View Single Post
Old 01-28-2018, 12:08 AM
Les Ismore's Avatar
Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Location, Location!
Posts: 5,503
Default Re: Question about Shell Tone and Tuning w/Tune-Bot

Originally Posted by Zeus Mutation View Post
Hi everyone!

I recently bought a new kit and a tune-bot studio. This has sent me on a quest to better understand my drum tone. The advertisement about having control like a string player is pretty close. I find myself experimenting with head type and various top & bottom tensions. Now I have questions... wondering what everyone else thinks?

My question begins regarding a 14" floor tom. In reading the article here:
A 14" floor toms lowest note is 75Hz That's a second octave D# (sharp). Range being 75-110Hz D#-A2 (second octave).

Tuning a 14" Floor tom to an E2 is approximately 82Hz

Do you think the shell's natural timbre would adversely affect the tone if it were to be different from that E of 82Hz? In other words, Would the drum size matter if it could be tuned to a E2 regardless?

Now, here is why I'm off the rails. What I hate most about the feel of drums is what I call a loose batter that has a thwack type ripple before the articulation of attack or resonance is heard. This usually has me tensioning to a certain "feel" of my batter head. Then I adjust my resonant to achieve the overall fundamental note I seek.
The issue for me, although that works pretty well. I want to tune both heads the same for max res. I tested 3 ways and I just prefer full and open... and this now has me asking about specific frequencies.

So, this is where I am... My 14" Floor is a DW Collectors. Therefore the timbre note is listed. It's a Bb (B flat). Hmm... Okay, so with the tune-bot and a lot of patience I explored this drums Bb marking. The lowest octave Bb I could get to sound sweet was at 116Hz, again a second octave Bb. Which is 5 steps/semi-tones or a "perfect fourth' away from the note I want to max out the resonance at (E2 82Hz).

Do you think a 14" floor tom with a note closer to that desired E would make a sonic difference?

Would you guess every 14" tom of the same general materials tuned to an E2 of 82Hz sounds the same?

Now my sickness has me expanding...

A 16" Floor tom being listed with a range of 65 - 95Hz or C2 - F#2.
My "tension" concern, that thwack sound, can simply get more tension on the head and still achieve the E2 note. Does the 14 tuned to the same note have the same head tension? I'll have to experiment with that tomorrow...

I'm probably over thinking this but, wondering if starting with shells naturally closer to the note & octave you want to tune to sounds better than a drum tuned to a note "within its general size range" of notes?

Thanks for reading. I'll appreciate the feedback.

Originally Posted by Zeus Mutation View Post
So... to add... I just tuned my 16 x14 Floor tom and my 14x14 Floor tom the exact same, same tensions, same heads, same overall fundamental note. The 16 sounds lower... even my wife thought she heard a difference.

I don't know what this means... but its interesting.

Originally Posted by Zeus Mutation View Post

The 16 sounds warmer and of course lower than the 14 tuned the same way. Both darn drums ring at 82Hz and the head tension is almost the same too... just the 14 sounds higher overall.

You have the wrong tool for the job. TUNEBOT does not read the fundamental note(s), its simply picking up head resonance.

As Larry said in post #12 he (and everyone else on this planet) tunes their drums to notes, its what we do. The difference is... some do not know the notes they've tuned said drums to.

So your TUNEBOT is simply not giving you the 'whole' picture. When you tune your 16 and 14 with the TB to the same numbers, of course the 16 is going to sound lower, its fundamental is lower. Its not just the heads, its the drums construction, hardware, how the drum is floated on the floor, all these factors contribute. TUNEBOT doesn't allow for these real world factors in the tuning process, its just reading an isolated 'drumhead' note- head resonance, its not reading the note(s) the whole drum is producing when struck.

You'd need a RESOTUNE II type devise to read both fundamental and head resonance, its a next level drum tuner. With a RTII tuner I always tune to the drums fundamental... not a factory stamped note, but my desired fundamental, Im not at all concerned with head resonance. RTII will let you tune head resonance also but the drum in total limits the combinations of both.
Reply With Quote