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Old 08-11-2009, 12:00 AM
MadJazz MadJazz is offline
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Default Pitch bend tuning

For me, the quintessential tom sound is one with a fat pitch bend where the tone drops in pitch after the initial hit. However, I have trouble achieving that effect.

I had a friend who's coated ambassador batters were tuned (very) low without any muffling and his toms sounded extremely fat, like on a studio recording. He does have exactly the same drum set as I do so it's a matter of tuning. I tried in vain to replicate that effect.

But last night, I brought my 10" tom batter up in pitch and tuned the reso as low as possible and voila: a pitch bend! You clearly hear an initial high pitch and then a second lower tone. On my floor tom though I have trouble achieving that effect and wonder how you guys deal with it. I mean from experience, not from theory or having read it somewhere.

I'm also confused: why did that friend achieve a pitch bend by doing just the opposite of what I've did: low batter / high reso? His pitch went down just as mine but logically it should have risen.
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:26 AM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Pitch bend tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadJazz View Post
For me, the quintessential tom sound is one with a fat pitch bend where the tone drops in pitch after the initial hit. However, I have trouble achieving that effect.

I had a friend who's coated ambassador batters were tuned (very) low without any muffling and his toms sounded extremely fat, like on a studio recording. He does have exactly the same drum set as I do so it's a matter of tuning. I tried in vain to replicate that effect.

But last night, I brought my 10" tom batter up in pitch and tuned the reso as low as possible and voila: a pitch bend! You clearly hear an initial high pitch and then a second lower tone. On my floor tom though I have trouble achieving that effect and wonder how you guys deal with it. I mean from experience, not from theory or having read it somewhere.

I'm also confused: why did that friend achieve a pitch bend by doing just the opposite of what I've did: low batter / high reso? His pitch went down just as mine but logically it should have risen.
Because in most cases we hear the fundamental pitch of the resonant head before the pitch of the batter head. The force of the attack on the batter head actually has the membrane moving too violently to settle into a fundamental pitch, so until that energy has dissipated somewhat, you don't hear that fundamental.

I like some bend in my tom sound for many pop and rock applications and I achieve this by tuning my resonant heads approximately a minor third above my batter heads, which are fairly slack. Raise the pitch of the resonant head to a 4th or 5th and you'll get even more bend.

Last edited by Boomka; 08-11-2009 at 01:05 PM.
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Old 08-12-2009, 10:01 AM
MadJazz
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2009, 11:44 PM
MadJazz MadJazz is offline
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Default Re: Pitch bend tuning

I found an interesting article below.

Apparently, it doesn't matter which head is lower or higher, as long as there's a pitch difference between the heads. I prefer to tune the batter first to where the drum sounds fullest (with the bottom off so it doesn't interfere), then I tune the bottom to the same pitch (muting one head to hear the pitch). This gives me the fullest tone. Contrary to popular belief, tuning both heads equal did not give me the longest sustain. In fact, tuning the bottom lower increases sustain. Therefore I prefer to bring the bottom up. This shortens the sustain and offers a pitch bend.

How much should the heads be apart? If you can discern pitches and know harmony, make them a 3rd, 4th or 5th apart. That gives the most melodic combination. If that's beyond you, 1/4 to 1/2 turn is a good start. Remember that drums don't hold clean pitches so don't get too serious about it. Just get it in the ball park and first make sure the head is in tune with itself to get a clean tone. I do this by tapping opposite lugs, not adjacent lugs. Only after the pairs are in tune with themselves will I tune them to each other.

If you fear a high-tuned bottom head is awkward on floor toms, either leave the reso the same pitch as the batter or consider a two-ply resonant. Both methods will darken the tone and preserve a long sustain. An extra thin resonant will do the opposite: brighten and shorten the sustain, just like tuning the bottom head up.

This cost me a few years to find out and I hope it will help others.


9) The bottom head people. There has been over the years, a movement to make drumming sound non-ACOUSTIC! Year’s ago, weird spacey sounds invaded the industry, especially as electronic drums were invented. It is rumored that aliens actually created the first electronic drums, but this is just a rumor. It is also rumored that, if you tune the bottom head LOWER than the top head, you will get a “glissando” or a changing pitch. The pitch will seem to go down after you hit it, like “Dooooaaaaaahhhh!” Those early electric drums are to blame. Modern rock drummers, especially with deep power drum-shells still go for this sound, although I feel it went out with disco in the 70’s (shows my age). If you really want this sound, tune the drums to different pitches. It really doesn’t matter which one is higher or lower (big controversy here). What’s going on, is that lower pitches generally have longer decays. The high pitch head is actually fading into the lower pitch head. The result is a kind of “dip” in the pitch. Experiment, and check it out!

From: http://www.drumexchange.com/guide_tune.htm

Last edited by MadJazz; 11-13-2009 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 04:42 PM
MadJazz MadJazz is offline
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Default Re: Pitch bend tuning

I figured out these intervals, from low to high, excluding bass drum.

16" FT
top C
bottom same C or F above

14" FT
top F
bottom same F or A above

12" TT
top A
bottom C above

10" TT
top C
bottom F above

14" SD
top A
bottom F below

13" SD
top C
bottom A below


Basically it's the F chord. All toms are tuned approximately within the same octave. Bass drum is an octave lower, snare drum an octave higher than the toms.

I'm wondering who tunes their drums like this.

Last edited by MadJazz; 11-13-2009 at 05:38 PM.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:30 PM
Boomka Boomka is offline
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Default Re: Pitch bend tuning

Going for intervals is a good idea, as long as each drum "likes" the pitch you're trying to tune it to. Intervals of 4ths and 5ths will make the drums sound bigger.
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Old 11-16-2009, 05:37 PM
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SamOmina73 SamOmina73 is offline
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Default Pitch bend tuning

I hope I explain this right, when I load a new song on red vrm, the pitch bend on my dac-2 wouldnt active until it crossed the zero point. With red mobile, When I load a new song, the location of the pitch bend slider fader doesnt matter as it defaults to zero. So if I leave the pitch bend slider up to 7 position and load a new song, that position is seen as the current bpm.

How can I fix this to work like vrm?
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Old 11-16-2009, 09:14 PM
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toddy toddy is offline
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Default Re: Pitch bend tuning

Yes, tuning in intervals is great!
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