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  • 2021's Best Drum Triggers: Top 5 Drum Triggers For The Money Reviewed

    A drum set can usually only produce the same variety of sounds as the instruments it has available to it. A four-piece kit with a single cymbal will produce far less variety than a 32-piece set with multiple cymbals of varying sizes. 

    So how can you expand your soundscape?

    The answer: electronic drum triggers. 

    A kick drum triggers attach to your kit and can produce additional sounds. They let you introduce a wider variety of sounds that would otherwise be unobtainable unless you paid for a much larger set.

    Today, we review the top five best drum triggers along with a guide on what to look for when purchasing one. 

    Let's get into it!

    5 Best Drum Triggers of 2021

    We've scoured the extensive brands and trigger kit options available to find the ones with the best value for money. Check them out below!

    1. The Roland RT-30H Acoustic Drum Trigger

    First on our list is the Roland RT-30H acoustic trigger. This device stands out in many ways. It possesses excellent trigger sensitivity, so you don't need to worry about missing a beat or misfiring during play. It is also straightforward to install, taking mere moments to apply to your kit.

    The Roland RT-30H is one of the best drum triggers available due to its ease-of-use and simple installation. All you need to do to begin your exploration of hybrid drumming is clip it onto the metal frame of your existing drum kit. The self-guided mounting system will automatically set sensors to optimum positioning so that you can play immediately.

    The Roland RT-30H is compatible with almost any metal drum hoop. Its versatility even extends to the newer inward-curved hoop styles on the market. 

    The fiberglass-reinforced ABS body also provides the kick drum trigger with some significant durability, so there is no need to be extra delicate with your set.

    Pros

    • Effortless installation, simply clip onto your metal drum hoop
    • Self-guide sensors make for simple automation
    • Minimal to no latency or lag with the transference of beat to electronic sound produced
    • Possesses some of the best versatility on the market
    • TRS connection cable included with purchase

     

    Cons

    • Sensor may not always pick up light hits on snares 

     

    Verdict

    Overall, we consider the Roland RT-30H a win. Its supreme versatility, paired with its high sensitivity, makes it one of the best drum triggers available. If you're looking for an acoustic drum trigger, this product is the best option.

    2. The Roland RT-30HR Acoustic Drum Trigger

    Next on our list is another product from Roland that might seem similar to the kick drum trigger above, but it possesses some unique differences of its own. Namely, the RT-30HR features a dual zone trigger. 

    The dual zone trigger allows one trigger to produce two sounds simultaneously. The difference in sounds comes from where the trigger hits the pad, hence the two zones.

    This versatility is what makes the RT-30HR one of the best kick drum triggers available. It is perfectly suited to drummers who want to enhance their soundscape without having to break the bank.

    Similar to the RT-30H, the RT-30HR also features a self-guided mounting system. This set-up allows the sensor to adjust automatically. 

    Another feature and what makes the RT-30HR one of the best drum triggers, however, is its exceptional use with snare drums. 

    The incompatibility with snares was the only drawback we found with the RT-30H. If you're a fan of snares, you will much prefer this acoustic drum trigger from Roland.

    Pros

    • Exceptional sensitivity with little-to-no latent play
    • Easy to install, simply clip on to the metal drum hoop
    • Perfect for snares
    • TRS connection cable included with purchase
    • Dual zone trigger system for simultaneous sound production

     

    Cons

    • Most effective with other Roland products, may not work as well with different brands

     

    Verdict

    Simply put, the RT-30HR is the perfect acoustic drum trigger for those who require greater sensitivity for light drum pieces. The dual zone trigger system is a unique feature that sets this product apart from competitors. Plus, the improved compatibility with snares makes it a better choice for drummers wanting more versatility with their snare sounds. 

    3. The Roland RT-30K Acoustic Drum Trigger

    The third finalist on our list from Roland is the RT-30K acoustic drum trigger. Roland designed this product specifically for live performances with hybrid drum kits. With this kick trigger kit, you can expect crystal clear electric samples during your shows.

    This device delivers ultra-sensitivity and little-to-no delay in feedback. The instant response effect makes the RT-30K ideal for gigs and festivals. Considering that you need to compete with the noise of crowds and other instruments in a live performance, the RT-30K gives you the edge you need.

    We also consider it a standout kick trigger kit in both installation and performance. It is easy to use and has fantastic output quality. The electronic drum sound mimics an authentic sound almost perfectly, so your hybrid drum set will possess a convincingly larger soundscape.

    Pros

    • Easy to install via clip-on design
    • Perfect for heavy music such as dubstep or metal
    • Crystal clear yet powerful audio output
    • Ultra-sensitive, capable of picking up any beat you lay down
    • Durable fiberglass body

     

    Cons

    • Slightly higher price point than other models on this list, though this is mostly justifiable

     

    Verdict

    We found the RT-30K to be one of the most impressive, not least of all because it's a device tailor-made for live performances. You don't usually find that kind of forethought with triggers. The RT-30K possesses a supreme level of accuracy and sensitivity while still maintaining the durability and ease-of-use associated with similar Roland products. If your drumming habits are more hardcore, this kick drum trigger is ideal for you.

    4. The Yamaha DT-50K Acoustic Bass Drum Trigger

    The first Yamaha product on our list, the Yamaha DT-50K bass drum trigger excels at providing a natural and authentic sound. Few listeners would realize its sounds have electronic origins. 

    The Yamaha DT-50K possesses a solid die-cast solid body made entirely from metal. Durability and professional appearance go hand in hand.

    This emphasis on durability does not take away from the sound quality. With each strike, the trigger produces an authentic drum sound that easily blends in with the rest of your acoustic set. The result is an enhanced soundscape that does not sound overproduced or complicated.

    As for the mounting system, simplicity reigns. All you need to do is attach the mounting system to one of your shells, and within minutes, you are good to go. 

    This bass drum trigger provides a highly efficient sound output with outstanding durability.

    Pros

    • Suitable for both live performances and studio recording
    • Compatible with all drum modules on the market
    • Provides accurate and consistent results
    • Sensitivity is adjustable to meet your performance requirements
    • Metal cast body for extensive durability
    • Chrome exterior blends seamlessly with your kit

     

    Cons

    • The clip and screw design may not be completely stable during particularly vigorous performances
    • Pricey

     

    Verdict

    A respectable product from a well-respected brand, the Yamaha DT-50K excels in consistency and accuracy. It is a little pricey, but it lives up to its value via its high-performance standard. We fully endorse this trigger.

    5. The Yamaha DT-50S Acoustic Snare/Tom Trigger with Dual Zone

    The final trigger on our list, but by no means the worst, is the Yamaha DT-50S. 

    The first standout feature is its broad compatibility. This trigger can attach to any drum module available on the market, so you do not need to worry about it not fitting when it arrives.

    The design of the DT-50S makes it suitable for professional musicians who need their triggers to work as hard as they do. With this in mind, the DT-50S features a metal cast body for maximum durability.

    The simplicity of installation continues with this trigger. It sticks firmly to your kit, and the metal casing ensures it remains there, no matter how into your performance you get. 

    The sensitivity adjustment is also here, as it was with our previous Yamaha recommendation. The responsiveness is an essential feature if you only want the trigger to respond to your firmest strikes.

    Pros

    • Sensitivity can adjust to meet your performance needs
    • Exceptionally durable due to the metal body
    • Attaches firmly to the drum shells with no complication
    • Chrome exterior design makes for an aesthetically pleasing addition to your kit
    • Works well with snare drums, floor toms, and rack toms with total consistency

     

    Cons

    • It may prove too costly for amateur drummers

     

    Verdict

    The Yamaha DT-50S is easily one of the best drum triggers available. It provides durability and high-quality sound output, all in an attractive casing that can blend right into your set. Don't just take our word for it—try it yourself!

    What To Look For When Choosing a Trigger Kit for Drums

    Now that you know about the best drum triggers from 2021, let's talk about what to look for when purchasing. 

    In much the same way that all drummers are different, all drum sets are too. What you are looking for in a trigger may differ radically from what another drummer is seeking.

    This wide range of expectations and uses can make shopping for a new kick drum trigger a daunting prospect. Spending up to a hundred dollars on a device you may not even like is nobody's idea of a good time. 

    Below are just some of the questions and considerations you need to be having before any purchase. This way, you know what you need and why you need it!

    The Type of Drum 

    This first factor might sound obvious, but it is a fundamental aspect to consider. You can't just buy any trigger and hope for the best. There are a wide variety of triggers out there to match a wide variety of drums. It would be best if you paired yours accordingly.

    Different triggers possess different sensitivities to accommodate the force of different strikes. A snare drum trigger will not behave the same way as a bass drum trigger, for instance. Bear this in mind before buying anything!

    The Trigger Play Type

    The way you play will directly impact the efficacy of the trigger you have fitted. Some triggers respond to sensitivity from specific strikes on the drum head, while others respond to the shells' vibrations.

