They say nothing lasts forever, although sometimes things can last a lifetime. In this case, sadly, drum heads don’t. For recording drummers, it is advised that you change your drum heads every time you go for a recording session. So, which drum heads should you buy that would give you that unique sound that you want?!
What are the best drum heads for recording? It is important to note that good drum heads result in higher quality tone sound, which then translates into making amazing sounds during recording. The problems come when there are a lot of different drum heads brands to pick from.
Which one will work for you?
I took some time to research and found some of the best drum heads that will give you that beautiful sound when you record your play. Some of them don’t come cheap, but they are surely worth the price.
So, I compiled a list of the best-sounding drum heads with some of the best reviews out there, all of them have been used by a lot of professional drummers all around the world, and there have been great feedbacks.
All-Purpose Top Drum Heads
Remo ambassador coated drum heads
The Remo ambassador coated drum head is practically one of the best snare/tom drum heads available in the market especially for drummers using it for recording sessions.
Remo claimed it is the most popular drum head in the world (1), it deserves this accolade because the ambassador coated has all the quality of a top high-quality drum head, it is not just limited to studio session but can also be used for gigs and tours.
The sound this Remo ambassador coated drumhead produces is impressive with bright attack and controlled short sustained sounds. It does not work well for rock and roll play, basically any hard-playing music, but it is perfect for cool music genres like worship music, jazz, pop, etc.
- It is a single-ply drum head with 10-mil of coated film, it is quite thin, and as I said earlier it won’t be suitable for genres that require hard playing styles
- It is readily available in a size range of 6″- 40″ meaning it can be used for the bass drum snare drum and toms also
- It is not so expensive.
- It is the most popular drum head in the world so, you can easily find it in most music stores.
- it can not be used for music genres that require heavy hitting.
Aquarian focus-x coated drum heads TCFX14
Aquarian has one of the best tom/snare drumheads in the industry; thus, it is growing in popularity every day.
- The Aquarian TCFX14 is a texture coated head with a unique “vented” muffling ring tucked...
- The Focus-X produces a sensitive snare response and a full articulate sound while eliminating...
- Features unique Safe-T-Lock Hoop and Sound-Curve Collar
It is designed to give that muffled sound that most drummers prefer for their tom drums, especially when you want to set-up your drum for your recording session.
The Aquarian focus- drumhead has different configurations, it has a power dot version, and it would be an excellent buy for your recording sessions snare drum or Tom’s.
- It is a single-ply coated drum head with a 10-mil film.
- It comes in different sizes.
- It is designed with a special ring, which helps improve your drum sounds, drum play, and increases the drum’s sensitivity.
- It is designed to eliminate all the unwanted rings and overtones.
- It has that muffling sound due to its muffling ring giving that rich tom sounds
- It can be used for your snare drum and your tom drum.
- It is 2-ply, so worth checking to make sure it is suitable to your needs.
Snare-drum Top Drum Heads
Remo Ambassador Hazy
The Remo ambassador hazy is the complete package, it is the ideal recording drum head for your snare drum. This product is designed to definitely better your drum sound. It makes every beat you play on the snare sound better than standard snare drum heads.
I would recommend this.
- For use on the bottom head of snare drum
- Referred to as the worldwide industry standard batter heads for studio and live applications
- Used by almost every drum kit manufacturer because of their tunability and tone
- It is a 1-ply drumhead; it can be either clear or coated more like in the middle.
- It is available in a size range of 8″ – 16.”
- It is not expensive
- It will definitely better your snare drum sound.
- It is a sensitive drum head, meaning it is not ideal for hard playing.
- Some people might not notice the improvement in your tonal quality, but it will be evident in your final recording.
Remo Emperor X coated snare drumhead
I know by now we will be wondering if Remo is the only drum brand on the list because this is their third product on the snare drum list. Well, it is not our fault it more of Remo faults they make some of the best drum heads in the world, they are the leading drum head maker in the world. A lot of professional drummers use nothing but Remo drums, and it all because of their quality.
- 14" diameter snare/tom drum head
The Remo Emperor X coated snare drum head is one of the best snare drum heads for recording sessions not only is it durable, but it also has an insane sound control during playing sessions. It is the first choice of most drummers for their snare drum heads, and it is regarded as the most durable drummer in the world.
- It is a double-ply with 10-mil coated film which comprises of two 5-mil coated films with a 5-mil bottom black dot
- It is available in sizes 10″-14″ exclusively for snare drums
- It is very durable even for drummers that play hard, the Remo Emperor X coated is highly recommended, because you do need to worry about the drum head breaking anytime soon.
