Keith Cronin plays drums.

studio samples of some of my drums

Based on the interest shown by my pals on some of the drum forums, I'm starting to assemble some clips of my gear in the studio. What's interesting to me is how different my gear can sound in different rooms, and when recorded by different engineers and producers.

some snare drums

I went through four of my most frequently used snares at a recent session, just to A/B them. We didn't change any mic placements or EQ, so it's not like we spent much time really dialing in each drum. Still this gives some idea of the differences (and similarities) between some of my "go-to" snares. Apologies for the playing - I was rushing through this, and trying to play as much "snarey" stuff as possible.
late-model 6.5x14 black galaxy Ludwig Acrolite (aka the Blacrolite)

5x13 Slingerland maple/mahogany snare (cheapo drum from

5.5x14 Slingerland copper snare (cheapo drum from

1966 keystone 5x14 Ludwig Acrolite

Here's the specs on each drum:

  • Blacrolite: Aquarian New Orleans Special batter head, 42-strand snare

  • Wood 5x13: Aquarian Hi-Energy batter head, stock Slingeryo snares

  • Copper: Aquarian Texture Coated batter head, 42-strand snares

  • Acro: Aquarian Hi-Energy batter head, 42-strand snares

the full kit

Here are some excerpts from the tracks I laid for the upcoming Thursday's Child CD. This band works at a snail's pace, and the drums were cut in two sessions more than a year apart, in two different studios, with two different sets of engineers and producers.

These first two used an unusual mic system for the bass drum: in addition to an internal mic, the engineer used a guitar speaker as a transducer, to pick up some additional low end. It's the same principle Yamaha uses in their "SubKick." I think it's a cool concept, but to be honest, I'm not blown away by the final result. See what you think. There are photos from this session on this page. I'm pretty sure I used the 5.5x14 copper Slingerland snare on both of these tracks, after trying out most of my usual go-to drums.

(you are a) beautiful spirit (mp3 excerpt 1.1 MB)

beautiful mistake (mp3 excerpt 1.6 MB)

The next two were recorded in a more conventional manner. I used the same kit I always record with, shown on this page.This engineer emphasized the "honk" of my snare a lot more, something I go back and forth about. But I really like what he did with the toms and kick drum. I used the good old 5x14 Acrolite on Adored, and switched to my copper 5.5x14 Slingerland for Lullabye, on which I go from brushes to sticks and then back to brushes, which is always nerve-wracking to do while tape is rolling!

adored (mp3 excerpt 1.5 MB)

lullabye (mp3 excerpt 2.2 MB)

On all of these tracks, the drums have Aquarian coated 1-ply heads on the tops and bottoms of the toms, an Impact I batter head on the bass drum, and a 1-ply black Aquarian head with a large hole on the front of the bass drum. Snare drum heads are listed above in the previous section.

I'm really struck by how different the snare sounds when recorded in different environments. I have a fairly consistent way of tuning, so it's more a component of the recording process itself than the drum.

Anyway, I hope you find this interesting and/or helpful. Feel free to e-mail me any questions you may have.

UPDATE: semifinal mixes of new Thursday's Child CD

If you'd like a before-and-after, here are semifinal mixes of the songs from which I extracted the drum tracks above. The CD should be released early next year, and I'm pretty happy with how it's coming out. Enjoy!
(you are a) beautiful spirit (mp3 excerpt 1.8 MB)

beautiful mistake (mp3 excerpt 2 MB)

adored (mp3 excerpt 2.4 MB)

lullabye (mp3 excerpt 2.6 MB)

beautiful spirit (mp3 full song - 4.2 MB) I like the way this song builds, so I included a mix of the whole thing

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