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  #1  
Old 02-07-2015, 06:20 PM
kuren84 kuren84 is offline
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Default Tuning woes

Hi all, I was wondering if I could call on the vast amout of knowledge that we have here and ask for your tuning help.
Tuning is one of the things I hate doing and new heads are a nightmare. I don't have so much of a problem with the Toms or Bass but the snare just sounds just horrible. I don't know what it is, there are over tones everywhere it's very pingy or echos, just horrid.
Drum dial is of no help (unless it's broken or I am not using it correctly?) and the million of youtube videos haven't done the trick either.
If anyone can offer some advice or better still if someone is in the near vicinity or Maidstone, Kent, Uk snd fancies ddoing it for me. :-)

It is a maple 14x5.5" With a Remo coated emperor with stock Remo Reso.
Thanks guys and gals.
Kevin
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  #2  
Old 02-07-2015, 06:36 PM
KamaK KamaK is online now
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Snare (with the drum dial) is problematic because of the snare bed, which prevents you from using the dial on the adjacent lugs. My recommendation is to simply use the drum dial on the non-adjacent lugs and count the turns so that you can apply the same number to the adjacent lugs. I 'think' I saw a drum-dial youtube video somewhere that basically outlined the process.

Another option would be to de-tune and re-tune your snare drum every Monday from scratch and by ear till you "get-it" and it becomes second nature. Failure begets wisdom.

If overtones are genuinely an issue, check that the snare is round with a tape measure and that the top bearing edge is flat on a glass table. Check that the top hoop isn't warped. Also double check your intuition. I hear many people complain about overtones when they put a new head on a snare, as if they've forgotten what a snare with new heads sounds like.
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  #3  
Old 02-07-2015, 07:24 PM
davidbehrens3.14 davidbehrens3.14 is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Yep, I'd recommend doing opposite lugs with the DrumDial. Also, a Coated Emperor is a pretty good snare head, but you could probably reduce your overtones a little more easily with Powerstroke, Controlled Sound, or even Coated Pinstripe options.
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  #4  
Old 02-07-2015, 08:34 PM
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coolhand1969 coolhand1969 is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Snare has always been the hardest for me. Sometimes I get it where I want, then come back the next day and wonder what I was thinking. I use a Metal Pearl snare 14 x 6.5, with an Emperor X Batter and an Ambassador Snare Side. Once I have it where I like it, I put a plastic control sound-ring on it and it usually sounds good. I do not like my snare jacked up as tight as it will go, I do not do any brush work, so I can have a fatter sound (Some like it, others do not). I think of it this way, I want the snare to go off like a Colt 45 and my kick like a 12 Gauge (Strange references, but I am from KY)
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  #5  
Old 02-07-2015, 09:49 PM
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larryace larryace is online now
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Default Re: Tuning woes

If you haven't already, try this:

Crank the snare reso way tighter than you have it now. If it's relatively easy to turn the snare reso tension rods....yea, they're way too loose. Tighten those bitches down until you start to feel a fair amount of resistance when turning rods. If the reso is more than 2 years old, change it. When the reso rods are super tight, your snare drum will do what it's supposed to.

After I get it where I want it, with the snare on the stand I tap the bottom head (first turn the snares off) and listen for the note. I have that note more or less memorized. To check tuning before I gig I just tap the reso, and if it sounds low, compared to the note I know it should be at, I tighten it up.

You can also tell by feel. If I fear I'm about to stretch the bottom film when I'm tensioning it....yup that's where I like it. Super tight. Snares are easy. Just tighten the hell out of the bottom, and tune the top however loose or tight you want it, and loosen or tighten your snares however you like them. But the bottom head has to be super duper tight. They just don't sound good to me any other way. You can still keep the top head loose and still get a deep fatback sounding beat. You can still tune it way low with a super tight reso. Sounds awesome that way when you want that kind of sound.
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  #6  
Old 02-07-2015, 09:55 PM
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If you haven't already, try this:

Just tighten the hell out of the bottom, and tune the top however loose or tight you want it, and loosen or tighten your snares however you like them.