- The drum head is very responsive, and it produces a very warm tone
- It has a 5-mill black reverse dot which helps improve your playing and remove excess overtones
- It has such an incredible sound that I have not found a single bad review of the drumhead on the internet.
- It is ideal for all kinds of drummers and also any kind of music genre.
- It produces some of the best sounds from a snare drum head, and no matter how hard you strike it, the quality of the sound is still top-notch.
- It is quite expensive, so you might have to break your budget to get it, the saying goes, “gold is not cheap.”
Evans EC reverse dot
Another leading brand that makes drum heads as good as the Remo’s is Evans. The Evans EC reverse dot drum heads are one of the industry-leading drum heads, EC meaning edge control.
- All Evans drum heads are designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA
- Also available in a single ply version with the reversed dot and a two-ply version without the...
- The reverse dot is mounted on the underside of the head for extra durability, focus and attack...
The Evans EC reverse is designed to reduce a lot of the mid-range frequencies that might interfere with the record session in making a dope ass sound. It has very nice control and good resonance. The reverse dot also helps give it a nice focus and attack
- It is a double-ply drum head with a 6.5-mil external film and a 10-mil internal film
- It is available in different sizes with a size range of 10″- 14″ designed especially for the snare drum.
- It is very durable, so if you are a heavy hitter this is the head for you
- It has a reverse dot which helps to reduce the excess overtone
- With this drum head, you won’t have problem tuning, and it is easy to fit.
- It is designed to produce the beat sounds even when you hit it too hard
- The reverse dot can remove after sone time of playing, there have been instances of this.
The Evans EC drum head boasts of perfect transfer of sound vibrations from the drum heads to the snare drums, it eliminates a lot of the overtones which will help you create the sound you need for your recording. It is also available in different versions; you can get it without the reverse dot or get it in a single-ply version with the reverse dot.
3. Snare drum Bottom Drumhead
Evans clear 300
This is the bottom drum heads for the snare drum; obviously, you don’t play this one, but the Evans clear 300 is one of the most versatile snare bottom drum heads, it actually Evans best-selling snare resonant drum head.
- BEST SELLING SERIES: The Evans Clear 300 Snare Side Drumhead features a single ply of 3mil film...
- LEVEL 360 TECHNOLOGY: A Level 360 collar allows the clear snare side drumhead to seat itself...
- AVAILABLE IN 6 SIZES: In addition to the 13”, Evans clear 300 snare side drumheads are...
It’s popular due to its versatility, meaning it is ideal for different genres of music and playing styles, it is very easy to tune. It is one of the most recommended drum heads for the snare because of its control.
- 1.it is a clear single-ply drum head with a thickness of 3-mil
- it is available in different sizes with a size range 8″ to 15.”
- it is incredibly versatile and can be used for almost all music genres and styles
- 4.it helps improve your overall drum sound and gives a controlled snare response.
- it is not expensive.
- it allows for easy tuning
- The improvement in the overall sound of your snare won’t be so evident to everyone, especially those without keen music ears, but when it would definitely be noticed in your recording.
A lot of people forget their bottom heads and just focus on the top head, which they strike with the sticks, but the reality is the bottom heads also affect your overall drum sound, and the Evan clear 300 do just that, one of the best.
4. Toms Drumheads
The Aquarian PF12 is a super dope drum head with a lovely design. This tom drum head gives that thick fat sounds such that when you try your chops and rolls, it sounds so fat and full without any overtones.
- Aquarian Performance II Head
- Twin Ply Head Manufactured with Aquarian’s Vacuum Process
- Clear Head
It is designed to allow for loose tuning, which gives a lot of depth to your playing. This drum head is the perfect buy and would take your recording session groove to the next level without the usual overtones experienced with other tom-tom drum heads.
- It is a double-ply drum head with two 7-mil films making it very durable, with a seal around the edges, giving it that extra durability.
- It comes in different sizes with a size range of 6″-26″ and can be used for all the toms, including the floor tom.
- It can be loosely tuned to have that thick warm sound such that no matter your playing style, you’ll still get dope sounds.
- It would help give you an elevated plying experience in the studio.
- It is not ideal for all genres of music.
Several hard rock bands have used the Aquarian PF12 during tours, and even in recording sessions. Get an Aquarian PF12 drum head today, and your drum shells will thank you for it.
