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  #1  
Old 06-21-2018, 03:17 PM
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Default "Projection" of drums

They say thick shells project better than thin shells. Is that the right term? Sound travels at app. 1100 feet a second. Whether the shell is thick or thin.

I've never understood the meaning of projection. Isn't projection a matter of timbre and force? Think of an unmiced person talking to a crowd. If that person doesn't ennunciate well, the voice won't be understood well. The sound will still go as far as a well ennunciated voice at the same decibel level, it just won't be understood as well. Is this a parallel?

Please define projection as you understand it, because I never have.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Sound travels in waves. The higher the frequency, the closer the waves are to each other. A lower frequency will travel farther than a higher frequency due to wave spacing. Think about dropping a rock into a lake. The bigger the rock, the bigger the waves, the farther they go. Sound works the same way.
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Old 06-21-2018, 03:39 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I've always thought of projection in drums as being related to brightness and pitch. A generally higher pitch (and one that's in a frequency that isn't being saturated already) will be heard more clearly, which I think is what we perceive as projection.

Similarly, I think instruments that have a stronger fundamental tone also cut through better. A lot of the complex harmonics and overtones get lost in loud environments and if they are a big part of the sound that means there's less of the fundamental to get to the listener's ear.

Since thick shells and thick cymbals tend to have fewer overtones and more fundamental, and tend to naturally be higher pitched than a thinner version of the same size. So they're more likely to "project" because they're more focused.

I think projection has a lot more to do with frequency than volume.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I think thick shells project because they are just louder to start with. Remember if the shell resonates it is doing so by soaking up what would otherwise be acoustic energy.

Your enunciation analogy is correct. Articulation is not directly relayed to SPL.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I think of Projection as ultimately a measure of loudness, i.e. decibels. Think of two materials, but same head/tension, struck the same force.
The tom made out of solid birch, all other factors the same, will create a loudness (sound energy, over a given frequency spectrum) of a certain level.
The same tom, say of solid balsa wood, all other factors the same, would project a sound over a different frequency spectrum but having a different dB.
Its really the amplitude of a wave, not just the wavelength itself. There can be some very loud high pitched sounds (like alarms).
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

projection is an interesting thing ... to me it has always meant how well the sound travels to the ears of the listener

drummers generally often go by what the drums sound like to them behind the kit ... that often but not always results in the drums sounding like flat boxes to an audience

in my experience it is less about the wood and more about the tuning

for close micing situations you can tune however you want because the drums will be traveling to the front of house

for any other situation I suggest tuning batter heads slightly higher than reso heads for maximum projection

the opposite ... reso tighter than batter ... sounds great from behind the kit .. and is great for close micing ... but does not project quite as well

I was not convinced of this until I had a long in-depth conversation with Steve Maxwell ... he talked me into trying it and I have not turned back

then just recently I stumbled across the audio of a Joe Morello clinic where he talks about how he tunes this way ...

that was enough for me because in my opinion Joe had the best sounding drums ever
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  #7  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:32 PM
60's Drummer 60's Drummer is offline
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

In my mind, the drum head produces the amplitude of sound (decibels) and most of the tonal 'quality' and the shell 'conditions' both.

Moving air (loudness/db's) comes from the motion of the heads. The more rigid the shell, the less energy lost to it from the head, resulting in more "projection".

My rule of thumb was thick shells for arena rock - thin shells for recording. The quiet ambience of the studio allows the shell's 'conditioning' of the sound to become more prominent.
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Old 06-21-2018, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Projection of drums...would it be safe to say that it is the ability of the drums to be heard clearly amongst the din?

This could be accomplished by tuning to a frequency that's not saturated, also the force of the hits. What else could help with projection? I can't think of anything else.

I'm wondering if a thicker shell matters at all. Is it really true that overtones are lessened by thicker shells? On a drum with identical bearing edges but different thickness shell, would the thinner shell make more overtones with the same bearing edge? Aren't overtones a product of the head as opposed to the shell? Sorry for all the questions, but if I can't get an answer here, I'll have to make one up!