    Generally speaking, heavier music will require triggers designed for drum head strikes, while lighter music will better respond to triggers monitoring the shells' vibrations. 

    The last thing you want to do is overload a more gentle trigger with your heavy metal playing. Make sure you match the type of trigger and playing style accordingly.

    Drum Module/Trigger Compatibility

    Most triggers will fit with all drum modules on the market. However, this is not exclusively the case. 

    Some brands will only work with drum modules designed for their specific triggers. This compatibility issue can occur with some Roland products. While we undoubtedly still recommend the brand, it's something to bear in mind before brand-mixing!

    If you're loyal to a particular brand, this shouldn't pose a problem for you. However, if your set consists of multiple pieces from different brands, you need to check ahead to ensure the trigger you have ordered will fit your set.

    Attachment Style of Your Trigger

    This last point is only a minor one, but you should still be aware! Many triggers simply clip onto the outer edge, whereas some will stick on via adhesive. If you frequently move between sets but want to take your trigger with you, it's strongly advised you opt for the clip option. They are much more portable!

    Conclusion

    So, there you have it, our guide to the top five best drum triggers of 2021. We hope we have provided you with a few strong contenders for your new favorite! Just remember, there is no singular best product on the market. Each possesses its own merits, and that can vary based on your genre and playstyle. Don't be afraid to experiment between brands and styles!

  • 2021’s Best Drum Heads for Church: Top 4 Church Drum Heads for the Money Reviewed

    Church worship music isn’t the same as other music genres. Worship music is meant to encompass many different genres instead of one particular sound. 

    Therefore, you need the perfect instruments for church worship music, starting with drum heads. You must consider many things when purchasing drum heads, such as the volume if the singers need to hear themselves. You must also consider the type of instrument (the snare drum sound is different from the bass drum, for example).

    The right kind of drumming equipment can make your worship music sound amazing. That's why we have compiled a list of the four best drum heads for church in 2021. We will also go over what to look for when buying the best drum gear.

    4 Best Drum Heads for Church of 2021

    1. Evans EC2 Tompack, Clear, Standard (12-inch, 13-inch, 16-inch)

    One of the most efficient ways to buy drum heads is in multipacks, which is why we love this multipack from Evans. This pack includes three individually-sized, which is the best way to save money when purchasing drum heads.

    Features and Specifications

    • Three individually-sized drum heads (12”, 13”, and 16”)
    • Made with two plies of 7mil film
    • Exclusive Sound Shaping Technology (SST) Edge Control ring delivers pre-equalized sound
    • Level 360 technology extends level playing surface of drum head
    • Vertically-enhanced collar design for ease of tuning and extended pitch range

     

    Pros

    • Multipack of toms saves money
    • SST provides ideal dampening for each head
    • Level 360 technology ensures proper contact between head and shell
    • Clear or coated finish options

     

    Cons

    • Not as long-lasting as other options

     

    Verdict

    The Evans EC2 Tompack of three differently-sized drum heads is great for the money because you’re getting three for the price of one. The different sizes let you try out various head sizes while the SST edge control and Level 360 technology keep the sound crisp and clean. 

    This is a great church worship tom head and one of the best drum heads because it’s a value pack with great sound versatility. 

    2. Remo Fyberskin Powerstroke 3 18-Inch Drum Head – Ambassador Weight

    The Remo Fyberskin Powerstroke 3 gives warm midrange and low end-tones thanks to the calfskin-like material. It’s got added overtone control as well for a full and warm sound. 

    Features and Specifications

    • Available in two weights, 7.5 mil Diplomat and 10 mil Ambassador
    • 3 mil polyspun fiber laminated top coating
    • 2 mil inlay ring
    • Material made to look and feel like calfskin

     

    Pros

    • Moderate, controlled sustain thanks to the inlay ring
    • Reduced overtones due to inlay ring and fiber coating
    • Boosted midrange and low-end frequencies
    • Great for moderate volume playing, making it perfect for church

     

    Cons

    • Not for loud volume music

     

    Verdict

    This Remo head is perfect for playing indoors in a close worship setting thanks to its material, inlay ring, and fiber coating. It’s got a moderate but not loud volume, so church worship singers can still hear themselves singing. 

    When you compare this head to its sibling, the Fiberskyn Diplomat, this head creates a warmer and more controlled sound.

    We recommend this head for church worship settings and all other indoor settings.

    3. Attack Royal2 Series 16” Medium Coated S Film 2-Ply Drum Head

    Every head in the Attack Royal2 series is great for the money. However, we have to point out the 2-ply medium coated S Film 16” drum head. It’s got a classic sound that’s great for a church worship setting, it’s not extremely loud, and it’s great in any genre, making our list for the best drum heads. 

    Features and Specifications

    • Timeless Golden Logo
    • Two plies of 10 mil for a controlled tone
    • Has Attack U.S. Duracoat coating
    • Made with Dupont S film
    • Large 16” diameter

     

    Pros

    • Controlled tone
    • Durable
    • Classic sound
    • Shines in gospel settings

     

    Cons

    • Not for loud music 

     

    Verdict

    We recommend this head for church worship settings because it’s a perfect size, but it’s not extremely loud. The classic sound makes it perfect for church worship settings, but it’s also great for pop, jazz, funk, rock, and other genres. 

    4. Aquarian Ice White Reflector Superkick Bass Drum head 22”

    This unique 2-ply bass drum head inspired by drumming legend Eric Moore delivers quality sound and responsiveness. Even when playing in quieter settings like a church, the bass drum head delivers perfect tone and resonance. It’s warm, resonant, and musical at the low volume required in a church.

    Features and Specifications

    • 2-ply hybrid construction
    • Ice White reflective surface
    • 7 mil top/10 mil bottom
    • Muffle ring built in for additional control
    • Top layer is Aquarian’s Classic Nu-Brite film for warmth

     

    Pros

    • Great for any genre
    • “Touch-sensitive” response
    • Ice white color goes with any set
    • Muffle ring is included but not needed
    • Range of expression and dynamics

     

    Cons

    • Pricier option than other bass drum heads
    • For bass drum only

     

    Verdict

    Although they’re a bit pricier than what you can get for cheaper, these bass drum heads are incredible. Eric Moore himself has said that they’re responsive, have perfect tone and resonance when playing quietly, and don’t choke up even when playing loud. 

    These features make them one of the best drum heads for church worship applications.

    What to Look for When Choosing Suitable Drum Heads for Church

    Choosing the right heads for what you need can be difficult if you’re a beginner, but it’s time well-spent. It makes the difference between an instrument that creates nice percussion and one that elevates the room spiritually.

    If you’re new to playing drums, know the variety of heads that are on the market. Single ply versus double, coated or clear, thick or thin–the options can be overwhelming.

    That’s why we’ve made this guide for choosing which heads are the best drum heads for you. If you’re reading this, you likely need heads for church worship applications, which comes with its own set of challenges. Let’s dive into the buyer’s guide for choosing heads.

    Single Ply vs. Double ply

    Single ply drum heads are the thinnest, simplest heads on the market. They’re usually created from a single layer of 10 mil Mylar. 

    There are other thicknesses in single ply drum heads, anywhere from 3 mil to 7 mil. However, 10 mil are the most commonly used. You should choose single ply drum heads if you want a better resonating sound, but they’re not as durable as 2-ply heads.

    2-ply heads are more durable and exhibit much more attack and a shorter sustain. They’re great for rock music and any other style where articulation is needed. Most double ply heads come with outer rings to control overtones, as well as extra inlay rings of Mylar.

    Coated vs. Clear

    The coating on heads muffles the sound, but clear heads sound brighter and more open. The style that is right for you depends on your taste and what you need to use the drum for:

    • If you want a warmer, drier, and darker tone, go for a coated one.
    • If you want a sound with more attack and “wetness”, go with a clear head.

    You can get more recommendations for clear vs. coated by getting in touch with our team at DCP.

    Specialty Finishes

    As you’ve read above from the Remo fiberskyn head, there are other finishes apart from clear and coated. 

    Fiberskyn coatings offer the physical appearance of real animal skin and have a similar response to coated heads, but with more warmth and fewer overtones. They tend to be warm, dark, and dry. 

    Other specialty finishes include an ebony/black finish, which is similar in tone to clear heads but with a black appearance. These are bright and have a long sustain, as well as a fast attack. 

    Thick vs. Thin 

    Most head brands like Remo and Evans will have options for both thick and thin. Here’s what makes them different:

    • Thick heads will be much more durable, louder, less sensitive, and have more attack. 
    • Thin ones will be less durable, quieter, more sensitive, and have less attack.

    You’ll likely want a thinner head unless you need it to be louder and have more attack for quiet church worship applications and settings.

    Dampening

    Dampening refers to how much the overtones are controlled. Several drums currently on the market have features designed to dampen the sound without needing to apply additional dampening, such as tape or gel. For instance, some 2-ply Remo heads are glued together with thick plastic, which offers natural dampening. 

