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  #1  
Old 11-30-2010, 01:20 AM
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Default isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

hello there guys
just wanted to ask you if you are experiencing the same issues:
when i play closest to the tuning screw on ALL of my toms, snare drums, the sound is powerful, rich and has abundant harmonics
when i play in the centre of the head on ALL of my toms, snare drums, the sound is weak, has a fast decay and overall is very dark
i have tried different tips (either wood, plastic, different shape, etc...) and, ive checked the tunning on all, and its fine
havent you ever experienced this before?
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  #2  
Old 11-30-2010, 01:28 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

I don't know how you are tuning!
The center of all of my drums has always been the sweet spot!
Playing near the edge of any one of my drums makes nothing more than interesting tones that tend to ring.
I do like playing the whole drum. I do like the tones that are made when I play my drums in different places on the head.
When I wan't a true sound, I always try to hit that sucka dead in the mid!
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I don't know how you are tuning!
The center of all of my drums has always been the sweet spot!
Playing near the edge of any one of my drums makes nothing more than interesting tones that tend to ring.
I do like playing the whole drum. I do like the tones that are made when I play my drums in different places on the head.
When I wan't a true sound, I always try to hit that sucka dead in the mid!
ive checked the tunning thrice, the centre point is such a dead spot to me :(
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:03 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Watch what happens to a drum head when slowed down with high speed video.
http://www.milkandcookies.com/link/222036/detail/
This is why the center is the best place to hit a drum for full sound.
A drum head is like a round pond of water.
You throw a rock into the center of a round pond, and the reaction is a perfect round wave.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 11-30-2010 at 02:15 AM.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:08 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

i couldnt be more agree to you
its just strange to me that the centre of the head, when hitting it, produces a much drier, darker and deadlier sound (although im using 1 ply heads)
anyways, i suppose that that is the way it is supposed to sound
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  #6  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

The deepest tone with the longest duration of sustain will always be produced when a drum head is hit on center.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:24 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

It depends what you consider "great tone". The center of the head produces the driest overall sound when struck. Actually, if you want to be more technical, the center of the head gives you the most "attack" sound and least "tone" sound ratio, while the edge of the drumhead gives you the opposite. When I play, I like play anywhere and everywhere on the head, but default mostly to the area halfway between the middle and edge of the head. It produces the best sound in my opinion--a good mix of tone and attack. Depending on the snare and tuning, I'll change up where I strike the snare. On toms, I'll play mostly in the center to bring out the articulation. For the bass drum, I'll position the beater dead center for rock gigs and not-so-dead-center for jazz gigs. When playing concert bass drum, I almost never hit the drum dead center (except when playing the 1812 Overture and we couldn't secure an actual cannon...)

If you get a chance, play on a set of timpani...you get a real sense of what different parts of the head ACTUALLY sound like, without the distractions of the resonant head or snare wires...
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  #8  
Old 11-30-2010, 02:37 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

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Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
It depends what you consider "great tone". The center of the head produces the driest overall sound when struck. Actually, if you want to be more technical, the center of the head gives you the most "attack" sound and least "tone" sound ratio, while the edge of the drumhead gives you the opposite. When I play, I like play anywhere and everywhere on the head, but default mostly to the area halfway between the middle and edge of the head. It produces the best sound in my opinion--a good mix of tone and attack. Depending on the snare and tuning, I'll change up where I strike the snare. On toms, I'll play mostly in the center to bring out the articulation. For the bass drum, I'll position the beater dead center for rock gigs and not-so-dead-center for jazz gigs. When playing concert bass drum, I almost never hit the drum dead center (except when playing the 1812 Overture and we couldn't secure an actual cannon...)

If you get a chance, play on a set of timpani...you get a real sense of what different parts of the head ACTUALLY sound like, without the distractions of the resonant head or snare wires...
thanks for your answer, i couldnt have had a better explanation: "the centre of the head produces the drier sound with greatest attack, whilst the edge produces the opposite"
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:38 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

