Middle tom doesn't resonate

DrumDoug

Senior Member
My Yamaha Birch Custom kit has developed a problem with the middle rack tom not resonating. It only happens when I put it on the double tom holder on the bass drum. If I put it in the first place, it resonates fine. The same as when I put it on a stand by itself. When I put it in the middle position, it just dies. Ive tried replacing the middle tom holder on the tree. Ive moved it up and down the arm, moved the arm up and down, but nothing helps It used to sound fine. I don't know what changed to make it sound this way. I remember reading about someone else on the forum having this problem but I couldn't find the thread.
 

ineedaclutch

Platinum Member
http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=147610&page=2

Check there. If it's not a positional issue with the arm, then you may want to check that the yess bolts are tightened properly. Have you tried switching rack 1 and 2? If so, does rack 1 exhibit a dead sound? It's more noticeable on larger toms ime. I've experienced this before, and only with Yamaha. As much as I love my YMC it took a little balancing work to get everything to gel. I've had the same experience with Stage Customs.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you would humor me, I have a hypothesis. I want to see if it works for you.

I know exactly what you are referring to and it drove me even more bananas than I already am.

Try this: When you are on your throne, and when you are playing the middle tom, and it sounds like you described, keep playing, and move your head closer or farther away from the tom, or side to side, while playing just that tom.

For me, when I moved my head anywhere except where it would normally be...the middle tom came alive sonically speaking. By only moving my ear position.

So my hypothesis is that some drummer's ears...combined with the tuning of the offending tom, are in the perfect spot to hear comb filtering/phase cancellation, or whatever you call it, when playing the middle tom. This always happens to a middle tom with people, I've seen threads like this at least a dozen times prior. This lends creedence to my theory.

Perhaps the offending tom is the perfect distance from the drummer's ear, to fool the ear into thinking that the tom is dead, when what's really happening is that our ears, in their natural position when playing, are situated smack dab in the trough of a phase cancellation wave from that middle tom.

If this hypothesis holds water, that means there's nothing wrong with anything, it's the drummer's ear position that is the root of all this.

If you move the offending tom to the high tom position, I can almost guarantee that the problem will vanish. Or move your head. That's what happened with me.

If you could do that simple experiment and post your results....why...I'll send you a dollar!
 
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Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
If you would humor me, I have a hypothesis. I want to see if it works for you.

I know exactly what you are referring to and it drove me even more bananas than I already am.

Try this: When you are on your throne, and when you are playing the middle tom, and it sounds like you described, keep playing, and move your head closer or farther away from the tom, or side to side, while playing just that tom.

For me, when I moved my head anywhere except where it would normally be...the middle tom came alive sonically speaking. By only moving my ear position.

So my hypothesis is that some drummer's ears...combined with the tuning of the offending tom, are in the perfect spot to hear comb filtering/phase cancellation, or whatever you call it, when playing the middle tom. This always happens to a middle tom with people, I've seen threads like this at least a dozen times prior. This lends creedence to my theory.

Perhaps the offending tom is the perfect distance from the drummer's ear, to fool the ear into thinking that the tom is dead, when what's really happening is that our ears, in their natural position when playing, are situated smack dab in the trough of a phase cancellation wave from that middle tom.

If this hypothesis holds water, that means there's nothing wrong with anything, it's the drummer's ear position that is the root of all this.

If you move the offending tom to the high tom position, I can almost guarantee that the problem will vanish. Or move your head. That's what happened with me.

If you could do that simple experiment and post your results....why...I'll send you a dollar!
Good point. Could possibly be it's position in the room or position in relation to the other drums. Try playing the toms while standing up or from in front of the bass drum. One time my 13 inch second rack tom was not sustaining like my 12 inch first rack tom. It had just a little less sustain. I switched the two toms and the sustain balanced out between the two toms. Of course when we started playing Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne it didn't really matter.... LOL


.
 

wipekitty

Junior Member
If this hypothesis holds water, that means there's nothing wrong with anything, it's the drummer's ear position that is the root of all this.

