Saturday, May 30, 2009


Paul Hurd is a Los Angeles based drum tech who has worked for years with Drum Paradise, one of LA’s top of the line drum providers for session musicians and recording artists in the area. Hurd shared with some of his tricks of the trade he’s learned from being a drum tech and working in the music industry.
Say a drummer is setting out to get a new kit. Do you have any advice for them to get the perfect matching kit?
I would say the most important thing for a beginning drummer would be to get a drum kit that is well balanced. If you are getting a small drum kit, you want to match it with an equally balanced kick drum. SO the rack toms and cymbals can be placed at a level that ergonomics come into play. Being physically comfortable behind your drum set is the first thing you should think about when getting your kit. Be aware of your size and your musical needs. It’s very important to get into the headspace of what’s going to be comfortable for you while you’re drumming.
What’s the difference between buying a kit for live performance and recording?
It’s important to find a kit that’s versatile and can be used for both recording and playing live. The first thing is absolute experimentation with recording. There’s so many different styles and configurations that can be applied to recording. Drums come in so many different sizes, shell configurations, that you would want to experiment with your sounds and use your ears. I’ve found experimenting and finding what most comfortable works is best.
As a drum tech, you’ve set up drums for many artists in the Los Angeles recording studios including Henson, The Village, The Record Plant; What’s would you consider to be #1 thing you have to keep in mind when setting up drums for recording artists?
In setting up for other artists has a lot to being aware of their set up and every angle of the tom and cymbals. One thing I’ve had to let go of was setting up as if it were for myself. There’s no rules to where things go. I’ve had to learn and get used to the drummers needs to get the feel for their perfect set up. Each setup I’ve done for drummers has been different from my own.
I basically try to get a really nice tone out of the drums and to kind of leave it for the drummer to fine tune their kit after I’ve setup. I go over every detail, use photos, and am not afraid to call the drummer and double check on certain cymbal set ups they might want. I always leave extra heads for the drummer in the studio. It’s always best to be prepared for things going wrong. I’ve found this to be such an individual process, the more practice setting up each different artist, the more you’ll learn the subtleties of their individual kits and playing styles.
Do you have any advice for tuning your drums?
Basically, tuning for the room is the most important thing for tuning your drum set. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that a drum that sounds great at a certain tuning in one room might not sound as good in another room. Trial and error and practice is the best way to fine tune your drum heads. My set up at my band’s rehearsal studio sounds entirely different when I set up at a club to play live without changing any of the tuning. Each room has its own reflections and dynamics. Re-tuning your drum set every time you set up in a new room is very important if you’re going for a good drum tone. A drum set reacts very differently in each room. It’s important to always make sure you have fresh ears and build up from the start when you’re setting up your kit in a new place.

1 comment:

  1. this article is very good, i learned things that i never knew before. Keep up the good work drum dungeon.