Meeting Topic: Drums, Life, and Everything in Between: Understanding the Drum Kit on a fundamental Level
Moderator Name: Dan Mortensen
Speaker Name: Dave Delozier, Studio Instrument Rentals; Don Gunn, Independent Engineer; Steve Smith, Seattle Drum School; Seth Tomlinson, The Greenbusch Group
Meeting Location: Robert Lang Studios, Shoreline WA
PNW Section's November 2016 meeting was held at Robert Lang Studios in Shoreline, WA, and featured a deep examination of the modern drum kit. Local experts enlisted were Dave Delozier (Assistant Manager/Lead Drum Tech, Studio Instrument Rentals (SIR) Seattle), Don Gunn (recording engineer/drummer), Steve Smith (Seattle Drum School founder, instructor, recording engineer) and Seth Tomlinson (Acoustician, the Greenbusch Group, Seattle). The event was co-produced by the AES PNW and the Robert Lang Academy Student Sections, directed by PNW Chair Dan Mortensen and Committeeperson Marlie Pesek, who is also Director of the Robert Lang Academy. A capacity crowd of 46 people attended the RSVP event, including 13 non-AES members admitted from a standby list after members.
PNW Committeeperson Bob Smith ran a SMAART v7 analysis system projected onto a screen for the audience to see time and spectral domain responses of microphones and drums. As Bob Smith later said, "... you can pick any topic in Audio and Acoustics and find people that will know 10K more about said topic than 99.9% of the populace ever imagined." This is also surely the case with drums, drummer jokes aside.
Among the topics covered were tuning of drums including snare, large and small toms, and bass/kick; drum construction and materials, characteristics of different heads; holes in kick drum heads; characteristics of various cymbals; microphones and miking techniques, and playing techniques. Many questions were posed by the audience. The meeting was longer than usual, and could have easily been a day-long event, but the exceptional acclaim means that additional themed events are planned.
Written By: Gary Louie