Tom Sustain

drthemez

Senior Member
Ok, I'm going to give my best shot at trying to explain this. I dont know if "sustain" is the word im looking for but i was wondering if i wanted to cut down on the length of the ring from the toms would coated heads help with this at all? My set has a sound a lot would probably kill for, but for some reason i have always preferred my toms to cut out a little faster when you hit them. I want to be able to hear each stroke just a little more clearly. I dont want it to be to the point where i'm muffling the drum because i do like a little sustain.

So basically will switching from a say EC2 clear head to something coated help with cutting off the drum just a little bit sooner? Sorry if i confused anyone, thanks for the help!
 

Konne

Member
Tune the resonancehead (bottomhead) a little bit higher then the tophead and the "sustain" will drop off faster!
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
Ok, I'm going to give my best shot at trying to explain this. I dont know if "sustain" is the word im looking for but i was wondering if i wanted to cut down on the length of the ring from the toms would coated heads help with this at all? My set has a sound a lot would probably kill for, but for some reason i have always preferred my toms to cut out a little faster when you hit them. I want to be able to hear each stroke just a little more clearly. I dont want it to be to the point where i'm muffling the drum because i do like a little sustain.

So basically will switching from a say EC2 clear head to something coated help with cutting off the drum just a little bit sooner? Sorry if i confused anyone, thanks for the help!
Hmmm, cutting down sustain is a tuning thing, & easy to do. The reso head a little lower or higher than the batter will work. If that's not enough, then a change to muffled heads will do the job. Thing is, I'm not sure if you really mean sustain, or overtones. Overtones are the rings you get that aren't the fundamental tone. Essentially, your drum produces a dominant tone, plus a bunch of other (usually higher) tones. You already use a batter head that's specifically designed to cut down on overtones, so going for something even more muffled may just cut most of the tone out of your drum. Don't forget, without those overtones & sustain, your toms will sound very flat in a band situation. Are you playing out live? Live (especially amplified) music sucks the sustain & overtones right out of the mix.

Another thing that you need to know. You say you want to hear each stroke a little more clearly? A coated head will achieve exactly the reverse. Coated heads reduce attack (& overtones to a degree), therefore allowing the fundamental tone to dominate. My toms are specifically tuned for maximum resonance but with a nod to durability. The following clip features toms with quite a bit of sustain but with subdued overtones. Is this sound that you mean by sustain? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyWG-eCo2uc
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Another route you may try is getting a set of studio/sound rings. Remo and Evans both make them, and I'm sure others do too. I've used them before, and they seem to accomplish what you are trying to, however it seemed to take away from the overall sound and projection. Guess there's ups and downs either way you go. But I would do as suggested first and try to fix it with tuning. Tightening up your reso head a little willl do wonders.
 

Fuo

Platinum Member
Another route you may try is getting a set of studio/sound rings. Remo and Evans both make them, and I'm sure others do too. I've used them before, and they seem to accomplish what you are trying to, however it seemed to take away from the overall sound and projection. Guess there's ups and downs either way you go. But I would do as suggested first and try to fix it with tuning. Tightening up your reso head a little willl do wonders.
i like erings too... but i'm just playing by myself so i don't need sustain and overtones to cut through. I tune my toms with even pitch top and bottom (or as close as my tuning skills allow), so they ring as long and clear as possible, then use a ring to slightly dampen and focus that sound (they take away the boinginess, and lower the pitch a little).

i tried different top and bottom tunings as alternative, but my tuning skills are still a work in progress, and that's just too many variables for me at this point. erings and nice, cheap, clean (no duct tape guminess), and instantly removable.

i'm using clear EC2 SSTs over G1 (emperor reso on floor tom).
 

drthemez

Senior Member
Thanks for all the replies. Let me try to give an example. I was in guitar center playing a OCDP cherry kit (the travis barker one) thats supposed to sound like acrolite drums i think. Anyway, my triplets were so distinct and clear because you could hear each stroke and then the note would just cut off. I have a epic x-over walnut set and when i do triplets real fast its harder than when i did them on that cherry set because the notes seem to last longer and i cant hear when my sticks are hitting as well. The guy at guitar center said i could do a straight up trade for the OCDP cherry kit for my epic x-over but i really dont want to trade a 1200-1300 kit for a 800 kit ya know? The Cherry kit had smooth white ambassadors so i thought maybe it had something to do with the heads, but its probably mostly the wood. The walnut sounds amazing and i know i am really just being picky, i just figured it was worth a shot to ask. Thanks again for the help, and anymore is appreciated!
 

