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KaaGeej
12-28-2007, 07:10 AM
Hi all,

Recently I've been wanting to learn more about notes and other music theory. But seeing as I don't play guitar or something similar, I wanted to apply it to my drum kit. There is knowledge around there about the subject, tuning drums to notes in scales, but it's very little and really scattered.

So what I want to do, and I need your help on this, is to make this a sticky with all the information we need about drum tuning to pitch. Discussions, techniques, tips, everything.

I'm going to start of with the information I found so far and my own 'research' data, so here we go!


- Theory

For those unfamiliar with notes, here's wikipedia excerpt:


The term note has two primary meanings: 1) a sign used in music to represent the relative duration and pitch of a sound; and 2) a pitched sound itself. Notes are the "atoms" of much Western music: discretizations of musical phenomena that facilitate performance, comprehension, and analysis (Nattiez 1990, p.81n9).

The term "note" can be used in both generic and specific senses: one might say either "the piece Happy Birthday to You begins with two notes having the same pitch," or "the piece begins with two repetitions of the same note." In the former case, one uses "note" to refer to a specific musical event; in the latter, one uses the term to refer to a class of events sharing the same pitch.
On the page is also a note table, might be useful since we use different names in different regions.

Source: Note - Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Note)


Another helpful page is to be found in the drum tuning bible, it discusses what pitches different size drums "like":


For example, I know my drums will sound best tuned as follows:

10”x 9” tom: D sharp
12” x 10” tom: A sharp
14” x 12” floor: F
16” x 14” floor: C

22” x 16” kick: Batter F (octave lower than floor); Resonant E

Main snare 14” x 6” YAMAHA Anton Fig: G above the 10” x 9” D#, both heads the same
There's also more concepts and ideas to be found on that page.

Source: Drum Tuning Bible - Tuning To Musical Notes (http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/id9.html)


- Forum posts

The posts that really got me interested in this subject, and which were the most help to me are to be found in 2 topics:

Veggy's Review! (http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=148603)
Tom Tuning By Tapping The Head - What Pitch? (http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=192746)


The measurements:
Pitch of batter tapped / Pitch of reso tapped / pitch of drum when hit:

E / E / F - very difficult to hear pitch when hit
F / F / G
G / G / B
A / A / C
H / H / D
C / C / D+
D / D / F
E / E / F+
F / F / D - drum got choked here.

As you can see I tuned the two heads to exactly the same pitch at each stage. The difference between the pitch of the tapping and hitting sounds is pretty much consistent!


- My Own Results

I went out and bought a Chromatic Tuner (Boss TU-80) which helps me recognize the pitch the drumhead produces. I tap near the lugs till I get a reading, it's difficult since a drum is not a plucked instrument but with some patience it's do-able.

My snare is tuned:

Resonant: A
Batter: E

So it's a fourth apart which gives me a nice pop and snare response.

My toms are tuned:

10" - D

Res: B
Bat: B

12" - B

Res: G
Bat: G

14" - G

Res: E
Bat: E

As you can see, my heads are tuned equal and 2 steps below the note I want it to produce. This has worked for me. Still need to tweak the 14" though because it produces more overtones then the rest of the toms do at the moment.


I hope that this was useful to you, I hope you guys can help me out, I hope a mod will make this into a resourceful sticky, let's get tuning :D

Burn
12-28-2007, 11:13 AM
thats actually very interesting, but i dont think i could ever have the patience to tune my drums to exact notes. I just sorta find a pleasing sound and roll with it

veggyboy
12-28-2007, 11:24 AM
...I just sorta find a pleasing sound and roll with it

Tuning to notes is nice if you want to CONSISTENTLY recreate YOUR "pleasing sound" time after time, without having to start from scratch each time you change your heads.

When you get your kit tuned up, simply figure out which pitch each drum is tuned to and then write that info down for future use.

DrummerDave55
12-28-2007, 11:52 AM
wow, that's impressive, have some rep!

Strat-Master
12-28-2007, 12:07 PM
interesting but im also too impatient to tune them to an exact note, i usually just tune to where it sounds good and even out everything accordingly with regards to the rest of my drums.

-Zebracurtainz-
12-28-2007, 12:52 PM
Thats awesome!

funk_drum
12-28-2007, 02:09 PM
Don't forget that a drum is round and a note is linear. It's impossible to tune a drum exactly to a note. You can get some of the overtones close, but after you hit a drum 10 times the head will stretch and you'll be flat. I tune my largest tom to it's fundemental note, then good sounding intervals up from there.

veggyboy
12-28-2007, 03:05 PM
Don't forget that a drum is round and a note is linear. It's impossible to tune a drum exactly to a note.

True dat, unless of course, we're talking about concert toms or timpanis! :p At any rate, EVERY drum has an approximate pitch, regardless if the drummer intended on tuning it that way or not. Hit any properly tuned drum. Assuming the heads are good and the drum is true, there will definitely be a dominant pitch, not just a bunch of muddy frequencies flying all over the place.


You can get some of the overtones close, but after you hit a drum 10 times the head will stretch and you'll be flat...

Actually, I'm amazed how long my Tama Artstars and Pearl Refs stay in tune, even after a gig. I currently have my Tamas in my basement for practice and usually only have to tweak one or two toms about once a week. I went to tune my Refs for a gig a few weeks ago (the last time I used them on a gig was around six weeks before that) and the ONLY drum I had to tune was my snare. It was a pleasant surprise to be able to go through my entire kit (in and out of their cases) in less than fifteen minutes. :)

Good shells? Good heads? Lugs? Who knows...

unclesam
12-28-2007, 03:32 PM
I do sometimes tune my drum that way. It really helps to get more harmonies in the song.

Takes a lot of time though.

uncle Sam

KaaGeej
12-28-2007, 06:00 PM
Tuning to notes is nice if you want to CONSISTENTLY recreate YOUR "pleasing sound" time after time, without having to start from scratch each time you change your heads.

When you get your kit tuned up, simply figure out which pitch each drum is tuned to and then write that info down for future use.

That's the exact reason why I started tuning to notes, I now exactly to what tension I should tune and get the same results every time.

Even if you just tune your drums to sound to "your liking", it will probably be near a note which you can later use to reproduce the sound you like.

About the stretching of the heads and the none linear capabilities of a drum, I find that the head stays in tune quite long. Even on my Pearl Export. And you can definitely tune your overtones (near the lug) to a specific pitch.

VisionVLX
12-29-2007, 06:30 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.

Grolubao
12-29-2007, 07:18 AM
I would advice you to get the DVD from Bob Gatzen as it explains well what sound you will get with what scales on the toms.

joshodrum
12-29-2007, 08:10 AM
VisionVLX, or anyone else for that matter... see if you can give me an answer to this one...

Say I like the feel and tone of a drum when the reso is tuned to a higher pitch than the batter, but I wanna shoot for an overall pitch for the drum to match the key of a song...

How would I go about trying to achieve these two goals? Which head would have more of an impact, if any, on the overall pitch?

I'm guessing that to have these two criteria met, it may end up something like this: (for example a 10" tom)

Desired overall pitch: D
Reso head: high F
Batter head: Bb on the octave below the F

Would these tunings kinda meet in the middle to give me somewhere near my D? I hope I'm making sense..... :o

veggyboy
12-29-2007, 08:15 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.

It really depends on how many toms are involved.

In general, the more toms you have, the less interval between each drum because you'll either end up with your highest tom sounding like a tea kettle, or your lowest one flapping out.

drummaman1
12-29-2007, 08:55 AM
You can, and I did for a while, tune to absolute pitches, but I found it kind of useless to do so. The drum should be able to play any pitch as you tune to it. It has to do with the shells, as DW has pointed out. It is a gimmick to an extent...but I digress...

Most instruments utilize what is called the overtone series. This is more in brass instruments, but I have it in mind when I tune my kit.

I usually tune a set of toms starting with either the middle or the lowest drum. As soon as it has a relatively round sound, I tune the others from there usually in 4ths (VisionVLX is spot on about this). The resos are ALWAYS tighter than the tops (usually a 4th, but can fluctuate). The reason for this is projection. A tighter reso helps the drum to project.

Snare is usually a 2nd or a third above the highest tom, unless its a 10" or higher. Then it goes in between in pitch. Bass drum, pitch-wise is not important. Feel is more important when bass drum tuning is concerned.

Music Theory is best learned with a piano. It makes it easier to see the intervals, chords, and to better associate what you're hearing with the visual aspect. Some of the best drummers of our day happen to know a few other instruments, and apply what they've learned musically to the drums. It's a great relationship.

Plus, I always love the look on guitarists, bassists, and keyboardists faces when I tell them "Yeah, the G7b9 chord goes great right there"... "try it in A right there, I think the color of that key is better in this part"..

Good luck!

veggyboy
12-29-2007, 10:47 AM
You can, and I did for a while, tune to absolute pitches, but I found it kind of useless to do so. The drum should be able to play any pitch as you tune to it...

I notice that whenever the subject of "tuning to pitches" gets brought up on this forum, people (the naysayers! :) ) immediately assume it means you can, for example, ONLY tune a 12" tom to B, or whatever.

Of course, every drum has a certain range it can be tuned within - from really bright, cutting and explosive to dark, deep and mellow and everything in between for that drum.

The point of tuning to pitches is for those drummers who want to duplicate a certain tuning scheme from head change to head change, without having to start from scratch on each drum - tuning, hitting, tuning, hitting, etc. If you already know what pitch to tune each head to (or what the tension is for those who use the Drum Dial), you will get there much faster and to EXACTLY how they were tuned before. I like to tune my snares and bass drums to around G-A and then tune my toms around that, so for me, this is very useful.

The only reason I stumbled open this was because I finally got to the point where I liked how my Tamas sounded (many years ago) at a given tuning and thought it would make sense if I could just figure out what pitch each drum was tuned to, I should be able to tune them that way again. I then figured out that tuning each head to that pitch WILL NOT give you that pitch for the drum as a whole. Strange, but true.

I also started doing this after hearing various drumming videos of my favorite drummers (like Weckl, Simon Phillips and Greg Bissonette), whose drums I think sound very melodic. So, for example, I ended up being able to tune my 8", 10", 12" and 14" toms and 14x3.5 brass pic to sound like Weckl's drums on his first instructional video - very dark, cutting, wet and musical.

IMO, this is very useful, especially for drummers who are just starting out. They can find out what they like and what to do to get their drums to sound that way, without having to think, "gee, how does so-in-so get his kit to sound like that?", or even just basic things like how to tune a drum. I don't know how many of these types of threads I've seen on this forum.

I can guarentee that NO drummer can retune their drums BY EAR EXACTLY how they were before a head change. Not unless they have a perfect memory and perfect pitch.

KaaGeej
12-29-2007, 11:07 AM
Nice to see a good discussion going, although most of em are critics :o
Maybe some information on how we tune toms and snares to pitch so we could help others out, and compare/share ideas.

I do have the Bob Gatzen dvd, that one really inspired me for the tonal tuning but it's somewhat dated. On the Evans website he gives some tips using EC2 heads, so there must be a newer video floating around there somewhere?

The whole tuning in 4th's thing seems interessting, I might try that. I found that tuning the resonant side on my 10" tom higher gave a more distorted sound so I tuned it back down and even. Might fool around with it again tomorrow.

KaaGeej
12-29-2007, 11:15 AM
Bob Gatzen - Tonal Tuning
From the Evans website

Tonal Tuning - Part 1 (http://www.tothestage.com/MediaDetail.Page?MediaId=363)
Tonal Tuning - Part 2 (http://www.tothestage.com/MediaDetail.Page?MediaId=364)

veggyboy
12-29-2007, 11:32 AM
...I found that tuning the resonant side on my 10" tom higher gave a more distorted sound so I tuned it back down and even. Might fool around with it again tomorrow.

Tuning the bottom head of any drum SLIGHTLY higher than the batter, will bring more presence to the top of the drum and a meaty feel (I used to tune this way for years and it sounds great), but if you tune it too tightly, you will start to get funky pitch bends that might not have any practical use.

I currently tune both heads the same. To my ears, my drums sound truer and have more resonance.

Renalen
12-29-2007, 12:31 PM
As much as this is really awesome, I find it easier to just feel it. What I mean is, after tuning many adrum, drummers typically get a feel for the overall tension on the head in relation to the lug they're tuning and the other lugs. So while pitch and note tuning is a great idea, I find it easier for myself (I have tried pitch tuning before), to just feel the overall tension, and I always get an amazing tuning job out of my drums. Nice post though, have some rep.

carl62
12-29-2007, 01:19 PM
I simply go by the tuning that Terry Bozzio used on his "Melodic Drumming and the Ostinato" videos which sounds absolutely incredible! I've tried many other types of tuning (3rd's, every other black key, etc.) but for some reason, I keep coming back to this one. Now I've made this my permanent tuning. The pitches are, 16"-C#, 14"-F#, 12"-B, 10"-E, 8"-A, 8" single-headed-D, 8" single-headed-G. All in 4ths. I keep the tops and the bottoms the same pitch so then that way I only have one 'note' coming from my drum instead of two. These sound VERY musical and melodic! My toms now sound like one big "xylophone". As far as the time it takes to tune, once you know your exact pitches, it gets easier every time. I can tune all 7 toms, tops and bottoms, in less than a half hour no problem! When it comes to tuning though, every person is different in this regard. Try different tunings and see which one works best for you. Good luck.

veggyboy
12-29-2007, 02:33 PM
...The pitches are, 16"-C#, 14"-F#, 12"-B, 10"-E, 8"-A, 8"...All in 4ths. I keep the tops and the bottoms the same pitch...

We're twins!

This is exactly how I have both of my kits tuned right now and have actually been using this scheme for a few years now. Bass drums and snares to G. My kits sound great. Not too tight or loose; very melodic

Prior to this, I used
8"=E, 10"=B, 12"=F#, 14"=C# - very early Weckl sounding toms

10"=E, 12"=C#, 13"=A#, 14"=G, 16"=E - another great rock tuning. Very wide-open and explosive.

carl62
12-29-2007, 10:25 PM
We're twins!

This is exactly how I have both of my kits tuned right now and have actually been using this scheme for a few years now.
I absolutely swear by this tuning! This is the most melodic my toms have ever sounded, and trust me when I tell you that I've tried and recorded with MANY types of tuning. This is the tuning that my students hear my toms at and they all love it and want the same. This is now officially my "standard" tuning for 10", 12", and 14". If you have a 12", 13" and 16", tune them the same as the 12", 14" and 16". Again, all 4ths with the 16" starting at a C# (or if your lowest is the 14", then an F#). Happy tuning. :)

VisionVLX
12-30-2007, 01:44 AM
It really depends on how many toms are involved.

In general, the more toms you have, the less interval between each drum because you'll either end up with your highest tom sounding like a tea kettle, or your lowest one flapping out.

Yes, exactly. But considering you have a fairly "normal" setup, P4s work great.

And as to your other question KG, assuming it hasn't already been answered..
the batter head dictates pitch much more so than the reso. In saying this I don't intend to say that the batter should be the bulk of your worries, because the reso head is just as important.

And also, don't get too caught up in trying to force drums into certain pitch ranges. The diameter of the drum will dictate alot of the pitch, so tuning toms should be pretty much the same across the board. Don't sacrifice a chocked drum sound for ideal intervals. At the end of the day, it's just about what sounds good, not what looks good on paper.

Pandrex
12-30-2007, 03:55 AM
I absolutely swear by this tuning! This is the most melodic my toms have ever sounded, and trust me when I tell you that I've tried and recorded with MANY types of tuning. This is the tuning that my students hear my toms at and they all love it and want the same. This is now officially my "standard" tuning for 10", 12", and 14". If you have a 12", 13" and 16", tune them the same as the 12", 14" and 16". Again, all 4ths with the 16" starting at a C# (or if your lowest is the 14", then an F#). Happy tuning. :)


what if you have 10x8,12x9, 16x14?

KaaGeej
12-30-2007, 05:28 AM
I think I got tonal drum tuning down on toms, I can get them pretty much anywhere I want.
Except for the snare drum. I've tried tuning them Res: A / Bat: E. But it takes so much more effort than toms.

Any tips on this? And other tonal suggestions?

nusantara
12-30-2007, 08:59 AM
Hi KaaGeej...
THAT'S IMPRESSIVE. Rep for you.

Cheers.

nusantara
12-30-2007, 09:06 AM
I would advice you to get the DVD from Bob Gatzen as it explains well what sound you will get with what scales on the toms.

I have Bob Gatzen DVD, but I would say that he is Not a good 'lecturer' so, much of the information are Missing, and the 'lecture'/ lessons are Very Unorganized.

I prefer to watch and listen to the performances of BILL Asbough, Bob himself and the young Kids in that DVD.

cheers.

EwGrossChris
12-30-2007, 09:14 AM
How do i know what to tune my drums to?

i want my floor tom to be a octave lower then my rack tom.

and how do i kno when i hit that spot.

nusantara
12-30-2007, 09:25 AM
Don't sacrifice a chocked drum sound for ideal intervals. At the end of the day, it's just about what sounds good, not what looks good on paper.

INDEED !

drumtechdad
12-30-2007, 09:46 AM
veggyboy has it right: tuning to pitches helps you put the intervals you want between the drums and to replicate the tuning you like anytime, anywhere--all you need is a pitch-pipe.

For those who say they just want to tune until it "sounds right": terrific! Do so, then find out what pitches you have and write them down, much as you would write down drum dial settings. You'll save loads of time later.

I would only add this to what's been said. Each drum has a resonant range, and the thing to do is find out what that is for each drum in the set. Tune up from finger-tight (both heads the same for this exercise) until you get a real tone, not a flappy or papery sound. That's as low as that drum will go.

Keep increasing the tension in small increments--say 1/4 turn or so--keeping both heads the same and keeping the lug-to-lug tuning good. Listen at every stop. Eventually you'll reach a point where the drum becomes choked--that's higher than you want to go.

In between will be a range of notes where the drum really sings. Ideally you'd like to keep each drum in its most resonant range--don't force a drum to play a given note just because it fits your tuning scheme.

The trick is to keep each drum in its ideal range while keeping the intervals between them useful. Experiment a bit and you'll find a combination that works.

Write everything down and the next time you change heads you'll be able to duplicate the tuning easily.

Thanks to the OP for this thread. I've been tuning to pitches for years and find it quite handy. Strangely enough I tried to explain this on another board and was treated to a bunch of posts telling me that I couldn't be hearing pitches out of my drums because they read on the internet somewhere that drums are of "indeterminate pitch."

KaaGeej
12-30-2007, 11:12 AM
And also, don't get too caught up in trying to force drums into certain pitch ranges. The diameter of the drum will dictate alot of the pitch, so tuning toms should be pretty much the same across the board. Don't sacrifice a chocked drum sound for ideal intervals. At the end of the day, it's just about what sounds good, not what looks good on paper.
It's not like I started tuning thinking, I NEED this in a D :p I used the method of the most volume/resonance.

Just slap the batter on and tune tune until it has the most volume and the most resonance. You'll find that most drums, even though different brands or woods, there's a small note spacing in which they will really resonate.

For a 10" that would probably be around a C to an E. Above or below that it will probably get more choked. This is not bulletproof of course.

Today I went to tackle the tuning "problem" again and came up with a new technique which helps me out at least.

## New Technique ####

I had problems getting my chromatic tuner (Boss TU-80) to hear solid tones coming from the drum. This will probably be because it's not a string so it won't produce a linear sound wave. Differences per lug will not help with this either.

So what I did, for all my toms and probably in the future as well, is to let my tuner play the note. I can hear, hitting the center (! for the fundamental note, not the overtones near the rims) with a stick or my finger, if it's too high or too low. Tune it up until all is even and near the correct pitch.

Then comes the fine-tuning, the hardest part because the tuner seems to just sporadically pickup notes. What I do is hit the center and hum the sustain, not the attack. Humming almost always does produce a linear tone which the tuner can pick up. You know when your humming the right fundamental pitch when the drum sings back to you.

It's a weird experience, it'll probably look weird too, humming to your drum but when your near the fundamental note of the drum it will sing back to you and resonate. This being able to be interpreted by my tuner, fine-tuning can commence :p

#######

All in all another big post by me, sorry 00** :p
For reference, my tuning now is:

Size / Resonant / Batter

10" / E / D
12" / B / A
14" / F# / D#

SN14" / G# / B

KaaGeej
12-30-2007, 11:20 AM
How do i know what to tune my drums to?

i want my floor tom to be a octave lower then my rack tom.

and how do i kno when i hit that spot.

In my opening post I posted a list which most drum-sizes normally tune to. This is by no means bulletproof and you have to mess around for the sound you want.

You'll know that your an octave lower when you hear the drum it self being lower in pitch, relative to one which in an octave higher would have a lower tone... If that made sense, hard to explain sound in words :o

Lists posted so far for toms:

8" = E, 10" = B, 12" = F#, 14" = C#
Very early Weckl sounding toms, by Veggy.

10" = E, 12" = C#, 13" = A#, 14" = G, 16" = E
Another great rock tuning. Very wide-open and explosive, by Veggy.

10" = D#, 12" = A#, 14" = F, 16" = C
From the Drum Tuning Bible.

10" = D-D#, 12" = B-C, 13" = A-A#, 14" = F#-G, 16" = D-E
From M1234.

10" = E, 12" = B, 14" = F#
Currently used by myself.

carl62
01-01-2008, 03:09 AM
what if you have 10x8,12x9, 16x14?
Thinking about this combination which is becoming fairly common, I actually got out a spair 12" tom that I had and I tried a couple of different tuning configurations. Thinking that I wanted to keep them fairly spaced apart, I kept the 10" at an 'E' and the 16" at a 'C#', but I put the 12" at an 'A'. Honestly didn't sound bad, although it did form an inverted triad and that's something I try to avoid sound-wise because you end up getting stuck in a tonality when you start getting into 3rds. So then I put my other 12" tom back up that was tuned to the already 'B' and, at least to my ears anyway, the 16"-C#, 12"-B, 10"-E, sounded killer together! Even without the 14", that would be the tuning I would defintely go with. But again, this is just my opinion and observations. Who knows, you may like the 'C#', 'A', 'E', tuning better than the other one. It's all in each persons ears. Try both and see which one you like. Have fun. :)

VisionVLX
01-01-2008, 03:35 AM
It's not like I started tuning thinking, I NEED this in a D :p I used the method of the most volume/resonance.

