Tuning in Intervals, Tunebot owner here

Quai34

Junior Member
So, as I'm a keys player and while I was ok to tune by ear, I needed a little help and started slowly from the tuning the guy who sold me my kit.
After having spent quite a long time in it, my tuning are like this, I'm ok with it but I'm not sure it's going to be the best to recordings like Uptown Funk and others from Bruno Mars.

My current thing is:
16: C2, high resonance tuning in the term of the tunebot website, bottom head higher than the upper head, Fundamental X 1.5 = upper head,
Fundamental X 1.85 = lower head.
So, same for all head and the rest is like that:
13": G3, so, a 5th higher, a lot of you praised 4th in between toms if hey have 16", 14" etc, but because I had a 13" instead of a 14", I figured out it made sense to have a 5th and not a 4th.
Then, between the tuning of the precious owner was just one step between them, I decide on one step and a half so, 3rd minor, then:
12": Bb
10": Db
Should I go minor 3rd like this on the 3 rack toms? Even with a 5th between the 16" and the 13"? I know major 3rd should work well for rock but in Funk we play, there is a lot of IIm7, IIIm7 and VIm7 chords (dorian, phrygien and aeolian modes) so, I thought it could work better?
Of should I go, even with a 13" instead of a 14":
16" at C2, 13" at F, 12" at Bb and 10" at Eb, so, perfect 4th...
Let me know you thoughts and ideas...
 

Quai34

Junior Member
It's not only one song, we will record more after this and my basement is not treated so, everyone is saying "Tuning first, even before dampening" so, this why I'm asking.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think 4ths are good if you have fewer toms, but once you get to four it become increasingly harder to get that amount of spread and still fit into the sweet spot for each drum.

Have you used the tuning calculator on the Tune Bot website? I've tried a few calculator suggestions and a few pro tunings and liked a lot of them.
 

Durbs

Senior Member
Sorry, didn't mean to come across as facetious - but very few drummers will go into tuning at anything like this level of complexity.

Also, if you have the Tunebot - try one interval, record it, and then re-tune to another if you're not sure.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I think 4ths are good if you have fewer toms, but once you get to four it become increasingly harder to get that amount of spread and still fit into the sweet spot for each drum.

Have you used the tuning calculator on the Tune Bot website? I've tried a few calculator suggestions and a few pro tunings and liked a lot of them.
Yes, but sometimes it's weird, it tends to give the same format 13" and a 14"... And most of their examples are for 14"...I will check it again, thanks for the advices...
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Sorry, didn't mean to come across as facetious - but very few drummers will go into tuning at anything like this level of complexity.

Also, if you have the Tunebot - try one interval, record it, and then re-tune to another if you're not sure.
Well, I know, my friends who has sold me the drums is telling me that but I can't stop of hearing the notes in my heads...I still can hear the overtones being only 0,5 Hertz difference between two lugs...I will try a 3rd and let you know. Also, someone told me to remove heads, tap the tom to find its perfect natural pitch and tune it consequently, I might have to do that when it will be the time to change heads...Thanks all, sorry for bothering you with all this questions.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
You pianists with your fancy up and down notes.

Most drummers totally ignore tuning drums to specific pitches and instead focus on making each drum sound good by itself......then make sure there is a nice interval between each of the toms. It's that easy!

Nobody is going to care if you're slightly sharp or flat. You're a drummer now. Stop trying so hard! ;)
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
For a different POV, if tuning numbers are important to you, and it seems like they are, just go with that. Tuning is important to me too. I wanted to know how to tune a drum as good as a drum can be tuned. It's not a big concern to lots of people to have the intervals sound like a a chord. And that's great. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to over think things. But that's me to the core so why fight it? I blame it on my obsession with all things science. So I blame myself. And Art. Yea Art :)

Interval tuning is really important to me. Not the exact notes per say. It's all about relational tuning. I can do it quickly and no one barely hears a thing, using just tap harmonics with a fingertip in the center. What pitches I go for, the interval between the top and bottom heads, the heads I prefer, the pitch intervals between the toms... Lot of time, lot of different heads, lot of effort, a LOT of frustration. It cost a lot of time and money finding this stuff out. Not complaining, it takes what it takes.

I like the high tom at a certain pitch. I never took the time to measure the note with a guitar tuner. But I know the pitch in my head when I hear it. Then for the middle tom, that's a 4th below the high tom. For the low tom, that's an octave below the high tom. Done. That's a pleasing interval for my gig kit. With 4 toms, I tune to the horse race trumpet song thing. That's fun too. Rack and a floor, I tune to octaves. My set needs to resolve, as best as I can, period. I like my reso head's harmonic to sing an octave above the batter harmonic, on all toms.

