Attention Tune-Bot Owners!

Sribner

Junior Member
Yes, I've seen the video.

In this case, the filter button should be pushed after reading 292. This will prevent the 399 reading. Also, if you put your finger 90 degrees, 1-2 inches from the hoop (quarter of the drum) from the lug hit, that will also suppress the 399 overtone. The finger can be 90 degrees in either direction. Anyway, you shouldn't need to use the finger method as long as you're using the filter mode.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
Yes, I've seen the video.

In this case, the filter button should be pushed after reading 292. This will prevent the 399 reading. Also, if you put your finger 90 degrees, 1-2 inches from the hoop (quarter of the drum) from the lug hit, that will also suppress the 399 overtone. The finger can be 90 degrees in either direction. Anyway, you shouldn't need to use the finger method as long as you're using the filter mode.
Thanks for the education. I think we were searching (at least I was) for an understanding and strategy. I suppose it takes more practice and use.

BTW, thanks for taking my call last week. I'm enjoying the product more with each use and your input is valued.
 

Sribner

Junior Member
Thanks for the education. I think we were searching (at least I was) for an understanding and strategy. I suppose it takes more practice and use.

BTW, thanks for taking my call last week. I'm enjoying the product more with each use and your input is valued.
Thanks for the welcome to drummers world. It's good to hear of the problems people are having so we can work on making things more clear.
 

Sribner

Junior Member
In that second video, it looks like you're getting very consistent results around 292 Hz. Just hit filter and go with it.
Right exactly. Here is a graphic illustration of how the filter mode works. In the illustration you can see the lug overtone is 180 and unwanted overtone is 290. In the second video the lug pitch is 290 and unwanted overtone is 397.
 

iontheable

Senior Member
@Sribner - thank you for chiming in and welcome to DW

Also, thanks for fielding my email with such quick responses!


*UPDATES*

I have several tips for the new Tune-Bot users:

-Completely muffle the head that you are not working with. This was an attributing issue I was having before at some points(I believe). Merely resting the drum on your knee will only partially muffle the vibrations.

-Do not try to tune too closely to other drums that are not muffled, I found while I was making some micro adjustments at the kit, even while in Filter mode the resonance from other drums was making the readings extremely inaccurate.( I know, you're saying "DUH" right now)

-I prefer to mute the drum head, by touching it and absorbing the vibrations after EVERY strike. I found this helps a lot.


Otherwise, I worked with the Tune-Bot for nearly 2.5 hours today(for a working man such as myself, that's a lot!) and my results were much better than in my previous efforts. It will still take some getting used to and getting to know all the little quarky..dare I say "issues" But I have no real complaints. And the people over at Overtone Labs have been incredibly supportive in my learning their product.

And after this time spend today, I was able to get my 10, 12, 14 and 16 Toms to a reasonable sound. However, as a side note, my 16 is still muddy and will need some work.


Here are two videos, the first being some tuning; I know the individual lugs are off, but this video is here to present the consistency that I did in fact experience. There is a bit of tone wavering towards the end..not sure where I am still going wrong at times..

http://youtu.be/OfeGkoj6zZs


The second video here is just a brief clip of my toms recorded on my phone..I swear I can actually play the drums (>,<) this was standing up with a phone in my mouth(video camcorder) haha!

http://youtu.be/Hs-sBD3XghY


Aside from my 16" tom I really love the sound of them! I've always tuned by ear and the Tune-Bot has proven to me that I do in fact have a set of ears!! The majority of my lugs were within +/- 5Hz tops- prior to using the tune-bot. Now that I'm getting more efficient and proficient with the Tune-Bot I'll have to experiment with more abstract tuning.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
I would seek an audience from the honorable Mr. audiotech :)



Wouldn't you have to mount both TV's in exact location, one after another and hit the same spot dead-on to test against each other? I'm thinking there would be some "user" variance in this method.

Either way, would love to hear what your synopsis is as your knowledge in this area is respected on this forum sir...

I've got a 14" floor tom I'll work on later. From what I recall, the lugs that gave me the funky readings were usually 90 degrees from where the TB was positioned. However, I also got funky readings when hitting center of head.

