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Thread: Is there a use for roto toms?

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    Is there a use for roto toms?

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    I have a friend of mine offering me his remo roto tom 3pc set to add to my drum set for 50 bucks. They are in real good shape. What I want to know is is there actually a good use for them aside from some floyd style drum fills? Do they sound good recorded at all? Or will they just end up being a big waste of space.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lostcausestudio View Post
    I have a friend of mine offering me his remo roto tom 3pc set to add to my drum set for 50 bucks. They are in real good shape. What I want to know is is there actually a good use for them aside from some floyd style drum fills? Do they sound good recorded at all? Or will they just end up being a big waste of space.
    I am a fan of roto-toms and $50 is a fair price - i particular if it includes the stand. Do they have a use? It depends on the drummer's style and the genres of music. As you indicate they can be used to extend the tonal options for longer fills, etc. However, because there is a lot of tuning range (in particular if you mess with the tuning while hitting one r-tom) they can be a very creative tool in the studio. They can sound very good recorded.

    That being said, if you are mostly a "grove" drummer who does not need bigger fills and/or simply "hear" traditional drum sounds - then yes - they could be a waste of space. I've always felt no instrument is a waste of space - there can always be a creative application.

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    What an odd question to ask... Is a djembe an instrument you would use? Maybe a didgeridoo?

    That all depends on what your needs are. Octobons are also cool, but much more expensive. The only one who can decide if you need them is you.

    They are just another percussion instrument. They sound like they sound depending on the room and situation. So the vague answer to your question of 'do they sound good recorded' is "it depends".

    You will know when you record them if they are something you want. My personal opinion which really does not matter, is that it is kind of silly if you are not a drummer that has already the desire to have them.

    Kind of like a guitar player wondering if their string gauge is appropriate for their style and how they sound. Only you can answer that question by trying.

    For $50, you could try them and/or throw them away if they not your favorite flavor of the month...
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    I have a set that was given to me by a buddy who had them rusting away in the attic. I had to clean them up and change the heads but for free not bad. As far as whether they are useful, the individual drums can be used for accents in many ways, not just for fills. Of course, to me, any thing that makes noise can be used for something. Plus, lot's of programs out there that can change rhythmic elements into radical sounds
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xdrummer View Post
    I am a fan of roto-toms and $50 is a fair price
    I'm a fan of roto toms. If you buy and then don't like them, you can always view the $50 as the price of an education.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Xdrummer View Post
    I've always felt no instrument is a waste of space - there can always be a creative application
    That's my outlook too. While there is often the temptation to overuse something exotic when you first get it, truly, any instrument is worth it if you have the room and it's cheap !

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    What an odd question to ask...
    I have to say, I kind of agree with that. It is an odd question to ask. What if we all said "nah !" ? You have a kit so drums obviously play a part in your music. Can you see a use for them ?

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    Is a djembe an instrument you would use?
    I have a funny relationship with Djembes. I love congas, bongos, tablas, all kinds of drums from Africa, Asia, South America and rather exotic places. But although I've used them and recorded them, I've never been sold on the idea of djembes. My percussion playing mate was a djembe addict and it was only in deference to him that I even used them. Even in the school I work in, when we're doing music with the kids and the djembes are out, I'm always thinking "these things sound so shitty !"

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    Maybe a didgeridoo?
    I'd use one. Not often though. I once saw an Australian reggae band {a 3 piece !} use one. The band members were genuine Aborigines. I'd never heard one before {an Aborigine, an Aborigine reggae band or a didgeridoo} and I can't say I was overwhelmed with desire to have one. A didgeridoo, that is.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    They are just another percussion instrument
    They are, but.....I don't know, there's something about them. Maybe it's because I've recorded them and just liked the sound.

    Quote Originally Posted by jimmys69 View Post
    They sound like they sound
    Now there's a sales pitch !

