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livingstone
12-18-2012, 05:13 PM
Both tuned a tad sharp.

I tune my 16 with both heads at a sharp B specific pitch .. when struck shell produces a C# overall pitch.

6-14 inch shells go up in pitch 3-4 notes overall pitch .. 15 and larger go up 1-2 notes overall pitch .. all depending on shell thickness, bearing edge, heads .. etc etc ..

When you tune like this, are you basing the note of the head on the sound when you tap near each lug? I.e, for your 16" do you tap at each lug and make the note at each lug a b#?

drummaman1
12-18-2012, 05:36 PM
what's with all the "A#s and D#'s?? I find it funny. Bb and Eb respectively. I've spent more time with brass/woodwind players (more flats) than string players (more sharps)

You can call them whatever you want, it's more typical to call those two specific notes by their flat name than by their sharp. I don't know why, unless you're playing a song in F# Major. And us drummers, we know a thing or two about F# Major, do we, fellas???

....fellas??? Hello??

As of late, the last two kits I purchased were 10-12-16 toms. Perfect 4ths are very difficult to get because of the diameter difference between the 12 and the 16. Either one will be tuned too low past its range (12) or one will be too high (16) Because of this configuration I now tune the three drums to Perfect 5ths. Sometimes, it just doesnt work out, the 16 is too high still. To remedy that, I will tune the 10 and 12 a 4th apart, no specific note, whichever note it happens to resonate well in. The 16 is a Major 6th to a minor 7th lower than the 12. It's a little odd, but each drum is essentially in its own range. If I add a 14 or 18 I will most likely tune to 4ths again. If I get both a 14 and an 18, three floor toms...I'm going Pentatonic!!!

BadAstronaut
12-18-2012, 10:48 PM
When you tune like this, are you basing the note of the head on the sound when you tap near each lug? I.e, for your 16" do you tap at each lug and make the note at each lug a b#?the pitch at every tension rod on head will be a B .. when 16 is struck in center with a stick the drum produces an overall pitch of C#

BadAstronaut
12-18-2012, 10:52 PM
what's with all the "A#s and D#'s?? I find it funny. Bb and Eb respectively. I've spent more time with brass/woodwind players (more flats) than string players (more sharps)

As of late, the last two kits I purchased were 10-12-16 toms. Perfect 4ths are very difficult to get because of the diameter difference between the 12 and the 16. Either one will be tuned too low past its range (12) or one will be too high (16)I play drums, guitar and piano .. A# or Bb .. still same note

perfect 4ths will sound like turd on a 10-12-16 setup .. it's fine on 10-12 but 12-16 gap is too big for a perfect 4th

drummaman1
12-19-2012, 08:11 AM
yes, we all know it's the same note. I find it weird to call it A# because I worked more in concert band settings. Everyone tunes to Bb.

Brass and woodwind transposing instruments - Bb, Eb, F, Db...

It's not that you can't use it, it just looks weird. OK. enough said about that.

Rhythm Devil
12-20-2012, 10:46 AM
I was told it's an A# if ascending and Bb if descending.

Kelly's Prince
11-26-2013, 05:29 AM
It's commonly said that the ideal interval between toms should be a P4 (ie C-F), as this eliminates potential interference between drums. Special consideration is given to the interval between snare and relative toms, as a certain tom that causes a loud buzz from the snare can be quite annoying.

Another reason why the P4 is ideal is because it is the strongest proggresion in music. It is what we call the circle of fiths..I-IV-vii*-ii-vi-iii-V-I. In other words, our ears enjoy hearing one going to the other very much. There is a reason why 90% of mainstream songs end V-I :)

I keep this in mind when tune drum to drum, however, I don't pay too much attention between reso and batter absolute pitch. I find a general looser or tigher approach is sufficient.

And if you have any theory questions, feel free to PM me. I was unfortunate enough to be a music major, haha.

