hi-tech equipment and ProTools bla bla. Also compare Neil Peart's current DW drum sound (here we are again) with his elder recordings.

          Is the rule or recording drums: the less sound processing, the better...??


          • #6
            And your whiney-a$$ opinion would be...

            My opinion, Putt, but when it comes to recording almost anything, the less processing you need to do, the better, for a couple of reasons...

            If you start out with good sounds to begin with, be they drum, guitar, bass, vocal, etc. then the less dependent they are on knob-twisting and transistor-tweaking to sound good on a record. There is less work in the mixing process necessary, ergo less room for error.

            Also, many effects come into and out of vogue, and what sounds cutting-edge today might sound dated tomorrow. If you have good fundamental sound sources to begin with, I really believe that your recording will stand the test of time better than if it is heavily processed. Don't get me wrong; I've done recordings with hella processed sounds, but all things being the same, I'll take good songwriting, solid performances, and good clean sounds every time over processor-dependent whizbang tricks.

            I guess that if you get a good clean sound straight to tape (figuratively speaking), it already sounds good. A marginal source sound can be made to sound good, but it takes alot of work to polish a turd.

            Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


            • #7
              My pick

              My pick, after some thought, would be from Robbie Robertson's first solo album. The first track, Fallen Angel has a stunning drum sound. The low tom punctuations resound with a perfectly tuned, speaker moving boooom. The snare crack is beautiful and the cymbal clarity, especially in the numerous splashes, is superb. Oddly enough, I don't know who the drummer was on that track. There are credits for Manu Katche, Terry Bozzio and Larry Mullen on the album. I'm sure it's not Mullen and judging from the style my guess would be Manu Katche did that cut.

              The album is produced by Daniel Lanois and I imagine that has as much to do with the drum sound as anything. Usually anything he has a hand in comes off sounding particularly lush.

              Did I earn any extra credit Danny?


              • #8
                Originally posted by Ranman:
                ...When I think about the fact that this was probably a late 40's/early 50's recording and the fidelity was still phenomenal - I can only imagine what it must have been like live!
                Better than you can imagine. My folks attended big-band dances in the early '50's and would drag me along. I was around 2-3 and it was the drummer that remains as my earliest memory.

                Back-to-topic: 1st - Just about every American swing/jazz drummer I've run across had great sounds so I'll just leave it at that. In the '60s Dave Clarks' set stands out most for me. And I really cannot explain why, it just does. Clive Bunker had a nice sounding set as did Michael Giles and that Palmer dude. I liked the way Bonham's set sounded on Zep I, III & Presence. I liked the way Paice's set sounded on Fireball, Machinehead, Who Do We..., and Made in Japan(Live). Bruford has a nice sound on Fragile.

                For some reason in the mid-to-late 70's drums took on a flat card-board thud-type sound which I hated. (Personally, I think this was invented by an inept studio recording engineer.) I prefer my drums to resonate or 'ring', if you will.

                Yeah, I know - I'm a dinosaur - oh, well ...



                • #9
                  Extra Credit

                  Arriguy gets an A+ for attention to detail!

                  Ranman, was that Krupa track "Sing Sing Sing" with Goodman? Sounds like the drum break, with the trombones coming in with the syncopated, almost triplet feel... Gene was pounding the toms and stompin' the hi-hat with a clave' sorta backbeat? The song that spawned the drum break in popular music, man. Classic!

                  Build a man a fire, and he'll be warm for a day. Set a man on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.


                  • #10
                    Oh man....there are several for different reasons. Some of the sounds I wish I could bottle, though:

                    Stewart Copeland: Zenyatta Mondatta by The Police. Nice open sounding toms, excellent hi hat/cymbal detail, meaty AND quick kick drum, and one of the world's tightest sounding snares.

                    Neil Peart: Moving Pictures by Rush. Ahhh...a popular favorite. Those toms sound like they were tuned within an inch of their lives. I like this sound just because it's simple, powerful, and articulate.

                    John Bonham: Most of Zeps stuff. One word: Thunderous.

                    Phil Collins: Later Genesis and solo career. The voice of the man's toms are INSTANTLY and unmistakably recognizable. What a great drummer.

                    Bill Bruford: King Crimson's Discipline CD and the UK album. Wow. What an incredible snare sound (and technique, but that's besides the point), very dry and upfront sound for the kit. ULTRA precise sounding, and he's always had an unusual tom tom sound that I like, and like Phil Collins, I associate immediately and solely to Bill.

                    Honorable Mention: Charlie Watts on the Stones' Emotional Rescue song. THE coolest snare sound I've heard, great hi hat, but that SNARE!

                    Do I pass?
                    Dan's Music Site; melodic, ethereal rock and more! Please have a listen :^)


                    • #11
                      Here's a few to consider. All based more on emotional response as opposed to clinical analysis.

                      Mitch Mitchell: Pretty much any Hendrix album. 'nuff said!

                      Levon Helm: Music From Big Pink. Put on Chest Fever at concert volume (on a real good system), the back beat just explodes.

                      Terry Bozzio: Missing Persons, Best use of roto-toms ever, outside of Van Halen

                      Alex Van Halen: Hot for Teacher.

                      Prarie Prince and Mingo Lewis: The Tubes, What Do You Want From Live? Possibly the cleanest recording of live drums and percussion ever, at least in the "Rock" genre.

                      Leon "Nudgu" Chancellor: Weather Report, Mysterious Traveller.

                      Jaco Pastorius: Yes, he was a bassist, and a great one at that, but he played the drums on Teen Town (Weather Report, Heavy Weather), really cool piccolo snare work over ringing kick. SUper tight.

                      I guess I'm giving up my age here, but I vastly prefer the cleaner, less processed sounds all these have to the heavily compressed sond you hear on most of todays recordings.

                      Later yo ....


                      • #12
                        I like nickleback's snare, alien ant farm's tom's, and pantera's kick - ala cowboys from hell.
                        td-6, pro-mark, remo, sabian, dw, tama rockstar.


                        • #13
                          Not necessarily my favorite performances...

                          My favorite drum sounds are:

                          B-52's Cosmic Thing DANG! FANTASTIC snare sound. Great toms and bass.

                          Tracy Chapman (The CD with "Fast Car") Everything on that CD sounds so pure and clear.

                          Return to Forever "Romantic Warrior" Great tom tom sound!

                          I wish I had more time to discuss.
                          Check out my music: http://www.myspace.com/kellypaletta


                          • #14
                            steely dan's :two against nature sounds pretty sick.
                            -i can levitate birds and no one cares-----------V-CONCERT,CY12H-CY15R/SPD-20-XP-60 V-STUDIO 1824CD,DAUZ PADS,NO RYTHYM AND MISC.CRAP 9"HART SPLASH/AKAI S5000/ASSLOAD OF SAMPLES


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by GRRAVEE
                              steely dan's :two against nature sounds pretty sick.
                              (GRRAVEE, did you mean "slick"?)
                              I've always liked Steve Gad's great drum sound on Aja. Really the CYMBALS more than the drums. They were: crisp, airy, glassy(that a word?), shimmering. The toms had that deep, open sound.
                              Last edited by Toekneedrum; 07-11-02, 12:10 PM.
                              Boom Theory Spacemuffins
                              HDI Cymbals