Yeah that's what I do.

I think the snare drum is the easiest drum to tune.
I think the floor tom is the hardest.

.
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  #7  
Old 02-08-2015, 03:54 AM
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Yeah that's what I do.

I think the snare drum is the easiest drum to tune.
I think the floor tom is the hardest.

.
+1. Snare is easy. I struggle with my floor toms. As soon as I think I nailed it I hit them again and I hate the way they sound. I'm going to invest in a tune-bot.
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2015, 04:14 AM
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollywood Jim View Post
Yeah that's what I do.

I think the snare drum is the easiest drum to tune.
I think the floor tom is the hardest.

.
Absolutely!

I am constantly tweaking my floor tom. That drum, more than any other it seems, changes sound from room to room.
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  #9  
Old 02-08-2015, 04:41 AM
Brian Brian is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Be sure to seat and stretch the batter head well. Practice is what makes for good tuning, though...nothing more.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2015, 05:52 AM
KamaK KamaK is online now
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by brady View Post
I am constantly tweaking my floor tom. That drum, more than any other it seems, changes sound from room to room.

I'm constantly second guessing my floor tom tunings. I've learned that I have trouble with intonation at lower registers and need to work on that. In the short term, I've resigned to tensioning the drum evenly and trusting that it sounds good to ears more mature than mine. The funny thing is, FT's sound wonderful to me on recorded playback.
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2015, 10:07 AM
kuren84 kuren84 is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Thank you all so much for your comments and I will eb sure to tighten the hell out of the bottom head, which to be fair really could do with being changed. Do any of you recomend hazy or stick to clear? I want to stick to Remo so as always any thoughts welcome.
Thanks again
Kevin
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  #12  
Old 02-08-2015, 02:00 PM
Nour Ayasso Nour Ayasso is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuren84 View Post
Thank you all so much for your comments and I will eb sure to tighten the hell out of the bottom head, which to be fair really could do with being changed. Do any of you recomend hazy or stick to clear? I want to stick to Remo so as always any thoughts welcome.
Thanks again
Kevin
My OPINION:
Well, if overtones are your problem, then coated is your answer. Clear heads bring out overtones while coated heads drown them out. Mute/muting is also a good idea like moon gel or just some tape. Coated, thick, two ply head are specs that will reduce overtones (although you can mute a thin head for similar result) For Remo I'll suggest, be specs: remo powerstroke 3 black dot, 4, 77, and controlled sound x. These all seem ideal for you...

*cough cough* Evans Onyx *sneeze*

Also, two details you might have not considered.
1. Tightening the bottom head (or top, or any head for that matter) will increase resonance which will increase overtones. You can try a coated bottom head and tape as well. Just mentioning that since I've heard drummers have done that before for a very dry sound.

2. Depending on what or where you're playing, these overtones might actually be a good thing. I used to have a dry and muted snare to where it almost sounded choked. It sounded good when playing by myself but in live setting it doesn't cut through at all. Live, overtones are almost like a small natural reverb, barely noticeable but helps carryout the sound tremendously.

But yeah, to get the sound you want, you're gonna have to experiment with heads and tuning on your own. Muting with tape is a very quick option to see how much you like. Slap some tape on near the rim, if you need more muting keep adding it until hear what you like.
Cheers
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2015, 03:36 AM
moxman moxman is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Google the Drum Tuning Bible... a ton of GREAT info in there. Very organized and thorough - I've relied on that guide for years.. it works!

Last edited by moxman; 02-09-2015 at 08:35 PM.
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  #14  
Old 02-09-2015, 04:16 AM
JohnPloughman JohnPloughman is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Set the head level finger tight. If you do this right, it will all be good.

