Why is tuning your drums such a vital part of the preparation for a recording session?
New Drums Need a “Break-In” Period
You know how a new pair of shoes has to be worn a few times before they conform comfortably to your feet? New drumheads can take a while to settle into their optimum position. Experts recommend that you play them for a few days before heading into the studio.
There’s another reason why new drums should get a tune-up right away. Drumheads are mass produced, so they may have a minor imperfection that slips past quality control. The sooner you discover it, the sooner it can be corrected.
Drums Set the Tone
Music producers often prefer capturing the right rhythm track before overdubbing the lead instruments, so drum recording is the first step. In fact, many producers estimate that the drum setup can account for up to 25 percent of a project’s schedule. If drums are out of tune, it can result in costly delays and wasted time.
Tuning Prevents Extraneous Noises
Studio microphones pick up more than musical sounds. Any rattles or squeaks caused by loose screws or other problems can render a track unusable.
Counteract the Effects of Weather
When drums are transported in hot or cold weather, the drumheads can expand or compress accordingly. Tuning is required to avoid compromising the sound.
Aim for Consistency
Jazz, rock, pop and other genres all use different drum setups. In addition, musicians and producers have their own ideas of how they want their projects to sound. Tuning your drums makes it easier to know what you’re going to get so you can achieve your vision each time.
Getting Great Sounds
What good is a great sounding drum set if it is not captured correctly? Talk to your engineer and let them know what type of sound you want. Spend the time shopping different drums and cymbals if you have options. Micing and dialing in a drum set will probably take longer than all the other instruments combined so expect to set aside a couple hours for drum tones–even if you’re sampling later!
The experienced staff at Clear Lake Recording Studios can help you take your desired sound from your imagination to a high-quality drum recording or whatever is needed to complete your project. Contact us to learn more about our facility and services.