Tune-Bot your method

Auspicious

Well-known member
So yeah, the establishment of DW is pretty anti-Tune-Bot 🤣 and I understand the point.

But since I spent 125CAD on mine and I believe it's a very nice sensor, I have some question for people who like the Tune-Bot. I noticed the following things while doing my things.

- It's possible to test the heads with a mallet, a wooden stick or a something soft. I noticed that the wooden stick will often pitch much higher especially if the bottom head rests on a pillow.
- It's possible to tap a head when the bottom head is resting on a pillow but the reading are different from when both heads are free. Do you damper 1 head or do it on a mount both heads free to resonate? (Whatever the tunebot instruction, I already read them)
- Some people will put a finger on the head bellow and get the readings by tapping the head on top.
- Some people will put a finger on the top head, leave the head bellow unmuffled and get the readings.

Then there is the note itself, let's say I want to tune my snare to an A, all the lugs have a note on the Tune-Bot but the center of the drum has a different note, If I equalize all the lugs starting from the one I prefer the most, the center WILL have a different note then all the equalized lugs at the end.

- Even without a tune-bot, the note in the middle of the drum must be the final goal to achieve, right? In a sense that I need to reach the center note by ear, THEN equalize all the lugs, ignoring the note they produce, as long as they are equal and the note in the middle is equal to target. Is that right?

Feel free If you want to share how you use your tune-bot. I already read the complete instruction on the website, tried the calculator and looked at the various disappointing Youtubes videos. I am interested in what YOU are doing and your own technique, you own interpretation.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
1) Get heads quickly to pitch when changing them.

2) Cataloging when experimenting.

I could probably do this with anything, but that's all I use it for.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I created a spreadsheet to keep track of my tunings, with a separate tab for each kit I have:

The first two rows have global variables for the lug constant, based on desired resonance: low, med, or high (I think these hold for ANY diameter drum):
Low
- Batter :
1.2 * Fundamental
- Reso : 2.3 * Fundamental
Med
- Batter :
1.4 * Fundamental
- Reso : 2.0 * Fundamental
High
- Batter :
1.5 * Fundamental
- Reso : 1.85 * Fundamental

where "Fundamental" is the frequency associated with the fundamental note you're tuning to (you get the fundamental notes from the table in the Tune-bot manual, based on number of toms you have, and the kind of intervals you want).

I've been having luck muffling the bottom head, either by setting the drum on carpeted flooring (on the head not being tuned), or by reaching down and pressing my finger (on the head not being tuned).

I created a separate tab for frequency lookup based on fundamental note. And a another tab for the toms/intervals table in the manual (yeah it was a long laborous process to manually enter the data, but I suppose I was bored LOL).

I'm not sure what is meant by "Call To Post" as an interval type.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: Under NO circumstances should you or anyone use a cordless impact drill with a tuning bit attached to tune drums! Just saying'!!
 