    Different drums require different types and amounts of dampening. We recommend dampening your heads if you’ll be in a close church worship setting.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    You might not know what to ask when you’re purchasing drum heads from a music store. It can be difficult and even awkward to ask a store employee for help. 

    At DCP, we believe that asking questions makes you a better player.  Here are some of the questions that people ask most when buying drum heads and some you should ask when purchasing. 

    What are drum heads used for?

    The original use for a Mylar drum head was to protect animal skin drums from the elements. However, now they are used to eliminate overtones and sharpen the overall tone. 

    The top of the drum head is called the batter head because this is the part you hit with the drumstick. The bottom part is the resonant head, which gives the instrument its tone. 

    How often do you need to change drum heads?

    You should change your drum heads when you see the coating on the head show a lot of wear, such as dents and markings. Generally, you can stick to a schedule like this one:

    • Change snare drum heads every six months
    • Change TomTom heads every three months
    • Change bass drum batter head every six months
    • The bass resonant head does not get changed
    • Tom and snare drum resonant heads should be changed every year

    How do you clean snare and bass heads?

    You would rarely need to clean your snare drum or bass heads. Bass and snare drum models are made of Mylar (plastic), so they can’t tolerate anything with petroleum. If your heads get exceptionally dirty, we recommend using mild soap and water but nothing else.

    Are batter heads and resonant heads interchangeable?

    No. Batter drum heads with a bad sound are usually worn, but you cannot replace your batter head with a resonant head. The good news is that resonant heads do not need to be changed often, so if your batter head has a bad sound, you do not need to replace both components. 

    I’m completely new at drumming. What should I select?

    If you’re totally new to drumming and unsure of which to buy, we recommend getting heads that aren’t too thick and have little to no dampening. This type of drum head will give you a wide range of sound options and lets you learn how to tune. 

    You can apply dampening later if you want to control ringing and make the sound warmer, but you can’t remove the dampening if it comes built-in. 

    Conclusion

    There is no one way to tune, play, or sound a bass or snare drum. More importantly, there is no one way to choose the absolute best drum heads for church worship. 

    It’s best to start at a baseline (medium thickness with no dampening) and experiment with it, then try different drum heads and tuning to find a configuration that suits you and the venue you’ll be playing in. Once you’ve wrapped your head around the important stuff, you can start branching out and trying new things with your heads!

    If you need help looking for the best drum heads for your bass or snare drum, get in touch with our team at Drum Center of Portsmouth. We can help you find the products you need for your equipment and church venue!

  • 2021’s Best Cymbals for Punk: Top 5 Punk Cymbals for The Money Reviewed

    Cymbals are not a one-size-fits-all addition to any drum kit. Different styles are more suitable for specific genres.

    Genre-specificity is proving increasingly popular among drummers who want to focus their craft. Manufacturers are also starting to pay attention to this demand.

    Gone are the days of buying a multipack of general cymbals and replacing them when necessary. It might seem like a good idea initially, but it’s a waste of money in the long-term.

    Here, DCP walks you through the best punk cymbals in 2021. Cymbals used for punk rock take a thrashing, so they need to be durable. The ones reviewed here all can take a beating, ensuring great value for your money.

    Best Cymbals for Punk of 2021

    1. Zildjian A Custom Box Set

    The first thing you’ll notice about these cymbals is their beautiful, golden finish. They’re incredibly eye-catching. The crashes have a short sustain and let you add repeated hits in quick succession, which is so often integral to punk music.

    The bell has a unique ping, which means your noise won’t get drowned out by your band. The hi-hats feature a bright and brilliant finish that we’ve come to expect from the A Custom series. The medium ride rounds all of this off with a unifying, clear sound.

    Specifications

    • 14’’ hi-hats
    • 16’’ and 18’’ crashes
    • 20’’ ride
    • 4 in a pack

    Pros

    • Cymbals all complement each other well
    • A bold and pleasing appearance
    • Short sustain ideal for punk music

    Cons

    • On the pricier side

     

    2. Meinl Classics Custom Dark Box Set

    If you want the edgy, punk look, the Meinl Custom Dark Box Set delivers. Each cymbal is black with gold accents. They’re loud, clear, and each cymbal complements each other well to bring a unified sound.

    The crashes deliver exceptional responsiveness, which is perfect for repeated strikes. The crash ride and hi-hats are clear in tone, and they produce excellent volume. They can keep up with your band without losing quality on the way.

    Specifications

    • 14’’ hi-hats
    • 16’’ and 18’’ crashes
    • 20’’ ride
    • 5 in a pack

    Pros

    • Unique, classic design
    • Maintains tonal clarity at higher volumes
    • Crashes possess sensitive response times, ideal for fast playing

    Cons

    • Some users reported unsatisfactory results when playing the hi-hats open

     

    3. Sabian AAX Performance Cymbal Pack

    In any punk band, the drummer needs to stand out because it’s the percussion that keeps the raw, fast energy going. Punk music is noisy and distinctive, so you need your cymbals to be the same. The Sabian AAX pack achieves this with a bright payoff that doesn’t skimp on volume.

    The bright sound persists no matter which cymbal you’re hitting and can cut through even the densest of sound walls. You’ll definitely be heard with these on your set.

    The 21’’ ride sets this set apart most from competitors. The extra inch of the ride allows it to produce maximum sound output.

    Specifications

    • 14’’ hi-hats
    • 16’’ and 18’’ crashes
    • 21’’ ride
    • 4 in a pack

    Pros

    • Impressive volume output
    • Features a bright tone across all cymbals
    • Responsive crashes

    Cons

    • Some users don’t like the look of Sabian’s recent logo change

     

    4. Paiste 2002 Cymbal Pack

    The Paiste 2002 pack has been around a while now, so they’re not new in 2021. But sometimes, it’s worth it to go back to the classics.

    The Paiste 2002 series’ popularity has never subsided. The maker created these specifically with metal, rock, and punk music firmly in mind. To that end, these cymbals produce a clean, crisp sound that maintains its edge without sacrificing volume.

    The strong points include their bright tone and ability to project despite loud competition from bandmates. The volume is possible because of the larger than average sizing across the crashes and ride. They may take some getting used to, but they’re worth the learning curve.

    Specifications

    • 14’’ hi-hats
    • 18’’ and 20’’ crashes
    • 22’’ ride
    • 5 in a pack

    Pros

    • A ride designed explicitly for heavier music genres in mind such as punk, rock, and metal
    • The bright output and strong projection are ideal for punk music
    • Increased size of cymbals compared to many sets allows for improved volume

    Cons

    • Pricey

     

    5. Sabian 15’’ AAX X Crash Cymbal

    The only item on this list that is a standalone cymbal instead of a full pack, it’s a unique product. It is the only crash cymbal on this list that extends beyond 14’’, and the result is beautiful. It creates a punchy, warm tone that can project to the back of the room.

    The first thing you’ll notice about this cymbal is its lack of width. It might look too thin for the heavy beating, but it’s deceptive. It is more than capable of holding its own and delivering a strong, loud performance.

    Specifications

    • 5’’ crash cymbal
    • Standalone

    Pros

    • Thin but durable
    • The ride delivers an exceptional projection with a warm tone
    • Slightly larger than standard crashes, ideal for louder volumes

    Cons

    • May not prove ideal as your primary, but perfect for a secondary with a unique twist

     

    What to Look for When Choosing Punk Cymbals

    Cymbals designed for punk music need to promote loud, clean, and bright sounds while also being structurally sound, i.e., they need to be able to take a beating. You need them to be durable and capable.

    You can assess these qualities by judging the individual components and the material.

    The Individual Components

    If you mostly or solely play punk music, you need to focus on each component with that intent in mind. Otherwise, your sound might get lost in the swell of your bandmates’ music.

    The three components that you need to look at in comparing cymbal sets are:

    • The Crashes provide a short, explosive punch of sound. They are especially crucial with punk music, as most tracks feature frequent use of crashes.
    • The Ride offers a ping-like sound. It changes in musicality as the ride bell increases in size.
    • The Hi-Hats often come in pairs, with the bottom cymbal being slightly thicker. The thinner the cymbal, the lower the pitch. The thicker the cymbal, the higher the pitch. Sizes will range from 12’’ up to 16.5’’.

     

    The Material

    You also need to consider the material of your cymbals. Most cymbals are bronze, though some budget options might be brass.

    Bronze is a combination of copper and tin. You’ll find two categories, known as B20 and B8:

    • B20 features 80% bronze content and 20% tin.
    • B8 consists of 92% bronze and 8% tin.

     

    The higher the tin content, the ‘tinier’ the sound will be. Bear this in mind before making a purchase. Sometimes, spending a little more is worth it in the long-term.

    Conclusion

    Customizing your drum kit is all about achieving a unique style. Drum sets are some of the most versatile instruments available in any band, so don’t squander that unique opportunity! Punk is about not fitting in with the crowd and the mainstream, so you want your kit to reflect that. Play around with different cymbal varieties to find what works best for you.

  • Buy Any Drum Set $1500 or over and Get up to 15% off on Zildjian Cymbals!