Just slap the batter on and tune tune until it has the most volume and the most resonance. You'll find that most drums, even though different brands or woods, there's a small note spacing in which they will really resonate.

For a 10" that would probably be around a C to an E. Above or below that it will probably get more choked. This is not bulletproof of course.

Today I went to tackle the tuning "problem" again and came up with a new technique which helps me out at least.

## New Technique ####

I had problems getting my chromatic tuner (Boss TU-80) to hear solid tones coming from the drum. This will probably be because it's not a string so it won't produce a linear sound wave. Differences per lug will not help with this either.

So what I did, for all my toms and probably in the future as well, is to let my tuner play the note. I can hear, hitting the center (! for the fundamental note, not the overtones near the rims) with a stick or my finger, if it's too high or too low. Tune it up until all is even and near the correct pitch.

Then comes the fine-tuning, the hardest part because the tuner seems to just sporadically pickup notes. What I do is hit the center and hum the sustain, not the attack. Humming almost always does produce a linear tone which the tuner can pick up. You know when your humming the right fundamental pitch when the drum sings back to you.

It's a weird experience, it'll probably look weird too, humming to your drum but when your near the fundamental note of the drum it will sing back to you and resonate. This being able to be interpreted by my tuner, fine-tuning can commence :p

#######

All in all another big post by me, sorry 00** :p
For reference, my tuning now is:

Size / Resonant / Batter

10" / E / D
12" / B / A
14" / F# / D#

SN14" / G# / B

Good!! It is definetly weird, as drums are a little different than plucking a string, like you said.

It gets a little better if you're used to tuning other instruments, or at least singing. I tune all of mine by ear. I've done it enough to just kind of feel what the tension should be on all the heads. From there I just play the toms in ascending order and adjust the tension accordingly. Listen for your drums to sing "Her comes the bride" to you. It's an ear training trick. The first interval is a P4. We have tricks for all of them actually :)

joshodrum
01-01-2008, 07:12 AM
For reference, my tuning now is:

Size / Resonant / Batter

10" / E / D
12" / B / A
14" / F# / D#

SN14" / G# / B

KaaGeej,

Bearing in mind you have your batter and resonant heads tuned to different notes, what is the resultant overall pitch when each drum is struck? I'd be very interested to know this, especially for your floor tom where there is more of an interval.
Cheers

KaaGeej
01-01-2008, 07:35 AM
KaaGeej,

Bearing in mind you have your batter and resonant heads tuned to different notes, what is the resultant overall pitch when each drum is struck? I'd be very interested to know this, especially for your floor tom where there is more of an interval.
Cheers

This is one thing I'm trying to figure out as well and I will test it today and post my results.

I get a much more clearer sound with the resonant side tuned up, like most of you but I get lost in what it is supposed to be tuned to now. Maybe others could post their tonal tuning techniques so we can compare.

Now I tune my resonant to a note in one of the lists, and my batter 2 steps below that. This will sound good, with equal intervals, but can't possibly be the note I was "aiming" for.

I have limited drum practice time so you'll have to wait a little bit :o Test results in a couple of hours!

KaaGeej
01-01-2008, 11:25 AM
Ok so I started tapping along with my trusty tuner :p
I followed the list of: 10" = E, 12" = B, 14" = F# which I turned into...

Size / Resonant / Batter

10" / E / D
12" / B / A
14" / F# / D#

Now for the fundamental pitch which the drums produced.

10" = F/F#
1.5 step above my aim (E).

12" = C/C#
1.5 step above my aim (B).

14" = G#/A
2.5 step above my aim (F#).

Now to draw careful conclusions :o

Difference between resonant and batter for 10" and 12" where 2 steps. (Batter to resonant)
D - D# - E
A - A# - B

Doing so provides a tone 1.5 steps above my aim, I say 1.5 because it wasn't a clear pitch. The meter for the 10" for example hit a very sharp F to a very flat F#.

The 14" had 3 steps between the resonant and the batter to even out the sustain. (Batter to resonant)
D# - E - F - F#

This produces 2.5 steps above my aim, quite the difference. Once again it turned out to be a very sharp G# and a very flat A.

I need to think about this and probably do some more tests in different tuning regions before anything sensible can come out of this data. Enough of my rambling, let's hear some other thoughts guys :D

rdrummer
01-01-2008, 12:01 PM
Tuned toms--do not go out of tune as quickly as you would think. A little tweaking before every show (or every few days) is plenty for me. I do use mostly single heads to keep things simple.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lGXY5U9c3qY

440561
01-01-2008, 12:02 PM
You said you used a chromatic tuner. Do you think a guitar tuner would be fine for now (I'll get a proper decent one soon maybe, depending on cost)

Cos I can use my brothers tuner, but Im just not sure if it'll be ok. Then again, its done by strings and not notes so I guess not on second thoughts lol.

Im bad at tuning. I think fi I sat down and did it with notes and all that in mind, rather than just twisting it, I might improve...

KaaGeej
01-01-2008, 12:21 PM
You said you used a chromatic tuner. Do you think a guitar tuner would be fine for now (I'll get a proper decent one soon maybe, depending on cost)

Cos I can use my brothers tuner, but Im just not sure if it'll be ok. Then again, its done by strings and not notes so I guess not on second thoughts lol.

Im bad at tuning. I think fi I sat down and did it with notes and all that in mind, rather than just twisting it, I might improve...

A guitar/bass tuner CAN be used but I wouldn't recommend it. Save some money and buy a chromatic tuner, they aren't that expensive. Got mine for around 20$.

The problem with guitar tuners, even if they have a mic for acoustic guitars and such, is that they only have the "standard" notes. A B C D E F G, like regular guitar tuning E A D G B E.

However a full scale consists of A A# B C C# D D# E F F# G G#. And sometimes I do come across sharps in my tuning.

To be honest I wouldn't recommend tuning to notes straight away either, you must have a certain feel for tuning. Understanding what lugs do etc etc before you can tune regularly, then to a specific pitch is a sort of an add on. You can always try of course!

Good luck with your tuning!

carl62
01-01-2008, 01:05 PM
Ok so I started tapping along with my trusty tuner :p
I followed the list of: 10" = E, 12" = B, 14" = F# which I turned into...

Size / Resonant / Batter

10" / E / D
12" / B / A
14" / F# / D#

Now for the fundamental pitch which the drums produced.

10" = F/F#
1.5 step above my aim (E).

12" = C/C#
1.5 step above my aim (B).

14" = G#/A
2.5 step above my aim (F#).

Now to draw careful conclusions :o

Difference between resonant and batter for 10" and 12" where 2 steps. (Batter to resonant)
D - D# - E
A - A# - B

Doing so provides a tone 1.5 steps above my aim, I say 1.5 because it wasn't a clear pitch. The meter for the 10" for example hit a very sharp F to a very flat F#.

The 14" had 3 steps between the resonant and the batter to even out the sustain. (Batter to resonant)
D# - E - F - F#

This produces 2.5 steps above my aim, quite the difference. Once again it turned out to be a very sharp G# and a very flat A.

I need to think about this and probably do some more tests in different tuning regions before anything sensible can come out of this data. Enough of my rambling, let's hear some other thoughts guys :D
So let me get this straight. For the 10", you're tuning the resonant to an 'E', the batter to a 'D', then you come out hearing an 'F/F#'? :confused: How? When I tune my 10" batter to an 'E', the resonant to an 'E', my drum then comes out playing an 'E'. Simple as that. I think what's happening, and I've heard of this before from others who've experienced this, is that they're hearing the first initial overtones when they hit the drum and they're confusing that with the actual pitch, thus resulting in them thinking they need to tune down a M2 to a M3 lower in order to hear the pitch they're after, which is not accurate at all. The best way to figure out what the actual pitch is you're wanting is to take an E-ring (the only time these things are good for something :D ) and lay it on the drum AFTER you're done tuning. NOW listen to the pitch that it produces WITHOUT the overtones and that should be way closer to the note you're aiming for. When you're hitting whichever head has the E-ring on it, muffle the opposite head with your hand so that you'll get even more clarity in the pitch you're trying to hear. Hope this helps. :)

veggyboy
01-01-2008, 03:19 PM
So let me get this straight. For the 10", you're tuning the resonant to an 'E', the batter to a 'D', then you come out hearing an 'F/F#'? :confused: How? When I tune my 10" batter to an 'E', the resonant to an 'E', my drum then comes out playing an 'E'. Simple as that...

Not so simple, unless you're talking about single-headed toms.

I can guarantee you that if your 10" tom sounds like an E when mounted, both heads are NOT tuned to E.

Take the drum off the stand and place one side on a pillow. Gently tap the unmuffled side. Now flip the drum over and tap the other side. Assuming you like to tune both heads equally, they should be around 3 pitches LOWER (around C#) than your target note for the drum - in this case, E.

Also keep in mind, I'm not talking about octives, only the actual note.

I'm not tone deaf, can easily pick out higher or lower octives based on any pitch I hear and have been doing this for years. I also used to play keyboards. I give each drum a solid whack, so there's not even time to hear "the first initial overtones" as you suggest.

This works for me on every single tom, up until around a 16". For some reason, I find that on that size of drum, I have to tune the heads UP around 1 or 2 pitches.

Hear's the scheme I'm currently using and it works every single time:
8" = A; both heads tuned to F#
10" = E; both heads tuned to C#
12" = B; both heads tuned to G#
14" = F#; both heads tuned to D#
16" = C#; both heads tuned to B

I don't know the physics behnind this, but it obviously has something to do with air shooting back and forth, causing both heads to work IN UNISON within a given distance - as I said, it doesn't seem to work for my Tama 16x16 or Pearl 16x13, but does for all my other toms. I've actually had my guitarist's tuner react to me hitting them based on the notes I tuned them to, so I know my crazy method works.

I haven't experiemented with resos being tighter, etc., because I've been happy with the way my drums sound with both heads being equal, but I would imagine if one tunes the reso higher and is shooting for E from a 10" tom, a D reso and C batter might do the trick.

joshodrum
01-01-2008, 03:31 PM
Wow now were getting somewhere, I'm gonna be like a mad scientist in his lab tomorrow!

KaaGeej
01-01-2008, 04:31 PM
I haven't experiemented with resos being tighter, etc., because I've been happy with the way my drums sound with both heads being equal, but I would imagine if one tunes the reso higher and is shooting for E from a 10" tom, a D reso and C batter might do the trick.

Great posts as always Veggy, and yeah. The main thing which seems to alter the pitch is having it on or of the stand. I even tune it with an ISS clamp on it coz that already changes the whole drum.

I haven't tried identifying the pitch of the drum when it's off the stand, but I did notice it was lower than on the stand. Quite possibly the E for instance I was aiming for. Stands somehow make the pitch go up.

I don't know if there would be any difference in ISS and OptiMounts but I do think there is. The ISS is tugging on the hoop on one side, pulling it down thus tensioning that side of the drum higher. Which would probably result in a pitch increase.

Tomorrow will be another day of experimenting, got some E-rings lying around to make sure to find the fundamental pitch although I think my F# wasn't all that far off ;) Mad scientists, unite! :D

rdrummer
01-01-2008, 06:37 PM
As I stated, I use pitched toms at all times. I use 20 toms tuned starting with the lowest note, ACEFGABCDEFGABCDDEFG. I use the double high D because of sticking issues. I have found that an ambassador tuned to a B on a 13 inch single head tom has more resonance than a diplomat tuned to a B on a 12 inch single head tom, so tightness of the head affects resonance. For my 3 double headed toms, I tune them simultaneously to a pitch close to the target, for example my 8x12 to a C, 9x13 to an A, 16x16 to an F, concerning myself first that the tone is close, then tweak the top head to the exact pitch I need. I am sure Kaageej is correct about the individual head pitch (if I take off one head the pitch changes on the head without any change in tightening) but for practical purposes using approximate pitch then tweaking to exact pitch is a simple process.
I am very interested in these tone experiments however for the purpose of ring. I would like to find a way to get maximum ring from a combination of head and drum, basically I want the ring to last for as long as possible on one particular note.

veggyboy
01-01-2008, 07:07 PM
Great posts as always Veggy, and yeah. The main thing which seems to alter the pitch is having it on or of the stand. I even tune it with an ISS clamp on it coz that already changes the whole drum...

This hasn't been my experience. I've never had the experience of a drum's pitch going up or down once I put it on a stand. Your drums should sound the same (pitch-wise) regardless if they're on a stand or supported by your hand grabbing their rims or tom mounts, assuming both heads are still free to resonate.

All I meant by my post(s) was that if you isolate each head (by placing one side on a pillow), you will notice that they are NOT at the same pitch as the drum as a whole once the drum is mounted. Gently place one finger in the center of the non-muffled head while tapping lightly around 1" from each lug. Assuming you've tuned all lugs equally, you will notice the note you hear is around 3 notes lower than the overall note of the drum when mounted, or held by your hand (assuming you tune both heads the same).

veggyboy
01-01-2008, 07:08 PM
...I am very interested in these tone experiments however for the purpose of ring. I would like to find a way to get maximum ring from a combination of head and drum, basically I want the ring to last for as long as possible on one particular note.

Tune both heads to the same pitch.

carl62
01-01-2008, 10:54 PM
This all goes back to what I was saying before about "hearing the first initial overtones" when you hit the drum. When you first hit a drum, contrary to popular thinking, the very first sound you hear is NOT the batter, but the resonant head. That's because the very first blink-of-an-eye contact the stick has with the batter head it mutes it for that milli-second and pushes the air downwards, thus creating the first sound you hear coming from the resonant head which has the more higher overtones because they're generally single-ply clear heads. This creates the effect of hearing the whole drum at a "higher" pitch than what you'd normally tune each head to. I actually got up off of my chair in the middle of reading veggy's answer and needing to find this out for myself, I went over to my piano and tuned each head a m3 lower to achieve the desired pitch for the drum I wanted (I used the 10"). Wanting to achieve an 'E' pitch, I tuned each head to a C#, then placed the drum on a stand. What I ended up with was a C#/E combination. What I mean by that is when my stick made the first split-second contact with the drum, I could sometimes hear and even match the 'E' on the piano, BUT the minute I put an E-ring on the batter and got rid of a good chunk of the 'ring', the C# was starting to become a LOT more prominent then the 'E' was. I have gotten into demonstrational debates with a drum and piano in hand where people were swearing and declaring that they were hearing a whole m3/M3 higher than what I was tuning them at. Once they began tuning more with the piano and using the E-ring (and not humming into the drum then singing the pitch like some have done:rolleyes: ), they were noticing how much closer the pitches of the two heads were in relation to the note they were trying to achieve. Again, try the E-ring AND AN ACTUAL PIANO and see if this doesn't make a MAJOR difference in the pitches you're hearing. Good luck. :)

carl62
01-01-2008, 11:32 PM
For my 3 double headed toms, I tune them simultaneously to a pitch close to the target, for example my 8x12 to a C, 9x13 to an A, 16x16 to an F, concerning myself first that the tone is close, then tweak the top head to the exact pitch I need.
Using the 12" as an example, when you go to tweak the top head of the 12" to the exact pitch you need, do you tune right to a 'C' or do you go higher/lower than the 'C'?

Thrashed
01-01-2008, 11:48 PM
PERFECT 4THS FTW!

Those are the intervals I tune my drums to...I should find out what notes they are though cause they sound gooooood haha

carl62
01-02-2008, 01:53 AM
PERFECT 4THS FTW!

Those are the intervals I tune my drums to...I should find out what notes they are though cause they sound gooooood haha
All 4ths are DEFINITELY the way to go. :)

joshodrum
01-02-2008, 05:27 AM
Veg not to throw a spanner in the works, but when you say 3 notes lower, do you actually mean 6 notes higher?

Surely when you tap at the lugs the pitch is higher than when you mount the drum and strike the center?

veggyboy
01-02-2008, 09:22 AM
This all goes back to what I was saying before about "hearing the first initial overtones" when you hit the drum. When you first hit a drum, contrary to popular thinking, the very first sound you hear is NOT the batter, but the resonant head. That's because the very first blink-of-an-eye contact the stick has with the batter head it mutes it for that milli-second and pushes the air downwards, thus creating the first sound you hear coming from the resonant head which has the more higher overtones because they're generally single-ply clear heads. This creates the effect of hearing the whole drum at a "higher" pitch than what you'd normally tune each head to. I actually got up off of my chair in the middle of reading veggy's answer and needing to find this out for myself, I went over to my piano and tuned each head a m3 lower to achieve the desired pitch for the drum I wanted (I used the 10"). Wanting to achieve an 'E' pitch, I tuned each head to a C#, then placed the drum on a stand. What I ended up with was a C#/E combination. What I mean by that is when my stick made the first split-second contact with the drum, I could sometimes hear and even match the 'E' on the piano, BUT the minute I put an E-ring on the batter and got rid of a good chunk of the 'ring', the C# was starting to become a LOT more prominent then the 'E' was. I have gotten into demonstrational debates with a drum and piano in hand where people were swearing and declaring that they were hearing a whole m3/M3 higher than what I was tuning them at. Once they began tuning more with the piano and using the E-ring (and not humming into the drum then singing the pitch like some have done:rolleyes: ), they were noticing how much closer the pitches of the two heads were in relation to the note they were trying to achieve. Again, try the E-ring AND AN ACTUAL PIANO and see if this doesn't make a MAJOR difference in the pitches you're hearing. Good luck. :)

Well, all I can say is that when I put all my drums back on their stands, the DOMINANT pitches I always hear from the driver's seat are the one's I'm shooting for, they're never just some distant overtone. My ears and brain never hear multiple, distinct pitches - with both heads tuned to the same pitch, I hear a CLEAN resonant dominant pitch.

If you somewhat mute the batter head as you do with an E-ring, the pitch the reso head is tuned to WILL obviously start to come out. :confused: If you tune both heads the same, the same will happen to the batter head once you mute the reso. The point is that when BOTH of the heads work together, that's when you get a higher pitch.

I also don't confuse "overtone" with "pitch". If you tune both heads the same, they will have the same pitch. Granted a thinner head will sound BRIGHTER, but it shouldn't sound HIGHER in pitch.

BTW - I'm not one of those who hums in their drumheads, or guesses at the notes. I simply use a pitch pipe and it works every time. I would also suggest totally muting one side as you tune the other, not just use an E-ring. In fact, and no offense, I'm not sure what the point of the E-ring is. Simply take each drum OFF ITS STAND and place it on a pillow. Then tune the other head.

veggyboy
01-02-2008, 09:32 AM
Veg not to throw a spanner in the works, but when you say 3 notes lower, do you actually mean 6 notes higher?

Surely when you tap at the lugs the pitch is higher than when you mount the drum and strike the center?

That's why I said I'm not tallking about the note's OCTIVE. Just the note itself. I realize that when you tap near each lug, you hear a higher-pitched "ping". Obviously this is not what your drum sounds like when it's mounted. However, that "ping" is actually a specific note. That note should be 3 notes lower than what you want the drum as a whole to be. If you're good with pitches/octives, you should be able to convert the "ping" and "hear" the note's octive in your head without having to lug around a guitar or piano. :)

I use a standard round, metal pitch pipe (F to F). If I'm shooting for C# for the drum, for example, I just count down 3 notes from that (counting to the LEFT), which would be A# and tune both heads to A#. I put the drum back on its stand and the dominant pitch is C#.

carl62
01-02-2008, 09:48 AM
Well, all I can say is that when I put all my drums back on their stands, the DOMINANT pitches I always hear from the driver's seat are the one's I'm shooting for, they're never just some distant overtone. My ears and brain never hear multiple, distinct pitches - with both heads tuned to the same pitch, I hear a CLEAN resonant dominant pitch.

If you somewhat mute the batter head as you do with an E-ring, the pitch the reso head is tuned to WILL obviously start to come out. :confused: If you tune both heads the same, the same will happen to the batter head once you mute the reso. The point is that when BOTH of the heads work together, that's when you get a higher pitch.

I also don't confuse "overtone" with "pitch". If you tune both heads the same, they will have the same pitch. Granted a thinner head will sound BRIGHTER, but it shouldn't sound HIGHER in pitch.

BTW - I'm not one of those who hums in their drumheads, or guesses at the notes. I simply use a pitch pipe and it works every time. I would also suggest totally muting one side as you tune the other, not just use an E-ring. In fact, and no offense, I'm not sure what the point of the E-ring is. Simply take each drum OFF ITS STAND and place it on a pillow. Then tune the other head.
I have done all of this! I have placed my drum on the pillow, put my finger in the middle of the head, tuned one head at a time, hit around the lugs, blah, blah blah and I STILL come up with my drum sounding like an 'E' when both heads are tuned to an 'E', stand or no stand! This is uncanny because you are the ONLY person I know who tunes his drums a m3 lower to get a pitch a m3 higher. Honestly, outside of a few people who simply didn't have good ears (and I'm not saying that's you), I have NEVER heard of anybody doing this. I'd like to know what it is that you're hearing that the rest of us aren't.

veggyboy
01-02-2008, 10:21 AM
I have done all of this! I have placed my drum on the pillow, put my finger in the middle of the head, tuned one head at a time, hit around the lugs, blah, blah blah and I STILL come up with my drum sounding like an 'E' when both heads are tuned to an 'E', stand or no stand! This is uncanny because you are the ONLY person I know who tunes his drums a m3 lower to get a pitch a m3 higher. Honestly, outside of a few people who simply didn't have good ears (and I'm not saying that's you), I have NEVER heard of anybody doing this. I'd like to know what it is that you're hearing that the rest of us aren't.

Well, when this topic first got brought up many months ago, SEVERAL drummers on the Ref forum said it worked for them. "JPCdrummer" comes to mind. I'm not sure who you mean by "the rest of us" because even more people who have contributed to this current thread (the thread starter for one) agrees it works for them.