Remo pinstripe clear drum heads
We have got to give it to Remo they push the drum heads production to the next level, this is one of their best-selling series so far. It is popular with a lot of top drummers, especially those RnB, rock and roll and Pop drummers.
This is due to its fantastic overtone control with great balance even with an increased attack, this would be great for your recording sessions.
- It is a double-ply drum head comprising of two 7-mil clear films, it has a reducing agent between the two plies, and this helps it control its mid-range overtones.
- It comes in different sizes with a size range of 6″-30″ with different combinations, the popular combos are the 10″,12″, 14″ combo or the 10″, 12″, 16″ and 12″, 13″, 16.”
- It can be configured in different ways and is easy to tune.
- It can’t be used for all music genres
This drum head is ideal for all playing styles, even the hard hitters; it has that depth low pitch sound you are looking for from a tom-tom head; it also has high responsiveness.
5. Bass drum Top Drum Heads
This is one of the best drum heads out there. It is a very versatile drum head and has an externally mounted damping system that is adjustable to suit your needs.
- EMAD SYSTEM– The Evans Clear Bass Drum Head has an externally mounted adjustable damping...
- LEVEL 360 TECHNOLOGY – A Level 360 collar allows the clear bass drum head to seat itself...
- AVAILABLE IN 5 SIZES – Evans EMAD2 clear bass drum heads are available in sizes 18” to...
Everyone knows the bass drum is one of the essential pieces in a drum kit, and it sometimes hard to get the right damped sound in the right tone. Evans EMAD2 eliminates that problem leaving you with clean deep full sounds that can be used to play different genres of music and still sound great in the studio.
- It is a double-ply bass clear drum head with the external ply having a thickness of 6.5-mil while the inner ply has a thickness of 10-mil.
- It is available in different sizes and has a size range of 18″-26″, suitable for all bass drums.
- It has an externally mounted damping system, which gives you the freedom to use one of the removable foam damping rings. You could use the thin rings, or the wide rings, anyone will give you the kind of tone you need.
- It is very easy to tune with a wide tonal range.
- It is suitable for all genres of music and also all play8ng styles.
- It is more expensive than the average drum head
The Evans EMAD2 is enhanced with the revolutionary level 360 technology, which helps to make the drum easy to tune. It also has the new 360 collar shape feature, which allows your bass drum head to sit properly on the drum shell, which gives out a sound that is studio ready. This is highly recommended for your studio session.
Aquarian SKII22 Super-kick
For most bass drums there is a need for a pillow in the drum shell for it to produce the sound you want, but this bass drum head doesn’t need that. It has its own ‘floating muffling system‘ which is made to give a dampened but natural sound without the need of a pillow to help dampen the sound the more.
- Aquarian Super Kick II Bass Head
- Twin Ply Medium Weight Bass Head
- Clear Head with narrow felt muffling ring
This is one the best bass drum head in the industry and should be the bass drum heads you should end up with if you want to have a recording session with the best bass drum sound.
- 1.it is a double-ply clear bass drum head
- it is available in different sizes and has a size range of 16″ – 26.”
- it has its own muffling system, which helps dampen the sound from the bass drum, so there is no need to add a pillow.
- it is suitable for any music genre and any playing styles even perfect for heavy hitters
- 5.it is easy to tune, and it maintains that tone for a very long time.
- 6, it helps eliminate overtones and give a deep fat sound, and it is very durable.
- It is quite expensive but it definitely worth the price
If you need a bass drum head, you would never regret getting them, this should be your pick.
6. Bass drum Bottom Drum Head
Evans REMAD resonant bass drum head
We need to also focus on our bottom bass drum heads because even with a very good top drum head, your bottom drum head can decrease the tonal quality of the bass drum. So we need to compliment a good top drum head with a good bottom drum head.
- The perfect resonant head for use with the EMAD series batter heads
- All Evans drum heads are designed, engineered and manufactured in the USA
- The 4" offset mic port features a plastic sleeve focuses pitch and enhances the attach while...
The Evans REMAD is one of the best resonant heads out there and is ideal for the genre of music and highly recommended for studio sessions. The resonant drum head offers a lot of tonal quality and would improve your overall drum sound quality.
- It is a single-ply 7.5-mil thick film with a 4-inch hole to give space for mic
- It comes in various sizes with size range 18″ – 26.”
- It helps control the sustain and overtones
- It has a 4″ offset mic port, which has a plastic sleeve that helps protect the port and focus the pitch with increased attack.
- It can be easily tuned.
- The tonal change might not be noticed by everyone.
One thing you should know when picking any drum head is that a lot depends on your style of play, the genre of music you are playing to and the tone you want.
