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  #1  
Old 08-01-2005, 09:59 PM
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Default Drum Dials and tension watches

Are the drum tuners good? I was thinking of the ones that look like a clock that about about $60 and do not require and kicking but check the pressure of the head. I was wondering if they are reliable and/or even neccessary for tuning. I would just like to have my drums sounding the best they can.
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  #2  
Old 08-01-2005, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

i was wondering about this too. i wanna be able to tune my drums better, but i seem to be a bit tone deaf when it comes to matching the lug tensions one by one. i really can't hear the individual tones with the overtones and such. i would really like to for once not have to use some sort of muffling on my toms to get a decent sound. i love the way un-muffled drums sustain and sing.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2005, 10:48 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by illy
i was wondering about this too. i wanna be able to tune my drums better, but i seem to be a bit tone deaf when it comes to matching the lug tensions one by one. i really can't hear the individual tones with the overtones and such. i would really like to for once not have to use some sort of muffling on my toms to get a decent sound. i love the way un-muffled drums sustain and sing.
Those tuners are OK for getting a head up to an approximate pitch in a hurry, but they won't do the fine stuff you're having trouble with. I'd suggest teaching yourself to tune a guitar, having that background really helped me with being able to pick out pitches on drum heads.
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  #4  
Old 08-01-2005, 11:07 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

I have the drum dial tuner. It works great when u need to tune your drums in a hurry (like at a gig or whatever). For those of us who have not been playing for 30 years and have trouble tuning our drums perfectly by year, this thing will help make your drums sound better.
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  #5  
Old 08-02-2005, 03:33 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

well i can tune a guitar no problem. i play the guitar to compose my own music all of the time. it's just i can't hear the differences well at all when i hit an inch below each lug like everyone says i should be able to... my ears can't distinguish the tone from the overtones. i tried muffling the bottom head and muffling the top head while tuning, and still my ears fail me.

and it's not like i'm tone deaf. i can sing along with any song, hold a note, harmonize, but the drums just jack me up for some reason. i think it would help if someone could show me in person how they tune them. maybe i can learn what differences to listen for.

don't know. : /
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  #6  
Old 08-02-2005, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

Illy, if your looking for someone to show you the basics and details of tuning, Bob Gatzen has an excellent dvd that you might want to check out. It is called Drum Tuning Sound and Design Simplified. Its very in-depth but it covers the basics nicely. I have not had a chance to watch the whole thing, but the parts I've seen are great. There is also a video, but the dvd has more info in it.

Bob Gatzen DVD
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  #7  
Old 08-02-2005, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

i have a tama tuner, and even though it was 70 bucks, i think it was well worth it. its much much easier than trying to tune it by ear, and you can tune an entire set in probably 10 min, depending on the size of ur set.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2005, 04:43 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

I have the drumdial. I bought it with battle of the band winnings. It is a great tool for tuneing. The first time I used it it didn't really save time. I had to get the perfect sound out of them. But now everytime I tune it saves a load of time. And my drums sound great. It brings out the potensial of my drums. I have always had trouble controlling the overtones in my floor toms. The drumdial really makes them rumble. It is kind of expensive though. It cost about $68 after shipping. It was worth it. When I change my snare head it takes only about 10 minutes to get the same sound out of it every time. I found two choices in drum tuners. The drumdial and Tama tuning watch. I went with the drumdial because one it was cheaper. And I have heard that the Tama isn't as accurate. I can't dream of anything being more accurate then the drumdial.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2005, 08:09 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

I've been using an Evans torque key for a while now, it lets you get all the lugs to pretty much the same tension (and therefore pretty much the same pitch). I've found it really handy as tuning them all the same drives me crazy.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2005, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

i saw this kinda thing made by tama where you can tune the drummes by numbers or something , looks like a good thing to have ...
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2005, 12:55 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Subdivisions
Illy, if your looking for someone to show you the basics and details of tuning, Bob Gatzen has an excellent dvd that you might want to check out. It is called Drum Tuning Sound and Design Simplified. Its very in-depth but it covers the basics nicely. I have not had a chance to watch the whole thing, but the parts I've seen are great. There is also a video, but the dvd has more info in it.