basset52

Senior Member
When I change heads I always get them up close and then use tune bot to finalise. I always muffle the bottom head via pillow etc. Always use a mallet for the snares and stick for the toms. In the early days of getting a tune bot I used a note book to record the settings to reference what I had done. I now know what I like in terms of tone/resonance etc and I know the lug frequencies to achieve that with the heads I use. ie with my 13 x9 tom 166 top, 176 bottom gives me a 2G which my ear likes. With my floor tom I know 118 top and 130 bottom gives me a 2C which I like and pairs well with the 13. With different heads this can change a little .With my snares I know that 277 top and 370 ish bottom gives me the tone and body I like. I don't move much from those now - I just touch up before band practice each fortnight. Sometimes - I'll sit in the shed with a beer on a Sat or Sun and play with lug frequencies on a tom with the bot - just for fun!
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
  1. Mount the resonant head.
  2. Finger tighten tuning rods all around (mine are lightly lubricated with light motor oil).
  3. Mount batter head.
  4. Finger tighten tuning rods all around.
  5. Place drum, reso side up, on folded towel, which is on a table.
  6. Using a tuning key, lightly turn it such that the tension feels the same amongst the rods.
  7. Turn every rod one full turn. Always use the star-pattern around the drum, never around the circumference.
  8. Tap head with stick or finger, 1" from each tuning rod. Tighten the lower nodes until all nodes sound the same.
  9. Glance at the TuneBot with suspicion.
  10. Once the tone from each lug is similar, tighten 1/2 or 1 full turn. Adjust at each rod until pitch is similar.
  11. At this point, higher-pitched harmonics can be heard when tapping the head. And, like tuning a guitar using harmonics and octaves between strings, listen for the harmonic fluctuation that's caused by closely pitched nodes. Place your head close to the drum and listen for the harmonic beats. Learn how to do this. Tuning two tones to a unison will present a peculiar effect: when the two tones are close in pitch but not identical, the difference in frequency generates a pulsing. The volume varies like in a tremolo as the sounds alternately interfere constructively and destructively. As the two tones gradually approach unison, the pulsing slows down and may become so slow as to be imperceptible.
  12. Identify the low or high node and correct it by adjusting the tuning rod.
  13. Once every node is equal, there will no longer be any harmonic fluctuation/pulsing.
  14. Flip drum over and repeat for batter side.
  15. Glance at the TuneBot. Say, "F*** off" with authority.
  16. Glance at the fridge packed with favorite beverage. Say, "I'll be with you shortly."
  17. Tap the edge of the batter head. Memorize the note heard.
  18. Flip drum, place it on the towel, and tap the edge of the reso head.
  19. If reso is higher pitch than batter, tune up batter to match reso head. If reso is lower than batter, tune up reso head to match batter. At this point, always turn tuning key very small amounts. e.g., 1/16th of a full turn.
  20. Pick the drum up and strike the center of the batter head.
  21. At this point the drum will produce a sound that may or may not be good. It depends only on your preference. Example 1: If drum is pitched too high, loosen reso head slightly (e.g., 1/8 turn all around). Still too high? Loosen batter head by same amount. Example 2: If drum is pitched too low, tighten batter head slightly. Still too low? Tighten reso head slightly (e.g., 1/8 turn all around).
  22. Once the overall sound of the drum qualifies as "good", place drum on towel, batter side up. Grab TuneBot and mount it in between two lugs. With drumstick, tap near each node and check the reading. Adjust the tension rods that are outliers (the frequency they produce on the TuneBot are higher or lower than the others). Adjust until TuneBot reading is the same for all nodes. Record drum frequency in Hertz. This will be a reference point for future tunings.
  23. Repeat step 22 for resonant side.
  24. Go to fridge and enjoy favorite beverage.
  25. Repeat for all toms. Bass drum is a different animal and must be tuned by ear.
Below is the readout for my 12" tom as measured during step 22.

5F40C3A8-79F6-4F66-B180-56ECBF264219.jpeg
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
I created a spreadsheet to keep track of my tunings, with a separate tab for each kit I have: Good idea.

The first two rows have global variables for the lug constant, based on desired resonance: low, med, or high (I think these hold for ANY diameter drum):
Low
- Batter :
1.2 * Fundamental
- Reso : 2.3 * Fundamental
Med
- Batter :
1.4 * Fundamental
- Reso : 2.0 * Fundamental
High
- Batter :
1.5 * Fundamental
- Reso : 1.85 * Fundamental

where "Fundamental" is the frequency associated with the fundamental note you're tuning to (you get the fundamental notes from the table in the Tune-bot manual, based on number of toms you have, and the kind of intervals you want).

I've been having luck muffling the bottom head, either by setting the drum on carpeted flooring (on the head not being tuned), or by reaching down and pressing my finger (on the head not being tuned).
Oh? ok good.

I created a separate tab for frequency lookup based on fundamental note. And a another tab for the toms/intervals table in the manual (yeah it was a long laborous process to manually enter the data, but I suppose I was bored LOL). I'll know soon.

I'm not sure what is meant by "Call To Post" as an interval type. Me neither.

Hope that helps!

EDIT: Under NO circumstances should you or anyone use a cordless impact drill with a tuning bit attached to tune drums! Just saying'!! Funny I received in gift a nice Milwaukee impact drill, and I though about how dumb it would be to use it on drums.. and the extreme damage it could do. Not going to use it on my drums, wise advice.
Hello yes this helps, I will probably spend most of my week end studying that. The fundamental note and the intervals.
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
When I change heads I always get them up close and then use tune bot to finalise. I always muffle the bottom head via pillow etc. Always use a mallet for the snares and stick for the toms. In the early days of getting a tune bot I used a note book to record the settings to reference what I had done. I now know what I like in terms of tone/resonance etc and I know the lug frequencies to achieve that with the heads I use. ie with my 13 x9 tom 166 top, 176 bottom gives me a 2G which my ear likes. With my floor tom I know 118 top and 130 bottom gives me a 2C which I like and pairs well with the 13. With different heads this can change a little .With my snares I know that 277 top and 370 ish bottom gives me the tone and body I like. I don't move much from those now - I just touch up before band practice each fortnight. Sometimes - I'll sit in the shed with a beer on a Sat or Sun and play with lug frequencies on a tom with the bot - just for fun!
Ahh that's interesting thanks for sharing your frequencies, it's very helpful to roughly guide me. So you don't care about the notes the tune bot gives you for each lous, all that matters is the frequency of each logs and the note in the middle of the drum, right? (Or i do wishful thinking?)

