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  #1  
Old 02-14-2010, 04:04 AM
Sopranos Sopranos is offline
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Default Tom Tuning Issue

Hi Folks!

So I recently purchased a couple sets of new heads (I have Vintage Emp and Evans G2).... both of which will be new to me after using EC2 over Ambassadors. I just found the EC2's to be a little too muffled and dead sounding.

I have started with the Vintage Emp's and since I was going to have to tune anyway I also tuned/tightened the reso Ambassadors (which I did not replace the reso's)... about 9 months old. To my surprise, they sound even more dead and don't sing like I heard them in the store on my exact kit. I'm wondering if tightening the reso head just a hair had this affect and if I should go with a looser or even new reso's. Instead of singing they just die out.

For what its worth, I have a Pearl Masters MCX (6ply all maple) w/ virgin kick. I used the assistance of a drum dial and I am in the neighborhood of 75-78 on batter and 80 on reso. I have used Bob Gatzens techniques and read all his stuff... I think for the most part I have them in tune but they don't resonate/sing quite long enough.... they dont sound very full. I want a little more sustain and tone from them. I know these heads sound good on my kit but I think I am off a bit in tuning.

Any help or suggestions? Thanks in advance!!

Last edited by Sopranos; 02-14-2010 at 07:32 AM.
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  #2  
Old 02-14-2010, 05:05 AM
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GRUNTERSDAD GRUNTERSDAD is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

I haven't used that head combo but many will say to put the batter and reso at the same setting. Try them both at 75 then both at 80 and see. 80 seems high but it's all in the ear.
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Old 02-14-2010, 05:36 AM
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Strangelove Strangelove is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

I would say try cranking those resos up to 85-90. Experiment around with each drum. You will go through phases where the resos are in harmonic thirds with the batters and you will get a fantastic sound - much like studio sounds.

I have Emperors on mine, and while I don't have a tuner, keep my reso G-Pluses cranked a full turn and a half tighter. It sounds excellent - beautiful round sound and need no muffling for excessive ring!
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Old 02-14-2010, 10:50 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sopranos View Post
I used the assistance of a drum dial and I am in the neighborhood of 75-78 on batter and 80 on reso. I have used Bob Gatzens techniques and read all his stuff... I think for the most part I have them in tune but they don't resonate/sing quite long enough.... they dont sound very full. I want a little more sustain and tone from them. I know these heads sound good on my kit but I think I am off a bit in tuning.
I've never used a drum dial so I can't give you numbers, but if it's more sustain you're after, my experience is to follow GD's suggestion and tune your batter and reso's to the same pitch. Personally I tune 'em like Strangelove (reso cranked higher than batter) for similar reasons.......but equal tension on both should give you the sound you're after.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:20 PM
Sopranos Sopranos is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

Thanks so much!!

I guess I should mention that I am in an acoustically treated home studio so I don't really have unwanted overtones or ringing. That's why I really want to open these drums up and let them sing. It does sound like I have perhaps choked the reso head a bit. I still want to stick with a double ply batter (like G2 or Vintage Emp) cause I really like the warmer sound... but I could use a little more sustain so they sound really full and fat (if that makes sense).

Thanks again!
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:41 PM
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Steady Freddy Steady Freddy is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

I'd back the tuning down a bit. There's a point where two ply heads sound flappy. They'll have a papery attack. If that's the case the heads need more tension.On the other end of the spectrum the heads choke, lose tone, and volume at higher tensions.

80 on a drum dial seems kind of high to me. I'd start with the rack toms in the 70 - 75 range top and bottom and see how it goes.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:12 PM
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

Drums are hard instruments to tune. 2 seperate membranes tensioned differently will create different respective waveforms. There are "zones" in the tuning realm where the waveform from the top head is partially negating the waveform from the bottom head, making the drum sound like crap. Tuning one of the heads differently will get you out of that "zone", and you will enter a zone where the drums sound good again, but there are always those "dead" zones relatively close by.

FWIW I keep my G Plus resos at app 83 and my 2 ply batters at near 80.
I highly recommend following the guides on the Drum Dial chart. They know what they are talking about. My opinion is most drummers tune too low, especially the snare drum. If you follow the recommendations, it might sound a bit high while playing them at first, but they sound GREAT from the audience miced or unmiced. I had to adjust my ear and perceptions initally, but hearing my kit from the audience erased any and all doubts about the DD recommendations. I like the batters and reso to be tuned to the same note, but an octave apart, w/ the reso being the higer pitch. They sound tubby to my ear at the exact same pitch, but that's just my preferences.

Here's the chart: http://www.drumdial.com/drummer.htm
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Old 02-16-2010, 04:22 AM
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Strangelove Strangelove is offline
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Default Re: Tom Tuning Issue

I agree with what Larryace is saying. My experience with these zones over the tuning range is that flat zones or deadspots exist in both the batter and the reso tensioning range. If you consider the just tighter than wrinkle range all the way to full tension (where the drum chokes completely), you will hit multiple deadspots going from lowest tension to highest. That is true on both batter and reso. So you can tighten another 1/4 tp 1/2 turn and usually get out of that dead zone, and open up a new beautiful sounding zone. This is without the partner head on. When you add the opposite head, then what opens the drum up, IMO, is sympathetic vibration. So what I do is leave the reso off and get the batter at a range that I like. Then add the reso and get it at the same pitch (note - not necessarily the same tension, as the reso may be a different head than the batter). This batter=reso tuning will always produce the best sustain. From here, I just experiment with tighter reso settings, usually going from about a quarter turn to two full turns tighter. You will hit some real nice zones of harmonic sympathetic vibration even when cranking the bottom head way above the batter.

Experiment around. And remember, with those Emperors or anything made by Remo, tighten them as tight as you can, leave them on 12 to 24 hours, then loosen them again to just finger tight and begin seriously tuning. Get all that snap, crackle, and pop out on the first tightening. Remos are just that way, but I tend to favor them, myself.

Last edited by Strangelove; 02-16-2010 at 04:43 AM.
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