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  #1  
Old 06-22-2011, 06:49 AM
Ryan_Coke Ryan_Coke is offline
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Default Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Hi everyone. New to acoustic drums. Been pkaying my TD20s the last couple years. Just bought a set of Tama Star Classics. I have been watching videos and reading forums endlessly on the proper tuning of the drums especially the Toms. So far some say tighter resonance heads, some say the same as the batter and then some say looser than batter. I know its personal preference but what really is best! Thanks all. Seems like a great forum with lots of useful info.
Jack
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:52 AM
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Pocket-full-of-gold Pocket-full-of-gold is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

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Originally Posted by Ryan_Coke View Post
I know its personal preference but what really is best!
See the conundrum here?

All I've got for you is that those Gatzen youtube clips are an excellent starting point. They show you the process. The exact path you take (batter higher than reso, reso higher than batter, etc, etc, etc) is up to you and your own ear. Try 'em all......what do YOU prefer??
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:03 AM
Homeularis Homeularis is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
See the conundrum here?

All I've got for you is that those Gatzen youtube clips are an excellent starting point. They show you the process. The exact path you take (batter higher than reso, reso higher than batter, etc, etc, etc) is up to you and your own ear. Try 'em all......what do YOU prefer??
+1

Yup, and start out by tuning the batter and reso to the same pitch (or as close as you can) and then experiment from there.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:24 AM
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ambientgreg ambientgreg is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

"Tune? Drums? No. No tune drums. DUCKTAPE! YAYAYAYA!!!!!!!!" -Animal
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:28 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

If you want the most resonance, tune to the shells. If you want maximum sustain, try to keep the batter and resonant heads the same pitch.

Dennis
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

I used to tune either both heads the same or the batter head higher, and eventually ended up preferring the resonant head tuned higher. It's probably the most useful all-round tuning, reso higher than batter, I think.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:36 PM
Witterings Witterings is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

It is down to personal taste but someone said to me try and get them the same, the reason if you have 2 different pitches they may not work together / compliment each other and could clash, you want one sound from a drum theoretically not 2 different sounds coming from the same drum.
Just seemed quite a logical approach to me and I believe it gives the best resonance, you can then dampen (or not as the case may be) according to the room and your own personal taste but maybe just pick one drum, try it every way and see what you like best then tune the others the same.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:24 PM
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

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Originally Posted by ambientgreg View Post
"Tune? Drums? No. No tune drums. DUCKTAPE! YAYAYAYA!!!!!!!!" -Animal
lol ... and take off the bottom head to makes things less complicated ... then you stick some cloth under the gaffa tape on the batter head to really kill all those pesky overtones and tell the engineer to crank up the reverb :)
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:23 PM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Think of the bottom head as a "tone control". Do you want maximum sustain? Tune it the same as the top head. Do you want projection? Tune the bottom head higher. Do you want it to sound as deep as possible? Tune the bottom head lower. I tune the bottom heads on toms lower, enough that I get a pitch bend.

All of what I said above assumes each head is properly tuned, which is more of an art than a science. Practice; it does not cost anything. Good luck.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:24 PM
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

The only best there is..... is the best for you.

I prefer the tighter reso. My reasoning is I want the batter head looser to move maximum air, and the reso head tighter to counter the looser tuned batter with a note that will carry. Loose heads don't project as well as tighter heads because the shell isn't involved all the way. The heads have to have a certain tension so your drum shell is involved and so the sound will project into the audience. Slack tuned heads don't carry well, they sound like cardboard 15 feet away. Your bigger drums, unmiced, will sound bigger from a distance if you tune them past flappy to at least medium.
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Old 06-22-2011, 06:21 PM
ELPdrummer ELPdrummer is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_Coke View Post
Hi everyone. New to acoustic drums. Been pkaying my TD20s the last couple years. Just bought a set of Tama Star Classics. I have been watching videos and reading forums endlessly on the proper tuning of the drums especially the Toms. So far some say tighter resonance heads, some say the same as the batter and then some say looser than batter. I know its personal preference but what really is best! Thanks all. Seems like a great forum with lots of useful info.
Jack
I swear by this: http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/id5.html

It is well worth it, in the end.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2011, 06:33 PM
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

