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  #1  
Old 03-12-2012, 02:43 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

I think I'm in love with this new combo (remo ambassadors on batter and reso) that I never really gave a chance because I sucked at tuning lol.

Please let me know what you think...the vid is of my Pearl MCX 12" rack tom

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpKrmn-QV8A
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  #2  
Old 03-12-2012, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Very nice smooth, round tone. Probably a little fatter sounding than many would guess. Same batter head as reso is magic.

Btw, die cast rims?
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2012, 05:02 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
Very nice smooth, round tone. Probably a little fatter sounding than many would guess. Same batter head as reso is magic.
Thanks Birdman...and yes die cast rims. I was surprised how fat it was as well, I got my 14" floor tom sounding sweet with same head combo as well. I remember last year when I first tried to tune the 14" floor tom with stock ambassadors on top and bottom I hated it because of my poor tuning skills. Slowly I'm getting there!

I will say I am enjoying the feel and cleaner tone over two ply heads for now. It almost seems like the tone from the heads are hitting my ears quicker than two ply heads if that makes any sense lol?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:10 AM
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opentune opentune is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Nice sound. I do coated Ambs - both batter and reso.
Your tom sounded nice, fat, , but reso tuned a little high for me.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2012, 05:12 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by PeteN View Post
It almost seems like the tone from the heads are hitting my ears quicker than two ply heads if that makes any sense lol?
No "seems" about it.;) You have the heads and tuning relationship of max tone, not a dead thwack. Your toms are musical. your 12" maple tom really shines in this btw. Maple really sings/jives at that medium tom size range. Great sounding drum, again.

Yes, die cast reduces resonance a bit(I've got die cast starclassic bubingas), and your seeing why they can handle(need?) these kind of heads and tuning.

Bonus is you can't get much louder/clear (no pun intended) playing in an unmic'd situation, and if you ever want to have "coated" single ply head, just add about a 3/4" x 3/8" piece of moongel near the rim
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:23 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
No "seems" about it.;) You have the heads and tuning relationship of max tone, not a dead thwack. Your toms are musical. your 12" maple tom really shines in this btw. Maple really sings/jives at that medium tom size range. Great sounding drum, again.

Yes, die cast reduces resonance a bit(I've got die cast starclassic bubingas), and your seeing why they can handle(need?) these kind of heads and tuning.

Bonus is you can't get much louder/clear (no pun intended) playing in an unmic'd situation, and if you ever want to have "coated" single ply head, just add about a 3/4" x 3/8" piece of moongel near the rim
Yeah the other vids you commented on last week were my mapex saturns, not sure I'm ready to try matched single ply on those yet lol.

I'm curious to try single ply heads on my kit that I use at band practice...it's a tama birch superstar hyperdrive kit. That's next on my list.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:29 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by opentune View Post
Nice sound. I do coated Ambs - both batter and reso.
Your tom sounded nice, fat, , but reso tuned a little high for me.
Thanks...I think I have batter and reso pitched the same.
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2012, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post

and if you ever want to have "coated" single ply head, just add about a 3/4" x 3/8" piece of moongel near the rim
Did not understand this when I first read but I think you meant adding the little piece of moongel would give the clear head a coated sound?
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2012, 05:55 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

It sounds to me that one head is a little off pitch compared to the other, that's why I'm hearing a downward pitch bend. There's nothing wrong with it if that's the sound your lookin for.

Dennis
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2012, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
It sounds to me that one head is a little off pitch compared to the other, that's why I'm hearing a downward pitch bend. There's nothing wrong with it if that's the sound your lookin for.

Dennis
lol Dennis...I was trying to get same pitch. Maybe my ears had enough yesterday, I'll mess around with it again today.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2012, 08:44 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Btw, for those keeping score at home... that tom tuning was roughly a Bb 2 ( Flat of B2) on a scale). Quite a few drummers would have their 12" tom closer to the middle C note on a keyboard (G3, A3, even B3, a whole octave above your tom). So consider that a low, fat tuning spot for a 12" maple.

http://www.harpkit.com/mm5/merchant....de=Onlinetuner
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2012, 03:57 PM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Update: This morning I tuned up my 12" pearl mcx maple tom a little higher but not sure which tuning I like better yet and I'll probably decide that once I setup all the drums as a whole and adjust from there. For now though I'm just having fun getting more experience with tuning.