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    As far as whether they are useful, the individual drums can be used for accents in many ways, not just for fills. Of course, to me, any thing that makes noise can be used for something
    Yeah. They're different in pitch to usual drum toms which for me adds a certain musical scope to the drum department. It's like, with my drum kit at home, I have a small set of timbales that I always set up to the left of the highest sounding tom when my drumming friends come to record. I leave it up to their ingenuity as to whether and how it will be utilized in the song. Sometimes I hear it a lot, sometimes, hardly at all. But it's a voice in the mix.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimtraveller View Post
    I'm a fan of roto toms. If you buy and then don't like them, you can always view the $50 as the price of an education.....

    That's my outlook too. While there is often the temptation to overuse something exotic when you first get it, truly, any instrument is worth it if you have the room and it's cheap !

    I have to say, I kind of agree with that. It is an odd question to ask. What if we all said "nah !" ? You have a kit so drums obviously play a part in your music. Can you see a use for them ?

    I have a funny relationship with Djembes. I love congas, bongos, tablas, all kinds of drums from Africa, Asia, South America and rather exotic places. But although I've used them and recorded them, I've never been sold on the idea of djembes. My percussion playing mate was a djembe addict and it was only in deference to him that I even used them. Even in the school I work in, when we're doing music with the kids and the djembes are out, I'm always thinking "these things sound so shitty !"


    I'd use one. Not often though. I once saw an Australian reggae band {a 3 piece !} use one. The band members were genuine Aborigines. I'd never heard one before {an Aborigine, an Aborigine reggae band or a didgeridoo} and I can't say I was overwhelmed with desire to have one. A didgeridoo, that is.

    They are, but.....I don't know, there's something about them. Maybe it's because I've recorded them and just liked the sound.

    Now there's a sales pitch !

    Yeah. They're different in pitch to usual drum toms which for me adds a certain musical scope to the drum department. It's like, with my drum kit at home, I have a small set of timbales that I always set up to the left of the highest sounding tom when my drumming friends come to record. I leave it up to their ingenuity as to whether and how it will be utilized in the song. Sometimes I hear it a lot, sometimes, hardly at all. But it's a voice in the mix.
    Auugh! Timbales! They kill me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtoboy View Post
    Auugh! Timbales! They kill me
    I never used to think of the tiny pair as timbales. My mate who actually plays the drums always referred to them as concert toms and because they were smaller than the high tom, I just assumed they were smaller toms which is why I always set them up to the left. I'm not even sure why I call them timbales {they just have "Aria percussion: Japan" on them}. They don't attach to a drum kit like any toms I've ever seen, they have the same attachment as the actual timbales I have and they came with their own stand.
    I do love timbales though. I love that sound. But djembes ?

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    thanks for the replies. I picked up the set, and thus far they have been cool to mess around with. Really the only reason I was on the fence about them is I noticed a lot of drummers don't really like the rotos, so I was wondering if it would have been a waste. I am not a drummer, I can keep a beat but I don't and won't consider myself a drummer, the kit is my studio kit for when I have bands to come over and record. So as it was not as much to have them for myself but to add to the kit for others I wanted to get a few drummers opinions on them, that way I didn't spend 50 on something that may never get used by most drummers I have over to record. While 50 bucks isn't a ton of money in the grand scheme of things, I could spend that money on cables, or stands, or things of that nature so I wanted to make sure my investment would be a worthwhile contribution, but it seems from what everyone has posted that they would probably get some use

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    Quote Originally Posted by lostcausestudio View Post
    it was not as much to have them for myself but to add to the kit for others
    I'm of the opinion that if people are still prepared to play acoustic drums, in the right circumstances you'll meet some that will quite like a go at expanding their sound, even if it's just for one song.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grimtraveller View Post
    I'm of the opinion that if people are still prepared to play acoustic drums, in the right circumstances you'll meet some that will quite like a go at expanding their sound, even if it's just for one song.
    I have two overly priced triangles that were recently used by a metal band. Just because they were here already. Oh, and a squeaky chicken.

    It just percussion. Use as needed when the need arises. One can't ever have too many options... Just space to store them...
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