A review of Drumtacs and my thoughts on muffling crap
Bullcrap. I call bullcrap. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Before we get into this topic, let’s get something clear…you need to know how to properly tune whatever drum you’re working with. How to get a bigger sound, how to tune out the ring, how to gain more attack, more resonance, a bigger fall, etc. Do yourself a favor…lock yourself in a room one weekend, turn the lights down low, light a candle, and don’t come out until you have exhausted every way you can think to tune your drums. Or until you get hungry. Whichever comes first. You could also probably skip the whole light/candle suggestion as some people might find it weird. The point is, you have to learn the nuances in the tuning of whatever drum you decide to play.
Now that we know we can tune a drum…is muffling a bad thing? Abso-frickin-lutely not. IT IS ABOUT GETTING THE SOUND YOU WANT OUT OF THE DRUM, NOT HOW YOU GET THAT SOUND.
Here’s a quick overview of a product that has been helping me do just that lately. Press play on the video below and then keep reading.
I have been in recording sessions countless times here in Nashville where we have used anything and everything to get the desired sound. Duct tape, moon gel, gaff tape, newspaper, phone books, wallets, tissue, paper towels, towels…seriously, anything goes in the studio! It’s about the end result. No one will ever look back on a session and say “You know, the drummer just couldn’t tune worth a crap so we had to tape a towel to the top head of the drum, tape tissue to the bottom head, and play the drum in the bathroom stall to get anything worth listening to.” What you WILL hear said is “Man, we spent forever experimenting with different drums, room setups, and mufflings to find the perfect sound for that track!” It’s an art. No one ever asks what brush Da Vinci used to paint the nose on the Mona Lisa. Who cares!!! It’s a breathtaking piece of art.
So the next time the drum you’re playing has an annoying overtone that you can’t seem to tune out no matter what you do, don’t feel drummers guilt over muffling the drum. I promise, they won’t lock you up for it. And when you’re in the process of creating music, there are no rules. Keep experimenting until you hear the sound in your head come out of the drum.
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