Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On the Road with - The Crossmen

Having just finished up Fourth of July parades and coming off of two weeks of extreme humidity, 105 degree rehearsals, 60 degree nights on the truck, and several rainy days, the drums have endured a lot of change in temperature and pressure and require more attention to tuning to maintain the sound quality we strive for.

Crossmen bassline is glad to be using Evans MS1 heads this summer. We feel Evans provides the highest quality products to best meet the sound quality and durability that the top drum corps require. At the Crossmen, we take a very proactive approach to tuning our marching drums daily in a consistent manner that will give us the finest tone and sound quality for the performers.

While we rehearsed in Missouri the humidity was the highest that we had encountered this summer. This caused the pitch of each bass drum, particularly the top three drums (18, 20, and 24 inches), to drop a noticeable amount. Extra attention to keeping the heads evenly tuned had to be taken as they had only been in use for a week and had not settled yet. Taking the time to slowly and evenly raise the pitch of the drums provided us with great tone, resonance, and longevity of the heads.

The reliability of the MS1 Bass drum heads makes battling the outdoor elements and maintaining a great sound a much smoother task. That’s why we choose Evans.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Turning a "Corps-ner" with Technology

What the internet can (and cannot) provide...

Like many that enjoy drum corps, I have been following scores and corps during the DCI summer tour of 2009. The continued internet integration makes it easier than ever to feel like you are thrust into the action. DCI continues to do a great job wiht the Fan Network and social sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to stay connected to the action. Even sites like YouTube provide a very realistic look at corps shows, rehearsals, and warm ups.

While many have called or emailed to tell me how much they are enjoying the sound of the newer Evans heads (namely the Hybrid and Corps Clear heads) I have enjoyed surfing sites like YouTube and checking the videos out first hand. The quality of some of these videos is simply amazing. Whats more is the fact that below the videos are comments from various fans and viewers. Much to my surprise I have found an very strong and positive response to these heads. It is not only helpful to get this feedback, but enjoyable to actually see people enjoy the heads in (almost) real time. Some posts speak directly to an individuals observation about a group or head while others have created a channel for dialogue. As a member of the music industry, this is exciting to watch unfold.

If there is a down side to this, it would be that a persons experience is somewhat limited to that of a particular video post. Quality, camera angle, and other factors (wind for instance) can all prohibit a viewer from getting the best 'read' possible. To this I advise that anyone interested in forming a TRUE opinion of equipment (heads, sticks, drums, other) be sure to take the time to actually sample the heads for yourself. Seeing and hearing is great...experienceing is even better! Sampling the heads for yourself will give you a variety of information not available on video (feel, ease of tuning, projection, blend with YOUR tuning scheme, stability, and more). If there is a take-away from this blog...it would be that videos like the ones posted on YouTube.com are great at providing direction in sampling products, but it should only serve as guidance to further (and more intimate) sampling on your own equipment, with your own members, using your own tuning scheme.

For those of you that are continually turning out great videos for the rest of us to watch...keep up the great work.