As there are "too many", I won't be adding mine to make matters worse!
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2011, 03:23 AM
Ryan_Coke Ryan_Coke is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Hey everyone. Thanks for the input. But here is the part I am really starting to get frustrated with. Lets take my 14 inch, 6 lug, tom for example. As per most of the videos, documentation, etc I tighten up the lugs. Ok so I will now start fine tuning starting with lug 1. I get it to the note I want. Next lug 4. Ok now it matches lug 1. Now to lug 2 and find it needs tightening up. Well just being in close proximity to lug 1 it will affect lug one by tightening it too. Ok I go readjust lug 1.well that now affects lug 2 and so on and so on and so on. heck not to mention what happens when I adjust all the other lugs. In the end where INITIALLY lug 1 sounded good at a tension of 78 on the dial, I find all the lugs are over 80 because of this back and forth and back and forth stuff. In the end what I find myself doing is starting over only to meet the same demise I did the first try. Any ideas to help? thx again!
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Old 06-23-2011, 04:56 AM
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larryace larryace is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Take the drum and put it on the floor to dampen the head you aren't tuning. Use 2 keys 180 degrees apart and turn the rods no more that 1/8 turn at a time. After you do the first 2 rods, turn the drum a quarter turn and do those 2 lugs. Repeat until the head is at the tension you prefer. Bring it verrrrry slowly and verrrry evenly up to tension. When you think you're done, rest your fingertip dead center of the head and tap the head right near each lug with your stick. Listen to each note and fine tune by the harmonic. You want all those harmonic notes singing the same note. Repeat with the opposite head.

After you have both heads in tune with themselves, you then have to then make sure the harmonic note each head individually sings doesn't clash with the harmonic note that the opposite head sings. If they do, you have to decide which head to adjust so each head sings notes in the same scale. This is the part most guys skip. You can make them sing the same harmonic, or a harmonic an octave apart, or a 3rd, a 4th, or a 5th apart. Your preference there. I use an octave apart.

This doesn't apply to snare or bass drums, just toms.
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  #15  
Old 06-23-2011, 05:00 AM
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Zickos Zickos is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Someone once said "Opinions are like a** holes, everybody's got one". Wasn't me, though.
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Old 06-23-2011, 05:17 AM
audiotech
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan_Coke View Post
Hey everyone. Thanks for the input. But here is the part I am really starting to get frustrated with. Lets take my 14 inch, 6 lug, tom for example. As per most of the videos, documentation, etc I tighten up the lugs. Ok so I will now start fine tuning starting with lug 1. I get it to the note I want. Next lug 4. Ok now it matches lug 1. Now to lug 2 and find it needs tightening up. Well just being in close proximity to lug 1 it will affect lug one by tightening it too. Ok I go readjust lug 1.well that now affects lug 2 and so on and so on and so on. heck not to mention what happens when I adjust all the other lugs. In the end where INITIALLY lug 1 sounded good at a tension of 78 on the dial, I find all the lugs are over 80 because of this back and forth and back and forth stuff. In the end what I find myself doing is starting over only to meet the same demise I did the first try. Any ideas to help? thx again!
This is why you can't really trust a DrumDial, they're only machines without ears, so you must use your own.

Dennis
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  #17  
Old 06-23-2011, 06:08 AM
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
This is why you can't really trust a DrumDial, they're only machines without ears, so you must use your own.

Dennis
Yeah, I got sold my DrumDial because of the same issue he is having!
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  #18  
Old 06-23-2011, 06:41 AM
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Mikecore Mikecore is offline
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Default Re: Opinions on tuning. there are too many!

To keep things fairly even when I put a head on, I start by threading each tension rod down until it just touches the tab. Then, I use a combination of finger tightening and pressing on the rim to seat each rod firmly, using an alternating pattern around the drum. At this point, the head should just begin to sound a tone when tapped. From there I add half-turns to each rod in an alternating pattern and test the note. If I think it needs more I add tension a quarter turn at a time until the drum is about where I want the note. At that point I will go by ear to set each lug to roughly equal pitches.

In addition to tapping an inch away from each tuning rod, I gently place a finger on the center of the head to kill the larger overtone and pull more of a harmonic from each tuning point. I also compare more than just two lugs, sometimes taking a quick listen to all of the tuning points. I find that highlights the points that are out-of-whack so I don't have to mess with all of the others that are behaving themselves.

Some of this goes out the window as the drums get cheaper or have ratty bearing edges, but you said you were playing Starclassics, so I would not expect too many (or any) inconsistencies with that.

I do all of this with the opposite head on the carpet, so when I do the bottom head, I'm hearing about the same quality of tone for even tuning of the rods on that specific side. I like to keep both heads the same, so I'll turn the drum on its side and muffle one side with a finger in the center while tapping the other to see where the heads are in relation to each other. Adjustments are a matter of feel for me, and I'll spend as much time as I need getting that right. I'll be a human torque wrench before too long.
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