Thanks for your in-depth message...
I am changing the heads on my Vision (VB) Chrome toms (10x8, 12x9, 13x10, 14x11, 16x16FT, 18x16FT) from the factory-supplied clear Remo heads to Remo Pinstripe Ebony (2-ply)...
I am also experimenting with different modes of resonance control on the batter heads - Remo Muff'l Rings and Moon Gel Pads - to eliminate the annoying "bong" sound and get as close as possible to a "studio" sound.
I have also ported each of my tom reso heads with chrome "O's": 2" (10x8) , 4" (12x9, 13x10 and 14x11) and 6" (16x16 and 18x16 FT and 24" BD reso head)...to reduce the reso head sound and focus the drum sound on the batter head.
I have read that it is recommended to start loose and tune "up" versus tuning "down".
With all of this in mind...is it better to find the sound on the reso head first and then match the batter head...or vice versa?

Have a great day...

Cheers!

Steve

emperorjvl
01-08-2014, 09:22 PM
Hi all!

This thread has helped me tons, and I would like to contribute back with a specific methodology for finding pitch intervals for larger size kits.

This started with me trying to tune my monster kit - that's 12 toms linear fashion (3 rototoms, 8,10,12,12 rack toms, and 14,16,16,18,20 floor toms).
Following some of the advice on this thread, I first settled on the scheme GECAFDBGECAF from smaller to larger, which worked pretty well, however, some toms felt tuned a little too high. Also, I felt most of the combinations when hitting two toms at the same time didn't sound good.

After way too much research into pitches, consonance, etc, I ended up doing this (note I use both the drum dial and tune bot while tuning a tom):

1) Tune the smallest and largest toms to where they sound good
2) Measure the overall frequency of the pitches for both (400 Hz and 50 Hz in my case, I used the tune-bot)
3) Create a spreadsheet and calculate the logarithms of those frequencies (something like 1.6 and 2.6, but maybe not, let's assume it was)
4) Calculate the difference and divide over the number of toms (2.6-1.6)/ 12 = N
5) Assign a logarithm to each tom by adding N to the previous tom, starting with the smallest one (the last one should be the same log you got initially)
6) Calculate 10^(logvalue) for each tom to get the overall frequency your tom should be set to
7) Tune each tom to the calculated overall frequency.

Now what you have, is essentially an equal-tempered set of "notes" specific to your drum set! The frequencies may or may not align to the usual ABCD frequencies, but they WILL sound in tune relative to each other. As a matter of fact, the "usual" note frequencies were also calculated this way.

One thing that I was focusing on at the start but lost focus of was "consonance" - I was trying to get toms to sound better when played together. As I read, consonance seems to occur around simple integer ratios (e.g. 3:2, 2:1, etc). At the beginning I was trying to match frequencies so they would hit the sweet spots of perfect fifths. However, I realized that the span was probably too big for the many toms I had. SO perhaps coincidentally, now every two following toms together sound great, as well as every sixth. I haven't evaluated the quality of other combinations as of yet. I have to go back to my spreadsheet and see where I expect good combinations vs what I hear when I play.

Hope this helps someone out!

livingstone
01-09-2014, 12:09 AM
Hi all!

This thread has helped me tons, and I would like to contribute back with a specific methodology for finding pitch intervals for larger size kits.

This started with me trying to tune my monster kit - that's 12 toms linear fashion (3 rototoms, 8,10,12,12 rack toms, and 14,16,16,18,20 floor toms).
Following some of the advice on this thread, I first settled on the scheme GECAFDBGECAF from smaller to larger, which worked pretty well, however, some toms felt tuned a little too high. Also, I felt most of the combinations when hitting two toms at the same time didn't sound good.

After way too much research into pitches, consonance, etc, I ended up doing this (note I use both the drum dial and tune bot while tuning a tom):

1) Tune the smallest and largest toms to where they sound good
2) Measure the overall frequency of the pitches for both (400 Hz and 50 Hz in my case, I used the tune-bot)
3) Create a spreadsheet and calculate the logarithms of those frequencies (something like 1.6 and 2.6, but maybe not, let's assume it was)
4) Calculate the difference and divide over the number of toms (2.6-1.6)/ 12 = N
5) Assign a logarithm to each tom by adding N to the previous tom, starting with the smallest one (the last one should be the same log you got initially)
6) Calculate 10^(logvalue) for each tom to get the overall frequency your tom should be set to
7) Tune each tom to the calculated overall frequency.