The reason I'm telling you all this is to demonstrate how I know exactly how to get the sound that makes me blush. Because I put in the time effort and shekels. I learned on a drum dial, the equivalent of learning acoustic guitar with action a half inch off the neck. When you're 9. So you should have a precise number system down this year if you spend enough time with it. Have at it brother.

Also, you probably already know this, but I'll say it anyway. Say you have 2 identical toms tuned to an A. One tom has single ply 10 mil heads. The other tom has a 2 ply 14 mil heads. The 2 ply head will need more tension (measured with a drum dial) to reach an A than a single ply head. That's it. The head's thickness matters. If someone says here try these numbers, you have to match his heads if you want the numbers to work.

You do you. Feel free to geek out to your hearts content. You're hurting no one.
 
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Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
Yes, but sometimes it's weird, it tends to give the same format 13" and a 14"... And most of their examples are for 14"...I will check it again, thanks for the advices...

It's true, the calculator gives you tunings based on how many toms you enter, not necessarily which sizes. In my experience it hasn't mattered too much; if you try the same tuning on a 13" or a 14" you're still going to get the "correct" note in the interval relationship between the tom above and below.

I'll add that like anything, the TuneBot is a guide. I've followed many of their suggested tunings exactly and liked how it turned out. But just as often I've tweaked a particular drum up or down a few Hz to make MY specific drum sound (subjectively) better. The TuneBot does what it does very well, but it doesn't make the value judgements for you; you have to know when a specific drum needs something slightly (or totally) different.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
I haven't found a kit yet that doesn't sound good tuned to Perfect 4ths.

I tune mine and let them settle for a few days. I find that they develop some sort of equilibrium and sound great for a long time afterwards.

I don't know where I got it from but I've got an amazing Excel spreadsheet that calculates Tune-Bot values for all kinds of scenarios. It goes far beyond what the app does. You can specify Perfect 4ths or Major Chords or whatever floats your boat. I've searched high and low for it and can't find it anywhere. If somebody wants to take a shot at finding it again, it's called "Tune-Bot Interactive Tuning Guide V1.1".
 

Quai34

Junior Member
You pianists with your fancy up and down notes.

Most drummers totally ignore tuning drums to specific pitches and instead focus on making each drum sound good by itself......then make sure there is a nice interval between each of the toms. It's that easy!

Nobody is going to care if you're slightly sharp or flat. You're a drummer now. Stop trying so hard! ;)
Well, I'm not the drummer of the band, just the keys player but it's my drums kit and I found so many drummers that don't care about how it sounds because they just want to play that I deciced to learn how to do it...this is my first tuning so, yes, I need to transfer slowly what my ears are telling me form a keys perspective to a drummer perspective...I did that for guitar and bass, with pedals and instruments and my guitarist and my bassist want to use my set now, my pedalboard and my basses or guitars, not their because they said that have never sounded that good with my stuff, so, the thorough guy I amexpect to be able to do the same for drums...
 

Quai34

Junior Member
You pianists with your fancy up and down notes.

Most drummers totally ignore tuning drums to specific pitches and instead focus on making each drum sound good by itself......then make sure there is a nice interval between each of the toms. It's that easy!

Nobody is going to care if you're slightly sharp or flat. You're a drummer now. Stop trying so hard! ;)
Well, I'm not the drummer of the band, just the keys player but it's my drums kit and I found so many drummers that don't care about how it sounds because they just want to play that I deciced to learn how to do it...this is my first tuning so, yes, I need to transfer slowly what my ears are telling me form a keys perspective to a drummer perspective...I did that for guitar and bass, with pedals and instruments and my guitarist and my bassist want to use my set now, my pedalboard and my basses or guitars, not their because they said that have never sounded that good with my stuff, so, the thorough guy I amexpect to be able to do the same for drums...
 

Quai34

Junior Member
For a different POV, if tuning numbers are important to you, and it seems like they are, just go with that. Tuning is important to me too. I wanted to know how to tune a drum as good as a drum can be tuned. It's not a big concern to lots of people to have the intervals sound like a a chord. And that's great. Sometimes I wish I didn't have to over think things. But that's me to the core so why fight it? I blame it on my obsession with all things science. So I blame myself. And Art. Yea Art :)

Interval tuning is really important to me. Not the exact notes per say. It's all about relational tuning. I can do it quickly and no one barely hears a thing, using just tap harmonics with a fingertip in the center. What pitches I go for, the interval between the top and bottom heads, the heads I prefer, the pitch intervals between the toms... Lot of time, lot of different heads, lot of effort, a LOT of frustration. It cost a lot of time and money finding this stuff out. Not complaining, it takes what it takes.

