In my opinion, drumheads are the most vital part of a drum. The wood, the thickness of the shell, and its size are all important, but tuning and controlling the sound from the heads is the most important. It can be very difficult to get all the aspects under control; With all the different heads, snare wires, cymbals and mics around, every noise you make on a drum kit it will inevitably create a reaction somewhere else. All drummers will have battled at some time or another with excessive ring and overtones when recording. These problems can be very frustrating because you're going to hear every little thing, so as it is important to get things right while playing live, the studio is that much more tedious.
Although you can choose mics and processors to shape the sound of a drum, my main focus is to allow the drums to retain as much of their 'natural' and intended sound as possible. There are numerous external damping devices on the market, I think it is preferable to minimise the need for these. By damping the sound, you'll tend to reduce the quality of tone. I will say if you haven’t checked out bigfatsnaredrum.com you for sure should, they are amazing at getting control of the sound of the drum but keeping its natural tones.
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