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  #1  
Old 11-16-2012, 03:14 PM
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Default This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

In a one up, one down setup, is there a traditional note which the rack tom should be tuned to ??

Or the snare ??

Or is drum tuning mainly a case of 'tune the highest tom then tune the lower ones down from there' ?

Thank you for any help given.
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:38 PM
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K.Howden K.Howden is offline
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

There's isn't a traditional set of notes that a one-up one-down is tuned to. It depends on what size drums you're using and and like with a lot of things tuning-wise, it's down to personal preference and to a degree the type of music you're playing. For example; in Jazz this kind of set-up would be tuned quite high and open, in a Rock setting they'd be tuned lower and punchier. That's not to say it's a hard and fast rule, more of a generalisation.

The most important thing is to find out what tuning range each individual drum responds to the best and then tune to the pitch or tension you most prefer. As long as the drums are in tune with themselves they should sound as a group of instuments.

When tuning I usually start with my bass drum and snare, as long as those two are tuned up nicley I'm happy, as they're invariably the drums I'm gonna be playing the most. I then tune my floor tom to the lowest note I can get from it whereby it still has a good tone and a discernable note. I finish with my rack tom, being careful that it isn't tuned to a pitch that causes excessive sympathetic snare buzz, but also at a pitch where it's singing nicley and stands out in it's own right. I also like to tune the rack so it's far enough away from the floor tom to create good seperation between to two, but not so much that they sound completely alien from one another.

Hope that helps mate,

Kev
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Old 11-16-2012, 03:53 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
There's isn't a traditional set of notes that a one-up one-down is tuned to. It depends on what size drums you're using and and like with a lot of things tuning-wise, it's down to personal preference and to a degree the type of music you're playing. For example; in Jazz this kind of set-up would be tuned quite high and open, in a Rock setting they'd be tuned lower and punchier. That's not to say it's a hard and fast rule, more of a generalisation.

The most important thing is to find out what tuning range each individual drum responds to the best and then tune to the pitch or tension you most prefer. As long as the drums are in tune with themselves they should sound as a group of instuments.

When tuning I usually start with my bass drum and snare, as long as those two are tuned up nicley I'm happy, as they're invariably the drums I'm gonna be playing the most. I then tune my floor tom to the lowest note I can get from it whereby it still has a good tone and a discernable note. I finish with my rack tom, being careful that it isn't tuned to a pitch that causes excessive sympathetic snare buzz, but also at a pitch where it's singing nicley and stands out in it's own right. I also like to tune the rack so it's far enough away from the floor tom to create good seperation between to two, but not so much that they sound completely alien from one another.

Hope that helps mate,

Kev
A lot...
Reassuring as that's essentially how I've always tried to tune.
But a friend of mine, a drummer, seems to think that there is a 'note' which the drum kit should tune 'around'.
Thanks again.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:11 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

I'm not an expert at tuning at all, but I have seen various accounts whereby the "up" tom, I'm guessing a 12", is tuned at an A (around 180hrz per lug), and then the floor is tuned to and interval below that, the interval determined by preference.

As I said, just information I've passed over before, so it may be rubbish, but it might lead you to something.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

I have heard of specific notes being tuned on marching drums, but this is to get the most uniform sound out of many drums. I think for drum set, all drums have a pitch range where they will 'sing' best. Depending on depth, diameter, and many other factors, you have to find out what pitch your specific drum 'sings' best at. I would start low with even tension and bring up slowly until you find that pitch. It is something that takes patience.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:30 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

In all of the one up, one down sets I play, I use the note interval so that I can play "George of the Jungle". If I use three toms, it is "Three Blind Mice". Peace and goodwill.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

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Originally Posted by Drumolator View Post
In all of the one up, one down sets I play, I use the note interval so that I can play "George of the Jungle". If I use three toms, it is "Three Blind Mice". Peace and goodwill.
When I played on a 12/13/14 tom setup, I tuned to 3 Blind Mice as well.

