Mounting my drums kills sustain

Yeah, like they all say, the rim mounts are fantastic. I have STM mounts and they really open up my toms. As for floor toms, do you know that egg shell foam stuff? Or maybe memory foam... meh. Cut sections of foam. Just maybe a 2 inch by 2 inch square, or slightly bigger. Put them underneath the floor tom legs. It really opens up the resonance. If it's too much, you can take one or 2 of them out from the legs, and it holds it back some. My friend taught me this and it works really well.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
To get the head in tune with itself it's better to isolate it, hence putting the drum on a towl, carpet, etc. to kill the other head. It's not so unusual. Have you never watched a Bob Gatzen video?
About the only time I do that, is when I put a new head on, and not always then. I've always tuned with my drums set up. I raise the bigger of the 2 rack toms just enough to reach the reso with a key. So I don't scratch my kick. Been doing it that way over 40 yr.'s. I take that back. I probably didn't tune at all when I was young. So about 30 yr.'s.
 

drumdevil9

Platinum Member
I didn't use the Bob Gatzen comment to suggest that he's the be-all, end-all tuning Guru. It's just that Old Hyde was making it seem like tuning that way is some weird one-off anomaly. It isn't. Of course fine-tuning and final adjustments can and should be done mounted. I have never tuned a reso while mounted, though.

To be clear, here's my process:

Tune reso with tom on some flat surface.
Tune batter on some flat surface. (tightness will depend on sound I'm going for)
Pick up drum by the rim; hit.
Adjust as needed.
Mount; adjust batter as needed.

I was doing this before I ever heard of Bob Gatzen. I was actually surprised to find that we use similar techniques.
 

BGH

Gold Member
I didn't use the Bob Gatzen comment to suggest that he's the be-all, end-all tuning Guru. It's just that Old Hyde was making it seem like tuning that way is some weird one-off anomaly. It isn't. Of course fine-tuning and final adjustments can and should be done mounted. I have never tuned a reso while mounted, though.

To be clear, here's my process:

Tune reso with tom on some flat surface.
Tune batter on some flat surface. (tightness will depend on sound I'm going for)
Pick up drum by the rim; hit.
Adjust as needed.
Mount; adjust batter as needed.

I was doing this before I ever heard of Bob Gatzen. I was actually surprised to find that we use similar techniques.
This is also my exact process. I've done it this way for decades. I don't mount the drum until the final tuning adjustment step. Usually, I'm tuning a drum in the vicinity of my kit. 'Some flat surface' is usually a corner of my drum rug. Sure, it changes the tone, but at that point I'm just trying to get the head in tune with itself. It actually helps to have the opposite head dead, while tuning the subject head (IMO). Once both heads are in tune with themselves, I hoist the drum up by one rim, and check it and go from there.

I will say, that once a drum is in tune, future tunings are almost always done while mounted. Now I'm talking about fine tuning at a gig or rehearsal or at home. So, if I'm all set up and sound checking and need to tweek, yes that is done while the tom is mounted. If something is way out of whack, I'll take it down and start from scratch.
 
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poika

Silver Member
I didn't use the Bob Gatzen comment to suggest that he's the be-all, end-all tuning Guru.
Oh no, don't get me wrong.. I have nothing against Mr Gatzen, I've learned a lot from watching those youtube clips.

Actually my way of tuning drums has been pretty much the same as you described, but lately I've been trying to experiment with some different methods.

And for what it's worth I still suck at it.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
I don't know any drummers that tune toms while they're mounted. Fine tuning, maybe at a gig? Yes, but tuning a tom from scratch? Nope. I'll sit on the floor or the couch and tune one side at a time, then fine tune both heads until I like what I hear.

QUOTE]

when I place a tom on the floor and hit it, the note isn't even the same as when its mounted. it usually sounds higher and its not reacting off of the reso or the timbre from the shell? has the world gone crazy?? I tune with a key in one hand and a stick in another while its mounted. Iwhere did you learn to tune like that?
I don't think the whole world's gone crazy. Most people tune that way. Here are instructional vids from John Good at DW and Weckl. Frankly, I'm listening to them first.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yl9wgXSfxew

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0rVntds_oY

You normally get the head in tune with itself first. That is done off of the mount, listening to only one head.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
I tried to bail on this stupid thread but they keep pulling me back in.....YOU PEOPLE ARE TUNING TWICE!!!!! where is the logic in that????????????????? I tune , then mount and tune again????????
 

drumfoundry.com

Junior Member
You will get certain levels of sustain/non sustain depending on where the mount is located on the L arm.

1) Tune your drum off the mount to where you usually do.
2) Mount and tighten your tom on the L arm, starting at the tippy top of the L arm.
3) Play the tom and make a mental note of the sustain.
4) Move the mount 1/4" down, retighten and play again noting the sustain.
5) Move the tom all the way down the arm to find the best resonant spot.
 