When we talk about fundamental note could we say that it's the note in the center of the drum?

I agree it's kind of fun to use the tune bot, I should try it with beer sometimes, perhaps it would inibit the impression that all my life and time is being spent trying to tune the drums without success. 😄
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
  1. Mount the resonant head.
  2. Finger tighten tuning rods all around (mine are lightly lubricated with light motor oil).
  3. Mount batter head.
  4. Finger tighten tuning rods all around.
  5. Place drum, reso side up, on folded towel, which is on a table.
  6. Using a tuning key, lightly turn it such that the tension feels the same amongst the rods.
  7. Turn every rod one full turn. Always use the star-pattern around the drum, never around the circumference.
  8. Tap head with stick or finger, 1" from each tuning rod. Tighten the lower nodes until all nodes sound the same.
  9. Glance at the TuneBot with suspicion. I understand.
  10. Once the tone from each lug is similar, tighten 1/2 or 1 full turn. Adjust at each rod until pitch is similar.
  11. At this point, higher-pitched harmonics can be heard when tapping the head. And, like tuning a guitar using harmonics and octaves between strings, listen for the harmonic fluctuation that's caused by closely pitched nodes. Place your head close to the drum and listen for the harmonic beats. Learn how to do this. It's difficult.. Tuning two tones to a unison will present a peculiar effect: when the two tones are close in pitch but not identical, the difference in frequency generates a pulsing. The volume varies like in a tremolo as the sounds alternately interfere constructively and destructively. As the two tones gradually approach unison, the pulsing slows down and may become so slow as to be imperceptible. That's a very interesting explanation.
  12. Identify the low or high node and correct it by adjusting the tuning rod.
  13. Once every node is equal, there will no longer be any harmonic fluctuation/pulsing. Right!
  14. Flip drum over and repeat for batter side.
  15. Glance at the TuneBot. Say, "F*** off" with authority. heheheh
  16. Glance at the fridge packed with favorite beverage. Say, "I'll be with you shortly." I bought 1.5 liters of "lots of pulpe" Tropicana, that will be it I think.
  17. Tap the edge of the batter head. Memorize the note heard.
  18. Flip drum, place it on the towel, and tap the edge of the reso head.
  19. If reso is higher pitch than batter, tune up batter to match reso head. If reso is lower than batter, tune up reso head to match batter. At this point, always turn tuning key very small amounts. e.g., 1/16th of a full turn.
  20. Pick the drum up and strike the center of the batter head.
  21. At this point the drum will produce a sound that may or may not be good. It depends only on your preference. Example 1: If drum is pitched too high, loosen reso head slightly (e.g., 1/8 turn all around). Still too high? Loosen batter head by same amount. Example 2: If drum is pitched too low, tighten batter head slightly. Still too low? Tighten reso head slightly (e.g., 1/8 turn all around).
  22. Once the overall sound of the drum qualifies as "good", place drum on towel, batter side up. Grab TuneBot and mount it in between two lugs. With drumstick, tap near each node and check the reading. Adjust the tension rods that are outliers (the frequency they produce on the TuneBot are higher or lower than the others). Adjust until TuneBot reading is the same for all nodes. Record drum frequency in Hertz. This will be a reference point for future tunings.
  23. Repeat step 22 for resonant side.
  24. Go to fridge and enjoy favorite beverage.
  25. Repeat for all toms. Bass drum is a different animal and must be tuned by ear.
Below is the readout for my 12" tom as measured during step 22. Nice

View attachment 94629
Thanks for the time, to write all the procedure, good thing for me, good knowledge.
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
Thanks for the time, to write all the procedure, good thing for me, good knowledge.
Believe me, after you’ve done it a few times (seven? Eight?) it becomes easy. After a few years you can do it in minutes on a kit at some dive bar where @Darth Vater is hanging, and the FOH guy will thank you for it.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Once you get the hang of it, you'll get really good at tuning your drums quickly and effectively. The trial and error at the beginning is well worth it.