I like the high tom at a certain pitch. I never took the time to measure the note with a guitar tuner. But I know the pitch in my head when I hear it. Then for the middle tom, that's a 4th below the high tom. For the low tom, that's an octave below the high tom. Done. That's a pleasing interval for my gig kit. With 4 toms, I tune to the horse race trumpet song thing. That's fun too. Rack and a floor, I tune to octaves. My set needs to resolve, as best as I can, period. I like my reso head's harmonic to sing an octave above the batter harmonic, on all toms.

The reason I'm telling you all this is to demonstrate how I know exactly how to get the sound that makes me blush. Because I put in the time effort and shekels. I learned on a drum dial, the equivalent of learning acoustic guitar with action a half inch off the neck. When you're 9. So you should have a precise number system down this year if you spend enough time with it. Have at it brother.

Also, you probably already know this, but I'll say it anyway. Say you have 2 identical toms tuned to an A. One tom has single ply 10 mil heads. The other tom has a 2 ply 14 mil heads. The 2 ply head will need more tension (measured with a drum dial) to reach an A than a single ply head. That's it. The head's thickness matters. If someone says here try these numbers, you have to match his heads if you want the numbers to work.

You do you. Feel free to geek out to your hearts content. You're hurting no one.
Thanks a lot, I'm a little like you but just at the start of the same journey!!!!
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I haven't found a kit yet that doesn't sound good tuned to Perfect 4ths.

I tune mine and let them settle for a few days. I find that they develop some sort of equilibrium and sound great for a long time afterwards.

I don't know where I got it from but I've got an amazing Excel spreadsheet that calculates Tune-Bot values for all kinds of scenarios. It goes far beyond what the app does. You can specify Perfect 4ths or Major Chords or whatever floats your boat. I've searched high and low for it and can't find it anywhere. If somebody wants to take a shot at finding it again, it's called "Tune-Bot Interactive Tuning Guide V1.1".
Ok, I will try to find it, thanks
 

Quai34

Junior Member
It's true, the calculator gives you tunings based on how many toms you enter, not necessarily which sizes. In my experience it hasn't mattered too much; if you try the same tuning on a 13" or a 14" you're still going to get the "correct" note in the interval relationship between the tom above and below.

I'll add that like anything, the TuneBot is a guide. I've followed many of their suggested tunings exactly and liked how it turned out. But just as often I've tweaked a particular drum up or down a few Hz to make MY specific drum sound (subjectively) better. The TuneBot does what it does very well, but it doesn't make the value judgements for you; you have to know when a specific drum needs something slightly (or totally) different.
Yes, but to know that slightly specific need, you have to have tuned a lot, it's my first one....I'm sure a lot of drummer will find it good enough, but I'm not that kind of "good enough" person...Tonight, I'm going to bring it to my store, the guy in drums is very well versed in thing drums, I will ask him what does he think about my tuning and I will learn from there, thanks guys.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
I recently detuned and tuned by ear my toms. I kept tweaking it and tapping and listening and then when I found the perfect interval I took my iTune phone app and measured my pitches and intervals -and it was the exact same as that I picked from tunebot calculator using my iTune app and I had started with. I was like I'll be damned I can still tune by ear.
 

Drumolator

Platinum Member
If I use two toms, I tune them so I can play "George of the Jungle." If I use three toms, I tune them to "Three Blind Mice." Peace and goodwill.
 

Tone Laborer

Senior Member
The tune bot calculator settings work great on tom's and kick, but I never find the concert pitches to be particularly accurate.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Thanks a lot, after having brought the 4 toms to my store to get an opinion, the guy I trust told me that they were really sounding good and beside the 16" reso head that I hadn't tweaked due to no time for it, all the rest was good...and I just opened the tuning guide of drummersreview and noticed that I'm like them with my 16" at C, my 13" at G, my 12 at A# and my 10 at C#...So, unless I will change a lot the sound of the all kit because of a very different genre, I will stick to what I did, thanks a lot all of you with all your advices, it helped me a lot to be more confident on drums tuning.
 
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