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  #1  
Old 12-28-2012, 07:05 PM
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Default Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

ATTENTION: NEW INFORMATION WITH TOM SAMPLES IN ALL POSSIBLE NOTES HAS BEEN ADDED IN POST #60!

Being a drummer with a strong background in recording and production, I decided I wanted to take some time and set up some experiments regarding drums, (diameter, depth, tuning, heads, shell material, mounting hardware, etc.) It is an ongoing process, but I wanted to share what I have found so far and see if any of you have any insight into my process or results.

A little science to get started...

If you look into the study of the harmonics of a circular membrane, you will see that the series is not even like that of a stringed instrument. Most of you seem to understand this, and it's where the idea that a drum can't be tuned to a "note" comes from. However, depending on the tuning, a strong fundamental is produced, making an obvious "note" rather or not it is an intentional one.

Rather or not you are from the school of tuning to notes or not, I will reference notes during this discussion and experiment, as it is needed to have a basis for a control value from drum to drum and head to head.

So moving on, the fundamental (0,1) of a drum head is NOT heard during the tuning process. When you mute one head and tap near the lug, you are hearing the uneven harmonic series of a circular membrane. This is why tuning is so difficult for a lot of drummers. A few of these early harmonics are very close to one another. If you tap one lug, and your brain attaches to the (2,1) harmonic, then you tap the next lug with your brain attaching to the (0,2) harmonic, you will be fooled into thinking the first lug was lower in pitch, although it may not be.

What we are listening for primarily in tuning is the (1,1) harmonic which is roughly 1.594 times the (0,1) or fundamental. This places that note almost exactly 8 semitones above the Fundamental pitch of the head itself. So what this means is that if you are shooting for a C on a Tom batter, you need to be listening for G# above that note.


How I started this journey.....

I took a 12" tom from my bar kit (a Gretsch catalina birch) and tuned the resonant head to the lowest possible pitch the drum would produce. I then did the same thing for the batter head, finding the lowest pitch. Afterwards, I found the respective highest pitch the heads would produce without choking. This became my window for the experiment on just that 12" tom.

I set up some nice flat mics that I would use for recording toms and miced the top and bottom heads about 2" from the membrane and put up a room mic as a 3rd reference. The mics then went through API preamps into ProTools. The stand for the tom was marked well so the results would be repeatable and positions would always stay identical from sample to sample.

So I began the process of taking data...

I brought that resonant head to it's lowest pitch. Then the batter to it's lowest pitch and took samples. Then I moved the batter head up one semitone and took some more samples of the drum, then moved the batter up one more semitone and so on until the head choked out and was terrible.

Then I moved the resonant head up one semitone from it's lowest and brought the batter back down to it's lowest and repeated until it choked again.

I kept repeating this process until the resonant head finally choked out.

What I ended up with was over 120 samples of this one 12" tom tuned to every possible "note" combination the drum and heads would allow. Some sounded okay, some terrible, some amazing.

RESULTS for round 1....

In all of the note groupings, the most pleasing tone was when the resonant head was a minor 3rd higher than the batter. Batter higher always sounded boingy and bad. Same pitch top and bottom was okay one a couple of them, but was not nearly as pleasing as the minor 3rd separation and had more overtones and nasty things going on.

This particular tom opened up producing the most pleasing tone with a full sustain when tuned from F# to G. A very small window, I was actually surprised by this. I would like to clarify that when I say G, the top head is tuned to a G (rim tap note actually D# above that) with the resonant head tuned to A# (rim tap note actually F# above that). This combination, tuning the batter for pitch with the resonant a minor 3rd higher, produces such a clear fundamental of the batter, that you can hold a G on the keyboard and allow the sample to play over top of it and get no phasing with a clear note. Holding down a G# or F on the keyboard while playing the tom sample producing phasing (wawawawawawa) like you would hear when tuning a guitar by ear. The note is there, and it's clear as day. However, tunings outside of the sweet spot do not produce as clear a note as those within it.

