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TIMpani
07-24-2013, 01:18 PM
Greetings All, I'm playing timpani in an unusual manner and wonder if anyone might have some advice. Along with a drummer playing a partial traditional drumkit, I'm playing a concert bass drum, gong and timpani in a very loud, rock/metal-oriented group. Since I play everything simultaneously, I have to use the same mallets on all surfaces. It was tough finding mallets which got a full sound from the 40" concert bass drum but weren't too large for the timpani. I settled on Vic Firth TG21 bass drum mallets. Anyway, the size/hardness of the mallets combined with the velocity I have to strike the timpani (to compete with the volume of the rest of the group) ends up causing dents in the head rather easily. I'm wondering what the most durable timpani heads are. Pretty sure I'll always need to replace them on a regular basis but I'm trying to cut down on it as much as possible. Any suggestions would be appreciated. THANKS.

SAManiac
07-24-2013, 06:07 PM
ask them to turn down the volume?

nik12
07-24-2013, 07:12 PM
Mic the tymps.

timlovestenors95
07-24-2013, 07:32 PM
Mic the tymps.

Boom. Spend the cash and get some mics.

TIMpani
07-25-2013, 02:31 PM
They've significantly lowered their volume but I still can't hear the timpani clearly enough. The guitar and bass eat up a wide range of the frequency spectrum which infringes upon the timpani's range. We plan on miking the timpani eventually but still want to find the most durable heads. Any suggestions?

bobthebrick
07-25-2013, 03:31 PM
For durability, the Evans ones are really good. However, Remo Renaissance heads sound better and have very similar durability, but cost slightly more.

TIMpani
07-26-2013, 07:26 PM
Great, thanks bobthebrick. Will check out both.

lovetheblues
07-27-2013, 05:32 AM
For durability, the Evans ones are really good. However, Remo Renaissance heads sound better and have very similar durability, but cost slightly more.

Sorry for being blunt but I think this is poor advice. I don't want to start a "remo" vs "Evans" debate, but the thing you should look for is not which brand, but which model within the brand. Look for models which are 2-ply.. e.g. in Remo try Emperor. Renaissance is just the texture of the Remo heads, and is offered on all of their heads from the thinnest single ply (e.g. Diplomat) to their thickest most resilient 2-ply.

bobthebrick
07-27-2013, 06:10 AM
Sorry for being blunt but I think this is poor advice. I don't want to start a "remo" vs "Evans" debate, but the thing you should look for is not which brand, but which model within the brand. Look for models which are 2-ply.. e.g. in Remo try Emperor. Renaissance is just the texture of the Remo heads, and is offered on all of their heads from the thinnest single ply (e.g. Diplomat) to their thickest most resilient 2-ply.

Unless I'm very much mistaken, Timpani heads are not offered in Diplomat to Emperor weights..

lovetheblues
07-27-2013, 07:20 AM
Unless I'm very much mistaken, Timpani heads are not offered in Diplomat to Emperor weights..

Yes, you are right. Sorry about that.

But what I am thinking is that the timpani head is being used at volume above what it is really designed for, so use another head from the range; it need not be specifically a timpani head. Provided the head is available it the right size. Generally the normal drum-set heads are available in sizes large enough (e.g. up to 40") however only in increments of 2 (16, 18, 20, etc) whereas timpani heads are available in half-inch increments. So depends on the size of the timpani.

TIMpani
07-27-2013, 03:40 PM
Fairly certain regular drum heads won't work on timpani because they're not made as pliable as timpani heads which need to stretch quite a bit as you move the pedal.

bobthebrick
07-27-2013, 04:47 PM
Yes, you are right. Sorry about that.

But what I am thinking is that the timpani head is being used at volume above what it is really designed for, so use another head from the range; it need not be specifically a timpani head. Provided the head is available it the right size. Generally the normal drum-set heads are available in sizes large enough (e.g. up to 40") however only in increments of 2 (16, 18, 20, etc) whereas timpani heads are available in half-inch increments. So depends on the size of the timpani.

That's fine :) Normal drum heads won't fit because the collar is not right. I think it was John Bonham who at one stage got a custom made Coated Ambassador as a tympano head, but it just didn't sound right anyway. Also, I'd argue about the volume being too loud as well (sorry!). In an orchestral setting, timpani can go extremely loud without any damage at all. However, a lot of that is correct mallet choice, and TG21s (what the OP is using) are reasonably large and hardish concert bass drum mallet. OP, what sort of sound do you want from your timpani? I would assume you need something with immediate attack and brighter overtones to help add 'presence' to the sound among the bass and things, but you still want/need a full bass drum sound? Give us some clues and we can suggest some mallets which won't solve the problem (mics will), but can significantly help it :)

TIMpani
07-29-2013, 11:39 AM
Yesterday I tried using Vic Firth timpani mallets (forgot the model number, will post it when I next see the mallets) and got a much better result volume-wise from the timpani. From another forum, I was given advice on how to strike the timpani which is different than how you'd typically strike a drumkit. The only downside to using these mallets is a bit less low end BOOM from the concert bass drum. I spent a good chunk of time finding the sweet spot on the bass drum where I can achieve the most BOOM while still getting the brighter overtones, which was very helpful. The percussion section in this group consists of a drummer playing a standard drumkit minus a kick drum... in place of the kick is a trigger pedal which triggers a snare drum sound which is used in conjunction with a real snare drum on his kit. I'm playing 2 timpani, concert bass drum and a gong. The overall concept was to create a drum section that sounds very much like a drumkit with monstrous sounding bass drums - the concert bass drum and timpani parts approximate what a drummer would play on his kicks in a somewhat standard metal format with a good amount of embellishment. We've been working on it for months and it's really starting to come together well now but since some of the drums we're using weren't designed for this type use, there are a number of technical issues, hence my posts. Thanks a lot for the ongoing advice. It's been helpful.