TOM TUNING

dunchykong

Senior Member
i have a pacific fxr kit. it says it has true pitch tunning. the 22x18 virgin bass drum has A stamped inside the shell under the date. the 16x14 floor has an A aswell. the 12x9 doesnt say anything under the date, nor does my 14x6 snare, mabee they forgot to stamp them??? anyways, how can i achive these notes with my drums? i tried actually using a guitar tunner but that didnt work well. any suggestions?i love my new kit but tunning is a little off and i know they would sound sweeeet if they were tuned up a bit better.
 

Signals

Senior Member
Re: tuning to pitch????????

dunchykong said:
i have a pacific fxr kit. it says it has true pitch tunning. the 22x18 virgin bass drum has A stamped inside the shell under the date. the 16x14 floor has an A aswell. the 12x9 doesnt say anything under the date, nor does my 14x6 snare, mabee they forgot to stamp them??? anyways, how can i achive these notes with my drums? i tried actually using a guitar tunner but that didnt work well. any suggestions?i love my new kit but tunning is a little off and i know they would sound sweeeet if they were tuned up a bit better.
I'm not 100% certain about this, but I believe the true pitch means that the lugs have more threads to them, thus more precise tuning can be achieved.

I do not believe they are timber matched like DW's shells.

Perhaps someone else can offer clearer information.

Ed
 

rodie

Member
Re: tuning to pitch????????

about the only thing i can recommend would be to have a guitar or bass player play drone notes, and try to pitch-match by ear...normally, with a 5 pc kit, its fairly useless. if you did the terry bozzio thing, or had octobans, you could tune for a true octave, if you're playing a keyboard or guitar duet line. pick a key, tune per note in that key, and play "flight of the bumblebee" along with them.

pitch tuning a standard drum set won't translate as well, since you have large gaps all over the spectrum. trying to fill a 7 note ascending run from 22", 16", 13", and 12" drums won't translate the scale well at all. IMO it's more useful to tune in a general vicinity, simply to compliment the more exact notes of the kb/guitar. let them worry about the specifics...:)
 

wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
Tuning 10" Tom

I've noticed that when I'm tuning my 10" tom, I hardly have to put any tension on the rods to get the sound that i like.
I don't tune it particularly high in pitch, but when I get it to my liking, I notice that the tension rods are really quite loose. Is this normal with smaller toms? Like I stated, I don't have it tuned low at all, in fact it's probably a little higher than most people would have it, but I'm amazed at how little tension are on the rods. Also, how do you get rid of that sympathetic snare buzz from this tom?
Any advice?
Cheers
Phil
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: Tuning 10" Tom

a 10" tom (maple) is the easiest to tune. My birch works well with a variety of heads.

Single ply coated or clear for higher pitch

Pinstripe, powerstroke 3 or g2 for a fatter, wetter sound.

If it's close to the snare, yes I have had it cause buzz, but cut down on that by detuning, replacing the snares with puresound and getting a hazy 300 for the bottom of the snare.

Getting either a high-ish pitch from the 10" or a fatter sounds is easy on that size drum. I use either resonant glass or evans thin black resos.

I have always found the smaller toms easier to get into the sound range I want than the middle toms.
 
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wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
14" tom tuning

Any advice for 14" tom tuning?
Since I got my new kit, with sizes of 8,10,12,14,16 I seem to be having a bit of a hard time as to where the 14" floor fits in.
Do I try to tune it low like the floor tom it is, or because I have the 16"floor, do I get it into the "rack tom" range?
I know it's a hard question to answer, because everyone's tuning is different, but of all the toms, this one seems to give me the most grief.
Thanks
Phil
 

finnhiggins

GONE MUCH TOO EARLY!!!
Re: 14" tom tuning

wooltonboy said:
Any advice for 14" tom tuning?
Since I got my new kit, with sizes of 8,10,12,14,16 I seem to be having a bit of a hard time as to where the 14" floor fits in.
Do I try to tune it low like the floor tom it is, or because I have the 16"floor, do I get it into the "rack tom" range?
I know it's a hard question to answer, because everyone's tuning is different, but of all the toms, this one seems to give me the most grief.
Thanks
Phil
Go low. My advice would be to just tune each drum to its natural "sweet spot" - bring the tension up until you clear wrinkling and start to get a nice solid tone. If you do that with both the 14" and 16" toms you should get a nice interval between them, while still giving you "floor tom" tone on each of them. Two floors is nice, you can do great Bonham triplet type fills.
 
