#1
This past weekend I had the opportunity to play with two separate drummers, and I thought about how we relate and lock in with our fellow members of the rhythm section. So what do you think makes or breaks a drummer for you? Which famous drummers would you like to jam with?

For me the two most important things are that they have steady timing and that we both listen to each other. I would also throw in that they can also work with the bass player, so we don't stomp on each others fills and so on.

For me, I would love the opportunity to play with Tim Alexander and Dave Grohl (rock) and David Garabaldi (funk). For jazz, its a toss up between Max Roach and Jack DeJohnette.
#2
I would love to play with Neil Peart and Mike Portnoy, but for a simple, free-form jam, it would have to be Michael Shrieve. 20 years old, and he holds it down solid with a bass and a percussion section at Woodstock for Santana!

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#3
Anyone who doesn't play like Animal is fine with me. Although I would like to have played with someone like Art Blakey.
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#4
My main criteria for a drummer are as followed:

- Leads the timing (and stays on time), isn't trying to follow anyone else
- Listens to me instead of the guitarist when working out his drum beats
- Doesn't fill every other bar (but can throw tasty fills when necessary)
- Doesn't go hell for leather on his cymbals. I read an article with a producer recently talking about good drummers, and he mentioned this point. I agree with him. The cymbals are overpowering when most amateur drummers play. A good drummer can really hit his drums but maintain a lighter touch on the cymbals. Helpful live, but essential in the studio.
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#5
Quote by Ziphoblat
A good drummer can really hit his drums but maintain a lighter touch on the cymbals. Helpful live, but essential in the studio.


Or you could just mic the drums up properly...
EH


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#6
Quote by eddiehimself
Or you could just mic the drums up properly...


It will only get you so far. Find the stems of a drum take from any top drummer, and listen to the overhead microphones. The drums will always be proportionately louder than the cymbals than with most amateur drummers. It's a technique thing, not something you can compensate for with engineering.
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#7
I've played with some pretty bad drummers over the years. All I want is a solid tempo and groove. In my last band, me and the drummer would lock in on fills, which felt great. I woul love to play with Bill Ward, Nicko McBrain, and I think Chad Smith would be a blast to play with.
#9
As long as they can groove well and stay in time decently I can follow along with anything. I don't mind power drummers as long as they aren't cymbal killers. I know a drummer who's ride is just so over powering all you hear jamming with him is ting ting ting

I wouldn't mind jamming with Billy Martin from MMW or Jason Hann from EOTO, String Cheese Incident and others.
#10
Quote by Ziphoblat
My main criteria for a drummer are as followed:

- Doesn't fill every other bar (but can throw tasty fills when necessary)
- Doesn't go hell for leather on his cymbals. I read an article with a producer recently talking about good drummers, and he mentioned this point. I agree with him. The cymbals are overpowering when most amateur drummers play. A good drummer can really hit his drums but maintain a lighter touch on the cymbals. Helpful live, but essential in the studio.


My husband's the drummer in our band and we've had this discussion about the propensity of rock drummers to go full throttle. We call it the Keith Moon syndrome. As much as I think Moon was the perfect drummer for the Who, its not the style I particularly feel fits most band situations. But unfortunately, many drummers, esp when starting out, hold up that style as a holy grail of rock drumming to be emulated at all costs.
#11
Quote by Ziphoblat
It will only get you so far. Find the stems of a drum take from any top drummer, and listen to the overhead microphones. The drums will always be proportionately louder than the cymbals than with most amateur drummers. It's a technique thing, not something you can compensate for with engineering.


But you don't want the drums to bleed into the overheads too much. The whole point of the overhead microphones is to pick up the sound of the cymbals, with a small amount of the drums thrown in. If you have too much of the drums going into the overheads, you will not be able to mix the cymbals properly, because you will either not be able to hear the cymbals, or the drums will be too loud.
I think what you're thinking of is triangle miking the drums, which to be honest, is not exactly ideal for modern music. Not only do you have the problems of mixing as I mentioned, but close-miking drums is really the only way to properly capture the attack of a drum. They sound weak if you don't. That's not so much to do with the playing, just the proximity of the drum to the microphone. It's so easy to get hold of equipment that lets you record 8 or even 16 tracks simultaneously these days. There really is no excuse to not mic your drums up properly, unless you are specifically going for that vintage triangle miking type of sound.

Also, you talk about a "professional drummer" as if it's some really difficult thing to do. I actually do that when I'm playing, not because I'm worried about the mix, but because I don't want to ruin my cymbals.
EH


"Show me war; show me pestilence; show me the blood-red hands of retribution..."
Last edited by eddiehimself at Jan 24, 2014,
#12
Quote by eddiehimself
But you don't want the drums to bleed into the overheads too much. The whole point of the overhead microphones is to pick up the sound of the cymbals, with a small amount of the drums thrown in.


That might be your application of them, but it's not the sole use. As you covered later in your post, it simply depends what style you're going for. It's important to remember that we're not just talking about scenarios where microphones are involved, either. So often the kick drum is entirely inaudible in band practice scenarios where everyone has set the levels of their amplifiers to the drums. In context of over-played cymbals, what that means is that most of what you're actually hearing of the drummer is the cymbals and a bit of snare. Contrast to any conventional commercial recording where the drums are at the forefront of the over-all drum mix.

If you have too much of the drums going into the overheads, you will not be able to mix the cymbals properly, because you will either not be able to hear the cymbals, or the drums will be too loud.


Not exactly. All you'd do is reduce the amount of close-mic'd drums in the mix slightly to compensate, resulting in a slightly more "room" sounding recording.

I think what you're thinking of is triangle miking the drums, which to be honest, is not exactly ideal for modern music.


I don't know what brought you to that conclusion, but it's inaccurate. I don't know of any triangle technique - perhaps you mean the Glyn Johns technique? Anyway, there's nothing to suggest any particular technique. What's ideal for modern music depends on the music you're recording. If it's some modern metal where you want a click drum instead of a kick drum etc, then the less ambient drum tones the better. If you're recording a blues track or a folk track, there's a bit more room for experimentation in this respect.

Not only do you have the problems of mixing as I mentioned, but close-miking drums is really the only way to properly capture the attack of a drum. They sound weak if you don't. That's not so much to do with the playing, just the proximity of the drum to the microphone.


This entire part is under the premise that I was talking about micing drums in a specific way (which I wasn't, as we established). You don't need solely close-mic'd drums to maintain a solid depiction of the specific drum hits. You probably want them, but off-setting the source of drum volume slightly towards overheads rather than purely close-mic'd drums is not going to create a wishy-washy drum sound if mixed properly. It simply portrays the ambience of the room better, which is ideal for certain mix's (assuming the room sounds good to begin with, anyway).


It's so easy to get hold of equipment that lets you record 8 or even 16 tracks simultaneously these days. There really is no excuse to not mic your drums up properly, unless you are specifically going for that vintage triangle miking type of sound.


"Properly" depends purely on what you're recording, and I'm not talking about using any more or any less microphones.

Also, you talk about a "professional drummer" as if it's some really difficult thing to do. I actually do that when I'm playing, not because I'm worried about the mix, but because I don't want to ruin my cymbals.


Scan anything that I've typed for the word "professional".
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