    Buy Any Drum Set $1500 or over and Get up to 15% off on Zildjian Cymbals!

    Zildjian Promo

    Discount will be applied in the shopping cart when purchased on www.drumcenternh.com.   Special cannot be combined with other current promotions.

  • The Best Jazz Sets Under $800

    Jazz can be intimidating to listen to, understand, and play. However, it is also one of the most dramatic and emotional genres. It takes listeners on a spontaneous, energetic, or somber journey and brings a range of amazing health benefits.

    One key element of this type of music is the drum kit. Playing a jazz drum set requires not only technical skills but also quality equipment.

    The best jazz drum sets are similar to the traditional kit. However, they are designed to deliver the precise and delicate sounds that are hallmarks of this genre.

    If you are looking for the best jazz drum sets, we have reviewed the top five sets available at DCP. We'll tell you which equipment you need to master jazz rhythms.

    Top 5 Jazz Sets Under $800

    Every jazz player needs equipment that meets their budget to play jazz properly. Here are the top five best jazz drum sets that are a bang for your buck:

    #1. Sonor AQ2 Bop 4-Piece

    The Sonor AQ2 Bop 4-piece is one of Sonor's compact kits. They are all similarly designed in terms of structure and build quality. The significant difference is the shell sizes. The AQ2 has the following:

    • 14" snare
    • 18" bass drum
    • Toms sized 12" and 14"

    This setup is popularly called a "bop," made famous by Roy Haynes and Elvin Jones, two renowned jazz drummers. The AQ2 is composed of maple shells. These give the drum set a warm tone. The AQ2's hardware is the robust proprietary Sonor SmartMount floor tom system, which helps increase this jazz drum set's resonance.

    One major highlight of the AQ2 is its snare drum. It has a great range and produces dynamic sounds. It can also be quite heavy.

    Lastly, the Sonor AQ2 is sold as a shell pack, which means you'll need to budget for ride and crash cymbals.

    Pros

    - Top-quality maple shell structure.

    - Durable and rugged hardware.

    - The snare produces excellent sounds.

    - Aesthetically pleasing jazz drum set.

    Cons

    - Bass drum can sound a bit funny or off-key.

    Check here to check out the current price!

    #2. Pearl Export EXX 5-Piece

    The Pearl Export 5-piece shell pack offers a combination of Pearl's hardware and the fantastic Zildjian cymbals. This combination means it is excellent for playing other genres asides from jazz music. It also comes with Pearl's Opti-Loc mounting hardware with stable high toms.

    When you purchase the EXX 5-piece, you get:

    • 22" bass drum, a 14' snare
    • 16" floor tom, and lastly
    • 10" and 12" rack toms

    It's made with a mixture of poplar shells and mahogany shells. This combination guarantees you more durable shells and a great sound.

    The Pearl EXX sounds terrific even when tuned high and even better when adjusting it to jazz's' signature low frequency.

    Pros

    - You get great cymbals and hardware.

    - It's a multipurpose jazz drum set.

    - It has a top-quality bass drum pedal.

    Cons

    - Takes up a lot of floor space.

    Check out the current price here!

    #3. Gretsch Renown 4-Piece

    The Gretsch Renown 4-piece is a high-end jazz drum set that is renowned for its do-it-all nature. Its 7-ply maple shells and 30 degrees bearing edges can give a tone that can match almost any musical genre or style that you want to play. However, it does have a warm sound that is apt for jazz drumming.

    The Renown 4-piece has a 20" bass drum with a low boom that is perfect if you have a large band. It also has 10", 12" and 14" toms.

    The shell hoops are flexible and make for easy tuning. It also comes with Remo heads, which are well-liked by drummers.

    One downside, however, is the shell pack doesn't have a snare drum. You'll need to procure a separate snare for this jazz drum set.

    Pros

    - Great price-performance ratio.

    - Shell pack comes with great heads.

    - Great dynamic sound.

    Cons

    - Has no snare drum.

    - Toms are mounted on the bass.

    Check here for the best deal on this kit!

    #4. Pearl Roadshow 4-Piece

    If you are a beginner jazz drummer, then the Pearl Roadshow jazz drum set is a perfect choice for you. It is an entry-level, everything-you-need to get started drum set.

    The shell pack consists of:

    • Crash cymbals
    • Poplar drum shells
    • Great hardware

    As with most 4-piece sets, it offers:

    • 18" bass
    • 10" rack tom
    • 13" snare
    • 14" floor tom

    You also get a 16" cymbal and two 14" hi-hats. Finally, you also get a drum throne and a stick bag.

    Its 9-ply poplar shells mean you get a durable jazz drum set with a full-bodied tone. One great advantage of buying the Pearl Roadshow is you can start playing it right out of the box. You don't need to bother tuning this drum set.

    Pros

    - It's reasonably priced.

    - The shell pack has a cymbal alongside the kit.

    - No need to bother tuning the drums.

    Cons

    - The cymbals aren't great for professional-level drumming.

    - The bass pedal is tacky.

    - You have to buy a ride cymbal to complete the kit if you plan to use it for jazz drumming.

    Check here for the current price.

    #5. Yamaha Stage Custom Bebop 3-Piece

    If you don't have a lot of floor space for your jazz drum set, the Yamaha Stage Bebop is a great option.

    The Bebop birch shells pack comprises an 18" bass drum and 12" and 14" toms. It's 100% made of birch shells for crisp, clear, and warm tones when you drum up a jazz beat.

    Unfortunately, you'll need to get your snare. One could argue that three shells mean you aren't getting value for your money, but its bop sizes mean this kit is perfect for jazz music.

    Pros

    - Top-range hardware.

    - Flexible tuning range.

    - Great sound and resonance.

    Cons

    - You have to budget for a snare.

    Check here for the best price! 

    What to Look for When Choosing A Drum Set for Jazz

    Not every drum set is great at producing great-sounding jazz tones. So, any jazz player needs to buy a kit that can do a great job when playing jazz music.

    Here are three key factors to look out for when looking to purchase a jazz drum set:

    #1. What's the shell made of?

    The make-up of your drum shell is critical to the quality of sound your kit produces. Various popular shells are used to make drums, such as poplar, birch, maple, and mahogany shells.

    However, it would be best if you bought equipment made of maple shells. Maple has a long history of producing great music tones. Plus, you usually won't need much tuning with these sets.

    #2. How many drums do you need?

    It's usually best to get a four-piece or five-piece jazz drum set, especially if you are a beginner. They usually come complete with all you need to start making jazz music right away. You can also go for a six-piece set, mostly if you dabble into other genres. However, make sure you have lots of floor space for your kit.

    #3. Does it have crash ride cymbals?

    While most times, you can go out and buy a cymbal yourself, it's always good to buy one along with your drum set. You may even hear people tell you that you need “crash ride cymbals.” What they mean is you need both cymbals to create accents and steady patterns.

    You will also need a hi-hat to create all the sounds you need for jazz.

    Conclusion

    Jazz drumming is a fantastic experience, but you need the right kit. However, choosing the best jazz drum set requires knowing what to look out for, so you don't buy a product that's not capable of producing your desired sound.

    Once you are clear about the specifications of the jazz drum set you need, then you can review the list above and pick whichever fits your needs best.

  • 2021's Best Drum Mics: Top 10 Microphones for The Money Reviewed

    Microphones are a vital piece of equipment for any artist, music producer, or band's sound equipment. Without mics, there'd be no way to listen to your favorite music and record your own tunes.

    Even drums need their own recording mics. Otherwise, the sound will be drowned out in the studio, and it becomes impossible to capture the complex and varying sounds a drum set makes.

    The best drumming mics are a part of a complete drum microphone set, with tom, condenser, and dynamic microphones. That way, you don't have to bother about buying a separate one and worrying if it works for your drum recording.

    Let's review the ten best drum kits that'll give you value for every dollar spent.

    The Top 10 Drum Mics of 2021

    #1. The Audix D6 Dynamic Microphone

    The Audix D6 is a must-have dynamic microphone set. Its aesthetically pleasing black design will make you look like an expert drummer from the start.

    To get the best out of this 4-piece drum mic kit, place it close to your kick drum or floor toms. It also handles high sound levels comfortably without any of the usual distortions you get with low-quality equipment.

    Audix is renowned for rigorously testing their equipment before they hit the market, and the D6 is no different. You can be assured of top-notch sound recordings with no static during playback.

    If you have no space to place it beside the floor toms for any reason and need to place it a bit further out, it will still pick up the sounds. The D6 is a phenomenal microphone because it takes the quality of your recording sessions several notches higher.

    Pros

    - It ensures crystal clear recordings

    - It is compact and light

    - It deals with high-pitched sounds without static or distortion

    Cons

    - Comes with a high price tag

    Verdict

    The Audix D6 dynamic drum microphone is the best drum mic kit and improves your recording sessions significantly. It offers flexibility with where it can be placed during recording, which is a huge positive. It is one of the best kick drum mics available on the market.