This got my brain ticking, and I wanted to know if all 12" toms had similar sweet spots, I brought in a few others (a catalina maple, a gretsch new classic, a crush bubinga) and repeated the test on those toms. They exhibited very similar behavior with the maples going comfortably up to G# and the Bubinga going comfortably down to F. All toms still sounded best at G, but the tuning ranges around it were slightly different.

I also tried this with different batter heads, (clear emperor, coated ambassador, coated emperor, clear vintage emperor, smooth white emperor, smooth white ambassador) with the results being the same.


Before doing this, I had always thought a drum had a much wider tuning range than 2 or so notes, but despite brand, shell material, head selection, etc. the tuning range stayed note wise and the heads honestly didn't make that much of a difference. More of a subtle balance between attack and sustain. Bringing the pitch up a note or 2 above the sweet spot was still usable, but would require dampening and EQ to get a pleasing sound.

I have moved on to other drum sizes and am waiting on a few more 12" toms to come in to test those as well. What do you guys think of these results based on several 12" toms and hard scientific data?

Last edited by Drum-El; 03-13-2014 at 11:31 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:13 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Also a note for drum dial users. I have one and used it to check the tensions within the sweet spot just to reference it later. Different heads had drastically different tensions to arrive at the same note for the head. Also, the dial would barely change when going up 1 or 2 semitones making it difficult to trust for repeatable results. Also, having the head nice and in tune lug wise would produces variable tensions on the dial at each lug by a couple ticks, they would not read "even" unless the drum was out of tune a bit.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:20 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Interesting..........please keep us updated on the other sizes if you can..............would love to hear the results
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

This is extremely interesting, as we mirrored much of your process, & more besides, in our recent development. I completely concur with your tuning results. Although the greatest head sustain was achieved with both heads at equal pitch, the head tuning sweet spot was always with the reso a minor 3rd above the batter. That did change somewhat however on drums 16" & above, when a greater difference sometimes worked better.

Your results using various shell materials doesn't surprise me at all. Again, it's what we found when A-B testing a range of 12" toms (funny how we choose 12" as the default). Where you do get an expansion of the sweet spot range is when you substantially change the construction. In fact, changing the construction can also serve to highlight the differences in timber species. Comparing vastly different shell thicknesses reveals some differences, but moving away from multiple ply to solid forms such as stave, segmented, & steam bent single ply makes an even bigger change to the results. These three forms all exhibit a much more prominent fundamental, then depending on thickness & species, either a more narrow sweet spot, or a greatly expanded one. Using undrilled shells also significantly increases tuning range, depending again on species, thickness, & construction.

I won't go into the real detail, but one big conclusion did emerge from this extensive R&D process, & that's it's a combination of many elements working in a defined direction that produces the most worthwhile results. It's not the timber species, the shell thickness, the shell construction, or even the tuning, it's all of those things & more on top. Learning how these elements interact, knowing when certain features will cancel out others, or enhance them, is quite a testing journey.

I look forward to your further results with great interest. Thank you for posting such an interesting thread.

Cheers, Andy.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
In all of the note groupings, the most pleasing tone was when the resonant head was a minor 3rd higher than the batter.
Wow! I’m surprised, although I shouldn’t be. That’s the interval I tend to use, not from specific regimented experimentation, but from years of earballing it.
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Using undrilled shells also significantly increases tuning range
When you say “undrilled,” what exactly do you mean. Are you talking about zero holes, as in not even for lugs?
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Old 12-28-2012, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

I've messed around with this a little. I dug up some of the harmonic solutions here:

http://www.physics.miami.edu/~nearin...nimations.html

Being a structural engineer, I deal more with wood and steel than I do wave harmonics in drum heads. Nonetheless, I'm a drummer and I can appreciate the discussion.

I am curious about where you heard that a drum cannot be tuned to a note. I can see where you could incite multiple frequencies in the audible range, but you tune timpani to a note. All structures (except the classroom-type SDOF models) have infinite frequencies. They may not all be in the audible range, but drums aren't unique in that regard.