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Thinshells

Guest
Re: 14" tom tuning

IMO a 14" tom should sound like it has a pair. I can't stand it when someone tunes up a 14" and it goes "ding," that's what smaller toms are for. I grew into the world of drumming when a 14" was a formidable sounding tom size...not a lightweight.

Small toms are much better at higher pitches, let them do thier job. The 14" should fit midway between 12 and 16 with no problem.
 

wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
Re: 14" tom tuning

Thinshells said:
IMO a 14" tom should sound like it has a pair. I can't stand it when someone tunes up a 14" and it goes "ding," that's what smaller toms are for. I grew into the world of drumming when a 14" was a formidable sounding tom size...not a lightweight.

Small toms are much better at higher pitches, let them do thier job. The 14" should fit midway between 12 and 16 with no problem.
I think my problem has been where to "fit" the 14" in the mix.
If I do a decending tom roll from 8" to 16", I'm trying to get that "melodic" flow to all the toms.
I'd actually like to get the rack toms up a little higher in pitch, but then should the 14" follow suit, or tune it deeper like a floor tom, therefore having a "drop" from the 12" to the 14"? Surely with a 14x14, I should be able to get somewhat of a deep sound from it?
Maybe it's my tuning of the bootom head. I'm never sure on floor toms how tight the reso should be. There seems to be an equal amount of people who have the reso tighter, as there is looser. The batter on the floor toms always seems to go deeper and more solid sounding when the reso is quite a bit tighter. Anyone else find this?
 

sir_wagner

Member
Re: 14" tom tuning

well I like my reso heads just (very!) slightly looser than the batter...at least i have it that way on my premier kit...can't get my yamaha to sound right anyways ;-)

however the way i like to tune my toms 10;12;14;16 is like the trumpets go...you know like the english hunting theme or whatever...it goes like this: dum dom dim dididim dom dododom dum dom dum boom...well, that helps...doesn't it...you guys must think i'm completely crazy...

complements on that name of yours too...

so long

phil(thy)
 

NickB

Junior Member
Tuning Toms

I use 4 toms on my set-10", 13", 14", and 16" floor. I want to tume them by pitch so they (for lack of better term), harmonize or, blend in pitch. In the past, I've experimented by loosenening or tightening the TOP heads.. What about the bottom? What purpose does the bottom serve in tuning?
 

wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
Reso tuning

Just a (maybe silly) question.
What's the average "turn" on the drum key that you folks use when tuning reso's?
I find that on the batter heads, I only need maybe 1/4 to 1/2 a turn on the key (from finger tight), but I find I'm using much more tension on the reso's to get the same pitch.
Should the reso's be at least a full turn on the key?
Phil
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Re: Reso tuning

Atleast. I don't know how many turns mine have, but my reso's are pretty tight now (atleast I think so)
 

wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
Re: Reso tuning

fourstringdrums said:
Atleast. I don't know how many turns mine have, but my reso's are pretty tight now (atleast I think so)
That's what I figured, thanks.
It's just that I've noticed that if I apply even 1 full turn from finger tight, my reso's sound like a tympany, very tight sounding...strange?
 
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fourstringdrums

Guest
Re: Reso tuning

wooltonboy said:
That's what I figured, thanks.
It's just that I've noticed that if I apply even 1 full turn from finger tight, my reso's sound like a tympany, very tight sounding...strange?
Yea, it's been hard for me to figure out the whole reso tuning thing. It you muffle one head, the other will sound higher, so try holding the drum and hitting the reso without the drum being on the floor, then you'll hear the actual pitch.
 

zildjian_dude101

Silver Member
Re: Reso tuning

i like to tune my batter heads a little tighter, like maybe 2 1/2 turns, then i tune my reso heads a little lower, like 2 turns to give it a high to low sound if u know wat i mean
 

wooltonboy

Pioneer Member
Re: Reso tuning

zildjian_dude101 said:
i like to tune my batter heads a little tighter, like maybe 2 1/2 turns, then i tune my reso heads a little lower, like 2 turns to give it a high to low sound if u know wat i mean
Wow, to me that sounds really tight. I wonder if I'm mistaken on what the term "turn" means?
If the end of one side of the "T" is say pointing "North", one turn to me would mean rotating the key 360 degrees until it's back where you started. Is that what we're all doing?
Because, again, if I used 2 full turns on any of my toms, they surely would sound very very high in pitch. For example, on my rack toms, i use about 1/2 a turn (180 degrees) maximum from just where the tension rod bites into the hoop.
Maybe i have to re-think this tuning thing!...lol Maybe my toms are all way too low in pitch.
 
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