This book, subtitled Bridging Science and Creativity, covers everything that its title implies: How do drums work? Why tune them? How can we record them? What about mixing drums? Author Rob Toulson is a musician, producer, engineer, and professor in London, who also developed the iDrumTune Pro app. This book is something I’ve absolutely been waiting for during my entire career; a comprehensive, science-based, musical explanation of how drum tuning and recording work together. Many sources I had found before seemed focused on “one way” of tuning – not to mention the idiots that push for “their way” to record drums, but Drum Sound… consistently acknowledges that there are so many ways to make and use drum tones in the real world, and even covers quite a bit on ways of mixing drums. Shit, it even has “Try it For Yourself” exercises all through the book. The quotes from pro drummers and producers, like Cherisse Osei (one of the best rock drummers I’ve ever seen), Alex Reeves (Elbow [Tape Op #68]), and producer Sylvia Massy [#63], only reinforce the real-life usability of this book. Do you record? Do you play drums? If so, you need this book. If nothing else, go to Rob’s ancillary website (see below) for interviews, free information, and video tutorials. Okay? I’m still slowly reading this entire book, soaking it in (while quietly validating my own experiences), and have been picking up bits of hard knowledge to use in future sessions. Books for us recording dorks rarely ever get more useful than Rob Toulson’s Drum Sound and Drum Tuning.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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