I'm getting the feeling that this is sort of a gray area.
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  #9  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:42 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by 60's Drummer View Post
My rule of thumb was thick shells for arena rock - thin shells for recording. The quiet ambience of the studio allows the shell's 'conditioning' of the sound to become more prominent.
Arena rock.... it's always miced. Only unmiced situations would benefit from a thicker shell right? In a recording situation, thin shells are preferred. Why not in a miced situation too?
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  #10  
Old 06-21-2018, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I may be wrong here, but didn't the trend in drum shells transition from less plies/thinner to more plies/thicker to keep up with the "modern rock sound/volume"? Also, you need to throw the shell depth into the mix - when manufacturers switched to more plies, they also (at some point) started going to a deeper shell depth, culminating in square size drums at one point. This was all done to be heard/increase projection. Although this doesn't define what projection is, at least this is how I understood why the trend occurred.
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Old 06-21-2018, 05:12 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
projection is an interesting thing ... to me it has always meant how well the sound travels to the ears of the listener

drummers generally often go by what the drums sound like to them behind the kit ... that often but not always results in the drums sounding like flat boxes to an audience

in my experience it is less about the wood and more about the tuning

for close micing situations you can tune however you want because the drums will be traveling to the front of house

for any other situation I suggest tuning batter heads slightly higher than reso heads for maximum projection

the opposite ... reso tighter than batter ... sounds great from behind the kit .. and is great for close micing ... but does not project quite as well

I was not convinced of this until I had a long in-depth conversation with Steve Maxwell ... he talked me into trying it and I have not turned back

then just recently I stumbled across the audio of a Joe Morello clinic where he talks about how he tunes this way ...

that was enough for me because in my opinion Joe had the best sounding drums ever
Batter head tighter than reso for max projection.....I always thought the opposite, but I dont really know for sure. Interesting
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  #12  
Old 06-21-2018, 05:27 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by J-Boogie View Post
Batter head tighter than reso for max projection.....I always thought the opposite, but I dont really know for sure. Interesting
Steve explains it well here ... this video was literally made the day after he and I had about a 2 hour conversation on tuning in his NY store

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkF80DigKzk

granted Steve uses this method on all drums ... I only use it on toms

my bass drum and snare have reso tighter
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  #13  
Old 06-21-2018, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Projection--think movie projector. It projects light. Drums, voices, intruments project sound. To me to project sound further there are two factors. Wave length and wave amplitude. This is acoustic projection and the web is full of definitions. Basically sound penetration. In our case penetrating the air or atmosphere.

You may want to read this as well. I won't bother to cut and paste the entire article. lol


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound
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  #14  
Old 06-21-2018, 06:05 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
Steve explains it well here ... this video was literally made the day after he and I had about a 2 hour conversation on tuning in his NY store

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkF80DigKzk

granted Steve uses this method on all drums ... I only use it on toms

my bass drum and snare have reso tighter
Maybe the tighter reso is for clarity and articulation more so than projection, which would make sense on snare and bass. I guess with toms a more warm rounded tone is more desirable than a precise sharp sound. Just thinking out loud. I used to think I was good at tuning, but the more I hear and learn the less sure I am about anything....knowledge works that way, huh? I dont want to work, I just want to bang on and discuss drums all day!
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  #15  
Old 06-21-2018, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Grunt is right. Projection is the ability to project, throw if you will, the sound. Back to the rock in the lake. The water radiates in a circle from it's source. Sound does the same thing. If you want the waves to go in the same direction then you must bounce or direct them. Put a giant boat in the water and now drop your rock. The waves bounce off and travel in an equal but opposite angle from the source. To do this with sound you can use a horn for a high frequency driver, a woofer or tweeter, a megaphone, whatever you want really. The sound from source doesn't get louder, it just travels in a similar direction, thus giving you more volume.