Maybe I've got magical drums, ears, heads, or all of the above. As long as it works for me, I'm happy. I honestly don't have an explaination for you as to the physics behind it. Or maybe I'm totally tone deaf and my "faulty hearing" just happens to allow me to tune my drums up. For fun, I actually had our keyboardist (who is also a drum major) find the notes on his keys one time when I hit each tom and they matched up to how I wanted them to be, so I know my "madness" works.

You should try this: try removing your reso head. The overall pitch of your drum should have dropped. This proves that adding a second head (as opposed to using concert toms) RAISES the overall pitch of a drum. In other words, it's not possible to tune both heads to the same pitch and then have the dominant pitch of the drum be that pitch.

By your thinking, there will be no pitch change by removing one of the heads - (afterall, you tune each head to E, so even if you remove one of the heads, the drum will still sound like E, right? :rolleyes: ), which has NOT been the case for me.

jpcdrummer
01-02-2008, 11:32 AM
Ok, here is the deal. I use a chromatic tuner to tune my drums. I basically do what veg does with one exception which is minor. I don't put my finger in the middle of the head I'm trying to tune. Otherwise I do all the other stuff. The finger on the head may give a better 3 note difference. I need to try that.

I just went down to my drum room and tried something. I tapped on the center and then at the lug of my 12" Ref tom. I got an identical note but one octive difference. Often I will tune my drums on the rack by tapping at each lug and getting the same tone at each. I know this will not be the ultimate tone of the drum when I'm done.

I also muted the bottom head and tried this tapping. Strangely once the bottom head is muted, the relationship between the tone at the center to the edge is only three or four notes.

So, what does this mean? Basically veg is correct but you have to mute the bottom head for the three note differrential. The way I do it at gigs when I'm just touching up the tuning on a particular drum it is an octive higher at each lug.

One other thing to keep in mind is that how hard you hit the drum will make a difference in what you hear especially near field. When you are tuning, your head is VERY close to the drum and things can get muddled.

carl62
01-03-2008, 12:47 AM
So a 10" batter head tuned to a 'C#' + the resonant head also tuned to a 'C#', and resonating at a 'C#', put together = an 'E' note?!?! :confused: That's absolutely absurd! Oh BTW, I did the little experiment like you suggested and I took off the bottom head of my 'E' tuned tom and what did I get? An 'E' tuned batter head without all the "ping" frequencies of the resonant head. It was still an 'E', just a less 'high end' sounding 'E', that's all. After 4 years of piano, college ear training, 20+ years of tuning my drums to a piano each and every time, along with piano tuning the toms of hundreds of students over the course of 18 years of teaching, I don't think my ears are all that shabby. :)

veggyboy
01-03-2008, 08:30 AM
So a 10" batter head tuned to a 'C#' + the resonant head also tuned to a 'C#', and resonating at a 'C#', put together = an 'E' note?!?! :confused: That's absolutely absurd! Oh BTW, I did the little experiment like you suggested and I took off the bottom head of my 'E' tuned tom and what did I get? An 'E' tuned batter head without all the "ping" frequencies of the resonant head. It was still an 'E', just a less 'high end' sounding 'E', that's all. After 4 years of piano, college ear training, 20+ years of tuning my drums to a piano each and every time, along with piano tuning the toms of hundreds of students over the course of 18 years of teaching, I don't think my ears are all that shabby. :)

No. YOU'RE absolutely absurd.

Tune up a tom with ONE HEAD. Put the drum on a stand and hit it. Write the note down that you hear. Now, put the other head on and tune that up.

Put the drum back on a stand and hit it again. Don't tell me the pitch of the drum didn't get higher. :rolleyes: Adding another head (like a reso head) doesn't just add more high-end to the drum's tone, it also raises the drum's pitch. I've experienced this way back in grammar school when I was first starting out.

You seem to think that tuning a TWO-HEADED drum is the same as tuning up a guitar string. It doesn't work that way. You also seem to be ignoring the fact that other people on this forum have experienced the same thing. Oh, but their ears are "off", right? Maybe YOU can't hear the difference in pitch, as opposed to tone?

If I weren't so lazy, I'd video record myself tuning a drum to document my findings.

carl62
01-03-2008, 03:52 PM
So this means when Terry Bozzio, who I consider to be the Grand Master of drum note tuning, tunes a head to, let's say a 'C#' and marks it as such, you mean he's actually tuned his top and bottom heads to an 'A# instead of the 'C#' he's got marked? I find that VERY hard to believe.

veggyboy
01-04-2008, 08:32 AM
So this means when Terry Bozzio, who I consider to be the Grand Master of drum note tuning, tunes a head to, let's say a 'C#' and marks it as such, you mean he's actually tuned his top and bottom heads to an 'A# instead of the 'C#' he's got marked? I find that VERY hard to believe.

What ever happened to relaxing and agreeing not to agree? Hmmm...

Ah...now I remember you from the last time we were arguing about this. I remember you bringing up Terry Bozzio then too. Terry Bozzio is awesome, but I personally can't comment on how he goes about tuning his drums. Why don't you ask him? I actually went to his web site to do so (www.terrybozzio.com), but unfortunately, couldn't find any contact info. I thought that you might believe it if you heard from HIM.

But never mind that. I know what I hear when I tune my drums and it works for me every time.

In fact, since this new thread got started last week, no less than THREE members of this forum have PM'd me, thanking me for explaining how I tune and "how much I've helped and inspired them". I'm not trying to break my arm patting myself on the back, I just want to point out to you that YOU seem to be the only one who thinks it's BS (just like the last time BTW). But like YOU said, THEIR ears are off. :rolleyes:

I can respect the drummers who don't bother tuning to pitches and that's fine, but I haven't heard from ANYONE (besides you) who disputes what I've posted.

I also find it interesting that you totally ignored my previous post:
"You seem to think that tuning a TWO-HEADED drum is the same as tuning up a guitar string. It doesn't work that way. You also seem to be ignoring the fact that other people on this forum have experienced the same thing. Oh, but their ears are "off", right? Maybe YOU can't hear the difference in pitch, as opposed to tone?"

Well, as long as we're both happy with the sound of our drums. :)

jpcdrummer
01-04-2008, 01:56 PM
So a 10" batter head tuned to a 'C#' + the resonant head also tuned to a 'C#', and resonating at a 'C#', put together = an 'E' note?!?! :confused: That's absolutely absurd! Oh BTW, I did the little experiment like you suggested and I took off the bottom head of my 'E' tuned tom and what did I get? An 'E' tuned batter head without all the "ping" frequencies of the resonant head. It was still an 'E', just a less 'high end' sounding 'E', that's all. After 4 years of piano, college ear training, 20+ years of tuning my drums to a piano each and every time, along with piano tuning the toms of hundreds of students over the course of 18 years of teaching, I don't think my ears are all that shabby. :)
I'm really not sure WHAT you are hearing. Clearly the overall tone of the drum changes when you simply mute the bottom head. Are you telling us you can't hear that?

I'm baffled... :confused:

veggyboy
01-04-2008, 02:50 PM
I really not sure WHAT you are hearing. Clearly the overall tone of the drum changes when you simply mute the bottom head. Are you telling us you can't hear that?

I'm baffled... :confused:

No. He's saying that if he wants his 10" tom, for example, to sound like an E when it's mounted, he tunes both the batter and reso heads to E and that even when he removes one of the heads, say the reso for example, the drum stays at E when back on the stand.

This has not been the case for me ever. In my experience, whenever I remove a head, the PITCH of the drum drops a bit. It's not just the tone losing higher frequenices. That's why I believe there's a certain relationship between the two heads on a drum that affects its pitch. Again, tuning a two-headed drum is not like tuning a guitar string.

When I mute one of the heads, I gently rest a finger in the center of the opposite head (the head I'm trying to tune) and with my other hand, I tap around 1" from each lug with a drum stick. I shoot for 3 notes below what I want the drum to sound like when it's mounted. Forget about the octive - I'm only concerned about the actual note. This is why it's helpful if you're comfortable huming octives of notes, etc. Otherwise, you would need something like a piano, etc. Using our 10" tom example, I shoot for C# from lug to lug. I then tune the other head exactly the same (I tune both heads equal). When I put the drum back on it's stand, my ears hear an E.

jpcdrummer
01-04-2008, 03:12 PM
No. He's saying that if he wants his 10" tom, for example, to sound like an E when it's mounted, he tunes both the batter and reso heads to E and that even when he removes one of the heads, say the reso for example, the drum stays at E when back on the stand.

This has not been the case for me ever. In my experience, whenever I remove a head, the PITCH of the drum drops a bit. It's not just the tone losing higher frequenices. That's why I believe there's a certain relationship between the two heads on a drum that affects its pitch. Again, tuning a two-headed drum is not like tuning a guitar string.

When I mute one of the heads, I gently rest a finger in the center of the opposite head (the head I'm trying to tune) and with my other hand, I tap around 1" from each lug with a drum stick. I shoot for 3 notes below what I want the drum to sound like when it's mounted. Forget about the octive - I'm only concerned about the actual note. This is why it's helpful if you're comfortable huming octives of notes, etc. Otherwise, you would need something like a piano, etc. Using our 10" tom example, I shoot for C# from lug to lug. I then tune the other head exactly the same (I tune both heads equal). When I put the drum back on it's stand, my ears hear an E.
I must admit veg that I've never actually used your method. I'm fairly lazy and my method works for me. But I believe what you say and that it would work based on my experience.

And veggy never steers us wrong!

ryhan_pea
01-06-2008, 12:07 PM
hi this is my first post on the forum! finally i'm beginning to understand the different pitches, my drums have sounded horrible for ages!
how would i tune my 12x10, 13x11, and 16x16 as above.
on the 12 ive got a reso at Bb? and batter at A but its really hard to determine the overall pitch, already sound a lot better.
i also discovered that with sertain pitches on certain drums, when i had my metronome set with the note i wanted, if you hold it about a cm above the head, with the other head muffled, the drum will sing back very slightly.
any suggestions on how i can get a nice musical tone to my kit?

taint
04-22-2008, 05:50 AM
rep.. thanks mate

nils
04-22-2008, 09:34 AM
Well, you seem to be willing to think deeply about drums and how they develop their sound. There are some things I'd like to discuss with you.

Tuning and tonal relationship of the heads

Above all: your ear is the most important tool, when it comes to tuning.

Other than that, to me there are two really important principles in drum tuning.

1. Each head has to be in tune with itself (equal tension at each rod).
2. The tonal difference between the batter and the resonant head does matter.

to 1.: There are only very few reasons for not obeying rule 1. Snare buzzing is the only one i can think of right now.

to 2.: Both heads oscillate after one of them was hit. Both produce a basic pitch and a row of overtones. The sonic waves emitted by both heads interfere. Tonal difference between the basic pitches heads causes interference of the two different tonal spectra of the two heads. Some of the overtones will be reduced, others amplified by the interference.
Changing the pitch of a head will cause a different row of overtones, which interferes differently with the other heads emmitance. The result is that a change of the tonal relationship between the heads will change the sound character of the drum.

I use this to make my drums more resonant, punchy, lively, warm, open or whatever I need just by rising or dropping the pitch of one or both heads.

Now: What does tuning a drum to a certain note mean, when you tune both heads to different notes? Doesn't it produce an inherent harmony of the two fundamental pitches of the heads?


Overtones

Well, at first let's define how a head vibrates and what muffling is.
A drumhead is an oscillating circular membrane. By physical laws it produces more than just a fundamental note, it produces overtones. The row of overtones by a membrane is not harmonic, not like the overtone row of a string. See this pic:

Vibrational Modes of a circular membrane (m,n):

http://www.expstrings.com/Discuss/Uploads/Images/9649aca3-264f-428b-8994-856e.jpg

The formula for the vibrational modes is actually m or n null of the Bessel-function:

http://www.expstrings.com/Discuss/Uploads/Images/dafddfe1-4df6-4542-934d-afe3.jpg

with sigma=mass density, T=tension, pi=3.1415926535897932384626433832795, F(m,n)=multiplication factor regarding the null at that point (sorry, I'm not a native english speaker, see picture above)

You can see, that the row of overtones is not harmonic other than that of a string. Harmonic means, that the frequencies of the overtones are whole-numbered multiplicates of the base frequency (fn=c/L*n) with c=constant depending on weight, tension and flexibility of the string; L=length;n=whole number.

What does that mean for the interaction with other instruments?

Regardless from if you like to tune to certain notes or not, it is good to keep an eye on the intervals between the drums. They can make a drumset sound thinner of more full bodied.

Muffling

To me, muffling is everything that is attached to a single ply of mylar to take away some of those overtones. This happens by causing friction, which converts part of the oscillating energy into warmth instead of sonic waves. That means even a standard coating, which takes away some of the high frequency overtones, is a muffling device. Also a second ply is muffling the overtone spectrum by causing friction between both plys while vibrating. Everything else that works in the same direction is also a muffling device, like built in o-rings, aluminium-rings, oil filled between plys......plus mobile devices like moongel pads, o-rings, duct tape w/o towels, cloth.....

There are the heavily muffled heads like PS3/4 or hydraulics, which give a boxy, 70s-like completely dead sound. Some like that kind of sound. So why should they buy head with more overtones and muffle it by hand?

There are bassdrum heads which are extremely pre-muffled like EMAD or EQ2/3/4 and PS3/4.

When it comes to rock/pop.... bassdrums, those heads avoid a lot of work trying out the correct muffling for the sound most drummers want. A second benefit is, that they take away unwanted overtones while minimizing the loss of energy (physical). That means they are more effective than pillows.

To become more practical, you might want to listen to a sound sample I recorded of my kit. No EQ-ing nor effecting was done, just mics and drums: http://media.putfile.com/Sound-Sample-Drums-unprocessed

What heads do you think were used and which drums where muffled?

Tuning Tools: The Drum Dial
What does the dial really tell us?

It consists of a dial gage and a puck. The dial gage is an instrument for measuring very small distances or roughness of hard surfaces during production processes in the industy.
It uses a certain meauring force to keep conact to the surface while moving across.
The idea of a drum dial is, that this measuring force will cause bending of the drumhead related to the parameters of head tension and measuring force. The bending results in mesuring a cange of the drum dial's indication, which is considerd to be predictably related to the bending and respectively the tension of the head.

This is not always true. Tension is only one parameter of the head influencing the dial indication, sigma(=mass density=>head thickness) is another, the bearing edge is the third.
The head thickness is not always evenly distributed. The bearing edges are not always even. Both phenomenons will cause a difference in the dial indication although the tension could be even.

Another thing is, that the measuring force of a dial is not critical regarding it's original application. As for the drum dial it is critical. Friction in the dial can be an issue, but the results of two different drum dials measuring the same drum will most likely be different, because the force will not be exactly the same.
This is why you can not replicate another drum dial's values from a different drum on your drum and exspect the same result. There is no relevance of the value you read other than in comparison to the values you read next to the other lugs on the same drum.

Although a dial can help evening out the head tension if everything else is OK, by no means it can release you from the work of findig the tuning you need for your drum to get the sound you want. In other words, you will have to do the research yourself.



There are thoughts about the fundamental pitch (note) of a drum, that I'd like to discuss with you.

My 2cents about fundamental pitches:

The fundamental pitch of a shell is primarily a function of mass (weight) and rigidity of the shell.
More weight lowers the pitch, more rigididity rises the fundamental pitch.

Unfortunately there are three of them, you can experience.
1. bare shell
2. shell with hardware (lugs)
3. shell with head

Once you found out the fundamental pitch of a bare shell (1.) and the mount the lugs, the pitch will drop significantly(2.). This is because there is mass added to the shell without making the shell more rigid.

When the head(s) is(are) mounted (3.), the shell is stabilized by the head. It becomes more rigid. Why?
As an example imageine a tin opened at one side. The open side is much softer than the closed side, which is rigid.

If a force from the outside is applied to a hollow cylinder, the shape of the lateral cut will be deformated from round to oval. The diameter becomes bigger orthogonally to the applied force.
If there is something applied to the open side orthogonally to the direction of the force, the shell becomes more rigid in this direction.
So a head will stabilize the shell regarding all foces applied form the side, because it conquers any deformation from round to oval.

The result is a much higher fundamental pitch in relation to a bare shell.

It's even more complicated, because flexibility of the head material is also relevant. The less flexible (=>thicker and tensioned) the head is, the more rigidity is added.
That means:
- an Emperor rises the pitch more than a Diplomat
- the fundamental pitch rises with the head tension.

Now, you might probably think this is all theory. But there is a report of a scientific research done by Eric J. Macaulay. He focused on the impact the shape an position bearing edges have on the sound of a drum. But besides that, you can see those things I stated in his paper.
See this link: http://online.physics.uiuc.edu/cour...Final_Paper.pdf

Well.... discuss,

Nils

Reaction_d
07-12-2008, 08:18 PM
a lil snippet of knowledge u might not have known at the time...

the pressure on a snare drum skin by the hoop at typical tensions is equivalent to 1/3 to 1/2 a ton.

thats like just over a 1/4 of a typical cars weight bearing down on the hoop... took me a lot of man hours to find that out!

:)

nils
07-13-2008, 10:37 AM
Thank you for your input. Half a ton is a lot. Is it the batter that you are talking about? The snare reso is so thin, it should apply less pressure to the shell.

Nils

Reaction_d
07-13-2008, 05:22 PM
typically relatively tight snare batter tensions equate to around half a ton. resonant sides are less, but load to head tension curves are an s-shaped curve, so although the tensions may be less the virtual load on the hoop is less but not by much.

xTimx
09-05-2008, 12:41 AM
i have a few Questions and concerns here.

i recently acquired a set of VMX maples in sizes 8, 10, 12 toms, 14 floor, 14 snare, 20 kick drum. i'm not concerned bout the kick drum or snare, its the tom's i'm having trouble with and the floor tom.

my style of playing is ussually heavy metal to hard/soft rock. so i would like to have my toms more on the lower end of the scale.

what should i be tuning my batter/resonator heads to for the 8, 10, 12, 14?

also i have noticed that once i do have the drum tuned (for example) and put it on the mount, the actual mount seems to change the tuning of the drum!! so that sucks...any way around this?

and just tonight i went and purchased evans drum batter heads, they sound alot better than the stock heads that were on there.... but would it make that much of a difference if i had the stock reso's on? or should i change them as well to evans? i'm short on cash remember that though lol.

Myvanpounds
09-05-2008, 02:48 AM
damn nils, WAY too much info. what ever happened to just throwing the head on the drum?

nils
09-05-2008, 01:22 PM
damn nils, WAY too much info. what ever happened to just throwing the head on the drum?
Well, sometimes I do, but I'm kinda passionate about this stuff. Actually I wrote a book about drum tuning (in German) which contains a CD where you can hear how all the applicable methods sound when you sit in front of a drum.

Did you watch Jojo Mayer's DVD "The secret wheapons of the modern drummer"? This double DVD is completely about the physical aspects of drumming. What's a fulcrum, how exactly is the moeller motion, how do you find the balance point of a drumstick, how to gain more speed and power.....
You could also say "what ever happened to just hitting the drum with a stick?"

But you can also learn those things, investigate them and use them. I always say "you can afford to be less skilled if you sound good."

What I want to say is, that a deeper understanding of physics, the oscillation of a drum or the physical aspects of playing, helps to become a better drummer. I admit, that there are also lots of other things, that can make you a better drummer.

Nils

Myvanpounds
09-05-2008, 02:41 PM
that link to the bearing edges doesnt work BTW

nils
09-06-2008, 05:58 AM
Here it is in hopefully fintional version: http://online.physics.uiuc.edu/courses/phys199pom/NSF_REU_Reports/2003_reu/Eric_Macaulay_Final_Paper.pdf

philee
09-07-2008, 02:43 PM
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.
Good point on the 4ths.

Elvin Jones himself said that he doesn't pay attention to particular pitches on drums, but tunes them to 4ths. Listening to Herlin Riley, I figure he does the same thing. He tunes his 10", 12" and 14" at pitches of Bb, F and C.

I tune my drums very high as well, my 12" and 14" toms are at Bb and Eb. The floor toms gets a lot of buzz though, gotta solve that.

nils
09-07-2008, 11:52 PM
IMHO differences of 3rds help me to sound big. If I use them, and leave one drum out in the row, I get a 5th, which is the biggest sounding interval - like a power chord on the guitar.

Nils

nickd
06-23-2009, 01:25 PM
Just a little note. In general, the shell conditions, hardware, wood etc will affect how many standing waves and harmonics a shell will produce. Overall though, how tight the heads are in relation will have the greatest effect on pitch.

I have found that fact is if both heads are tuned spot on the same, then the standing wave inside excites the drums fundimental frequency most.

I will put on a head and starting with the batter head, tighten it until when bing tapped with my finger it will start producing a held overtone resonance. By this time, you will probably find it will start regestering a low A note.

With the drum on a shaggy carpet or a towel, tune the top head up to FOUR semitones below whatever pitch you want. so if you want your 10" tom play a D for example, tune the head to a B. When you've got all the lugs producing a smooth sustained B, turn the drum over and start tuning the reso the same. Match the pitch as best you can, with another B in the same range. Dosent matter what head it is, thickness etc, it will tune to that pitch.

Now, tuning the heads slightly sharper by a few cents or so (especially the batter) will allow the heads to settle back to a consistent note. When hitting the drum now, you should find the drum goes "DEEEEEEEEeeeeeeee...." until it does out.

Just one lug that is loose will kill the tone. You probably think I'm anal about tuning, well I am, but you would'nt play a guitar without intonating it?...

Snare drums go out of tune quickly after a few songs. Usally tightening the rod closest to where you strike the rim will cure this, as well as tightning the opepsing lug slightly.

When tuning toms, if a lug dosent bring up to pitch, tune the oposing lug a small bit and it should pull it right. It a bit like fireman holding out a trampoline really..

Now whoever says you cant tune toms / snares etc to a recognisable pitch is utter bull. you can with a good ear for intervals, tuning etc and a lot of patience.

I tune my toms a 4th apart, starting with the 10" at a D or E depending, going down in 4ths... 10" D 12" A 14" E and snare tuned to A or a G

Because of this, you can pick out fills in songs and really emphesise the MUSIC in a song, and add pleasing frequencies we enjoy etc.


