Helpful ReplyClub drumkit for church use

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davdud101
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2017/02/06 14:40:14 (permalink)

Club drumkit for church use

Hi, guys!
I'm putting together a 'request budget' for 2017 for my church's music group. Right now we're looking at investing in a club drumkit - likely a Gretsch Catalina Club Rock or Jazz kit. Not quite sure on that though, as the budget may end up being way smaller than anticipated. (Would it be somewhat easy to tune the kick down a bit and deaden it in a smaller kick like 18"? That'd make saving that $200 on shells a very good deal for us.)
 
Thing is, we need a kit that sounds good live AND in the studio - in addition to a set of cymbals (just hats, a crash and a ride), plus hardware.
 
Any good recommendations on kits and cymbals? If we spring for the Catalina series, which kit might give the best overall sound for what a church might need? (We DON'T have a dedicated sound system, but the hall is rather small, so quieter = necessarily better. That' probably mean smaller shells, no?)
 
I've been pretty satisfied with the sound of the Catalina kits on video recordings and I think they'd be fine for our small hall, but my two concerns are finding good-quality yet inexpensive cymbals, and keeping the price of everything together at a reasonable cost.

 
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tlw
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/06 15:46:47 (permalink)
I'm not a drummer and certainly no expert on particular kits, but when you say it's a small hall, how small and how many people are likely to be in it? Is the hall acoustically lively, dead or somewhere in between?
 
As for shell size my observations of drum kits over the years is that smaller shells doesn't necessarily mean a quieter kit. Piccolo snares for example can be incredibly loud and penetrating as can small toms.
 
If volume is a serious issue it might be worth considering an electronic kit. They look different and drummers seem to either like them or hate them, but the minimum volume they can be run at is much less than most acoustic kits unless you've an exceptionally skilled drummer with a very delicate touch.

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davdud101
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/06 16:01:08 (permalink)
tlw
I'm not a drummer and certainly no expert on particular kits, but when you say it's a small hall, how small and how many people are likely to be in it? Is the hall acoustically lively, dead or somewhere in between?
 
As for shell size my observations of drum kits over the years is that smaller shells doesn't necessarily mean a quieter kit. Piccolo snares for example can be incredibly loud and penetrating as can small toms.
 
If volume is a serious issue it might be worth considering an electronic kit. They look different and drummers seem to either like them or hate them, but the minimum volume they can be run at is much less than most acoustic kits unless you've an exceptionally skilled drummer with a very delicate touch.




I don't think volume will be a big issue.
 
I unfortunately don't have any details on the size of the hall - I'd reckon maybe 100 x 30ft, but we play with a piano, guitar, 2 low brass, 1-2 trumpets, 3 saxes, and several high woodwinds and no one has EVER complained about it being too loud - generally they say it's too quiet. If anything like that does happen on account of the kit, the drummer is flexible enough to use brushes or and/or a combination of styles to better match the volume level.
 
As far as acoustics, it lies a bit in between, but certainly on the "deader" side. Lots of really thick, cushioned chairs and carpet through the room. not much of an acoustical change when people are there, but BIG difference when the chairs aren't on the floor.
 
I avoid electronic kits like the plauge - I've just never been able to like them, after trying 3 different kits. They're fun to play on, and it's nice to practice without disturbing folks, but I find that they're not durable enough, seems to be darned expensive for one with decent sounds/build quality, and I just couldn't get myself to BELIEVE it was the real thing. Not  sure I mentioned that we don't really have a proper sound system anyway.

 
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gbowling
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/06 16:28:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby davdud101 2017/02/06 22:04:21
I am a drummer and let me say that if you know what you're doing you can get a great sound from an 18" kick. Actually you can get a pretty good sound from lots of lower cost drum kits. 
 
Unless you have at your church that knows how to properly set up a kit, invest in a device called a tunebot. Tuning the drums properly will make a much bigger difference than buying expensive drums. 
 
See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udooOap4m2c&ab_channel=CobusPotgieter
 
which has a good example of how proper tuning will get you a pretty good sound from a low cost kit. A tunebot allows someone that is not a great drummer or maybe doesn't have the best ear tune a kit properly. 
 
As for recording, if you use splat, you can always take a live recording and blend the close mic'd drums with other sounds to create great sounding drums. Either use audiosnap to create midi triggers and trigger AD2 sounds or drum replacer to replace sounds on a copy of the track. Works wonders.
 
The important part for drum replacement, in my opinion, is to have a good overhead mic to capture cymbals and ambiance. Use that track to blend in with your triggered or replaced sounds and it will give it that live "real kit" sound.
 
gabo

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davdud101
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/06 22:08:53 (permalink)
gbowling
I am a drummer and let me say that if you know what you're doing you can get a great sound from an 18" kick. Actually you can get a pretty good sound from lots of lower cost drum kits. 
 
Unless you have at your church that knows how to properly set up a kit, invest in a device called a tunebot. Tuning the drums properly will make a much bigger difference than buying expensive drums. 
 