If you want to hear it for yourself, lay a speaker on the ground facing up. Stand a distance away from it. Now stand the speaker up and point it at you. The sound gets louder because it is projecting it's sound at you, not up.

Volume is a measure of quantity, not loudness. It has nothing to do with frequency, but the amount of sound. Loudness is decibels.

The sound can also be altered through movement. A cop car driving at you with its siren on has a higher pitch than it does when it passes. This is because the movement of the car actually alters the moment of the wave by shrinking or expanding it depending on direction.

If you want maximum projection from your drums, point them at the recipient.
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  #16  
Old 06-21-2018, 06:46 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Grunt is right. Projection is the ability to project, throw if you will, the sound. Back to the rock in the lake. The water radiates in a circle from it's source. Sound does the same thing. If you want the waves to go in the same direction then you must bounce or direct them. Put a giant boat in the water and now drop your rock. The waves bounce off and travel in an equal but opposite angle from the source. To do this with sound you can use a horn for a high frequency driver, a woofer or tweeter, a megaphone, whatever you want really. The sound from source doesn't get louder, it just travels in a similar direction, thus giving you more volume.

If you want to hear it for yourself, lay a speaker on the ground facing up. Stand a distance away from it. Now stand the speaker up and point it at you. The sound gets louder because it is projecting it's sound at you, not up.

Volume is a measure of quantity, not loudness. It has nothing to do with frequency, but the amount of sound. Loudness is decibels.

The sound can also be altered through movement. A cop car driving at you with its siren on has a higher pitch than it does when it passes. This is because the movement of the car actually alters the moment of the wave by shrinking or expanding it depending on direction.

If you want maximum projection from your drums, point them at the recipient.
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  #17  
Old 06-21-2018, 08:26 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrInsanePolack View Post
Grunt is right. Projection is the ability to project, throw if you will, the sound. Back to the rock in the lake. The water radiates in a circle from it's source. Sound does the same thing. If you want the waves to go in the same direction then you must bounce or direct them. Put a giant boat in the water and now drop your rock. The waves bounce off and travel in an equal but opposite angle from the source. To do this with sound you can use a horn for a high frequency driver, a woofer or tweeter, a megaphone, whatever you want really. The sound from source doesn't get louder, it just travels in a similar direction, thus giving you more volume.

If you want to hear it for yourself, lay a speaker on the ground facing up. Stand a distance away from it. Now stand the speaker up and point it at you. The sound gets louder because it is projecting it's sound at you, not up.

Volume is a measure of quantity, not loudness. It has nothing to do with frequency, but the amount of sound. Loudness is decibels.

The sound can also be altered through movement. A cop car driving at you with its siren on has a higher pitch than it does when it passes. This is because the movement of the car actually alters the moment of the wave by shrinking or expanding it depending on direction.

If you want maximum projection from your drums, point them at the recipient.
I know this is not a technical forum, but if anyone cares about technically what's going on ...

First- decibels are not a measure of anything. They express a ratio compared to something else logarithmically. It is used to compare two things ... temperature, light, voltage, power, etc. The term dB by itself is meaningless.

“Loudness” in measured in phons. Volume is measured in dBSPL. Loudness and volume are not the same thing. Loundess has a “perception” quality about it while “volume” is a straight pressure measurement.

How do you point a drum at anything? Different frequencies will go in different directions, all different from each other (even with North drums). You wanna focus your drums? Play up against a wall or double that by playing in a corner.

Police car phenominum is called doppler shift and only occurs if the sound source is rapidly moving. So unless you are playing drums on the back of a fast moving trailer it reall doesnt pertain to the discussion.

Part of the puzzle with drum projection (like all sound) is that low frequencies aren't as attenuated in air as high frequencies. You've all probably experienced the difference in sound quality at 100 feet compared to 20 feet. The highs will greatly fall off with distance, especially outdoors with very few reflections.
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  #18  
Old 06-21-2018, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Think about this:

A tighter tension on the reso head means the air (and sound (sound is energy, remember)) bounce more forcefully off the bottom head and back to the you, the drummer. That's why it sounds so good and delicious from the driver's seat.

