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  #1  
Old 11-08-2008, 05:50 AM
dandydonner dandydonner is offline
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Default THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Need some help on tuning, something i never do.
How do you tune the bottom heads in relation to sustain? Does tuning them tighter increase or decrease sustain? I've been without my drums for a while (which is why i cant figure this out on my own, and yes, it's horrible) and i was looking to experiment with different set ups.

thanks
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2008, 06:09 AM
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Tighter = more sustain, that is if you don't crank it so tight it begins to choke off.

In a nut shell, this is what I do..

Put bottom head on finger tight on all lugs. 1/4 turns on each lug just till all the wrinkles are out.

Put top head on and repeat the same steps. Now tune up from there. This should get you the lowest possible tone for each drum. Remember bottom head for sustain top head for pitch. Have fun....if you still have trouble, find someone that knows how to show you and what to listen for and you will be on your way to really enjoy tuning drums....I love it!
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2008, 07:00 AM
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crdirtRider856 crdirtRider856 is offline
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

I guess different sets= different response. I have the old vintage dimensions(8x12, 9x13 and so on) And I ve always tuned the bottom head a shade lower for more sustain. And if my reso is tuned higher than the batter, I lose projection and sustain, but get a little bit more attack. Miced and un-miced is always a big variable too. Some people like to mic the top, some the bottom. Same with the snare and bass drum. I used to have to convince some soundguys that placing the mic right by my beaters would give a little more punch. They d always argue becuase it was different from what they knew. Although Once I started using the Aquarian Super-Kick heads(or Evans E-mad) it all changed. I swear by those internally muffled BD heads. This is just my own personal experience though, so keep experimenting and taking advice..Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 11-08-2008, 02:03 PM
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konaboy konaboy is offline
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Everything you need to know

http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/
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  #5  
Old 11-08-2008, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Not sure how nodiggie came by his experience, but it's a wild wacky world out there.

When both batter and reso are tuned to the same pitch you get maximum sustain.

When you tune the reso to a different pitch--either higher or lower--you get less. This is simple physics and may be observed with any drums other than nodiggie's. ;-)

Since most drummers tune pretty low, the more common way they reduce sustain is to raise the resos higher than the batters.

Rather than the drum tuning bible, which is redundant, disorganized, and has questionable advice (such as the fetish for "seating" heads), have a look at the links below. They are not the last word, but quite good for people getting started with tuning.

Tuning toms

Tuning snares

Tuning bass drums

Why reso heads are important
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  #6  
Old 11-08-2008, 10:23 PM
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Tune them lower if you want less resonance
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2008, 06:06 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Basically, the most resonance possible is achieved by tuning the heads in unison. They will ring together sympathetically, with a pure, unpulsing note. That is, IF both heads are perfectly in tune with themselves and each other.

The sound you are most likely hearing on any recording or live performance is with the reso head tuned significantly higher than the batter. I tune my rack toms this way, and sometimes my floors as well. I tune the toms about a fourth apart, and the resonant heads a fourth higher than the batter. Therefore, a low tom's reso will be the same pitch as the higher tom's batter. Lots of interactive sympathetic vibration, very lively. Interestingly, this was not a deliberate experiment, but a result achieved by getting my toms to sound how I wanted.

Tuning the reso lower than the batter results in a short thud. I don't generally like this for in-the-room sound, but it sounds good from the driver's seat, and can record well. I tune both, or at least the lower floor tom this way most of the time, as the lack of sustain means you can tune deeper. The 16" can sound like a kick.
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Old 11-10-2008, 04:54 AM
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

Quote:
Originally Posted by ermghoti View Post
Basically, the most resonance possible is achieved by tuning the heads in unison. They will ring together sympathetically, with a pure, unpulsing note. That is, IF both heads are perfectly in tune with themselves and each other. ...
Yes.

I would add, however, that maximum sustain involves both heads mutually in tune WITH the native response of the shell.

Tightening the reso above the batter, from that point, dries up excess sustain. It's kinda like introducing some resistance, if that makes sense...
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  #9  
Old 11-10-2008, 03:03 PM
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

[quote=drumtechdad]
Rather than the drum tuning bible, which is redundant, disorganized, and has questionable advice (such as the fetish for "seating" heads), have a look at the links below. They are not the last word, but quite good for people getting started with tuning.




I will agree with this comment 100%. I will say it does have some helpful info, some things in it just seem wrong or.... questionable. I think to a beginner, this so called tuning bible can be very confusing and I can see why a beginner would get part way through it and throw it out, come here and ask the same question that's been asked 100 times or more.
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  #10  
Old 11-10-2008, 10:56 PM
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Cymbalrider Cymbalrider is offline
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Default Re: THOSE DARN RESONANT HEADS

I typically always tune the bottoms higher, but depending on the drums as to how much tighter. Too tight and you choke the drum, but just enough and you get a nice full sound from the drum. I like small drums tuned high and big drums low. I like the bass drum reso tight as well for that added boom without the after effect. I do this with the snare too, but I vary the tuning of the batter depending on the music. That loose sound is great for that New Orleans jazz sound, early big band, while a tighter sound is great for Buddy Rich-type fills. I just don't like two-ply heads because I can't seem to tune them at all. I always end up with something plastic and loose or choked and way too ringy.
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