Rack Toms - sizes & mounted off the kick or not?

D

drumming sort of person

Guest
Re: HuH?

Can you explain how that worked? Diff tunings, for sure? Diff depths?

Can the tunings range that far and still sound good?
I don't think Premier made anything but 14" toms at the time. They were just tuned to different pitches. You can make a 14" drum sound high (snare) or low (floor tom).
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
Size intervals are a funny thing. Consider this: decades ago, the variety in head selection wasn't as varied as it is now. Today's various ply and thickness configurations allow us to get a much broader range of sounds/tones from our shells.

I have a '91 Tama kit w/ a 10x10 and a 11x10 (diameter x depth) that if I use the same type of batter and reso heads on and tune each drum to where I feel it sounds best, the 2 drums sound too similar. If I put a thinner batter on the 10" or a thicker on the 11" and then tune them to where I feel each sounds best, I can get much more separation and the interval between them is much more apparent. To accomplish this, I had to get over my "all batter heads must be the same" mentality.

Choosing batter and reso heads for each drum's size and what type of interval sound you want is much easier to accomplish today than it used to be and the reliance on the actual physical size difference between the toms to attain an interval sound has been reduced -it's still important and significant, just not as much.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
How do you determine what type of interval sound you want?

Is it a note thing? A pitch thing?

I kinda thought the 4 toms were supposed to play that horseracing bugle call song, the 4 note one... know what I mean? That 4 note tune?

Hell, I don't know - trying to learn here.
 

Lee-Bro

Senior Member
How do you determine what type of interval sound you want?

Is it a note thing? A pitch thing?

I kinda thought the 4 toms were supposed to play that horseracing bugle call song, the 4 note one... know what I mean? That 4 note tune?

Hell, I don't know - trying to learn here.
"First Call" is what you're referring to. Some people call it "Call to the Races."

Re: interval, mine isn't scientific. For gigs, I typically play 2 up, 1 down in a 10" 12" 14" configuration. I tune my 12 first and then the 14 and once I'm satisfied how they sound going from another, I tune the 10 in relation to the 12. If I add my 8" tom and 16" floor tom, then I tune the 8 in relation to the 10 and the 16 in relation to the 14. Keep in mind that the gigs I'm playing there's a 50% chance I won't have my toms mic'd -just kick, snare, and 2 overheads. Because of that, I do tend to tune a little bit higher than normal.

All that being said, if I'm playing the entire kit (3 up, 2 down) AND I'm going to be mic'd up, I tune the 16" floor tom first and tune it to where I feel it feels natural and then tune all the smaller toms in succession.

If someone is using a 12, 13, 16 configuration, there's usually enough size difference between the 12 & 13 to where good tuning will give you the separation you're looking for. Would I call it a "true interval?" Probably not. If I wanted to make sure there was enough distinction between the drums, I'd look at putting a single ply batter on the 12 and a (overall) thicker batter on the 13.

Regarding the calculated intervals and tuning to specific notes, there are more qualified people on this forum who do that who can guide you there.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I don't tune to any specific note. I just start with the lowest floor tom and get it as low as I can where it sounds good to me. I don't have perfect pitch so I would have to check with a piano to see what note it was, but it really doesn't matter.
 
M

MasterBlaster

Guest
Interesting. I've read where some tune to a certain key... does anyone here do that?
 

ZildjianLover

Senior Member
I personally prefer to have my toms mounted on a rack or on stands so they do not sympathetically vibrate with the bass drum or vice versa. My drum set is a PDP Double Drive with 8", 10", 12", 14", and 16" toms, and I simply tune the 16" to the lowest note that still has full resonance, and tune the other ones each up a 4th from the previous one.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
My preference to whether or not to mount on the bass drum is down to mechanics and logistics, not sound. I don't mount toms on my Standard kick because I don't have a tom holder that fits the original mount. I do mount the toms on my Yamaha kick, but when I played two up/two down, I had them off to the side on a stand.

If I had a modern mount like the Atlas Arch, I'd use it on my Standards. And I will probably get a tom mount installed on my next set if I buy new.
 
Top