I'm wondering; Are the extreme readings common for a device like this? Could any of it be a defect? HOW DO THEY CALIBRATE or Test this thing at the factory?
First of all, I would love to open one up and see what makes it tick, but I probably wouldn't see much of anything anyway. Besides, the unit I have belongs to someone else. He was getting discrepancies in it's readout and he asked me if I would also check it out, so that's what I'm doing. The second Tune Bot would be coming out of my own pocket, so neither one is going to make it to my workbench for dismantling, lol. Much of the time but not all, inexpensive units such as these do not have internal pots to calibrate them, instead the inherent calibration usually stems from the tolerances of the parts used to manufacture them. I said usually because I've never seen the inside of a Tune Bot. My impression is that it is very much like a frequency counter with a sampling microphone.

To check the accuracy or tolerance of a sampling device such as this it probably should be placed at exactly the same spot but, from what I hear and read, the Tune Bot should be able to read (hear) the sample from anyplace on the drum hoop, so some experimentation would have to be made. When I get readings more similar than not, this is probably the best place for the comparisons. I know I was using the filter mode when attempting to tune the heads using the device.

As of my latest experience, there are more variables to taking "correct" readings than what was originally portrayed. How do you really know if all your ducks are in a row to really know if the frequency read out or note indicated is accurate to what your drum is emitting. This factor could very well be close, but it really doesn't have to be dead on. What's more important with equipment such as this is its repeatability, getting the same reading every time before or after a tuning adjustment is made to the drum. With more variables you can only expect less repeatability of the readings. As I said before, I haven't given up on it yet. I am going to experiment with the sampling level of the unit just to see if I can get a gated reading from an accurate frequency source, just for grins and giggles.

BTW, I don't own a video camera, but I'll report back with my findings, when possible, within these threads.

Dennis
 
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BigDinSD

Gold Member
Just hit filter and go with it.
Advice well taken. I did this, and results are more consistent. I'm pleased enough where I don't need to interpret or understand the explanation below :)

Right exactly. Here is a graphic illustration of how the filter mode works. In the illustration you can see the lug overtone is 180 and unwanted overtone is 290. In the second video the lug pitch is 290 and unwanted overtone is 397.
 

BigDinSD

Gold Member
Aside from my 16" tom I really love the sound of them! I've always tuned by ear and the Tune-Bot has proven to me that I do in fact have a set of ears!! The majority of my lugs were within +/- 5Hz tops- prior to using the tune-bot. Now that I'm getting more efficient and proficient with the Tune-Bot I'll have to experiment with more abstract tuning.
What are you using for batter and reso frequencies on the 14" and 16" tom?

I figured I could now start asking what frequencies people favor. Why not? The drum dial users ask what tension others use.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Here are two videos, the first being some tuning; I know the individual lugs are off, but this video is here to present the consistency that I did in fact experience. There is a bit of tone wavering towards the end..not sure where I am still going wrong at times..

http://youtu.be/OfeGkoj6zZs


The second video here is just a brief clip of my toms recorded on my phone..I swear I can actually play the drums (>,<) this was standing up with a phone in my mouth(video camcorder) haha!

http://youtu.be/Hs-sBD3XghY
I've not tried one of these units yet, & I'm keen to see what Dennis comes up with, but I did spot a couple of issues on these videos. Specifically the first video, your strike point on the drum varies in position each time. The variety, & especially the dominance of overtones will vary considerably with only a small variation in strike position. When using any digital tuning device, consistency in the way you present information is more important than when tuning with your ears. Your brain has a way of compensating for your presentation inaccuracies that the tuner does not possess.

In the second clip (toms playing), your toms do seem to produce a lot of higher overtones. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, each to his own, but such an application will make life a bit more difficult for this device compared to a tuning with a cleaner fundamental tone. That said, it's great that a variety of applications are used to test this product.

As I don't possess one of these products yet, I'm watching from the sidelines with great interest. Thanks for putting this information out there :)
 

Mike Armstrong

Senior Member
Thanks for being here Sribner, I think you've got a product with allot of potential, it just needs further explanation.

One thing I'm concerned about is using your finger to muffle the head. I would think that there would be too much variance in trying to physically keep the same exact pressure and location on the head each time. I'm wondering if something inanimate could be used like a small piece of drum gell or tape just to get a more consistant reading.

Also, can the Tune-Bot be used to find the fundamental note of a drum shell? (with the hardware on to make it more realistic to how the drum will actually be when used). I like the idea of tuning heads to a particular drums best resonance (Note). Thanks
 

Mike Armstrong

Senior Member
Here is a video demonstrating the randomness of the Tune-Bot...

http://youtu.be/izGi-Ade2us
One thing I noticed about this video is that the red light indicating a reading has been taken does not occur when rapidly striking the head. I would think you would want to strike the head evenly and slowly enough for the device to be able to 'accurately hear' (as indicated by the red light coming on) the head to give a consistant reading at the same spot on the head.
 

iontheable

Senior Member
One thing I noticed about this video is that the red light indicating a reading has been taken does not occur when rapidly striking the head. I would think you would want to strike the head evenly and slowly enough for the device to be able to 'accurately hear' (as indicated by the red light coming on) the head to give a consistant reading at the same spot on the head.