This is good work. I am interested in reading your future posts.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:14 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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When you say “undrilled,” what exactly do you mean. Are you talking about zero holes, as in not even for lugs?
Exactly :)

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Old 12-28-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

[i]What do you guys think of these results based on several 12" toms and hard scientific data?[/I

A major factor is the room you're in, the height of the ceiling etc.

Frequency wavelengths. The room will determine what frequencies are best suited for its dimensions. If there's an open window, or door on an opposing wall, that's a factor too.

And then sound being subjective. A 12 tom might sound good in certain applications tuned to different frequency.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:16 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

What a great post and a such a detailed experiment that you performed.
I have read similar articles like this before.
I have also experimented with tuning on a far less scientific level with a pitch pipe and my ear.
I agree that drums have a narrow range and the resonant head is best kept higher in pitch than the batter. I also found that the Drum Dial can't detect subtle changes that the ear can plainly hear.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

I find that floor toms are more forgiving and the reso can be tuned to to match the batter to still make a nice tone.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 12-28-2012 at 10:29 PM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:19 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by B-squared View Post
I am curious about where you heard that a drum cannot be tuned to a note. I can see where you could incite multiple frequencies in the audible range, but you tune timpani to a note.
Any time tuning drums to notes comes up on any forum, there is a crowd that says it "can't really be done." I wasn't agreeing with this crowd, as it obviously can be done. The harmonic structure will not be even, but they are so diminished in amplitude, that if the tuning emphasizes a strong fundamental, a very clear pitch is heard.

I simply did not want this thread to derail with an argument about tuning to notes. I HAD to use specific notes in intervals in order to proceed with the experiment.

I wish these things were more common knowledge. It's always funny to me when people use phrases like, "try medium tension on the top and a higher tension on the bottom." That could mean ANYTHING without some kind of control reference.

Even when someone says, "I like my snare batter tuned to an F." Do they mean the fundamental note F or are they listening for an F while tuning the individual lugs? Making the actual fundamental 8 semitones lower in pitch?

I'm more about developing a language that makes sense so that, as drummers, we can properly communicate and document what we like and share it in a meaningful manner.
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Old 12-28-2012, 10:25 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

[quote=Les Ismore;1090616
A major factor is the room you're in, the height of the ceiling etc.

Frequency wavelengths. The room will determine what frequencies are best suited for its dimensions. If there's an open window, or door on an opposing wall, that's a factor too.

And then sound being subjective. A 12 tom might sound good in certain applications tuned to different frequency.[/QUOTE]

Yes, I am well versed in acoustics. My room in my studio is rather nice. It is quite large without uncontrolled reflections. No major modal activity is present above 30Hz. This is also why I chose to close mic the tom top and bottom and include a room mic.

You did remind me of something that I forgot to mention. In my endeavors, I did move to different locations in the room to make certain that the spot I was recording in wasn't playing factor to the results, it was not.

I will also agree on the premise that when playing in less than perfect rooms live, you may not be "allowed" to tune the drum to the sweet spot because strong modal activity in that frequency range may play havoc on the PA system, causing one drum to overpower the room. In these circumstances, of course a compromise has to be made. You can make a mental note of this problem in a particular room and tune accordingly next time though.
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Old 12-28-2012, 11:35 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
...I wanted to share what I have found so far and see if any of you have any insight into my process or results.
Have you explored the possibility that a shell's interior volume allows it to make a single "perfect" tone, and harmonics thereof, based on how the wavelengths travel ideally within? Sure there are many tones/notes that are pleasing, but I suggest that there's one ideal pitch that a drum wants to make as a result of how the air reacts with the heads tuned at the shell interior's resonant frequency.

No?

Bermuda
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Old 12-29-2012, 12:54 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Ya know Jon, I was also thinking along those lines.
I don't get the whole John Good trip about the shells timbre playing as large of a role that he says it does.
I can hear the difference in different shell materials but when I tune these different drums I still feel that every drum has a narrow tuning area.
Kind of like how the head type changes the warmth.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:34 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
Have you explored the possibility that a shell's interior volume allows it to make a single "perfect" tone, and harmonics thereof, based on how the wavelengths travel ideally within? Sure there are many tones/notes that are pleasing, but I suggest that there's one ideal pitch that a drum wants to make as a result of how the air reacts with the heads tuned at the shell interior's resonant frequency.