Bob Gatzen DVD

yup - I got this - and it helped me a whole lot - my drums sound loads better...
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  #12  
Old 10-14-2005, 12:44 PM
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Default Anyone own a DrumDial?

I dunno about everyone else, but im really naff at tuning drums- i know the sound i like and when drums sound good but it takes me for ever! I bought an Evans ratchet key- its ok, works well on my snare (since its new and its lugs are friction-free) but the lugs on the toms seem to have different amounts of friction in them, therefore, even though the setting of the ratchet says its the same tension, the head tension is not equal at each lug. Im thinking of getting a drumdial to help, so is this a wise purchase? or is it just worth keep practicing tuning, manually?
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  #13  
Old 10-14-2005, 03:41 PM
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Default Re: Anyone own a DrumDial?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gar
I bought an Evans ratchet key- its ok, works well on my snare (since its new and its lugs are friction-free) but the lugs on the toms seem to have different amounts of friction in them, therefore, even though the setting of the ratchet says its the same tension, the head tension is not equal at each lug. Im thinking of getting a drumdial to help, so is this a wise purchase? or is it just worth keep practicing tuning, manually?
I own a Drum Dial, and it is sometimes useful to help even out the head tension. It can quickly get you into the ballpark, then you have to fine-tune by ear.

Also, it your tensions rods have different amounts of tension, try removing them one by one, cleaning them, then lubricating them very lightly with a light grease.
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2006, 01:36 PM
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Default Drum dials?

I have been using a drum dial for initial set-up of my drums for some time now, just wondered whether anybody else liked or disliked them?
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  #15  
Old 01-08-2006, 02:58 AM
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Default Drum tuners?

Hi, I came across a website called drumdial.com while looking for drum tuners and this looks really cool, I recently bought a used kit and have no idea how they should sound. These drum dial tuners look pretty promising and I was wondering if anyone has tried them and what you think of them, or if you could suggest anything else and where I can buy them.

Thanks!
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  #16  
Old 01-08-2006, 03:03 AM
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Default Re: Drum dials?

They seem to do what they claim. I've used it to check my tuning jobs and it generally seems that if you get the same reading on the dial between two lugs then you get the same pitch as well. Helps to speed things up once you get the hang of it

I use it and like it.
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  #17  
Old 01-08-2006, 04:08 AM
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Default Re: Drum tuners?

with all of these tunners you need to have smooth tension rods.........................
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  #18  
Old 01-08-2006, 04:23 AM
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Default Re: Drum tuners?

A tuning type of device like a drum dial will work in a pinch if you are say in a club/gig environment where it is hard to get any quite to listen to the drum head as you are tuning or don't have the time to tune by ear because the show must go on. They can get you in the "ball park" but are not a substitute for listening with your ears when tuning by hand. Drum sound is a matter of preference, people go for different effects that they have in mind. A device like the drum dial measures head tension in front of each lug on the drum to assist you in achieving uniform tension at each lug, but even then, due to variances in heads (and their condition if old, pitted or stretched) and bearing edges on the drums where the head makes contact with the drum shell, uniform tension will not gurantee uniform sound at each lug, that's where the ears come into play. Check out this site to guide you through tuning and many other things about drums - http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/id5.html
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Last edited by dingbat; 01-08-2006 at 05:25 AM. Reason: additional comment
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  #19  
Old 01-08-2006, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: Drum tuners?

Drum tuners can work but you mentioned that you have no idea what your drums are supposed to sound like. Your best bet with that is to hook up with someone who can tune already, a teacher, friend, engineer or someone at a local drum shop. They may not have "your sound" but that doesn't matter. They just have to have a good sound.

You need to train your ear to recognize the difference between a good and bad sounding drum. That's the first step.

Use your ears and don't rely on tools until you can do it the old fashioned way.
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  #20  
Old 01-23-2006, 10:46 PM
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Default Drum Dial

Has anyone here used a drum dial???

I purchased that with a new set of G2 coated for my toms.

