DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Gear > Other Gear

Other Gear Discuss Hardware and all other equipment not covered in the other topics

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 02-02-2012, 06:52 PM
MaryO's Avatar
MaryO MaryO is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 1,904
Default Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Just a quick question...as a noob who's still trying to figure out this whole tuning thing I was just wondering if anyone uses the tension gauges to tune? Just wondering if they work and if they would make it any easier to tune my drums, especially for a beginner.

Okay, your thoughts...please discuss :)

Thanks!
Mary
__________________
I am deluded enough to think I can bring something to the table - Huey Lewis.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:05 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,728
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Read here:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=86443

and here:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/s...ad.php?t=85613
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:06 PM
Fuo's Avatar
Fuo Fuo is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,684
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

I have the Tama one... I found it helpful at first (like for a year or so), but I almost never use mine anymore... Kinda like training wheels... and there's no shame in it imo, tuning drums is friggin hard.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:20 PM
MaryO's Avatar
MaryO MaryO is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 1,904
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?



Thanks for the reference points Drum but after reading these other threads I think I'm more confused than ever! Some love them, some hate them. I guess as with most other things, it's a matter of personal preference. I saw some for about $60 at musicians friend so it wouldn't be too much an investment just to give it a try, I guess. I'll have to think about it. I am just completely confused on tuning and even what pitch and sound I should even be looking for to begin with. I really need to find someone who knows what they are doing to come over and just sit at my kit and get me started so I at least have a base line to start from.
__________________
I am deluded enough to think I can bring something to the table - Huey Lewis.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:26 PM
Fuo's Avatar
Fuo Fuo is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 1,684
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

You're taking lessons right? Maybe take a tom or a snare with you to your next one and ask for help.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:27 PM
Boom's Avatar
Boom Boom is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 505
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryO View Post
Thanks for the reference points Drum but after reading these other threads I think I'm more confused than ever! Some love them, some hate them. I guess as with most other things, it's a matter of personal preference. I saw some for about $60 at musicians friend so it wouldn't be too much an investment just to give it a try, I guess. I'll have to think about it. I am just completely confused on tuning and even what pitch and sound I should even be looking for to begin with. I really need to find someone who knows what they are doing to come over and just sit at my kit and get me started so I at least have a base line to start from.
Once you learn how to tune...how to use your ears to judge the sounds coming from your drums, the drum dial won't be much good.

But until that point, I think it is a great training tool for your ears. I was never confident in my tuning and was always second guessing myself. Once I got the drum dial, I learned tremendously. You sound like I was before I got the drum dial. Now I wouldn't need to rely on it much, but I still use it to check myself...to check if the head is uniformly tensioned.

So if you are not confident in your tuning, I highly recommend the drum dial. There is a new device coming out this year that first saw light at NAMM this year...tune bot
http://tune-bot.com/

It looks like it might be the way to go. But it is not cheap (130 or something?).
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:31 PM
sticks4drums
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuo View Post
I have the Tama one... I found it helpful at first (like for a year or so), but I almost never use mine anymore... Kinda like training wheels... and there's no shame in it imo, tuning drums is friggin hard.
What he said. Just because some are great at tuning drums and don't need them, does not mean they are not useful to those of us that need a little reassurance. They are a great way to let you know that you are close, and going the right direction. I would recommend one for any beginner. You still have to finish by ear, so you are still learning to listen. It doesn't do the whole job for you. If you can, you should try and borrow one. I borrowed my buddies recently after getting back into acoustic drums, after 20 years on e kits. I loved it and asked for one this Christmas. Maybe one day I won't need it, but for now, I like the help. :)
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:32 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,728
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom View Post

So if you are not confident in your tuning, I highly recommend the drum dial. There is a new device coming out this year that first saw light at NAMM this year...tune bot
http://tune-bot.com/

It looks like it might be the way to go. But it is not cheap (130 or something?).
I saw that at NAMM too. Assuming it works in the real world as good as it does in the live demo, it should put drum dials out of business.

It's more expensive than a drum dial, but works 100 times better.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:35 PM
sticks4drums
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

I am all for devices that make tuning drums easier. Especially with my mess! :/
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:37 PM
Boom's Avatar
Boom Boom is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 505
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I saw that at NAMM too. Assuming it works in the real world as good as it does in the live demo, it should put drum dials out of business.