A looser reso head allows the energy (the sound) to more easily escape away from the drum. Thus, being projected OUT towards the audience.

For the best projection possible, simply remove the reso heads all together - except for the snare drum, of course.
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Old 06-21-2018, 08:53 PM
J-Boogie J-Boogie is offline
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by mmulcahy1 View Post
Think about this:

A tighter tension on the reso head means the air (and sound (sound is energy, remember)) bounce more forcefully off the bottom head and back to the you, the drummer. That's why it sounds so good and delicious from the driver's seat.

A looser reso head allows the energy (the sound) to more easily escape away from the drum. Thus, being projected OUT towards the audience.

For the best projection possible, simply remove the reso heads all together - except for the snare drum, of course.
I always thought from behind the kit it sounds best either even tuning on heads or tighter up top. I thought tightening the reso makes it sound worse to the drummer, better to the house and project better. I know nothing, I better just shut up and go play.
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Old 06-21-2018, 09:38 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

As I understand it, thinner shells absorb more vibrations than thicker shells. The first frequencies that get absorbed and attenuate are the higher frequencies. This is why thinner shells sound "warm". Higher frequencies, since they're reflected by the thicker shells rather than absorbed, are allowed to be conducted/transmitted more freely by the heads, which makes the drum(s) sound "livelier" and the sound sounds more "projected."
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  #21  
Old 06-21-2018, 10:31 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I'm just not buying it. I think it was a marketing thing. If anything, most people need drums that are quieter. I don't need projection. Like I said, sound waves travel at app. 1,100 feet a second. I think we are mainly talking timbre here. A thicker shell may produce a livelier timbre and may give the illusion of more clarity and maybe mislabeled as having more projection. But it's not projection in my mind as much as it's more clarity. I think, I really don't know.

When I think of projection, I think of the thicker shelled drum being able to be heard at say 500 feet. Where a thinner shelled drum can't be heard past 300 feet. I'm not buying it. Maybe my definition is skewed. If thin shells are warm, does that mean that thick shells are not warm? Can they be described as colder sounding?

I'm not sure you can compare sound with light either. Sound is pressure waves, light is...I'm not sure what light is, but I'm pretty sure it's not pressure waves in the way that sound pressure waves behave. I may be off, not sure.
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  #22  
Old 06-21-2018, 10:58 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhoIsTony? View Post
projection is an interesting thing ... to me it has always meant how well the sound travels to the ears of the listener

drummers generally often go by what the drums sound like to them behind the kit ... that often but not always results in the drums sounding like flat boxes to an audience

in my experience it is less about the wood and more about the tuning

for close micing situations you can tune however you want because the drums will be traveling to the front of house

for any other situation I suggest tuning batter heads slightly higher than reso heads for maximum projection

the opposite ... reso tighter than batter ... sounds great from behind the kit .. and is great for close micing ... but does not project quite as well

I was not convinced of this until I had a long in-depth conversation with Steve Maxwell ... he talked me into trying it and I have not turned back

then just recently I stumbled across the audio of a Joe Morello clinic where he talks about how he tunes this way ...

that was enough for me because in my opinion Joe had the best sounding drums ever
I've had very bad luck tuning my top heads higher. For me, it makes an upward pitch bend that sounds bad from my stand-point next to the drum.

When you're tuning this way, how do you know when it's right? Do you actually get to a point where it sounds "good" from behind the kit, or is it really just a thing where the tone has to develop and that doesn't happen so close to the kit? Do you always check sound from audience perspective?

Do you leave it tuned that way when close-mic'd?

