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  #1  
Old 08-10-2012, 06:21 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Reduce ringing from the toms

I've just replaced the top stock heads of my new Yamaha Stage Custom with Evans G2. They now sound much warmer, particularly the floor tom, which now doesn't give off crazy overtones. But I still want to cut the ringing/overtones down a little bit more.

I'm thinking of replacing the bottom heads. Is that the right option?

The stock bottom heads say "180" and top heads "250". Not sure what it means. Maybe I can use the stock top heads on the bottom?
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:26 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

I wouldn't rush to replace the bottom heads.

First, make sure you're spot on with your batter head tuning.
Second, if possible, listen to what your drums sound like up front (10-20 feet in front of the set). I bet you that you will not hear ringing.
Third, if you can't stand the ring, try spots of Moongel, studio rings, or use some kind of hearing protection that cuts out highs.

Ring is part of what helps your drums cut and project; some ring is okay for the audience to hear what you're putting out there.
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Old 08-10-2012, 06:58 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Hi alparrott,

When you say "spot on with your batter head tuning", what do you mean? Do you mean each individual head is in tune with itself, or do you mean in relation to the bottom head?

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm not going to eliminate all the overtones. I just want to reduce it a tiny bit. I was judging it by listening back to a recording, not from my drumming seat. Btw, my drum kit is in my practice room.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:59 AM
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alparrott alparrott is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

When I say "spot on", I mean that all the lugs are in tune with each other. Tap the head an inch in from each tension bolt and listen for pitch differences. The closer you have that, the closer you are to consistent tension over the entire head.

To reduce ring as heard while miking/recording, point the mike 2 to 3 fingers off the head (less for small toms, more for large toms), pointed directly at the drum center, and roll off just a bit of the highs.

I'm not trying to reinvent your wheel here, but I did take your signature at face value ;)
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:15 PM
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Nickropolis Nickropolis is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Two things I've taken to doing lately when tuning:

1: Tune your drum in a sunny place, like by the window. When you're checking for evenness in pitch across the head, look closely at it on an angle for each lug and see if it is vibrating more than any others when you hit it. This might not work for tightly tuned heads as they don't resonate as much.

2: Hit the drum, then put the tip of your finger an inch away from a lug like you would tap it but just barely touch the head. You can feel which lug vibrates more creating those overtones.

If you can't tune it out, try a small amount of mooOOOoOoooongellllllll.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:41 PM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Thanks Nickropolis and alparrott.

If I'm not mistaken, both of you are essentially saying the overtones are caused by lugs out of tune with each other. Got it! I'll try to tune them again to see how it goes.

Btw, how important is the tonal relationship between the top and the bottom heads? Am I right that as long as they don't go dissonant I'll be fine? I skimmed through the online drum tuning bible. The author talks about tuning the top/bottom heads through "zones". I'm not 100% sure what he means.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:07 PM
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciomako View Post
Thanks Nickropolis and alparrott.

If I'm not mistaken, both of you are essentially saying the overtones are caused by lugs out of tune with each other. Got it! I'll try to tune them again to see how it goes.

Btw, how important is the tonal relationship between the top and the bottom heads? Am I right that as long as they don't go dissonant I'll be fine? I skimmed through the online drum tuning bible. The author talks about tuning the top/bottom heads through "zones". I'm not 100% sure what he means.
It's important, and can cause some overtones. There's three schools of thought:
- Tune the heads the same (projection)
- Tune the reso lower (more attack, less resonance)
- Tune the reso higher (pitch bend, less resonance)

But you should try not to tune it just above or just below the tension of the top head - that creates the possibility of dissonant frequencies (hit an A and an A# on a keyboard sometime and you'll hear what I mean). Try to tune one pitch or further away from the batter's pitch if you choose to tune the reso differently (use a pitched instrument, guitar tuner, or pitch pipe to determine how you're doing).
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:52 PM
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Nickropolis Nickropolis is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Invariably this will turn into a tuning thread.

Yeah, pretty much any 'bad' overtones can be tuned out of a drum, unless there's a problem with the drum itself.

After reading a post from a rather experienced recording drummer here about pitch tuning, I gave it a shot. I don't have any training with music so it's harder for me to recognize how far apart the heads would be tuned without a tuner or pitch pipe (ie. I don't know what each increment sounds like).

But, using a tuner and tuning the heads 3 steps apart made a big difference. I was slightly less than that apart without using a tuner so that helped me get it to where it had a good fundamental tone, then fine tune it by ear and touch.

I'm going to look up the thread I found that info in...might blow your mind with how many words there are.

*Edit* This is the post, located here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdrums21 View Post
Howdy,
For all you guys who are struggling with tuning toms, I have a few tips that I've learned over my 30+ year career, along with some things shared to me by several well known artists. I’ll assume that you know the basics of tuning, putting a head on the drum and making sure the lug points on the head are all tuned to the same pitch, that stuff. Ok, here goes. First of all, I see a lot of posts about drummers using hydraulic oil filled heads, or heads that have duct tape or foam insulation taped on them, etc. Heads such as these are rarely, if at all used by professionals in live or recording settings. As a start, try to find what heads your favorite artist uses and see if they work for you. Experiment until you find what you like. Most of the time, well known drummers play their drums wide open with no muffling (with the exception of the bass drum). With that being said, here are tips that I have found to be used by most professionals I have come in contact with.
.
Some drummers like to tune by ear, while others tune to specific notes. Both ways are acceptable, as long as the kit sounds good as a whole and you don't have any weird frequencies causing excessive snare buzz or fighting each other when you strike two drums at the same time. As far as head tension goes, most drummers either tune their top and bottom heads to the same pitch, or bottom head tighter. Bottom head looser is rarely used. Both heads tuned to the same pitch produces a pure, full tone. Bottom head tighter shortens the sustain a bit and gives a firmer surface for the sound to reflect off of and “throws the sound back up at you” so to speak. Different drums and materials sound different, you just have to experiment. Both heads tuned the same might sound good on a tom from one kit, but it might have too much resonance if it’s the same size tom from a kit made from a different material.