1)This is the new updated tuning Medium Tuning

2)This is the original low tuning I posted Low Tuning

Which tuning do you like better?

Thanks
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2012, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

TBH, I didn't like either tuning. The low tuning...I think the heads should be a certain tightness to get the shell involved, otherwise it's just head sound with little shell tone. That's what it sounded like to me. I did prefer the medium tuning slightly better, but IMO the reso wasn't tight enough, so the quality of tone wasn't there for me. But that's what I like to hear, not you. Since you asked for opinions, well there ya go...

If you tune your toms medium to medium- high, out in the audience, they will sound lower than onstage. So if they sound low onstage, that nice low end doesn't travel too far in a crowded room, whereas the higher tuning will travel, and your toms will sound deeper in the audience, than if you tuned them deeper, because the sound travels with the higher tuning. It's backwards. I like to tune for the audience, not the stage.

Playing both clips side by side, there is not a huge tuning diff there. It seemed like the reso head was at the same tuning in both clips. My preference would be the medium tuning with the reso much tighter.
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  #14  
Old 03-13-2012, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

To me, the 12" doesn't exist by itself (unlike the videos;))... I get the tone I like for my lowest floor tom (16") being careful not get a tone(too low) that won't project well. Then I go up from there in 4ths w/a 16, 14, 12, 10 set up. This is often advised "out there" to get the tonal relationship right....because if you started w/ your low tuned 12 in my set up, my floor tom would not be able to hit the proper note (flappy?) to stay in the "family".
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  #15  
Old 03-14-2012, 02:57 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
TBH, I didn't like either tuning. The low tuning...I think the heads should be a certain tightness to get the shell involved, otherwise it's just head sound with little shell tone. That's what it sounded like to me. I did prefer the medium tuning slightly better, but IMO the reso wasn't tight enough, so the quality of tone wasn't there for me. But that's what I like to hear, not you. Since you asked for opinions, well there ya go...

If you tune your toms medium to medium- high, out in the audience, they will sound lower than onstage. So if they sound low onstage, that nice low end doesn't travel too far in a crowded room, whereas the higher tuning will travel, and your toms will sound deeper in the audience, than if you tuned them deeper, because the sound travels with the higher tuning. It's backwards. I like to tune for the audience, not the stage.

Playing both clips side by side, there is not a huge tuning diff there. It seemed like the reso head was at the same tuning in both clips. My preference would be the medium tuning with the reso much tighter.
Makes sense larry....I'm making progress slowly and it helps when you guys give your opinions. I appreciate the input from all you guys!

I will did tighten up the reso a fair amount and it's an improvement. The batter has just the right feel currently for my taste and it's in tune with itself as is the reso. If I go any tighter on the batter it will start to feel more like a snare drum and I think it might start to sound choked as well. Just don't want to end up with a snare feeling piccolo sounding tom if you know what I mean.

This tom is a thicker maple shell (pearl masters mcx) and I know that the heads play a more important role on thicker shell drums in regard to resonance and tone because the thicker shells dont vibrate as easily as thinner shell drums, this info I got from Bob Gatzen's vid. I'm not saying the shell does not matter because it does, my 12" saturn sounds like a different species to my pearl mcx 12" tom, and my gretsch new classic 12" sounds different as well.

On the saturn I can go quite high in the tuning range before having it sound choked and that's probably because of it's thin sweet shell but on the pearl mcx tom I'm afraid I might choke it if i go much higher...but who knows I'm obsessed lately with tuning and might just mess with it more lol.

On a side note...this pearl kit right now is not being played with my band at band practice nor live so I'm not sure if it matters too much if I tune it for maximum projection.

