Tuning intervals for brighter sounding toms?

toddbishop

Platinum Member
IDK, Ringo tuned his drums pretty low later on, and he doesn't sound depressed. But I guess tuning the toms to a perfect(ish) 5th will sound "happier." You could try tuning the top heads a little higher than the bottom heads, for a more tonal sound, if that's your idea of happy.

My brain is melting.......🤓
With good reason-- Exhibit A for theory that is totally useless to musicians, there.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
You're right.

I swapped the Emperor for a clear G1. With each lug tensioned to 75 on the Drum Dial, the reading on the Tune_bot went from 200 hz to 222 hz, in other words, it went from a 3rd octave G with the Emperor to a 3rd octave A with the G1, an increase of two semi-tones. So changing to the thinner, single-ply head decreased the interval between the batter and reso from eight semi-tones to six.

The overall fundamental of the drum went from 145 hz, or a 3rd octave D, to 156 hz, which is a 3rd octave D#.
Excellent work. I really do appreciate you taking the time. My curiosity was piqued, and I had no way to satisfy it! :)
 

TMe

Senior Member
The interval difference of low tuned drums like two floor toms is less noticeable than the interval difference of higher tuned toms.
I'm using 12" and 14" toms, tuned fairly high, so I went with a small interval (major third) between the toms. A perfect fifth might be great for larger drums tuned lower, but it's just too much of a difference between my two toms.

It works because drums are indefinite pitched.
Definitely. I see the tunebot readings as reference points, much like the numbers on a drum dial. If I like a drum with a fundamental tone of B more than C, it's because I like the overall sound more, not because I'm going for a specific note that's going to harmonize with other instruments. It's not like the drum kit is a big xylophone.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
With good reason-- Exhibit A for theory that is totally useless to musicians, there.
It does a good job of showing why drums can be hard to tune, and why they often sound different depending how and where you hit it. Not really musical theory, more drumhead physics. A cool article regardless.
 

SmoothOperator

Gold Member
It might help to think about what you mean by bright maybe contrast it with dark.

Many people think of bright as high pitched and loud, but often times darker drums project better(stronger fundamental) and have a greater variety of overtones(a more harmonic series). As it turns out often times bright timbres have more midrange than fundamentals or high overtones.
 

TMe

Senior Member
It might help to think about what you mean by bright maybe contrast it with dark.
I think what I didn't like was the long downward bending "Doooooom" sound. A minor third between the top and bottom head seems to give a quicker drop.

While experimenting, the sound I liked the best was minor thirds with the batter higher than the reso, but that would only work for me if I had larger drums. With the small drums, the result was just too high pitched for my taste. Truth be told, what I really need are much larger drums that I can tune nice and tight with inverted thirds, but then I'd need a bigger car and bigger stages to play on.
 
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