A tour of our church drum kit setup

A tour of our church drum kit setup

Hey, it’s Dave Dolphin at practicalworshipblog.com, and today I thought I would share with you the drums position we have here
at the church. Now, all of this gear here is church owned. In fact, all of our positions
here at the church—all of our players use church owned gear, and the reason for that is—our philosophy—we want to maintain a consistent sound from weekend
a weekend and yet still be able to switch players in and out. It also allows
us to utilize players that might have really good chops but don’t necessarily
have the money to go out and buy really pro gear, so it allows us to be able to
utilize them and still get a quality product out. We spend a lot of time
getting really good drum sounds, because for the style of music that we do (and I
would imagine you do if you’re watching this video), if you can get really good
drum sounds, your mix is about 80% there. So, obviously there’s things we do at FOH as far as EQ and compression and things like that—reverb—but we talk a lot about cymbal selection and we look at
the drums themselves and what we’re using and the heads we put on that and
the mic placement and all those things, because if you can’t get the source
material right there’s really not a lot that the FOH can do to fix
and overcome that. So, let me play the whole kit for you, give you an idea of what
it sounds like, and then we’ll talk about it some more. So, these drums are Tama Star Classics, and they were purchased about 10 years ago or so before I was here at the church, and they did a really good job selecting
a drum set that even today really fits the style and works well in the mix.
This is actually a fusion kit, and so that means that the toms are a little
bit smaller than normal. So, if this were 5 piece, you would see a 10″, a 12″ and
a 14″. We run this like a four piece and we use the lower of the two, so
that’s a 12″ and that’s a 14″ and the drums themselves are made out of maple. This snare, we picked up about a year or so ago, and it’s a Gretsch maple snare,
and it is 8″ deep and it’s what allows us to get that really deep,
80’s, Journey sound out of it. And the funny thing about this snare is that it
actually sounds really bad when you just sit on top of it. If you don’t have the
PA on or your headphones on or any of that and if you’re just sitting here playing it, it
actually sounds pretty awful. And I have to warn my drummers when they sit down—if they haven’t played
here before—when you sit down the snare’s going to sound bad. Don’t break out your
drum key, because through the PA it sounds amazing, so don’t mess with that. So that’s the drums. The cymbals are Zildjian A’s. Now, as far as mic selection and mic placement goes, for the most part, it’s pretty standard stuff as far as how they’re pointed and aimed. These mics are the Audix mics on the toms and the kick. This is a 57 on the
snare. The cymbal mics are SM81’s. Now, where we kind of break from
convention is notice how this mic is pointed. Instead of having overheads and
a stereo pair, which is what a lot of people do, we have one specifically
for this crash cymbal (which is actually underneath) and then we have this one
over here that is pointing down at our ride cymbal and also getting the crash
cymbal that’s over here. And, if you’re one that follows a lot of the larger
churches and the blogs that they do and you look at that and you go “hmm.” It looks like Andrew Stone from Church On The Move in Tulsa’s been here, and you would be right. He helped us with our drum sounds about a year or so ago, and he showed us this
trick and it’s worked really, really well for us. The final thing I’ll say is that
notice on the high hat we are doing a 57. Now, I’d prefer maybe an SM81, but we don’t have another 81 to use, and so this was a case of using what we had, and it works. So, if it’s not broken, why fix it? And so, that is a tour of our drums
position here at the church. Now, if you have any questions about mic selection
or mic placement, EQ, compression, things that you’d do at FOH, I actually
found a really good blog from house of worship technology that goes
into a lot of detail about those kinds of things. And, their philosophies mirror up with a lot of the philosophies we have here at the church, so I’ll put that link in the description below. Thanks for watching the video. If this was helpful, I’d love for you to hit the like button below or subscribe to the channel, that way you know when new videos hit. If you have any questions about any of the things that you’ve seen, ask that in the
comments below and we’ll have a conversation that way. For more great resources always
check out practicalworshipblog.com.

33 thoughts on “A tour of our church drum kit setup

  1. Great video Dave! The example of you playing. Is that a FOH with a little bit of Reverb? That's a great sounding kit you've got there!

  2. I think the As are too bright you gotta go with Ks or K customs they are warm and not too loud. Not sure what kind of songs you play or what instruments you play with but Ks are in my opinion the best for worship

  3. That's a great kit! The kit I play on at church is a Mapex stained wood kit with Sabian Dave Weckl Signature Series cymbals.

  4. It's funny, you've got the 57 on the hats, I see Bethel Worship using an Audix I5 for their hats.

    As someone who loved using a 57 on the snare, the best snare mic I was introduced to a couple months ago, is the Telefunken M80. So much clearer, puncher and defined. Spendy at $250 new but worth the investment.

  5. That snare does not need all that tape and sound muffling pads. It’s a nice snare, ya need to find the proper heads and tuning combo. If I came in and you told me to ignore the bad sounding snare I would say no I won’t, then take it home and get it tuned properly with the correct head combo. It’s up to the sound guy after that.


  7. I play on a 15 year old tama zbt zildg cymbals. So when im rostered on i bring in my sonor select force with pinstripe batters and ambassador res. Heads. Hopefully this will be an encouragement for the church to invest. 😉😉

  8. Dude, I don't mean to be rude but those drums do not sound good. You need to take all the muffling off that snare and tune it up. You're gonna be breaking 4 sticks a day and 2 heads a year tuned like that. I honestly can't hear much of a difference between all four of those drums. The bass drum sounds like it's triggered. Again I'm not trying to be mean, I'd just like to offer you some tuning methods if you're interested.

  9. Love 81's I have 5 of them myself. i guess having that 81 pointed up at the crash you don't have to worry about phase alignment with the snare and overheads. I may have to experiment with that.

  10. Let me get this straight. Steve Gadd comes in and you tell him "the snare sounds terrible but sounds good at the front of the house so do not worry. Good sounding drums sound good at the front of the house unless you have a bad engineer. Why compromise?

  11. Drums that sound fat and warm behind the kit will sound like a cardboard box through the pa. If you want the warm resonant fat sound to transfer through the pa you got to tune your toms significantly higher! Get rid of the tape and start to re eq the drums again. Someone mentioned adding the zildjian k series, I couldn't agree more. They blend better with the mix overall.

  12. hmm maybe i'm a bit to conservative about it, but wounld't the snare sound even better through the pa, if it sounded good by itself? Also i believe, that it would feel much more natural for drummers to play and therefore encourage them to play better. greetings!

  13. Way to small a drum set not enough options to bring variety ,I won't play on anything smaller than a 7 piece

  14. If the instrument doesn't sound good by itself, tweaking it in the PA is not going to fix it. Tune the drums right, and take off the post processing in the board. The PA should just amplify the natural sound of the inputs.

  15. That snare needs to be tuned up a lot it is a bit to phat and take off the tape because it will sound way better if you just let the snare resonate more

  16. Hi! Nice video. I have two questions

    1. What’s your method for taping/muting a drum? (Snare)? How to apply the tape and why?

    2. Can you explain why you use the “under” mic technique only on one cymbal and not both?

  17. two toms are better my church that i play drums for have wait three my bad so yea and what pedals do you use

  18. Snare sounds terrible, cymbals too bright, just my own milage. But I appreciate a church that puts some effort into the drum sound. Us drummers get stuck with crappy gear far too often.

  19. I'm sorry, I hate to be a skeptic but those toms sound so ugly and dead. The mic placement is wrong and geez that snare is ugly.

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