If you want to tune by notes and have your toms be tuned to specific intervals (thirds, fourths, fifths) buy a pitch pipe. It helps a lot and you’ll know that your heads will be in tune every time. If not, just go with whatever sounds good to your ear. Famous drummers who do tune by their ear still end up having their drums be a specific pitch, whatever that may be, they just don’t consciously tune to that same pitch every time.. Put the heads on your toms, tune them up way tighter than you would play them, making sure the lug points are all the same pitch, and let them sit overnight. This allows the heads to stretch and properly seat themselves on the bearing edge. Next, start with the top head and go around the drum loosening the lugs, pressing on the center of the head until you reach the desired pitch. Too tight and the head feels like a table top, too loose and the head feels to floppy. Once you find the desired pitch, do the same to the bottom head.

Now here’s the cool stuff. Once the toms are tuned to the pitch you like with both heads the same, see how the whole kit sounds together. If you are getting a lot of weird overtones and snare buzz and you’ve tweaked the tuning of the drums a bit and still have a problem, here’s my suggestion.
With a pitch pipe, find what note your floor tom is tuned to on the top head. Most floor toms that I have heard seem to sound good at a “B” or “C”. If both heads are tuned to say a B, the drum will sustain a lot and feel a tad mushy. If you tune the bottom head up three notes higher (a minor third) the sustain will be a bit less, and the drum will feel about right. My point is, try tuning the bottom heads of your toms a minor third higher on the bottom. It helps to control the amount of sustain, has a pitch relationship with the top head so you don’t have dissonance between the two heads, and gives the drum some life. Now, to reduce more unwanted overtones, you should get the drums in tune with themselves. If you have 2 inch differences between your toms (i.e. 10,12,14,16) your drums will probably lend themselves to be tuned a major third (four notes) or a fourth (five notes) apart. If your toms are not 2 inches apart and configured differently, go with an interval that’s appropriate. For instance if you have 12” and 13” toms, you may want to tune them a minor third apart. If your drums are say 10”,13” and 16” like mine, try tuning in fifths.

For the record, here are the tom sizes on my kit, the heads I use and how I tune them. If nothing else, it can be a point of reference, but every drummer that has played my kit, even some famous players, have loved the way they felt and sounded.
Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute Nouveau
10x7.5 tom
13x9 tom
16x14 tom
Heads are usually coated or clear ambassadors, sometimes coated or clear emperors.
NO MUFFLING!!!
The 10” tom has the top head tuned to a “B” and the bottom head a minor third higher to a “D”. The 13” tom has the top head tuned to an “F” and the bottom head a minor third higher to a “G#”. The 16” floor tom has the top head tuned to a “B” and the bottom head a minor third higher to a “D”. They sound and feel great, no overtones or snare buzz. Please post some comments if you try this technique, or if you just want to say stuff about it. Good luck and happy tuning!!

Last edited by Nickropolis; 08-10-2012 at 05:15 PM. Reason: informations
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  #9  
Old 08-15-2012, 04:52 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Thanks guys for all the ideas!
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  #10  
Old 08-20-2012, 02:27 PM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Update.

I think I've finally nailed down the tuning of the toms. I now have the reso side tuned a 3rd minor above than the batter side, and have each tom a perfect 4th apart from each other. Whew.

Now the snare is giving headache. I got Remo Fiberskyn on the batter side and the stock head on the reso side. It rings like mad. Any slight off-center hit will ring. I've tried many combinations of tuning but nothing seemed to help.

I'm now thinking of giving an Evans 300 for snare side a shot.

Any suggestion? To recap, my kit is a Yamaha Stage Custom Birch.
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Last edited by sciomako; 08-21-2012 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Mistyped "300" as "200"
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  #11  
Old 08-20-2012, 04:58 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Based on what you've described for a desired sound, I would strongly recommend trying EC2S in the future. In the meantime, experimenting with the tension ratio between your batter and reso heads should give you some control over the sustain, though not necessarily to the degree of the EC2S.

Cheers!
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Old 08-20-2012, 05:08 PM
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Dre25 Dre25 is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

I saw David Jones in clinic recently. He used EC2's as reso heads. First time I'd seen that but it's prob not a bad idea, I want to try it.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:06 AM
sciomako sciomako is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

The Yamaha SC kit comes with a 3/4" o-ring. Putting it on the snare kills all the overtones. It's too dry to my liking. I got a feeling EC2 will give a similar result.

I still think the thin stock reso head is the culprit. Unless someone tells me I'm barking up the wrong tree, I'm heading down to the shop today to get an Evans 300...
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:32 AM
JBoom JBoom is offline
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Default Re: Reduce ringing from the toms

Quote:
Originally Posted by sciomako View Post
The Yamaha SC kit comes with a 3/4" o-ring. Putting it on the snare kills all the overtones. It's too dry to my liking. I got a feeling EC2 will give a similar result.

I still think the thin stock reso head is the culprit. Unless someone tells me I'm barking up the wrong tree, I'm heading down to the shop today to get an Evans 300...
With a snare, bottom head choice isn't going to do much for ringing either way, in my experience. An O-ring might be too much, but something like Moongel might do the trick (especially since you can cut it smaller if the stock size is too much). I find with the snare, some dampening is necessary but I agree that an O-ring is probably overkill for most people's taste.

All that said, stock heads are usually junk and should be replaced anyway.
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