Paul Quin

Pioneer Member
mmmmm! I may have to use the title of this thread as my name on the next session for which I would like to keep my appearance anonymous! I have previously been credited as Matt Finish but I think I like Tom Sustain much better!

nN regard to the actual question - is the sound you are looking for morer akin to those early 1980. "thud" tom sounds? If so, try a heavier hydraulic head (two heads separated by a thin oil to reduce intra head friction). That signature early 1980's rock sound (think Gadd etc.), relied on Evans Hydraulic heads.

Just a thought

Paul
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Thinner resonant heads should do just what you are trying to achieve.
If he goes with anzi's suggestion, his sound wont change, just the sustain will. Using extra muffling...kills the drum even more. Diplomat weight (7 mil) single ply coated or clear heads will shorten the sustain of the drum without sacrificing the personality of the drums by muffling.
I'm no fan of tom muffling so I'm way biased.
 

Travis22

Senior Member
Thanks for all the replies. Let me try to give an example. I was in guitar center playing a OCDP cherry kit (the travis barker one) thats supposed to sound like acrolite drums i think. Anyway, my triplets were so distinct and clear because you could hear each stroke and then the note would just cut off. I have a epic x-over walnut set and when i do triplets real fast its harder than when i did them on that cherry set because the notes seem to last longer and i cant hear when my sticks are hitting as well. The guy at guitar center said i could do a straight up trade for the OCDP cherry kit for my epic x-over but i really dont want to trade a 1200-1300 kit for a 800 kit ya know? The Cherry kit had smooth white ambassadors so i thought maybe it had something to do with the heads, but its probably mostly the wood. The walnut sounds amazing and i know i am really just being picky, i just figured it was worth a shot to ask. Thanks again for the help, and anymore is appreciated!
I think you are likely right, it probably has to do with the differences in wood. I'm sure if you tinkered enough with what you have you could find a sweet spot that gives you that clearity you have in mind. Did the OCDP's have shallower toms than what you have? Just curious, cause that might be part of it too.
 

drthemez

Senior Member
I think you are likely right, it probably has to do with the differences in wood. I'm sure if you tinkered enough with what you have you could find a sweet spot that gives you that clearity you have in mind. Did the OCDP's have shallower toms than what you have? Just curious, cause that might be part of it too.
No actually everything was the exact same size, except the rack tom on the cherry set was actually 1" deeper. The drums on the cherry kit did seem kind of dead, and i definately like the sound of mine better if only they didnt carry out so long. Mostly its my floor tom, when im doing a triplet between the bass drum , floor tom, and rack tom i always get that constant rumble from the floor tom and it messes me up when im going fast because the rumble just blurs everything up. Maybe its the size or heads on that, or even the way i have it tuned... i will keep messing with it to see if i can get a sweet spot. Its a 16" x 14" btw and i'm using EC2 over G1's for both toms. Thanks again
 

drthemez

Senior Member
If he goes with anzi's suggestion, his sound wont change, just the sustain will. Using extra muffling...kills the drum even more. Diplomat weight (7 mil) single ply coated or clear heads will shorten the sustain of the drum without sacrificing the personality of the drums by muffling.
I'm no fan of tom muffling so I'm way biased.
With a thinner 7 mil reso head will i get a papery sound though? Right now i'm using G1's which i believe are 10 mil.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
That's a good question....I wouldn't say it's papery (unless you had it tuned real low maybe) I used them on my toms and at first I liked them, but after listening back to a recording of a gig I did with them, I decided I didn't like what it did to the sustain. I thought it made the drum crisper, but quicker. I like loooong tom notes, so they were off the next day. It's a fact that the less the mass of the head, the less the sustain. (assuming single ply) You would have to decide if it's the right head for you. But it will do what you are asking. Whether the resulting sound is pleasing to your ear is your call
 

KarlCrafton

Platinum Member
That Barker kit has the Smooth white head, and that film sounds different than the clear.
It's like a coated head with a little more bite to it.

Not sure if the Barker kit has a SW on the bottom, but a SW Emp. and a SW Ambassador will have the effect of less sustain (shorter note) than any clear head combo.

I have Coated Ambassadors on top and bottom of my drums (I have a 14x16 too), and the length of the actual tone is shorter than with a clear bottom. It's fat, solid and has a nice punch to it. I tension the bottom tighter than the top and it gets a quicker sound, and the length of sustain I like, without excess rumble.

Before the coated t&b, I had Smooth White heads on the bottom and it was a similar sound, but it had more bite to it.

Maybe try one tom and experiment with a couple different heads, but a coated or smooth white on top & bottom will have a shorter sounding tone.

Good luck!
 
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