Any of the drumheads on this list will give you amazing sound because I have used them to different levels and picked them based on the different quality delivered.
Guide for Buying A New Drum Head
There is a lot of things that come into play when trying to choose a new drum head. Most times, people go with what they think works or the most expensive type they can get or just anyone available, without considering the factors that make the drum head the right one for your kit. You should know that drum heads have different properties that set each other apart. When trying to get a new drum head, there are factors to consider, and today we are going to discuss most of them.
It is necessary to know that there are generally two types of drum heads, which are batter heads and resonant heads.
Batter Heads: This is the drum head, we are all familiar with, the one we always hit with our drum heads sticks. This type of drum head influence the overall sound of the drums and always undergo more pressure, so it gets worn out pretty fast and needs change more frequently than the resonant head. It is mostly thicker than the resonant heads.
Resonant Heads: The resonant head is always below the drum shell, and you don’t hit it with the drum sticks. They also influence the sound of the drums than we think they do, but less attention is given to it. They last longer than the batter head in terms of tonal quality and durability because they face less abuse. Technically you can use any drum head for either your batter or resonant head, but since the batter head influences more of the drum sound, we will focus on it. Rules that apply to the batter head also apply to the resonant heads.
There Are There Essential Things to Consider When Picking Drum Heads, And They Are:
- The Number and Thickness of The Plies of The Drum Head.
- The Kind of Finish Used.
- Other Accessories.
The Number and Thickness of The Plies of The Drum Head
The first description you see when trying to get a new drum head online is the number of plies the drum head possesses. The number of plies means the number of sheets or layers of material the drum head contains. A common example is a single-ply, which means one-ply is a drum head with one layer of material while two plies will mean two, and so on. More plies mean more durability and thicker diameters combined. So how does the number of plies affect the drum sound produced from the drum heads?
This is the trend
- The more the number of plies, the lesser the sensitivity. So, if you want a very sensitive drum head, then you should go for the drum head with the smallest number of plies, which is a single-ply drum head.
- The more the number of plies, the lesser the overtone produced, meaning drum head with more plies produces lesser overtones. The double-ply drum head produces lesser overtones compared to the single-ply drum head.
- The more the plies, the more the durability of the drum head, although this is not the only factor determining drum head durability it’s a major part of it.
- The more the plies of the drum head, the more the drum head loses its bright sounds, which means single ply drum heads have really bright sounds, and this brightness reduces with the addition of more plies. Meaning the more the plies, the heavier the sound produced. That’s why most good bass drums are mostly equipped with double-ply drum heads to produce thicker sounds.
- The more the plies of the drum head, the shorter the sustain you get when you hit the drum head Shorter sustain is a good attribute. It’s one of the reasons the double-ply heads are highly recommended.
- The more the plies on the drum head, the more defined the attack on the drum sounds, so you get the least defined attack when you use single ply drum heads.
Another factor to look out for is the thickness of each of the plies. This also plays a major role in the quality of sound produced when you hit the drumhead. The thicker the ply, the more muffled the sound gets because there is more material to absorbs some of the vibrations when you hit the drum head. Most drum head’s thickness range from 7 to 10 mil, while some single-ply drum head has more thickness and could have thickness more than 10 mil note 1 mil = 0.001 inches.
The Kind of Finish Used:
Drum heads can either be coated or uncoated (which is also known as clear). Both are a really good choice for your drum shells, but they both have different properties, which may or may not resonate with your taste, so here are the qualities you will get from either from them.
For a clear drum head, you will get brighter sounds, more attack, louder tone, and more sustain.
For a coated drum head, you will get lesser overtones, more rebound on your sticks, and warmer sounds. A very distinctive sound is produced when other drumsticks like brushes, mallet, or rods are used, and it is quite ideal for playing some specific type of music style.
Although there have been drum heads brands that have claimed to produce mixed drumheads that have some qualities of the coated drumhead and that of the clear drum heads. An example is the Remo suede drum head. There is a trend for most drummers to use clear drum heads for the toms and coated rum heads for the snare drum.
Some other things can be added to drums to add more tonal quality by reducing its overtones. Overtones are one of the most unwanted properties of drum heads and the addition of features like a dampening agent, which is applied in between the ply heads of the drums to dampen the sound by reducing overtones, a center dot is placed in the outer ply to increase the durability of the drum head, and an inlay ring which is to reduce the harmonics.
- Remo Drum Heads (Remo)
Last update on 2022-01-20 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API