Putting thicker heads on your drums will still tune high, I use pinstripes at the moment. Because what you think is a lower pitch is actually frequncies that are not being heard as they are not being excited by the elastic properties of a thinner head.

Much like a big bore exhaust on a car.

carl62
07-02-2009, 01:04 AM
With the drum on a shaggy carpet or a towel, tune the top head up to FOUR semitones below whatever pitch you want. so if you want your 10" tom play a D for example, tune the head to a B.

If you want to tune your drum to a 'D' pitch, why then would you tune it a m3 down to a 'B'?:confused: Why not just tune it to a 'B'? If you look at Terry Bozzio's set, the pitches that he has written on his toms are those exact pitches. They're not a m3 lower. I know this because I helped to set his set up about 5 years ago at a Pa. clinic and I was able to tap some of the 10"-12" top heads and they were the very pitches that he had written on them. Again, don't get the m3 thing.

davidrums
07-14-2009, 09:39 PM
dont know if someones posted this, but bob gatzen has some interesting on tonal tuning

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KkpzDO8mbLM

nickd
07-26-2009, 03:16 PM
If you want to tune your drum to a 'D' pitch, why then would you tune it a m3 down to a 'B'?:confused: Why not just tune it to a 'B'? If you look at Terry Bozzio's set, the pitches that he has written on his toms are those exact pitches. They're not a m3 lower. I know this because I helped to set his set up about 5 years ago at a Pa. clinic and I was able to tap some of the 10"-12" top heads and they were the very pitches that he had written on them. Again, don't get the m3 thing.

Yeah, I thought the same. If tuning the heads in symphony, as in both the same pitch, the overall pitch of the drum is determined by the pitch of the batter and the resonant together Tune these both the same pitch, and 4 (or a minor third) semitones lower than the desired pitch of the overall drum. It works perfect on every tom I've tuned. When tuning the drumheads to the pitch you actually want, you end up with a overall pitch 4 semitones higher! its weird, but I'm asuming its a lot to do with recreating a drums fundamental pitch, and adding a 2nd anti node to the tube, the drum.

The Ruminator
08-26-2009, 03:44 PM
Hey all,
Didn't see anyone mention of Tony Adam's fine book on Drum Tuning. He's a longtime drummer/drum tech and put out an excellent book on drum tuning a few years ago. Tunes to perfect 5ths around the kit and tunes the reso's up a perfect 5th above the batter. His is a quick method, and understandable as the 5ths are just like the guitar strings are tuned. I've found his method sound, reliable, and fairly painless, yeilding nice and pleasing results as you go around the kit. I've found the results are nice regardless of kit and shell fundamentals and all that. The method is also quicker than tuning up through the phases as per the Drum Tuning Bible.
You can internet search tony adams for his link.

I've found the drum dial to be pretty useless. I've found the "torque wrench" style drum keys to be great for getting me in the ball park prior to fine tuning by ear. I've found there is nothing like using a little electric keyboard for notes to tune to. It is a challenge with changing out to different style heads, which I do often for different style gigs or recordings, in mastering the overtones to get the actual notes I'm tuning to. But...patience, and practice, is producing faster and pleasing results every time.
Good luck with this everybody.

I find everyones different tuning methods and perspectives really fun and informative. Makes drums all the more facinating. :)

carl62
08-26-2009, 08:18 PM
Hey all,
Didn't see anyone mention of Tony Adam's fine book on Drum Tuning. He's a longtime drummer/drum tech and put out an excellent book on drum tuning a few years ago. Tunes to perfect 5ths around the kit and tunes the reso's up a perfect 5th above the batter. His is a quick method, and understandable as the 5ths are just like the guitar strings are tuned.

I've found the drum dial to be pretty useless. I've found there is nothing like using a little electric keyboard for notes to tune to.

Are you sure you don't mean 4ths instead of 5ths? What are the notes/drum sizes he tunes to? I say this because guitar strings are tuned mostly in 4ths and not in 5ths ( the only non-4th is the 'G' to 'B' strings which is a M3, the rest have intervals of 4ths). And if he is tuning the reso a 5th higher than the batter, then either the batter head is gonna be VERY low to compensate for the mid range of the resonant, or the resonant is about ready to burst with the batter head being at a mid or even a mid/low tuning range. 5ths is a big jump! Either way, if it works for him, then more power to him. But what I can't understand is why the big tuning range between the reso and the batter head? That's gonna create some hellish sounding pitch bends but hey, if that's what he and others want, then by all means go for it! Been there, tried that, you can have it.

BadAstronaut
01-11-2010, 12:26 AM
I've been tuning to pitches for years. Playing guitar helped greatly with recognition of pitch. Anyone who blasts it is a moron, I can get any drum to sound exactly the same as before when changing heads. I use a chromatic tuner with pitch pipe as a reference as it's small and easy to use when tuning. It takes about 30 minutes to change and tune drumheads on my kits. Seating them takes couple days to really get them sounding good and after that initial break in period the drums require less tweaking/tuning. Drummers need to learn the specific and overall pitches a drum produces as it makes tuning easy when you know a drums tuning range. Take a 16" floor tom as example. The specific pitches of a 16 inch tom are A#,B,C,C# and D. The overall pitches are C,C#,D,D# and E. I keep my 16's between A# and B. Thats low-end rumble! My kits as of now are tuned to these pitches top and bottom :
12x8 = G# = B overall
14x10 = D# = F# overall
16x16 = B = C# overall
Snares usually G# - C .. all snares are tuned different
Bass drums usually G - A

nils
01-11-2010, 01:31 AM
I've been tuning to pitches for years.... Anyone who blasts it is a moron,

No reason to be inpolite. There are reasons to tune to pitches, but there are also lots of reasons NOT to do this, because:
- it's not practical when time is an issue
- the room has great impact on sound, so tuning to same pitches does not reproduce the same sound in a different surrounding
- tuning changes while playing or when temperature changes => then drums are only close to original pitch an sound dissonant in musical context
....to be continued.

Nils

BadAstronaut
01-11-2010, 01:55 AM
No reason to be inpolite. There are reasons to tune to pitches, but there are also lots of reasons NOT to do this, because:
- it's not practical when time is an issue
- the room has great impact on sound, so tuning to same pitches does not reproduce the same sound in a different surrounding
- tuning changes while playing or when temperature changes => then drums are only close to original pitch an sound dissonant in musical context
....to be continued.

Nils
My bad, I'm just speaking opinion since some people look at you funny when you say you can tune drums to actual pitches and think you're in lal la land. Well sorry, that's a moron imo. They should educate themselves before speaking moronic statements I say. I mean, you don't see us "pitch" tuners bashing non pitch tuners. I could care less if drummers don't want to educate/learn pitch recognition and apply it to tuning drums. I don't call them morons, it's the non-believers/doubting thomas's i get annoyed with.

Anyway I already know about room setting, temp changes, etc etc. Been there done that! I'm just saying I tune to pitches. It's not hard to me as I've been playing guitar for 19 years and drums for 17 years. Pitch recognition is a blessing at tuning drums imo. Too many drummers rip hair out over trying to tune drumheads. By the way I enjoy reading all your information about drums and the science behind it. You're a very wise person and deserve recognition!

nils
01-11-2010, 05:26 AM
No problem. You might be interested in the discussion cotained in this thread some pages before. There I wrote down several thoughts about pitches and other aspects of tuning.

Nils

dwdrummer1991
01-20-2010, 01:49 AM
I don't believe in tuning drums to notes. I strictly tune to pressure. I used to use the DrumDial to get my drums at just the right tympanic pressure, but now I find the Evans Torque Key gets the job done just as well without having to drag this big dial thingy all around the head (which means I don't have to take my kick pedal off and lay the kick on its side every time i want to tune it). It also makes sure each lug is tuned to the exact same pressure so that the head will produce an even tone all around and the pressure around the head is equal. The Drum Tuning Bible says "remember it’s the pitch at each lug, not the evenness of lug or head tension/torque that counts." NO. You WANT the pressure of each lug to be the same so that the rim isn't putting more stress on the head in some places than others, and this produces a more even tone with the drum and sounds better in my opinion.

These are my personal ETK settings, when i say Low X, that's when you have the tension knob turned all the way down until it's at 0 and can't go any further, then tune up to the number without passing 0 again. Middle X is when you have passed 0 once, and High X is when you have passed 0 twice.

Both the toms and the kick are tuned to just above Low 8 on batter and reso sides.

The bottom of my snare is tuned to just above Middle 3 and the batter side is tuned to just above High 5.

If all the toms are tuned to the same pressure setting, you should get a nice little arpeggio going (at least with me, My toms are 10x8, 12x9, 14x12, and 16x14 PDP Platinum Series), I find a nice loose pressure setting with the kick gives it this sweet, powerful punchy sound and gives it a lot more presence (I also use the plastic side of my beaters, not the felt side, this helps too) and I really dig that early 90's Pearl Jam/Red Hot Chili Peppers tight snare sound, and the way I have my snare tuned is pretty close to that, at least I would say. You'll have to experiment a bit though to find your sound, but these are some guidelines to follow.

For the record, I would HIGHLY recommend tuning to pressure over tuning to notes. It's much easier, plus I've tried Gatzen's method, I've used DrumDial, but after using the Evans Torque Key my drums have never sounded better in all my 9 years of playing. :)

nickd
01-20-2010, 01:42 PM
I'm addicited to tuning to notes now. YES, the notes do get lost after 2 or 3 rehersals and transporting drums. It's good fun and pratise tuning your kit to some recognisble notes though. I found my 12" tom tunes best to C, tune the 10" a major 4th higher, the 14" a 4th lower. Tuning both heads a minor 3rd lower then the desired overal pitch works great.

so long as the drum feels ok, why not? I love playing fills that match the key of the song, as in C

BadAstronaut
01-21-2010, 01:31 AM
I don't believe in tuning drums to notes. I strictly tune to pressure. I used to use the DrumDial to get my drums at just the right tympanic pressure, but now I find the Evans Torque Key gets the job done just as well without having to drag this big dial thingy all around the head (which means I don't have to take my kick pedal off and lay the kick on its side every time i want to tune it). It also makes sure each lug is tuned to the exact same pressure so that the head will produce an even tone all around and the pressure around the head is equal. The Drum Tuning Bible says "remember it’s the pitch at each lug, not the evenness of lug or head tension/torque that counts." NO. You WANT the pressure of each lug to be the same so that the rim isn't putting more stress on the head in some places than others, and this produces a more even tone with the drum and sounds better in my opinion.

These are my personal ETK settings, when i say Low X, that's when you have the tension knob turned all the way down until it's at 0 and can't go any further, then tune up to the number without passing 0 again. Middle X is when you have passed 0 once, and High X is when you have passed 0 twice.

Both the toms and the kick are tuned to just above Low 8 on batter and reso sides.

The bottom of my snare is tuned to just above Middle 3 and the batter side is tuned to just above High 5.

If all the toms are tuned to the same pressure setting, you should get a nice little arpeggio going (at least with me, My toms are 10x8, 12x9, 14x12, and 16x14 PDP Platinum Series), I find a nice loose pressure setting with the kick gives it this sweet, powerful punchy sound and gives it a lot more presence (I also use the plastic side of my beaters, not the felt side, this helps too) and I really dig that early 90's Pearl Jam/Red Hot Chili Peppers tight snare sound, and the way I have my snare tuned is pretty close to that, at least I would say. You'll have to experiment a bit though to find your sound, but these are some guidelines to follow.

For the record, I would HIGHLY recommend tuning to pressure over tuning to notes. It's much easier, plus I've tried Gatzen's method, I've used DrumDial, but after using the Evans Torque Key my drums have never sounded better in all my 9 years of playing. :):confused:
Disagree bigtime. What you wrote should be about pitch tuning. Drumdials, tension watches and Torque keys are not accurate. :rolleyes: Been there, done that, years ago. Then I learned pitch regcognition and understood what I've been missing all those wasted years. Drum dials, tension watches and torque keys only get you in a "ballpark" and are tuning crutches in my opinion, not to mention a waste of money for un-accurate products. $50-80? for those ... pitch pipe costs $5 bucks and ARE accurate. :D Your ears are a better tuning aid than any of those devices. Also your "hands" are the real judge of "torque". Technique my friend, gotta have drumkey technique.

You don't believe in tuning to pitches, but use a torque key? if each lug isn't same pitch the head is NOT in tune with itself! Pitch tuning makes that EASY! :D Just how does a torque key do that? It can't. I've tested drums that were tuned using drum dials, tension watches and torque keys and guess what? None of them were truely in tune. Every lug wasn't same pitch. When lugs are at same pitch the head is tuned evenly with itself and then, only then will you hear the "true" sound of a drum resonating.:) I've been playing drums for 17 years .. I would HIGHLY recommend tuning to pitches than PRESSURE. It's much easier! You've tried Bob Gatzen's method, DrumDial, but after using the Evans Torque Key for your drums you say they have never sounded better in all your 9 years of playing? That made me chuckle and sad at same time. Whatever floats your boat bro.

I guess in the end none of what I wrote matters anyway, so we can agree to disagree. Who cares, I just love playing drums like everyone else and that's all that matters.

BadAstronaut
01-21-2010, 01:36 AM
I'm addicited to tuning to notes now. YES, the notes do get lost after 2 or 3 rehersals and transporting drums. It's good fun and pratise tuning your kit to some recognisble notes though. I found my 12" tom tunes best to C, tune the 10" a major 4th higher, the 14" a 4th lower. Tuning both heads a minor 3rd lower then the desired overal pitch works great.

so long as the drum feels ok, why not? I love playing fills that match the key of the song, as in C:cool: All drums go out of tune, its life. I have to tweak mine every week or so. I tune my drums as follows : perfect 4ths on toms.
12x8=G# = B
14x10=D# -F#
16x16=B = C#
5 snares tuned from G-C#
bass drums= G -A
:cool:

carl62
03-09-2010, 09:13 AM
:confused:
Disagree bigtime. What you wrote should be about pitch tuning. Drumdials, tension watches and Torque keys are not accurate. :rolleyes: Been there, done that, years ago. Then I learned pitch regcognition and understood what I've been missing all those wasted years. Drum dials, tension watches and torque keys only get you in a "ballpark" and are tuning crutches in my opinion, not to mention a waste of money for un-accurate products. $50-80? for those ... pitch pipe costs $5 bucks and ARE accurate. :D Your ears are a better tuning aid than any of those devices. Also your "hands" are the real judge of "torque". Technique my friend, gotta have drumkey technique.

You don't believe in tuning to pitches, but use a torque key? if each lug isn't same pitch the head is NOT in tune with itself! Pitch tuning makes that EASY! :D Just how does a torque key do that? It can't. I've tested drums that were tuned using drum dials, tension watches and torque keys and guess what? None of them were truely in tune. Every lug wasn't same pitch. When lugs are at same pitch the head is tuned evenly with itself and then, only then will you hear the "true" sound of a drum resonating.:) I've been playing drums for 17 years .. I would HIGHLY recommend tuning to pitches than PRESSURE. It's much easier! You've tried Bob Gatzen's method, DrumDial, but after using the Evans Torque Key for your drums you say they have never sounded better in all your 9 years of playing? That made me chuckle and sad at same time. Whatever floats your boat bro.

I guess in the end none of what I wrote matters anyway, so we can agree to disagree. Who cares, I just love playing drums like everyone else and that's all that matters.

Excellent post and right on!!!!

gorntorrin
03-09-2010, 10:58 AM
http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/1807/eek.gif (http://bcyouthweek.com/gallery/g/index.php) Wow thats seems really interesting. Thnx for sharing ...

MisterMixelpix
04-23-2010, 07:12 AM
IMHO differences of 3rds help me to sound big. If I use them, and leave one drum out in the row, I get a 5th, which is the biggest sounding interval - like a power chord on the guitar.

Nils

Old post, I know, but it's important to remember that unless you make sure your first gap is a major third and the second a MINOR third (or vice versa), you're going to end up with a minor 6th if you skip a tom. If you just march up along your kit in major thirds you will NOT get 5ths by skipping one.

MisterMixelpix
04-24-2010, 08:34 PM
Speaking of the above, I tuned my toms to ROUGHLY a C# minor chord (16 - C#, 13 - E, 12 - G#) and it's just PHENOMENAL. The tunings aren't perfect, but they're in the right area and they make a sweet, sweet sound. Thanks to this thread!!

dwdrummer1991
05-07-2010, 12:24 AM
:confused:
Disagree bigtime. What you wrote should be about pitch tuning. Drumdials, tension watches and Torque keys are not accurate. :rolleyes: Been there, done that, years ago. Then I learned pitch regcognition and understood what I've been missing all those wasted years. Drum dials, tension watches and torque keys only get you in a "ballpark" and are tuning crutches in my opinion, not to mention a waste of money for un-accurate products. $50-80? for those ... pitch pipe costs $5 bucks and ARE accurate. :D Your ears are a better tuning aid than any of those devices. Also your "hands" are the real judge of "torque". Technique my friend, gotta have drumkey technique.

You don't believe in tuning to pitches, but use a torque key? if each lug isn't same pitch the head is NOT in tune with itself! Pitch tuning makes that EASY! :D Just how does a torque key do that? It can't. I've tested drums that were tuned using drum dials, tension watches and torque keys and guess what? None of them were truely in tune. Every lug wasn't same pitch. When lugs are at same pitch the head is tuned evenly with itself and then, only then will you hear the "true" sound of a drum resonating.:) I've been playing drums for 17 years .. I would HIGHLY recommend tuning to pitches than PRESSURE. It's much easier! You've tried Bob Gatzen's method, DrumDial, but after using the Evans Torque Key for your drums you say they have never sounded better in all your 9 years of playing? That made me chuckle and sad at same time. Whatever floats your boat bro.

I guess in the end none of what I wrote matters anyway, so we can agree to disagree. Who cares, I just love playing drums like everyone else and that's all that matters.

Bro, I'm not sure if by any chance you read my latest thread: (http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=243700) But if you haven't and you want me to cut to the chase, I would like to publicly apologize to you for being stubborn about the tuning thing. I actually tried pitch tuning my drums while I was away, and guess what? You ready for this? YOU WERE RIGHT; I WAS WRONG. My toms resonate a lot more now than they did before and everything sounds great. My snare WAS CHOKED, and I got it to open up a lot more. Thanks bro, for not letting down the fight.

In case you were wondering, my drums are currently tuned as follows:

10" tom - Both heads to B / Yields D
12" tom - Both heads to G# / Yields B
14" tom - Both heads to E / Yields G
16" tom - Both heads to C# / Yields E
kick - Batter head to C / Reso head just above wrinkle point
snare - Batter head to E / Reso head to A

No longer tuned to "8" or "10" or "High 3" or any of that mumbo jumbo!

Also, I will be taking these drums into the studio with American Riot WITH the above tunings... upon request I can provide a sound sample if you want to hear the improvement in my overall drum sound.

BadAstronaut
05-09-2010, 10:10 AM
Bro, I'm not sure if by any chance you read my latest thread: (http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=243700) But if you haven't and you want me to cut to the chase, I would like to publicly apologize to you for being stubborn about the tuning thing. I actually tried pitch tuning my drums while I was away, and guess what? You ready for this? YOU WERE RIGHT; I WAS WRONG. My toms resonate a lot more now than they did before and everything sounds great. My snare WAS CHOKED, and I got it to open up a lot more. Thanks bro, for not letting down the fight.

In case you were wondering, my drums are currently tuned as follows:

10" tom - Both heads to B / Yields D
12" tom - Both heads to G# / Yields B
14" tom - Both heads to E / Yields G
16" tom - Both heads to C# / Yields E
kick - Batter head to C / Reso head just above wrinkle point
snare - Batter head to E / Reso head to A

No longer tuned to "8" or "10" or "High 3" or any of that mumbo jumbo!

Also, I will be taking these drums into the studio with American Riot WITH the above tunings... upon request I can provide a sound sample if you want to hear the improvement in my overall drum sound.Well I just got back from Vegas so I had no time for PDF.

Anyway, no prob, were cool, just don't be a "know it all" is all I ask. I'm glad you saw the light. See? Now you understand. Pressure tuning IS NOT accurate, but pitch tuning IS. :D You have to train your ears, it will be tricky at first but you'll get hang of it. I've been doing it so long I dont even need a pitch reference anymore, I have the "A" pitch burned in my brain and can go up or down from that pitch by humming the pitch.

If you want your drums in perfect 4ths, which will sound killer, try a D# on the 14" and a B on the 16". Also "usually" a 16" and up only goes up 2 pitches, ie tuned at B overall pitch = C# .... Try tuning the batter on bass drum lower, a C is more of a Jazz tuning. Try it at "A" and see how you like it. If not, go up in pitch, A#,B and if all else fails, stay at C if thats what you like.

Are you sure your snare batter is tuned at an E? Thats hella high, and I mean extreme high. In my opinion anything over a B is choking a snare, but then again if you like super high snare tuning then at least loosen up your snarewires to compensate as alot of drummers that tune that high have loose snares.

Also buy a pitch pipe! Or a Chromatic tuner! You'll thank yourself and me, and eventually you wont need a pitch reference anymore as your ears will learn pitch recognition.

dwdrummer1991
05-09-2010, 09:42 PM
Well I just got back from Vegas so I had no time for PDF.

Anyway, no prob, were cool, just don't be a "know it all" is all I ask. I'm glad you saw the light. See? Now you understand. Pressure tuning IS NOT accurate, but pitch tuning IS. :D You have to train your ears, it will be tricky at first but you'll get hang of it. I've been doing it so long I dont even need a pitch reference anymore, I have the "A" pitch burned in my brain and can go up or down from that pitch by humming the pitch.

If you want your drums in perfect 4ths, which will sound killer, try a D# on the 14" and a B on the 16". Also "usually" a 16" and up only goes up 2 pitches, ie tuned at B overall pitch = C# .... Try tuning the batter on bass drum lower, a C is more of a Jazz tuning. Try it at "A" and see how you like it. If not, go up in pitch, A#,B and if all else fails, stay at C if thats what you like.

