Tuning thoughts

drummingman

Gold Member
So, I've been looking into Sleishman drums as of late. For those of you that don't know about them both heads tune to the same pitch with their system.

This really got me thinking about tuning. On a normal drum is there really a good reason to tune the bottom head different from the top head? When I've done this I've always gotten a funky pitch bend that has always been undesirable.

Before I go and buy a drumset that can only tune both heads the same I want to really consider if there's any advantage at all to being able to tune the top and bottom heads differently.
 

Aeolian

Platinum Member
I tune the reso heads higher to control the sustain. The more differential, the less sustain. Carpet behind the stage, similar tuning and more sound, stuck in a hard boomy corner, then more differential. Also the slight downward pitch bend as the bottom head stops and the looser top head continues makes the drums sound a bit bigger to my ear. I confess that folks who tune the reso heads really loose trying to get the lowest pitch out of the drum may be troubled by the Baawhooouuuum upward pitch bend.

Also, if you use different head weights with the Sleishman, you're going to get different pitches. They just equalize the tension.
 

Soupy

Silver Member
I'd like to know exactly what ratio of pitch you get when using different heads on a Sleishman. Particularly with G+, G14, and G2 heads over a G1, as well as what difference coated vs clear make.
 

B-squared

Silver Member
I prefer my reso heads tighter than the batter on all my drums, particularly on the snare and bass drum. This is one of those subjects where a drummers poll would be interesting.
 

keep it simple

Platinum Member
When I've done this I've always gotten a funky pitch bend that has always been undesirable.
This is because you've not explored the differentials correctly/enough. It requires a degree of fine tuning to get it right. Different head tensions do not have to equate to pitch bend. Additionally, tuning the reso tighter than the batter can actually equate to more body in the sound. Depending on the drum, generating greater resonance in the shell via differential tuning can equate to greater head sustain, not less.

Also, if you use different head weights with the Sleishman, you're going to get different pitches. They just equalize the tension.
This is an issue, but not the biggest one. Any fully free floating drum relies on accurately made heads to ensure even tuning at each lug point. Regrettably, not every head you buy is totally even around the periphery, & that can lead to undesirable affects if you can't adjust for inaccuracy.

In general, I'm a big fan of free floating drums, & Sleishman make a great drum. Free floating designs do have advantages, not least of all in tuning ease & increased resonance, but with most designs, there's no such thing as a free lunch.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I notice a reduced initial attack with unison tuned heads...prob due to sympathetic vibration stealing energy to get the second head vibrating...but its pretty subtle.

I prefer the sound of lower tuned reso with a higher tuned batter...usually in octave interval.
 
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