I've always done tight reso and bit higher than JAW on the batter, because it's literally the only sound that was "right" to my ear... However, I do in fact notice the toms getting lost sometimes when I'm back-lining my kit for another drummer and hear it from the audience. I guess I'm torn. Are there any tips you'd give?

If you got a drum dial I'm be curious about the ball-park numbers on that too, but no big deal on that part.

Sorry for all the questions.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:09 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

When I first got into my Ludwig wood shells, I had 16" and 18" floor toms, in both the 3 ply shell, and the 6 ply shell. Doing my own little field test, the 6 ply shells had more projection. They were louder. They cut thru the band better. However and whatever term you wanna use.
Since I was in a band, competing with Marshal and Ampeg amp rigs, I built up a kit of Luddie 6 ply drums. Sold off the 3 ply.
Now that I'm no longer competing with those kind of amps, I'm now playing 3 ply Luddie shells. I prefer them for overall tone (warmth).
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:46 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

hey brother ... I'll try to answer your questions to the best of my ability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post

When you're tuning this way, how do you know when it's right?
not really sure how I know when it is right... I just go by what is pleasing to my ears.
I've spent a lifetime tuning drums and like most of us have developed an ear for how to tune.
granted I've never tried this on kits that I do not play jazz on... all of the kits that I use for rock , funk, hip hop, country etc etc are all reso tighter than batter ... because those are always pretty much close mic situations ... I guess I could tune them all this way though ... not even sure why I don't to be honest


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Do you actually get to a point where it sounds "good" from behind the kit, or is it really just a thing where the tone has to develop and that doesn't happen so close to the kit?
it sounds great from behind the kit ... really no different than the opposite way ... as a side note ... my floor tom always ends up being tuned a little closer to even pitch than my rack tom ... meaning the rack tom batter is significantly tighter than the reso .... more so than the floor at least .
that is just how it works out when it pleases my ear. ... significantly may be a bit too strong of a word here

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Do you always check sound from audience perspective?
I think someone always does generally ... not specifically for my drum sound but for the overall band sound ... I do occasionally have someone play my drums while I sit and sip a pint and listen.
absolutely a noticeable difference

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
Do you leave it tuned that way when close-mic'd?
no ... I guess I could ... but as I said above ... I only tune kits that I play jazz with that way because we are often not close mic'd .
... wait .. I'm lying ... I played a rock gig last weekend where I used my Ludwigs and they were tuned that way and sounded huge under the mics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
I've always done tight reso and bit higher than JAW on the batter, because it's literally the only sound that was "right" to my ear... However, I do in fact notice the toms getting lost sometimes when I'm back-lining my kit for another drummer and hear it from the audience. I guess I'm torn. Are there any tips you'd give?
I think JAW on toms in general is a bad idea ... I hear guys play this way under mics and they run down the toms and it may as well be one tom they just played because it is 100% attack and nothing more .

my advice would be tighten up the heads a bit ... I've always found a tom that seems tuned too high up close sounds quite good and boomy from a distance ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr_Watso View Post
If you got a drum dial I'm be curious about the ball-park numbers on that too, but no big deal on that part.

Sorry for all the questions.
no worries .. I like questions ...

and I don't own a drum dial ... those paper weights are useless to me ... I do have a TuneBot somewhere ... I could take it out and get some readings for you if you would like
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Very interesting topic for me.

I play drums at a church and when the drums are set up in a certain place, the sound projection is very good and mics are almost unnecessary. The drums carry through the whole room and are heard easily in the music mix. It has to do with the shape of the room. But the very same drums are permanently in a spot that is off to the side next to a wall with a strange angle and the drums are positioned a bit lower than the stage. What a difference this makes. Obviously the sound and projection of the drums is much different there because of its position in the room. I need those mics and the house monitors to help project the sound through the room.

So how does one measure projection with all the various factors involved? Even our own ears differ. What sounds muffled or hard to hear to me might sound clear to another or vice versa. Obviously, how we play the instrument and what sticks or head choices we choose can make a difference. Personally, I think "projection" overall is mostly about the player and the room, and less about the anatomy of the drums or drum tuning.
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:55 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by Ruok View Post
Very interesting topic for me.