I usually play on a 12/14 or 13/16 combo now. The 12/14 is roughly a major 3rd or a 4th, and the 13/16 has a sweet spot of a 4th where each of the drums sing and resonate.

Tuning is whatever you like, really.
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Old 11-16-2012, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

i tune for maximum sustain. mount the toms, and if the sustain is compromised, i find out why, and correct either the tuning, or the mounting. tuning to specific note is a waste of time- it may not be that drum's sweet spot with the heads that are on it, and the note WILL be dissonant at some point, in some song, so what's the point? change the tuning for every song? borrow bozzio's kit and play in a different key? nah.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

Thanks for all your help guys....much appreciated
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:28 PM
brentcn brentcn is offline
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

The makers of the Tune Bot have this chart.

Of all the variations in a drum's design, its diameter is going to contribute most to the tuning range. It's desirable to have the drums tuned to each other in specific intervals. Major thirds, perfect fourths, perfect fifths, and octaves are the most instantly recognizable, so you can really hear the drums "cooperate" when playing rolls and unisons.

According to the Tune Bot chart, if your "one up, two down" sizes are 12, 14, 16, then the pitches A, F, and C, respectively, create a series of perfect fourths (in ascending order).

If your sizes are 13, 16, 18, then you could tune to F, C, and G for perfect fourths (also in ascending order).
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:16 AM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

I have always tuned my toms whether it be three, four or five so that they sound good together obviously. But I have never tried to make a drum sound to a particular note because the upper tom just may not be able to attain what you are after. Most toms regardless of brand, wood type or size are going to have a sweet spot or best sound for it. Also if your band is playing most songs in a particular key, your sounds just may not fit. I like the three blind mice idea as long as you are using the interval and not necessarily any particular notes.
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Old 11-17-2012, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

this is your answer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ev1xhRvY-A

floor, snare, rack

or on a five piece.....floor, high, mid

I have used this method forever and my drums always sympathize with each other
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:44 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I have always tuned my toms whether it be three, four or five so that they sound good together obviously. But I have never tried to make a drum sound to a particular note because the upper tom just may not be able to attain what you are after. Most toms regardless of brand, wood type or size are going to have a sweet spot or best sound for it. Also if your band is playing most songs in a particular key, your sounds just may not fit. I like the three blind mice idea as long as you are using the interval and not necessarily any particular notes.
The "sweet spot" is typically a "sweet range of spots", but the relationship between batter and reso head might change depending on where you are in that range. In general, a tuning in the higher range of a drum will require the reso head to be pitched higher than the reso, and sometimes vice versa in the low end of the drum's range.

As for what key is most suitable, that's going to depend on your band, or perhaps the song that has lots of toms or drum breaks/solos. Yes, there will be songs and moments when the drums are "out", but there will be songs and moments when they are "in" as well. Whether it's worth the investment of time is debatable, of course, but I'd encourage the OP (and you, too!) to at least try it out.

Quote:
this is your answer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ev1xhRvY-A
This is a handy way to remember your tuning goals, and when played in that order, the drums will sound good, but there are some harmonic ideas going on here that should be considered. From low to high, of course the intervals are common: going from floor to mid to high creates a perfect fourth, and going from mid to high creates a major third. However, the interval between the floor tom and high tom is a sixth, which is somewhat dark, and doesn't have the immediate familiarity of a 3rd, 4th, or 5th, or octave. Also, going from high tom to mid tom in a descending direction, the interval is an augmented fifth, which is a strain on the ear compared to more common intervals.

Tuning to perfect fourths (from low to high) between two toms has a secondary advantage: played in reverse order (high to low), the intervals is a perfect fifth.

I don't mean to get on anyone's case about their tuning, since it's such a personal thing. I'm only relating what we do to harmony, and I'm certainly not suggesting that an intervalic approach is any better than a "sweet spot" or "sing song" approach, just different. :)
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:53 PM
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2012, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: This might be a really 'king stupid tuning question....

Good stuff Brent. I guess heads have a lot to do but I know that my toms if they are much higher than the sweet spot don't resonate and much lower start to growl. Sweet range is a better description.
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