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Our drummer is too loud. Crazy right?

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  • Our drummer is too loud. Crazy right?

    I know, its nothing too crazy that the drummer is causing problems by being too loud. But its a problem that can really cause difficulties with the worship when the drums are drowning out the rest of the sound. He is behind a cage with a top, but it is not closed off in the back because we don't have enough room. It gets very loud in there so he wears noise cancelling AUVIO headphones which plugs into the sound system so he can hear everything. Does anyone have any suggestions as to where he can cut down on his sound and also hear how loud he is being as well?

  • #2
    The only thing I can think of right off the top of my head is that perhaps you ask the pastor if you can please expand the area where the drummer is so you can completely seal him off. The other thing would be to use electronic drums instead of the acoustic, that way everything is controlled through the board and/or sound person.

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    • #3
      One challenge of a small church with a live stage is you always wind up mixing to the drums.

      I'm assuming you don't have the drums mic'd at all? One strategy might be to put a mic in the drum enclosure, or at least mic the kick drum and put that in the drummer's mix. Sometimes they play loud because they are trying to hear themselves or pick up the groove. (this also helps in clarifying the kick in the FOH mix.)

      You can also ask him to try playing with rods. They do a great job in lowering stage volume.

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      • #4
        What Mikey said! Is it not within the realm of possibility to ask the dude to just dial it back a notch or two...or several?
        Love ONE woman...MANY guitars!

        www.davidsproblem.wordpress.com

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        • #5
          A couple more quick ideas-

          Can you change the current arrangement to get singers in particular farther away from the drums?

          Could you hang (fire marshal approved) curtains behind the kit to help deaden some of the echo?

          Mikey does have a great point. With headphones and everything on, the drummer has no real reference for how loud he is playing. I would definitely get his drums in his headphones. If they aren't miked, even one overhead that can be piped right into his headphone mix should help him get a better feel for how loud he is.
          If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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          • #6
            I've got three suggestions for you:

            1) Experience

            2) Experience

            3) Experience

            Reading your other threads, my guess is this drummer is a teenager. Having worked with several teen drummers, the only one who had any self-control in this area was the son of one of our other drummers. All of the other teen drummers I've worked with eventually learned to play with the rest of the band, but only after a heck of a lot of experience.

            Nate
            Practical Worship

            Please Pray For My Wife

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            • #7
              We're going to try getting him some earphones instead of headphones, which we've been weary about before because of how loud it is in there. But I just don't think he really has a sense of how loud he is playing with the sound canceling headphones on. I may try getting a hold of a foam pad to put behind the drum set to absorb some of the sound and see if that does anything. And he is very young at 14, so experience will probably change that soon. He's the youngest of all of us and my brother and he's phenomenal.

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              • #8
                At my last church we had this same set up with an inexperienced drummer. We moved him to earbuds so he could hear himself more and I personally spoke with him a few times about being more dynamic which means not playing too loud all the time but giving him so room to build. Once he focused more on the dynamics it really helped is overall volume and he got better and better at control. Control really is the issue we are talking about not necessarily the volume. Challenge him don't just tell him to play quieter.

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                • #9
                  Curtains, or even carpet/sound dampeners on the wall behind the kit should take care of it all. I just had to learn to play with smaller sticks and quieten myself down. If I (a former metal drummer) can play quiet, any drummer can. You have to be kind of stern with them.

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                  • #10
                    By the time you've incorporated any of these other suggestions, you could have put your drummer on an electronic drum kit and have been done with it. Is there some aversion to that approach??
                    The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by DunedinDragon View Post
                      By the time you've incorporated any of these other suggestions, you could have put your drummer on an electronic drum kit and have been done with it. Is there some aversion to that approach??
                      You can just threaten to put your drummer on an electric kit. That will fix every problem you have out of him.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by johnepettigrew View Post
                        You can just threaten to put your drummer on an electric kit. That will fix every problem you have out of him.
                        Ha ha! That might work!

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                        • #13
                          Why not just turn down his headphones? Then he'll have to play softer to avoid drowning out the 'phones.

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                          • #14
                            Depending on the phones, may play louder because he's queuing in on the headphone level instead of what bleeds through- especially with ear buds or sound-blocking over-ear headphones.

                            Drummer may play louder because hes perception is he can't hear himself...
                            If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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                            • #15
                              You could try turning down the volume in his headphones. I do this with my drummer and it works.
                              One other thing, How big of a room are you in? Also he might try using smaller sticks 6a's or 7a's.
                              I know some drummer like bigger sticks because it gets bigger sound. But bigger sound louder sound.

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