I play drums at a church and when the drums are set up in a certain place, the sound projection is very good and mics are almost unnecessary. The drums carry through the whole room and are heard easily in the music mix. It has to do with the shape of the room. But the very same drums are permanently in a spot that is off to the side next to a wall with a strange angle and the drums are positioned a bit lower than the stage. What a difference this makes. Obviously the sound and projection of the drums is much different there because of its position in the room. I need those mics and the house monitors to help project the sound through the room.

So how does one measure projection with all the various factors involved? Even our own ears differ. What sounds muffled or hard to hear to me might sound clear to another or vice versa. Obviously, how we play the instrument and what sticks or head choices we choose can make a difference. Personally, I think "projection" overall is mostly about the player and the room, and less about the anatomy of the drums.
drums always sound huge in buildings with high ceilings and live acoustics

also rooms with concrete walls... tile floors and the like ... especially if they are backed in a corner ...

the sound just bounces about the room and feels like you can hear it for miles ...

you could clap in a room like that and it will project forever ...

great point to bring up ... the room
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Old 06-21-2018, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Gotcha.

I wish I could play jazz at a performance level but it's still a bit of a foreign language. I'm still more along the lines of cave-man rock drumming. That makes more sense... Given your success with this tuning even in a rock/close-mic setup I'm going to do some experimenting, but my gigs are about 75% mic'd toms which is why I probably haven't worried all that much. They always do the kick and snare of course, which doesn't help with the tom-balance problem.

Thanks dude. Even if it's only a problem 25% of the time, I'd like to mess with it. My usual "fix" when I really didn't like it was to tune the drums so that the reso was closer to the batter, but still higher by a margin. That seemed to help them project a bit more if only because the note was longer.
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:03 AM
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:18 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
I'm just not buying it. I think it was a marketing thing. If anything, most people need drums that are quieter. I don't need projection. Like I said, sound waves travel at app. 1,100 feet a second. I think we are mainly talking timbre here. A thicker shell may produce a livelier timbre and may give the illusion of more clarity and maybe mislabeled as having more projection. But it's not projection in my mind as much as it's more clarity. I think, I really don't know.

When I think of projection, I think of the thicker shelled drum being able to be heard at say 500 feet. Where a thinner shelled drum can't be heard past 300 feet. I'm not buying it. Maybe my definition is skewed. If thin shells are warm, does that mean that thick shells are not warm? Can they be described as colder sounding?

I'm not sure you can compare sound with light either. Sound is pressure waves, light is...I'm not sure what light is, but I'm pretty sure it's not pressure waves in the way that sound pressure waves behave. I may be off, not sure.
It's just science and physics... Some sounds and frequencies travel better than others, some are absorbed easier by materials, some reflect better than others. The makeup of the waveform will determine how well it projects to an audience, and therefor the makeup that produces the specific note in a drum affects the "projection" as I'm defining it... Basically the ability to hear the majority of the sound from further away.

Do we at least agree that certain sound frequencies carry better than others over distance?
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Old 06-22-2018, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
....

When I think of projection, I think of the thicker shelled drum being able to be heard at say 500 feet. Where a thinner shelled drum can't be heard past 300 feet. I'm not buying it. .....

That's how I think of projection too. Not thick/thin, but how far away can they be heard.

I think the only objective way to test it would be to use a decibel meter at various distances for shells of different thicknesses and materials.
Not sure if anyone has done this and put the results out.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by dboomer View Post
I know this is not a technical forum, but if anyone cares about technically what's going on ...

First- decibels are not a measure of anything. They express a ratio compared to something else logarithmically. It is used to compare two things ... temperature, light, voltage, power, etc. The term dB by itself is meaningless.

