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  #601  
Old 02-01-2015, 02:27 PM
Fieldhouse Fieldhouse is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Hey Elvis, thanks for you feedback,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
"Ok, listened to the recording again.
I see now what sounded like "Diplomats" to me was the snare drum.
Oddly enough, when you're playing a backbeat, it sounds like the snare wires are pulled too tight, but when you go to do a fill, I picked up a throatier sound and the presence of the snare wires is increased."
This is probably a mix of my consistency (I'm not too bad but I know i can do better, especially when playing with greater intensity) and the fact that my strainer slips while playing the drum (replacing with a Dunnett strainer tomorrow), so it was too tight at first and then slipped into a throatier sound as you described.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elvis View Post
"Otherwise, everything else sounded pretty good.
If the toms ever seem kinda bright and a bit..."flat" sounding, you could swap the Ambassadors for coated Diplomats.
Tends to make the drums sound "bigger".
Some people hear the increase in the presence of the resonance, due to that head change, as increased sustain, even though its been proven that lightweight heads, like Dips, actually possess less sustain than their heavier counterparts.
So just remember that if it seems like that to you, it's not increased sustain, so don't try to "remedy" for that............Try it, you'll see what I mean by the tom sounding "bigger"."

Elvis
I'll have to give this a go, I totally get what you mean as it seems like a logical extension of the sound I'm trying to go for -big open sound with full resonance-. I'll probably use Diplomats when I go to record with my band, but keep using ambassadors for practice/gigging for now.

Thanks for the advise man!

Jon
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  #602  
Old 02-01-2015, 08:45 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Not a problem man.
Glad you found my comments helpful.



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  #603  
Old 02-16-2015, 06:32 AM
MN's Fav MN's Fav is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Anyone know where I can get pre-tuned heads? Selling my RIMS Headset and the current heads are pretty trashed.http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hn...883710206.html
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  #604  
Old 03-21-2015, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Just more food for thought.

Try this. Take off the resonant head of the tom. Place drum ontop of roll of bounty paper wipes or small pillow. Now thump the inside of the drum to get a shell note. Now tune the batter to this note. The drum should come alive with a BWOOWWW sound. Now tune the reso a 3rd, 4th or 5th higher.

My kit now sounds like a huge 60's ludwig sound. The closest I can describe is Mitchells kit on Axis: Bold as Love. Or even a track like 'Hey Joe' Love those fat tom sounds.

I usually tune both heads the same, sure it's resonant, but you get a lot more character tuning the reso in harmony above.

EDIT: Tune the Reso to heard shell pitch, or shell note.. Then tune batter 3rd lower for heavy stadium rock sound

Tune Batter to shell pitch , tune reso 3rd higher for vintage rock sounding toms (mitchell, bonham etc)

Tune batter and reso same pitch for Jazz, usually a minor 3rd lower than desired shell sound to avoid choking.

I find tuning the batter with the reso a 3rd higher eliminates the need for dampening somewhat and also provides the best upfront stick response and attack, and still sounds very musical.

Last edited by nickjd; 03-24-2015 at 01:50 PM.
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  #605  
Old 04-10-2015, 01:21 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunchykong View Post
i have a pacific fxr kit. it says it has true pitch tunning.
I have a PDP concept maple. The true pitch tuning refers to the fact that it has a finer thread on the tension rods vs. standard which leads to the ability to "fine tune" easier with tension. That's it.

Scroll down this page and you'll see an illustration and explanation: http://www.dwdrums.com/snares/features.asp
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  #606  
Old 07-18-2015, 08:55 PM
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Tony Trout Tony Trout is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berberman View Post
i recomend this site: http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/
the drum turning bible. That says it all

happy tunning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ashbash View Post

Unfortunately, that site is not longer available. :(
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  #607  
Old 07-19-2015, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

All you have to do is Google "The Drum Tuning Bible"...

https://www.google.com/#q=the+drum+tuning+bible
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  #608  
Old 08-17-2015, 08:48 PM
Friedmett Friedmett is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Just went through my 4 racktoms and 2 floortoms doing a fine tune

Remo Pinstribe on top which works really well and Remo Ebony Ambassador on the bottom works great and looks cool on a white wrap kit.

I have always used the Tama Tension Watch and it helps to keep the tension right for longer between tuning any drum.

I got it way back when I first got my drum kit and slowly could set it up around 2003/4. I knew about guitars but not drums as far as getting them in tune and as my bass player (me being the guitarist getting a drum kit) noticed I had to do something.

