2 for 1 Question: Drum Tuning and Recording Set-Up Follow-Up.

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
I) Drum Tuning:

I am rather perplexed. I have found a reasonably good method of tuning but it would seem that my 10" rack tom is perilously close in pitch to my 14" x 6.5" snare. I say this because there is rather a lot of sympathetic snare noise when I play the tom.

I am unsure if I can or should tune my snare even higher than it already is. I am, for no real reason, a bit afraid of tuning the snare too tightly.

II) Recording Levels:

In a bit of a continuation of a thread I started here in February; I am still perceiving that my recording levels are a bit low. I did get the occasional instance of clipping on this following recording. My gains are not set above 12 o'clock and I am running out of the mixer into a Focusrite 2i2.

If y'all would be so kind as to give this a listen and suggest what steps I could possibly take to help reduce the buzz and increase the volume, I would be deeply grateful for the help.

https://soundcloud.com/jeremy-crockett-439776587%2Fdrum-tuning-samples
My apologies for the mediocre playing.
 

Liam

Active Member
The tuning is something that requires trial and error, but a trick to get rid of snare buzz is to remove some of your wires. If you have 48 strands there will be a lot of buzz, but if you only have 2 wires (this being a bit extreme) you will have less snare buzz. You can also take out wires from a set, for example turning a 24-strand set in too a 10-strand set. When I do this I usually pull out the wires I don't want, fill the gaps left with some solder, and then file it so it won't puncture the rezo.
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
The tuning is something that requires trial and error, but a trick to get rid of snare buzz is to remove some of your wires. If you have 48 strands there will be a lot of buzz, but if you only have 2 wires (this being a bit extreme) you will have less snare buzz. You can also take out wires from a set, for example turning a 24-strand set in too a 10-strand set. When I do this I usually pull out the wires I don't want, fill the gaps left with some solder, and then file it so it won't puncture the rezo.
I made the mistake of putting a 30 strand on this. It has come off in favor of a Puresound 20 wire snare. I want to play around with it more before I commit to clipping wires off.

Thank you for the suggestion.
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
Your wires sound really loose. My 10" tom is close in pitch to my snare too.
I have reset the snares and tuned up the heads. I will post additional sound clips tomorrow as I don't want to annoy the neighbors tonight. Thank you for your input.
 

Liam

Active Member
I made the mistake of putting a 30 strand on this. It has come off in favor of a Puresound 20 wire snare. I want to play around with it more before I commit to clipping wires off.
If you want a idea of how it would sound listen to Gavin Harrison’s snare as he does this.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I settled on Canopus 16 strand vintage wires for all my snares. I dig the sound they make. 12 strands sounds good to me for high tunings but not low and sloppy, which I like at home every now and again. The 16 strand wires are the Goldilocks zone for me.
I can't do anything over 20. 30 is way too much and 42 is almost comical to my tastes.

A normal amount of snare buzz I don't mind. How many electronic drum brain manufacturers are paying good money to developers to capture that buzzy sound? It's one of the "real" imperfections that makes music come alive for me. Even if you tune the snare buzz out, there will be a collection of bass notes that will set the snares a-buzzing no matter how much you eliminate kit buzz with tuning. You can't separate smell from a turd, they go together.
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I am unsure if I can or should tune my snare even higher than it already is. I am, for no real reason, a bit afraid of tuning the snare too tightly.
Why is that?

Based on your second recording you still have a lot more room for a higher pitch on the snare. You're at about what I'd call the low side of medium.

Don't be afraid to tune higher, especially on the snare! :)
 

Jeremy Crockett

Well-known Member
Why is that?

Based on your second recording you still have a lot more room for a higher pitch on the snare. You're at about what I'd call the low side of medium.

Don't be afraid to tune higher, especially on the snare! :)

I'm guessing it's because I have an over-active imagination and an under-active sense of adventure.:(


I will experiment with higher tunings as per your and @Al Strange 's suggestions. I thank you for the feedback and encouragement. (y)
 

timmdrum

Silver Member
I) Drum Tuning:

I am rather perplexed. I have found a reasonably good method of tuning but it would seem that my 10" rack tom is perilously close in pitch to my 14" x 6.5" snare. I say this because there is rather a lot of sympathetic snare noise when I play the tom.

