View Full Version : drum dial setting suggestions please

11-24-2009, 10:11 AM
Ok, please dont all come back saying you have got to learn to tune by ear, or keep trying till you find the sound that is right for you.

I suck at tuning drums, I cannot hear if a singer or guitar is out of tune so perhaps that is why. so I have a tama drum dial. I got the drum shop to tune my DW's wrote down the settings and then everynow and then every now and then check them with the dial(why do those little toms always go out of tune)

Anyway I got a new drum kit straight from the manufacturer yesterday. Tuned it using the DW settings and it sounds awefull. Could be that there are different types of drum heads. so I went to the tension chart and tried the settings there--still sucks. Went on the internet to find other suggestions and noticed that there was another drum dial around, and that one suggested completely different settings.

So my question is--does anyone use a drum dial? which make? what size drums do you have and what heads? what settings do you use?

11-24-2009, 01:10 PM
i use the one that is called drumdial www.drumdial.com

13 tom coated batter 72
13 tom clear resonant 70
16 tom coated batter 70-71
16 tom coated batter 70
14 snare coated batter 90
14 snare resonant 85
24 kick batter 73
24 kick resonant 75

11-24-2009, 02:10 PM
There are soo many variables when it comes to tuning drums. It's not just the type of heads, but their thickness and number of plies. It's the make of the shells, their bearing edges and also the depth pf the drum. This is why the Drum Dials and Tama Watches or what ever they're called, have such difficulties deciphering what's what. Being mechanical devices, they cannot give you a sonic result as how the drum sounds, they can only read tension from the drum head. That's why most of us preach learning to tune by ear. You cannot fool your ears, if the drums in tune, it sounds good to your ears, if it's not in tune, you use your ears to get it in tune. Anyway, I really don't believe the numbers would be compatible between the two devices.


11-24-2009, 02:11 PM
On toms, I like the reso tighter than the batter. I go about 74 batter, 83 reso
snare drum, 85 batter, reso 95

11-24-2009, 02:21 PM
I use the drum dial. There is only one model.

Mapex 8 Remo Ambassador Suede 77 Remo Clear Ambassador 77 G
Mapex 10 Remo Ambassador Suede 75 Remo Clear Ambassador 75 D
Mapex 12 Remo Ambassador Suede 74 Remo Clear Ambassador 74 Bb
Mapex 14 Remo Ambassador Suede 74 Remo Clear Ambassador 74 F
Mapex 16 Remo Ambassador Suede 70 Remo Clear Ambassador 70 C
Mapex 22 Remo PS3 Clear 76 Remo PS3 Ebony 5" port 76

PDP 10 Remo Ambassador Coat 74 Remo Clear Ambassador 74
PDP 12 Remo Ambassador Coat 74 Remo Clear Ambassador 74
PDP 14 Remo Ambassador Coat 72 Remo Clear Ambassador 72
PDP 16 Remo Ambassador Coat 72 Remo Clear Ambassador 72
PDP 24 Remo PS3 Clear 75 Remo PS3 Ebony 5" port 75

Gretsch 12 Evans G1 Coat 78 Evans G1 Clear 78
Gretsch 14 Evans G1 Coat 75 Evans G1 Clear 72
Gretsch 18 Remo Ambassador Coat 78 Stock Unported 74

11-24-2009, 05:52 PM
I set all my toms to 70, then adjust from there.

I've never found it to be useful on a snare drum.

11-24-2009, 10:19 PM
If you have the Tama Tension Watch then you might try around 60 on both sides of all drums with the Dial in the center of the head to get in the ball park.
You are still going to have to tune by ear and gradually bring the head up to pitch and in tune with itself. I have never nor heard of anyone who has been able to get it to work like the directions say. You cannot just crank each lug to 60 and expect the drum to be in tune.

11-24-2009, 11:40 PM
the drumdial works for me. I have to tune drums and even change heads in situations where I am not aloud to make noise. (people eating dinner)

The best way to use it for me is to take readings when things are sounding good and I keep those readings written on the box, then I can repeat those sounds pretty quickly. I do change heads alot more than most people, I change batters every month and resos every 3rd month.

11-27-2009, 01:02 AM
thanks every one. I have borrowed a friend drumdial, and the readings are different to that Tama one. I have picked between what people are using. set the bottom head to 75 the top to 73 and then when I got the drums back on the quit amazed myself by deciding to tweek them to get what i wanted.