EricT43

Senior Member
I tried to bail on this stupid thread but they keep pulling me back in.....YOU PEOPLE ARE TUNING TWICE!!!!! where is the logic in that????????????????? I tune , then mount and tune again????????
Haha, yep that's right! If I had an assistant, I could have her (my wife of course) get underneath the kit and mute the reso heads while I tune the batters, and then switch spots to I can tune the resos. But, she'd tell me to go to hell if I asked her to do this, so that's why I tune off the kit first.

Question for you - can you just hit your open tom and be able to tell if one of your bottom lugs is too tight or too loose? How can you do it?

You will get certain levels of sustain/non sustain depending on where the mount is located on the L arm.

1) Tune your drum off the mount to where you usually do.
2) Mount and tighten your tom on the L arm, starting at the tippy top of the L arm.
3) Play the tom and make a mental note of the sustain.
4) Move the mount 1/4" down, retighten and play again noting the sustain.
5) Move the tom all the way down the arm to find the best resonant spot.
That's interesting, I will experiment with this a bit. I imagine that my memory locks also have an effect.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
Question for you - can you just hit your open tom and be able to tell if one of your bottom lugs is too tight or too loose? How can you do it?



QUOTE]

Do you mean when or if im out of tune , can I tell if its a top or bottom lug?
 

JasperGTR

Senior Member
Wow. I had no idea there was such controversy here.

I definitely appreciate this thread, in its entirety, so guys like me can learn.

I've always tuned while mounted, because the drum, while mounted, takes on a different property. I tune FOR it, not tune without it and then retune. In fact, my drum head choices are made while the drums are mounted. Not off the mount, because of different properties, etc...
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
for me, I always tune the top, at gigs, practice whatever. the bottom I go by tension. I run the key around and feel the lugs to make sure they are all tight. the only tuning I need to do is the top head. as far as the reso side, I never replace those heads, they don't wear out in my experience. the ones on the bottom of my pearl kit are 25 years old and still look new. I did have them off once when I refinished the kit, and I did tighten these off the drum, I think I even held it on an angle to hear if it was in tune where I like it. for me, my top heads get the tune on my drums, my bottoms being tight, bring out the real volume and tone and sustain.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
for me, I always tune the top, at gigs, practice whatever. the bottom I go by tension. I run the key around and feel the lugs to make sure they are all tight. the only tuning I need to do is the top head. as far as the reso side, I never replace those heads, they don't wear out in my experience. the ones on the bottom of my pearl kit are 25 years old and still look new. I did have them off once when I refinished the kit, and I did tighten these off the drum, I think I even held it on an angle to hear if it was in tune where I like it. for me, my top heads get the tune on my drums, my bottoms being tight, bring out the real volume and tone and sustain.
We are going to have to agree to disagree because I disagree with almost everything you said here.

But hey, different strokes.
 
T

The Old Hyde

Guest
actually jeff I don't care, I was answering a hypothetical question from erict43 so you can stop commenting on my posts in this thread, he asked and I answered, leave me alone dude.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ok, I think I'll chime in here. I've lost count of the number of tuning/isolation experiments we've done, so what I'm about to summarise is composite drawn from those tests.

A drum is affected by everything around it. If we extract the room & other mass proximity affects, everything in contact with the drum, no matter how isolated, & if very close, completely isolated, has an affect. Tuning off the mount provides ready access to tune the drum in isolation. It's a base line, a starting point. Fine tuning according to external influences once the drum is mounted is the second stage. Of course, you can tune solely on the mounts & fully in situ, but it's a less practical way of getting to first base.

If the drum sounds good when tuned off the mount, but changes substantially when on the mount, it's telling you something about the mounting method - in combination with other near influences (for example, how close the tom reso head is to the top of the bass drum). Where this all becomes more complicated is separating what's actually happening. The old nut of head sustain being confused for shell resonance is a classic blind alley. When you mount the drum, just because you might get less head sustain doesn't mean that the drum is necessarily in a less resonant condition. You have to step away from the kit to really appreciate that. It's quite possible that the real note length from the drum remains unchanged, & that's the bit that really translates into a satisfying tone. Exceptions to that are under close mic conditions, especially when recording.

As for raising pitch, that's an easy one. Pitch raises by a number of mechanisms outside of drum volume & tuning. An increase in higher overtones can give the impression of raised pitch. Certainly, an increase in both directly connected & near mass can raise pitch, as it's actually adding mass to the drum, & that in turn increases the frequency at which the whole instrument resonates.

The bottom line is this, the bigger the change in drum performance when mounted, the more you need to look at what's making that happen, but don't get too hung up on what you're hearing if you're tuned purely to head sustain. You're zeroing in on only one of many elements that contribute to the resolved sound. How that sound manifests itself is very dependent on the application, & also your expectations. I could go on, but the science really gets boring. In the real world, if you're focussed on head sustain (as most drummers are), then isolate as best you can. If you look deeper than that, then concentrate on the drum construction & tune sympathetically to the strengths of that construction, the room, & the performance environment.
 
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