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bgwcl 03-25-2011 03:56 PM

Hal Blaine's Tuning
Hi everyone, I was just listening to some recordings that Hal Blaine played on, and was wondering how he tunes his floor tom/s. That is the exact sounds I've been after, I hear it as being tuned very low. Recommended listening, try 5th Dimension's version of 'Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In' in the verses where Blaine plays just hi hat and floor tom, also sections in the Carpenters' 'Close To You', which he drum on, sporting some melodic drum breaks. Let me know how you think he has achieved it :)

IDDrummer 03-25-2011 04:19 PM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning
Sounds to me like fairly light heads, probably coated Ambassadors, tuned medium low and muffled. You might die laughing, but back in the days when I had a large set of concert toms, I got a similar sound will a felt strip under the head of the toms. Ambassadors, Black Dots, or Silver Dots were the heads of choice.

bgwcl 03-25-2011 04:23 PM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning
Yeh, I thought it was a lightweight head tuned quite low too. Thanks.
Also, nice kit in your picture. I must say I got slightly aroused when I saw it.

IDDrummer 03-25-2011 04:27 PM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning

Originally Posted by bgwcl (Post 818507)
Yeh, I thought it was a lightweight head tuned quite low too. Thanks.
Also, nice kit in your picture. I must say I got slightly aroused when I saw it.

Thanks! I like it too!

TFITTING942 03-25-2011 05:30 PM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning
Hal has such a good sound that if he was unavailable to do a session, sound engineers used to rent his drums. He had more than one kit all tuned the same way. E-mail Hal from his website and ask him about his floor tom tuning. He replied to an e-mail I sent a while ago quickly.

KirbyM 06-10-2011 05:16 AM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning
Hal had special toms made of fiberglass. These were the toms that produced a beautiful melodic sound. In fact, it's my understanding that there were two sets of these toms. The toms were so heavy, they were mounted on Klieg light stands. One of his sets sold a few years ago for $32,000.

It has been said that a major drum manufacturer stole the idea from him then trademarked and patented the melodic sounding toms. Hal apparently lost that battle. Please don't ask me where I read this, I bought a new computer and have no clue where the article is. I had it bookmarked in my old system which is now trash.

Bo Eder 06-10-2011 05:53 AM

Re: Hal Blaine's Tuning
Yeah, back in those days I think clear drumheads were becoming mainstream and black dots were probably the new look everyone was jumping on. If you wanted thicker than an emperor at the time you'd have to actually use calfskin!

If you can learn how to get a nice thick sound with just coated ambassadors, then you are a steely-eyed missle man! In fact, I learned how to do it, so it keeps me from having to try all these newfangled heads like EC2's, etc.... you can learn how too!

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