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  #1  
Old 04-17-2011, 07:46 AM
wisemeat96 wisemeat96 is offline
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Default How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

Hello,
I am wondering how to get a "jazz fusion" (E.G. Billy Cobham, Lenny White) sound out of my toms. Since when I hear myself on a recording they sound completely dead like some "garage rock" kit, with no ring. I'm not very experienced with tuning so if any of you know how to get this, then please tell me. (E.G. how many turns on each head, or whether or not I even need a bottom head, since I think I've seen "fusion" kits with only a top head for the toms).
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Old 04-17-2011, 07:57 AM
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Bo Eder Bo Eder is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

Some of the early Billy Cobham sounds (like on Spectrum and others) is really just tight jazz tuning using the only heads available at the time: clear or coated Remo Ambassadors. (Well, to edit, Diplomats [thinnest] and Emperors [thickest] were also available too, but Ambassadors were the mediums of choice for alot of drummers at the time - and still to this day).

I would suggest doing a YouTube search for Bob Gatzen and drum tuning, the man has this whole method of how to tune and if anything, it will give you a place to start. But head selection for a clear or coated single ply head is in order if that's the sound you're going for. If you listen to some 50s or 60s jazz (like Joe Morello with Dave Brubeck), you'll notice it's the same sound. Jack DeJohnette also uses the same sound. Good luck!
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:27 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

Lets start with ... what kind of kit do you have? What kind of heads do you have on it? How old are your drum heads?
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Old 04-17-2011, 08:36 AM
wisemeat96 wisemeat96 is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

I'm not sure how old the kit is but I know its a YAMAHA Rydeen and the top heads are Remo Weatherking Coated Emperors, but on the bottom heads it just says YAMAHA Batter. The toms sizes are 10, 12 and 14 inches.
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Old 04-17-2011, 09:41 AM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

So, first off, your heads are probably shot. New batters and reso.s. That will bring some tone into the picture. Emperor over Ambassador, a classic combo...
Going after a "recorded sound" is always a slippery slope, especially when a budget/lack of funds gets in the way. I've played the Rydeen's, not bad "budget drums", but lets face it, Lenny White and Billy Cobham drive pro-level kits. I own a set of Yamaha Recording Customs, and there's a reason why they cost "way more". They sound "way better". I also own a Ludwig 6 ply kit ... for a different sound ... and an RMV kit (Bapeva maple shells) for a still "different" sound. My RMV's are 8, 10, 12, 14, and clear Emperors over clear Ambassadors sound great on them. Then, enter into the equation, a $20,000 recording studio (or more) and trying to get this sound "at home", concentrate on just getting "the best" sound you can get.
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Old 04-17-2011, 10:00 AM
wisemeat96 wisemeat96 is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

Ok, thanks.I've tried tuning them higher than usual and it seems to have helped a tiny bit.

By the way, the top heads are actually only a few months old, since the ones that came with the kit were "shot", so I needed new ones.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:08 PM
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harryconway harryconway is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

Yeah, but "stock" reso's are killing/negating your changing out the batter heads. I generally tune my reso's either the same pitch, or higher than my batter, and even though I don't play "every day", like I used to ... I change all my heads, at least once a year.
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:24 PM
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

harryconway is right about your resonant heads. Just like the batter, resonant heads will make or break your sound. I would use either Evans G1 clear, Remo Ambassador clear or coated for a bit more focused sound. I also try to keep my batter and reso sides as close to the same pitch as possible for the greatest resonance and sustain. Doing this and tuning to the shell, you shouldn't have dead sounding toms at all.

Dennis
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Old 04-26-2011, 05:45 PM
Spinozalove Spinozalove is offline
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Default Re: How to achieve "fusion" sound on toms?

I've seen some videos of Billie Cobham using Pinstripes.
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