I am unsure if I can or should tune my snare even higher than it already is. I am, for no real reason, a bit afraid of tuning the snare too tightly.
In my experience, there's no issue with separating the pitches of a 14" snare and 10" tom to the point that the snare is easily higher pitched than the tom. I tune my 10" tom medium-low- whatever its good resonating point is (I don't actually tune to specific pitches)- and make sure my snare is approx. the same interval higher from the tom than the tom is from the 12", and the 12" from the 14", etc. You shouldn't have to get the snare piccolo/311-high to sufficiently separate it from the tom's sweet spot.

All that said, sometimes the sympathetic snare buzz is due as much to proximity as pitch. If you can, try the same setup and tunings in a bigger or less reflective room, or even outdoors- not for recording purposes, just for testing this. If there's significantly less buzz, the issue is the room; if it's the same, it's the two drums' proximity, neither of which is very fixable. You can also try removing the 10" from its position and putting the 12" (or whatever your next size rack tom is) there- if there's just as much buzz, then, same sitch. You can tune each drum to eliminate as much buzz as you can, as best you can (not just pitch-wise, but try other stuff- muffle the snare reso head, tighten the snare wires as much as you can stand without choking the drum, etc), put as much space between the snare and tom as you can while keeping the setup comfy, and move on & just deal, knowing that it's just the nature of the beast, for drums to sympathetically resonate with each other. If you're close-micing each drum, it may help to primarily use those signals as prominently as possible, use gates to try to keep the snare buzz out of the tom mics, and only add as much room mic to the mix as needed to brighten things sufficiently. Not knowing your sonic goals for recording, I don't know which of these things, if any, and how much all this will help.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm a broken record but it just kills me to hear guys struggle with tuning when the answer is $99 away.

Your drums don't sound terrible per se but they would sound $2000 better if you used a tune-bot on them.
 
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PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I'm a broken record but it just kills me to hear guys struggle with tuning when the answer is $99 away.

Your drums don't sound terrible per se but they would sound $2000 better if you used a tune-bot on them.

I still haven't mastered the Tunebot. I wish I had the same results as others do with it.

I think what I need to do is start off tuning my drums in a good room to get the best numbers. I recorded my numbers while tuning my drums in my basement, and when I adjust to the numbers in just about any room or outside, my drums sound horrible, and I end up doing it by ear anyways. Maybe I need to start off by changing rooms and starting over.
 

River19

Senior Member
I still haven't mastered the Tunebot. I wish I had the same results as others do with it.

I think what I need to do is start off tuning my drums in a good room to get the best numbers. I recorded my numbers while tuning my drums in my basement, and when I adjust to the numbers in just about any room or outside, my drums sound horrible, and I end up doing it by ear anyways. Maybe I need to start off by changing rooms and starting over.

I got one recently. It was cool to dial up some suggestions, but I also find it sometimes fails to accurately register the frequency or seems to be all over the place. I can tap by a single lug the same level over and over and get things like 332, 165, 45, 400, 400, 400, 249. WTF am I supposed to do with that !!!! lol

That being said, I think the ability to measure the fundamental pitch as a reference point.....I can then at least work to get to that same number.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I got one recently. It was cool to dial up some suggestions, but I also find it sometimes fails to accurately register the frequency or seems to be all over the place. I can tap by a single lug the same level over and over and get things like 332, 165, 45, 400, 400, 400, 249. WTF am I supposed to do with that !!!! lol

That being said, I think the ability to measure the fundamental pitch as a reference point.....I can then at least work to get to that same number.
First thing to check; be sure to mute the opposite head. Placing the drum on a pillow, rug or towel works well. Occasionally, a teeny dab of Moongel applied to the head being measured kills overtones just enough to clear things up.

Secondly, be sure to use the filter button. If you get 2-3 consistent readings from other lugs, use the filter button to freeze the device on that frequency then re-check the outlier lug. You'll find it's often 2 or 3 Hz out from the others which can lead to wonky reads like you're seeing.

Lastly, move the tuner to a different spot on the drum and take another reading. This often helps to stabilize the device and avoid overtone laden zones.

Hope this helps!
 

I-P

Active Member
I'm a broken record but it just kills me to hear guys struggle with tuning when the answer is $99 away.

Your drums don't sound terrible per se but they would sound $2000 better if you used a tune-bot on them.
Agreed. Get a Tune-bot Studio, and their app for kit tuning. You'll never look back.
 
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