No?

Bermuda
If you are thinking about the speed and reflection sound waves traveling in the shell, that is dependent on altitude, pressure, etc. Drum geometry isn't going to affect that.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:14 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Exactly right, altitude, pressure, humidity, all make "theoretical" calculations on acoustics less reliable than measurements in a given scenario. They will always be close to reality though. I did, however, suspend the tom in front of a monitor with no heads on it and placed a really flat omni inside the shell. Measured flat without the shell, then with the shell had a wide 10dB boost centered around 407Hz (which is between G and G#) and a narrow 10dB peak at 830Hz (almost exactly a G#) Kinda makes me wonder if I kept going with it, would it have opened back up around the next G an octave higher for a nice Jazz type sound.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:27 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Thanks for the very interesting thread guys. I'm experimenting with the minor 3rd approach now.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Would love to see this study done on a DW tom since they are supposed to be marked with the note that they should be tuned to (never seen one but read it here). I would be interested to see how your results compare to their note.

For those of us who are somewhat tonedeaf, deaf, or just drummers, how can I tune my heads to be a minor 3rd above my batter? Looking for directions to the keyboard or do re mi/three blind mice etc. or something like that so I can see where I have my toms tuned (by my beginner ear).

I will check and report back. In case it matters.

Any sound files we could hear so we know what sound you liked the best? Would love to hear the full test on one drum if its all one one video somewhere (realize this is an enormous job).

When will you be examining kick drums?
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:32 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Another interesting thing to note about the graph above is that the wide boost has the most power from F to A, it's almost a visual representation of this particular tom's tuning range being from F# to G#.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:41 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by Toolate View Post
Would love to see this study done on a DW tom since they are supposed to be marked with the note that they should be tuned to (never seen one but read it here). I would be interested to see how your results compare to their note.

For those of us who are somewhat tonedeaf, deaf, or just drummers, how can I tune my heads to be a minor 3rd above my batter? Looking for directions to the keyboard or do re mi/three blind mice etc. or something like that so I can see where I have my toms tuned (by my beginner ear).

I will check and report back. In case it matters.

Any sound files we could hear so we know what sound you liked the best? Would love to hear the full test on one drum if its all one one video somewhere (realize this is an enormous job).

When will you be examining kick drums?

1. If anyone has DW kits with the markings, please post where your 12" is "supposed" to be. I'd be interested to know if they fall somewhere close to this range.

2. A minor 3rd will be 3 notes higher on the keyboard than the batter head. If you use a keyboard or piano to match lug pitch, keep in mind that the lug pitch will be 8 semitones above the fundamental. Lug pitch to lug pitch will still be 3 notes apart for this. If you're really tone deaf, the tunebot is pretty accurate at matching lugs to frequencies if used correctly ( as in not what the instructions say, haha )

3. I'll try and post some samples. I'd like to do a whole presentation on this once I get it all sorted out, but that will be a huge labor intensive endeavor as you say. Just getting the data took an entire day per drum, not to mention curiosity wasting another day trying other heads and such. Also, If I'm going to do a presentation, I'd like to include different drums and heads and keep those controlled with the exact setup so the results are obvious without flaw.

4. Kick drum I started to do and bailed for now. I need to do this with fresh heads and I don't have a bunch of spare kick combos sitting around like I do tom heads.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Amazing post, you've done some extensive work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
This particular tom opened up producing the most pleasing tone with a full sustain when tuned from F# to G. A very small window, I was actually surprised by this. I would like to clarify that when I say G, the top head is tuned to a G (rim tap note actually D# above that) with the resonant head tuned to A# (rim tap note actually F# above that). This combination, tuning the batter for pitch with the resonant a minor 3rd higher, produces such a clear fundamental of the batter, that you can hold a G on the keyboard and allow the sample to play over top of it and get no phasing with a clear note.
Did you listen to it through all the mics individually? Playing a G and getting no phasing distortion would imply that the fundamental note of the drum was a G? Or was it just the batter mic?