The snare is a perfect example because of the high tension that is on the heads.
When I am playing, I don't even have to look at my snare to hear if I am hitting it on center or not.
If I am just a slight bit off center, I can begin to hear the ring of a drum that was not hit true.
My snare is loudest when I hit near the center.
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:49 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by caddywumpus View Post
If you get a chance, play on a set of timpani...you get a real sense of what different parts of the head ACTUALLY sound like, without the distractions of the resonant head or snare wires...
Being that you brought this up.
The Timpani does not react like a drum with a reso head.
The Timpani is a bowl shape
When you strike the head, the sound wave travels much differently than it does on a drum with a flat bottom head that reacts.
Playing a Timpani near the edge is kind of like rocking a bowl of water.
The hemispherical shape of the drum really changes its characteristics.
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  #11  
Old 11-30-2010, 03:04 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Let's look at this from a tuning aspect.
When you tune a drum you equalize the tension of all of the tuning rods.
You then hit the drum on center to listen for the desired tone.
You adjust the tension until the sound that you hear when the drum is hit on center is the sound that you want to hear.
You are tuning the drum for the sound of a center hit.
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  #12  
Old 11-30-2010, 06:41 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Being that you brought this up.
The Timpani does not react like a drum with a reso head.
The Timpani is a bowl shape
When you strike the head, the sound wave travels much differently than it does on a drum with a flat bottom head that reacts.
Playing a Timpani near the edge is kind of like rocking a bowl of water.
The hemispherical shape of the drum really changes its characteristics.
A stretched membrane over a circular bearing edge is a stretched membrane over a circular bearing edge. When I hit a timpani or tom or snare or bass drum in the middle, I get the same result: more attack and less "tone". Regardless of what is on the other side of that head (be it a reso head, a hemispherical copper bowl, a thin head with snares...), where you hit the batter head is going to heavily influence the sound being produced. When I hit a head in the middle, the sound is drier. There may be more volume due to more air being moved and the brought out articulation, but the sound has less overtones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Let's look at this from a tuning aspect.
When you tune a drum you equalize the tension of all of the tuning rods.
You then hit the drum on center to listen for the desired tone.
You adjust the tension until the sound that you hear when the drum is hit on center is the sound that you want to hear.
You are tuning the drum for the sound of a center hit.
Hmm...that's not how I've ever tuned drums. I've always tapped the head, about an inch in from each lug, while muting the center of the head lightly with my finger to isolate the sound I hear as coming from *that* section of the head. I tune the tension of the sections of the head at each of the lugs to each other. I tune not for the center hit, but so that there are no "warbling" overtones when I play the drum.

I don't know if we're ever going to come to a resolution on this, bobda. :( Maybe we're just hearing the same thing but describing it differently? Either way, it's cool that we're offering two different points of view that anyone reading can investigate for themselves...
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  #13  
Old 11-30-2010, 01:24 PM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
The snare is a perfect example because of the high tension that is on the heads.
When I am playing, I don't even have to look at my snare to hear if I am hitting it on center or not.
If I am just a slight bit off center, I can begin to hear the ring of a drum that was not hit true.
My snare is loudest when I hit near the center.
mine, as previously remarked, is loudest and driest
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  #14  
Old 12-01-2010, 12:35 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

I think that what has happened here is that we describe sound differently.
I hear the difference when I strike any drum near the edge as opposed to the center.
I always evaluate a drums tuning by striking it in the middle.
When I move toward the edge, the sound changes. I also like, and consider that sound.
As I stated in my first post, I both like, and use, the entire spectrum of sound that a drum can create.

I think that our difference of opinion here evolves around the title of this thread.
"Isn't it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?"

What is a greater tone?
We have to define that more in order to continue.
To me, The Greater Tone is the tone that I get when I hit on center.
All that I hear as I move toward the edge of the drum is a higher pitch with more ring and and less depth (or punch) to the sound.

I tune my bottom heads tighter than my batter heads. I listen for the sound that my tighter resonate heads make to evaluate the entire sound of the drum.
I get less response from my bottom heads as I strike the batter more toward the edge.

Some drummers tune the bottom heads looser than the top head, They have a different experience than I do when they play their drums.
That is why I stated in my first post that I don't know how you are tuning your drums.
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:04 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I think that what has happened here is that we describe sound differently.
I hear the difference when I strike any drum near the edge as opposed to the center.
I always evaluate a drums tuning by striking it in the middle.
When I move toward the edge, the sound changes. I also like, and consider that sound.
As I stated in my first post, I both like, and use, the entire spectrum of sound that a drum can create.

I think that our difference of opinion here evolves around the title of this thread.
"Isn't it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?"

What is a greater tone?
We have to define that more in order to continue.
To me, The Greater Tone is the tone that I get when I hit on center.
All that I hear as I move toward the edge of the drum is a higher pitch with more ring and and less depth (or punch) to the sound.

I tune my bottom heads tighter than my batter heads. I listen for the sound that my tighter resonate heads make to evaluate the entire sound of the drum.
I get less response from my bottom heads as I strike the batter more toward the edge.

Some drummers tune the bottom heads looser than the top head, They have a different experience than I do when they play their drums.
That is why I stated in my first post that I don't know how you are tuning your drums.
then let me explain what i "understand" from the tittle i stated
i think as "greater tone" when i hear full bodied sound, which is, the contrast of a dry sound

and weve got something in common, i, as you do, tune tight the reso heads...
sorry to have stated the tittle incorrectly...
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  #16  
Old 12-01-2010, 02:36 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

I think that it was a language thing that messed us up.
I misunderstood what you were saying right from the start.
I read the whole thread again today.

I realize that you are writing in english.
A language that I grew up with and I still do not fully understand!!!
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Old 12-01-2010, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
I think that it was a language thing that messed us up.
I misunderstood what you were saying right from the start.
I read the whole thread again today.

I realize that you are writing in english.
A language that I grew up with and I still do not fully understand!!!
day-by-day languages are altered...
spanish language has changed so much in the last years, new words have been added, words are being complemented as i write
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Old 12-08-2010, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: isnt it supposed that the centre of the heads give a greater tone?

Isn't the 'greatest tone' the sound you like best when you hit it? :)

I have a snare that sounds best to my ear when I hit it dead centre (brass piccolo), and another that sounds best (to me) when I hit it a little off-centre (maple 6.5).

'Where and how you hit it' is just another way to get the best out what you have, I guess.
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