Certainly! And I've grown to understand this fact as well. Its not only the space you allow between the strikes, but the strength as well. It must register, which takes time and the proper amount of pressure. I was probably just rushing in the video. <--dummy :)
 

iontheable

Senior Member
What are you using for batter and reso frequencies on the 14" and 16" tom?

I figured I could now start asking what frequencies people favor. Why not? The drum dial users ask what tension others use.
I am actually using the "beginners" frequencies, if you will- that are posted inside the booklet that comes along with the Tune-Bot..I figured it was as good a spot to start as any.
 

iontheable

Senior Member
I've not tried one of these units yet, & I'm keen to see what Dennis comes up with, but I did spot a couple of issues on these videos. Specifically the first video, your strike point on the drum varies in position each time. The variety, & especially the dominance of overtones will vary considerably with only a small variation in strike position. When using any digital tuning device, consistency in the way you present information is more important than when tuning with your ears. Your brain has a way of compensating for your presentation inaccuracies that the tuner does not possess.

In the second clip (toms playing), your toms do seem to produce a lot of higher overtones. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, each to his own, but such an application will make life a bit more difficult for this device compared to a tuning with a cleaner fundamental tone. That said, it's great that a variety of applications are used to test this product.

As I don't possess one of these products yet, I'm watching from the sidelines with great interest. Thanks for putting this information out there :)
I agree with you about the superfluous-high overtones. I am using Response 2's over Classic Clears(Aquarian of course) and when I am tuning by ear I can make them sing and not really become too annoying with the abundance of overtones. I believe what you're hearing is not only my phone picking up..well, garbage..but also the tension of the heads themselves. I am not fond of the tuning currently, but I needed a place to start.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
This is going to be as boring as most anything technically you've ever read, but here goes. I worked with the Tune Bot tonight for a while and came away with some interesting results. Again I was using my 12" Ludwig Classic Maple rack tom which was already tuned and sounded great. I always use the filter mode because it gets me closer to what I'm hearing than without using it. At first I was holding the tom by its suspension mount, when I hit the center of the head the Tune Bot registered a reading of 107.6 cycles. OK, so about five seconds later I hit it again with a little more force, the reading now registered at 113 cycles.

Next I moved my 12" tom to my work table. I tried both a towel under the opposite head and also without it. I now have the Tune Bot at the 10 o'clock position on the hoop. I usually call tension rod #1 the lug just to the right of the logo on the drum head and the logo is always at the top of the drum. Tension rod #1 gave me a reading of 268 cycles, kinda of weird. #2 was 198.6, #3 was 198.7, #4 was 268.5, #5 was 199.1 and #6 was 198.6. All except tension rods 1 and 4 were pretty close, I was pretty proud of what my ears had done. I started working with rod #1, trying to ascertain why the Tune Bot was registering a semi harmonic instead of the specific fundamental. A true second harmonic would be the doubling of the fundamental frequency. I was hitting one inch behind each tension rod. No matter what I did, I could not get that reading back to the fundamental frequency of the other rods. I brought the tension down on both 1 and 4 and it still read 267 cycles at #1. For grins and giggles, I moved the Tune Bot and placed it at the 12 o'clock position on the hoop, wow, now it's reading 197.1, close to the fundamental frequency at the rest of the drums lugs. OK something is strange here, so I mover the Tune Bot back to the 10 o'clock position and again it's reading 262 cycles. I didn't adjust any tension rods between the times I moved the Tune Bot. The Tune Bot is supposed to be able to accurately read the sound from the head anywhere around the hoop. The tension rods 1 and 4 sounded a bit flat to my ears, but the device was not picking this up as a fundamental frequency, even though the "filter" was in the circuit at the time. I moved the Tune Bot to the 6 o'clock position of the hoop.and hit the area of the #1 tension rod again. The reading was 259.8 cycles, not touching anything, I gave it another hit five or six seconds later, now it was within a couple of cycles of the 2, 3, 5 and 6 tension rods. I was finding some of the readings to be a bit wish washy. I don't want to have to interpret which readings are more accurate than others. This unit is supposed to expedite the tuning process, this has yet to be proven to me.