I have for a long time now tuned my 12" tom batter F and the reso G, which makes the overall note of the drum an A and this is where it seems to have most resonance and sustain. I will bring the reso up a seminote tomorrow to see how the minor 3rd interval does as well.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:35 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Very interesting results. Several months ago I found myself trying out many similar trial-and-error experiments in an attempt to better understand the mechanics behind drum tuning (well, actually I just sucked at tuning, and wanted to do something about it).

What I find most interesting is your conclusion that the drum head's fundamental pitch will be 8 semitones below the harmonic sounded near the tuning rods. This differs from my results a bit.

When I test with my 12" tom, removing the resonant head (so testing single head only), The head's fundamental always seems to be about 1 full octave lower.

When I add the resonant head into the mix, things get interesting. With both heads tuned to the same pitch (same harmonic near each tuning lug for both heads), the fundamental pitch of the drum becomes a 9 semitone difference rather than 12 (full octave).

When the resonant head is raised a minor third from the batter, the fundamental pitch of the drum rises 1 semitone, which would be consistent with your finding of an 8 semitone difference (assuming you meant the fundamental of the drum with both heads, and just just single-headed).

The drum tuning video in my signature demonstrates a 9 semitone difference, with both heads being tuned to a G# test pitch, and then compared to a B test pitch.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjogras View Post
Amazing post, you've done some extensive work!



Did you listen to it through all the mics individually? Playing a G and getting no phasing distortion would imply that the fundamental note of the drum was a G? Or was it just the batter mic?

I have for a long time now tuned my 12" tom batter F and the reso G, which makes the overall note of the drum an A and this is where it seems to have most resonance and sustain. I will bring the reso up a seminote tomorrow to see how the minor 3rd interval does as well.
I played back the samples with a 50/50 blend of top and bottom mics as I would sum them normally and got the clear G. The top mic only is a clear G as well, but of course the bottom mic sounds like a bottom mic. The sample in the room mic is clearly a G as well.

If you're tuning the lug note to F just below middle C, that would be in keeping with my statements above that the drum would indeed produce an A ( 8 semitones down from the F at the lug pitch.) I wish I could get my 12" to make a clear A without nasty stuff getting involved, it won't go above G#. What kinda of drum / wood are you playing? Hoops, etc.?

I really do wish my rack toms would sound nice a note or two higher than their fundamental, but they just die.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:14 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

A couple of my preferred samples. The Bubinga went down a little lower like I said, so included an F# sample as well, cause it's still pretty nice. All with coated amb over clear amb.

Correction on samples, the one labeled Catalina Maple is actually the Catalina Birch.
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File Type: mp3 12 Catalina Maple G 2.mp3 (139.7 KB, 88 views)
File Type: mp3 Crush 12 Inch bubinga F#.mp3 (109.7 KB, 70 views)
File Type: mp3 Crush 12 Inch bubinga G.mp3 (225.9 KB, 68 views)

Last edited by Drum-El; 12-29-2012 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:06 AM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drum-El View Post
1. If anyone has DW kits with the markings, please post where your 12" is "supposed" to be. I'd be interested to know if they fall somewhere close to this range.
As with any evaluation of a naked shell's fundamental, the moment you attach the hardware & associated elements, the whole game changes. A drum resonates as a whole, just as a tom placed on a kit sounds different to a tom in isolation (sympathetic resonances). The hardware makes a big difference to a drum's "character", unless we're talking about very thick shells.

Such markings are useful in production to group together drums that will sit well as a kit. When you're using sheets from multiple sources, it's the only way to get any degree of uniformity across the shells.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:31 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Like most of you I watched a video of John Good tapping on bare drum shells and catalogue them with a note.
The first thing that I thought of is that it will be meaningless after hardware and finish are applied.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:35 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by bobdadruma View Post
Like most of you I watched a video of John Good tapping on bare drum shells and catalogue them with a note.
The first thing that I thought of is that it will be meaningless after hardware and finish are applied.
In terms of identifying the fundamental of a finished drum - yes Bob, not that relevant. In terms of assisting in making up a kit that's more likely to work well as a whole, it has some usefulness.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:40 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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In terms of identifying the fundamental of a finished drum - yes Bob, not that relevant. In terms of assisting in making up a kit that's more likely to work well as a whole, it has some usefulness.
How do you determine a good combination of shells by the note that they produce when bare?
Do you use a scale of some sort?
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:54 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

John Good is a master craftsman.
Oh yes what John does .. makes a big difference and it works.

