Help! Loud drummer, feedback issues, not hearing vocals....

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by WardEarth, Aug 5, 2017.

  1. Yeah, I think its something he needs to work on one way or another. I'd like us to be able to play at non-earplug volume. Just bought him some lighter sticks. Maybe taping the cymbals a little might help as well. We'll see how this next week goes.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  2. RoadRanger

    RoadRanger Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2004
    NE CT
    The only full kit drummers I've ever played with that could play at non-earplugs levels went to college for it or were willing to play with "hotrods". Actually one band I rehearse with, the drummer can do it if there's only one gui**** - and I'm across the room from the drummer about 15 feet away. That's the band I play a 30 watt tube amp with in rehearsal.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  3. Ya I'm probably asking for too much. I've played with some trained drummers, and they're def on another level. This guy is great too, but not like a 'trained' drummer.
    Michael Schreiber likes this.
  4. Dp1363


    Jan 8, 2011
    South Jersey US
    As a former longtime drummer turned bass player I can tell you I have low tolerance for loud drummers. I was professionally trained drummer and learned technique with regard to wrist vs fingers. I practiced Loud and fast, loud and slow, quiet fast and quiet and slow.

    I spent countless hours practicing these techniques. Took lessons from some very professional drummers. The problem is so many rock drummers are guys who just pick up a pair of sticks and start hacking away in their basement. I cringe when I hear drummers like that.

    There is a tendency for drummers to get louder when they play faster. The muscles in their arms tighten up. With proper technique a good drummer uses his wrists for power and fingers for speed. Never play from you entire arm. When I was a drummer in various rock bands I used thin 10A sticks. In addition to technique, this also allowed me to have speed without the loud volume. Need more volume? You can always mic the drums.

    I always recommend the book "Stick Control" by Stone, to drummers who are looking to be better. It's the Bible for any drumming technique.

    I'm playing bass in two bands right now one with a properly trained drummer and one with a basement hacker. Huge difference in volume levels and skill between the two.
  5. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    For me the subject's been both a learning and teaching "endeavour" (and sometimes a drag) over the years, and often (altho' not exclusively) drummer related, for sure. OTOH 99% of good drummers in the type of music I devote myself to (fast HC/punk, occasionally metal) are loud. Not the double kick kind of loud but still noisy, lots of rimshot banging and full open hi-hat maelstrom. Still, after composing, arranging, playing, singing, recording and producing for several HC projects I must say the desired kind of punk drummer, the firm one who really commands the combo (have you seen Abe Jr. with Macca?, that's the definition of commanding a band for me) is most often than not a loud drummer. The weakest in that COMMAND sense are the ones that I personally end up sentencing to "Drumagogg oblivion" in post-production (moreso the ones with a weak touch).

    I'm inserted in this "paradigm" so I do whatever I can to beat the elements. First of all I've gone in-ear almost a decade ago, mandatory when I sing lead (a K.I.S.S. mix goes a long way in hearing health and self consciousness), forces me to up my game, cleans up both my playing and singing and, best of all, once some lessons were learned, it augmented the live experience and the end result of my act. The other thing is putting every element in the band in its proper range to minimize overlapping. This means keeping the bass thick, no bassy or hissy guitars and finding the right spot for vocals too. It's a rule of thunb for me at mixing and layer mastering time also, works for making it loud yet discernible and less ear fatiguing, which is a must for distorted/screamed 200+BPM music. This in turn allows for lower volumes on anything, even if the drummer is bad enough not to back off, there's some terrain gained for sure.

    On to the OP's request. Here's a drummer I play with in 2 bands (my own and this punk "bastard cover" band, in the MF&TGG vein but over spanish/latin american hit songs). Here we were playing at a private party. A minute into a short check that afternoon neighbours complained so we were told to turn down for good, and we did, to the point where I could easily chat with the drummer and would sing almost acapella. We were using our amps and small PA support only for vocals (3 of them, guitarist sings high pitched and I do low pitched backing vocals). So here's your loud HC/punk drummer playing cool...

    I don't think he loses any attitude nor general performance strength in this register. Here's our original tune for you to hear him in a more detailed manner.

    RoadRanger likes this.
  6. Very cool stuff man, thanks for the detailed response. Let me know if you guys are ever coming to San Diego, CA. We'll throw a show.
    Michael Schreiber and andruca like this.
  7. andruca


    Mar 31, 2004
    Madrid (Spain)
    Most probably not in this lifetime. We're all guys in our early 40s, with wives, kids, day jobs, etc., trying to make this work in private/company parties, weddings and festivals' afterhours. Still there's good chances I visit one of my bros who lives in SF. I'll let you know if it eventually becomes a reality ;-)

    I probably didn't enfasize this enough, for me the need created the means. When I/my bands needed to up the vocal game some of these things became really obvious, volume/mix lessons were learnt quick, focusing on the whole picture (it's probably easier for us as we've all been making music for 25-30 years, know each other deeply and don't even need to tell each other what to play, just trust individual criteria, a lot, asuming natural roles really). Talk the "uninvolved" ones within your band into analyzing the whole product/experience you give both yourselves and your audience and empower it.
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