So as I got Tama I got a Tension Watch and just took the samples and went from there. Does this sound good and right for the drum? I pretty quickly got the old skins sounding pretty good and I wrote down my desired tension which I still use today.

As long as it sounds great and it does it works for me. The kit is pretty open and no muffling or anything else just at the desired tension.
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  #609  
Old 08-18-2015, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Sounds like you answered your own question.
Rock on, man.


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  #610  
Old 08-18-2015, 06:37 AM
incrementalg incrementalg is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Hey all,
I wanted to share what my toms sound like and get some feedback. I like the sound of wide open toms and I think I found what I like for each tom individually. But, I'm not sure if they sound too similar in terms of whatever note each drum is at.

I should've played both toms in one video, but ran out of time and won't be behind the drums for another couple of days. I'm excited about the sound I'm getting from the drums, so I can't resist posting these two clips. Eventually, I'll try to record the whole set, but using just an iPhone means a room recording is probably just going to sound like a bunch of thumping and whacking.

The drums are Gretsch New Classics.

8x12 tom. A single whack so it's short...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIADMdYG1bA

16x16 floor tom. Also a single whack...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5kXhKFDhlM

Sorry for the background thumping. I didn't notice it while I was recording. Pretty sure it's my kids jumping around the house.

What do you think?
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  #611  
Old 08-18-2015, 08:06 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Quote:
Originally Posted by incrementalg View Post
What do you think?
For me, much of what I hear about a tom comes from context. Unfortunately, a single hit gives very little context. Something as simple as RLRK across the kit a couple times would allow me to give you a lot more meaningful feedback.


That said, nothing sounded horrible in your current vids that I would be worried about.
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  #612  
Old 08-18-2015, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

incrementalg,

If it works for you, that's all that counts.



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  #613  
Old 08-18-2015, 09:41 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Quote:
Originally Posted by incrementalg View Post
Hey all,
I wanted to share what my toms sound like and get some feedback. I like the sound of wide open toms and I think I found what I like for each tom individually. But, I'm not sure if they sound too similar in terms of whatever note each drum is at.

I should've played both toms in one video, but ran out of time and won't be behind the drums for another couple of days. I'm excited about the sound I'm getting from the drums, so I can't resist posting these two clips. Eventually, I'll try to record the whole set, but using just an iPhone means a room recording is probably just going to sound like a bunch of thumping and whacking.

The drums are Gretsch New Classics.

8x12 tom. A single whack so it's short...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIADMdYG1bA

16x16 floor tom. Also a single whack...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5kXhKFDhlM

Sorry for the background thumping. I didn't notice it while I was recording. Pretty sure it's my kids jumping around the house.

What do you think?
There was a little bit of sibilant wavering on the higher tom that may just be an artifact of the phone recording. Otherwise, both toms sounded fine. I don't think the two pitches are going to match very well, but I'd really need to hear them together in context to be sure.
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  #614  
Old 08-18-2015, 04:06 PM
incrementalg incrementalg is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

I'll make a quick recording with a little back and forth on both toms. I think my struggle comes from never having just two toms...prior to this setup I played on 6 piece sets...with either two up and 2 down or 3 up and one down. I found it easier to get a good spacing between 4 toms than 2.
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  #615  
Old 08-18-2015, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by incrementalg View Post
I think my struggle comes from never having just two toms...prior to this setup I played on 6 piece sets...with either two up and 2 down or 3 up and one down. I found it easier to get a good spacing between 4 toms than 2.
In that case, here's something to consider.
You may be looking for 6-piece pitch spacing in a 4-piece kit.
If you find that may be (at least partly) what's going on with your predicament, then you'd be smart to readjust your thinking.
It's like driving a car.
If you have a 6-speed transmission, you tend to do a lot of shifting, because there's so many speeds to choose from.
If you have a 4-speed transmission, you tend to leave the car in any of the gears for a longer time, and over a greater speed range, because there are fewer gears to choose from.
Don't be so apt to "shift the trans" so much, leave it "in gear" a little longer.
In other words, when you play the kit, don't try swapping between toms so often. Learn to hang with one tom for a longer time.
It's like the older Jazz drummers, who'd create their fills and solo's by hanging on the snare, or the snare and one tom, for a longer period of time compared to the later Jazz/Fusion drummers who make quick transitions between the snare and many toms.
So just tune those two toms like you always have and work with the pitches you have available to you.
Remember, any change you make to your kit is going to present about as many new issues, as it will solutions.

...one other thing that might help - I notice the small tom is tuned for a pitch drop, but the floor tom isn't.
Retune one of those toms so they either both have a pitch drop, or not.
That will help give the kit a more uniform sound.


