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Thread: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

  1. #1

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    Default How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    There was a set at my camp last year that only had top heads and I also remember reading that Phil Collins played that way. Is it easy enough to figure this out on my own? Yea, but I'm lazy and don't feel like doing it without gathering some opinions.
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  2. #2

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    Those are refereed to as concert toms.

    I've played a few concert toms kits, can't say I ever really cared for the way they sounded. Very dead sounding, little to no resonance.

    Try taking off the reso on one of your toms. I'm willing to bet you'll be putting it back on in about 10 mins.

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    You might consider taking some audio of both sounds, using 4 different takes in these areas:
    1) batter side, reso-on
    2) reso side, reso-on
    3) batter side, reso-off
    4) reso side, reso-off
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    It was actually the standard back in the 70's. Yea, I'm old enough to remember it. LOL
    But they will make the drums sound and feel lifeless. It takes all the body out of the drum. They will sound very flat and unexciting.
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  5. #5

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    I used to play them like that, and i've noticed a change in volume and dimension. It seems like when you add the second head to the mix, of course you must imagine how that element will add to your sound and grant you fullness. However without the reso head on, you will notice a very open and louder tone coming from your drum. It's kind of a double edged sword, but try each way and see what works best for you yes?
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    I play mine as concert toms...mostly because the stock reso's were crap and i never felt like getting new ones.
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    You can take them off, plenty of people did that in the sixties and seventies, but...... there are plenty of really beautiful drums with a really bad reso side bearing edge. You will do irreparable damage to your drums by removing the bottom heads. The best thing to do, is take the time, pay your dues to the drum gods, and learn how to tune.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    I have a mixture of Concert toms and double headed drums. It really depends on the size of the drum and type heads you use. My 15" and 16" concert toms sound nice and full with plenty of sustain. I have my 15" concert tom next to my double headed 16" floor tom. The 15" has slightly less sustain but projects a little more. I also use a 10" Concert tom next to my 12" double headed tom. They sound nice together with the same results as the other two drums. The mixture sounds nice as a set.. to me anyway.
    I am not useing my 14" concert tom in any configuration right now but it has a nice tone and sings. My 6" and 8" concert toms are pretty dead sounding but poject and cut through. You can hear what they sound like on ELP "Brain Salad Surgery". Carl Palmer uses them on a lot of fills.

  9. #9

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    Concert Toms (no reso)

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIwwh3qjYRw"]YouTube- Iron Maiden - Running Free (Live After Death)[/ame]

    With resos

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMbdpgooP9s&feature=related"]YouTube- Iron Maiden - Running Free (Live '96)[/ame]

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    This was the type of drum kit I owned in the 80s only mine was white. It is a Maxwin (Pearl).


  11. #11

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    Quote Originally Posted by areFish View Post
    This was the type of drum kit I owned in the 80s only mine was white. It is a Maxwin (Pearl).

    Mine were Clear Fibes, had the lugs for bottom head but no hoops, and at age 13 I didn't care. I had drums and that was cool " Miss those drums now". But was loud very loud.
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  12. #12

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    Default Re: How does removing the bottom tom heads make them sound?

    A lot depends on where you hear them from and if and how they are mic'd. From player's position, double headed will always sound fuller as the bottom head will bounce the sound back towards the player. From the front, if the kit is un-mic'd, the cleaner more focused sound can cut through other music. Also, with lots of toms, the different tones can be more clearly heard, again, particularly when un-mic'd.

    Overall, Mic'd, or with a small kit, I'd prefer double headed. Un-miked, big kit, I'd go with Concert toms.

    Re-Bearing edges. At one time, I had double headed drums, to protect the bottom of the shell, I put old pinstripes on the bottom, cut around the ring to just leave a small ring.

    Seriously though, Take the bottom heads off and listen, You might like it, you might hate it. Go with your own ears.

    Andy

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