If you move the offending tom to the high tom position, I can almost guarantee that the problem will vanish. Or move your head. That's what happened with me.

I think I just experienced this yesterday!

I have a two floor tom setup, and rearranged things a bit to see if it would be more comfortable. After the rearrangement, the low tom no longer seemed to resonate; it just sounded dead and gross. So of course I tried to fiddle with the tuning, which helped a bit, but not much.

Turns out that moving the drum helped. Moving myself helped even more.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I've had 2 Yamaha kits. 1988 (no YESS) Tour Customs and 2007 BCAN with YESS mounts. The placement of the toms on the hex rod is critical to get the max sustain. I use to place a short boom with a splash on the 3rd place of the tom holder, and that also effected it. The splash had to be angled towards the larger of the 2 toms, or it just killed the drum. Try sliding one tom forward, or back. I put marks on the hex rods where the toms sound the best. That whole assembly vibrates as one unit when a tom is struck. If you move a tom forward or back, or place a cym. in the 3 hole, it effects how the whole thing reacts. This has been discussed before and I remember several Yamaha players said they have never experienced anything like that. I've had 2 kits and 3 triple tom holders and they were all reacted the same. It's kind of like the discussion about how a boom stand and a straight stand effect the cym. sound. If you put weight on the the opposite end of something that vibrates, it will effect the way it vibrates.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
If you would humor me, I have a hypothesis. I want to see if it works for you.

I know exactly what you are referring to and it drove me even more bananas than I already am.

Try this: When you are on your throne, and when you are playing the middle tom, and it sounds like you described, keep playing, and move your head closer or farther away from the tom, or side to side, while playing just that tom.

For me, when I moved my head anywhere except where it would normally be...the middle tom came alive sonically speaking. By only moving my ear position.

So my hypothesis is that some drummer's ears...combined with the tuning of the offending tom, are in the perfect spot to hear comb filtering/phase cancellation, or whatever you call it, when playing the middle tom. This always happens to a middle tom with people, I've seen threads like this at least a dozen times prior. This lends creedence to my theory.

Perhaps the offending tom is the perfect distance from the drummer's ear, to fool the ear into thinking that the tom is dead, when what's really happening is that our ears, in their natural position when playing, are situated smack dab in the trough of a phase cancellation wave from that middle tom.

If this hypothesis holds water, that means there's nothing wrong with anything, it's the drummer's ear position that is the root of all this.

If you move the offending tom to the high tom position, I can almost guarantee that the problem will vanish. Or move your head. That's what happened with me.

If you could do that simple experiment and post your results....why...I'll send you a dollar!
Absolutely brilliant reasoning, Larry! This kind of phase cancellation happens all the time in the speaker-building hobby, and I could easily see how the same thing could happen with drums. Speakers and drums (and practically any other musical instrument) is creating sound waves, and sound waves cancelling each other out is a well-known process.

You have your thinking cap on there, buddy!

GeeDeeEmm
 

belairien

Silver Member
I had that happen with my SC 12". It was in the 3rd position in an 8/10/12 run. Angling it differently helped. I kept them as low and flat on the kick as I could, and I believe it was the sound waves bouncing off the kick back towards the resonant side. I could be wrong on that though.

I solved it permanently by mounting all three toms on my cymbal stands (That three hole mount works great in a stand base while holding my crash too!). Put a plate from Socal Mike over the hole. Now they sit lower, bottom rim of the 12 maybe an inch above the kick on my side, and none choke out/soud dead.
 

mike d

Silver Member
So... a drummer has two ears (most anyway), and each ear may (will) have a different frequency response curve which could account for positional sensitivity of the toms.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
If this hypothesis holds water, that means there's nothing wrong with anything, it's the drummer's ear position that is the root of all this.
Or possibly proximity of the resonant head to the top of the bass drum shell.

To confirm or dispel listening position affect, record the kit from a fairly elevated overhead position & listen back.
 