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  #616  
Old 08-20-2015, 03:06 AM
incrementalg incrementalg is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Thanks for the feedback! Tomorrow I'll have time to adjust the tuning and will work on getting them in synch as far as pitch bend. My preference is to have them not bend up or down. Getting them more in synch might be exactly what I need.
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  #617  
Old 08-20-2015, 03:57 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Man that's some sustain you got going on there g. It's a fairly pure note, not too low, and it will sound good from a distance unmiced IMO. IDK I like tuning my high tom and low tom to octaves from each other. You tune pretty much how I like to hear a kit. I give it a high score. If toms can sound good all by them selves unmuffled....job done. 3 point mic them and put them through a PA and they would sound glorious, beautiful and alive.
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  #618  
Old 11-20-2015, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

My floor tom sounds good now after 3.5 years of tuning.

This probably sounds insane. I have a stage custom which is said to be easy to tune and a great kit for the price. That is true. But I could never get a decent sound out of the floor tom. My drum room is so small that the floor tom produces an annoying resonance (I guess the wavelength is the width of the room) that never stops and sounds absolutely terrible.

Tuned up and down and all over the place, changed heads from stock to G2/G1 and even made a bass trap to be put in a corner of the room. Did not solve the problem. What worked at some point was a little plastic container full of rockwool placed underneath (not touching!) the floor tom that eats up the resonance right where it is created.

That was about a year ago. The resonance was gone but the tom still sounded meh. Tried Evans hydraulic head, which sounded ok for a while but I really wanted the floor tom to sound like the rack toms i.e. nice and open Simon Phillips style, just lower pitch than the rack toms.

The other day I decided to move back to G2 and tune the whole kit way down, just high enough to have some tension on the head but low enough for the G2 to sound a little flappy. Instead of tuning it up further as I used to do, I found back some old moongel (it turns purple after a few years :) ) and tried that to dry up the sound. And all of a sudden with two moongels it sounded decent!

I'm not saying you should try this at home. All I'm saying is, if you're cleverer than I am, which is probable, there is hope for you to get your tuning right, it just takes a lot of messing around...... ;)
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  #619  
Old 11-26-2015, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Re: small plastic container filled witth rockwool.

Glad it worked for you.
Sound like a variation on the old trick of finding a remnant of shag carpeting, just large enough to fully cover the area of the floor tom, then set it on the floor and set the floor tom on top of it.
Acts as a sort of muffler to kill the sound waves reverbing back onto the bottom head from a hard floor.



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  #620  
Old 03-11-2016, 11:11 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Using tape on heads. Recommended if you want to tame a drumhead from resonating too much. There is an effective way to tape, and there's an ineffective way.

Just randomly laying a piece of gaffers tape on the batter head where its out of your way may look like a good idea, but it'll produce negative results for the most part. When anything like a piece of tape, MOONGEL etc is placed on a drumhead that head immediately becomes unbalanced, weighted to one side and as such will not vibrate correctly. Since sound is subjective the results may be perceived as effective, but drumheads need to vibrate evenly to perform efficiently and weighting one side isn't helping the sound waves activate the head to its max w/o imbalanced oscillation.

The effective way to tame hi frequency ring w/o severally impeding head vibration is to stretch the tape on the head (see pic below).

Press the tape onto the head at the desired place near the rim (in the pic the stripe of the PINSTRIPE head was used as a starting point), then stretch the tape over and press it down on the rim. The tape is 'loaded', its pulling tension on the head. The effects with loading the tape are positive, as opposed to just weighting the head in an imbalanced fashion, and effecting vibration with nothing more than imbalanced weight.
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  #621  
Old 08-30-2016, 01:57 PM
Yong Yong is offline
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Default Tuning Newbee

Hi all~!!

I am new to Drumworld, and new to durms. :)

I recently bought a drum kit (Sonor Smartforce) for my son (8yr old). I am quite happy that he really enjoys playing drums, but I would like to get to know more about tuning and drum head selection so the set sounds like the ones in youtube demo's - it sounds decent as is, but not quite like the demo ones. :)

1. When you start from the scratch with both heads off do you start by putting on one side first and tune it to the sound you like and then put on the other one to tune that one, or do you put both heads on and then start tuning from one side? The reason I ask is that I read many advising that you first get rid of wrinkles and then tighten the lugs until you get a solid "tone", but with both heads on in un-tuned state I find the sound of un-tuned back side making the drum sound really bad no matter what I do on the tuning side. If I put the drum on the carpet to kill the sound of the backside I don't really get any "tone" when I hit the side I am tuning. I end up getting reso side open, tune the batter side so I get a nice "tone" (I hit the head with drum held up not on the floor so one end is open) and fine tune so all lugs sound the same. Then I put the other head on and then tune that side - it's still harder for me to tune with both heads on, but at least one side is tuned so I just try to match (or slightly higher or lower) the pitch and fine tune. Is this a bad way of tuning? I've never seen any writing or youtube post doing this - they always start with both sides on.

