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Grrr! Church Just Bought a Drum Shield

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by jaywa, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    So last night at practice my worship leader was all excited because we're getting a plexiglass "bug screen" to put around our drum kit.

    Am I the only one who despises those things? #1 they're cheezy looking as heck (especially after they get smudged and dinged a few times). #2 they don't make that much difference except to make your drummer deaf faster. #3 they cut off contact between me and my drummer.

    What I really can't figure out is, in our particular case, there is absolutely no need for it. We have a 1,200 seat room that's been designed for amplified "modern" music, a huge stage, and we don't have any drummers who hit hard (in fact, it's the opposite problem).

    I'm just a volunteer schmoe there so it's not anything I'm gonna challenge my WL on but it just seems to me like a big waste of money.

    Concurring (and dissenting) opinions welcome...
  2. T-MOST


    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    I think you are. Drums are inherently loud and cymbals are worse. There is no way I would sit 2 feet away from our drummer for 2 hours if we didn't have a drum sheild!
  3. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    I forgot to say, all of our instrumentalists are on IEMs. So that blocks out a lot of the ambient noise from a stage volume perspective.

    I know we've recently been getting some complaints about volume (NOT from our lead pastor, who has been telling the tech crew to turn things up), so I suspect this may be a psychological appeasement thing to those people more than anything. I.e., if we put up a sneeze guard it will at least look like we're trying and maybe those people won't think things are so loud if the see the drums being "covered up".
  4. I'm with you. I can understand the need for them in smaller rooms or areas with acoustic issues, but I disagree with blanket use of them. I love that our main stage at church refuses to use one, but our multi-purpose room where student ministries and other events happen uses one which I hate. Even with a complete IEM setup there's something disconnecting about it.

    I played at a different church last weekend and found this weird too: No drum shield, but had an amp room off stage where all the guitar amps went.
  5. what do you expect? you're playing in church! it's not like you're rocking in a bar somewhere.
  6. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    At least I won't have to move ours. Those things don't look beastly heavy, but they are.
  7. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Yeah except that we've gone several years without one in the same room, with the same kit (top of the line DW), and never had any issues. I don't understand why the change of philosophy now.
  8. WL's tend to be control freaks. That's why they take the job. The worst is when they're clueless gits who don't deserve the job.

  9. invalidprotocol

    invalidprotocol Supporting Member

    Dec 11, 2008
    You must properly quarantine the drummer! :D
  10. sb69coupe


    Aug 9, 2004
    Raleigh NC
    They seriously reduce the amount of bleed into vocal mics. Given the size of your room, I assume there are multiple vocalists in the band? All those open mics can pick up a lot of drum bleed, and this would help clean up the overall FOH sound.
  11. Oracle

    Oracle Banned

    Sep 7, 2012
    Maybe the shield helps to get a better sound in FOH.
  12. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    We never have more than 4 vocal mics on a given Sunday (including the WL), and the singers stand a good 15-20 feet in front of the backline (like I said, it's a big stage). On a tight stage I could see drum bleed into the vox mics being a big deal but pretty sure that's not happening here.
  13. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    We'll find out I guess. Drum shields are dissed hard by all the good veteran drummers I've worked with and whose opinions I value. But none of those guys play at our church so maybe our drummers will be OK with it.
  14. I wish we had something that blocked sound a lot better than a plexiglass shield. I still don't use the drum overhead mics at all because they're so loud acoustically (even with the drum shield) that adding any volume to them at all would be overkill.
  15. drummike


    Oct 20, 2010
    My church started with a shield then put a roof on it. Finally they build a back wall with a door. Apparently this was an attempt to clean up the sound by keeping the drums out of the vocal mics. I played drums in that chicken coop for several years. One day they put lights on it; I felt like a rotisserie chicken in there. When the new music leader began insisting that we play every song to a click track (headphones for me) and I develped arthitis in my thumb joints, I gave my notice. I attended another church for a while, enjoyed watching their drummer play his Roland V-drums. One Sunday I went and they had taken away the V-drums; he was in a plexiglass drum booth on acoustic drums. I didn't go back, too many bad memories.
  16. MoeTown1986

    MoeTown1986 Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2010
    SoMD (Mechanicsville)
    drum shields are everybody's friend. the sound guy can control the drummers volume and in return, make the overall mix quieter/better. without a shield, everything revolves around the drummer level wise.
  17. What did any of that have to do with you developing arthritis? Just curious.

    We have acoustic drums in a cage with a top and the drummer plays to a click and she's more than happy to do it. To each their own I suppose.
  18. El-Bob

    El-Bob Supporting Member

    Oct 22, 2006
    Hamilton, ON
    +1. The best my band has ever sounded has been at a Church with a drum shield, and a sweet sound system. It was a super tight mix, and it wasn't quiet at all, it was just tight and balanced. If you have a good sound guy, and a good sound system (admittedly most churches are lacking in one or both areas), then the drum shield is great!
  19. eddododo


    Apr 7, 2010
    I hate that we have a shield. Totally agree that WE need it (lotsa choir mics, loud drummer, 'difficult' acoustics, loud blackgospel groovyness), but then we constantly have the drums under-mic'd, his IEM's are constantly crapped, and our worship leader just REFUSES a setlist , so we have to pantomime song titles through the smudged glass.
  20. jaywa


    May 5, 2008
    Iowa City, IA
    Well I definitely would still rather have real drums behind a sneeze guard than an electric kit without.

    But that's a whole nother thread.