Tuning Roto-Toms

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elmdawg
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Post Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:07 pm

I was wondering if anyone with roto-toms knows the best way to tune them. Yes I know that all you have to do is turn the frame, but when do you fine tune (ie with the tension rods)- before or after the frame? And how much do you want to tighten with the frame as opposed to the rods? Or does it even matter?? Any help would be most appreciated...
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Post Sat Oct 07, 2006 1:28 pm

elmdawg wrote:I was wondering if anyone with roto-toms knows the best way to tune them. Yes I know that all you have to do is turn the frame, but when do you fine tune (ie with the tension rods)- before or after the frame? And how much do you want to tighten with the frame as opposed to the rods? Or does it even matter?? Any help would be most appreciated...


I've always tuned them evenly at a normal tom tom tension. Then if needed I wind them up a bit. I've only used Remos. My fav' size is the 14". I used ambassadors or black dots. They sound good either way.
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Shalaq
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Post Sat Oct 07, 2006 11:06 pm

I tune my rotos so that they are on the same level. If the tom has a high pitch but the lugs are fairly loose etc I turn the drum to lower the pitch and highten it with the lugs etc.
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Animal
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Post Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:55 am

AH, Roto-toms! Memories from the past...

In my earlier days as a drummer, I used to love the sound of roto-toms. I had four; 12", 14", 16" and 18", I think.
Easy to tune, quite cheap, and quite decent sound.
As I was using something in the neigbourhood of 16-18 different drums, I also found the roto-toms handy in the sense that they took less space than "ordinary" drums.

I am seriously concidering to buy some roto-toms again.

I would like to have the 6", 8" and 10" sizes.

Anyone in here that use those sizes?

I'd like to hear how you are pleased with the sizes, and what manufactorers are the better.

Is it "Remo" that makes up the best ones, or are they all alike, regardless of producer (and obviously, prize)?

Are the black dot's regarded the best skin's to use on roto-toms?
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Post Sun Oct 08, 2006 3:58 am

I`ve been debating building an Alex Van Halen kit, all rotos, so that it`d be easy to gig with
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Post Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:09 pm

My recommedation is to not use them. They sound silly to me.
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PaulZILLA
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Post Mon Dec 25, 2006 4:40 pm

well i use that 6/8/10 set and they are fun. i dont keep them on my kit but they are fun sometimes. mine have remo black dots. but im going to put aquarians on them soon. mainly due to my set is all aquarian. and i tune turn them down then tune them with the lugs. then slowly turn them up to get the pitch's i want
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Post Mon Dec 25, 2006 6:26 pm

I just recently purchased the 6/8/10 Remo rotos, and they are now always a part of my kit. I've been trying to keep the tension rods as even as possible but pretty loose, tune by the frame, then again with a key to fine tune...its been the longest but most effective method so far. i played a few solos at a concert last week where i'd turn and detune them while playing and then tuning back up in the middle of the solo...surprisingly enough they go right back where they should be and sound great the rest of the night. if you really want some extra flavor on your kit without adding 12 more cymbals, this will do the trick.
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Post Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:01 am

My latest kit is a real kick and floor tom and then rotos. As of now its a 10" and 14". But I am looking to add a 16". I love the sound for what I am doing (Post-Rock like Mogwai, Sigur Ros, Trans Am....) Just recorded a record with them and they sounded amazing......I had to spend all my time tuning the snare and floor and hardly any time on the rotos. I had coated Evans g2 on 14 and a G1 on the 10.
They don't work on a lot of styles of music, and the 6, 8, 10 configuration and the Neil Peart style rolls it forces out of even the tastiest players is pretty lame.
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Post Tue Dec 26, 2006 10:06 am

Animal wrote:
Are the black dot's regarded the best skin's to use on roto-toms?


I think Ambassadors sound the best. I've used black dots when I was on tour and needed them to last a bit longer.

As for your other question regarding sizes: yes I've used smaller sizes. They sound fine if that is the sound you require.
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SmellsLikeIan
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Post Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:08 am

Hey, animal, I've got 6, 8, and 10 rotos that I would part with for a reasonably inexpensive price......say, $50 for all 3 plus shipping? Get back to me....
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Spydr2000
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Post Tue Dec 26, 2006 11:46 am

I used the 6/8/10 roto toms with remo pinstripes. I didn't really tune them, I left the heads really lose and they had a cool wet slappy sound to them. I guess it all depends on what you want to use them for.