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timmo

Drum screens

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Has anyone used them? I have seen them a few times, most recently by Kenney Jones at the Brit awards. I understand what they do, but it seems to make the drummer remote. Is there a better way than screens to stop drums bleeding sound into.other microphones?

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I can't answer your query but I'm curious to hear about others' experience too - both live and in the studio.

I've never seen a drumkit being used with a screen in pubs or small venues here in the UK, but they appeared to be de rigueur in almost all the music bars we visited in Nashville, TN a few years ago. I imagine a screen can make the drums less loud, and help the rest of the band keep its volume down. In those bars, the drummer was close enough to the rest of the band not to look or - I imagine - feel isolated from their bandmates, and perfectly able to keep eye contact through the clear screens.

This article appears to present a few good points re. recording with screens in the studio.

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I shared a stage with one at a gig near Paris, maybe four or five years ago. It wasn't a huge venue, though there was plenty of room to move around on stage (not a luxury I was used to from my time gigging principally in London!)

It definitely seemed a bit strange to put the drummer in a big plastic cage. I also wondered whether it was on the stage less for preventing mic bleed, and more for the sound guy's convenience. The fact was, we had amps on stage, and one or two vocal mics. If mic bleed was a genuine problem, then why wasn't he putting screens in front of our amps as well?

I think it just gave him a justification for mic'ing the kit in a small venue, when quite frankly it would have been easier to just take the screen out and let the drums be heard naturally, maybe with a mic on the kick drum if the music warranted it.

It makes a lot more sense in a recording studio, and perhaps in larger venues where the drums need PA support. Perhaps that sound guy was just fed up with most of the local drummers being tone-deaf shed builders...but that would in turn raise the question of whether a lot of drummers just need to learn to play more quietly...

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We use them at both our Church premises.  Seems a bit counter-productive that we then have the whole kit miked up, but it does give a balanced sound.  We had thought of electronic kits, but all our (rota'd) drummers said no, they preferred the acoustic kits, even though it put them in a box.

FWIW, both screens are 'roofed' and the one at the smaller venue is a complete box, with door!  The drummer has individual mixer unit, with in-ears, as do all the band.

At the larger venue, we have to pack down after the service, but we have a huge cupboard at the back of the stage, so the drum kit, in its screen is on a platform, on castors, which is pushed into the cupboard (complete with mikes etc), with other stuff packed round it.  Takes about 10 minutes max to clear up, as the PA and bass subs are fixed.

Edited by Baxlin
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I read an article stating they were fairtly popular in some churches, especially a vaulted roof, as it stops the drum booming. 

 The other time I remember was watching The Who at Glastonbury. Maybe a similar thing to the Brit Awards as it is quicker , so maybe on to something saying it is for the sound guy. I think Townsend kicked the screen down in the end

Edited by timmo

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We use one at every gig. Drummer bought it about 2 years ago because our frontman has a loud stage monitor and it usually points straight at the drums. 

We initially thought we would only use it at the noisier gigs but we use it all the time now as we've found it tightens up the sound a lot - it takes the edge off a bloody loud kit and he's a bit of a hard hitter so it makes us more pub friendly. It's an interesting conversation piece for the crowd too - we usually get a few asking about it at the gigs. And if it gets a bit rowdy we can all pile in behind it....

The only downside is that it weighs a ton!

 

Edited by Mudpup
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Mudpup nails it. Before you even think about buying one for mobile use, consider the weight of them. They aren't an insignificant thing to be lugging around. And no, there is no light weight equivalent. It's the mass of them that makes them effective.

When you say "bleeding into other microphones", which microphones? You may be able to improve the situation by better microphone technique and different microphones. If you can give me some information, I may be able to give you some pointers.

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I thought they were just there to keep the drumster's sweat from splashing around 

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3 hours ago, EBS_freak said:

Mudpup nails it. Before you even think about buying one for mobile use, consider the weight of them. They aren't an insignificant thing to be lugging around. And no, there is no light weight equivalent. It's the mass of them that makes them effective.

When you say "bleeding into other microphones", which microphones? You may be able to improve the situation by better microphone technique and different microphones. If you can give me some information, I may be able to give you some pointers.

I am not wanting one, i have just seen i few bsnds use them and wondered why. The mic bleed is just something i read as a reason to use them. Someone suggested it is down to making it easier for the soundman. That could be possible, as I mainly see them on stages where multiple bands use. I just wondered if smaller venues with just a 1 support and main band would have any benifit. 

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Some tours are using smaller individual perspex screen in front of each cymbal, which is a nice middle ground. 

Vocal mics can effectively act as another overhead, the amount of cymbal spill that generally finds its way in to them, so anything to mitigate that will help get a clearer vocal sound and higher gain before feedback. Certainly helps the engineers on a loud stage. 

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11 hours ago, mike257 said:

Some tours are using smaller individual perspex screen in front of each cymbal, which is a nice middle ground. 

Vocal mics can effectively act as another overhead, the amount of cymbal spill that generally finds its way in to them, so anything to mitigate that will help get a clearer vocal sound and higher gain before feedback. Certainly helps the engineers on a loud stage. 

JS153028928.thumb.jpg.ed302abd3510bdf751df689a90017213.jpg

 

I’ve never been anywhere to assess how useful these actually are. Whilst they logically seem that they should work to some extent, I have a niggling nag about them.

Ive even got this saved in my “something to explore” folder - 

 

31CA81D9-5549-4C03-95F2-597020EBEC66.jpeg

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Oh - and the snare tends to be a big issue too - and the cymbal shields won’t do a lot for that... hence my reluctance to spend.

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