Now what you have, is essentially an equal-tempered set of "notes" specific to your drum set! The frequencies may or may not align to the usual ABCD frequencies, but they WILL sound in tune relative to each other. As a matter of fact, the "usual" note frequencies were also calculated this way.

One thing that I was focusing on at the start but lost focus of was "consonance" - I was trying to get toms to sound better when played together. As I read, consonance seems to occur around simple integer ratios (e.g. 3:2, 2:1, etc). At the beginning I was trying to match frequencies so they would hit the sweet spots of perfect fifths. However, I realized that the span was probably too big for the many toms I had. SO perhaps coincidentally, now every two following toms together sound great, as well as every sixth. I haven't evaluated the quality of other combinations as of yet. I have to go back to my spreadsheet and see where I expect good combinations vs what I hear when I play.

Hope this helps someone out!

If I had 12 toms it might ;) sounds like you put in a lot of work and learned a good deal!

timlovestenors95
01-09-2014, 09:09 AM
Hi all! This thread has helped me tons, and I would like to contribute back with a specific methodology for finding pitch intervals for larger size kits. This started with me trying to tune my monster kit - that's 12 toms linear fashion (3 rototoms, 8,10,12,12 rack toms, and 14,16,16,18,20 floor toms). Following some of the advice on this thread, I first settled on the scheme GECAFDBGECAF from smaller to larger, which worked pretty well, however, some toms felt tuned a little too high. Also, I felt most of the combinations when hitting two toms at the same time didn't sound good. After way too much research into pitches, consonance, etc, I ended up doing this (note I use both the drum dial and tune bot while tuning a tom): 1) Tune the smallest and largest toms to where they sound good 2) Measure the overall frequency of the pitches for both (400 Hz and 50 Hz in my case, I used the tune-bot) 3) Create a spreadsheet and calculate the logarithms of those frequencies (something like 1.6 and 2.6, but maybe not, let's assume it was) 4) Calculate the difference and divide over the number of toms (2.6-1.6)/ 12 = N 5) Assign a logarithm to each tom by adding N to the previous tom, starting with the smallest one (the last one should be the same log you got initially) 6) Calculate 10^(logvalue) for each tom to get the overall frequency your tom should be set to 7) Tune each tom to the calculated overall frequency. Now what you have, is essentially an equal-tempered set of "notes" specific to your drum set! The frequencies may or may not align to the usual ABCD frequencies, but they WILL sound in tune relative to each other. As a matter of fact, the "usual" note frequencies were also calculated this way. One thing that I was focusing on at the start but lost focus of was "consonance" - I was trying to get toms to sound better when played together. As I read, consonance seems to occur around simple integer ratios (e.g. 3:2, 2:1, etc). At the beginning I was trying to match frequencies so they would hit the sweet spots of perfect fifths. However, I realized that the span was probably too big for the many toms I had. SO perhaps coincidentally, now every two following toms together sound great, as well as every sixth. I haven't evaluated the quality of other combinations as of yet. I have to go back to my spreadsheet and see where I expect good combinations vs what I hear when I play. Hope this helps someone out!

Haha nice! I don't think I've ever seen someone use that level of math in tuning drums. It makes sense though! Do you have any sound clips?

nickd
01-13-2014, 02:55 AM
I'll stick to my calculations. You can base your tuning around 3rds, 4ths and 5ths and it all sounds great.

I just tune a drum, any drum (except the snare) to a minor 3rd lower than the fundamental I want. Both heads C# (or Bb technically) will give you a fundimental of an E on a 10" tom. I find E is a good balance between a high pitch so you don't get flabby sounding floor toms and still not quite choking. F is about the highest you can go on a 10", tuning both heads to D obviously.