I have never been good at tuning and said what the heck, I will check out the drum dial.

It is an amazing tool. I highly recommend it for people, like me, who have little experience.

I love the G2 coateds also.
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  #21  
Old 01-24-2006, 04:41 AM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I think the drumdial is a great tool. I use it, but it's not perfection. I still tweak to my liking.
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  #22  
Old 02-01-2006, 07:09 PM
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Default Tama Tension Watch

Hello everyone,

I'm new to the forums. I am debatting buying a Tama Tension Watch. If anyone owns or has tried this piece of equipment, could you please tell me what you think. Thanks a bunch.
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  #23  
Old 02-12-2006, 03:19 AM
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Default Re: Tama Tension Watch

they look good, how much are they btw?
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  #24  
Old 02-12-2006, 03:41 AM
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Default Re: Tama Tension Watch

It's not very good. Your ears are the best tools for tuning. Save yourself the money. IMO
I think they're around $90 U.S.
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  #25  
Old 02-13-2006, 05:23 PM
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Default Re: Tama Tension Watch

i have a drum dial which is essentially the exact same thing except $30 cheaper. i use it

for quick tune situations, which gives you a good starting point, but then you should tune

them by ear.
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  #26  
Old 03-15-2006, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

I love this handy little tool. It saves hours of frustration in bringing your drums up to the fine tuning stage. I can get the heads close to where I want them almost instantly, then spend 10-30 minutes per drum getting the perfect pitch. I don't have the time or the patience to spend a day tuning a set, with the Drum Dial I spend 2 hours max.
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  #27  
Old 03-15-2006, 10:12 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

i want to buy one but they are very expensive! 90 bucks at the local store here.
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  #28  
Old 03-15-2006, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

You can build one for about 20 bucks with a dial indicator (which is really all it is), a hockey puck and a couple of set screws. All you need is a drill. You can find pretty good used dial indicators on E-bay for 10-20 bucks.
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  #29  
Old 03-15-2006, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: Drum Dial

cool, thanks, i'll check out ebay.
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  #30  
Old 03-17-2006, 04:52 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

I bought this CD. http://www.drumtuner.com/drumtuner.html
It's really good. After reading numerous websites on tuning I was still frustrated (even after 2 years of trying to tune) because I never had a reference for the actual tone I was trying to tune to. I started searching the net for sound samples but couldn't find any. I stumbled across this CD. It has 1 instructional track and 31 sound files. Three playing the whole kit tuned three different ways and the rest are for each individual drum at different tunings. The notes are repeated for about 2 min. so you can tune while it's playing. The first tells what to listen for while tuning. I highly recommend this for anyone having tuning woes. The Drumtuner website has several links to distributors but I found Cheap Music Accessories had the best price and I have to say fast service since I got it in 3 days via US postal service. Wish I'd had this 2 years ago!
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  #31  
Old 03-17-2006, 05:01 PM
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Default Re: Drum dials?

Try this CD. http://www.drumtuner.com/drumtuner.html
It's really good. This CD has reference tones for each drum. It has 1 instructional track and 31 sound files. Three playing the whole kit tuned three different ways and the rest are for each individual drum at different tunings. The notes are repeated for about 2 min. so you can tune while it's playing. The first is instructional and tells what to listen for while tuning etc. I highly recommend this for anyone having tuning woes. The Drumtuner website has several links to distributors. I also have a drum dial but without a sound reference to aim for it wasn't much use.
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  #32  
Old 03-17-2006, 05:36 PM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

i have a drumdial too. as it has been said before, it's good for when you need to tune

something in a hurry and get it approximately in tune. but then, if time permits, you

should tune it by ear. and yah, it measures the tension of the head, not the torque of the

tension rods
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  #33  
Old 03-17-2006, 05:41 PM
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Default Re: Drum tuners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunchykong
with all of these tunners you need to have smooth tension rods.........................

not the case with the drum dial. it measures the tension of the head
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  #34  
Old 03-18-2006, 01:12 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

Mhh, I don`t like them! You`ll have a better tuned drum maybe but you won`t train your ears and your feeling for tuning. Just give me a cheap drum key and I`ll be happy. Why don`t we buy a drum machine, this thing drums instead of us?? just kidding ;)
I think this situation is much better: "what is the secret of your great drum sound?"---"my expirience about tuning!" than this: "what is your secret of your great drum sound?"---"it is so great because of my drum tuning machine!"
So, I`ll always keep away from those tuning machines...