Are you sure your snare batter is tuned at an E? Thats hella high, and I mean extreme high. In my opinion anything over a B is choking a snare, but then again if you like super high snare tuning then at least loosen up your snarewires to compensate as alot of drummers that tune that high have loose snares.

Also buy a pitch pipe! Or a Chromatic tuner! You'll thank yourself and me, and eventually you wont need a pitch reference anymore as your ears will learn pitch recognition.

Thanks bro. I appreciate the insight. I do have a software on my computer that I can just plug in a pitch and tune to that, so it works out alright. I re-tuned my drums as of late, in such a way that I have a minor 3rd in between the 14 and 16 floor toms, perfect 4th in between my 12" rack and 14" floor, and a major 3rd in between 10 and 12. Not only does it sound really good but also the 10 and 16 are an octave apart. Works pretty well for me.

I do have my snare batter tuned to an E, it actually sounds quite a bit lower than originally (when I used the torque key to tune it), maybe it has to do with the bottom head or maybe it's just not as tight on top, but idk again it sounds really good with the rest of my kit. I'm really really picky about my kick sound, it sounds better than ever the way I have it tuned now, but I might play around with it some more to see if I can get different results.

carl62
05-10-2010, 01:39 PM
I am still seriously scratching my head over the last 3-4 posts that say to get one pitch, you have to tune to another?:confused: That's completely ridiculous! About 8 years ago, I had the pleasure of helping Terry Bozzio set up his set in Allentown, Pa. and while getting out his toms and helping to set up, I would tap over his toms and listen to the pitches and I can assure you, and I do have very good relative pitch, that the pitches they were tuned to were the same exact pitches that were written on his toms. They weren't tuned no m3 or M2 lower. I'm still wondering what somebody was smoking when they came up with this thinking. So when Gene Krupa tuned his floor tom to an 'A' for the song "Sing, Sing, Sing" (which was the key of the song), he was really tuning it to a 'G'? or an 'F#'? I seriously don't think so. I tune my seven toms in 4ths, 16"-C#, 14"-F#, 12"-B, 10"-E, 8"-A, 8"-D, 8"-G, and they are tuned to those very pitches and nothing else and they sound absolutely great! What's the thinking that I would have to tune my 16" lower than the 'C#' to attain the 'C#'. Again, I honestly don't get this one and yet it seems to keep popping up over and over again on this thread. It just doesn't make sense.

BadAstronaut
05-11-2010, 05:11 PM
I am still seriously scratching my head over the last 3-4 posts that say to get one pitch, you have to tune to another?:confused: That's completely ridiculous! About 8 years ago, I had the pleasure of helping Terry Bozzio set up his set in Allentown, Pa. and while getting out his toms and helping to set up, I would tap over his toms and listen to the pitches and I can assure you, and I do have very good relative pitch, that the pitches they were tuned to were the same exact pitches that were written on his toms. They weren't tuned no m3 or M2 lower. I'm still wondering what somebody was smoking when they came up with this thinking. So when Gene Krupa tuned his floor tom to an 'A' for the song "Sing, Sing, Sing" (which was the key of the song), he was really tuning it to a 'G'? or an 'F#'? I seriously don't think so. I tune my seven toms in 4ths, 16"-C#, 14"-F#, 12"-B, 10"-E, 8"-A, 8"-D, 8"-G, and they are tuned to those very pitches and nothing else and they sound absolutely great! What's the thinking that I would have to tune my 16" lower than the 'C#' to attain the 'C#'. Again, I honestly don't get this one and yet it seems to keep popping up over and over again on this thread. It just doesn't make sense.
Its been debated with you before already by Veggyboy, so no need for me to go there with you as Im only gonna reply this once and leave it. BUT don't you know what specific and overall pitch is? Specific pitch is the pitch you tune heads to by each LUG. Overall is the the pitch heard when you hit the drum. There's a difference between lightly tapping a drum head and giving it a good WACK. Lightly tapping will let you hear specific pitch. Hit it HARD and you hear OVERALL pitch. Its not complicated. Do your research on the subject and you'll see what me and others know is RIGHT. If gene tuned his floor to an A then he tuned each lug to the A pitch. Overall his floor would be a "B" pitch when he he layed into it. Well majority rules as you're the oddball out on this subject, so with that said what makes no sense to you , is second nature to us.:D

dwdrummer1991
05-11-2010, 09:22 PM
Its been debated with you before already by Veggyboy, so no need for me to go there with you as Im only gonna reply this once and leave it. BUT don't you know what specific and overall pitch is? Specific pitch is the pitch you tune heads to by each LUG. Overall is the the pitch heard when you hit the drum. There's a difference between lightly tapping a drum head and giving it a good WACK. Lightly tapping will let you hear specific pitch. Hit it HARD and you hear OVERALL pitch. Its not complicated. Do your research on the subject and you'll see what me and others know is RIGHT. If gene tuned his floor to an A then he tuned each lug to the A pitch. Overall his floor would be a "B" pitch when he he layed into it. Well majority rules as you're the oddball out on this subject, so with that said what makes no sense to you , is second nature to us.:D

My 10x8 is tuned to a B on both heads and the overall pitch is a D :)

nickd
06-12-2010, 09:56 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hi4Q_RX3FNs

Vid explaining it more

BadAstronaut
06-12-2010, 11:01 PM
My 10x8 is tuned to a B on both heads and the overall pitch is a D :)
I already know that. :p a toms overall pitch goes up 3 pitches from specific pitch. Floor toms are another story. Usually 1-2 pitches up, depending on heads, shell and bearing edges. My floor tom is tuned at a B on both heads and overall pitch is a C#

12x8 tuned at G# = B
14X10 tuned at D# = F#
16X16 tuned at B = C# ...... = perfect 4ths

if playing without the 14x10 , I tune my 12x8 @ A# to give me an Octave on the 12 and 16. aww yeah

Chas19
07-11-2010, 06:18 AM
Some great advice here guys. I have myself done some note tuning, and it really does work. However it takes some great experimentation and patience to get the sound you want.

Most of the time when i practice with my band i dont even bother, i just quickly tune them to finger tight and do some turns on the bottom and less turns on the top and that gets them sounded pretty good for a practice.

However when i record or do a gig i tune to notes, just to get it that much more precise.

BadAstronaut
07-13-2010, 02:18 PM
Some great advice here guys. I have myself done some note tuning, and it really does work. However it takes some great experimentation and patience to get the sound you want.

Most of the time when i practice with my band i dont even bother, i just quickly tune them to finger tight and do some turns on the bottom and less turns on the top and that gets them sounded pretty good for a practice.

However when i record or do a gig i tune to notes, just to get it that much more precise.

If you mean by trying different combos of heads to tune on drums, then yes. Finding "your" sound is more about what heads/shells you use.

If you know pitch recognition, pitch tuning is second nature when tuning drums.

I keep all my drums perfectly tuned .. as it takes a minute of my time or less.

I can tune a 5-7 piece kit in under 30 minutes, batter n reso.

nickd
08-29-2010, 07:38 PM
I already know that. :p a toms overall pitch goes up 3 pitches from specific pitch. Floor toms are another story. Usually 1-2 pitches up, depending on heads, shell and bearing edges. My floor tom is tuned at a B on both heads and overall pitch is a C#

12x8 tuned at G# = B
14X10 tuned at D# = F#
16X16 tuned at B = C# ...... = perfect 4ths

if playing without the 14x10 , I tune my 12x8 @ A# to give me an Octave on the 12 and 16. aww yeah
edit, mis read it

The biggest problem I have at the minute is deciding how to tune the snare / 12" tom to stop sympathetic vibrations

BadAstronaut
08-29-2010, 11:16 PM
edit, mis read it

The biggest problem I have at the minute is deciding how to tune the snare / 12" tom to stop sympathetic vibrations
There are ways to decrease it .. but it will always be there.

It's something we as drummers have to live with.

Here's some links that might help you.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcHAFgafPkE&feature=channel
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNNGBVA66Hk&feature=channel

nickd
08-30-2010, 04:54 PM
Oh I understand the whole buzz thing. Its just Ive tuned my drums as such that there is no two notes that should harmonise "badly". For example

The 12" is tuned to B

The 16" tuned to E

The snare is tuned "C" on the batter, and "A" on the reso.

The snares seem to make a warbeling sound, even if I dont hit another drum. But the strike from the snare is enough to set the vibrations going.

If you play all those notes together, YES they should cause snare buzz as they do harmonise nicely. and I enjoy snare buzz, but it shouldn't create a "wobbeling" sound on the snare wires. Ive tried tuning the snare higher, the tom lower, visa versa, no affect.


EDIT just realised, the snare reso is tune A and the Tom heads tunes G#.. might be the cause.
Im changing the heads to Evans Powercentre reverse, and a couple of coated G2's. Hopefully this should tame it better.

Im starting to think theres a sound below the 100hz mark that im triggering with the room acoustics.

Perhaps because the Snares and Tom are tuned so closely, theres no way of getting away from it. I dont really want to tune the snare any lower, or higher, as it starts chokeing out. I also dont want to tune the tom differntly as it really sings at the pitch "B"

any thoughts guys?

nickd
09-02-2010, 05:02 PM
Right.

Gave time for the snares to settle and applied a small amount of dampening to the toms

My drums are tuned as follows

B on the 12" tom. tuned both heads to G#

E on the 16" floor Both heads tuned to Eb, for some reason this works

Because of the interval I now have a nice powerful sounding 5th between them. Makes fills more musical, and E is the chord of rock!

the snare is tuned A on the reso and anywhere from A-C# on the batter.

BadAstronaut
09-02-2010, 07:39 PM
I'm curious what that 'warble' sound you refer to sounds like.

So is that warble sound still there?

I keep all my snares batters between A, A# or B .. sometimes C but never past that as I feel anything over C is choking the chicken.

Resos are G , G# or A.

nickd
09-04-2010, 06:06 PM
I'm curious what that 'warble' sound you refer to sounds like.

So is that warble sound still there?

I keep all my snares batters between A, A# or B .. sometimes C but never past that as I feel anything over C is choking the chicken.

Resos are G , G# or A.

Its like a fluttering sound, you know when two pitches are nearly the same, like tuning a guitar. Phase shifts and whatnot. Anyway.

Yeah the reso seems best from G-A, at the minute G, I have the batter tuned C. I would tune it lower with a steel drum, but its a birch stock drum, so you really have the crank it higher to get the ressonance out of it unless you like that boxy "donk" sound.

Yeah, anything past a C is choking, plus a looser batter head makes easier work for the hands

nils
09-07-2010, 01:12 AM
Well,
this might look like a problem.

I got a PM of a drummer struggling with this and heres the conversation we had, which I think might be helpful for some of you.


Originally Posted by AfterLifeSentence
Hello. Name is Chris. I've been trying to post a thread in the University about tuning, but failed. I've been looking through all the posts and I seen that you are very, very knowledgable about tuning (obviously).

I'm running a 13, 14, 16 tom setup and Im having trouble finding the right interval to go between the 13 and 14. being so close in size, I wouldn't want to compromise the sound of the 14 by choking it or slacking it to force it to work in my setup. I would appreciate any help you can give me. If I left any info out that would help just let me know. Thanks a bunch.

My 2cents:


Hi Chris,

your experience of difficulties in tuning that row of 13-14-16 is comprehensible. I once had to tune a kit with two 8*12 toms and a 16" floortom, which is not that easy, obviously.
My solution was to use heads of different weight. In that particular case I chose Remo Fiberskyn Diplomat (batter) and Diplomat coated (reso) for one tom and Remo Fiberskyn Ambassador (batter) and Ambassador coated (reso) for the other tom. Then tuning a proper interval between the toms was not that hard, because of the difference in the oscillating masses.

In you case, I'd suggest to use e.g. Ambassadors on the 13" and Emperors on the 14" tom. Depending on the sound goal you have (your music style respectively), you need a pair of thinner heads in 13" and a pair of thicker heads for the 14" tom. Then you can easily tune a third or a fourth between them.

I hope this helps you,
Nils


Well, I hope it does.
Nils

nickd
09-07-2010, 05:01 AM
Well,
this might look like a problem.

I got a PM of a drummer struggling with this and heres the conversation we had, which I think might be helpful for some of you.



My 2cents:



Well, I hope it does.
Nils
Aimed at me?.. Nah, Ive sussed out what intervals I need. Ive got the drums all resonant and sounding musical. It was just the buzzing from the snare wires as they weren't seating. I found the best resolution was a tiny bit of dampening on the batters of the toms as they're cheap single ply heads, as is the snare.

I found the running a hair clip through the snare straps works an absolute treat for reducing buzz and gaining heaps of sensitivity.

nils
09-07-2010, 06:09 AM
Aimed at me?...
No, it was just my expierience on a side branch of the intervals issue I wanted share on the forum. Intersesting idea that hair clip thing.

Nils

nickd
09-07-2010, 07:45 AM
No, it was just my expierience on a side branch of the intervals issue I wanted share on the forum. Intersesting idea that hair clip thing.

Nils

Awesome though, 2 ply heads definitely tune lower than single plys 'better'

Try the snare thing, it honestly works. I can assure you they're my girlfriends hairclips! I partly stole the idea from Bob Gatzens new snare designs.

nils
09-07-2010, 08:06 AM
How does the hair clip have to look like? How exactly do you run it through? Maybe there is a pic available....?

Nils

nickd
09-07-2010, 08:40 PM
How does the hair clip have to look like? How exactly do you run it through? Maybe there is a pic available....?

Nils

there certainly is ;)

nils
09-08-2010, 12:26 AM
Thank you very much, I'll definitley try that.

Nils

ricke39
09-10-2010, 07:19 AM
I hope anyone could help me with a bit of the note tuning, I'm looking for a way to tune my 6-ply maple or birch kit featuring 8,10,12,13 and 16 toms with a 14x5 and 22" bass as I would be interested to hear how it sounds on my kit.
At the moment I have Remo Pinstripes over Ambassadors(both clear) on the toms, and I want them to sing without producing overtones, or at least producing as few overtones as possible.
For the kick I'm using Powerstroke 3 on both sides and there I'm looking for a fat, punchy sound.
And finally to the snare wich has a Coated Ambassador over an Ambassador hazy, wich I want to have a really cracky sound with no ringing.
I'm not sure on what impact the heads have on note tuning, so thats why I included them, any advice would be awesome.

nickd
09-11-2010, 06:59 PM
You've got a good head combo for the toms, kick and snare. However the snare will ring to its full potencial with that ambassador combo. Without adding dampening, the only other way is to change the head for something like a Powerstroke II or a evans genera HD dry.

Always tune both the heads the same pitch, except the snare. Snares sound sweet tuned anywhere from G-A on the reso, and G-C on the batter.

The toms will tune to almost anything, but read through the last 3 pages to get a good idea.

ricke39
09-12-2010, 06:33 AM
Alright, will do so, thanks for the input. Also regarding the heads I will change the bass head to an Evans EMAD because I broke the remo one yesterday.

Good point when it comes to the snare.:)

BadAstronaut
09-12-2010, 04:39 PM
I hope anyone could help me with a bit of the note tuning, I'm looking for a way to tune my 6-ply maple or birch kit featuring 8,10,12,13 and 16 toms with a 14x5 and 22" bass as I would be interested to hear how it sounds on my kit.
At the moment I have Remo Pinstripes over Ambassadors(both clear) on the toms, and I want them to sing without producing overtones, or at least producing as few overtones as possible.
For the kick I'm using Powerstroke 3 on both sides and there I'm looking for a fat, punchy sound.
And finally to the snare wich has a Coated Ambassador over an Ambassador hazy, wich I want to have a really cracky sound with no ringing.
I'm not sure on what impact the heads have on note tuning, so thats why I included them, any advice would be awesome.PinsTripes are tuning specific so they'll be easy to tune and are 2ply muffled heads already so you won't need any muffling once tuned.

Re-Read this short thread and you'll see different combos of pitches used by many of us. It's all personal preference.

Find the pitches that work for you and your drums is all I can say really.

Goodluck.

dwdrummer1991
09-13-2010, 12:42 PM
I hope anyone could help me with a bit of the note tuning, I'm looking for a way to tune my 6-ply maple or birch kit featuring 8,10,12,13 and 16 toms with a 14x5 and 22" bass as I would be interested to hear how it sounds on my kit.
At the moment I have Remo Pinstripes over Ambassadors(both clear) on the toms, and I want them to sing without producing overtones, or at least producing as few overtones as possible.
For the kick I'm using Powerstroke 3 on both sides and there I'm looking for a fat, punchy sound.
And finally to the snare wich has a Coated Ambassador over an Ambassador hazy, wich I want to have a really cracky sound with no ringing.
I'm not sure on what impact the heads have on note tuning, so thats why I included them, any advice would be awesome.

I used to have those exact same sizes with my old Ludwig kit with the addition of a 14x14 floor tom as well. The pinstripes will do well with dampening overtones, just make sure you tune them well and to a clean pitch. I agree with tuning both heads to the same pitch, it seems to produce the fullest, cleanest sound out of the drum.

Try these pitches as a starting point, then adjust as necessary, to find your sound:

Toms - Your Pinstripes will sing their best at a slightly lower tuning than your standard single ply head due to the added weight, so try these pitches and adjust as necessary:

8" - Both heads to Eb
10" - Both heads to B
12" - Both heads to F#
13" - Both heads to E
16" - Both heads to C

Snare - I like my snares tuned high, my 5x14 Supra is tuned B on the reso and Eb on the batter with an Evans Glass 500 reso and Power Center Reverse Dot batter. A lot of people have been suggesting G-A on the reso and A-C on batters, so try whatever sounds best to you.

Kick - PS3's on either side is a very golden combo to use to get that "fat punchy sound" you are after. Try tuning the batter head anywhere between A-C (my 22x18 is tuned to A) and tune the reso just at the point where all the wrinkles are gone. The batter does need to have a little bit of tension on it or else it will produce a dull "flappy" sound. To help tame the overtones try throwing a small pillow in there touching only the batter head, since most of the sound the audience hears comes from the reso head, you want to leave that open. You might also consider cutting a porthole in the reso, if you want even less sustain.

Hope this helps.

BadAstronaut
09-13-2010, 01:35 PM
I used to have those exact same sizes with my old Ludwig kit with the addition of a 14x14 floor tom as well. The pinstripes will do well with dampening overtones, just make sure you tune them well and to a clean pitch. I agree with tuning both heads to the same pitch, it seems to produce the fullest, cleanest sound out of the drum.

Try these pitches as a starting point, then adjust as necessary, to find your sound:

Toms - Your Pinstripes will sing their best at a slightly lower tuning than your standard single ply head due to the added weight, so try these pitches and adjust as necessary:

8" - Both heads to Eb
10" - Both heads to B
12" - Both heads to F#
13" - Both heads to E
16" - Both heads to C

Snare - I like my snares tuned high, my 5x14 Supra is tuned B on the reso and Eb on the batter with an Evans Glass 500 reso and Power Center Reverse Dot batter. A lot of people have been suggesting G-A on the reso and A-C on batters, so try whatever sounds best to you.

Kick - PS3's on either side is a very golden combo to use to get that "fat punchy sound" you are after. Try tuning the batter head anywhere between A-C (my 22x18 is tuned to A) and tune the reso just at the point where all the wrinkles are gone. The batter does need to have a little bit of tension on it or else it will produce a dull "flappy" sound. To help tame the overtones try throwing a small pillow in there touching only the batter head, since most of the sound the audience hears comes from the reso head, you want to leave that open. You might also consider cutting a porthole in the reso, if you want even less sustain.

Hope this helps.Young SkyWalker -you- has learned the way of the force 'pitch-tuning' from his Master, -me-. ;)

Rondrums
10-20-2010, 09:19 AM
About 10 or so years ago I was tuning my six piece Export kit (1990 version, w/ 4 toms). After I was satisfied with the intervals I was goofing around on the toms and by accident played the first phrase of the "Call to Post". You know, like the bugle you hear prior to a horse race.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kude_xyMfOc

Not long after that I was at a Thoroughbred Music Drum Expo in Tampa and one of the performers that year was Tito Puente. Prior to his segment Tito himself appeared onstage to tune his timbales. Once he had them tuned he paused a second and then played the "Call to Post" to check his intervals. Once I saw that I never looked back. If it was good enough for Tito Puente it was good enough for me. Been checking my intervals that way ever since. I think you can also do "Taps" or at least part of it with those intervals.

nickd
01-28-2011, 09:09 PM
Just to let you guys know I tuned my export I just got to the following

8x7 tuned to G

10x8 tuned to D

12x9 tuned to A

16x16 tuned to B

Sounds really good!

livingstone
03-06-2011, 05:39 PM
This thread has been a great help to me in my tuning quest! I've learned a lot of useful information. I was having trouble getting my new SMX kit to sound good all together but with reading this thread and a few hours of experimentation I've dialed them in really nicely. I followed BadAstronaut's recommended tunings and it works very well.


My kits as of now are tuned to these pitches top and bottom :
12x8 = G# = B overall
14x10 = D# = F# overall
16x16 = B = C# overall
Snares usually G# - C .. all snares are tuned different
Bass drums usually G - A

I also have a 10" tom and I tuned that to a C = E overall

Based on my experimentation I've found that the specific note you tune the drum to doesn't matter so much, rather the relationship between each of the drums is more important. I tuned my drums a fourth apart and it makes for a smooth roll around the toms. I tuned the top and bottom heads the same and that seems to work best. I tried tuning the reso heads higher or lower, and that does make for some interesting sounds but overall they seem to sound nicest when they are the same. I am very pleased with my results and I definitely will use this method again and again! Thanks to nils and BadAstronaut for their valuable contributions to this thread!

BadAstronaut
03-07-2011, 12:47 PM
This thread has been a great help to me in my tuning quest! I've learned a lot of useful information. I was having trouble getting my new SMX kit to sound good all together but with reading this thread and a few hours of experimentation I've dialed them in really nicely. I followed BadAstronaut's recommended tunings and it works very well.