    Check the current price here.

    #2. The Shure SM57-LC Cardioid Dynamic Drum Microphone

    If you are ready to go pro, the Shure SM57 is a great option to start your career. It is one of the best drum mic kits available on the market today.

    One advantage of going with a Shure is the various microphone packages they offer. You can get only the 4-piece drum mic kit or purchase a set that includes adapters, stands, and cables. The price depends on which accessory you add to your equipment set. Plus, when compared to other equipment you'll need, it's pretty affordable.

    Asides from being affordable, it's also well-built and durable. The Shure SM57 is one of those sets that will journey with you as you grow in your career. It has excellent production quality and records top-quality sounds from any nearby instruments, including amplifiers, an outstanding feature for any drummer.

    The SM57 also handles high-pitched noises comfortably and will reproduce these sounds without static or distortion.

    Pros

    - Great sound quality

    - Rugged and durable product

    - Handles high-pitched sounds

    Cons

    - Loads of fakes on the market, so you need to ensure you shop from the Shure store.

    Verdict

    The Shure SM57 is a fantastic investment for a newbie who's searching for the best drum mic kit to kickstart their recording and drumming journey. Best of all, it has packages that suit your experience level and budget.

    Check the current price here.

    #3. The Sennheiser 604 Microphone System

    One of the most durable 5 and 4-piece drum mic kit out there, the Sennheiser 604 was the result of a collaboration between DW, Sennheiser, and Randall May. The system comes loaded with a mic and all the accessories you need to get an optimal playback, no matter how loud the recording drums are.

    The Sennheiser 604 handles high-pitched frequencies comfortably without any static or distortion. Its fiber-glass reinforced body means it can take the beating that comes with marathon drumming sessions while suppressing any vibrations. Its high sensitivity means you can highlight your recording parts that need to be erased or mastered.

    It also comes ready to go from the box. All you need to do is clip it to your drum, and you are ready to go.

    Pros

    - Highly sensitive and durable set

    - Professional sound recording

    - Compact design makes it easy to use

    - Flexible mount

    - Affordable

    Cons

    - Can struggle with certain sounds and styles

    Verdict

    The Sennheiser 604 system is a worthy investment if you plan to have professional-level drum recordings from the start. It combines excellent design with top-quality recording. Its durability also means you get full value for your dollars. Plus, it's affordable and compact.

    Check the current price here.

    #4. Shure Beta 52 Dynamic Drum Microphone

    The Shure Beta 52 is another excellent option from the stable of Shure, and for a good reason. It's one of the best kick drum mic kits you can depend on. The Beta 52 is designed to enhance and capture the kick drum and all those hidden bass undertones.

    It works best when you use it primarily as a kick drum mic and positioned it close to the set. It will capture the steady beat of your music with high accuracy. Its frequency filter also removes any superfluous sounds that distort the quality of your drum recording.

    Its well-built body and steel mesh mean that the Beta 52 will handle most of what you throw at it without packing up. Accidental drops, high-impact falls, the Shure Beta 52 handles all these with ease.

    When you consider its price, this set delivers the sound and recording quality you can expect from a quality kit.

    Pros

    - Excellent studio sound and recording

    - Durable and robust body

    - Works perfectly as a bass and kick drum mic

    Cons

    - Works best on stage than in the studio

    Verdict

    The Shure Beta 52 is a high-quality 5-piece drum mic kit, which isn't surprising considering Shure's reputation. The Beta 52s are popular with industry professionals and are built to handle stress and sound pressure. With this set, you can guarantee top-notch drum recordings every single time.

    Check the current price here.

    #5. The AKG D112 Drum Microphone

    The D112 is another excellent option from AKG, one of the best sound manufacturers on the market. The D112 is one of the best drum mic kits for industry use and price-performance ratio.

    It's usually called "the egg" by industry professionals due to its oval-shaped grille. This unique shape allows the D112 to handle wind pressure with ease. The microphone is dynamic with a large diaphragm and a frequency response that ranges from 20 HZ – 17 KHz.

    Its shape also makes it perfect for getting the best out of your bass drums. The bass drum usually has a small cut-out at the edge of their front heads. This hole enables you to alter or correct the internal felt of the recording drums. The felt acts as a sound regulator, reducing an unwanted tone.

    When a microphone like the D112 is placed beside these holes, it picks up the sounds and air pressure that emanates from these holes with clarity. The air pressure adds a beautiful bass undertone to the overall sound of the drums. Not every bass drum has a cut-out, but the presence of one combined with the AKG D112 can make a huge difference in your recorded session.

    The D112 has an adjustable mount that you can place in the appropriate position to capture the exact sound tones you need perfectly. Lastly, this equipment can also work with bass amplifiers.

    Pros

    - Affordable drum set

    - Top-notch sound quality

    - Great for stage and studio production

    - Sturdy build

    Cons

    - Loads of fakes on the market

    Verdict

    Like most AKG drum mic kits, the D112 is a reliable and dependable microphone. While it's a bit more expensive than most options within its segment, it handles studio and stage recording rigors with ease. The AKG D112 is a great kick set.

    Check the current price here.

    #6. The Audix DP5A Pack

    The Audix DP5A is a premium 4-piece drum mic kit that delivers your drum recording with a pound. It works great for stage and studio recording. This fantastic set comes with a dedicated floor tom and a top-quality snare mic.

    The DP5A drum set comes with one D6 kick drum equipment, three tom mics (1 D4 floor and 2 D2 toms), and one Audix i5 dynamic snare mic. You also get extras such as four gooseneck clips and a padded aluminum carrying case for easy storage and transport.

    All of its tom mics are designed to be dynamic hyper-cardioids. The floor tom can absorb frequencies as low as 40HZ to 18kaHZ with clarity.

    The overall sound quality and variation of microphones within this equipment set endear it to professionals and beginners. Its range also means you can use it for different musical or drumming styles.

    Pros

    - Suits various playing styles

    - Durable Audix build

    Cons

    - Pricey

    Verdict

    The Audix DP5A is one of the best drum mic kits that can handle your nuances, especially if you are a newbie trying to discover your playing style.

    Check here for the current price.

    #7. The Sabian Sound Kit Drum Set

    The Sabian Sound drum mic kit is designed with drummers in mind. It's a three-piece set with a portable mixer, something you won't find in most models on the market.

    The Sabian Sound set comes with one SK1 kick drum mic, two overhead SOH2 equipment, and a mixer with an in-built amplifier for your headphones. It also has an SD card slot.

    The mixer has three channels, with one channel as a kick drum mic with its SK1 equipment.

    The remaining channels are used to record everything else using two overhead mics. The three-channel mixer also enables you to observe the drum sound modulations as you record through a 3.5mm and 1.4" jack. All you need to do is plug in your headphones, and you are set.

    Pros

    - Easy to setup

    - Intuitive and flexible mixer controls

    - Great value for money

    Cons

    - The overhead mics have tiny diaphragm condensers that struggle to filter out ambient noise

    - Poor build quality

    Verdict

    The Sabian Sound is one of the best drum mic kits that will continually exceed your expectations. Its affordability usually has drummers assuming it'll have low sound quality. Instead, it always ends up surprising everyone who buys it, offering drummers an affordable option for milking out the best drum sounds.

    Check the current price here.

    #8. The Audix MICRO D Drum Microphone

    The Audix MICRO D is a great 4-piece drum mic kit for snare drums and floor toms. The MICRO D is easy to install. Its specialized D-Vice clips ensure you can get going with this kit almost immediately. The mounting system is also padded with rubber to reduce the vibrations from the sound pressure.

    The kit includes many features, including:

    • Mini XLR connector with a 6" cable
    • Miniature gooseneck clip for your set
    • Vibration-proof mount
    • 48V power plug that allows you connect to pre-amplifiers
    • Windscreen
    • Mixer
    • Carrying bag

    It works perfectly with recording drums, and you can also use it with your hand percussion instrument. It handles sounds with frequency ranges of 40Hz to 20kHz with ease. It also handles high sound pitches without distortion and a high sound reproduction quality.

    Pros

    - Vibration-proof mount system

    - Portable system

    - It can be used with different types of drums

    Cons

    - The build doesn't feel sturdy

    Verdict

    The MICRO D is a popular set for professionals due to its portability. The vibration-resistant system also makes it a comfortable use, no matter the sound pressure.

    Check the current price here.

    #9. The Audix D4 Drum Microphone

    The Audix D4 is one of the best tom mics out there. It is designed to get the best out of low-frequency music drums such as your floor toms. Audix's proprietary internal milking system gets the best sounds out of your recording drums by properly isolating the sounds and filtering out any feedback.

    Even though it looks large by the box, it's only 3.9 inches long. It also has a consistent Audix look and feel. You'll be sporting the brand's sleeky black finish and aluminum body.

    It's one of the most compact, quality microphones and it’s easy to place. It has a wide frequency range of 40Hz to 18KHz. It can also handle high-pitched sound levels in the range of 144db. When you purchase the D4, you'll get a stylish carrier bag and a tension-ready clip.

