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Old 12-10-2010, 08:33 AM
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PenguinAudio PenguinAudio is offline
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Default Remo Black Dot as resonant head

Forgive me if this has already been a topic of discussion...

I'm a freelance Recording Engineer, but I'm also a drummer. Last November I tracked a bands album at Two Sticks Audio in Seattle. If your unfamiliar, it's the studio owned (but recently sold) by Jason Mcgerr of Death Cab For Cutie, and where they tracked and mixed most of the Narrow Stairs album.

While there I noticed that a few of Jason's kits (vintage Ludwigs and new DW Jazz Series) had all Remo Vintage Ambassador's for batter heads, and Clear Control Sound (Black Dot) as resonant heads. I had never seen nor heard of this being done before.

What are the benefits and characteristics of using a Black Dot as the resonant head on your toms? Does anyone else do this??

Last edited by PenguinAudio; 01-15-2013 at 06:27 PM.
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:38 AM
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

I've seen that done before .... and done it myself. The "Controlled Sound" head is just an Ambassador with a dot. Using that head as a reso. will take some of the overtones out. In conjunction with his batter selection, he's striving for just the right amount of muffling (just a tad - not too much) ...
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Old 12-10-2010, 10:57 AM
Thud Thud is offline
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

Yeah, I have done that. If you have a kit that is very bright and ringing you can take a lot of that away by using the thickest head on the bottom.
Those Black Dot heads are about 3 ply in the centre and single at the edges so all you need to do is fiddle with the tension until you get the right amount of damping.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

I've seen a lot of drummers using CS on both batters and resos, like Tony Williams, for example. I have to assume it's for the dampening response that's been mentioned and is especially useful at higher tunings. I don't see the point so much at lower tunings or on smaller toms, but that's just me. Kind of a cool idea that I never thought of to only use one on the reso though.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:35 AM
tranquilo tranquilo is offline
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

remo black dots, invented in 1968 as a controlled sound type head and as a rienforcement center dot. Single ply 10 mil ambassador weight head with 1 ply 5 mil dot They have a sort of low mid response and a slight dampening.
Darker than single ply clear heads. they have a lower end fundamental and projection when compared to single ply heads. As a resonant head they help produce and enhance low mid tones, and same as a batter, low mid bass enhancement. In the 1970's-1980's many drum companys like tama, rogers, premier, ludwig... etc...came standard with blackdot, white dot or silver dot drum heads both top and bottom or only top with some manufacturers.
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Old 01-08-2011, 03:02 PM
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

I have used my old black dots for resos but now I use ebony ambassadors. I can't tell the difference in sound between them. I just like the looks of a solid black reso on the toms. I still use the CS for batters on my toms.
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Old 02-14-2011, 09:55 PM
chrisnope chrisnope is offline
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

This is an old thread....but I wanted to chim in on the CS Black Dot as a reso forum. Yes they do offer a tad bit of dampening and yes they can assist in achieving a lower overall tone. But they also 'focus' the sound incredibly IMO. I don't think they help anything unless you are using a single ply batter (ambassador etc.) But if you have a 12" rack tom for instance and have any trouble with tuning it at a lower volume you should try this! I have used an ambassador for both reso and batter but still prefer the black dot on the reso side. The attack, the decay and the overall focus is soooooooooooo much better. It's a killer combo for the right drummer, right drum size and only if you use a single ply top.
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Old 02-15-2011, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

Charlie Watts has used them for years. You can see it in a few photos on his page here.


As chrisnope said, it probably works best with single ply batters. Which makes sense; Charlie is actually quite the jazzer and would probably use single ply heads on top.
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Old 02-19-2011, 01:06 AM
Drumolator Drumolator is offline
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Default Re: Remo Black Dot as resonant head

Drumming legend Tony Williams had black dots top and bottom for a very long time on both his Gretsch and DW drums. He always sounded amazing. Peace and goodwill.
Mark Wellman

Gretsch Catalina toms and BD / Mapex Saturn (snare) / Sabian / Evans / ProMark
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