I also have a 10" tom and I tuned that to a C = E overall

Based on my experimentation I've found that the specific note you tune the drum to doesn't matter so much, rather the relationship between each of the drums is more important. I tuned my drums a fourth apart and it makes for a smooth roll around the toms. I tuned the top and bottom heads the same and that seems to work best. I tried tuning the reso heads higher or lower, and that does make for some interesting sounds but overall they seem to sound nicest when they are the same. I am very pleased with my results and I definitely will use this method again and again! Thanks to nils and BadAstronaut for their valuable contributions to this thread!thanks ... glad it worked out for you ..experimenting with different tunings is key to finding what works best for you and your shells. The tuning variations are endless.

livingstone
03-07-2011, 11:53 PM
thanks ... glad it worked out for you ..experimenting with different tunings is key to finding what works best for you and your shells. The tuning variations are endless.

Yeah there are endless varieties! Sometimes that is wonderful, sometimes it is just frustrating. One question - what might be a good tuning for my snare? I'm having some trouble with snare wire vibrations when I hit my 10" tom.

nickd
03-09-2011, 11:30 PM
Your snare is harmonsing with the 10" for a few reasons, this is because 1) snares are sensitive and even after careful tuning chances are some pitches will excite others. Think of a piano and the scale of fifths, just about any two notes will eventually harmonise one way or another! 2) room acoustics. Small rooms and your snare will buzz like crazy. Listen to "Are you experienced" by hendrix, and just about every song, Mitch's snare buzz's uncontrollably, more than likely a tiny little studio. 3) Snare tension, seating, setup.

Musically the snare is placed between the high tom and middle tom in terms of pitch on the stave. That would say that in any case, your 10" tom should be tuned higher than the snare.

Although the snare is tensioned higher, it may still be tuned lower in terms of a note below the E. You could tune both heads on your snare to say G, and you would get somewhere around a B overall. A little snare buzz is good though.

I've found that the snare should be treated like the rest of the drums. I like ringing snares with lots of sustain. I usally tuned mine to A. Tune the top head to what pitch you want, G-B is good. C is choking it. F is getting fat sounding. Slide a stick between the rim of the rum and the snare wires, making sure they are fairly loose of course. This will enable to tune both heads without taking off the wires. Tune the resonant head the same pitch as the batter. You will probably need to crank the reso a little more until it gets that "ping" sound when you tap it.

BadAstronaut
03-10-2011, 01:39 PM
Yeah there are endless varieties! Sometimes that is wonderful, sometimes it is just frustrating. One question - what might be a good tuning for my snare? I'm having some trouble with snare wire vibrations when I hit my 10" tom.Snare buzz will never be gone but can be tamed. Snare wires play a role in snare buzz also. Less snare wires = less buzz.

What pitch do you have snare heads at now?

livingstone
03-10-2011, 03:27 PM
Snare buzz will never be gone but can be tamed. Snare wires play a role in snare buzz also. Less snare wires = less buzz.

What pitch do you have snare heads at now?

Yeah I realize there will always be some snare buzz I'm just trying to get it to a moderate level. I'm still playing with the tuning of my drums. My 10" tom is at the E below middle C and my snare is around the A below middle C. Out of curiosity, when you referred to tuning your snare drums between G and C, are you referring to middle C and the G below that?

nickd
03-10-2011, 06:59 PM
Middle C. Snares just start to choke at that. C is as sharp I'd tune it. Honestly G, A and even B sound really sweet on a kit.

It's tricky getting the heads to move in sympathy as the resonant head is like 1/3rd the thickness of the batter. Tune the batter side to A and the reso. See what you find. Don't forget about acoustics though, thats the biggest effect.

I can't stress enough, but make sure your snare wires are absolutely parallel and evenly tensioned. If you've got them setup right, you should barely have to crank the tensioner up.

click on this link to hear a Pearl 14 x 6.5 maple free floater tuned to "A" http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/nick+dixon/

click on "Quick drum test" (****** playing)

livingstone
03-10-2011, 07:30 PM
Middle C. Snares just start to choke at that. C is as sharp I'd tune it. Honestly G, A and even B sound really sweet on a kit.

It's tricky getting the heads to move in sympathy as the resonant head is like 1/3rd the thickness of the batter. Tune the batter side to A and the reso. See what you find. Don't forget about acoustics though, thats the biggest effect.

I can't stress enough, but make sure your snare wires are absolutely parallel and evenly tensioned. If you've got them setup right, you should barely have to crank the tensioner up.

click on this link to hear a Pearl 14 x 6.5 maple free floater tuned to "A" http://profile.ultimate-guitar.com/nick+dixon/

click on "Quick drum test" (****** playing)

Yeah I'm in that range now I'll just have to play with it some more I guess. The reason I was wondering if it was middle C is because of this article by Gene Okamoto. http://www.pearldrum.com/art/education/Drum_Tuning_gokamoto.pdf

This is a quote from that article: "So, how tight is tight? I tune my snare head to the "G" above middle "C." I tune the batter head to the "E" or "F" below the "G" depending on my mood. A good friend of mine and a great drummer, Paul Yonemura…who has perfect pitch (he can hear any sound, for example: a brake squealing, and he'll tell you what note it is and whether it's sharp or flat)…suggested that I try these notes years ago. It turns out that he heard Ed Shaughnessy and Joe Morello tune their snare drums and with his perfect pitch was able to discern that both tuned their snare drums (at that time) to "G" on the bottom and "E" on the top (Morello) and "F" on the top (Shaughnessy)."

BadAstronaut
03-10-2011, 08:01 PM
Out of curiosity, when you referred to tuning your snare drums between G and C, are you referring to middle C and the G below that?yes .. I've come to find that most every snare I've ever tuned usually sounds best at G# , A or A#

nickd
03-10-2011, 08:25 PM
those are both quite low tunings. I'd stick around A. Looks like both me and Badas have done the rounds. They always just seem to work on A.

BadAstronaut
03-10-2011, 09:24 PM
Yeah E - F# on batter head is a low and fat tuning.

I've gone through all possible tunings and I like A - A# on snares the best.

Anything C and higher makes my ears bleed

livingstone
03-11-2011, 12:09 AM
Yeah E - F# on batter head is a low and fat tuning.

I've gone through all possible tunings and I like A - A# on snares the best.

Anything C and higher makes my ears bleed

Okay cool, Gene Okamoto says on Pearl's website: "I tune my snare head to the G above middle C."

nickd
03-11-2011, 12:25 AM
that sounds right, except I tune up to A. one note higher.

nickd
03-11-2011, 01:17 AM
no, the A above G above the middle C

C D E F G A B and so on

livingstone
03-11-2011, 01:29 AM
Out of curiosity, when you referred to tuning your snare drums between G and C, are you referring to middle C and the G below that?


yes .. I've come to find that most every snare I've ever tuned usually sounds best at G# , A or A#


no, the A above G above the middle C

C D E F G A B and so on

Yeah I understand notes and scales, I play piano. :) I guess BadAstronaut is referring to a different octave than you? He said he was referring to the A below middle C unless I have misunderstood...

BadAstronaut
03-11-2011, 01:48 AM
Snare tuning starts at E above middle C on a piano .. E,F,F#,G,G#,A,A#,B ..

Gene tunes his reso head at G and batter at E-F which is a LOW tuning snare sound wise.

I like snare batter heads at A-A# above middle C

Snare batter tuning range is E - E give or take .. anything past B (C-E) above middle C makes my ears bleed and chokes head in my opinion.

Snare side reso tuning range is G - B above middle C

livingstone
03-11-2011, 01:58 AM
Snare tuning starts at E above middle C on a piano .. E,F,F#,G,G#,A,A#,B ..

Gene tunes his reso head at G and batter at E-F which is a LOW tuning snare sound wise.

I like snare batter heads at A-A# above middle C

Okay that makes sense. Must have been a typo but that's not what you wrote earlier. I have played piano for much longer than I've played drums and I do understand music theory quite well...

nickd
03-11-2011, 02:04 AM
stick with A, you'll like it ;)

BadAstronaut
03-11-2011, 02:07 AM
Okay that makes sense. Must have been a typo but that's not what you wrote earlier. Yes I messed up when I quoted your question to me earlier in thread .. I meant A-A# above middle C. Sorry for confusion!

livingstone
03-11-2011, 02:10 AM
Yes I messed up when I quoted your question to me earlier in thread .. I meant A-A# above middle C. Sorry for confusion!

Awesome, thanks for clearing that up!

nickd
03-13-2011, 04:57 PM
any more thoughts on snare tuning? At the minute I'm trying a G# pitch on both sides of the drum. Seems to excite the shell a little more.

darkswift
03-15-2011, 11:22 AM
Cool, i'm not sure I could be bothered to tune to exact notes all the time. Bob gatzens drum tuning vids are great, there are some on you tube you can see, and some good tips on how to tune drums properly (http://www.howtotunedrums.org) here as well. I focus more on the quailty of the sound (timbre etc) rather than the exact note.

BadAstronaut
03-15-2011, 12:24 PM
Cool, i'm not sure I could be bothered to tune to exact notes all the time. Bob gatzens drum tuning vids are great, there are some on you tube you can see, and some good tips on how to tune drums properly (http://www.howtotunedrums.org) here as well. I focus more on the quailty of the sound (timbre etc) rather than the exact note.It's second nature to me. I learned pitch tuning from bob gatzen over 10 years ago. I tune my drums to the pitch where shell resonates best at to provide best sound out of shell.

BadAstronaut
03-15-2011, 12:43 PM
any more thoughts on snare tuning? At the minute I'm trying a G# pitch on both sides of the drum. Seems to excite the shell a little more.might have found sweet spot of shell ... have you ever tapped a bare snare shell to find note? I've done it when cleaning snares and to my surprise most pitches I had snares at to begin with were the bare shells fundamental.

nickd
03-15-2011, 03:36 PM
Well I tried something similar, but just muting the heads and taping the shell, It wasn't too dissimilar to G#. I'm just obsessed with getting a drum to sing / resonate to its full potential, making it real melodic instrument. We had a discussion at work about could a drum kit be considered a melodic instrument, I say yes, although a basic one.

BadAstronaut
03-15-2011, 04:27 PM
I know what you mean. Head selection plays a role with tuning to get most out of a shell.

nickd
03-15-2011, 10:05 PM
Just out of curiosity, what snare/s do you use?

BadAstronaut
03-16-2011, 02:38 PM
Well you asked and I'm bored ...

80's Pearl G maple 14x8
80's Pearl ET maple 14x5
90's Mapex Orion 14x6.5
90's Mapex Maple Deluxe 14x6.5
90's Mapex Maple Deluxe 12x5.5
90's Mapex Birdseyemaple Black Panther 14x6.5
90's Mapex BrassMaster 14x6.5


:)

Rhythm Devil
04-10-2011, 10:37 AM
I love this thread! I took some time this week sitting in front of the computer with my toms and snare using an online piano to try out this tuning to notes thing. I can't remember the last time I tuned listening this closely. Online piano here http://www.thevirtualpiano.com/

Drums: All Pearl Masters 6 ply maple with Superhoop triple flanged hoops and Optimounts.
Heads: Aquarian Modern Vintage batters (thicker single ply meant to imitate calf skin) and Classic Clear resos (standard thickness = to Ambassador).
The results (to my ears):

9 X 12 rack tuned to A - C overall
12 X 14 rack tuned to E - G overall
16 X 16 floor top C bottom C # - D overall.
6.5 X 14 snare- E batter G reso- becomes F# batter and A reso

So I have a perfect fourths on my toms and they sound great! Modern vintage heads have a low tone and I need to have the batter on the snare pretty tight to not sound 'dead'. It sounds really good (has a 'concert/symphonic' quality to it, but is not very loud or cutting live with a loud rock band from my experience. In the studio (and/or through a mic) it sounds awesome.

I also made an adjustment to my Optimounts for my rack toms. I had them 'sanwiched' around the lugs and while my drums sounded really good with the new tuning they weren't fully ringing out with long sustain. They would 'shut off' instead of a naturally decaying. So, I adjusted the Optimounts so that the top rubber gasket is under the top hoop and the bottom rubber gasket is barely touching the brass lug insert. Voila! There was a big difference and now I get that even sustain and decay.

I just wanted to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. However, There is info here that caused me some confusion as I'm not 'musically' trained.
Such as:
What is a semitone? ANSWER: There are 12 notes...they are all semitones. That's it. They should be 4 semitones apart (including the note you are on) OR 3 semitones apart (not including the note you are on).
What is pitch? ANSWER: A note. That's it.
How do I know what is too high a pitch on a snare? ANSWER I don't know! Other than it being choked haha. According to Bad Astro and NickD "E" is too high for a snare batter and anything above middle C (the note or the octave?) is choking the chicken. This part of the conversation has me confused. Bad Astro....You list off the tuning range of !6" floor...I would love for you to outline the most common tom/snare sizes and what their tuning range is....for further clarity on the subject.

livingstone
04-10-2011, 02:00 PM
How do I know what is too high a pitch on a snare? ANSWER I don't know! Other than it being choked haha. According to Bad Astro and NickD "E" is too high for a snare batter and anything above middle C (the note or the octave?) is choking the chicken. This part of the conversation has me confused.

There was a bit of confusion about that in this thread, but it was just a typo. It seems that snare tuning generally starts at the E above middle C and chokes out around the C an octave above middle C. Of course that depends on what snare you have and heads and such but I've played with tuning quite a bit since reading this thread and that guideline seems to be pretty accurate.

BadAstronaut
04-10-2011, 02:36 PM
There was a bit of confusion about that in this thread, but it was just a typo. It seems that snare tuning generally starts at the E above middle C and chokes out around the C an octave above middle C. Of course that depends on what snare you have and heads and such but I've played with tuning quite a bit since reading this thread and that guideline seems to be pretty accurate.exactly what he said ..

HiFiBri
04-10-2011, 03:38 PM
I re-tuned the kit at church, and the other drummer left it where I changed it. That made me feel good. I changed the jam night kit's tuning, too.

BadAstronaut
04-10-2011, 09:57 PM
Bad Astro....You list off the tuning range of !6" floor...I would love for you to outline the most common tom/snare sizes and what their tuning range is....for further clarity on the subject.I could write a list of sizes and pitches for each shell but it's not set in stone as alot of variables play a role in a shells tuning range.

6-8 and 14-18 toms have a very limited tuning range .. 10-12 have the widest tuning range .. shallower depths have wide tuning range .. deep/squared depths have limited tuning range .. tuning ranges are dependent on shell material/thickness, depth, edges and heads used .. here's an example on one of my 12x8 toms with a 6mm shell with slightly rounded 45 bearing edge.

I tune both heads to the lowest possible pitch which eliminate wrinkles and boinginess in sound.

On a my 12" tom that's usually F .. I can take it as high as A# on both heads .. So F-A# on my 12x8 is it's tuning range .. every shell is different .. it's up to you to find the sweetspot and explore your drums tuning ranges.

You're on the right track with your posted pitches for your drums .. find the best combo that you like and what feels/sounds good to you is the important thing.

Rhythm Devil
04-11-2011, 09:56 AM
exactly what he said ..

Thanks, guys. I kind of figured as much. We're talking 'when struck' and not 'at the lug', right?

Rhythm Devil
04-11-2011, 10:03 AM
I could write a list of sizes and pitches for each shell but it's not set in stone as alot of variables play a role in a shells tuning range.

6-8 and 14-18 toms have a very limited tuning range .. 10-12 have the widest tuning range .. shallower depths have wide tuning range .. deep/squared depths have limited tuning range .. tuning ranges are dependent on shell material/thickness, depth, edges and heads used .. here's an example on one of my 12x8 toms with a 6mm shell with slightly rounded 45 bearing edge.

I tune both heads to the lowest possible pitch which eliminate wrinkles and boinginess in sound.

On a my 12" tom that's usually F .. I can take it as high as A# on both heads .. So F-A# on my 12x8 is it's tuning range .. every shell is different .. it's up to you to find the sweetspot and explore your drums tuning ranges.

You're on the right track with your posted pitches for your drums .. find the best combo that you like and what feels/sounds good to you is the important thing.

Thanks, Bad Astronaut. Ya, It's not really necessary for you to go through all the drums potential tunings. I just thought it would be cool to have all that info here to round out the thread. Thanks for the further insight. You certainly know your stuff! I love your tom sizes btw ;) 2 up 1 down?

BadAstronaut
04-12-2011, 02:17 PM
I've had years to experiment with many shells / heads / tuning combos .. plus I'm anal about sound.

1 up 2 down by the way .. but currently using 1 up 1 down using octaves.

Rhythm Devil
04-13-2011, 09:26 AM
I've had years to experiment with many shells / heads / tuning combos .. plus I'm anal about sound.

1 up 2 down by the way .. but currently using 1 up 1 down using octaves.

Yes, I liked the idea of having an octave apart on the toms when you mentioned it earlier. I went and messed with all my toms yesterday (by ear) but specifically wanted to drop my floor from a D to a C (it turns out that's the note I listen for). To my surprise, checking in on the piano I ended up with A-12, E-14, C-16 and the snare is A# on the batter (overall...not sure of the snare reso). Because I didn't check the tuning before I started messing around I'm not sure (or confident) my original findings were correct at all haha (weird because I 'supposedly' tuned 'at the lug' A on the 12 and E on the 14) :o I've been fooling with the online piano since last week trying to grasp a basic sense of music theory and recognizing specific notes and yesterday I was hearing the notes quite clearly. It takes practice I guess :)

nathanieljobe
04-13-2011, 12:06 PM
http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=402021

The image is a bit small, but these are the notes I try to use on my kit. Save the image and blow it up for a better pic.

BadAstronaut
04-13-2011, 01:03 PM
I've been fooling with the online piano since last week trying to grasp a basic sense of music theory and recognizing specific notes and yesterday I was hearing the notes quite clearly. It takes practice I guess :)Pitch recognition is your friend. It makes tuning any drum easy as pie. :)

nickd
06-12-2011, 05:38 PM
I've been trying to get my head round tuning that various sources suggest. the first being bob gatzen, the second Pearls pdf on tuning. Pearl suggests tuning to Ab on the batter, and a 5th above being D#. Now I don't know about you, but that would be CRAZY high tension that would almost certainly split the head. The Ab part I get, as I tune to A for good stick responce and sound.

Bob gatzen suggests tuning to A on the reso side. Which Is what I currently do as well. However he suggests tuning the batter side a 3rd above the A of the reso, choke city! I'm really confused on this issue. However, if you turn the snare drum on its side, and tap either side with your finger nail, a very, and I mean VERY faint 4th / 5th interval can be heard. I get to this by tuning both heads to A. Very odd. Can anyone add to this?

Robertw8
06-12-2011, 10:03 PM
Sure Nick I can add to that as I have also studied Bob Gatzen and other tutorials.I dont tune my drums with a specific note in mind,although I do read and play some tuned percussion.Firstly I get a nice even cross tension on the head a tap it with snares off,usually if I place the drum on a table with a towel underneath I can hear the amount of tension on the batter head.Then I do the reso same thing,now I am at around low- med tension.Now tune it to your ear starting with batter and then the reso.After fine tuning sometimes I check the tension with DrumDial and always I get the same readings batter around 87 and reso around 84 consistantly.Thats me thats my sound.

nickd
06-12-2011, 10:05 PM
Yeah, I'm after the pitch.. actually you could help me here rob. The drum dial says you should aim for 90 batter, and 70 reao? could you tube your snare to those specs then tell me what pitches you hear from the drum. I've tried to find this, but its nowhere!

EDIT Batter: 85-90 Reso; 80-85

Robertw8
06-12-2011, 10:31 PM
Yeah, I'm after the pitch.. actually you could help me here rob. The drum dial says you should aim for 90 batter, and 70 reao? could you tube your snare to those specs then tell me what pitches you hear from the drum. I've tried to find this, but its nowhere!

EDIT Batter: 85-90 Reso; 80-85

Yeah I have my Supra with me and will get back to you.The DD is not gospel to me just a checking tool,but it does tell me I like my reso just under the batter tension.Also I am not in choke city at 90 plus,but dont forget some shells dont choke as easily as others.Maple is known to choke at high tensions whereas Purpleheart does not.
Regards.

nickd
06-12-2011, 11:07 PM
Yeah I have my Supra with me and will get back to you.The DD is not gospel to me just a checking tool,but it does tell me I like my reso just under the batter tension.Also I am not in choke city at 90 plus,but dont forget some shells dont choke as easily as others.Maple is known to choke at high tensions whereas Purpleheart does not.
Regards.

cool! I trust you have good pitch recognition, but I've found in general that anything over a Bb is just choking a snares natrual sound. I have made a quick video of 2 snares tuned exactly the same and they sound the same. Link coming soon.

nickd
06-12-2011, 11:18 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uSXPyZaCKHs

Robertw8
06-13-2011, 12:36 AM
cool! I trust you have good pitch recognition, but I've found in general that anything over a Bb is just choking a snares natrual sound. I have made a quick video of 2 snares tuned exactly the same and they sound the same. Link coming soon.

Just had a play around with my Supra and whilst I dont have a tuner or glock with me I can certainly hear that my reso is below a A,towards a G.My batter is above A,towards a B.So G-B to my ear.Watched your video I love the stick response of FF snares,I am currently doing a referb on a early Pearl hex lug brass 6.5 and want to set it up as a concert/orchestral snare.

Rhythm Devil
06-13-2011, 09:14 AM
I've been trying to get my head round tuning that various sources suggest. the first being bob gatzen, the second Pearls pdf on tuning. Pearl suggests tuning to Ab on the batter, and a 5th above being D#. Now I don't know about you, but that would be CRAZY high tension that would almost certainly split the head. The Ab part I get, as I tune to A for good stick responce and sound.

Bob gatzen suggests tuning to A on the reso side. Which Is what I currently do as well. However he suggests tuning the batter side a 3rd above the A of the reso, choke city! I'm really confused on this issue. However, if you turn the snare drum on its side, and tap either side with your finger nail, a very, and I mean VERY faint 4th / 5th interval can be heard. I get to this by tuning both heads to A. Very odd. Can anyone add to this?

