Long-time subscriber Havard Hiller wrote this email to me in response to a recent Simply Recording Podcast episode, where Graham and I were discussing drum tones.

Here it is:


[I]t reminded me on a funny little lesson I learned when I was a freshman soundboy.

I was working as a stage tech and rigger on a budget blues festival, where the drum kit and the amps would be shared among all the bands. There would be some changing guitar amps and some other stuff, but…the drums would be used by all. No sound checks, just get on stage and play.

First band on, all goes well, all works, but.. After a few minutes the FOH guy called and asked if I could come down to FOH for a few. When I got down there, he asked for help with the kick. It sounded like crap. Like a tin can in a cardboard box. After struggling with it, both of us, through half the set, we gave up and decided we would check the mic placement and maybe do some panic tuning of the drum during the changeover to the second band. During the changeover, I glanced at the kick mics, they where in place, and then I was running around helping the band get started. So, no time to work on the kick drum.

As soon as the set started, and everything worked, I ran back down to FOH. The kick sounded like a million dollars. And what did we change? Only the drummer. Then I learned, it´s not just the drums. It´s very much the drummer as well…


It’s like I always say, get it right at the source.

Sometimes the “source” is a person.

Pretty interesting, eh?

Joe Gilder
Home Studio Corner

P.S. If you’re struggling to get your source to sound like you want it to sound, perhaps you need to hear a few good examples of what good raw tracks actually sound like.

If that sounds intriguing, you should join Dueling Mixes and check out the tracks we’re mixing this month, all recorded in a home studio.