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  #1  
Old 04-25-2013, 09:52 PM
mabhz mabhz is offline
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Default Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Hi all!!

Im having a hard time with tunning and trying to find a "sound" I like with my brand new 7 piece Tama Superstar Hyperdrive (8" - 16").

This is my first drum kit, and I Always had this very specific "drum sound" (toms mostly) in my head, and its really driving me nuts how much my Superstar sounds so far away from the sound I envision...

So, I have two question to you folks is: what are the most "recommended" drum heads for the hyperdrive birch sheels toms (rack and floor)???

Also, whats the most recommended tunning that helps take out the best ressonance out of the shells???

I mean, for the type of wood and shell construction, should will they sound better on a higher or a lower tunning? Or this just doesnt matter and my question is stupid?

Im asking because Im REALLY NOT happy with the sound I get from them....

I am a completely beginner on drums (played jazz guitar for 15 years though), but I have a pretty good idea of the kind of drum sound I want: full bodied, fat, low and ressonante one! What kind of drum heads should I get to help me get closer to this??

The kit is a superb instrument, great quality, but after trying many diferent tunnings, I still cant get rid of a certain "cardboard" sound that all the toms produce...

Its VERY HARD to put down to written words sound carachteristics, specially because we perceive them very individually, but I can tell you folks that I wanted my toms (rack and floor) to produce a very fat, low, ressoant and full sound. Like a "boooommm"....

Yet, they come with a very "flabby", "bright", as if I was hitting a card board box surface with my sticks... Off course they ressonate, but veeeery far from the "booommmm" I was expecting... Its more like a "plaaaatch!". Too treble...

As I mentioned, I took the rack toms to two very good drum teachers and they both tunned them to completely diferent tunnings, a jazz drummer used a higher tunning (the 10" rack tom to E, and all the others a 4th from that). The rock drummer tunned lower, but Im not sure which notes.

Both got the same "cardboard" sound out of the drums....

Could this be the original brand new drum heads that are both bad quality and yet not used enough to reach the "sweet spot"?

Could other Superstar Hyperdrive fusion/jazz drummers please help me with some advice?


THANKS A LOT!!! All the best, folks!

Marcelo

Obs: I also DONT NEED volume. I play indoors, in na apartment, so Im concerned with a tone I like, not with volume or projection.
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  #2  
Old 04-25-2013, 10:44 PM
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Fuo Fuo is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Have you had someone else play them while you stood >10ft away? Drums always sound better from an audience distance than they do when you're right on top of them; without muffling anyway...

If you're playing by yourself and don't have to worry about cutting through guitars/basses/etc, or the sound from a distance then you may want to use some light muffling, just to take the plasticy edge off.

I have the same kit (no 8" though), and mine have the same plasticy/cardboard sound from the driver's seat. I just throw o-rings on my toms and they sound great. If I ever start playing out and/or with other people then I'll re-evaluate.

ohh and I'm using coated G2s over clear G1s
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:27 AM
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

First off: are you still using the heads that came with the kit? They are garbage. New heads are a must.

Second: just to make sure, you know that drum sounds that you hear on CDs and such are commonly very processed and will not sound how they do in the real life, correct?

Anyways, for a low tone, the batter will generally be pretty low and the resos as well, but I would take the reso up a 3rd or so- higher-tuned drums generally sound better to the audience. (i have the same kit, so, yeah).

I don't have any problems with a cardboard-like sound from mine. It's likely the stock heads (if you are using them).
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:34 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

I have a superstar hyperdrive kit in 22,16,14,12,and 10. If you have stock heads on there take them off and put new ones on.

The different heads I've had on my kit were Aquarian Super 2 Clear heads, Remo Coated Ambassadors, and now I have Clear Aquarian Response II heads.

Response II heads are the best for what you're looking for or the equivalent in Remo would be Clear Emperors, for Evans you would use clear G2's.

Aquarian Super 2's I might say are just as good if not better on my hyperdrives and I might go back to those next head change.

Coated Ambassadors were very open and you can get a nice low end out of them after a long break in.
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Old 04-26-2013, 02:08 PM
mabhz mabhz is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Folks, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for all the replies.

I specially thank FUO because you managed to express in one word perfectly the typ of sound I am talking about, and that I just basically HATE: a plastic sound on the heads.

Yesterday I was messing around with them and I notice that the "cardboard" and "plastic like" sound comes immediatly after the stick touches the head, and right after that comes the actual "drum note" sound ringing. Its as if my toms produced two distinct sounds: one at the impact of the stick on the head, which is VERY plastic alike, and the other immediatly after, that is the actual sound of the drums.

Can you folks get a visual/audio image of what Im trying to explain?

I also found something VERY interesting: if I hit the heads CLOSER to the rim, and NOT in the center, the plastic sound dissapears!!!

As I move the hit point closer to the center, the sound gets more and more present....

How come is that??

I always heard that we should "strike" the heads dead center, that it produces the best sound. So, how can a drum sound "better" closer to the rim?? I might even add that it produces quite a pleasant sound!!

Fuo, do you happen to have the same "carachteristic" on your Hyperdrives?

On the notes you folks brought up, I can add that I took my rack toms to my drum lesson studio, and my teacher played them. I also hated their sound.

And the "tom sound" I have in my head is NOT based on processed record/CD sounds, but yet, on drums I have already played, and even the Mapex Meridian Birch I used to have drum lessons. I also went to a drum store last week and checked this Sonor Essential Force, side by side with a Tama Silverstar.... The Tama had the EXACT same sound as mine, even though it was NOT a hyperdrive tom, and the Sonor had a very nice pleasing fat warm low ressonating sound on ALL toms, including floor....