Karl
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  #35  
Old 03-18-2006, 04:36 AM
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Default Re: Drum Tuner?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hotsauce3n
Are the drum tuners good?
I was thinking of the ones that look like a clock that about about $60 and do not require and kicking but check the pressure of the head.I was wondering if they are reliable and/or even neccessary for tuning.I would just like to have my drums sounding the best they can.
Jeff Ocheltree has a DVD out called "Trust Your Ears" and I highly recomend it. He learned his craft from Billy Cobham and was John Bonham's drum tech. Not only does he explain how to tune drums but also some ideas on recording and mic placement and some killer players on there as well. I use a yarn wrapped marimba mallet when I tune my drums as well as thumpin' the head with my finger and drumstick.
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  #36  
Old 04-03-2006, 06:37 AM
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Default Re: Drum dials?

I am an owner of "The Drum Dial" and I really like it. You can buy them at www.musiciansfriend.com and the brand is "Drum Dial." (Don't go for the TAMA. This is just as good and less expensive).

GOOD THINGS:
1. Can tune in quiet surroundings
2. Can tune slightly better than the human ear
3. Affordable for its service
4. Dial has proof of correct tuning (Sometimes when tunig by ear you can hear overtones, but this reads tension and is right on)

BAD THINGS:
1. Tunes to a perfect pitch (Sometimes in music you want the tuning to be slightly off for the genre of music. Jazz would be a great example)
2. You have to slowly take off the tuner to get an accurate reading on the head (the mere tuning change you make isn't large enough to effect the tension meter)

Personally, I absolutely love this product. Never once have I had to tune by ear afterwards, and I have always been satisfied.

I would storngly recommend this product to every drummer.

-Christian
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  #37  
Old 04-03-2006, 08:22 AM
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Default Re: Drum tuners?

Quote:
Originally Posted by radiofriendlyunitshifter
not the case with the drum dial. it measures the tension of the head
what i was getting at was that all of the tunners work great, but if your drums have bad rods, bearing edges, heads, or drum hoops, you might still have a problem with tunning even if you use the tunning device correctly.
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  #38  
Old 04-04-2006, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Drum dials?

I have a Tama drum dial and I think it's one of the most innovative and useful tools for drummers ever invented.

I changed both the batter and resonant heads on four toms a couple of days ago. This took about three hours including cleaning the drums, lubing the rods, and tuning.

The following day I rechecked the tension using the dial. Some of the heads had dropped slightly in tension. Using the dial I brought the tension back up and that only took a few minutes.

After playing for a while I decided to lower the pitch of the rack toms a little, and again, that only took a couple of minutes.

As some have said, there are variations between different types of heads, but the dial will get you in the ball park quickly, and then you can tune by ear and record the settings for those heads.

There seems to be some that think breaking from tradition is a bad thing. Let's see, should I ride the horse to work today in the rain? Ah, maybe I'll take the SUV instead.

8>)

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  #39  
Old 04-05-2006, 12:25 AM
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Default Re: Drum dials?

Learned how to tune by ear (and eyes) a long time ago so just one gizmo I don't need.
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  #40  
Old 04-11-2006, 09:22 AM
Chip
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Default Re: Drum dials?

I have one, it's good, but.......
It can be easier sometimes to tune by ear than to get it out of it's box, I've had it for about 1 and a half months, haven't used it, and won't bother about it much until I get new heads(3 month old pinstripes....). I havent really messed around with the settings, I just tuned it to 75 on all, sounded better. Snare sounds 2x as good now though. I kinda was in a rush everytime I used it too..... that doesn't help. I can't wait to get new heads to try diff. settings etc.
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