Since I don't know what threads you have.... in 1/2 turns. Using standard cross lug tensioning, put 1 1/2 turns on Top, Two on bottom. Check the drum. Add 1/4 turn all around top and bottom if needed. Check drum. If everything is great to your ears right here.... then stop. Add 1/4 turn top and bottom. Check Drum. Add 1/4 turn on bottom only. Check Drum. This will register about 89-91 on the drum dial. Single ply top, snare side bottom.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2015, 01:21 PM
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sdedge sdedge is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Well to make it a little more complicated:
1: your kit will sounds completely different out front then behind the kit, let someone play your kit and back away and listen.
2: if you play with or with out mics [different tuning]
3: with out mics i attend more to a open tuning more sustain upper en lower heads tuned the same ,because the kit has to be more lifely in the band sound.
4:With mics i tune more a tight sound ,more higher resonant head on the toms,to get a less sustain.[ because on the front mix sustain will be pain for the band sound,most of the time the sound guy will try to eliminate the sustain out of your toms by eq it out or by using compares/gates.]
5: But always try to find the sweetspot were toms sounds the most lively ,then just adjust bottem head ,for with or without mics.
6: to find that sweet spot i always find the lowest tuning were the toms sounds still got tone end the highest tune until its tone is dead .,i attent to try to get in the middle of that were the tom is sounding most full.
7: Remember every tom has its fundamental shell tone ,the bigger the tom the less tuning range you got.
8:You want a higher fundamental tone take a smaller tom a 12 or 10,a lower go up with tom sizes.
9:Heads can provide more attack,clear or warm sound or more or less overtones, even overtones can sound good away from the kit ,and bad behind it, but they wil not chance the fundamental tone of the toms.

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  #16  
Old 02-10-2015, 01:36 PM
mikel mikel is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuren84 View Post
Thank you all so much for your comments and I will eb sure to tighten the hell out of the bottom head, which to be fair really could do with being changed. Do any of you recomend hazy or stick to clear? I want to stick to Remo so as always any thoughts welcome.
Thanks again
Kevin
As long as its a dedicated snare side head you will be ok, they tend to be thinner than batter heads. Personaly I would go for clear.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2015, 02:23 PM
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Icetech Icetech is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Just my .02.. my snare has made me insane to the point of buying a tunebot, in the end i ended up not cranking my reso head til its screaming. When i would crank it up (400hz) the drum sounded like tin can and rang insanely.. took me forever but i ended up tuning down a bit. Reso head at 320 and batter at 230. And over all of the drum is 3d# now. I know those numbers probably won't help you.. just saying try not cranking the crap outa the reso head and see how it is..

P.S. the best thing i found as far as overtones is make sure to pitch match the lugs as close as you can.. 1 being out will make my drums just go crazy. When i get them as close as i can all those problems went away.. good luck..

P.S. the tunebot actually makes pitch matching super easy.
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  #18  
Old 02-10-2015, 10:30 PM
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Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icetech View Post
When i would crank it up (400hz) the drum sounded like tin can and rang insanely...
I guess everyone's perception is a bit different but I routinely tune my bottom snare heads to the neighborhood of G# or A (415 - 440 hz) and that really doesn't seem particularly high to me.
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  #19  
Old 02-10-2015, 10:45 PM
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Icetech Icetech is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

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Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
I guess everyone's perception is a bit different but I routinely tune my bottom snare heads to the neighborhood of G# or A (415 - 440 hz) and that really doesn't seem particularly high to me.
Yeah i read about guys tuning that high and i honestly don't think i could tune that high if i tried. at 400hz i thought i was going to break a lug and the tension rods were VERY hard to turn.. maybe my tuner is off 100hz:)
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2015, 06:29 PM
moxman moxman is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icetech View Post
iWhen i would crank it up (400hz) the drum sounded like tin can and rang insanely.. took me forever but i ended up tuning down a bit.
Yes.. 'tin' is what you get if cranking the reso to an extreme tension. Similar to cranking the batter to an extreme.. then it's just 'dead'. I think most drummers use something between the medium to tight tension.. too loose and it can sound like mush.. too tight and it's tin or choked. Gotta let the sound breathe!
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2015, 06:50 PM
kuren84 kuren84 is offline
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Default Re: Tuning woes

Well thanks for all the responses totally apprechiated. I recieved my new Remo ambassador reso head today, slapped that on and wow the exact sound I wanted. As I said a massive thankyou for the advice.

Kevin
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