DrumDoug

Senior Member
I had already tried moving my head around to see if it really was just my perception from where I was sitting. No matter which side of the kit I stood on or where I stood it sounded dead. Reading this thread about other people with Yamaha tom mount problems having the same issue got me thinking about the fact that it didn’t used to have this issue. One thing that’s changed over the last couple of years is that I have my toms lower and flatter than they used to be. So I went in the drum room, raised the tom mount up about 2 inches. That was it. The resonance was back. Just to make sure it wasn’t a position issue with my ears. I stood on the front side of the drum kit, and hit it when it was lowered all the way and hit it when I had raised it up. When I raised it up it had resonance. When I lowered it all the way it would go on the tom mount, it’s dead. I’m not sure how physics and the design of Yamahas tom mount are interacting, but that was the problem.
 

Hollywood Jim

Platinum Member
I had already tried moving my head around to see if it really was just my perception from where I was sitting. No matter which side of the kit I stood on or where I stood it sounded dead. Reading this thread about other people with Yamaha tom mount problems having the same issue got me thinking about the fact that it didn’t used to have this issue. One thing that’s changed over the last couple of years is that I have my toms lower and flatter than they used to be. So I went in the drum room, raised the tom mount up about 2 inches. That was it. The resonance was back. Just to make sure it wasn’t a position issue with my ears. I stood on the front side of the drum kit, and hit it when it was lowered all the way and hit it when I had raised it up. When I raised it up it had resonance. When I lowered it all the way it would go on the tom mount, it’s dead. I’m not sure how physics and the design of Yamahas tom mount are interacting, but that was the problem.
DING DING DING. Game over. Sounds like Andy figured out the problem.

So maybe those kits we see with those crazy rack tom angles have the toms mounted correctly. LOL


.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
I had already tried moving my head around to see if it really was just my perception from where I was sitting. No matter which side of the kit I stood on or where I stood it sounded dead. Reading this thread about other people with Yamaha tom mount problems having the same issue got me thinking about the fact that it didn’t used to have this issue. One thing that’s changed over the last couple of years is that I have my toms lower and flatter than they used to be. So I went in the drum room, raised the tom mount up about 2 inches. That was it. The resonance was back. Just to make sure it wasn’t a position issue with my ears. I stood on the front side of the drum kit, and hit it when it was lowered all the way and hit it when I had raised it up. When I raised it up it had resonance. When I lowered it all the way it would go on the tom mount, it’s dead. I’m not sure how physics and the design of Yamahas tom mount are interacting, but that was the problem.
This is just an off the wall thought, but perhaps the way the vibration travels down the mount itself is the problem. Seems that raising the mount fixes the problem. If the tube is at its lowest point in the mount, you have the clamp for the tom mount, memory lock, nylon ball joint, and two piece ball socket all clamped down in basically the same area. This surely effects the way the vibration travels down the assembly, perhaps choking the entire assembly.

Gun barrels have a similar issue. A competition barrel will be harmonicaly tuned so the vibrations traveling down the barrel can complete a cycle. The barrel will also be free floated to prevent anything from touching the barrel and disrupting the cycle. This creates greater accuracy. Perhaps the Yamaha tom mount suffers the same ailments.
 

cutaway79

Silver Member
I've always thought it was odd/stupid that the position of the tom on the tom arm can make a huge difference to resonance, and yet Yamaha has still not come up with a proper memory lock for them.

Back when I was playing Yamaha, I got some 7/16" shaft collars from the hardware store, and they were perfect!... In case anybody else wishes their Yamaha tom arms had memory locks.

https://www.rainbowprecisionproducts.com/sh-2piece#1
 

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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I had already tried moving my head around to see if it really was just my perception from where I was sitting. No matter which side of the kit I stood on or where I stood it sounded dead. Reading this thread about other people with Yamaha tom mount problems having the same issue got me thinking about the fact that it didn’t used to have this issue. One thing that’s changed over the last couple of years is that I have my toms lower and flatter than they used to be. So I went in the drum room, raised the tom mount up about 2 inches. That was it. The resonance was back. Just to make sure it wasn’t a position issue with my ears. I stood on the front side of the drum kit, and hit it when it was lowered all the way and hit it when I had raised it up. When I raised it up it had resonance. When I lowered it all the way it would go on the tom mount, it’s dead. I’m not sure how physics and the design of Yamahas tom mount are interacting, but that was the problem.
Doug thanks for posting this. Nice job. This sounds like a solution. Literally.

