Tuning Adventure

Pylot

Senior Member
I have a LM402 chrome over aluminum 6.5X14 Supraphonic. Emperor coated batter and Ambassador coated reso.

Been trying to get that classic sound from it.

Here is what I did this morning.

Pulled the heads and figured out the resonance of the shell. I have a Tune Bot. Turns out the shell resonates at about 150hz which is about a D#.

So I tuned the batter to 207hz (G#) and the Reso to 307hz ( D#).

Viola!! Classic Ludwig Supraphonic sound.
 
Last edited:

Morrisman

Platinum Member
Interesting - I have the same drum and same heads - I'll give this a try.

I presume these frequencies are the tones you get by tapping next to each lug?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Interesting - I have the same drum and same heads - I'll give this a try.

I presume these frequencies are the tones you get by tapping next to each lug?
I think that's what he means. Note, this can't possibly apply to the reso head due to the bed. If you did pitch match all the lugs on the bottom, I do not believe the snares would work properly.
 

konaboy

Pioneer Member
If you're really using a coated Ambassador as a reso, I can't image you getting within a bull's roar of that classic Supra sound......regardless of the frequency.

Is that an error?

I was thinking the same thing. Usually it's a snare side ambassador which is thinner and clear/hazy. I can't imagine how a regular coated ambassador would sound, can't imagine the snares would sound good against that coating.
 

Pylot

Senior Member
When getting the shell frequency I experimented with where I held the shell and I moved the tune bot around and I ended up filtering on 150Mzh and the rest of the places I tapped were close enough, within a few hz.

I have figured out the frequency of my tom shells too and did that by holding them by the ride mount and moving the bot around.

Thanks for the comments on using a coated reso vs a thinner head.

I am getting a nice solid pop that rattles the snares in a very distinct way, no buzzing and no ringing out of the drum at all.

You guys think I could get an even crisper sound from a thinner head tuned in a similar way?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
You guys think I could get an even crisper sound from a thinner head tuned in a similar way?
I think the point was being made you maybe have an incorrect head on your snare side. If you truly have an Ambassador coated head on snare side you are greatly under achieving any decent sound your snare can make.

A thin Amb Snare Side reso, or Evans Hazy 300 reso , is about 3 mil, and unlike a thick 10 mil batter head (Amb batter) thats what works best on the snare side. Tighten one of those on there, really tight, and your Supra will sing like it should.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
Turns out the shell resonates at about 150Mhz which is about a D#.

So I tuned the batter to 207Mhz (G#) and the Reso to 307Mhz ( D#).

Tuning top head to G and bottom head to D doesn't reveal much. Both heads work together to produce a fundamental note, which you don't know. Their own resonance notes you know, but both heads working together also produce notes, which is how a drum is played (both heads vibrating together).

So to tune one head and then tune the other separately gets you nowhere other than knowing where each individual head vibrates at on their own, but they're never played on their own.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I think the point was being made you maybe have an incorrect head on your snare side. If you truly have an Ambassador coated head on snare side you are greatly under achieving any decent sound your snare can make.

A thin Amb Snare Side reso, or Evans Hazy 300 reso , is about 3 mil, and unlike a thick 10 mil batter head (Amb batter) thats what works best on the snare side. Tighten one of those on there, really tight, and your Supra will sing like it should.
I tried a hazy 500 on my snare side at one time and it killed the drum. I can't imagine a 10 mil coated head.
 

Pocket-full-of-gold

Platinum Member
I can't imagine a 10 mil coated head.
It sounds like a cardboard box with some snare wires attached. About as far removed from the "classic Supra" sound as one could possibly get.

I know it's been done in the past, but it's almost always in order to achieve a specific sound. Unless that was your ultimate aim, get rid of the thing and get a dedicated snare side head like 99.998% of the rest of the drumming fraternity. Forget frequencies for the time being. A 3mil snare side head is industry standard for a reason. Slap one on there and it'll become immediately apparent why the 10mil coated Ambassador is simply the wrong head for a snare side.
 

Pylot

Senior Member
So I went and got an Evans 300 snare side.

Definitely got a crisp sound from the drum.

When I started all of this I began trying to tune my kit the way Bonham did. I assumed the coated Emperors and Ambassadors were used on the snare too (did I mention I am a noob?) Turns out he didn't use a coated Ambassador on the snare, duh.

The sound is much snappier, but the characteristics are similar. Straight pop with no ring or buzz.

I am going to try tuning the batter to 307Hz the the reso higher to see how that sounds.

Thanks for the input from those providing it.
 

Pylot

Senior Member
So let me revise that to a thanks a lot!

I raised the batter (worn coated emperor) up to a C and went up a third to an E on the Reso which is now the Evans 300.

The sound is fantastic. And the cardboard analogy was right with the thicker reso. I just did not have the reference to know. I am pretty sure I now have the true Supra sound. Absolutely crisp and distinct, no ring no buzz.

Now on to the tom shells.
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
Don't worry about being a 'noob or making "mistakes." Can you really make mistakes? You are experimenting, and that's good. As Edison said, he discovered 1000 ways to NOT make the light bulb! Today's standards in heads and tuning have come to be by experimentation, and you can be sure that at one time somebody tried and discarded the idea of using a coated batter head on the snare. Keep it up. And have fun.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I think that's what he means. Note, this can't possibly apply to the reso head due to the bed. If you did pitch match all the lugs on the bottom, I do not believe the snares would work properly.
Just for the record, you can indeed pitch match at the lugs on the reso side, despite the snare beds. I do it all the time! And yes, the snares work properly, although loosening or tightening the tension rods on either side of the snares does affect the response. Pays to experiment!
 
Top