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  #1  
Old 04-08-2013, 08:58 PM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

I feel that I'm relatively capable of tuning my drums pretty good. Right now they sound like I "think" they should sound. How do you know when you've reached that optimal sound for your drum(s)? There are just so many variables to take in to account like the type of batter/reso head and such.

Right now I have (for batters) G2's on my 10", 12" & 16" toms; a G1 on my 8" and an Ambassador on my snare.

The resos are all stock - eventually, I'll put G1's/Ambassadors across the board.

I know this is highly personal regarding taste, but I'm just striving to make the best sound I can.

BTW, my bass is PS3 batter and Stock Gretsch reso.

Thanks!!
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

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Originally Posted by mmulcahy1 View Post
I feel that I'm relatively capable of tuning my drums pretty good. Right now they sound like I "think" they should sound.
You have the answer right there. e
Everybody has a sound in their head they are trying to achieve, with their drums, cymbals, technique. Thats what you strive for. To me the kit, including all the tunings and head choices is an endless source of experimentation in sound.
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Old 04-08-2013, 09:07 PM
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mmulcahy1 mmulcahy1 is offline
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

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You have the answer right there. e
Everybody has a sound in their head they are trying to achieve.
Sometimes, when I change a head I can't get the "sound" back to where it was. I now have a new dynamic to adjust to. It still sounds pretty damned good, but it's not where I was - you know what I mean?
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Old 04-08-2013, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

As for your question, how do you know? When you like the sound from a distance, which only a recorder can do for you. Because no one touches the drums like you do. It''s a big factor.

Placing a recorder about 15 feet away from your drums....when you listen back...that is the real ear opener. So many times.... I like it from the throne, but out where it counts, in the audience, it's not what I want.

The first time I did this, I ripped off what little muffling I used. Then I learned to tighten my resos up, a lot.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

Larry has a great point. Record your drums if you can, a lot, and do experiments to test the sound you want from 'out there'.
I really only started knowing what my drums/cymbals really sounded like once I started recording.
For example, I have an old 5 x 14 Supra snare that from my seat behind the kit really doesn't sound all that great, but out front of the kit sounds perfect, so I continue to use it.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

What gets me is that if you tighten your heads to where they sound great out front 15 feet, but not maybe what you're thinking from the driver's seat, you're tuning for 15 feet away. If you ignore 15 feet away and tune from the driver's seat, then you get that tuning. I know, obvious stuff ...

But, if you put your ear right down on the head where a mic would be placed, you get yet another sound to tune to. I tend to think that tuning for optimum driver's seat sound will be closer to where you want when a mic's on it.

I tune for the driver's seat for rehearsal and recording (adjusting as necessary) but crank 'em up a bit higher for live shows with no micing where I'm mostly concerned about how well they throw and resolve 15 feet away. To be honest, I'm not terribly scientific about it - I get to a club, and just crank the rack and first floor up a bit, leaving the 2nd floor, kick and snare as they were. Funny that first practice after a show, I'm like, "What the hell? ... oh, yeah..." and bring them back down a bit.

You can leave them cranked up for the 15 feet away sound all the time and get used to that. Stewart Copeland always did that. His drums always sounded really tight on their own, but when mixed in with the band they sounded great even mic'd. If you can get used to that much tension and higher pitch and make that work for you, then just leave 'em there.
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Last edited by MikeM; 04-08-2013 at 11:20 PM.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:07 AM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Placing a recorder about 15 feet away from your drums....when you listen back...that is the real ear opener. So many times.... I like it from the throne, but out where it counts, in the audience, it's not what I want.

The first time I did this, I ripped off what little muffling I used. Then I learned to tighten my resos up, a lot.
Right on. Having someone else play my kit works but recording yourself over and over again is the way to go. I've been going tighter and tighter on my resos and my batters too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
What gets me is that if you tighten your heads to where they sound great out front 15 feet, but not maybe what you're thinking from the driver's seat, you're tuning for 15 feet away. If you ignore 15 feet away and tune from the driver's seat, then you get that tuning. I know, obvious stuff ...

But, if you put your ear right down on the head where a mic would be placed, you get yet another sound to tune to. I tend to think that tuning for optimum driver's seat sound will be closer to where you want when a mic's on it.

I tune for the driver's seat for rehearsal and recording (adjusting as necessary) but crank 'em up a bit higher for live shows with no micing where I'm mostly concerned about how well they throw and resolve 15 feet away. To be honest, I'm not terribly scientific about it - I get to a club, and just crank the rack and first floor up a bit, leaving the 2nd floor, kick and snare as they were. Funny that first practice after a show, I'm like, "What the hell? ... oh, yeah..." and bring them back down a bit.

You can leave them cranked up for the 15 feet away sound all the time and get used to that. Stewart Copeland always did that. His drums always sounded really tight on their own, but when mixed in with the band they sounded great even mic'd. If you can get used to that much tension and higher pitch and make that work for you, then just leave 'em there.
I do much the same. I don't fret over it and I only worry a little about keeping my intervals clean and having some good cut out front.

It has taken me quite some time to get used to the higher tunings but I do like the way they sound.
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Old 04-09-2013, 01:20 AM
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Default Re: How do you know you've made your drum(s) sound their best?

I think it always take awhile to find the "perfect" head tensions, a lot of trial and error. Once you find it, you know it. But try everything first, don't be impatient. All well-made drums have that place where they're happy, it's just a matter of finding it.
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