I have mine tuned A sharp on top and D sharp on the bottom (4th apart). Going for a 4th or 5th apart is a concert/orchestral tuning. And yes it can be done. I was timid myself at first but once I dialed it in (using that online virtual piano) it sounds awesome. It may sound choked compared to say a 3rd apart or less at first (also depending on the room). But in fact, the shell will REALLY warm up, the snares will settle easier, and you will have excellent articulation/snare response. Also, the "ring" smooths out quite nicely.With my snares snug I get a nice "tick" sound in the center, yet I can do buzz rolls etc at the edges and the snares come alive and the shell just hums and sings with goodness. Don't be afraid....just use a piano or something and bring it up in small increments. I found tapping the head with my finger firmly to get an overall sound while hitting the notes on the keyboard above and below the note I'm aiming for and/or hearing helps me to dial it in. Use the "Here comes the bride" trick when comparing the top and bottom heads. Works like a charm.

p.s. I abandoned the 3 semitones apart tuning trick. I find it far easier to just tune each drum to the note I want it to be by hitting it and bringing it up or down.

Currently 12=A, 14 =F, 16= C, snare A sharp/D sharp

nickd
06-13-2011, 04:20 PM
So you really cranked your snare side down hard then to get up to that pitch? Could yo post a sound file or a youtube vid proving this or showing each pitch. I have yet to find a single video anywhere showing this.

Just to find out I started from scratch and tuned the reso up bit by bit. When I got to E the first time round, it sounded like trash, horrible 'bong' sound. If I wanted to get above E I would have to crank it down to the point of no return! I can get to A and then a little bit higher. As I've said, when you turn the drum on its side and tap both heads individually a slight 4th or 5th can be heard, but mostly both pitches are at A. I tried tuning up to Bb on the batter and its a lot more poppy, and the stick responce hasent suffered too much.

So orchesteral tuning must be really high then?, I always thought it was quite low.

Rhythm Devil
06-13-2011, 05:33 PM
So you really cranked your snare side down hard then to get up to that pitch? Could yo post a sound file or a youtube vid proving this or showing each pitch. I have yet to find a single video anywhere showing this.

Just to find out I started from scratch and tuned the reso up bit by bit. When I got to E the first time round, it sounded like trash, horrible 'bong' sound. If I wanted to get above E I would have to crank it down to the point of no return! I can get to A and then a little bit higher. As I've said, when you turn the drum on its side and tap both heads individually a slight 4th or 5th can be heard, but mostly both pitches are at A. I tried tuning up to Bb on the batter and its a lot more poppy, and the stick responce hasent suffered too much.

So orchesteral tuning must be really high then?, I always thought it was quite low.

Ahhh...I wish I could but I have no recording capabilities. It's hard to hear. It's very subtle, but it's there. I've been sitting here messing with mine today. After a gig and being in it's case it detuned top and bottom. What I do is after tuning 'er up with the piano to what I perceive to be right, I leave it for a few minutes mostly to rest my ears and come back and listen again. Sometimes I'm way off. Also, the temp, humidity etc plays a huge roll how it all goes and stays as I'm sure you know, though not as much on a metal drum I don't think. I'm not an orchestral drummer, I just like how they sound and gave it a try. Take the snare on it's stand away from the kit and whack the bottom with your finger repeatedly while alternately hitting notes on the piano, in different octaves if you have to to find the actual note or what 2 notes it is in between. I don't think you're hearing it the way you need to. Keep trying.

Rhythm Devil
06-13-2011, 05:43 PM
I had a talk with my guitar buddy today about tritones after realizing how close I am to that with an A# batter and a D# reso. Once it de-tune's to A, that's a tritone, and I have noticed it when it de-tuned while playing. It never strikes me as a horror show as my snare loosened to a G haha. Anyone have thoughts on snares with the tritone? It seems like a fine line if using a 4th or 5th interval on the snare.

nickd
06-13-2011, 05:59 PM
I understand how musical intervals work. Western music says the 3rd 4th and 5th are the most powerful intervals. 5th being used a lot in medieval music.

Any of them would work really and help stop excessive ringing. I've established for sure that I'm getting an A from the top, good stick response, not choked. The bottom head just the one thats killing it for me. I can hear what pitch is coming from it fine, it just seems dangerous to take anywhere above a B without pulling it out of its alloy ring. A# to D# is actually a 4th.

Now i would crank it up just to see, but I've got a gig this weekend and resonant head unless bought online are like hens teeth here! ;p

Rhythm Devil
06-13-2011, 06:37 PM
I understand how musical intervals work. Western music says the 3rd 4th and 5th are the most powerful intervals. 5th being used a lot in medieval music.

Any of them would work really and help stop excessive ringing. I've established for sure that I'm getting an A from the top, good stick response, not choked. The bottom head just the one thats killing it for me. I can hear what pitch is coming from it fine, it just seems dangerous to take anywhere above a B without pulling it out of its alloy ring. A# to D# is actually a 4th.

Now i would crank it up just to see, but I've got a gig this weekend and resonant head unless bought online are like hens teeth here! ;p

I would just go in 1/8 -1/16 of a turn all the way around then listen...after the gig I suppose. It doesn't take much and it will go up.

I just dropped my batter to a G and the reso to a D (5th).

nickd
06-13-2011, 07:15 PM
so, would you say your reso is tighter than your batter? do you have skype?

Rhythm Devil
06-13-2011, 07:35 PM
so, would you say your reso is tighter than your batter? do you have skype?

I would say yes, but looking at my tension rods, not too much tighter. I decided to play it safe (from the tritone) and dropped the reso to a C (4th). No skype. That sucks you have limited access to a new head. I still think you can go higher without breaking it (you're not even a 3rd apart yet, right?) Do what you think you must.

nickd
06-13-2011, 08:37 PM
Just retuned the reso to E. How? tuning down BELOW the A I already was at. Made sense, the head still makes a "ping" when I flick it. I figure that perhaps bob gatenze method is right, except his snare is just way too choked. Tuning up to C is really high. So if he tunes to a C# on the batter and A on the Reso, thats a 3rd. So if you tuned to B it would be G on the reso, so if you tuned to Bb (concert tuning) the snare side in theory should be tuned to F# to make a 3rd, for a 4th F so on.. I'm very confused by all of this.

I bet a lot of folks are thinking, just plays your drums and shutup! some people have OCDD you know :)

Rhythm Devil
06-14-2011, 12:07 PM
Just retuned the reso to E. How? tuning down BELOW the A I already was at. Made sense, the head still makes a "ping" when I flick it. I figure that perhaps bob gatenze method is right, except his snare is just way too choked. Tuning up to C is really high. So if he tunes to a C# on the batter and A on the Reso, thats a 3rd. So if you tuned to B it would be G on the reso, so if you tuned to Bb (concert tuning) the snare side in theory should be tuned to F# to make a 3rd, for a 4th F so on.. I'm very confused by all of this.

I bet a lot of folks are thinking, just plays your drums and shutup! some people have OCDD you know :)

We have to 'rest' sometime haha. Even if the drum OCD never sleeps.

Whoa! You must have had that thing cranked. It's funny...I never considered the Bb and going to the left on the piano. I always call it A# and go up. Now you have to watch for the batter detuning and producing a tritone (in between 4th and 5th). I changed things up a bit after re-reading this thread (there's a lot of info!)
My tuning is now:

12=B, 14=F#, 16=C# Perfect fourths. I brought the snare back to an A/D. I figure I'll give that whirl for a bit. Sounds nice. I think this may be a more stable tuning as everything is a bit tighter. For me, my biggest dilemma in tuning the snare is keeping it tuned far enough away from the 14 rack. It seems almost no matter what they want to sing together to some extent or set the other off. Mostly snare setting off the 14 than the other way around, though I do get a slight 'after buzz' when the 14 is still ringing out. I'm in a very small room now as well, so it's hard to gauge if there is an actual problem with that.

Edit P.S. Made a small change. I tuned the 12" to Bb (A Sharp). I don't know i it's my heads or what, but 12 seemed choked to me. Also, I just seem to prefer to deviate from all fourths on the toms and stick in a minor 3rd between the 12 and 14. I also think it sounds cleaner than the major 3rd I had before.

So: 12=Bb, 14=F#, 16=C# Snare A/D for now.

Rhythm Devil
06-21-2011, 11:02 AM
I have a problem. If my 14 is tuned to F or F#, no matter what the snare tuning (A, G or G#)my snare sets it off and the 14 rings out. The only thing I can think to do is put some tape on bottom which I haven't done. It's really annoying, especially in my small practice room, but I also noticed it on the last gig. I ended up going with 12=A, 14=E, 16=B. This is somewhat lower than I would like (by one step down). I remember having this issue on my last kit when the 14 was on the floor and I put 4 pieces of duct tape on the reso (across fom each other)and I seem to remember it helping. It's not really a problem when unmiced (except I can hear it) and it sends a slight 'fuzz wave' across my snares when I hit the snare. Mic'd I think it would be an issue. My snare is currently tuned to minor 3rd (G#/B) as anything higher on the reso the drum is so powerful the 14 tom rings out even more (when the 14 is an F or F#). 14=E...no problem. Thoughts? Anyone else or is it just me?

nickd
06-21-2011, 03:50 PM
Are you in a small room? Take your kit it an open space like a hall, or even outside in the garden, and they will come to life. Most of the buzzing issues go away too. It has to be said small rooms make drums sound funky bad unless they're treated.

I just have mine at D, A, E, and A on the snare. Seeing as the 12" its the farthest away, it doesn't cause too much snare buzz. In my room, as all these pitches harmonize with each other one way or another, ALL of the drums resonate to some extent. It can actually really fatten up your sound. I took them out for a gig at the weekend to a dance hall, and unmiked they sounded the business. I've heard a lot of kits, but these were tuned and sounded just right.

Rhythm Devil
06-21-2011, 04:07 PM
Are you in a small room? Take your kit it an open space like a hall, or even outside in the garden, and they will come to life. Most of the buzzing issues go away too. It has to be said small rooms make drums sound funky bad unless they're treated.

I just have mine at D, A, E, and A on the snare. Seeing as the 12" its the farthest away, it doesn't cause too much snare buzz. In my room, as all these pitches harmonize with each other one way or another, ALL of the drums resonate to some extent. It can actually really fatten up your sound. I took them out for a gig at the weekend to a dance hall, and unmiked they sounded the business. I've heard a lot of kits, but these were tuned and sounded just right.

I'm with you on the awesome sound (we have the same shell type :cool:). I've done 2 shows since tuning to specific notes and my drums sounded really good. I know my small room sucks, but on the gig (1 overhead -no soundman I could hear the 2 14's beating together, which I know soundmen hate. With E I get nothing, F it's there and F# forget about it (even though the drum sounds awesome at all those tunings). I think ultimately it's just that the snare and tom are tuned fairly close note-wise and having the snare reso up makes the snare more powerful, which then leads to sympathetic ringing from the tom.

p.s. I decided to put it back to Bb=12, F=14, C=16. They were almost frightening at that lower tuning. A little too much haha. I actually like the 4ths with the 12 tuned Bb. the B tuning I thought was a bit high. At A it truly roars. I wanted a little less than that. ;)

nickd
06-21-2011, 10:53 PM
I honestly love the 6 ply maple shell they offer on the session SMX / masters MCX (same thing), it's just perfect. in the right space it's just the warmest punchiest sound, even with ambassadors. I'm thinking of going emperor clears, so I still have the warmth of a 2ply, but a bit more sustain and growl for a clear head. I actually use a little piece of felt stuck on the top of the head. You can take a piece of white tape about 2 inches long and stick it on the underside of the remo / evans logo. That way muffeling doesnt get in the way. Having said that I might as well go pinstripe on my drums!

So you have your drums tuned high new guy? mines like a fusion tuning where it is, like vinnie coulata (spelling?) It makes the most of the drums, particually the 10" and 14" EVERY pearl kit I have owned, the 12" has always sounded choked. I'm thinking its some sort of phase cancellation.

Rhythm Devil
06-22-2011, 09:42 AM
I honestly love the 6 ply maple shell they offer on the session SMX / masters MCX (same thing), it's just perfect. in the right space it's just the warmest punchiest sound, even with ambassadors. I'm thinking of going emperor clears, so I still have the warmth of a 2ply, but a bit more sustain and growl for a clear head. I actually use a little piece of felt stuck on the top of the head. You can take a piece of white tape about 2 inches long and stick it on the underside of the remo / evans logo. That way muffeling doesnt get in the way. Having said that I might as well go pinstripe on my drums!

So you have your drums tuned high new guy? mines like a fusion tuning where it is, like vinnie coulata (spelling?) It makes the most of the drums, particually the 10" and 14" EVERY pearl kit I have owned, the 12" has always sounded choked. I'm thinking its some sort of phase cancellation.

Interesting what you say about the Pearl 12 toms. I would say that holds true to mine as well. I found that mounting the Opti under the batter hoop/bottom lug helped quite a bit to let it sing out. But my other tom is a 14 and I didn't like all the weight on the hoop so I switched them both back to being sandwiched around the lugs. I thought it may be the thickness of shell in relation to it's size, but who knows.

Where as my 12 is my smallest tom it needs to up reasonably high or things can get a bit too muddy when cutting through the band. Same goes for the 14 rack. I think that is a perfect tuning for your set up though, with no 16. My kit is like a fusion set on steroids haha. I really like coated heads for the warmth. I'm currently using Aquarian Modern Vintage (single ply) on my snare and toms which imitates calf skin. I love them to death. SK2 on the kick. Best heads ever imo. Pinstripes....oh no! :p I'm running my 12 and snare with no muffling, 14 has 1/8 slice of Moongel and the 16 has two 1/8 slices. Just enough to take the edge off.

Are you still rocking the 5th tuning on the snare? It's somewhat embarrassing to admit, but I found out after the weekend before last that contrary to my original estimation, I don't think my snare batter was ever at Bb, but rather G#. It was an auditory hallucination when I compared it to the 12 which was 'A' at the time. My snare was an octave above, but 2 (or so) notes lower :o:p Last week when we were talking 4th's and 5th's I brought up my batter up to Bb and it sounded too high! A couple days before on the gig I asked my bass player what note he heard and it was a G. ([email protected]#$ haha) Since then I now know there is no way it detuned from a Bb. Sure enough, G#-G is where I like it with the bottom higher (currently a Minor 3rd). I 'think' A would be good if both heads were tuned somewhat more equal. One thing is for sure and that's the more I tune this way and practice listening on the piano the better I get at it. It only took me about 20 minutes yesterday to bring all my toms back up. At this point I like how they sound but I should put out a disclaimer: "All tunings subject to change!" lol.

nickd
06-22-2011, 05:23 PM
sounds like you're falling for equal pitch heads. Try and A and A really makes the shell sing. This would be ideal for a wood snare. I've tried it on a few. For me, the snare side only really starts to excite from F-B in pitch, below that it makes a bit of a "bong" sound.

dwdrummer1991
09-14-2011, 05:19 PM
I have a 6.5x14 Ludwig Supra-Phonic with reso head cranked to B and batter head currently at an Eb, usually at an E. It doesn't sound choked at all. Any higher than that, yes, I start to lose volume on all non-rimshot hits, but 90-95% of my snare hits are rimshots and I absolutely love a tight-tuned snare especially for live applications. As was mentioned before, good luck trying to get higher than B on the reso side. I am actually using an Emperor snare side head as not only is it easier to crank up to that note without ruining the head, it gives a bit of a darker sound and goes great with my snare. Ambassador X batter head. I'm not sure what heads you're using on your snare, but there's really no substitute for a one-ply Ambassador or Ambassador X weight head on snare. The tuning range and projection are just so much better to me. Unless you prefer the sound of a different head. But typically thicker heads are much harder to tune higher and the note at which they start to sound choked is much lower. I used an Emperor X head for a short while before I replaced it with a new Amb X - The Emp X could only reach about C-C# if I cranked it about as tight as I could, and it sounded AWFUL. I have no problem getting the Amb X to my desired note of Eb-E, and sometimes even as high as F! without losing volume or sensitivity.

As far as intervals go on snare....I honestly don't really hear it making much of a difference. The resonant side head controls more of the snare sensitivity, response and tone than the pitch. I would honestly say crank the bottom head (about G-B depending on preference, and I mean a HIGH G-B, it should sound timbale-like in nature), and tune the top to taste. I've experimented around with different pitches and as long as you know what you're doing there's no reason you shouldn't be able to get a good sound regardless of the interval you choose.

nickd
09-15-2011, 01:16 AM
sounds like you're not hearing pitch correct, if you're tuning to Eb on the batter, or anything within a 3rd of that, you will have no rim left. Highest Ive gone is C, maybe C# and thats croaking it.

dwdrummer1991
09-15-2011, 01:50 PM
sounds like you're not hearing pitch correct, if you're tuning to Eb on the batter, or anything within a 3rd of that, you will have no rim left. Highest Ive gone is C, maybe C# and thats croaking it.

Maybe you're using a different reference pitch than me? I notice when I tune there's a lower note similar to the one produced by tuning toms, and then there's like a ringy overtone that's a little more prominent and I have to focus in on the lower pitch. The overtone on my snare is about a Bb, maybe you're going by the higher overtone pitch and not the lower one like myself.

BadAstronaut
09-15-2011, 02:44 PM
above middle C?

nickd
09-15-2011, 03:42 PM
I was thinking the same thing..

dwdrummer1991
09-15-2011, 04:48 PM
The pitch I'm hearing is I believe an Eb5 (622.25hz), I forget if middle C is C4 or C5. There's also a higher overtone, my chromatic tuner says its a Bb, it's hard for me to distinguish the pitch but I think it's up in the 6 or 7 octave range. The resonant head is tuned to the B above the Eb. Hopefully this helps to clarify a little bit. I can link to a recording of my snare with a similar tuning if you need to hear for yourself what's going on. That's about the best I can explain it. Also, what head are you using on your snare? Because if you aren't able to tune yours higher than C, maybe you're using a thicker or drier head than I am?

nickd
09-15-2011, 05:34 PM
Middle C is the 4th C key of a piano. C4. The Eb in the next ocatve is WAY beyond high.

7 ocatves above middle C?.. you'll be making the dogs howl

I would like a link of your drums in action.

manseaua
09-23-2011, 04:15 PM
rate now i have my

10" A

12" D

16" D octave lower

i would like to try G C C but haven't put in the time yet i don't think my 16 well go that low either

BadAstronaut
09-23-2011, 10:43 PM
Middle C is the 4th C key of a piano. C4. The Eb in the next ocatve is WAY beyond high.

7 ocatves above middle C?.. you'll be making the dogs howl

I would like a link of your drums in action.goto youtube and type in his username.

BadAstronaut
09-23-2011, 10:59 PM
rate now i have my

10" A

12" D

16" D octave lower

i would like to try G C C but haven't put in the time yet i don't think my 16 well go that low eitherI can tune a 16 as low as A#/Bb no problem ..

manseaua
09-23-2011, 11:37 PM
I can tune a 16 as low as A#/Bb no problem ..

i knowticed that my floor tom wont go low and it really bugs me cause its bubinga it should be as low as African mahogany?

it might have to do with the heads on top i got g2s that came with it but on the bottom it has power craft 250 hazys from what i heard there tama made skins but the site says it comes with g1s on the reso so it kinda made me mad..

BadAstronaut
09-25-2011, 12:04 PM
Your 16 should be able to go down to a B-C with no problem .. I have a friend with a B/B starclassic and his 16 can be tuned to a B easily using Emp/ambass heads - remo equivilent to what you're using.

What pitch do you tune each head to?

manseaua
09-25-2011, 01:47 PM
Your 16 should be able to go down to a B-C with no problem .. I have a friend with a B/B starclassic and his 16 can be tuned to a B easily using Emp/ambass heads - remo equivilent to what you're using.

What pitch do you tune each head to?

i actually don't know i just tuned both as low as they could go b4 being completely dead but i just looked and my bottom was quite a bit tighter than it had to be i had a bad sounding b flat with my batter at b and my reso at a no i have them both at b flat and it sounds so bad what are your guys tuned to

BadAstronaut
09-25-2011, 03:59 PM
i actually don't know i just tuned both as low as they could go b4 being completely dead but i just looked and my bottom was quite a bit tighter than it had to be i had a bad sounding b flat with my batter at b and my reso at a no i have them both at b flat and it sounds so bad what are your guys tuned toI tune my 16's to a B on both heads which equals a C# overall .. sometimes C on both heads with a D overall pitch.

If you think it sounds bad at Bb both heads just increase each head a half step at a time until you find the sweetspot .. Bb,B,C,C#,D .. etc

manseaua
09-25-2011, 04:05 PM
I tune my 16's to a B on both heads which equals a C# overall .. sometimes C on both heads with a D overall pitch.

If you think it sounds bad at Bb both heads just increase each head a half step at a time until you find the sweetspot .. Bb,B,C,C#,D .. etc

i have them both tuned to C now it sounds nice makes Bb but the sustain is to long i really cant tune this drum :@

BadAstronaut
09-26-2011, 04:25 PM
If both your heads are tuned to C then how in the world does it make a Bb overall? overall pitch doesn't go down .. it goes up.

manseaua
09-27-2011, 05:33 PM
If both your heads are tuned to C then how in the world does it make a Bb overall? overall pitch doesn't go down .. it goes up.

sorry my bad I tuned my drum to Bb on my keyboard and then tuned the heads to the closest note they were at. then i noticed they it was a full step away and counted the wrong way ( in my my head i wanted to follow the alphabet) :P

my heads are both tuned to G#/Ab

BadAstronaut
09-27-2011, 05:49 PM
^ .. ahhhh .. gotcha.

manseaua
09-28-2011, 03:46 PM
^ .. ahhhh .. gotcha. what do u tune to? have you ever used uneven tuning people say that the reso should be tighter but some of my best results had the reso a full step to a minor 3rd looser cant really do that with the floor tuned to b though

BadAstronaut
09-28-2011, 05:40 PM
what do u tune to? have you ever used uneven tuning people say that the reso should be tighter but some of my best results had the reso a full step to a minor 3rd looser cant really do that with the floor tuned to b thoughI tune both heads same pitch for toms/floor .. snares and bass drums are different .. tuning both heads the same gives a full resonant tone .. you can tune batter higher or lower than reso .. this creates a pitch bend effect .. I've tried it but prefer both heads same pitch.

what I use currently for toms/floor .. perfect 4ths

12x8 both heads G# = B overall pitch
14x10 both heads D# = F# overall pitch
16x16 both heads B = C# overall pitch

If not using 14x10 I'll tune 12x8 up to a C# to give me an octave with the 16x16.

manseaua
09-28-2011, 06:07 PM
I tune both heads same pitch for toms/floor .. snares and bass drums are different .. tuning both heads the same gives a full resonant tone .. you can tune batter higher or lower than reso .. this creates a pitch bend effect .. I've tried it but prefer both heads same pitch.

what I use currently for toms/floor .. perfect 4ths

12x8 both heads G# = B overall pitch
14x10 both heads D# = F# overall pitch
16x16 both heads B = C# overall pitch

If not using 14x10 I'll tune 12x8 up to a C# to give me an octave with the 16x16.

yeah i have my 12 an octave higher than my 16 im not sure where my 10 should go i had it at a tritone originally it sounds good when hitting them and listening for intervals then i went to perfect fifth and it sounded way beter wile doing roles.

but ever since i tryed retuning my kit lower it doesn't sound full idk if that's cause i m tuning them both heads to the same note now or if its just the cost of doing lower tunings..

i'm also quite new to tuning my last kit sounded horrible so i put pinstripes and condenser rings so tuning was next to pointless they would give the same sound no matter how i tuned them.

