Drums for recording studio

brsanko

New member
I'm building a recording studio in my basement. I myself am not a musician but I have many friends who are and I like to sing. I would like to get a full set of drums for the studio and by budget is about $1000. I'd like to take some lessons and learn the drums myself too. Anyway I know this is an incredibly broad question but what do you recomend for $1000. I will be mostly recording rock and blues maybe some jazz. Should I go with new drums or used drums or mix and match, real drums or electronic. What brands are good, what are their strengths and weaknesses. What are the best materials ect...
Thanks.
 

BlackHawk2029

New member
for your cash, i'd look for a nice pdp set. fs series maybe, which comes with 2 cymbal stands and a hihat stand, and a bass drum pedal. Then i'd get some decent cymbals... hihats, crash and ride. maybe invest in another cymbal stand and get two crashes. Zildjian Z or A's, maybe Sabian AAX or HHX. you can get good deals on used cymbals on ebay all the time, then just replace the heads on that kit.
 

xstatic

New member
Both Gretsch and Ludwig both make pretty nice solid wood kits with hardware for well under $1000, which should leave room for some cymbals.
 

toobalicious

New member
MHO is that the drums are less important than the cymbals when you have a limited budget like that. i have heard "cheap" drums that sounded fantastic, and "uber-cost boutique" ones that sounded just ok. this is a product of head choice and tuning, as well as the actual drum shells and hardware, and is something you can pretty easily tailor (within reason) to what you are looking for soundwise. no, a pearl export set probably wont make a great sensitive and resonant jazz set (though it might). but a trash-can ride is a trash-can ride no matter what you do, moongel or no.

my recommendation is to go used, at least on the pies. go to guitar center or similar and whack as many cymbals as you can to get an idea of the types of cymbals you like. then, find them used on flea-bay or locally. even if you end up not liking it, you generally can sell it for basically what you have invested. finding cymbals that suit you can be a time-consuming process, as there is some (sometimes a *lot*) of variance between several cymbals of the same series, in the same size. remember, shitty cymbals record just like shitty cymbals. and if that isnt the effect you are going for, you wont be happy with their sound, and no amount of post editing is going to fix that.

for drums, dont rule out non-maple drums, as they are generally cheaper, and can sometimes sound just as good. typically, i would advise to stay away from wrapped drums, but some older sets (from rogers, ludwig, and premier for example) had wrapped finishes and sounded spectacular. a lot of "cheap" drums will have a wrap finish because the shell material is unattractive and wraps are inexpensive. these kinds of drums generally sound pretty dead and lifeless to my ears. try craigslist in your surrounding area.
a
 

Supercreep

Lizard People
Definitely don't skimp on the cymbals. I'd go with a simple four piece kit, don't waste too much on lots of toms and extra kick drums, etc.

Quality over quantity imo.
 

BlackHawk2029

New member
I might go for a fusion size kit. maybe even some pearl exports, or taye kits. cymbals are important though. heads and cymbals will make or break your sound
 

xstatic

New member
Whereas a 4 peice kit sounds nice and simple, if you are buying this kit for studio use, I would get at least a 5 peice kit, and probably even 6. Since you will be providing it for others to use, you should at least have a standard setup.
 

TerraMortim

New member
in an ideal world.. but with his budget...he's better off concentrating on strictly quality not quantity. I agree a 5 piece will probably be a good idea, but 6 piece would just be adding more drums for no good reason. Most standard kits are 5 piece, so most people who would be using the house kit would be accustomed to that, if they must have shitloads of drums, a person who is that picky will more likely than not want to record their own kit, rather than the house kit.

cymbals are very important, and get the heads that work best for you. I personally LOVE Aquarian heads, even though the music stores in vancouver are retarted and I have to special order them. (but for the kick, evans has a nice head with a foam damper ring that is really nice.)
 

Rimshot

New member
4 or 5 piece kit

It has been mentioned that you can sometimes get good buys on used cymbals on eBay, but I would recommend going to your local large retailer like Guitar Center and check out their used cymbals. At least you can try them out to see how they sound.

While you're there check out any of the countless used 4 and five piece kits they have. Lots of folks are going for glitter and flash and really good drums can often be found real cheap used.

Most drummers will bring their own metal, snare and kick pedal to a studio but it will be nice to have a few acceptable pieces there. (BTW most new drummers hit cymbals way too hard, so cymbals may not last that long). It isn't absolutely necessary to have a new kit. So long as the heads are good, bearing edges and hardware are functional and you have somebody that actually knows how to tune drums, you'll be surprised at how good even a cheap kit can sound (so long as the hardware doesn't rattle and vibrate).
 

xstatic

New member
in an ideal world.. but with his budget...he's better off concentrating on strictly quality not quantity. I agree a 5 piece will probably be a good idea, but 6 piece would just be adding more drums for no good reason. Most standard kits are 5 piece, so most people who would be using the house kit would be accustomed to that, if they must have shitloads of drums, a person who is that picky will more likely than not want to record their own kit, rather than the house kit.


There is some truth to this, but there is a reality that I think would counter it.

First, there are lots of standard kits that come in 4 piece offerings.

Second, if a drummer is going to the studio and is going to be playing someone elses sub $1000 kit, then all of the normal rules probably just flew out the window. What this tells me is that there is a good chance that they are not used to a standard setup. The funny things is that these days I see very few 5 piece kits with local bands. I see a lot more 4 piece or 6 or more piece kits.

In the end, here is what I have learned. I have a very nice early 80's maple Gretsch kit with 3 rack toms and 2 floor toms for clients to choose from. I also have 2 Gretsch maple snares, a chrome yamah, a little Pacific, and a Black Beauty on order. Along with this I have an assortment of 8 year old Zildijan A custom cymbals, and a set of 1966 Zildijan Avedis cymbals. This setup is MUCH nicer than a good 90% of the kits that my clients seem to play on. Even with these options, about 50% of the drummers still want to use their own shitty kits. Of that remaining 50%, about 80% of those use at least some of their own cymbals, and often even their own snare, and usually their own pedal. What this means is that I would actually sink the bulk of my money into a 5 peice, and maybe even a 6 piece shell kit before I worried about the rest. This means I get the most quality for my money and more of my clients get the most use that they will get out of it. I agree that it is important to get good cymbals. With good heads and good cymbals virtually any kit can sound pretty damned good. In the end though, clients seem to be more attached to their own cymbals, kick pedal and even snare, but seem to be more willing to not have to load their own shells up and just use mine.

I know that some of that thinking seems a bit backwards, and I even think that it is, but it also seems to be reality. Also, there are plenty of places that seem to offer a free extra tom with a kit purchase, so getting a 6 piece kit may not be any more than a 5 piece kit. It will however cover all reaonable expectations.
 

Carny1122

Plugin Whore
My suggestion would be that you get either a 6 piece or 4 piece...here's why...Most drummers play a 5 piece, so they can accomodate to the 6 simply by removing a floor or mounted tom, and they can accomodate to the 4 piece simply by learning that a certain tom is non-existent. Grestch makes some very decent sets for under $1000, although (from my understanding) you still need cymbals. Look for some used A classics or A customs (try Craig's list or eBay) and try for some new heads on the drums, too. I've found that being a metal drummer, Aquarian Studio X's didn't fit my needs, but would sound VERY good for rock, blues, and jazz. A Superkick I or II head will suit your needs for the kick. Just try to aim for Grestch...they're by far the best bang-for-your-buck drums I've come across, probably second to PDP kits. buy a good set, get some decent cymbals, and no drummer will complain about it (and if they do...hit 'em). Good luck with it!
 
Top