Baltimore Band Rehearsal

Baltimore Band Rehearsal

Baltimore's Best Practice Rooms!

Proper Drum Setup For Your Rehearsal Space

When moving into a rehearsal space, you should take the time to assess your bands setup. Locations of members/amps/instruments/etc. It’s also a great time to address your drum setup.

 

Basic Setup

 

When people start playing drums, they typically build their kit for convenience and playability. As you practice and develop as a drummer, you'll need to learn and experiment with different drums and setups to make you a well rounded player. A new setup may take you back a few bpms since your muscle memory needs time to adjust, so change your setup gradually. There's no right or wrong way to setup drums, but there are physical changes you can make to help an engineer or sound man get you the best sound. 

 

A Mic'd kit:

 

Preparing your rehearsal space setup for playing live or recording takes time and practice. If your kits mic'd with a pair of overheads, your engineer will set them up at equal distances from your snare to correct for any phases issues (which results in lost frequencies). Since the snare is the physical center of your kit (mic's prospective) and overheads capture the whole kit, cymbals should be as close to equal distances from the snare as possible. Raise your cymbals as high as comfortably possible and play them on edge. This creates physical separation from the tom mics and allows an engineer more control and less bleed from each piece of the kit. Toms should be played as flat as comfortably possible since sticks transfer less energy to angled drums than flat drums. Since snare and tom mics are directional, this setup allows them to be pointed straight down at the drum, isolating drums from the kit to allow the most EQ flexibility. Kick drum position depends on how you sit around your snare and usually has little bleed issues to worry about.

 

Dynamics

 

When everyone’s jamming in the rehearsal space it’s difficult to focus on your dynamics, but you always have to be conscious of your attack velocity when practicing. Kick, snare and toms should be struck consistently hard. Preparing the mics and pre's for your drums gain level is important to capturing the most detail, so don't play soft during your mic check. Cymbals should be played consistently soft, which allows for maximum dynamics on transitions and buildups.  When cymbals are struck hard throughout a song it kills the dynamics. Since cymbals don't need much energy to get really loud and eat up headroom, it’s important to be conscious of your attack power.

 

A "mic'd" setup might be totally different than your used to, but if you practice moving your kit little by little, you’re playing and practice habits will give you the best performance in the studio and playing live. The easier you make it for the engineer the better anyone can make you sound.

 

Enjoy your rehearsal space and please share any drum info that’s helped you out!

 

Also check out our website: Bandrehearsal.net and our blog post: Practice Space Essentials

 

Rehearsal space recording setup

 

Practice Space Essentials

Making your band sound great at practice starts with your practice space and its acoustic properties. All rooms need some form of sound absorption and diffusion. If you can't afford acoustic panels, try hanging blankets, rugs or carpet on the walls. For diffusion, build shelves or racks to store cases, bags and unused equipment. This saves on space and works effectively to diffuse sound. If you have tall ceilings, hang drapes or blankets in irregular patterns.

Once your practice space is ready, bring in the equipment! With a 5 piece band (in this example) you should start with drums. Find the best corner/wall to setup and build the band around that. Guitar cabs on each side and bass somewhere in the middle, pointed toward your drummer. When practicing at full volumes everything’s competing to be heard, so it's important to face PA speakers toward key vocal members first, then the rest of the room.

Now that your practice space is full of equipment, it's important to note where you play in the room. A drummer needs to hear bass and guitar but the sound needs to penetrate his kit. Guitar cabs should be at his ear height to provide the best detail. Bass cabs should be placed opposite the drums to allow time and space for the low frequencies to develop. These developed frequencies make bass sound louder and stand out from the guitar, since they can't develop in similar spaces. It's also important for the bass player to stand at a distance where his cab is developing the most sound, not right in front of it. The drummer should determine guitar volumes and the players should adjust their physical position to change the mix they hear. With your PA speakers pointed at the vocalist and key members, your set!

Hope this helps with some practice space setups! Keep jamming!

-Baltimore Band Rehearsal

Bandrehearsal.net

 

 

 

Practice space at our Essex location

 

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