Unfortunately if you're anything like me, you'll cringe a little when you hear out of tune drums which sadly, is a substantial number of them. You can ingratiate yourself to fellow drummers by tuning their kits up, however, which creates good karma.
 
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basset52

Senior Member
Ahh that's interesting thanks for sharing your frequencies, it's very helpful to roughly guide me. So you don't care about the notes the tune bot gives you for each lous, all that matters is the frequency of each logs and the note in the middle of the drum, right? (Or i do wishful thinking?)

When we talk about fundamental note could we say that it's the note in the center of the drum?

I agree it's kind of fun to use the tune bot, I should try it with beer sometimes, perhaps it would inibit the impression that all my life and time is being spent trying to tune the drums without success. 😄
As I understand it - the fundamental note is the note you get when you strike the middle of the drum without muffling.With my 13 " tom I'm looking for about a fundamental note of about 2G ( 98 hz) So when I strike the drum un muffled this is what I get. This is what matters to me. To achieve this my top lugs are about 166 Hz and the bottom lugs about 176 hz. I could vary these up or down to still get the 2 G ( 98 hz) if I wanted. I hope this helps .
 

cbphoto

Gold Member
I wish I could go out to a dive bar. :(
🙁

Out here in the dirt, 10+ miles from any city over 2,000 population, the dive bars are thriving.

Mathematically, community + beer > COVID infection/death. Also, most peeps tend their farms & livestock, and aren’t traveling to any hot zones.
 

Darth Vater

Senior Member
🙁

Out here in the dirt, 10+ miles from any city over 2,000 population, the dive bars are thriving.

Mathematically, community + beer > COVID infection/death. Also, most peeps tend their farms & livestock, and aren’t traveling to any hot zones.
Stone age tuning method that I use. Loosen heads. Press down in center w/ felt mallet. Tune out the wrinkles. Add 1/8th turn to reso heads. Tap around softly 2 inches from rim and make final adjustments. Boom! Play!
 

Auspicious

Well-known member
Thanks again, I worked on the drums a bit but I am overwhelmed.. Tuning gives me anxiety, the anxiety of seeing time pass without reaching any significant results, not so far, and me returning at the job again on Monday, I feel like I am already there it's still Friday night.

it's getting better but slowly.

Seriously I feel the distress inside of me right now.

I am starting to understand the relation between the resonant head and the batter head, I am just starting to see the close relation between the 2..

I am going to meditate right now.. need it
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
This is the only thing I can help with in this entire thread, lol. Call to Post is the trumpet piece at the beginning of horse races.

Well that's helpful. After googling it I found the notes in that melody:

Another popular sound is the melody from “Call to the Post,” the tune played at the start of horse races. For the same four toms, “Call to the Post” would be C2, F2, A2, C3 or C#2, F#2, A#2, C#3 or D2, G2, B2, D3, depending on the pitch you want for the 16″ floor tom.

That link also has a link to a tune-bot calculator app for iphone or android, called "Drum Tuning Calculator":


I haven't tried it yet, but apparently it's been installed on my android phone already. LOL
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
I ran the calculator for my 10" tom and was surprised to see different lug frequencies recommended than those I calculated using the lug constants in my post above. Additionally, the calculator had four resonance choices, made with a slider tool. I made some calculations to come up with the lug constant the calculator was using:

Code:
LUG CONSTANTS
=============

     Resonance - Drum Tuning Calculator
Low   Med   MedHi High
===== ===== ===== =====
1.326 1.496 1.666 1.721   Batter head
2.224 1.973 1.775 1.721   Reso head

     Resonance - Tune-Bot User Manual
Low   Med   High
===== ===== =====
1.2   1.4   1.5     Batter head
2.3   2.0   1.85    Reso head
At this point, I'm not really sure how the same fundamental note (in this case 3D, or 147 Hz = FUNDAMENTAL) is created from so many different tunings. If anyone has any insight that would be appreciated. Ie, for all the above tunings, if I hit the center of the drum, the fundamental will be 3D.

EDIT: The lug frequency is LUG CONSTANT x FUNDAMENTAL.
 
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yammyfan

Senior Member
I ran the tune bot for a bit, swore at it VERY LOUDLY, put it back in it's box and got my drum dial the next day.
I think I'm better now.
Then I went to the fridge and had a nice cold one (V8).
Using the Tune-Bot is like any other skill - it takes (just) a little bit of time to get the hang of it. It's an order of magnitude better than the drum dial.

Like, seriously better.

Hang in there, guys. Nothing worth doing comes easily.
 
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