My tuning has improved a lot over the last year but now I have to learn how to make the best decisions on tuning relationships between top and bottom heads and also between all the drums in a kit.
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  #16  
Old 03-14-2012, 03:06 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by Birdman View Post
To me, the 12" doesn't exist by itself (unlike the videos;))... I get the tone I like for my lowest floor tom (16") being careful not get a tone(too low) that won't project well. Then I go up from there in 4ths w/a 16, 14, 12, 10 set up. This is often advised "out there" to get the tonal relationship right....because if you started w/ your low tuned 12 in my set up, my floor tom would not be able to hit the proper note (flappy?) to stay in the "family".
For now....I like tuning them separate and then I usually have a little fine tuning to do to make them work together once I set them up if that makes any sense?

I think each drum will have a sweet spot or two probably more depending on the quality of the shell but for now I'm just starting to get better at tuning so eventually I will explore more.

In reality though a 16" floor tom sound is best when it's tuned to be a 16" floor tom and not a 14" or 18" floor tom. This is how I think about it so I'm not overly concerned which drum I start on because if I can get it to sound good by itself I on't be too concerned over having to fine tune it later to play well with the others :-)

What I am happy about most is the fact that I got single ply batters to tune up nicely and feel great. I know I still have a lot to learn but it's about the journey not the destination...right lol?
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  #17  
Old 03-14-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Larry...tuned batter and reso quite a bit higher since reading your thoughts and I must say now that I don't care for the sound of my previous tuning vids now lol. I'm a shmuck!

tell me what you think of the sound now.... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En0Qy_QWxvI
also....this one includes my Masters MCX 14" floor tom in the mix now. - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GkZXeeNEEc
thanks

Last edited by PeteN; 03-14-2012 at 11:14 PM.
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  #18  
Old 03-15-2012, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Any opinions from the links in post #17?

Thanks
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  #19  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

OK Pete, I agree on the improvement. It's not totally doing it for me yet though, but I do understand that camera mics color the sound considerably. It probably sounds better standing right next to it. For me, if I can pick out a pure tone, or note...that's my tuning goal. The more prominent the note, the better. I was getting a note from your latest vid, but not enough of one.

Yea, when I hear nothing but slap and then a thud for the decay, the drum is tuned too low to project. The note is too low to be heard. It sounds it's best within 4 feet, maybe less, tuned that way. Not enough to have a good tone in the crowd, unless you like the cardboard tone.

Here's what I go for: I'll make it as simple as I can.

If you have a drum dial, and know how to use one (they're tricky!) then 75 batter 83 reso. That's it!

Those numbers apply to single ply, 10 mil heads only. 2 ply heads will need more. 7.5 mil heads will need less.

Drum size doesn't matter. All my toms are tuned just right using those exact same numbers.

This makes for a definite pure note, that is very noticeable. It sings out. Ding! Doom! DAMN!

I play 3 toms, 10, 12, and 16. 75 and 83 yield an interval of a fourth between the 2 racks, and my 16" floor is the same note as my 10" tom, only an octave (or 2?) lower. Love that tuning. It's the only one I use actually. If you sing the song in your head, "Here Comes The Bride", that line, is a perfect fourth. So my 12" rack tom sings the note that corresponds to the word "here"... and "comes the bride"... is the note my 10" tom sings.

OK if you don't have a drum dial, then it's a little trickier. Using a pitch pipe, if I hit dead center like I am playing the drum, my 12" rack sings a C# and my 10" rack sings an F#. (a perfect fourth apart) The first tricky part is the bottom reso needs to be tuned 1 octave above the batter, as determined by the harmonic note.

How do you get the harmonic note? Put the drum on the floor, negating the opposite head. Lightly place your fingertip dead center of the exposed head to mute the fundamental, and using a drumstick tip, tap directly in front of a lug. That's the harmonic note. Get them all to match at each lug, (called "clearing" the head) tuned to the proper note of course, then get the reso side to sing a harmonic that is an octave higher than the (properly pitched) batter head.