2. When you tune, do you tune reso first or batter first? Which one governs the pitch the drum makes? For instance if I want my 10" tom to sound C, do I tune my reso to C or batter to C? I ask because people often say reso is lower or higher than the batter so they are not the same.

3. If I want a rich "doo" sound with not so much ringing sound which head combination do you recommend?

These are a few of thousands of questions I want to ask so please help me out!!! :)

Cheers!

YONG
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  #622  
Old 09-15-2016, 09:52 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Yong,

Welcome to the world of Percussive Music.

The answers below are numbered in correspondence with your questions...

1) Tune each head one at a time. You may have to retune the first head once you get both heads installed and tuned, because the tuning you originally used may now be dissonant to the head combination you're using.

2) Always tune the resonant side first. Drums 101.

3) Pinstripe over either an Ambassador or a Diplomat.

Lastly, here's a tuning tutorial I wrote many years ago. It's posted on prior pages in this section, but I'll repost it here for your convenience.
Read through it first, then try it out.
IF you have any questions, feel free to ask.

(tutorial starts now )

Here's my step-by-step tutorial on how to change out and tune up a drum head.
It's kinda long, so get comfy.
Read it all first, THEN do it (refer back, if you need to).

There's a few ways to "break in" a new head.
Over the years, I've tried various methods.
The way I'm about to describe has worked very well for me and is a much faster way of "breaking in" a head than most others:

1) Remove the old head.

2) Take a piece of cloth (old T-shirt works well) and give a quick wipe to the bearing edge, the underside of the collar and the glue ring of the new head and the underside of the hoop.

3) Place the new head on the drum and spin it on the shell.
Make sure it fits on and spins easily.
If not, return the head and get another.
If it does, continue...

4) Place the hoop in the head, insert the tension rods, tighten all rods finger tight (I like to use both hands, turning the 2 rods that are on the exact opposite sides of each other at the same time).

5) Take your tuning key and start applying tension to the head by turning the tension rods.
Use a STAR PATTERN to tension the head, so that it torques down evenly.
If you're drum is a 6 lug drum, look at the end of the drum you're working on and situate the lugs so that you have one lug looking right at you and the one opposite is looking straight away from you.
If you play "connect the dots" with the other 4 lugs, it should make a "box" shape.

6) Now imagine the face of a clock superimposed over the drum, with the number 12 being the lug looking away from you and the number 6 being the lug looking straight at you.
The rest of the numbers on the imaginary clock will be fairly close to the following lug positions;
The lug in the upper right hand side will be "2", the lug in the lower right hand side will be "4", the lug on the lower left hand side will be "8" and the lug on the upper left hand side will be "10".

7) Tighten the head down in 2 steps, or "patterns".
The first one will be:
12,6,2,8,4,10.
The second one will be:
6,12,4,10,2,8.
Repeat these patterns, in the order I just laid out, placing one complete 360 degree revolution on each rod (which I call "a turn") the first time around, then use 180 degree revolutions (which I call a "1/2 turn") there after, until you've put 2 turns on each of the tension rods.

8 ) At this point, the head is evenly tensioned and fairly taught.
You may have heard some cracking or "popping" at this point, and that's fine.
Place the drum on the floor with the head you're working on looking up.
Now, place the heel of one of your hands in the center of the head and give one very hard, sharp, quick push.
DON'T BE A WIMP HERE! PUT YOUR WEIGHT INTO IT!
You may have heard more cracking at this point or you may not hear more cracking at this point.
Either is fine.

9) Now pick the drum off the floor and place it on a soft surface with the end you're working on looking up.
That old T-shirt (folded) you used to wipe the drum off with in the beginning would work fine.
If your bed has a comforter on it, that would be perfect.
The soft surface will completely muffle the other head so that you only hear the head you are tuning, which brings us to...

10) Remove all of the tension from the head you're working on.
Use the star patterns I laid out in step #7, until you feel the tension on the rods get pretty slack.
By that time, you probably won't need to use the key anymore.
Keep loosening the tension until the rods are no longer tensioning the head (look for an obvious gap between the head of the rod and the hoop).

