Recording Studios Sydney: The Evolution of the Modern Drum Kit VII

Recording Studios Sydney: The 60’s brought Rock ‘n’ Roll to the forefront with an emphasis on bass drum, snare and hi-hat playing. 20 inch and 22 inch bass drums now became standard for Rock ‘n’ Roll playing, with the addition of a 12 inch or 13 inch mounted tom and 14 inch or 16 inch floor tom.

Recording Studios Sydney: Snare Drums in the 50s

The most popular snare drum sizes in the 50’s included 14″ x 5″ with the Be-Bop drummer opting for new designs in 13″ x 3″, 13″ x 4″ and 14″ x 4″ snare drums. While the 14″ x 5″ snare drum was still the most popular size of the 60’s Rock ‘n’ Roll era drummers soon began experimenting with 5 inch, 6 inch and 8 inch deep snares for a bigger and fatter sound.

Recording Studios Sydney: the Beatles effect on Drum sales!

Throughout the 50’s and the better part if the 60’s the standard 4 piece remained the most popular configuration. In 1964 Ringo Starr and The Beatles drove Ludwig into double shift production when they appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. Ludwig could barely keep up with the demand for Ringo’s four piece Black Oyster Pearl design.

Recording Studios Sydney: Removal of the Bottom Drum Head

The most significant change of the 60’s was in recording studios sydney drum configuration when in 1965 Gretsch, Slingerland, Ludwig and Premier began to add an extra tom mounted on the bass-drum creating a 5 piece kit configuration. Early adaptations included a second tom of the same size (e.g. 2x 12 inch toms) but when a different size was added (13 inch) the 5 piece kit became popular. By the late 60’s the standard five piece kit utilized 12″ and 13″ mounted toms, 16″ floor tom and 20″ or 22″ x 16″ bass drum.
By far the 70’s and 80’s brought the greatest period of experimentation since the 20’s and 30’s.
The “standard” kit depended completely on which style of music you played! Smaller four and five piece kits still dominated the Be-Bop or Jazz scene while multiple-toms, racks and electronic triggers became standard in Rock, Pop and Rock Fusion and Jazz Fusion.
Born as a reaction to the times the classic four piece and five piece kit was eclipsed in the 70’s and 80’s by bigger kits with open-ended toms, (concert-toms) and deeper drums mounted on elaborate rack systems. (A design stemming from the consoles of the 20’s and 30’s)
A characteristic of mainly the 70’s and early 80’s, drummers and studio producers began taking the bottom head off drums in an endeavour to create a bigger sound with greater projection. Drum manufacturers hungry to capture market share began producing a multitude of tom and drum-kit designs all laying claim to producing the volume and projection required for modern rock ‘n’ roll.
The big sydney recording studios drum companies that had dominated the market for so many years began to lose ground as the market opened up to the new Japanese manufacturers Yamaha, Pearl and Tama. The 80’s would bring the greatest challenge as drummers now had to compete with drum machines and samplers. Electronics in the 80’s gave rise to a generation of new wave and new romantic bands backed by drummers using electronic pad kits. Simmons was one of the earliest companies to flood the market with their easily recognized modern electronic kit design.
While the battle with electronics robbed some drummers of a job in their early introduction it wasn’t long before the new technology became an accepted part of a drummers equipment. Drummers discovered the benefits of a kit that combined all the technology available in aiding the creation and production process.
Recording Studios Sydney