Concert toms

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I put together www.ConcertToms.com to honor them :)

It's an articulate sound that has its place, and like most instruments is also a personal preference. I have five sets of concert toms including the new Jenkins-Martin shells which are made to the same specs as the original Blaemire shells (notably used by Hal Blaine.) I've recorded with those and my Vistalite toms, and they were perfect for the recordings. When mic'd properly (by an engineer experienced enough to know how to mic them) they sound quite full.

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and also a Ludwig Walnut Cortex kit not pictured :)
 

Al Strange

Well-known member
It seems there's been a resurgence in the popularity of concert toms. Curious what your thoughts are on them? There was a time when you saw them everywhere, now not so much.
I sat up and noticed when Thomas Lang was expressing his love for concert toms…seems this might be “a thing”? :unsure:
 
When mic'd properly
If it's not too much hassle, can you briefly explain how to properly mic concert toms? Do the mics go up inside the shell?

Also, they all look fantastic, but those chrome Ludwigs absolutely make my inner 12-year-old squee.

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Ransan

Senior Member
Yes I too would love to get that great micd CT sound!

They’ve always had a place in my heart.

One of my favorites growing up was The Catman, thus influenced my taste for the look, sound.

One thing I’ll add is they are super fun if you have a full range.

There’s nothing like melodic CTs!
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I’ve recently started to work on Hal Blaine’s section on Indian Reservation by Paul Revere.

That song is harder than it looks, if I have this right, on the large tom run, it’s a quick measure and Blaine is hitting every tom just once creating a hurried tension!

Also sounds like quick singles or double kick at the end of his part which adds even more texture.
 
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bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
If it's not too much hassle, can you briefly explain how to properly mic concert toms? Do the mics go up inside the shell?
EZPZ... the mics go even with the bottom edge of the shell, not inside. That way the sound wave develops better and there's no boing/tank sound.

Older engineers knew that back in the '70s. Most of today's engineers place the mic at the top head where it's fairly dry without any beef.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
i know some drummers like them, though theyre not for me, dont like the feel or sound from them
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
Drum sets have been around since approximately 1890.
Concert toms really only became a thing in the late '60s, thru the end of the '70s, bleeding slightly into the early 80s. Maybe a 12-14 year run of being a thing.

So out of the 130-year history of drum sets, it was, until recently, only a temporary fad.

And now, it seems, a throwback fad to emulate the 70's among those who grew up on that music.

I have a hard time seeing the popularity of concert toms continue much longer, or be a thing most drummers use.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
That song is harder than it looks, if I have this right, on the large tom run, it’s a quick measure and Blaine is hitting every tom just once creating a hurried tension!

Worth noting that Hal had seven toms, not eight. 6/8/10/12/13/14/16"

The reason? I believe it's because the mounting bars were a fixed length, and while the four smaller drums would fit nicely on one bar, there was room for only three large ones on the other. It's not that the 15" was omitted per se, just that nobody was thinking about a full set of eight concert toms at that time (1968.) it was simpler for Hal's tech Rick Faucher to adapt to the existing hardware. BTW, his tom arms were gullwing bass drum spurs!
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
It's worth noting that most major and some boutique companies have been offering concert toms over the last five years or so. I don't think they're 'catalog' items though, mostly just something to display at NAMM so dealers know the product is available in case anyone asks.

This was in Ludwig's catalog for a minute - nine concert toms (6-18")

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Rattlin' Bones

Gold Member
It seems there's been a resurgence in the popularity of concert toms. Curious what your thoughts are on them? There was a time when you saw them everywhere, now not so much.
What makes you think that? Resurgence as in more new concert toms being offered for sale? I don't see that trend.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
It's worth noting that most major and some boutique companies have been offering concert toms over the last five years or so. I don't think they're 'catalog' items though, mostly just something to display at NAMM so dealers know the product is available in case anyone asks.

This was in Ludwig's catalog for a minute - nine concert toms (6-18")

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Hey!
I call mine the Octaplus 1 as it has 8 rack (6-16) additional floor. I have a 16” and 18” floor tom, with only 1 kick.

If it has nine toms racked it’s no longer in the Octo family 😳 but I get the plus 1.

This cortex monster as of 2018 belonged to guitarist Frederik Thorndedal of Meshuggah.

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Believe it or not it has a 20” rack and 20” floor.
 

SharkSandwich

Junior Member
I restored this $400 Craigslist find back in 2016. I enjoyed the concert toms at first and even gigged with them a few times. However, over time I found that I missed the fuller body that you get with standard toms so I replaced them.

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Push pull stroke

Platinum Member
Drum sets have been around since approximately 1890.
Concert toms really only became a thing in the late '60s, thru the end of the '70s, bleeding slightly into the early 80s. Maybe a 12-14 year run of being a thing.

So out of the 130-year history of drum sets, it was, until recently, only a temporary fad.

And now, it seems, a throwback fad to emulate the 70's among those who grew up on that music.

I have a hard time seeing the popularity of concert toms continue much longer, or be a thing most drummers use.

The reason they’re called “concert” toms is because they are the standard in concert bands, percussion ensembles, and symphony orchestras. On the semi-rare occasions that I’ve actually had toms as part of my percussion part in the classical world, they have ALWAYS been single-headed.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Funny you should mention concert toms just now. I happened to pull out the "Exit Stage Left" CD this morning to listen on the ride to work, and I thought to myself, I LOVE the sound of Neil's concert toms!! Those 6, 8,10, and 12 drums tuned right are just killer. I have absolutely no place for them in the music I play, but I do love 'em.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
But damn two heads are better than one. Must be an ecology thing Mylar maybe on the endangered list?, But it’s more economical so level the playing field more poor people can play. My knee jerk reaction was hell no they bark like a walrus but now I see the merits “Save the Walrus”.
We should all take off our reso heads and record our kit pre and post headlessness and see which sounds better. I insist we have to settle this - test the hypothesis which will be drum kits with batter and reso heads have larger tuning range , more sustain, and louder? I wonder what kind of drum head a walrus would make?
 
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bud7h4

Silver Member
I've never played them. Don't they feel different when played compared to a double headed tom? Seems to me they would have to.
 

DrumEatDrum

Platinum Member
The reason they’re called “concert” toms is because they are the standard in concert bands, percussion ensembles, and symphony orchestras. On the semi-rare occasions that I’ve actually had toms as part of my percussion part in the classical world, they have ALWAYS been single-headed.
No kidding.

But I was referring to the drum set, not classical percussion.
 
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