Rototoms. yay or nay?

dholz

Member
on my kit i have a 3 piece roto-tom rack, and I'm just wondering what's the opinion of drummers on rototoms? I personally got them used at a good price and it gave me something to add to my kit, so I took them. in my opinion there a cheap way to increase the size of ones drum set, that being said, they are not a versatile or as nice as real toms, and mounting them in that 3 rack sucks. what's your opinion?
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
what's your opinion?
I have no need for them and wouldn't bother adding them to a drum kit unless a situation arose where I did need them. But that doesn't mean you, or anyone else, should feel the same way.

I always get a little perplexed by these types of questions. I have no need for a walking stick either, but that doesn't mean that they shouldn't be used by others who do.

Simply put, if you dig 'em, you actually use them and they allow you to express yourself on a drum kit, keep playing them and enjoy them. If you don't use them and are just lugging them around to make the kit look bigger, then don't bother. Only you know.
 

dholz

Member
Simply put, if you dig 'em, you actually use them and they allow you to express yourself on a drum kit, keep playing them and enjoy them. If you don't use them and are just lugging them around to make the kit look bigger, then don't bother. Only you know.
thanks. that's the main reason I got them, I wanted to be able to try something new and i've used them. I don' use them all the time, but I once played at a worship retreat where they brought the wrong mounts and I had to use them as regular toms. it was pretty cool. they worked well for that. i don't use them as much as I'd like to, but I like my 4 piece set-up right now.
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
I had a 10 and a 12 back in the 80s. I think they are a great inexpensive way add drums to your kit. You can do some cool stuff with them also. During my solo I would be playing my kicks and rotating the 10 with 1 hand and playing it with the other. I also detuned the 10 for a song so it sounded almost electronic. Play around with them, have some fun. Also you don't have to use all 3. May 2 will be more comfortable.
 

tard

Gold Member
I have had kits with full sets of them added, and kits without any at all, right now I have a 6" added to my kit for accents on certain songs, so its totally up to the player and what hes playing, if you like them and the sound fits with what your playing then by all means use them.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Back when I was a kid and wanted to play Rush songs in the garage with my friends, they were a quick way to add some high tom voices onto my set. Later on in life, they started to sit aside until I finally sold them.

Fast forward twenty years. Somebody brings a set with him to a jam night at the local muso hang-out. At first I'm all like, "what the..." They ended up being perfect for an impromptu run-through of "867-5309 (Jenny)".
 

cornelius

Silver Member
Back when I was a kid and wanted to play Rush songs in the garage with my friends, they were a quick way to add some high tom voices onto my set. Later on in life, they started to sit aside until I finally sold them.

Fast forward twenty years. Somebody brings a set with him to a jam night at the local muso hang-out. At first I'm all like, "what the..." They ended up being perfect for an impromptu run-through of "867-5309 (Jenny)".
That's what I used 'em for when I was younger - an 8" and 10" - suddenly my kit opened up and I could play all of the big fills from that time... That's funny that you stumbled on some later on and they came in handy...

The one thing I didn't know back then, was that the cool ones are 14s and 18s... I was a big Bruford fan back then (I still am), but had no idea that he was using larger ones and tuning them way up. They sound cool that way...
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Early 80's, I put together a drum kit, with 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18 sizes. They worked very well, when mic'd. And got totally lost, un-mic'd. So it goes. And I've revisited those toms twice since. So I've put together 3 drum kits, in 30 years, with roto's as the main tom array. Kind of a love/hate relationship.​
 

bobdadruma

Platinum Member
I have owned them in the past.
I bought a 6, 8, 10 set of Rotos with stand in the mid 70's.
I never really got into them.
They became an ornament on my kit and eventually I stored them away in a bad place where they became pitted and ugly.
About 5 years ago I gently placed :) them in a scrap metal dumpster at work.
 

Elliot

Member
A friend of mine is a bandleader I sometimes sub with, and he HATES roto-toms. He likes to tell a story of another drummer he hired showing up for a gig with a set of them, and he convinced him that there was a city-wide ban on roto-toms, he'd have to leave them in the car for the gig haha!
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
I liked them when Terry Bozzio broke out with them in the 80s with Missing Persons, but even he at the time said they must be mic'd up all the time because they're basically just a head with a no shell for protection. I experimented with having one (a 12) in the rack tom position centered over my bass drum and it was an interesting sound with a coated ambassador on it - like a tame timbale. I would've loved to have tried an entire set replacing my regular toms but I never got around to it. The reasoning I never went that far was the transporting of them. They don't lend themselves easily to safe transporting because of that 3/8" rod sticking up from the center - so unless I had some kind of case to protect my car or another person from getting damaged I was kinda' loathe to carry them around.
 

wildbill

Platinum Member
A guy who posts here sometimes, called 'Wonder1' made this roto-tom kit. Don't know if he's posted it on this forum, but I've seen it on another one.

(scroll down just a little):

http://www.drum.net/showthread.php?16826-Compact-quot-Roto-Kits-quot

I thought it was pretty neat, and was going to try and copy it - but the madness passed - LOL.



I do have a set of roto toms, but I currently have them converted to mesh heads with triggers for my electronic stuff.
They work really good. Picture here:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showpost.php?p=960137&postcount=3


.
 
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drummerman42

Senior Member
I used to use them in my kit set-up, that being said as you mentioned, setting them up in the three rack system as is standard for the roto toms, really does suck. So to eliminate that and give me more tom placement, i separated them from the 3 rack bar. I took one off the bar and mounted it on it's own stand, and left the two higher ones 6" and 8" on the bar. I enjoyed since I didn't have smaller real toms at the time, but I eventually got rid of the roto's in favor of real ones. I ended up turning the roto toms into spokes hi-hats alas Terry Bozzio....
 
After watching and listening to the Stone Temple Pilots in Chicago (2010) on Palladia this weekend, I'm seriously considering experimenting with them again after all these years.

The kit I saw has two, RIMS-mounted, close-miced from the underside. Made for a clean, low, flat, comfortable setup with likely lowered stage volumes (all were wearing "ears").

...seems like they could once again be a nice solution for some setup or expansion issues if handled properly and not tuned to sound like the intro to "Miami Vice."
 

Lovetadraw

Senior Member
I imagine they'd be good for players who play a lot of Rush or Dream Theater because they have very small/lots of toms.
 

steadypocket

Gold Member
I suppose if I were in a Pink Floyd tribute act and had to play "Time," I'd need them. Short of that, I wouldn't bother with them, especially playing out. That would be just one more thing to schlep to a gig with little return value IN MY OPINION. Bolded those words because just because they aren't for me, they may be someone else's cup of tea. Beauty of playing the drums--we get to personalize our kits to represent our individuality.
 
Don't bother.

Unless it's a full set of them. Total roto tom kit. Very cool.

Otherwise, it's cheesy.

I did it in my early early days - added a 3pc to my existing 4pc drumset....like the others have said, to play Rush songs lol. Soon after that novelty wore off, they became a great towel rack.
 
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