tuning my tom

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Gazdkw82§
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:34 am

right im having a bit of a problem tuning my tom. Its a 12" maple dw hanging tom. at the moment i have evans g2 coated on the batter side and factory fitted dw skin on the resonant side. It just sounds like a kind of wobbly mess , with overtones, rather than a musical tone. I have tuned like crazy and at the mo i have the batter tuned higher than the reso.

Im going to record in a few weeks and need to get a pure sound so it dont sound like a uncontrollable mess.

Question is what can i do to get more of a tone? does replacing the reso side make a massive difference? what would i get from different skins? i will try and record the tom and put a link on here
Dale
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:37 am

Is the head old and battered?

Are you able to tune well already, or are you trying to learn how to tune?

Just as a note. I always record with new heads. At least on the batter side.
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Gazdkw82§
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 10:58 am

the head is pretty new and its always sounded wrong. when i got the kit i was using the factory single ply heads and i decided to replace them because they sounded crap. my toms sound better but still the 12 seems odd. as for tuning i can tune pretty well i think lol i tune the batter head first finger tight then a half turn all round then tune each lug to the same pitch then tune the drum evenly until the drum rings at its sweet spot. Then i do the same with the reso head and then tune that to the top of just below.
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:10 am

Well it sounds as if you are doing everything right. When checking the evenness of the tuning, do you place a a finger in the center of the head so as to isolate the sound to check if everything is uniform?

If so, and the tuning is even, there isn't much else you can do except to keep experimenting with tension.

Or, the head combination may not offer what it is you want to hear. Head combination certainly plays a big part in the sound that will come from a drum. I find Evans heads to be a fairly dead sounding head right across the line. I use Remos because they have more liveliness. At least to me. This may differ for other players.

Also sometimes one simply gets a bad head. If you read the Aquarian advert's in drum magazines, they always mention the finger test. This is done by holding a head and tapping it with a finger. I always do this. And have been doing so for over 20 years. And it's one reason I never buy a head that is in a box. If it's in a box, how can I test it?

This was a lesson from my first drum teacher. He told me that it is always a good idea to tap the head. It's also a good idea to check CS heads because often the center patch is off center. That is something that really turned out to be true. I've seen so many heads with the dot off center.

Really if you know how to tune I don't think there is anything I can really offer. You'll just have to persevere.

Good luck with it.
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Gazdkw82§
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:15 am

right iv just recorded this excuse the bare chest :s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dk18E5CNQY

iv just thought it could be somethin to do with the room i store the drums in. There are all in a little storage room at the back of my house so its quite cold. all the drums are in protection racket soft cases with a duvet over the top but when i got the drum out i noticed it was fairly cold.

ps it might take a min or so for the vid to be up
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Gazdkw82§
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:15 am

right iv just recorded this excuse the bare chest :s

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Dk18E5CNQY

iv just thought it could be somethin to do with the room i store the drums in. There are all in a little storage room at the back of my house so its quite cold. all the drums are in protection racket soft cases with a duvet over the top but when i got the drum out i noticed it was fairly cold.

ps it might take a min or so for the vid to be up
Dale
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Post Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:22 am

Mate I cannot connect to YouTube at all. This PC simply cannot handle it. Hopefully someone else may be able to chime in.

I play both drums with plastic and natural heads. I find that weather does not really affect plastic heads but does so to an extreme with natural heads. Perhaps the cold affects the shell? Does it do this with the other toms?

As for natural heads, I've left congas and bongos tuned up and have had the heads tear when it became quite hot. Just laziness on my part. But expensive laziness I'm afraid.

If you have a good relationship with your drum shop, it may be possible to take the tom in and try some other head combinations. Often a drum shop will have some used heads out the back that have come off floor display kits. If so, you might be able to experiment and see what works and what doesn't.

