Did you know that a few minor changes on your drum kit could enhance the overall sound and performance of it? These 8 simple touch ups don’t require the help of a qualified technician; you could actually handle them on your own. However before we even begin — change the heads! This is the best and most basic step towards improving the sound quality and performance in general of your kit!
Step 1: Wax the Bearing Edge
Never directly melt wax and apply it on the drum. Instead use a piece of solid wax (preferably beeswax, alternatively you may use a candle or paraffin), and rub it over the bearing edge of each drum. This reduces the amount of friction between the head and shell and improves the contact and head vibration.
Step 2: Check Bearing Edges for Flat Spots
The bearing edge should be the first place you look if your drum doesn’t tune properly. A bearing edge should have an even shape all the way around the drum. To examine it for a dip or flat spot run your finger over the surface. If you find an irregularity take the drum to a professional who is qualified to cut a new bearing edge.
Step 3: Make Sure the Heads Fit Properly
You may find that contemporary heads don’t fit properly on your older drum. This is because the shell is too big and/or the drum is covered in plastic, making it a little thicker than usual. What you could do is incrementally trim back the plastic covering until the head is free to vibrate. Be sure not to damage the bearing edge when trimming.
Step 4: Experiment with Stick Tips
If you don’t like the sound of a particular cymbal, look at what stick you use. If you try out different stick tips on the same cymbal you’ll hear a big difference in sound with each tip.
Step 5: Increase your Floor Tom Sustain
There are some floor tom legs which are designed for the foot to be twisted, which would in turn expose either a metal point or a rubber foot. Did you know that floor toms sustain longer when the rubber foot makes contact with the floor? Take a look at the type of feet you have on the floor tom legs. If yours are made of plastic or you don’t have any altogether, replace them with rubber feet.
Step 6: Adjust the Bass Drum Beater
The beater on your bass pedal should hit the head extremely close to the center in order to get the best out of your drum’s resonance and tone. If you play a 22" bass drum, adjusting the beater to strike in the center of the head is simple. However, if you play a 20" or smaller, or a 24" or bigger, you’ll find it a little more difficult to get hit at the dead-center. In trying to adjust the height of the beater rod, you’ll be sacrificing some of the pedal’s responsiveness to do so. But here’s the good news if you play a small bass drum! Many music stores have introduced cradles which raises the drum off the floor, this is just enough to allow the beater to hit the head directly in the center!
Step 7: Align your Snare Wires
The snare wire should not be pulled to one side or the other but be attached so that it is centered on the snare-side head. Choppily mounted wires could choke the sound quality of the drum and reduce the potential of the snare wires.
Step 8: Lower the Ride Cymbal Overtones
Paste a piece of duct tape that is 3/4"-wide underneath your cymbal. This will properly focus the cymbal’s ping sound and dampen the overbearing cymbal wash.
If you’re about to go out and buy yourself a home theatre system, the two most important things you need to take into consideration are budget and space. Here’s a helpful guide to get you started.
There are four basic types of home theater audio systems to choose from:
Home theatre systems are available in a range of prices depending on what you want to get. Here are some general guidelines:
Essentially, for all home theatre systems and its counterparts, the more money you spend the more features you get. If you’re planning to buy a component system, save at least 50% of your budget for the speakers.
Where you plan to set up your home theatre system will automatically tell you what you’ll need. A large or bulky speaker system can overwhelm a tiny room. Likewise, a sound bar won’t be able to fill a large room with enough sound thus reducing your experience drastically.
When planning your setup, remember to mentally prepare routes and lanes for the wires to the surround speakers and electrical power, keeping your furniture layout in mind.
Choosing the right system for your room
Here are some basic equipment guidelines for room sizes:
Dorm room or a small room: Consider a HTIB system, a sound bar or component systems with smaller speakers.
Apartment living room: HTIB, sound bar or a small component system. Depending on how well the system fits in with the living room furniture of course.
Larger living room: Definitely a component system. To create a separate home theater space in the room an HTIB or sound bar may be just what you need.
Dedicated home theater room: This goes without saying, but you could basically design the best component system you can fit and afford.
Although the ideal setting to watch a movie or play a game is a dedicated home theater room, this is not strictly necessary to set up a home theater system you’ll love. Even the cheapest sound bar or HTIB system will sound infinitely better than your regular TV speakers.
Picking up an instrument and learning how to play it is one of the coolest and most rewarding things you’ll ever do. If you’re still deciding on what to play, you’re in luck because now everything’s a possibility!
Pianos are a common starter instrument and are generally regarded as an excellent choice if you want to learn how to play an instrument, regardless of how old you are. Piano variations that might interest you after you’ve mastered the basics are the Harpsichord, Organ, Accordion, Harmonium and Synthesizer.
Let your hair loose and rock out on a guitar. From classical guitar to death metal, learning how to play a guitar will open all kinds of doors into new styles of music. The guitar is the most popular choice for first-timers everywhere. If you generally like the feel of strings, you could check out other stringed instruments that you are now able to play once you get the hang of a guitar. Instruments you could add to your stringed repertoire are the Mandolin, Harp, Bass guitar, Banjo and Dulcimer.
Consider taking up a classical instrument. One of the most viable careers in professional music involves playing classical strings in orchestral, string-quartet, or a number of other settings. Classical instruments might be right for you if you've got an interest in classical sounds. These instruments are still commonly used in folk music and many other settings across the globe. The famous of all classical strings include the Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass.
Brass instruments are used in all types of concert bands and orchestras, marching bands, jazz combos and as a backbone to R & B and soul music. These instruments include the Trumpet, Tuba, Trombone, French horn, Sousaphone and Baritone.
The woodwinds make a variety of sublime tones and are extremely versatile instruments to classical music or jazz. The most popular woodwinds are the Flute, Saxophone, Piccolo / Fife, Clarinet, Harmonica, Oboe and Bassoon.
Percussion combos will feature a wider variety of instruments, banged on with hands, mallets or sticks. These include the Drum Set, Glockenspiel, Vibraphone, Bells and Cymbals, Xylophone, Congas and Bongos and the Timpani.
You should experiment with a variety of different instruments before committing. Get your fingers on a tuba, guitar, or drum set and make a few notes. Sure it won't be music yet, but what you need to remember is that it'll give you some idea if the instrument is fun and worth learning to play.
The most important thing to remember is to always play what you like. When you listen to the radio or your ipod, what do you hear that instinctively perks you up?
If you find yourself thrumming along to the bassline or suddenly jumping into wild air-guitar frenzies, perhaps you should look into learning how to play a stringed instrument.
If you have this constant rhythm within, making you thrash air-drums, beat your fingers on the table quite often and air-play along to the sound of kottu being made, those are big clues as to what your "natural instrument" might be.