See this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udooOap4m2c&ab_channel=CobusPotgieter
 
which has a good example of how proper tuning will get you a pretty good sound from a low cost kit. A tunebot allows someone that is not a great drummer or maybe doesn't have the best ear tune a kit properly. 
 
As for recording, if you use splat, you can always take a live recording and blend the close mic'd drums with other sounds to create great sounding drums. Either use audiosnap to create midi triggers and trigger AD2 sounds or drum replacer to replace sounds on a copy of the track. Works wonders.
 
The important part for drum replacement, in my opinion, is to have a good overhead mic to capture cymbals and ambiance. Use that track to blend in with your triggered or replaced sounds and it will give it that live "real kit" sound.
 
gabo




 
Thanks for the reply, gabo! Very informative. (I'm guessing you meant to say "If you use SONAR"... took me a LONG while to figure that out!)
 
From my understanding, good cymbals in the studio WILL make the biggest difference when using drum triggers, huh? Any recommendations on what are good? I've played quite a bit of drums, but I was never big on it, and I haven't gotten my ears to the point where I can *really* hear when a kit sounds good or not. Plus, I've only played on perhaps 4 different sets of cymbals. It's easy to tell the differnce, but I have no clue what we should be looking at, as studio cymbals seem to have a drastically different sound than stage cymbals.
 
Not sure! And I'm not even sure in our context! Am I looking for a dark or bright sound? Short or long? A lot or a little rebound?

 
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patm300e
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/07 07:52:20 (permalink)
$200 budget.  I would look for USED drums.  You will get better quality that way.  Maybe some rich kid had to have a drum set so Dad drops $2000 on a nice set with good cymbals.  Kid tries for two weeks and gives up.  Happens ALL the time.  Keep your eyes open in Craigslist, news paper (yes, people still put ads in there!), etc.
 
Also, here is a thought:  Since this is for a Church it may be reasonable to assume that donations are tax deductible.  Maybe ask for a donated set of drums or set up a drum set donation fund and allow members to contribute?
 
$200 is light for ANY drum kit.  You can find them, but they aren't constructed very well and if there are cymbals, they are garbage.  One decent ride cymbal is over that budget.
 
Best of luck!

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gbowling
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/07 07:54:44 (permalink)
I prefer Zildjian but that preference is something that goes back a long time and there are actually many different brands that make acceptable cymbals these days. AND the lower end Zildjian's aren't any better than many others. I wouldn't go with anything too dark or very long. Stick with something middle of the road. 
 
For crash cymbals I would suggest something like a 16" and a 17" thin or medium crash. If you're on a tight budget you might just go with one crash. A ride, probably a 21 or for a bit less money a 20. For that small you'll want something fairly heavy or at least medium to keep the overtones down a bit. Look on sweetwater or guitar center for a pack. If you can swing $700-800 you can get the Zildjian A or K series pack, either of those are great cymbals. If you can't go that high there are a number of sets in the $300-$500 range that would be ok.
 
The packs will give you a lot better bang for the buck than buying individual cymbals, you basically get 1 cymbal for free with the packs. I might go online to an online chat with sweetwater and see what they recommend for whatever budget you have. 
 
good luck, gabo
 
Oh, and splat is what people here use to refer to Sonar Platinum.

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davdud101
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Re: Club drumkit for church use 2017/02/07 15:02:22 (permalink)
patm300e
$200 budget.
 



Hey Pat, sorry I didn't mention it - we're requesting a budget of about $1200.  That budget of course includes hardware, throne, sticks, travel bags, etc. That'll certainly change what we CAN get.
 
 
tlw
As for shell size my observations of drum kits over the years is that smaller shells doesn't necessarily mean a quieter kit. Piccolo snares for example can be incredibly loud and penetrating as can small toms.
 



tlw, the biggest concern we've got right now is space. We have very LITTLE space on our stage, and the way we'll have to fit things will mean that we really need to get a smaller-sized kit.
 

 
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davdud101
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Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 04:55:40 (permalink)
I figured it'd be worth my while to dig this topic back up (hopefully the mods don't hate me!)
 
A family has a "like new" kit from some unknown brand that makes lower-end kits (I'll post the brand name once I get it) - but the drums are quite good for what its worth, and VERY lightly used and good quality. Just a matter of getting them tuned.
We'll HAVE to get all-new cymbals, as the provided cymbals are absolute garbage, but is it possible to just work with the shells, perhaps replacing the heads (although, as said, the provided heades are barely-used REMO heads, I believe)?
 
Also - any tips on tuning these toms? We got a drum tuning meter but I'd more preferably tune the kit by ear. The kick and snare are quite well-tuned but the toms are AWFUL.

 
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Jim Roseberry
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 05:42:10 (permalink)
I was just going to chime in and say the Catalina maple kits sound exceptionally good for the low cost. 

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davdud101
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 06:07:40 (permalink)
Jim Roseberry
I was just going to chime in and say the Catalina maple kits sound exceptionally good for the low cost. 