I'm really sorry I can't offer more help. It's hard without actually being there to see it myself.
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baddrum88
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 9:51 am

well im new to the group, so if anyone can give me help on the best way to tune my drums that would be helpful. I really suck at tuning my drums!
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:19 am

In regards to the question about tuning your toms, the resonate DOES matter! For sure you need to replace it if not every time, then every couple of times you replace your batter! It might not seem like it takes much wear, but it stretches out and will badly affect your sound! I would for sure replace both heads when I was recording. You want to give yourself the benefit of the doubt, by doing all you can to get a better sound out of those drums. And beyond replacing heads, you have to have the batter head tuned as low as you can, because your going to get the better sound when you tune your resonate head up. depending on the pich you want to achieve, you should have your batter resonably tight, but the resonate will definately need to be tighter. and that rule always applies! If you have recently tuned any tom, and starts to sound a little shabby, there may be minor adjustments on the batter, but I promise when you start to tune the resonate, it will make al the difference! and for gods sake, dont fucking tape up your heads. thats a lazy way to get your drums sounding like shit! Just learn how to tune them right! When recording, I would use a coated on top, and a single ply clear head on the bottom. I'm a Remo man, but thats just personal preference. If the acoustics are really good and you playing in a big arena, its good to go with clear heads on top and bottom. So I'm done rambling on but if you have any questions just email me. will_weathers@yahoo.com
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MaxDrummr1
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 10:36 am

Ok, i use Aquarian heads, and they sound great...also, a drum dial might help too...also drumdials rule on aquarian heads...so yea
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Warrdogg
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 11:08 am

The best way to go about tuning heads is to start with your res. head. Tune it to the pitch you like, then tune your batter head to the same pitch. Whenever you tune one head up or down you will have to adjust the other head. If the heads dont match in tone thats when you get overtones, buzzing or a dead sound from the head. Its also important to stretch brand new heads, the best way is to put the head on and tighten it down pretty tight then stand on it (unless you weigh 300 lbs. it will hold your weight) Tuning drum heads is like tuning a guitar, your drums arent going to play a chord just a single note. When guitarist tune they check one string to the next and when its out of tune you can hear the sound waves not matching, same thing with a drum head.
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PaulZILLA
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 3:31 pm

yea. i use aquarian. i used to use remo. and the resonate makes a huge difference. first of all. the only evans head ill even concider is their genera hd dry snare heads. and its not first choice. yes changing the reso will take the WHOOM out of it. and hopefully you tune your drums in the proper pattern. not in the circle motion that alot of begginers use. its hard to explain how to use the proper pattern but it helps alot. i always take both heads off when replaceing even just 1, and i do batter first and i put it on. tune it up. and seat it, then take it off and put it back on and tune to the desired pitch. then i do the reso but i tune it maybe 1/8th turn higher on hangin toms. and a drumdial would help immensely. if used right you can achieve any sound you want every time. it cant be the drum, because DW own. im saying get a new batter and new reso set all the way around. and stay away from evans. i had evans tom and bass heads the rims would warp(the rim of the head not the drum). you may need to take the head off and re seat it as well.
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haylo
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Post Wed Dec 27, 2006 4:02 pm

What everyone has said is totally true--if you've been playing on the kit for a while, and the heads start wearing out--it IS just as important to replace the bottom head as well as the top...

However, I was always under the impression that DW put pretty decent heads on their kits. A lot of people have recommended Remo...well, Remo makes DW's heads. So your bottom head in this particular case probably isn't too shabby, just needs some adjustment.

And yes...it's totally true that most drum kits you buy have crappy heads on them, from the factory. I just don't think DW does this, though. Look closely at big name drummers who play DW; you will usually see the "DW" logo on their resonant + batter heads....

If you don't like the sound of the factory top head, though, you could totally replace it, with whatever you want--a Remo Pinstripe, a coated Ambassador, a coated Emperor....but in this case, I doubt your bottom reso head is much of a problem.

On a cheap kit---definitely replace all the heads, though.