I am one of the DW registered drum techs.
I work on the Pink Floyd & the David Gilmour kit's.

Yes John get's it right.
It's only with a DW that we achieve near perfection & now the combination of Dw and the Tunebot, I can get closer than ever.

Yes the roto toms are pitched to the guitar on the Floyd songs.
The drum's to are note specific and the intonation is vital.

As with the guitar department the choice of wood and the shell construction get the same level of attention to detail and skill.

It comes down to

The wood, the shell construction and it's fundamental pitch before.
The Head & It's mechanical support over the bearing edge. Aquarians for the same reason.
The bearing edge
The person tuning it.

DW for this is the number 1

Me i still die for a Slingerland, that's like being a vintage car fan & Dw is a well tuned Aston Martin.

Simon
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  #30  
Old 12-29-2012, 02:58 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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How do you determine a good combination of shells by the note that they produce when bare?
Do you use a scale of some sort?
I'm not sure how DW do it Bob, as it's not a problem we have, but my guess is they have an average pitch per drum size & shell construction. Then partner drums together that have the same relationship to the average value. For example, they'd select 4 drums that are all on the high side of the average value. I'm just guessing TBH, but that would make some sense to me.

That said, they refer to it as "timbre matching", so I'm assuming there's some brightness/darkness appraisal in there too.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Please note that I am not saying that there is no validity to dw assigning a note to their drums.
I am trying to understand how it works when the drum shell will not produce that same note after the hardware etc is applied.

OK drumdruid, for Pink Floyd you are duplicating a specific sound for the drums.
You can't find a Sonor kit that will do that?
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

In a word
No
We can't and believe me we have tried.
In the early days ( before my time ) Mr Mason used Ludwig but he switched to DW many many years ago.
No sorry guys I really love vintage kit's & I play a Sonor snare in combination with my Slngerland 24, 12, 18.

But no.. only DW hand picked shells can compete here.

Good examples can be found all over the 2006 "on an Island" tour on you tube.
I am also the stage manager so go check out the stage collapse in Venice and you can work out what I look like...

But no sorry
ONLY DW CAN
I experience this
almost daily

Simon
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  #33  
Old 12-29-2012, 04:09 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by drumdruid View Post
In a word
No
We can't and believe me we have tried.
In the early days ( before my time ) Mr Mason used Ludwig but he switched to DW many many years ago.
No sorry guys I really love vintage kit's & I play a Sonor snare in combination with my Slngerland 24, 12, 18.

But no.. only DW hand picked shells can compete here.

Good examples can be found all over the 2006 "on an Island" tour on you tube.
I am also the stage manager so go check out the stage collapse in Venice and you can work out what I look like...

But no sorry
ONLY DW CAN
I experience this
almost daily

Simon
I'm intrigued. Not wishing in any way to devalue your experience, but I have to ask specifically, DW can only do what? Tune to a specific pitch? Tone?

If you're talking about precise timbre matching, then sorry, but mother nature does a rather better job than John. Again, not dissing John or his expertise in any way, but if you make a set of drums out of the same part of the same tree, the job is done for you.
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  #34  
Old 12-29-2012, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

The timbre matching part makes sense to me. Drum sticks are matched in this way and I have played a mismatched pair of sticks so I have heard and felt it.

