Bass Drum and Floor Tom Pitch Separation

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
So I've been trying to fix this for a while bu I can't seem to find a solution. My bass drum is tuned up (PS pro batter, PS3 reso), has good boom and oomph but I keep running into a simple problem... The 16" floor tom (Copated Amb/stock) sounds higher in pitch than the 22" bass drum. I don't see how this makes sense.

Am I doing something horribly wrong? Is it the heads maybe? Is it always like this? Is what I'm hearing an overtone that masks a deeper pitched note that I just can't hear?

I tried loosening up my BD heads but it just turns to mush, and I really like my toms tuned the way they are :( Help?
 

sonnygrabber

Senior Member
Perhaps I'm missing something, but a 16" floor tom is designed to have a higher pitch than a 22" bass drum. Smaller diameter, higher pitch, less air to move...
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
The smaller the drum, the higher the pitch.......that is a natural correlation that is obvious the moment you strike any drum on your kit. A 12" drum is higher pitched than a 16" which is in turn higher pitched than a 22" drum. Not sure I understand your dilemma.
 

porter

Platinum Member
This would make a lot more sense in the other configuration: where a 16" sounds lower than a 22". In that case I'd say that your toms are likely ridiculously low and to tune up the reso heads (and tune down your bass reso head). But if the elements sound good as drums- why does it matter?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
This would make a lot more sense in the other configuration: where a 16" sounds lower than a 22".

The more I read this the more I reckon you're on to something here. I'm gonna crawl out on a limb and suggest this has been muddled in the OP. It would explain him trying to lower the tone of the bass drum.

In that case, it has to be the way you have them tuned. One is either waaaaay too high or one is waaaay too low.........most likely a case of both.

As stated earlier, there is a natural correlation in pitch, from smaller (higher pitch) to larger (lower pitch) drums. Re-tune your drums to where both just open up and the head vibrates freely, then tune up in small increments from there. Stop when you reach your desired tone. The 22" will naturally produce a lower fundamental tone than the 16".....from here it's a simple process of letting each shell do its thing.
 

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
Oh my, I feel so dumb... Yes PFOG, I got it backwards.... I'm so sorry...

I'm just surprised that, as you said, a 22" bass should EASILY have a lower fundamental pitch than a 16" tom. My 16" seems relatively tight too. Not overly tight, I don't like my toms like that.

Here's some samples I took a while ago, I'd get actual recordings but my mike stopped working a while ago. I took off the high end attack and tried to isolate the core note. Sure the bass has more oomph, but doesn't the floor tom sound a bit lower?
https://soundcloud.com/ltdlimited1995/pitch
I don't have any fancy graphical display to go by, but to me it just seems lower. I love punchy bass drums but this seems odd. Or am I just wasting you all's time? I imagine with the tons of EQ and stuff that would happen in mixing it wouldn't matter bout the note per se, just the low end umph. Most people expect the clicky sound more than any tone of body anyway.

One more theory, the foam ring on PS-Pros that is held (pressed?) against the batter head is causing the over all tightness to be higher by a smidgeon? Maybe next time I should just use an Ambassador/Emperor batter and muffle as needed? But even my floor tom has O rings and 2 moongels to boot! Plus tape on he reso side!

Thanks so much for hearkening to my babbling :)
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
I used to have the same problem. I had to correct the bass drum sound by making a big change in heads and tuning. Also, get someone to play your set, and then stand away for it so that you can hear what it sounds like. Peace and goodwill.
 
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oldrockdrummer

Senior Member
Listening to your sound sample,Is your bass drum the first four 1/4 notes and the 16 tom the second 4? If so your bass drum is lower in pitch, it is less resonant than the tom but lower in pitch. I would say by at least a 3rd
 

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
Listening to your sound sample,Is your bass drum the first four 1/4 notes and the 16 tom the second 4? If so your bass drum is lower in pitch, it is less resonant than the tom but lower in pitch. I would say by at least a 3rd

Well that's good. You have better ears than I do.

Also, get someone to play your set, and then stand away for it so that you can hear what it sounds like. Peace and goodwill.

That sounds like a good idea. I'll have to try that too.

Thanks guys for being able to help me with my silly problems.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
If the second series of notes from the start of the clip is your 16" floor tom, in my opinion it is tuned incredibly high. My 14" floor toms are much lower in pitch than your 16. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was a 10" or 12" drum tuned to their higher registers.

Dennis
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm sorry, that recording is so processed I wouldn't have recognized them as actual drums. I don't mean to be rude or anything, I just don't think it will be real helpful in solving your problem.

I think, though, that your bass drum is just muffled such that you aren't hearing the fundamental clearly, and the tom is tuned so high that it is probably nearly an octave higher than the bass drum. I am sure the actual fundamental is lower on the bass drum, you just aren't hearing it that way because of the muffling.

That is my best guess.
 

Sjogras

Silver Member
My 10" usually has a lower fundamental than that!

I'm pretty sure OP's floor tom is tuned an octave below the normal tuning range for a 10". I'm hearing something around C# - D, which is still quite high for a 16".

OP, unless you like the jazzy high tuning style, you're probably better off tuning down the 16" around B or maybe a bit lower, that's likely where it will produce the best possible sound.
 

porter

Platinum Member
I'm pretty sure OP's floor tom is tuned an octave below the normal tuning range for a 10". I'm hearing something around C# - D, which is still quite high for a 16".

OP, unless you like the jazzy high tuning style, you're probably better off tuning down the 16" around B or maybe a bit lower, that's likely where it will produce the best possible sound.

And maybe taking the 2 moongels, tape, and ring off.

They do not sound reversed in pitch order to me.
 

Zickos

Gold Member
The separation between my bass drum and floor tom is usually no more than a 1/2 inch, otherwise I couldn't reach the floor tom. As far as the pitch, they are at 90 degree angles to each other (one vertical and one horizontal).
 

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
I'm sorry it's so processed, here's a very raw recording of the toms 10, 12, 13, and 16 in case you're curious as to how I have them all tuned. This mic was further away too.
https://soundcloud.com/ltdlimited1995/tom


I think that the mic was picking up the tom head more, in person it sounds lower.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm sorry it's so processed, here's a very raw recording of the toms 10, 12, 13, and 16 in case you're curious as to how I have them all tuned. This mic was further away too.
https://soundcloud.com/ltdlimited1995/tom


I think that the mic was picking up the tom head more, in person it sounds lower.

OK, I could at least hear the pitch of the toms on that recording.

Having heard that, I will guarantee your bass drum is lower in pitch. It just sounds very different because of the short sustain caused by the muffled heads.
 
A

audiotech

Guest
To my modest monitoring system and untrained ears, it sounds as if your entire kit is tuned or compressed into a very shallow range of frequencies. I would start stretching things out a bit and start looking for the "balls"in that floor tom. I can almost guarantee you that it is a tuning issue.

Dennis
 

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
OK, I could at least hear the pitch of the toms on that recording.

Having heard that, I will guarantee your bass drum is lower in pitch. It just sounds very different because of the short sustain caused by the muffled heads.

That makes sense. I'm sorry the recordings are so bad. I'm not audio pro. :(

Also, I tune my toms into like a chord (roughly) so they are about every other note or so in difference. Or at least that's what I try for. Makes for cool effects since they sorta harmonize. Especially the 13" and 16".

I also find it funny how this went from "HELP! My floor tom sounds lower than my kick!" to "yer toms sound baaaaaaad..." Haha
 
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