BadAstronaut
09-30-2011, 02:37 PM
yeah i have my 12 an octave higher than my 16 im not sure where my 10 should go i had it at a tritone originally it sounds good when hitting them and listening for intervals then i went to perfect fifth and it sounded way beter wile doing roles.

but ever since i tryed retuning my kit lower it doesn't sound full idk if that's cause i m tuning them both heads to the same note now or if its just the cost of doing lower tunings..

i'm also quite new to tuning my last kit sounded horrible so i put pinstripes and condenser rings so tuning was next to pointless they would give the same sound no matter how i tuned them.maybe tune the 10 a 3rd,4th or 5th apart from the 12 and see which you like better .. I suggest experiment with low,medium, high tunings on your B/B kit and see where they resonate best and sound good to you.

manseaua
10-02-2011, 09:27 PM
maybe tune the 10 a 3rd,4th or 5th apart from the 12 and see which you like better .. I suggest experiment with low,medium, high tunings on your B/B kit and see where they resonate best and sound good to you.

still i cant tune it at all. i tune the rest of my kit with ease i think its a faulty drum cause ill get this shaky sound like you would if your bottom head was two loose. every once and a wile ill get a good sound but it well be weird tunings like the resos between a full step and minor 3rd lower than the batter it seams to go away if i over tighten both sides.

BadAstronaut
10-03-2011, 04:55 PM
still i cant tune it at all. i tune the rest of my kit with ease i think its a faulty drum cause ill get this shaky sound like you would if your bottom head was two loose. every once and a wile ill get a good sound but it well be weird tunings like the resos between a full step and minor 3rd lower than the batter it seams to go away if i over tighten both sides.check bearing edges and check to see if shell is warped .. or you could just have defective heads.

manseaua
10-06-2011, 04:03 PM
yeah i still cant get a perfect sound out of it but i noticed that my acoustics in my basement are horrible. when i brought it up to my second floor it sounded 3x fuller, but my tom toms don't have much of a change :P at least i know its not the drum that sucks

tuning them up stairs i got a great sound from
Batter/Reso
10- E/G
12- A/C
16- A/C octave lower

might change the 10 to D/F
i love the bigger intervals but it sounds a Little choked so Il play with it didn't spend much time on my tom toms. thx for the help Bad have some rep.

rixills
11-10-2011, 05:14 PM
I can guarentee that NO drummer can retune their drums BY EAR EXACTLY how they were before a head change. Not unless they have a perfect memory and perfect pitch.
i just want to say that i can pretty much do it to within a half step. i only do that i can do that because im mainly a guitar player and can restring my guitar, then get it usually to within a half step with out a tuner or reference pitch. part of it is you can feel the tension, and you remember how it feels. and part of it is you can pretty reasonably remember about how the open strings should sound.

nickd
11-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Instead of 4ths, I've gone for a major 3rd between the 10" and 12". The 12 has now come to life.

nathanieljobe
11-13-2011, 08:47 AM
I haven't visited this thread in awhile so I'm late to the party, but you might be hearing the overtones produced by the other drums in the room. If you've got 2 drums tuned to the same note and another drum tuned to a different note, you're going to hear the harmonics produced by the first two drums whenever you hit the odd one. Some of those harmonics and overtones will clash with the drum you're trying to tune, making it sound cacophonic. I suggest taking it to another room and tuning it away from the others, then putting in on the kit and tweaking them all together.

HiFiBri
12-13-2011, 07:18 PM
OK, I am playing in basically an orchestral situation, must play quiety. This is for a 90's Tama SwingStar, I put new G2 coateds over un-used Pro Tone Batters. Worst acousitcs for drums you could possibly imagine, btw.

So I have 12" 13" and 16", and am not following something, plus looking at the pages, not much is said about a 13" (vs.a 14")

I have seen several different tunings, but the "consensus" I saw was:

12" B (both heads tuned to G#)

Gap on 13 ???

16" C# (both heads tuned to B).

What do you all recommend for the 13"


If the 16" is tuned to C# and the 12" to B, what's left for the 13"? I like them tuned lower (not too low).

Thanks for any advice!!








.

Rhythm Devil
12-13-2011, 08:04 PM
Just a shot in the dark here, but an F# would seem appropriate :)

nickd
12-14-2011, 12:17 AM
Taking my concept further still, I have used a Snark Sn2 tuner and a casio keyboard for reference. I use the keyboard to find the pitch by humming it, then check with the tuner. I've just tuned my 10" tom to 'E'. Taking off the hoops gives an idea of where the shell is resonant, EVERYTHING has a resonant frequency. Thats why glass breaks when you find the right frequency. The drum is linear in its response mostly, but the drum head adds almost infinite tangents. Honing in on the frequencies that excite the shell is the aim of course.

After finding the pitch of the shell, tuning both heads a minor 3rd lower than the pitch I desire gives me an overall pitch, it was hard to tap the drum and take a pic at the same time, but I am getting an 'F' on the floor tom consistently no matter where the shell is tapped. The reading is slightly sharp by about 20cents, but this decays quickly back to an F which lasts around 1.5 seconds. Therefore I will tune both heads to 'D' should work.
:cool: Nick

dwdrummer1991
12-14-2011, 01:55 AM
OK, I am playing in basically an orchestral situation, must play quiety. This is for a 90's Tama SwingStar, I put new G2 coateds over un-used Pro Tone Batters. Worst acousitcs for drums you could possibly imagine, btw.

So I have 12" 13" and 16", and am not following something, plus looking at the pages, not much is said about a 13" (vs.a 14")

I have seen several different tunings, but the "consensus" I saw was:

12" B (both heads tuned to G#)

Gap on 13 ???

16" C# (both heads tuned to B).

What do you all recommend for the 13"


If the 16" is tuned to C# and the 12" to B, what's left for the 13"? I like them tuned lower (not too low).

Thanks for any advice!!








.

Assuming 12x8 and 16x16...yeah those figures sound about right. What are the depths on your drums? But if you are tuning your 12" and are dead set on the note of B, I would tune your 13" to probably an A (assuming it is indeed one inch deeper than your 12" as well). There's really only about a whole step difference in pitch between a 12" and 13" tom with a 1" depth difference. My advice is don't worry too much about the actual interval between the drums, worry about the drum itself. Tune each drum the way it wants to be tuned and your whole kit will sound great.

Rhythm Devil
12-15-2011, 12:21 PM
Are you two feeling ok? lol. A 13" tom can be tuned to numerous pitches. I don't have one, so I can't report back. It's just my opinion, but I would certainly work all the drums in intervals (3rd's, 4th's etc) and not 1 note apart when you only have 3 toms. Seems obvious, but I thought it should be noted. Let us know what you come up with, HiFiBri.

HiFiBri
12-17-2011, 10:18 AM
Thanks for your comments! I've been busy with rehearsals (and new job position) since Tues, and haven't been able to check in on the thread.

I do not know for sure the drum depths, but they would be the standard size for a 90's Tama SwingStar. There is a 1" depth difference between the 12 and 13. I'm working on my music reading skills, and must admit tuning the drums a 3rd below right now is a bit hard to grasp. There is a piano I can use to tune, but so for just going with my gut and might use it to figure out where I ended up at, lol. The G2's sound great, and might have them a tad higher than I want them to be. The drums are at church, which makes it hard as I can't just jump over the the kit and check.

On a different topic (it's my own thread, so I can hijack it, lol) the acoustics are astoundingly bad. The drums are bouncing like 8 times before it even hits the choir, not to speak of out in the crowd. The 1st run was Tues, and I changed the location for dress rehearsal Wed, they were right in front (like lean back and you're on it) the organ (ok please skip the jokes) which is like 6.5' tall by maybe 7' wide, plus there's another half-wall, so it was sitting in a V shape...drums were bouncing twice right off the bat, so I moved it over so it's angled and more like 15' to the nearest wall (totally open the other side).

Not sure what is up with the use of shields, stay tuned, lol (hi-jack part deux). So far, we have not used them. I've approached it kind of like just for me with choir and piano, but there's also 2 contemporary songs with the other drummer, and the group crammed in to a space of about 1/16th of our normal set-up. So the shields would help the praise band musicians as they will be close to the set. Problem with that is I'm (no lie) 50' from the choir, maybe 60' from the lead vocalist on a mic, and maybe 10' from the piano, and there (so far) was not going to be a dedicated monitor for the drums (not needed without the shields). Adding a monitor does add stress to the situation, but If they use shields with no monitor, I wlll not be able to hear anything on a difficult song. I would post a link to the song but it is a Christmas song and talks about Je$%s and all, so I won't.

The song is pretty big and 2nd to last one in the concert...there's even going to be a spotlight on me...it only took 3 years to finally get fully recognized (only joking, if you can't tell I mention something at least weekly about the drums to the church guys). :D

Thanks again everyone!

nathanieljobe
12-17-2011, 06:42 PM
I concur with f#. That's a nice sounding chord. As to monitoring, can you get a headphone feed? maybe the bass or piano with a little of the choir? I couldn't play without my headphone amp and isolation headphones! Sorry to hear about the un-godly acoustics. I did a lot of work as an undergrad in acoustical design and material science--basically learning how to manipulate sound in spaces based on the properties of the spaces themselves. If you have any info about the dimensions of the room, the stage and the instruments involved (pics always help) I'd be happy to take a look and draw up a little chart of where I'd put what and any simple tricks you might employ with baffles, diffusion, absorption, deflection, etc. Feel free to PM me.

HiFiBri
12-17-2011, 07:20 PM
I concur with f#. That's a nice sounding chord. As to monitoring, can you get a headphone feed? maybe the bass or piano with a little of the choir? I couldn't play without my headphone amp and isolation headphones! Sorry to hear about the un-godly acoustics. I did a lot of work as an undergrad in acoustical design and material science--basically learning how to manipulate sound in spaces based on the properties of the spaces themselves. If you have any info about the dimensions of the room, the stage and the instruments involved (pics always help) I'd be happy to take a look and draw up a little chart of where I'd put what and any simple tricks you might employ with baffles, diffusion, absorption, deflection, etc. Feel free to PM me.


Thanks, Nathaniel, but it's kind of an is what it is type of deal, lol. :D It's a large church, not a mega church, it's getting full at 800, probably could fit 1,000 maybe even 1,200, but a very large volume space. It's kind of a cross shape, wings to each side, plus a balcony to the rear, it's a modern church but has beautiful and functional flying buttresses made of wood, plus additional interior ones that hang the lighting sconces. Also a beautful wood (oak I think) ceiling, they said over 9 miles of oak boards were used in the ceiling, and they did add acoustic panels to the largest walls. But I'd bet probably a thousand or more different reflective surfaces between butresses, an angled/beveled indentation at the intersection of the 2 ceilings, stairs to an elevated "stage" and other stuff. They could spend $500,000 on more absorption and it would still be live and bouncy.

So, no matter what, there is really no solution to the "bounce". Even an e-kit would bounce. But great news and in my own brilliance, lol, I thought of an idea and have the go ahead to encourage people to clap along...serioulsy, even 100 or so people clapping would help. Otherwise people won't know what drums to listen to because it's bouncing off so many things. The clapping too will bounce, but as long as they clap in original time, it will help. At least that's the concept, lol.

Ah, and formal decision of no shields :D

nathanieljobe
12-18-2011, 06:00 AM
I wouldn't have them clapping along. Odds are their timing will be off and throw you big time. Do you have a music director/conductor who could give you a visual cue for the tempo?

HiFiBri
12-18-2011, 07:06 AM
There's a director, not sure how it will work. We're going to try it on the 2 contemporary songs before mine, lol.

nathanieljobe
12-18-2011, 05:24 PM
Will there be a video of this performance? I'd love to see this show!

HiFiBri
12-18-2011, 07:16 PM
Thanks, but no. The church can't put stuff like that on YouTube. That'd be considered making a recording and then there's lots of fines to be had out there.

The concert was a disappointment...on the praise band sidethey didn't even have the mics on the vocalists until halfway thru the 2nd song. On my song, ah it was ok, the dir didn't cue me as I expected on one part, but I made it thru.

dwdrummer1991
12-27-2011, 11:03 PM
Are you two feeling ok? lol. A 13" tom can be tuned to numerous pitches. I don't have one, so I can't report back. It's just my opinion, but I would certainly work all the drums in intervals (3rd's, 4th's etc) and not 1 note apart when you only have 3 toms. Seems obvious, but I thought it should be noted. Let us know what you come up with, HiFiBri.

I know that there's a range that it can be tuned to, but fundamentally speaking, the estimated fundamental note of say, a 12x8 vs. a 13x9 would only be about a whole step difference, a 12x8 would prob be around a C# whereas the 13" would be prob like a B. You could however tune the 13 where you want it in relation to the 16 and then tune the 12 UP to fit a given interval..I have my 10 and 12 a perfect fifth apart at the moment and it sounds great, I'd certainly do the same with a 12 & 13.

Rhythm Devil
01-13-2012, 05:09 PM
Found this vid. I'm not interested in the product itself, but towards the end you can hear the relation between the top and bottom heads as they go up and down very clearly. I thought it was pretty cool and worth sharing here :cool:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvp_lTzv6gU&feature=related

nickd
01-21-2012, 07:50 PM
I'm just taking into account the heads setteling again. I do it with guitar strings, I tune the string slightly sharper so it settles back.

I strongly suggest you take the heads and hoops off and put a piece of string through a bridge lug and tap the shell at the opposite end to make it resonate. I use a snark tuner fastened to the shell, it gives me an accurate reading, I then check it with a keyboard to see if it is the note and not a harmonic of it.

Check back a page or two, I posted pics.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEy104hIooM&context=C3fe3925ADOEgsToPDskI75TMwMykzzwNRAbYIqwtk

Heres a video of the snare / toms. Sounds pretty boomy, but they're actually almost tuned to jazz tension. Mitch Mitchell used to get a similar sound, tuned as tight as they'd go. Listen to "Hey Joe" and you'll get an idea of the sound he was getting from a 45 year old Premier Outfit.

nickd
01-22-2012, 03:53 PM
Oh I'm not a heavy hitter by any means. It's just habit now as I say to all my drum kids "and where do you go from that?" after they have deafened my with 10 seconds of mindless drum fill. Pocket. The other thing is the recording is actually really quiet anyway, no super add on compression.

Anyway, yeah I'm a total Mitch fan. Keith Moon had 3 14" toms, all the same size O_o ?

Yeah the string is just for suspending the shell. I use the tuner on conjunction with the piano just to be sure I'm not hearing a 5th above or below, which is an easy mistake.

PS, if you like mitchells drumming, you should check out Greg Erico from Sly and the family stone. Really got me into funk.

nickd
01-22-2012, 05:11 PM
Oh yeah, they definitly go up in pitch as you hit harder, I think thats because you're distorting the head, and therefore the waveform. Drum overdrive.

I haven't read his book, but I remember driving to work in 2008 and hearing on the radio he'd died, was a sad day :/

BadAstronaut
01-23-2012, 01:22 PM
. Mine are tuned 12-Bb, 14-F, 16-C. Yielding what I believe to be 12-C#, 14-G#, 16-D (should be E Flat) when stuck hard . My 16" only goes up 2 semitones16" floors and larger go up in overall pitch by 1-2 semitones .. I've never tuned a 16 that went up 3-4 semitones.

nickd
01-23-2012, 03:56 PM
Not so simple, unless you're talking about single-headed toms.

I can guarantee you that if your 10" tom sounds like an E when mounted, both heads are NOT tuned to E.

Take the drum off the stand and place one side on a pillow. Gently tap the unmuffled side. Now flip the drum over and tap the other side. Assuming you like to tune both heads equally, they should be around 3 pitches LOWER (around C#) than your target note for the drum - in this case, E.

Also keep in mind, I'm not talking about octives, only the actual note.

I'm not tone deaf, can easily pick out higher or lower octives based on any pitch I hear and have been doing this for years. I also used to play keyboards. I give each drum a solid whack, so there's not even time to hear "the first initial overtones" as you suggest.

This works for me on every single tom, up until around a 16". For some reason, I find that on that size of drum, I have to tune the heads UP around 1 or 2 pitches.

Hear's the scheme I'm currently using and it works every single time:
8" = A; both heads tuned to F#
10" = E; both heads tuned to C#
12" = B; both heads tuned to G#
14" = F#; both heads tuned to D#
16" = C#; both heads tuned to B

I don't know the physics behnind this, but it obviously has something to do with air shooting back and forth, causing both heads to work IN UNISON within a given distance - as I said, it doesn't seem to work for my Tama 16x16 or Pearl 16x13, but does for all my other toms. I've actually had my guitarist's tuner react to me hitting them based on the notes I tuned them to, so I know my crazy method works.

I haven't experiemented with resos being tighter, etc., because I've been happy with the way my drums sound with both heads being equal, but I would imagine if one tunes the reso higher and is shooting for E from a 10" tom, a D reso and C batter might do the trick.

Veggyboy was already onto my theory 2 years before I figured it out. Honest, this works.

This in conjunction of finding the shells fundamental note by tapping it with no heads / hoops on it.

Bass Brain
01-26-2012, 09:10 AM
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This hasn't improved my tuning at all mr agnino, am I doing it wrong?

Codeseven
03-08-2012, 09:15 AM
Digging up an older but interesting thread.

When tuning your kit to Notes I see in this thread that some like to tune to 3rd's or 4th's on the Tom's ie, 10"=D, 12"=A, 14"=E on a 2up 1down kit. If you were to take out that 12" Tom for a 1up 1down configuration I assume the 10 and 14" Tom's would still keep the same Notes as before, right? Thanks (I know, rookie question:))

BadAstronaut
03-08-2012, 09:34 AM
When tuning your kit to Notes I see in this thread that some like to tune to 3rd's or 4th's on the Tom's ie, 10"=D, 12"=A, 14"=E on a 2up 1down kit. If you were to take out that 12" Tom for a 1up 1down configuration I assume the 10 and 14" Tom's would still keep the same Notes as before, right? Thanks (I know, rookie question:))if you're using a 10 as main tom and 14 as a floor I'd tune them an octave apart .. octaves are powerful musically

Codeseven
03-08-2012, 10:25 AM
if you're using a 10 as main tom and 14 as a floor I'd tune them an octave apart .. octaves are powerful musically

Thanks Bad. Sorry, I'm still learning this stuff, what do you mean by an 'Octave' apart?

Codeseven
03-08-2012, 10:47 AM
Thanks Bad. Sorry, I'm still learning this stuff, what do you mean by an 'Octave' apart?

Nevermind, Google is my friend :) "Octave is the interval between one musical pitch and another with half or double its frequency."

BadAstronaut
03-08-2012, 10:49 AM
example .. 10 tuned to a high E .. 14 tuned to low E

I tune my 12 an octave apart from my 16 when not using my 14 ..otherwise I use 4ths between 12,14,16

Codeseven
03-08-2012, 12:29 PM
example .. 10 tuned to a high E .. 14 tuned to low E

I tune my 12 an octave apart from my 16 when not using my 14 ..otherwise I use 4ths between 12,14,16

Thanks

carl62
04-27-2012, 02:25 PM
For an EXCELLENT reference on tuning, check out www.sticksandstaves.com. This has everything you need for tuning your drums to pitches condensed into one small page.

Mike St.Clair
06-07-2012, 02:21 PM
I'm guessing a pitch pipe would be a good reference.

BadAstronaut
07-22-2012, 12:56 PM
^ what was your post about TheNewGuy? .. Professor-Bad is still here .. haha.

BadAstronaut
07-23-2012, 07:19 PM
^ ahh .. yeah I tune a bit sharp myself .. I didn't think anyone cared about minute details .. it's really personal preference how you tune .. after playing they'll de-tune slightly back to the normal pitch .. ie .. say B tuned on the sharp side goes back to B but not a flat B.

BadAstronaut
07-24-2012, 01:45 PM
Do you tune both heads sharp or just the batters?

Do you actually tune your 16" up 1 semi tone or just very sharp?

The drum size vs amount of semi tone increase is an interesting detail and I still don't understand all the why's and how's of it. I can understand that striking the batter very soft to very loud that there is an increase in pitch (you say overall pitch)

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 ..

nils
08-01-2012, 07:56 AM
I tune my 12 an octave apart from my 16 when not using my 14 ..otherwise I use 4ths between 12,14,16

I usually tune only a fifth between 12 and 16 and roughly thirds, if it is a row like 10-12-14-16. This way you can always find fifth, which provide a differential note of an octave below the lower note involved if hitting two drums at once while leaving one out in the middle. Like a power chord for drums.

Securitron-X
08-16-2012, 09:23 PM
I have my toms tuned around a Cmaj9 at the moment. So:
16" C
14" E
13" G
12" B
10" D