Thanks for mentioning!
I REAAALLY thought about getting one - but the family I mentioned above is willing to sell their kit for $350 - EVERYTHING (minus good cymbals or good cymbal hardware- the supplied stuff is the cheapest hardware and cymbal set I've ever seen, and only came with a hat and a terrible excuse for a crash). I think we'll save a lot of money getting this one - it's not too loud when played well, and it doesn't actually take up a lot of space compared to what we expected. So win-win! (if this works out :D )

 
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 14:33:16 (permalink)
What about an electronic kit?  That will allow you to edit the sound to suit the environment.

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Cactus Music
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 16:28:52 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby davdud101 2017/03/14 16:49:13
I was going to say I would look for a good used kits as they can be found for around $300. They will have garbage cymbals and possibly the lower end hardware but sometimes you get lucky. The quality of the hardware is what will make or break a cheap kit. The shells if in good shape might not be the best tone wood, but can be fixed up with new head's etc.
Most cheap kits will have about the same serviceable grade of hardware. Even if your not a drummer one should be able to look at it and see if the hardware is sturdy and will hold things in place. Nothing worse than tom mounts that sag and stands that fall over when you hit a crash...

The basic kit is the Kick and the Toms. That's the bulk of a drum set that needs to match. It's also the least expensive over all when shopping used and lower end kits. You can spend equal or more on cymbals or a good snare. And that pert of the kit is not as critical to a good drum sound as one would believe. You can make almost any kick drum sound the way you want with the right heads, tuning, dampening and mike placement.  And hopefully your Church drummer is not going to be overly busy and using tom fills at every opportunity so Toms are not critical either. A lot of drummers I work with have only one rack tom. 
The Hi hat's and the Snare are really the heart of a good drum sound and that's where I would spend the money. 
The rest can all be upgraded piece by piece as funding and opportunities allow. I would certainly grab that kit if the hardware looks like it will hold up. 
 
In the studio I like 18" and 20" kicks best of all. More snap and less Boom. 
And just keep your eyes out for deals on name brand cymbals. A drummer I'm working with right now just scored a set of four AA's for $500 lightly used.  
 
I agree that Digital kits are not the best solution unless that kit is a Roland worth $4,000. 

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davdud101
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/14 17:06:36 (permalink)
Cactus Music
Most cheap kits will have about the same serviceable grade of hardware. Even if your not a drummer one should be able to look at it and see if the hardware is sturdy and will hold things in place. Nothing worse than tom mounts that sag and stands that fall over when you hit a crash...

The basic kit is the Kick and the Toms. That's the bulk of a drum set that needs to match. It's also the least expensive over all when shopping used and lower end kits. You can spend equal or more on cymbals or a good snare. And that pert of the kit is not as critical to a good drum sound as one would believe. You can make almost any kick drum sound the way you want with the right heads, tuning, dampening and mike placement.  And hopefully your Church drummer is not going to be overly busy and using tom fills at every opportunity so Toms are not critical either. A lot of drummers I work with have only one rack tom. 
The Hi hat's and the Snare are really the heart of a good drum sound and that's where I would spend the money. 
The rest can all be upgraded piece by piece as funding and opportunities allow. I would certainly grab that kit if the hardware looks like it will hold up. 



Great info, Cactus! 
 
The biggest problem is that the only 'drummers' we've got are myself (Only been playing 1.5 years - don't have so great technique but I at least know when a kit sounds good, and can play a good selection of grooves!), and the 14y.o. kid who will be playing them mostly, so the idea of bringing along a very experienced drummer seems to be slim. 
 
In any case, I'll keep my eyes peeled for those deals. We've got a very decently-sized budget that was actually reserved for an entire kit, but if we can split that amount of money into JUST this used kit, new heads, cymbals + hardware, and *possibly* a new snare, we're golden as far as not needing to invest in all-new shells which would raise the cost considerably from what I've seen (although the snare we've got is surprisingly good, just needed a little tuning and now it sounds great to my ears).
 
That's not to say that it's is the greatest snare I've ever played , but I don't think it'd be worthwhile funnelling money into upgrading it now - not until a couple years down the road when we see its shortcomings, maybe. I realized we likely won't be using it for recording within the first year or two, and it won't be mic'ed in the hall in that time so we can get away with making it sound as good as possible just as it is 
 
This is really helpful info, guys! Keep it coming!!! 

 
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patm300e
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Re: Drumkit for church use 2017/03/15 12:51:46 (permalink)
If that $350.00 kit works for you then that is great!  You will have a decent budget for cymbals/hardware.
Be sure to get a comfortable seat!  It makes playing so much more fun.  Tuning is the most important thing.  Proper tuning can make a cheap kit sound good.  Improper tuning can make an expensive kit sound real bad.
 
If there are no drum experts in your church, branch out to local music stores (especially mom & pop stores where the customer service is likely better than the giant conglomerates. Sweetwater is one exception to this rule!).
 
Find someone who can help you learn to tune them.  It is an art and one that is VERY subjective.  If the local music store has some kits set up, find one you like the sound of and ask who tuned it.  Ask them for help showing you what they did and WHY!  It will go a long way towards getting the sound you want.  Personally I believe this one aspect makes a larger contribution than the shells themselves.  It is between the room and the drum tuning.  Shell quality in my opinion pays a lesser role (roll?).
 
 

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