When I first started playing drums, I thought less is more, smaller shells are coolest.
I wanted to be a funky white boy, I idolized Prince and learned a bunch of funk tunes. I liked the way Fishbone's drums sounded on early albums, I was abandoning my rock roots and wanted to branch out into music that made people move. It was 1990, I was teaching guitar for a living, improvising nightly in a barn and recording the horrific results to tape.
Fast forward several decades and here we have an opportunity to record drums every single day. No one to blame but myself if the tones don't come out slammin. More and more we find that the source is the ultimate deciding factor. If our snare is out of tune and our other surfaces aren't responding well on their own, then slapping a mic on it, slathering plugins later just aint gonna cut it.
I can't tell you how many times I've smacked down on a suspended 14" floor tom. I hate suspended floor toms. They look like a mullet. They sound like a poor imitation of a floor tom.
I gotta have the old school, 3 legged, tried and true chunky cousin of the tympani in a more affordable, portable form.
So, we struck gold when we found this giant, tractor trailer of a drum kit near Madison, Wi. I bought it off a collector who claims he's got 100's more stored away. "You want any snares? I've got like, 500 of 'em" I remember showing up with my family in tow. I just was hoping that the toms would sustain a bit, my judgement of an out of round shell would be obvious if I couldn't get an even, long note from all the shells. Right away, the first floor tom I tried was massive sounding. Even though I was hearing it inside a packed storage locker. My thought was; "finally, I can easily get that big bottom without any effort"