It's more expensive than a drum dial, but works 100 times better.
I agree with all of this. If it really works as advertised, it will be a huge asset in tuning. Picks up in hertz and I think note also? Note sure about note...but if it does, imagine for many of us that are a little clueless about tuning A over G or whatever, we could get there rather easily now.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:39 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,728
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryO View Post
Thanks for the reference points Drum but after reading these other threads I think I'm more confused than ever! Some love them, some hate them. I guess as with most other things, it's a matter of personal preference. .
Yes, well, that's why I pointed you there, because this topic comes up often, and usually you get a wide variety of opinions. Some people lke them, some hate them.

I find drum dials are useful to a point on toms, but useless on snares and bass drums.
I own the Tama version because many years ago a producer my then band was working with insisted I go buy one, and the rest of the band said if the producer insists, I have to do it. And it is useful, but it's usefulness is limited.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 02-02-2012, 07:44 PM
DrumEatDrum's Avatar
DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 7,728
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boom View Post
I agree with all of this. If it really works as advertised, it will be a huge asset in tuning. Picks up in hertz and I think note also? Note sure about note...but if it does, imagine for many of us that are a little clueless about tuning A over G or whatever, we could get there rather easily now.
I know purists think it's waste of time, and everyone should tune by ear. And I get that, and agree to a point. But at the same time, we all expect pro guitarists to have guitar tuner with them, and we never seen a major guitar player go on stage without his/her roadie using a guitar tuner, so why draw a line in the sand and say it's good for the guitar player but not the drummer?
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:03 PM
MaryO's Avatar
MaryO MaryO is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 1,904
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I find drum dials are useful to a point on toms, but useless on snares and bass drums.

Actually, this helps out a lot Drum. I'm pretty okay with the sound on my snare and bass, it is the toms that I'm just not happy with. I think I have them now to where they are way to deep...but can't seem to get the sound I want. I'm probably leaning towards giving something a try, I'll have to go and check some out and see what's out there and what I can afford.

Thanks everyone!
__________________
I am deluded enough to think I can bring something to the table - Huey Lewis.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:14 PM
paulegavin paulegavin is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 121
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

No way. I use a combination of trial and error and my ears. Those are both free, easily portable and very accurate.
__________________
Facebook Page
Website
YouTube
My Blog
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 02-02-2012, 08:16 PM
sticks4drums
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

When I bought my new Black Beauty recently, I took it out of the box, and it sounded perfect. I checked the tension top and bottom with my dial, and it was bang on. I then bought a similar head for another bronze snare I had, and used the readings I got from my Black Beauty, on the other snare. I ended up with the same ball park pitch on both drums. I can also do this over and over again, if I break a head in the future.

I think experienced tuners have to put themselves in the beginners shoes for answering this question.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 02-02-2012, 09:04 PM
Boom's Avatar
Boom Boom is offline
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 505
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post

I think experienced tuners have to put themselves in the beginners shoes for answering this question.
I think this is the main point. No one is claiming these devices replace expert ears. They help inexperienced or poor ears with very little knowledge of what they are listening for.

People will say get an instructor to teach you. Like that is free. If they have to take time out of their lesson to teach me to tune, then I'm paying for that part of my lesson that I could be learning on my own. The devices that aid in this way are not for experts. But for novices or anyone that has trouble tuning? I think they are great (I'm referring to the drum dial and looks like the tune bot might even be better)
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 02-02-2012, 09:07 PM
BradGunnerSGT's Avatar
BradGunnerSGT BradGunnerSGT is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Central Texas
Posts: 475
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaryO View Post
Actually, this helps out a lot Drum. I'm pretty okay with the sound on my snare and bass, it is the toms that I'm just not happy with. I think I have them now to where they are way to deep...but can't seem to get the sound I want. I'm probably leaning towards giving something a try, I'll have to go and check some out and see what's out there and what I can afford.

Thanks everyone!
Here's how I tune...took me almost 20 years to learn to do this by ear and feel!

Put the batter head on with all of the lugs just finger tight, then take a drum key in each hand and tighten the lugs in pairs 1/4 turn each, then again another 1/4 turn each in pairs. Now press your finger into the center of the head (fairly hard, you want to put tension on the head) and look for any wrinkles. Tighten the nearest lug if you see a wrinkle. Go up in pairs another turn and then tap the head lightly with a stick at each lug. You don't have to get each lug exactly in tune with the one next to it, just listen for any that are way higher or lower pitch, and adjust them so that they are all about the same pitch..