So.... Did I get the WRONG drum kit??? :-(

Anyway, what heads you folks suggest that work better with this shell, birch and hyperdrive??

Evans G2 on the ressonant side? What about the batter? What type of sound those white Evans heads would give me compared to hidraulic heads and those Evans heads that have those "silver rings" around them? What about the heads that have those black dots, inside or outside?

What type of sound each would probably produce on my hyperdrive toms??


THANKS!!
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Drums often produce more of a fundamental pitch when struck off-center. Dead center, you will get more of a dead sound. Generally, you might just want to strike slightly off center (maybe half an inch). Often, a plastic sound to me is a result of the tuning being so low that the heads are almost slack. Also, the sonor is maple so it will have more of a low-end characteristic.

Generally, you'll want a single ply resonant head- Aquarian Classic Clears, Remo Ambassadors, Evans G1. Generally, white coated heads have a warmer and rounder tone, hydraulic heads are practically dead (very easy to tune) and the ones with rings around the edge are a easy to tune as well. If you don't consider yourself very good at tuning I'd get a pinstripe (or variant) and be done with it.
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Old 04-26-2013, 07:57 PM
mabhz mabhz is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Thanks for the reply!

I have read somewhere before that coated (white) are brighter and better for miking, but not as good for a "live acoustic" sound, like my situation (only play in an apartment).

What sound characteristic the heads with rings around them would give me? I remember once playing a DW tom with those heads and they sound just magical!!

What "changes" soundwise I would get fitting a single ply and a double ply on the same tom with an EG1 on the ressonant side, for example?

How do I find out if I prefer coated or clear batter heads, WITHOUT having to purchase both and try them? Drum heads where I live are very expensive!

Thanks for any answer in advance.....
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:20 PM
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HITMAN HITMAN is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

where are you?

i will gladly come and tune your kit for you! :)
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  #9  
Old 04-27-2013, 02:43 AM
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Coated heads actually are darker by default than clear. If you like a strong attack and more resonance, clear heads are the way to go - I think that given the characteristics you described, clear is the way to go. Single ply heads on the top give you more attack and more resonance but they are considered harder to tune. Double ply gives you a lower natural pitch, and less sustain- however they definitely sound more 'fat'.

DW actually sell those heads separately if you want those. As I recall, they are a single ply head with the coated patch. Those are a unique option, but they're IMO better than pinstripes or EC2s. Your drums will sound magical if you can tune them right :)
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:42 AM
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zarrdoss zarrdoss is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

I have Evans G2 clear on the batter and G1 clear on the batter on my hyperdrive kit, birch and two ply heads go together well. I also put either a half a moongel or a whole depending on what I am playing, I personally like this sound better than coated batters. Now granted the shallow depth of the toms needs some getting used to, I personally like this sound as opposed to deep power toms.
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Old 04-27-2013, 03:58 AM
JBoom JBoom is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabhz View Post
Hi all!!

Im having a hard time with tunning and trying to find a "sound" I like with my brand new 7 piece Tama Superstar Hyperdrive (8" - 16").

This is my first drum kit, and I Always had this very specific "drum sound" (toms mostly) in my head, and its really driving me nuts how much my Superstar sounds so far away from the sound I envision...
Forget the drum sound in your head, it's probably based on recordings and impossible to achieve live. Drum recordings are processed -- that sound is not real.

That said, if you "EQ" your ears, with say some amount of ear protection, you'll be more pleased with the sound.

Learn to tune before you waste a lot money on different heads. Good tuning is way more important than head choice (but then head choice becomes important after you can tune).

Unfortunately, there is no good tuning tutorial I can suggest. Most of them suck because tuning is so subjective. But a good tuning tool can really help you learn (Tune-bot, or some smart phone app that gives you pitch feedback like iDrumTech).
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:12 AM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

I also like the Evans coated G2 over the clear G1 for my toms. However I will ask one question. this sound that you are hearing in your head, is this a sound from a recording that you are trying to match???? You have mics, processors, and all other sorts of electronic manipulation that you must consider.
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  #13  
Old 04-27-2013, 05:23 AM
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Default Re: Please, help with HEADS and tunning for a Superstar Hyperdrive

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBoom View Post
Forget the drum sound in your head, it's probably based on recordings and impossible to achieve live. Drum recordings are processed -- that sound is not real.

Learn to tune before you waste a lot money on different heads. Good tuning is way more important than head choice (but then head choice becomes important after you can tune).
Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
You have mics, processors, and all other sorts of electronic manipulation that you must consider.
Uh...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mabhz View Post
And the "tom sound" I have in my head is NOT based on processed record/CD sounds, but yet, on drums I have already played, and even the Mapex Meridian Birch I used to have drum lessons. I also went to a drum store last week and checked this Sonor Essential Force, side by side with a Tama Silverstar.... The Tama had the EXACT same sound as mine, even though it was NOT a hyperdrive tom, and the Sonor had a very nice pleasing fat warm low ressonating sound on ALL toms, including floor....[/b]

Also, it is very hard in my experience to become good at tuning with stock heads because of the simply awful quality and frustrating results. Anyways, it also might be the room your Superstar is in- but I'm not sure since you say the Silverstar had the same sound, and that was in the same room as the Essential Force.

If you really want that fat tone, you might be better served returning the Superstar and getting an Essential Force (or the comparable PDP Concept Maple). But I would try new heads first.
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