    Pros

    - Great sounding equipment

    - Affordable

    - Perfect form factor

    Cons

    - Tends to pick up a lot of the ambient noise

    Verdict

    The Audix D4 is a portable drum mic kit that's ideal for either stage or studio drum recording sessions. Its size also means it doesn't take up space while providing you with great-sounding recordings. Finally, it handles high sound pressure without any issues.

    Check here for the current price.

    #10. The DW Drums Moon Mic System

    The DW Moon Mic is a fantastic system created with low frequency, high sound pressure drums such as the snare drums. It sports a proprietary chrome curved casing you won't find anywhere else.

    When you purchase a Moon, you get a DK27 microphone with a custom-designed 8" diaphragm and passive filter. The DK27 records low and sub-bass tones of any high sound pressure instrument with ease, aided by its low impedance (25 Ohms). You also get a high-quality stand to mount the quality microphone that is the DW Moon.

    You also get crystal clear sounds when you listen to your recordings' playback, highlighting every detail of your drums sound. The large diaphragm also captures all undertones and vibrations associated with recording drums that produce high sound pressure.

    Pros

    - Unique design

    - Handles the high pitch of kick drums with ease

    - Robust design

    Cons

    - The casing is quite bulky

    - It isn't as flexible as most drum sets

    Verdict

    The DW Moon might not be as flexible as other best drum mic kits, but it delivers on its promise without fail. It is excellent for high-pressure equipment and is quite durable. It is also great at capturing high-quality recordings.

    Check here for the current price.

    What to Look for When Choosing A Drum Microphone

    When looking to purchase the best drum mic kit, you'll quickly learn there are various brands, types, and models to choose from (tom mics, bass microphones, etc.). Plus, the prices vary from extremely expensive to affordable.

    Here's what to look out for when searching for the best set

    #1. What sort of drum will you be using it for?

    There are drumming microphones for every drum kit. This means if you have the budget, you can buy individual equipment for your kicks drum, cymbals, and snare drums. When looking to purchase a set, always keep in mind what drum the mic is explicitly designed for. This ensures you don't duplicate equipment later on or end up with a product that doesn't produce the desired sound.

    #2. What type of drum microphone is it?

    Drum mic kits come in three types:

    • Condenser
    • Dynamic sets
    • Ribbon sets

     

    Condenser mics

    Condenser microphones are used in studio settings. They are highly sensitive and have a high-frequency range. Their high sensitivity means they record sounds at the speed at which they are produced without any lag. The best microphones come in pairs and are used as room mics or overhead mics to capture the whole picture.

    Dynamic mics

    These have a thin diaphragm and do great at high-pitched recording sounds from the cymbal instruments. They are usually designed for toms and snare drums. They have an above-average mid-range frequency and are well-built. They also come pre-tuned to enhance sound quality. Most closely positioned drum equipment are dynamic microphones.

    Ribbon mics

    This equipment does great at filtering ambient sound coming from the sides. Ribbon microphones also do great with high-frequency sounds.

    #3. What's your budget?

    Most of the best drum mic kits are affordable but quality equipment. You should not expect to spend $60 on an equipment set. At that price point, the quality of that microphone would be questionable.

    It’s one thing to look for good prices; it’s another to buy the cheapest microphone and expect it to sound like your favorite album. These products are not built for that level of production.

    You should budget at least $100 for the right microphone. These products are capable of handling high pitch sounds. These microphones should also reproduce your sounds with outstanding clarity and accuracy. If you have a massive wallet, you can go as high as $1000 for the top-range sets.

    Getting an affordable drum microphone is essential if you are a newbie. Remember, you might need to buy equipment for all your drum kits, and that can be a strain on your pocket if you go for the expensive options.

    #4. What accessories does the drum microphone set come with?

    Accessories aren’t necessary to get great recordings, but they will improve the sound quality of your drum mic kit. A standard accessory is the drum mount. The mount includes stands or clamps that attach your equipment to the drums' rims, edges, and any other applicable surface. With a mount, you can place your microphone close to the drums and get the best sound quality possible.

    Another standard accessory is the carrier bags. These help you store and transport your microphone easily. Some drum sets have XLR cables, which can come in handy if you need to transmit sound signals over a long distance.

    #5. Will you be using it in a studio setting or a stage setting?

    This is a crucial factor when purchasing a drumming recording set. The environment where you’re recording makes a huge impact on the result of your recordings. It doesn’t matter if you buy the best equipment available; if you’re playing in the wrong environment, it won’t give you the sound quality you imagined before the session.

    Stage or live settings usually have loads of ambient sound feedback and high sound pressure levels, so you need microphones to handle sound pressures while filtering out the background noise. Dynamic microphones are usually best for these environments – they take extremely high sound pressure and do a great job of background noise reduction.

    In specific stage settings, such as large outdoor venues, you might need to use condenser mics instead to capture more detail of the stage performance.

    You'll need drumming microphones that can record the closeup pressure you get with studio recordings while still picking out the sound details clearly. In such cases, the dynamic microphone is best for this role. This equipment has more control over the various sounds and undertones, which is critical during production.

    If you want a complete picture, you can use Omni-directional overhead condenser drumming microphones. You also don't need to spend much time setting this sort of equipment up before you start recording.

    A significant issue with these overhead condensers is they tend to pick up the background noise. They also struggle to pick up on each individual drum's sound when you are mastering the playback.

    Conclusion

    If you're still overwhelmed by your options when it comes to drumming mics, take this as a good thing; you have tons of products to choose from, including our top ten from this list. You don't have to worry about finding the right match for your sound because there's a drumming microphone for every band.

    We think it becomes easier to select your ideal drumming mic once you are clear about your budget. It also helps to know whether you want to highlight certain sounds with bass, kick drum, tom microphones, etc. Keep in mind which accessories you need and if you will use it predominantly on-stage or in a studio.

    Once you and your band figure this out, check out the prices on these top ten products, all available on DCP's website for affordable rates!

  • How to Clean Your Cymbals without Damaging Them: The Complete 10 Step Guide

    Just about any concertgoer can agree that the drummers put on a real show while performing. Almost everyone's eyes will fall on that set of instruments at some point, and as a musician, it is up to you to make sure they shine with the rest of the performance!

    Cymbals are especially susceptible to losing their shine when dirty, and all that dirt and grime can take away from the full concert experience.

    We know that your instruments are your prized possessions and that you want to take care of them, but many drummers do not know how to clean cymbals.

    Cleaning cymbals is part of standard cymbal care and is easy to do. To ensure that yours shine bright for every performance, we have created an easy-to-follow set of instructions on the best and safest techniques!

    Step 1: Remove the Cymbal

    Don't try to wash the cymbal while it is still on the drum set – it will make you miss a lot of spots!

    To get a good view of any blemishes and dirty spots, you should always start by removing the piece from the rest of the set.

    With a full scope, you can see the extent of what you will need to tackle.

    Now that you have removed the unit, you are ready to get on to the cleaning stages!

    Learning how to clean cymbals may seem straightforward, and you may be eager to jump right in, but following these steps will help you do the job right.

    Step 2: Put on Gloves

    While this may seem like an optional suggestion, do yourself a favor and put on some gloves!

    All your hard work will be for naught if you accidentally touch the surface with your bare hands. You do not want fingerprints all over the surface, so wearing gloves will save you time later!

    Also, whenever you are handling cymbals, take extra care to touch the sides. This precaution will prevent any new and unwanted blemishes as you begin the more in-depth process.

    Step 3: Use a Microfiber Cloth to Wipe 

    After you have put on the gloves, take some time to inspect the cymbal's surface carefully. A deep cymbal cleaning is easiest to do once you have completed this step, so don't be afraid to take your time.

    Microfiber cloths are ideal because they are non-abrasive. They can remove lots of exterior blemishes with minimal effort.

    This step helps remove fingerprints, any oils that may have come from your hands, and dust on the surface.

    You can wipe in a circular motion. Again, make sure you are only touching the sides so that you do not reverse your progress!

    Step 4: Let Them Soak!

    Once you have wiped down the exterior thoroughly, you need to get a bin or tub. The basin should hold enough water so that you can fully submerge your cymbals.

    An additional tip is to complete your cymbal cleaning by going one piece at a time! If you try to soak them all at once, you could have lots of scratches when you remove them, defeating the purpose of your project!

    Once you have the bin, fill it with warm water. Then, add gentle soap to the mix. You don't want to use anything too abrasive at this step!

    When you have prepared the water, gently place your cymbal in the solution for no more than two minutes. They don't need to be in the water for an extended amount of time, and leaving them any longer could damage the surface. For accuracy when first learning how to clean cymbals, make sure to set a timer.

    After the time is up, remove them from the water, but don't dump the suds quite yet.

    Step 5: Scrub the Surfaces

    While your cymbal is still a little wet with the warm water, take a scrubbing tool, and gently work your way around the cymbal's surface.