Now flip the drum over and do the same thing with the resonant head, get it 2 to 3 1/4 turns past finger tight and make sure that the lugs are roughly in tune all the way around. Flip the drum back over and (this is important!) put it back onto any mounting hardware (stand or floor tom legs or rack tom mount). There's no sense tuning a drum and then mounting it back to your kit and the mounting hardware changing the resonance of the drum!

Tap the batter head and adjust the resonant head until you get the pitch you are looking for and the drum starts to sing out. Make major adjustments to the resonant head and minor adjustments to the batter head to get the batter in relative tune with the bottom (slightly higher or lower, depending on how you like it to sound). This gives me a good fundamental note and a resonant sound.



The other thing is to listen to how your drum really sounds, and don't try to get a dead, compressed, heavily EQ-ed "recorded" sound out of an acoustic drum. Microphones pick up different sounds 1" away from the tom than your ears will pick up 2' from the drum, or a listener will 10' away.

Last edited by BradGunnerSGT; 02-02-2012 at 09:08 PM. Reason: fixed a typo
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 02-02-2012, 09:30 PM
tard's Avatar
tard tard is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: springhill nova scotia canada
Posts: 1,327
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumEatDrum View Post
I know purists think it's waste of time, and everyone should tune by ear. And I get that, and agree to a point. But at the same time, we all expect pro guitarists to have guitar tuner with them, and we never seen a major guitar player go on stage without his/her roadie using a guitar tuner, so why draw a line in the sand and say it's good for the guitar player but not the drummer?
I think there is a big difference there considering that a guitar tuner actually tunes a guitar to perfect pitch plus a guitar player needs to tune every couple songs or so and there is nothing more unprofessional than a guitar player tuning by ear during a performance. Also people keep saying that drum dials get you close, well I have tried and tried and I dont think they get you close at all, if you finger tighten all the lugs and then tighten in even steps wit5h your key you will have all your tension rods a lot closer in pitch than you can get with a drum dial and have proved it on several occasions. This new electronic tuner might be better but will have to just wait and see.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 02-02-2012, 09:40 PM
sticks4drums
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tard View Post
I think there is a big difference there considering that a guitar tuner actually tunes a guitar to perfect pitch plus a guitar player needs to tune every couple songs or so and there is nothing more unprofessional than a guitar player tuning by ear during a performance. Also people keep saying that drum dials get you close, well I have tried and tried and I dont think they get you close at all, if you finger tighten all the lugs and then tighten in even steps wit5h your key you will have all your tension rods a lot closer in pitch than you can get with a drum dial and have proved it on several occasions. This new electronic tuner might be better but will have to just wait and see.
I think you are missing the point on how to use the drum dial. You still go through the finger tightness step, then each tension rod in your favorite pattern, until you reach the amount of turns needed. Then you check with the dial to see if you were right with the first three steps. Finger tightness can be very intimidating to a newby. Sometimes it feels tight, but it is just binding on a nylon stay, or rough lug. Especially with older drums. The Dial just checks to see you are close. It doesn't take away any of the other steps. It also makes a cool ping sound, like a guitar harmonic when you lift it off of each point, which gives you a great soft representation of the actual sound at each location. That's all. The Devil did not make it. It is safe for children of all ages. It just helps.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 02-02-2012, 10:36 PM
tard's Avatar
tard tard is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: springhill nova scotia canada
Posts: 1,327
Default Re: Drum tuners, tension gauges...are they worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks4drums View Post
I think you are missing the point on how to use the drum dial. You still go through the finger tightness step, then each tension rod in your favorite pattern, until you reach the amount of turns needed. Then you check with the dial to see if you were right with the first three steps. Finger tightness can be very intimidating to a newby. Sometimes it feels tight, but it is just binding on a nylon stay, or rough lug. Especially with older drums. The Dial just checks to see you are close. It doesn't take away any of the other steps. It also makes a cool ping sound, like a guitar harmonic when you lift it off of each point, which gives you a great soft representation of the actual sound at each location. That's all. The Devil did not make it. It is safe for children of all ages. It just helps.
Yes I understand but if your careful doing the first 3 steps the drum dial will actually take you further away than you were already.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 05:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com