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