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Author Topic: How loud are drums?  (Read 32315 times)

Whit Hutchinson

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How loud are drums?
« on: March 11, 2007, 10:30:45 pm »

I was just wondering what you guys think the average SPL of a drum kit is in a corner of a small club for a rock band.   Whenever I get close to the stage checking on the monitors sometimes it sounds dangerously loud for the guys on stage.  None of my guys wear hearing protection except for me.  Most of the time I am off to the side of the band doing FOH and the drums just seem to be over the top.

P.S.

Our drummer is incapable of "turning down".
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Evan Kirkendall

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2007, 10:34:55 pm »

The snare on my old drumset could max out my ratshack dB meter, and that was 126dbA. Never metered just normal playing though.

Ill have to take a meter up on stage this weekend and see how loud some of the drummers are.



Evan
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Phil LaDue

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2007, 10:49:20 pm »

I would not doubt that an enthusiastic drummer could do 130 easy!

Tom Reid

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2007, 11:50:11 pm »

Slight topic drift.
It's been my experience that a well tuned kit isn't as loud as a poorly maintained rig.

I don't know if that's a reflection on the guy behind the kit, or badly sympathetic heads.
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Adam Whetham

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2007, 01:16:19 am »

Tom Reid wrote on Sun, 11 March 2007 22:50

Slight topic drift.
It's been my experience that a well tuned kit isn't as loud as a poorly maintained rig.

I don't know if that's a reflection on the guy behind the kit, or badly sympathetic heads.


I agree. I also believe a few other things about this subject, that  was taught to me by a very good band instructor of mine.

a drummer is a drummer, they usualy have one volume, and can read rhythm.

a Percussionist is a musician, they realize that music has a volume that is lower than Forte, and can read notes along with the rhythm.

See if you can get your Drummer to be a Percussionist.... Anybody can play loud. When you can play good at a soft volume, thats when you know you've got something. (I don't ever believe the "Can't play softer" line... I play a drum set and I can. Their is a life below 2B's)

Adam "A percussionist, not a drummer" Whetham
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Matt Duncan

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2007, 09:48:33 pm »

copied & pasted from another forum



The facts in brief:

At drummer ears

21" ride = 102 db
21" ride (bell) = 112 db
Bass drum = 105 db
Toms = 110 db
Snare 5x14 single roll all rimshot 120 db
Snare (maximum rimshot) 125 db
16" crash = 111 db
14" hats (maximum/open) = 117 db
18" china (maximum) 118 db


Interesting fact

Quiet groove: drummer ears 105 db - 5 feet 100 db - 25 feet 96 db
medium groove: drummer ears 110 db - 5 feet 105 db - 25 feet 102 db
Solid groove: drummer ears 115 db - 5 feet 110 db - 25 feet 108 db
Maximum (snare): drummer ears 125 db - 5 feet 120 db - 25 feet 116 db

These are the result from the January MD issue, all measure were taken with the Metrosonics DB-2100 digital SPL meter.
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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2007, 11:04:17 pm »

I had a drummer come into our venue and he was averaging 115dba at FOH (50 Ft back).  The guy also built his own drums.  That was a fun night working because my db limit is 107 in the club.  The owner asked me to turn down the drums, I showed him that the drums where on mute…

Here is his drums company:
http://www.myspace.com/beeleafdrums  
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Tim Padrick

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2007, 11:54:47 pm »

Every time I put my head behind a drummer's to hear what his monitor is doing, I can stay for about three snare hits, then I have to leave.  These guys must all have serious hearing damage.  (Or maybe it's me - when in my early 20's I used to listen to my friends in a deadened oversized 1 car garage - bass was a DC300A through 5 K140s, and guitar was two HD120s through 6 K130s - it didn't bother me much.)

Mike Summa

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2007, 01:09:16 am »

Whit Hutchinson wrote on Sun, 11 March 2007 21:30

Our drummer is incapable of "turning down".

That's what they all say.
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TrevorMilburn

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2007, 03:41:25 am »

I remember working briefly with a drummer called Phil Spinelli in the early seventies who had a Ludwig kit which had the moniker '126db'. Judging by the way his kit/playing kept pace with the rest of the band in the rehearsal studio I have no doubts that the 126db figure was correct - it was painful to work near the kit in full flight.