I was running out of time and I still wanted to experiment with a few other things. I thought that it would be a cool idea to actually learn what frequencies my bass drums were tuned. I used the Tune Bot on the resonant heads of the drums. My 20" Ludwig bass drum registered at 61.5 cycles, OK for a 20" drum. My Gretsch Renown 22" drum had a reading of 51.5 cycles. My Yamaha Maple Custom Absolute 22" bass drum registered at 49.7 cycles, but what was jaw dropping was my Tama Starclassic Bubinga 22" drum, it registered a low 41.6 cycles. You can feel this drum in your chest, lol. My DW drums weren't in the house, so I couldn't check its bass drum. I still don't know the accuracy of these readings, but it was a fun experiment to do.

After again re-touching the tuning on my 12" tom, by ear, I made a log of what the Tune Bot "hears" as the frequency of each drum of the Ludwig Classic Maple kit. The 12 x 8 was 107.9 cycles, the 13 x 9 was 99, the 14 x 14 was 81.9, the 16 x 16 was 72, snare was 190.2 and the bass drum, 61.5 cycles. These were all dead center hits. Again, there was quite a bit of a discrepancy on these reading depending on how hard the head was hit. The harder the hit, the higher the frequency readout on the Tune Bot.

There are some things I like about this unit, but many things I believe could be more refined.
The only way I could get a check on its accuracy is to open the unit and inject a low frequency pulse signal into its audio input stage, I'm not going to do this for obvious reasons, at least not yet. I truly believe the Tune Bot has Too much sensitivity. It shouldn't be so sensitive that a drum hit from over three feet away will find its way into its gate, especially with the device mounted on the drum hoop less than an inch away fro the head. I believe a unit with a variable sensitivity range would make for much more accurate and stable readouts. The Tune Bot definitely has a low pass filter inline, especially with the "filter" switch activated. It seems as if nothing higher in frequency than about 300 to 350 cycles gets through to it. This is good because you really don't need the entire audio spectrum affecting the readings your getting from a "lo fi' frequency sound source of audio such as drums.

This is all I have for now. The next time I have some time on my hands, I'll delve a little farther. I really wish that I had another Tune Bot to check side by side with the one I have. Maybe some of these findings are just inherent with this particular unit. My opinion so far is, that if you have the ability to tune your drums by ear, this unit will not make things better for you in that account. If you can tune by ear and you purchase one of these units, it will probably make you wish that you never heard of Tune Bot because of the shear frustration and time consuming nature of its usage. At least this is the way it affected me. I did find it amusing to be able to "see" the frequency ranges of some of my drums, accurate or not. For people that do not have the ability to tune by ear, it might be just the thing to get you happy with your drums again. I soon have to re-head another set of drums, I'll see if my girlfriend has the time to do it with the assistance of the Tune Bot.

These are just my personal findings and descriptions. 03/07/12
Dennis
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
Awesome review Dennis,

I am anxious to hear what results your girl comes up with. Assuming she has little to no knowledge of tuning, that is a great test to do.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
Awesome review Dennis,

I am anxious to hear what results your girl comes up with. Assuming she has little to no knowledge of tuning, that is a great test to do.
Thanks, but the problem is, she can tune quite well. The second problem is that she has less patients than I do, so I might just find the Tune Bot boiling in a large pot of water when I get home, just kidding. This reminds me of some movie.

Dennis
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
These are just my personal findings and descriptions. 03/07/12
Dennis
Nice report back Dennis, & one with the credibility of your ear attached. Can you kindly clear something up for me, does this product have a defined listening point (i.e. a hole in the front of it)? In other words, can you point it at the source you want it to major on? If not, I'm thinking it might be picking up much of it's source from the hoop it's attached to, & that could certainly account for the unit picking up 3rds or other sympathetic tones.

Overall, it seems this unit's too much like hard work, & certainly even more difficult to use in a noisy stage environment, & that's a shame, because it's the one area I could envisage me benefitting from using the product. I eagerly await further feedback :)
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
Overall, it seems this unit's too much like hard work
From one idiot who still uses a couple of drum keys, a couple of ears and a couple of minutes of his time....I'm certainly thinking the same way.

Have followed this and the other Tune-Bot threads with great interest. It's a shame. I want to believe there really is a quicker and easier way to tune......that technology is going to show us up for the feeble creatures we are. But as yet none of these gadgets have me convinced they're gonna do a better job than what I can. All that time spent friggen' around, is better spent getting the job done it would appear.
 
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