    When learning how to clean cymbals, you might think that you need to use a lot of force to get rid of gunk and grime, but we assure you that you do not!

    Excessive force can damage and scratch your cymbal. Instead, cleaning cymbals requires you to use light, circular motions with your brush throughout the entire cymbal cleaning. Take some time to ensure you have covered every area.

    This process should take time. It is in your best interest to complete it carefully and in its entirety before moving on to the next step.

    You can also opt to use a cymbal cleaner or groove juice at this stage. Something important to remember when choosing your cleaner - Make sure it is right for the alloy your instrument is made from. Different solutions are designed specifically for different cymbals so always do your research.

    Once you have finished scrubbing, dunk it back into the water and look at the surface closely.

    Are you still seeing some spots that need a little extra attention? Go ahead and scrub them again. Do this until the cymbal looks spotless and rinse the entire thing under running water.

    Step 6: Remove from the Soap Bath

    After you have removed all your cymbals from the soap bath, you need to set up a drying station.

    To do this, you should lay out a soft cloth that is completely dry. You can gently place your cymbals on this cloth.

    Ensure the individual pieces are not touching or stacked on top of each other so that you can avoid any unnecessary scratches.

    Let the cymbals drip dry for a couple of minutes before moving on to the next step.

    Step 7: Towel Dry

    Once the cymbals have air-dried for a couple of minutes, you are ready to proceed to the second step of the drying process.

    Grab another soft cloth or microfiber towel and carefully dry every last inch of the surface found on the cymbal.

    Water can easily hide in those ridges and crevices, so you need to make sure that every single spot of the cymbal is dry.

    If you fail to do this, you run the risk of the metal surface oxidizing and eventually rusting – this corrosion can completely ruin your instrument!

    Take extra caution during this step and thoroughly inspect your work to ensure that it has dried thoroughly.

    Step 8: Use a Cymbal Polish

    You have your choice of what type of cymbal polish you wish to use, but make sure that you don't skip this step.

    While your cymbals may be looking great after the initial wash, a layer of the exterior varnish can get stripped away. Without the varnish, you can take away from the overall shine and eventually weaken the entire piece.

    When using the polish, use a non-abrasive cloth and apply it in soft, circular motions. Make sure you cover each part and let the polish get into the grooves of the cymbal.

    After you have covered the entire thing, you are one step closer to being done and having brilliant finish cymbals!

    Step 9: Rinse and Dry

    Once the polish stage is complete, rinse the cymbal under running water and remove all of the polish.

    Again, you need to make sure that you dry the piece completely! Otherwise, all your hard work will go to waste when the metal starts to rust.

    Save yourself the time and money, and make sure that you dry it properly.

    Step 10: Get to Playing!

    Now that you have completed all the steps, you are ready to go! Reattach the cymbals to the rest of your drum set and get back to rocking out with your band.

    Your drum set is going to be shinier than ever with the brilliant finish cymbals, and it is going to stand out on the stage and in the performance all because of this quick and easy process.

    Conclusion

    Congratulations—now, you know how to clean cymbals just like the pros!

    Cymbal care is essential to ensuring their longevity. The good news is that you only need to clean your cymbals thoroughly every once in a while. Handle your cymbals carefully and be cautious to avoid touching the surfaces, and they are likely to stay shiny and sound beautiful for a long time!

  • How to Mic a Drum Set – A Complete and Easy Guide

    Recording drums and drum miking are challenging endeavors. There are so many different parts that contribute their own unique sound to drum set recording. To get the best end product, you must mic up the various drums of the set individually.

    While this sounds like a complicated process for beginners, this guide will help you ensure you have everything in place to get an exceptional sound that will impress everyone that hears it.

    After reading this guide, people will assume you had your drum music professionally recorded.

    Setup Your Recording Room

    One of the first things you need to do is ensure that your recording room has the best possible acoustics and setup for optimal sound. The room should be of a decent size so that the sound has enough space to reverberate. Many people choose to use their garage or a spare room.

    If you do not have a room with ideal recording conditions, there are few things you can do to make the space more conducive to recording:

    • Consider leaning sheets of plywood against the walls to create more reflective surfaces that will help the sound reverberate more.
    • You also may want to consider placing microphones in the room to catch ambient noise that you can mix into your track to get a full sound.
    • One way to do this is to position a spaced pair of mics two feet above the ground, four feet in front of your drums.
    • If you are in a smaller room, it may work well to place them in the corners of the room, facing away from the drum kit to create a bigger room sound.
    • You could even consider placing another outside the door of your recording room to get even more ambient noise.

    Choosing the Right Microphones

    As we go through how to mic each drum individually, we will suggest different types of microphones. However, it would be best if you understood how each drum mic operates so that you can make informed decisions about the mic that’s best for your sound.

    The Dynamic Microphone

    This type of mic functions like a reverse speaker. The movement of the diaphragm moves a coil near a magnet that creates an electrical signal that is translated into sound. These robust devices can handle the occasional miss-hit without ruining the recording.

    Cardioid pattern dynamic microphones are especially useful because they are specially designed to avoid drum sounds that come from behind it. They focus more on sound coming from beneath it. Drummers tend to use these on the snare and kick drum.

    The Condenser Microphone

    This type requires power to send from the pre-amp or desk to operate. With this power, a small amplifier inside the device enhances the signal from the diaphragm’s movement.

    This option is more sensitive than dynamic microphones making it useful to pick up the sounds of the cymbals, hi-hats, and overall drum kit.

    How to Mic the Bass Drum

    To capture the intense sound of the bass drum, most drummers go with a dynamic mic. Some companies even sell products that are specifically designed to pick up the booming sound of kick drums. Once you have your mic, there are several placements you can use to get the sound you desire.

    Bonus tip: If you want the bass drum to have less of a booming sound, you can place a blanket on the inside to gently muffle the sound a bit.

    By the Outside Head

    If you have both heads on the drum, one option for placement is near the outside drum head. For a more open sound, you can point it directly at the center of the head. However, if you are looking for a more subdued sound, you can offset it and point it slightly toward the center of the kick drum.

    By the Inside Head

    If you opt to remove the outside head or cut a hole in it, you can choose to place the mic near the inside head of the drum. You will want to put it a couple of inches away from the inside head of the drum. Make sure it is also a couple of inches off-center. This location will help capture the acute sound of the beater striking the head of the drum.

    Halfway

    Another variation of the above placement involves moving the mic a bit further back so that it is halfway inside the drum. This location will give you a fuller body sound instead of focusing so much on the sharp noise of the beater striking the head of the drum.

    Using Two Microphones

    Consider using two microphones if you want to get the best possible sound out of your bass drum. You can either place both inside or one inside and one outside.

    When using two inside, consider a boundary mic lying on the ground coupled with a dynamic microphone that is mounted to capture the attack of the beater.

    Conversely, you can use a kick mic on the inside in tandem with another on the outside positioned in the middle of the head angled at 45 degrees towards the head.

    How to Mic the Snare Drum

    With the snare drum’s proximity to the other drums in the kit, you will want to go with a cardioid pattern snare mic. Try to position it one or two inches away from the head of the drum.

    If you do not have a ruler handy, then the distance of three fingers stacked on top of each other is about how far away from the drum you want to be. Test the sound to ensure you are not getting any bleed from the surrounding drums. You may need to make small adjustments to get the most precise sound from just the snare.

    If you are looking for a more powerful snare drum sound, you can try placing a second mic underneath it as well. You will want to make sure that this one is also set a couple of inches away from the drum. Listen to the combination of the devices and adjust the settings as necessary to get the sound you want out of your snare drum.

    How to Mic the Tom-toms

    For the tom-toms, you will want to go back to using a dynamic microphone. If you have mounted tom-toms above your bass drum, you can use a single mic or a pair of them.

    When using one mic, place it in between the two drums and try to make sure it is about four to six inches away from each head.

    If you choose to use two mics, you will want to use positioning similar to the snare drum. Place the spaced pair one to three inches above the head of each drum. Luckily, the configuration is identical if you have a floor tom setup.

    How to Mic the Hi-hats

    Some people do not bother to mic the hi-hats individually because their sound spills over to the mics of other drums in the set. However, if they are particularly integral to your piece's sound, you may want to take the time to record these instruments individually. Additionally, it is always good to mic it up and end up not using it, then to not set it up and then wish you had a fuller sound.

    Most people chose to go with either a dynamic microphone or a small diaphragm condenser mic. If you are looking for a trashier sound, you will want to go with the former, whereas if you are looking for a brighter sound, you should opt for the latter.

    As for positioning, make sure it is pointed down three to four inches above the drum. You do not need to be as exact with the positioning because of the tone of the hi-hat. However, you should keep the following in mind:

    • If the mic is close to the edge of the cymbal, you will get a sound that accents the closing and opening of the hats.
    • If you place it closer to the center, you will end up with a pinging sound.

    You should avoid placing the mic on the side of the hi-hat because, in doing so, you will continuously hear air being pushed out as the hats close.

