I recently wrote a post with some ideas on How to record a great drum sound.
Point number 9 in the list was “Tune the kit“.
Firstly, I should say – I’m not an expert on this ! I’ve never tuned a drum from scratch in my life. Even so, knowing the basics of tuning, and in particular how to spot when a drum needs tuning, is a hugely valuable skill in the studio.
Some drummers tune their kit every session, some don’t. Some are taught the skill from day one, others aren’t. Some tune their kits to sound good to them, or to sound great in a live context. Neither of these necessarily guarantee the drums will record well.
I’ve been lucky to record and mix some outstanding drummers over the years, and in the process I learnt the harsh truth – if the drums sound bad in the room, they’ll never sound great recorded or mixed.