“Loudness” in measured in phons. Volume is measured in dBSPL. Loudness and volume are not the same thing. Loundess has a “perception” quality about it while “volume” is a straight pressure measurement.

How do you point a drum at anything? Different frequencies will go in different directions, all different from each other (even with North drums). You wanna focus your drums? Play up against a wall or double that by playing in a corner.

Police car phenominum is called doppler shift and only occurs if the sound source is rapidly moving. So unless you are playing drums on the back of a fast moving trailer it reall doesnt pertain to the discussion.

Part of the puzzle with drum projection (like all sound) is that low frequencies aren't as attenuated in air as high frequencies. You've all probably experienced the difference in sound quality at 100 feet compared to 20 feet. The highs will greatly fall off with distance, especially outdoors with very few reflections.
Decibels are used as measurement. As a matter of fact, they were initially used to measure signal loss at 1 mile for telephone lines. Yes the logarithm can be applied to other sources, as a comparison of two or more differences, which is a measurement. Phons are related to decibles, but aren't as accurate as sones.

SPLs do measure volume, a quantity, of sound. I never said loudness and volume were the same thing. And FWIW, we measure EV cabinets at 124SPL at one meter +/- atmospheric pressure. The mic is calibrated everyday, by me. Today's level was 123.55SPL.

How do you point a drum? Why at a distance is the kick drum the thing you hear the most, even if it is the same size and tuning as a floor tom? Because it is pointed at you.

Different frequencies do not take different paths. They all radiate from the source equally, just like the rock in the lake. If they didn't, you might not be able to hear some of your drums because your throne is in the wrong spot.

Doppler shift may not pertain particularly to this discussion, but we are talking about how sound travels, and this is an interesting anomaly in sound travel. You don't like it, oh well, someone else might think it's interesting and learn something today. Oh, and the sound source doesn't have to be moving, it could be stationary and YOU moving.

Your last paragraph just reiterates what I said earlier, high frequencies don't travel as far as low ones.
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:25 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

In regards to measuring the loudness of drums, I use this definition:

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/decibel?s=t

"a unit used to express the intensity of a sound wave, equal to 20 times the common logarithm of the ratio of the pressure produced by the sound wave to a reference pressure, usually 0.0002 microbar."

Decibel meter might not be the exactly correct term, but it's what is commonly used.

https://www.google.com/search?q=deci...nt=firefox-b-1
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:39 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I guess there’s no accounting for the bastardation of the language ;)
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Old 06-22-2018, 01:41 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I’ve found that thin shelled drums sound better to me at the drum throne, but thicker shells sound louder in the audience (un-miked).

My understanding is that the thin shell flexes and absorbs some energy, especially the initial impact. This energy radiates 360 degrees around the drum.

The thicker/stiffer shell channels more of the energy directly to the bottom of the drum.

The most obvious example is kick drums, where you can sometimes barely hear yourself, but it sounds huge out front.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:02 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Thick shells have more volume because thinner shells will cause damping of the head when hit really hard.

The damping of the head will be heard as less loud than a thicker drum shell.

The thinness of the shell causes a choking or anti-node of vibration that makes the drum sound less full when hit hard.

Thinner shells top out at a lower volume even though you can smash the head to the same db level.

*Edit*
Morrisman summed it up as I was typing.
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Old 06-22-2018, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

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Originally Posted by dboomer View Post
I guess there’s no accounting for the bastardation of the language ;)
I don't really think its language. A logarithm of a measurement, or of its ratio to anything, is still a measurement. Otherwise (sadly) we could not have awarded the Who in 1976 as the loudest rock band of the time (120+ dB).
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Old 06-22-2018, 04:49 AM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

I don’t know....... call me crazy. But I just can’t understand why a guy who owns Guru Drums has to wonder about “projection”,
and how loud drums are !?!?!?!


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Old 06-22-2018, 02:23 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyY View Post
Thick shells have more volume because thinner shells will cause damping of the head when hit really hard.

The damping of the head will be heard as less loud than a thicker drum shell.