Regards,
Trevor
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Nick Aghababian

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2007, 11:18:37 am »

See, I don't get it. I've been drumming for 9 years, and I am not a loud drummer. I guess because of concert band, and the jazz bands I've been in, I learned early that ITS NOT ALL ABOUT ME! I know drummers like to think that, so they play like horses, but its not the right way!
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Eric Snodgrass

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2007, 11:57:12 am »

(I can't believe I'm writing the following sentence) In defense of drummers...
I'm currently working with a drummer that is so conscious of his levels on stage he uses various sticks and brushes depending on the song.  It is a theatrical production, by the way.
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Adam Whetham

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2007, 12:09:03 pm »

Eric Snodgrass wrote on Fri, 30 March 2007 10:57

(I can't believe I'm writing the following sentence) In defense of drummers...
I'm currently working with a drummer that is so conscious of his levels on stage he uses various sticks and brushes depending on the song.  It is a theatrical production, by the way.


As should any other percussionist... I haven't played my drum set in 4-5 years and I still have my whole stick bag full of my brushes, 2B's, 5A's, Rods, Etc.

Just like a guitarist has to change his tune for a song, the percussionist should have to change his instrument.
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Scott Deeter

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2007, 12:14:27 pm »

Adam Whetham wrote on Fri, 30 March 2007 12:09


Just like a guitarist has to change his tune for a song, the percussionist should have to change his instrument.



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Tim Padrick

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2007, 03:19:39 am »

I recently worked with a jazz/pop combo - bunch of old guys.  Not only did they have the chops, the drummer was first I've worked with who's toms were the same volume as his snare - which was about as quiet as I've heard.  Was a fun group.

Michael 'Bink' Knowles

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #15 on: April 01, 2007, 03:34:44 am »

Quote:

...Interesting fact

Quiet groove: drummer ears 105 db - 5 feet 100 db - 25 feet 96 db...



Interesting and false. A good melodic drummer can play close to the limits of audibility. I know I've heard a drummer make sounds that were quiet as a church mouse DURING HIS SOLO all the while keeping the audience rapt.

-Bink
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Tom Reid

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #16 on: April 01, 2007, 04:57:27 am »

Michael 'Bink' Knowles wrote on Sun, 01 April 2007 02:34

Quote:

...Interesting fact

Quiet groove: drummer ears 105 db - 5 feet 100 db - 25 feet 96 db...



Interesting and false. A good melodic drummer can play close to the limits of audibility. I know I've heard a drummer make sounds that were quiet as a church mouse DURING HIS SOLO all the while keeping the audience rapt.

-Bink


Yup,

The guys I'm working with switched drummers.
He just happened to be my roadie.
...funny how those things work out.

Bill is a percussionist.
Meticulous tuned and polished kit.
Excellent dynamic range.
And it's sooo nice to not listen to a piccillo snare.

BTW, sitting in the drum rig, one is at the center of the snare.
That bugger makes sound everywhere 'cept the zone.
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Nick Aghababian

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #17 on: April 01, 2007, 06:33:54 am »

I HATE piccolo snares! I've been drumming for quite a while now, and have been in a very broad range of band types and cannot stand loud drummers. Maybe from drumming in jazz combos, and concert percussion, I have always realized that the show isn't just about me. I just don't have it in me to be an overly loud drummer.
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Adam Whetham

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #18 on: April 01, 2007, 04:19:38 pm »

Scott Deeter wrote on Fri, 30 March 2007 11:14

Adam Whetham wrote on Fri, 30 March 2007 12:09


Just like a guitarist has to change his tune for a song, the percussionist should have to change his instrument.



I just push a button or 2 Very Happy

index.php/fa/8530/0/



CHEATER!!!
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Caleb Dick

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2007, 03:26:59 am »

I may be in the minority, but I like piccolo snares and full volume drums, as long as the drummer has dynamics and can keep excellent time.  The tone really does change quite a bit from a light tap to full shot.  Both have their place; I find myself against '100% soft' more than too loud.    