11) Start tightening down on the head again with the rods, using the star patterns I showed in step #7.
This time, you will tension the head to whatever setting gives you the sound you're looking for.
Once you start to feel a little tension on the head, start tapping it in the middle after completing each star pattern, to see if the head is tensioned where you want it.

12) Once you reach that point, stop tightening and tap on the head at each point that corresponds with a tension rod, about 1/4" in from the edge.
You can use a stick or your finger, it really doesn't matter.

13) Tap each point once and listen to the drum.

14) If you hear a nice, even sound that is the same pitch at all the points, you're finished tuning this head and you may skip to step # 21.
That head is now tuned to where you want it to be and it should hold that tuning for as long as you want it to.

15) If you hear a "wobbly" or "uneven" sound coming from some of those points, then the head is not tensioned evenly.
The sound you're hearing is known as distortion and is caused by the head creating several dissonant frequencies at once, due to the fact that it's seeing different tension in different spots of the head.
Dissonant frequencies are ones that do not harmonize with each other, thus resulting in the distorted sound you hear.

16) At this point, you'll need to "fine tune" the head.

17) Check around the head and see if that distorted sound isn't more prevalent at certain points more than others.
If so, try correcting those first.

18) Correct by tightening that tension rod, slightly.
Tap on the head once, at that tension rod, and tighten the rod as the sound decays.
You shouldn't have to turn the rod more than 1/4 of turn at a time.
If you do, then stop and tap the head at the rod that is on the exact opposite side of the drum and see if you don't hear the distorted sound coming from that one.
If so, do the same thing until the sound "evens out".

19) Tap around the head again and see if the distortion is still heard.

20) If so, do the same procedure at each of those rods as well.

21) Once you have everything sounding nice and "even", pick the drum up and hold it in your hand BY THE TOM BRACKET. NEVER HOLD IT BY THE RIM.
The combination of the weight of the drum, your grip and the thickness of the hoop may be enough to throw the head "out of tune" at this point, if the drum is held by its rim.

22) Hit the middle of the drum while holding it up.

23) If it sounds "good", you're done.
If you still get that distortion, set the drum back down on the soft surface it was on and tap around the head again to see if you didn't miss anything.

24) If it sounds good, flip the drum over and tap around the edge of the other head.
Chances are it may have been out of tune and you didn't realize it until now.

25) If the distortion is heard with either head, correct those problems and perform step #22 again.

26) If you STILL get that distorted sound go back and perform steps 23-25 and check the heads again.
If everything sounds good on it's own, then your heads are "out of phase" with each other (i.e., each head is tuned to a frequency that is dissonant to the other).
At this point, you'll have to pick one of those heads and retune it to a different pitch that will put the heads back "into phase".
Remember, the batter head sets the tone of the drum, the resonant head sets the amount of resonance of the drum.
The change will most likely not have to be that drastic and the sound of your drum may not change all that much.

27) Make the correction, perform step # 22 and see how the drum sounds.


...If everything sounds good, NOW you're done!

Chances are very good that you will NOT have to perform all 27 steps.
I just wanted to cover some basic problems you might encounter while trying to tune up the drum.

One of the most important points in tuning a drum, that most drummers overlook, is the "cracking" procedure.
You MUST find a way to form that head to the bearing edge, and stress the glue that may be holding the head material to the glue ring, or else you will stand a very good chance of encountering (unnecessary) problems with getting the head tuned up.
You can crank up the tension and leave it sit for a week, or use a hair dryer on it, or simply push down on the center of the head (like I do!).
Any of these procedures will form the head to the bearing edge (leaving it sit for a week works the worst, trust me on this one!).


Hope you found this helpful.



Elvis
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Cheese is milk's leap at immortality

Last edited by Elvis; 09-15-2016 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 04-26-2018, 12:46 PM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Vinnie talks about his tuning technique.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkkI...9Bm7O&index=20
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Old 09-26-2018, 09:02 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Someone suggested removing all the hardware from the shell and using a tuner to determine the fundamental of the shell to use for future reference.


Does anyone here do that?
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: TOM TUNING

Go ahead, you try that....tell me how many notes your digital chromatic tuner reads as your shell vibrates.
Not saying it doesn't make a difference absolutely, but its mostly just buying into DW's marketing they've been hawking for years.
Tune up the heads until you get a sound and feel that agrees with you.
It's not rocket science. You're just tightening a couple of pieces of Mylar.


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