    Bonus tip: Be wary that the microphone is not so close to the drum that it is in danger of coming in contact with your drumsticks as you play.

    How to Mic the Cymbals

    The cymbals can be tricky; however, a small diaphragm condenser will capture the instrument's high frequency. You will want to make sure to leave plenty of room between the device and the cymbal. Six inches should be sufficient.

    Bonus tip: Be wary of how hard you hit the cymbals when you are recording. They can easily overpower the rest of the drums in the kit. The drums will sound more impressive if you temper your approach to the cymbals.

    How to Mic the Drum Kit Overall

    Ambient mics will help you pick up the overall sound of your drum kit. Most musicians opt to mount overhead mics. Small and large diaphragm condensers tend to be the most popular because they do a great job of capturing the drum set's brightness. Ribbon mics are also a practical choice for capturing the vibe of the entire drum kit.

    There are two main ways to set up these overhead mics:

    • You can go with the X-Y setup
    • You can go with the spaced pair setup

    While both are effective, the XY method tends to be more popular for miking the drum kit because the sound is easier to work with in post-production.

    When utilizing the former, you will want to place them a couple of feet above the cymbals in the center of the set facing each other pointed downward at a 45-degree angle. The mics should create the appearance of the top half of the letter "X" or the letter "Y." The XY technique helps to eliminate problems with phasing.

    You will still want to keep them one to two feet above the cymbals for the spaced pair setup, but instead, these overhead mics need to be on opposite sides of the drum kit, pointing downward towards the middle.

    Regardless of which technique you use, it will be best to center your bass and snare drums as much as possible

    What if You Only Have One Mic?

    While having a few mics to capture the sound of each drum individually is ideal, it is not always possible or practical. If you find yourself in a situation where you can only afford a single mic, or have very little setup time, then there are still some places you could put it to get a useful recording.

    The Room Position

    With this mic placement, you will want to ensure that it is at least ten feet away from the drums. This location will give off the most ambient sound.

    The Front of the Drum Kit Position

    Placing it two feet in front of the bass drum and four feet up in the air will give off the punchiest sound.

    The Drummer’s Point of View Position

    Finally, this position places it directly behind the drummer and offers a realistic sound of the drum kit. With a single mic, you certainly will not get the most pristine sound, so this method should only be used as a last resort.

    Conclusion

    If you take the time to properly set up each microphone, you will end up with an incredible drum kit recording. However, if you cut corners and do not set up all the mics correctly, no matter how well you play, it will not sound great when you play it back.

    However, in certain situations, a single microphone can help you record your drums to an acceptable level. We recommend preparing ahead of your recording date and doing a few tests in the space!

  • Tama Starclassic Performer Maple Birch Drum Set Review

    Tama is always looking for opportunities to give drummers a new sound, and a new voice at more value and that's what the new Starclassic Performer Maple/Birch is!
  • 2020's Best Cymbals for Church: Top 4 Church Cymbals for The Money Reviewed

    Music is an integral part of the church experience for many congregations worldwide. It helps people to connect more deeply with religious experience.

    A substantial part of worship music is the percussion section, particularly the cymbals. The instrument enhances the intensity and rhythms of the songs. Whether you are in your congregation's band or a faithful admirer of these inspiring tunes, finding the right cymbals is crucial to create the best music.

    Here, we present our top four picks for church cymbals in 2020. We also discuss how to find the best cymbals for service and religious music. By the end, you should have all the information you need to find the perfect instruments to make beautiful church music.

    5 Best Cymbals for Church of 2020

    If you are looking for some great church cymbals this year, you cannot go wrong with any of the four picks below. We will talk about the sound each of them espouses so that you can find the best set.

    #1 Sabian FRX Frequency Reduced Ride Cymbal 20"

    This ride cymbal is perfect for this environment because the design is fitting for quiet, subdued environments.

    While it is not low volume, it cuts out some of the frequencies that result in a loud perceived volume. Strategically drilling holes have removed these frequencies. The design allows drummers to play their hardest without worrying about rough sounds that may sound disturbing to some in formal settings.

    The pricing is reasonable, although one wouldn't call it cheap.

    #2 Paiste Signature Dark Energy Hi-Hat Cymbals 14"

    These hi-hats give the drummer immense control and balance with the sounds they create. With its responsive feel, drummers can create full dark, shimmering, and rich sounds. It will significantly add to a church worship experience's ambiance.

    The hi-hat is a crucial part of the drum set, which is why you should choose one with special care. Hopefully, this hi-hat will work well for your purposes.

    This option is a bit more on the expensive side, so that will be crucial for you to keep in mind as you make your final decision.

    #3 Meinl Byzance Extra Dry Thin Crash Cymbal 18"

    This instrument produces a dry sound that is pleasing to listen to even at low volumes. It has a quick decay with dark and earthy tones.

    This crash cymbal is of a good size. Generally, the bigger the instrument, the more difficult it is to manage, and the louder it is. Therefore, an 18" crash is a good pick.

    This choice comes with a middle of the road price.

    #4 Zildjian K Custom Special Dry Crash Cymbal 16"

    These dry crash cymbals have a unique sound that works well for various modern musical styles, including service music. If you want to add some personality to your playing, these crash cymbals will do just the trick.

    When on sale, these can be relatively inexpensive. They are by far the least expensive option on this list.

    #5 Sabian FRX Prepack w/ Free Quick Cymbal Bag

    This cymbal pack that includes all the basic cymbal types is perfect for playing in situations like church services where traditional cymbals can be overpowering. The quick cymbal bag that is included for free will help church players going from gig to gig to easily transport their instruments. 

    The set is priced at a wonderful value for all the products you get. 

    What to Look for When Choosing Church Cymbals

    If you are looking for a cymbal set to play in church, you will need to keep different things in mind than if you were planning to use them for a rock band. Something that might be important to you if you were playing a rowdy concert may not make any sense in a reflective worship environment.

    Below are the qualities to keep in mind:

    Strong but Not Overpowering Sound

    You do not want the cymbals to be the only thing you hear during service. It would be best if they faded into the background and were not distracting in any way. The instruments need to be audible, but they should not be entirely overpowering.

    It would be best if you were on the lookout for options that blend well with other instruments. Whatever you do, you want to avoid sounds that are overly intense and trashy.

    Dry and Low-Volume

    It would be best if you considered using dry or low-volume cymbals. Dry variations usually have a hammered thin design so that they have a fast decay. These types ensure that the cymbals play their part and are not too loud and distracting.

    However, it's worth noting that how you play them can also influence how loud they sound. If you hit the cymbals as loud as you can, the sound will be intense. Learning to control your playing style will help you use the instruments to your advantage in creating beautifully reflective service music.

    Lower Pitch

    When these instruments have a lower pitch, it reduces harsh high frequencies that are not conducive to a worship setting.

    Look for cymbals that advertise a dark sound. You could also consider ones specifically designed to remove higher frequencies that may be abrasive in a worship setting.

    Muting Products

    Suppose you cannot afford to buy a whole new set, or the new ones you have are still too loud. In these situations, you might consider purchasing muting products.

    Muting products help to dampen the volume. For example, if you play for a small congregation, these items can help present a pleasing sound without overwhelming the audience.

    Placing sound control pads under the bell can help significantly control sound to be conducive for this environment.

    Ride

    In church music, the rhythmic ride is generally much more critical than the accented crash. A defined ride sound is often a must-have.

    If you can only afford one or only have room for one, look for a ride first before expanding to other types. Ride cymbals also tend to meet the criteria described above more so than different types. 

    Consider the Type of Worship Music

    This category of music can be quite broad, depending on your definition. You will want to make sure that the product you use will sound right for the exact type of church music you will be playing.

    Some places of worship stick to traditional songs, while others feature modern, catchy tunes. Spend some time considering the exact sounds you are going for before choosing your instruments.

    Sleek Appearance

    While a dirty, dingy appearance may work for your punk rock band, you want to be more presentable when playing in this environment.

    You should avoid using any cymbals with plastic coating. They tend to look tacky and unprofessional.

    Instead, it would be best if you considered products made of higher quality metals. They will look much better and, in most cases, sound much better too. 

    Price

    Churches usually do not have tons of extra pocket change to devote to buying top of the line music gear. However, you should avoid buying the cheapest ones on the market because you will often get the quality for which you pay.

    Your best method is to keep a limited budget in mind and look for instruments in the middle. You can easily find a product that matches decent quality at a reasonable price.

    If you can, you may want to consider purchasing a cymbal pack. You can get a better deal by buying more than one cymbal in a bundle.

    Conclusion

    Music plays an essential role in most worship services, so it would be best if you paid special attention to your choice of cymbals. While you can re-arrange many drum sets to modify the sound for a worship setting, you cannot change the sound of cymbals. You need to ensure you get an excellent cymbal pack so that the sounds will be conducive to this environment.

    Make your choice carefully, and you will create a drum sound that suits these beautiful spaces perfectly. Make music that will help people connect to a higher power by carefully choosing the best drumset for your church today!

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