Crap that means I have to send you that dollar. PM me with your info.

This is just an off the wall thought, but perhaps the way the vibration travels down the mount itself is the problem. Seems that raising the mount fixes the problem. If the tube is at its lowest point in the mount, you have the clamp for the tom mount, memory lock, nylon ball joint, and two piece ball socket all clamped down in basically the same area. This surely effects the way the vibration travels down the assembly, perhaps choking the entire assembly.

Gun barrels have a similar issue. A competition barrel will be harmonicaly tuned so the vibrations traveling down the barrel can complete a cycle. The barrel will also be free floated to prevent anything from touching the barrel and disrupting the cycle. This creates greater accuracy. Perhaps the Yamaha tom mount suffers the same ailments.
I love off the wall thoughts. Assuming for a minute that this is what's happening...would the best place to clamp the downtube going into the bass drum be in the middle of the downtube? Or somewhere else? My guess would be the middle or shorter. But it might not be that simple. Maybe the rack tom weight, weight distribution, and definitely reso head distance all have to be fine tuned for each set.

Cool commentary on the tuned rifle barrels. Makes perfect sense, get all the factors working constructively together. I'd say what we are discussing is a parallel that may combine Doug's statement with this ob. Very useful stuff.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Doug thanks for posting this. Nice job. This sounds like a solution. Literally.

Crap that means I have to send you that dollar. PM me with your info.



I love off the wall thoughts. Assuming for a minute that this is what's happening...would the best place to clamp the downtube going into the bass drum be in the middle of the downtube? Or somewhere else? My guess would be the middle or shorter. But it might not be that simple. Maybe the rack tom weight, weight distribution, and definitely reso head distance all have to be fine tuned for each set.

Cool commentary on the tuned rifle barrels. Makes perfect sense, get all the factors working constructively together. I'd say what we are discussing is a parallel that may combine Doug's statement with this ob. Very useful stuff.
Where to clamp the mount, no idea here. Someone with the mount and time could possibly answer this. If it was me, I would start by removing the memory lock and seeing if that does anything then go from there.

I'm thinking maybe the vibrations are being stopped at the mount and returned to the drum itself, thus cancelling out the resonance. Frequency attenuation if you will.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I'm watching this thread with great interest.

I gigged my BCAN for the first time last night and ran into this very issue. The 12" tom was mounted separately from the kick drum yet was choked and odd sounding. Worse still, the sound guy had mic'd the kit completely by the time we discovered the problem so there was little I could do about it without getting on his bad side.

I should have marked the drum's position on the arm before breaking down the kit at home but... lesson learned. I didn't fuss with the kit like I would at home due to the fact that sound check was fast approaching and I was dealing with a kit that's very new to me. There just wasn't time.

I love the flexibility that the ball joint provides but there are some trade-offs with the YESS system that I'll have to learn to work around.
 
D

drumming sort of person

Guest
I went in the drum room, raised the tom mount up about 2 inches. That was it. The resonance was back.
Are you referring to the mount that goes into the bass drum and how far it is inserted into the bass drum?


Or the mount that the tom attaches to and how far down it is inserted into the holder above?

 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Or possibly proximity of the resonant head to the top of the bass drum shell.

To confirm or dispel listening position affect, record the kit from a fairly elevated overhead position & listen back.
I have had this experience. At the time, I was flying the tom off a cymbal stand, so the mount wasn't the issue. I could move the entire stand away from the bass drum, without adjusting the height or the mount, and the resonance was fine. Moving it into position so that the tom was nestled against the bass drum killed the resonance. Raising the drum a couple inches worked wonders.

I know position of the tom on the mount can be a factor, but it isn't the only factor, for sure.
 
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