The thinness of the shell causes a choking or anti-node of vibration that makes the drum sound less full when hit hard.

Thinner shells top out at a lower volume even though you can smash the head to the same db level.

*Edit*
Morrisman summed it up as I was typing.
OK so thicker shells pass on more energy to the heads is my takeaway. But really, thinner shells...how much loss of SPL, loudness, clarity or sones are we talking here?

Enough to maybe attenuate some higher frequencies? Fair enough. How much attenuation would you get in a 50 foot deep room? I really don't think it's that much. Is it even noticeable in a small room? Anything deeper than 50 feet may need mics. Cymbals cut through nicely in a small room. They are mostly high end freqs. My point is, and I'm open to corrections...does this thin shell SPL (or whatever) loss phenomena amount to anything noticeable, unmiced in a small to medium room? I'm guessing very little. Inconsequential perhaps? Without any testing I just can't say.

Hollywood if I stopped wondering, I'd be dead. I'm all the way happy with every aspect of my drum sound. It's just that I'm part scientist and need to know the nature of things and how/why they work. Especially with sound. The drums I own have no bearing whatsoever on my thirst for knowledge. It's always about the bigger picture.
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:14 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by larryace View Post
OK so thicker shells pass on more energy to the heads is my takeaway. But really, thinner shells...how much loss of SPL, loudness, clarity or sones are we talking here?

Enough to maybe attenuate some higher frequencies? Fair enough. How much attenuation would you get in a 50 foot deep room? I really don't think it's that much. Is it even noticeable in a small room? Anything deeper than 50 feet may need mics. Cymbals cut through nicely in a small room. They are mostly high end freqs. My point is, and I'm open to corrections...does this thin shell SPL (or whatever) loss phenomena amount to anything noticeable, unmiced in a small to medium room? I'm guessing very little. Inconsequential perhaps? Without any testing I just can't say.

Hollywood if I stopped wondering, I'd be dead. I'm all the way happy with every aspect of my drum sound. It's just that I'm part scientist and need to know the nature of things and how/why they work. Especially with sound. The drums I own have no bearing whatsoever on my thirst for knowledge. It's always about the bigger picture.

I can only speak subjectively to the sound of thin drums vs thick. I listened to thin shell Sonors against their thick shells. The thin shells seemed to have a purer, airy tone at lower volume but the fundamental got slappy sounding when it was hit hard, where the thick shell kept the airy full tone on the loudest hits. The thick shells were boomier when smashed.

My guess is the loss is not noticeable in a small room unless the band is loud and heavy.

I once spoke with the rep for UFIP cymbals. He explained how the lower cymbal tones don't project over distance and music.
The UFIPs, to my ears, didn't have a certain complexity up close, but when I went into a different room and he played the UFIP ride against a nice Meinl ride, the UFIP "projected" a nice sound, where the Meinl lost its specialness.
He said the UFIPs were designed to sound good in the mix.
I guess they didn't have certain frequencies that might cancel out the intended tones at a resolving distance.
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Old 06-22-2018, 05:43 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by WallyY View Post
I can only speak subjectively to the sound of thin drums vs thick. I listened to thin shell Sonors against their thick shells. The thin shells seemed to have a purer, airy tone at lower volume but the fundamental got slappy sounding when it was hit hard, where the thick shell kept the airy full tone on the loudest hits. The thick shells were boomier when smashed.
OK Larry, I get it. Wondering is good.

WallyY.
There must be some limit to this thicker shell thing. Seems to me if the shell kept getting thicker and thicker, there would be a point at which all you would have is vibrating drum heads and a loss of loudness.


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Old 06-22-2018, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: "Projection" of drums

Some snares like the Ludwig Epic have 20 plies.

I haven't tried them, but they're supposed to sound good.
Some solid shells are pretty thick too.

And how about that DW Concrete shell: https://www.musicradar.com/reviews/d...e-snare-576082
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