My experiments were done with three different brands of intermediate 12 inch toms and 14 inch floor toms that I own. they were of slightly different shell types that were close to the same thickness. they all had sharp 45 degree edges. I found that the drums all tuned very close to each other and I could make them sound alike within their ranges of tuning.
Their ranges of tuning were very close. The 72 to 80 range on my Drum Dial.
I spent almost an entire day on this a few years ago.
It was a day well spent because my tuning skills were sharpened greatly that day.
The only real difference that I noticed was sustain at lower tunings varied between the drums slightly.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

We can only watch in wonder as this thread unfolds. Thank you so much.
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:16 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

This thread coming out of nowhere makes me want to ask the original poster if he happened to work as a clerk in the Swiss patent office prior to writing this.

...and then I find out that my man KIS has gone even further. I feel like a neanderthal pounding my drums with sticks compared to where these guys ears are at.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:02 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Sounds to me like what he is saying, as a drum tech and stage manager, is the PF can purchase X number of kits for a given manufacturer per year and time has proven that, due to the importance of tuning the drums to guitars very closely, DW has proven to be the best investment to consistently get what they need for the least $ and time spent.

No one could ever say that a company like Sonor or Ludwig COULDNT do it. But DW does it for you (think they are alone in this?) so you wouldnt have to buy, say, 3 Sonor/Lud/Gretsch.. kits to be able to find/assemble a matched set of toms.

Floyd is one of my all time favorite bands (raise your hand if you cant close your eyes and play the intro/fills from Time). The fact that their drum tech is kicking the tires with us is unbelievable. Thanks (please create a thread where we get a tour of the kit, its tuning, set up and a gig- please please please, continue to infinity)! No pressure Drumdruid :) haha
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  #38  
Old 12-29-2012, 07:49 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

Appreciate all the participation here fellas, but lets not turn this thread into a debate about the validity of DW's note stamping. There are plenty of those floating around.
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  #39  
Old 12-29-2012, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
I'm intrigued. Not wishing in any way to devalue your experience, but I have to ask specifically, DW can only do what? Tune to a specific pitch? Tone?

If you're talking about precise timbre matching, then sorry, but mother nature does a rather better job than John. Again, not dissing John or his expertise in any way, but if you make a set of drums out of the same part of the same tree, the job is done for you.
Sorry Mother nature doesn't tune tree's
We have to turn them into something that can produce a tone.
The clue here is the same theory or indeed similar to what the guitar luther does when sounding the body of an acoustic instrument.

Sorry Guys but only DW attains the standard that we seek in all areas.. the shells, the hardware the quality and so on.

We don't buy lot's of kit's and compare them, we have over the years evolved with DW to where we are today.
Why DW, because the player liked it way back then and DW have the same passion and aspire to technical( musical) perfection as we (have to) do when working to the PF or the Gilmour standard.

I didn't jump on this job overnight , I have been working there since my early 20's and I'm now 48 ... first I had to prove myself and develop a level of skill that the chief's accepted.

Please remember I DON't play one myself.
It's not My sound at all .. I am a loony on a Slingerland
I like full open old school John Bonham style sounds..
I think I already said this.

Mmmm? a floyd drum set thread.
I don't know I have to ask, we get request's from magazines for that kind of thing and it's strictly controlled.

I let you know

Simon
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Insane experiments with shells, heads, and tuning.

A couple of questions for you guys. If I were to put together a large presentation, how would you guys want to hear the results? A few things would have to be set in stone for the first round of each drum. Head selection would have to stay consistent, mic selection, placement, etc.

I would more than likely use Coated Amb over Clear Amb as to achieve the most open and resonant tone. Would you rather hear more niche drum mics like 421 top and bottom, or something flatter that would let a more natural tone come through like KSM32's top and bottom? Would you guys want overheads in there? A room mic? Separate files for room and overheads, top and bottom so you could load them into pro tools? I don't know how many drummers have a recording rig. Audio only or full video?

If I were going to put together something for mass consumption, I'd like to know how most people would enjoy hearing / viewing the results of the study. I'm not making any promises here, but I'd be curious to know the preferences.

Also drums, should I pick a budget kit, a nice top of the line kit??? And what about depths? This could get really complicated presentation wise, I could stick to 12" and shootout different woods, die cast vs. flanged, ply numbers, thickness, it could get tiresome. Or I could do all of the above in a series that would take a year or two to complete. Infinite possibilities really.
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