There's another catch to tuning to a pitch pipe. When the drum is hit dead center, the note is say a C#, the harmonic note won't be a C#. Nature of the drum. That's another reason it's tricky. You have to tune the fundamental to the proper pitch, by ear, then "clear" the head. Then tune the reso relative to the properly tuned batter head.

Phew! Nothin to it!

The point is to make the drum sing a pure note. For the drum to project over a distance, the note needs to be in the drums mid to high midrange. Floor toms included. (bass and snare excluded) It's the pitch of the drum that's important, the tension. To get it to carry, you have to tune it higher than you would think. Listen past the overtones to the fundamental note. The shell has to be at a critical tension or above to contribute what it was born for. When you start hearing a midrange note, then you are getting in the ballpark. IMO nearly all drums I hear in a bar setting are tuned way too low. They could get so much more from them.

Last edited by larryace; 03-15-2012 at 10:41 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:41 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

It sounds like they are almost a flat fifth apart (one semitone up from a fourth), I think the 12 is just flat of a C and the 14 is a touch sharper than an F#. If you can get the 12 bang on C and the 14 bang on G, that might work. The 14 does sound a little bit low to my ears.

That was just worked out on my cheap acoustic guitar so I don't know how accurate I am :)

Larry - so your reso heads are a whole octave higher? I'm going to try that right now!
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  #21  
Old 03-15-2012, 10:49 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Yup. I like that tone. It pitch bends. It projects. The batter has nice rebound. They sound like toms are supposed to, in the audience.
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  #22  
Old 03-15-2012, 11:31 PM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Yup. I like that tone. It pitch bends. It projects. The batter has nice rebound. They sound like toms are supposed to, in the audience.
I agreed with you before you posted this but man my ears sometimes fool me into thinking a particular tuning might be good and that's probably the nature of learning to understand what sound is best.

Thanks again

Last edited by PeteN; 03-16-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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  #23  
Old 03-16-2012, 05:31 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

Nope don't like it. Sorry, two heads working together at the same pitch is what toms are "supposed to be"... in my book. ;) Sounds blunted. Nope, don't like it, especially live.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:04 AM
PeteN PeteN is offline
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

I'm starting to feel like talking about drum tuning is like talking about politics ;-)
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  #25  
Old 03-16-2012, 06:15 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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I'm starting to feel like talking about drum tuning is like talking about politics ;-)
Yep. And the sole reason why I've followed this thread yet chosen to stay the hell out of it.

At the end of the day, as long as the heads are in tune.......then low, medium, high, batter higher than reso, reso higher than batter, reso and batter equal......it really doesn't matter. It's all just different tones that add some colour. Personal taste should dictate what colour YOU like.

Hell of a lot of fun to experiment though hey? At least you know what your drums are capable of now.......even if your head has exploded in the process. :-)
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:26 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by Pocket-full-of-gold View Post
Yep. And the sole reason why I've followed this thread yet chosen to stay the hell out of it.

At the end of the day, as long as the heads are in tune.......then low, medium, high, batter higher than reso, reso higher than batter, reso and batter equal......it really doesn't matter. It's all just different tones that add some colour. Personal taste should dictate what colour YOU like.

Hell of a lot of fun to experiment though hey? At least you know what your drums are capable of now.......even if your head has exploded in the process. :-)
I have a real good idea now what they can do and it has been fun with the exception of headaches I get sometimes from tapping on heads for hours on end :-)

And...lately I can't walk by a drum without messing with the tuning. Maybe I need help?
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Old 03-16-2012, 07:22 AM
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Default Re: Ambassador clears on top and bottom - Soundcheck

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If you tune your toms medium to medium- high, out in the audience, they will sound lower than onstage. So if they sound low onstage, that nice low end doesn't travel too far in a crowded room, whereas the higher tuning will travel, and your toms will sound deeper in the audience, than if you tuned them deeper, because the sound travels with the higher tuning. It's backwards. I like to tune for the audience, not the stage.
I agree. That's what I tend to do. The thing I have to live with is that from where I sit the drums aren't sounding the way I want to hear them. But they are sounding I want to hear them to the audience and I don't lose presence at medium to higher volumes.

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