A lot of my experience has been with either church drummers that have a nervous twitch from backlash from playing over 40dB, or playing with great drummers in >>100 cap rooms.  It's nice to only need a kick mic for the kit  Very Happy  

I'm sure VDrums can sound good, still searching...
I'm planning on getting my hearing checked soon, listening to the drummer's wedge and kit during practice has taken a toll.

Caleb

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Scott Deeter

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2007, 09:07:35 am »

Caleb Dick wrote on Mon, 02 April 2007 03:26


I'm sure VDrums can sound good, still searching...
I'm planning on getting my hearing checked soon, listening to the drummer's wedge and kit during practice has taken a toll.

Caleb



Hopefully the toll has been taken with a good sounding kit so far. It's still the same old thing for the most part around here (in the Lounge at least) "What's the best kick drum mic","Shit in, Shit out", "the drummer needs to learn how to tune", "what's the best mic for a singing drummer that doesn't pick up the snare". For me, E-drums are are pretty much the fix for the most part of the above or at least help make it better. From my experience the Pro's out weigh the Con's so far.

I must have been living in a different world when I played acoustic drums in little weekend warrior bands as I've never even had the thought of "wanting" a "drum monitor". Now I've needed a monitor to hear vocals, guitar, keys and a little bass, but never needed to hear my kick, and the rest of my kit for that matter in a monitor.

With the spl's given so far with acoustic drums alone and then the need for a drum monitor on top, no wonder drummers are going deaf, including fellow band members.

With Adam's reply of "CHEATER", this may be so, but I see it as cheating for the better of the band's mix and well being of all involved possibly.
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Caleb Dick

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2007, 01:14:04 pm »

I will admit that there are definite, multiple pros to VDrums (low stage volume, lower hearing loss, etc).  My beef is the sound quality.  Other players I've talked to don't really enjoy the feel of the surfaces, but I don't know first hand.

To me, the samples just sound extremely compressed.  Both in their frequency extension (high and low), and especially their dynamics.  The frequency response also seems 'off' and shallow.  This has been working with, oh, 4 drummers who were all good, one or two playing VDrums exclusively with lots of tuning/tweaking time over the months.  I would like to be proven wrong one of these days, listen to a real and V kit side by side and not know the difference, or even prefer the digital.

Quote:


Now I've needed a monitor to hear vocals, guitar, keys and a little bass, but never needed to hear my kick, and the rest of my kit for that matter in a monitor.


I sat on a friend's kit once after soundcheck (larger venue) and just played the kick for a few hits.  The drumfill would almost blast you off the throne, it was insane.  Hope my hearing never goes that far, or play on stages that loud.  That was competing with a couple Marshal or Mesa half stacks at 11, and an 8x10 Ampeg cab, Vox amps, and various other sound sources depending on band.  

Since this is about drum SPL and not VDrum sound quality, yes real drums can be stinking loud and VDrums can help solve that.  Haven't measured the SPL; as others have said, measuring at the drummer's head vs. the bassist's head is totally different, with different frequencies assaulting you.

Edit:drum fill

Caleb
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2007, 11:10:09 pm »

Caleb Dick wrote on Mon, 02 April 2007 00:26


I'm sure VDrums can sound good, still searching...

I love my V drums. They can sound as good as any kit live. And there are some great advantages - particularly for the cover band acts out there.

I can't use mine live any more - 'cause it's all "roots and rockabilly" music for me now.
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Mark "Bass Pig" Weiss

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Re: How loud are drums?
« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2007, 02:12:50 am »

On March 25th, I recorded a pops concert (Danbury Symphony Orchestra) which featured a percussionist (I say that because the man has 25 years of profession Jazz percussion performance behind him) playing a Lugwig kit. Well, this guy knew just how to tune his kick drum to get a nice big, deep bass drum sound, so that, even though the orchestra lacked a large bass drum for this performance, his kit delivered a reasonable facsimile of such a sound. After the performance, I complimented the guy on it, which is something I rarely do.

BTW, the orchestra SPL at edge of stage peaked at 97dBc, or 88dBa. -3dB in the first row, -6dB in the balcony. The theater has fantastic acoustics.
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