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Thread: Floor tom tuning

  1. #1

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    Question Floor tom tuning

    i cant seem to tune my ftom just right. i dont like my ftom to be high at all. i love a low sound. but with my low sound and moongels, it resonates like hell. im getting pstripes to solve the problem. i have two socks inside the drum just the way i want it now. but that seems kind of ridiculous right? tuning tips?

    Thanks

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    If YOU like the sound then its not ridiculous.
    What sizes and heads are you using now?

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Remo pins will help a lot in trying to get that low rock thump for a floor tom. All my toms have pins on them. Reso's are stock tuned lower than the batter with the batter a couple to 3 turns past wrinkle with a moon gel.
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  4. #4

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    The resonance is always less noticeable when you're playing with others. My kit sounds alot boomier when I'm practicing alone than it does when practicing with the band. I listened to a bunch of old practice recordings the other day (old kit, thick basswood shells, hydraulic heads) and the tom sound was all attack and no body. I listened to some newer ones (6 ply maple, EC2) and there was still alot of attack, but there was also a presence to the toms that wasn't there on the old ones. That said, pinstripes and a low tuned reso would probably get you close to what you're looking for. You can add moongels if needed for solo practice, but take them off if you jam with others.
    Mmm... Saturns.

  5. #5

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    I like the sound of my floor tom no matter what head I use. The trick is to have to batter loser than the reso. I finger tight my batter plus 1/4 turn and that gives me the lowest pitch and the I do the reso the same but with an extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn more. Try this and if you like then leave it or add some mongel to the batter. Good luck and let me know what happens.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Is it a bad resonance? I get annoyed when my toms DON'T resonate.
    Pearl MCX Man has the right idea. Make sure that bottom head is tuned properly. I bet if you get a sweet sounding resonance, you won't be so concerned with muffling the drum. Good luck.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I like the sound of my floor tom no matter what head I use. The trick is to have to batter loser than the reso. I finger tight my batter plus 1/4 turn and that gives me the lowest pitch and the I do the reso the same but with an extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn more. Try this and if you like then leave it or add some mongel to the batter. Good luck and let me know what happens.
    I had the same issues, I can get the other toms to my liking but that floor tom is a PITA. I switched to the Aquarian super2 w/pwerdot and it helped a great deal, but still wasn't happy, after lots of trial and error I got where I'm satisfied by doing exactly what you described here but not 100%. I'm still using the single ply reso heads, would it help further to change to a thicker reso head? It's only the floor tom, 16" btw.
    Tama Swingstar-6Piece
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  8. #8

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by pearl mcx man View Post
    i like the sound of my floor tom no matter what head i use. The trick is to have to batter loser than the reso. I finger tight my batter plus 1/4 turn and that gives me the lowest pitch and the i do the reso the same but with an extra 1/8 to 1/4 turn more. Try this and if you like then leave it or add some mongel to the batter. Good luck and let me know what happens.
    +1
    "it is what it is"

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  9. #9
    Larrysperf Guest

    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    If you tune it and like the sound then I dont know why you have a problem. Its all in your ears and the sound you likeSocks, moon gels, felt, what ever it takes. Some drummers put there wallets on top

  10. #10

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    My tips - use the same head on top and bottom, tune them exactly the same, and dampen to taste. Any sustain you get should be very musical if nothing else. Make sure the top head is nice and stretched out if the head is anywhere near new. Finger tighten the lugs then press the head down and break some of the glue. This might shorten the head life, but it's well worth it to not have to beat the head into shape. New heads are like a new haircut that only looks good a week later This works on rack toms as well, but I usually crank the reso heads a bit to get a pitch-bend (bent?) sound.
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  11. #11

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    On my 16 FT I run a Remo coated Vintage Emperor batter with a clear Pinstripe for a Reso and one pad of Moon-Gel. Medium low tuning on each head. Good low sound with just enough resonance, and no socks in my FT Stumbled across this head combo while battling the same problem you're having. One day I wondered what would happen with a clear Pinstripe for a reso head, and the rest is history. No regrets. Good luck.

    sk
    "A man can NEVER have too many cymbals"

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  12. #12

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    Thumbs up Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by 9digits View Post
    I had the same issues, I can get the other toms to my liking but that floor tom is a PITA. I switched to the Aquarian super2 w/pwerdot and it helped a great deal, but still wasn't happy, after lots of trial and error I got where I'm satisfied by doing exactly what you described here but not 100%. I'm still using the single ply reso heads, would it help further to change to a thicker reso head? It's only the floor tom, 16" btw.
    Glad to hear that you use some of my technique for tuning your floor tom. This is just a basic way and then it is up to you to tune it more or less to get your sound. My toms all have 2 plies ( EC2's) batters and single ( EC reso) reso and my style realy works well on my toms.

  13. #13

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    Wink Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by oaklandrichie View Post
    Is it a bad resonance? I get annoyed when my toms DON'T resonate.
    Pearl MCX Man has the right idea. Make sure that bottom head is tuned properly. I bet if you get a sweet sounding resonance, you won't be so concerned with muffling the drum. Good luck.
    Thanks man appreciate it.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Pitch match em IMO. Drums do sing when they're resonating together ie. Batter, shell, and reso. They sound big and open. If you've never tried it, give it a go.

    The only two constants I have are DW and Zildjian.

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    i'll have to try that, i have an 18" and its is a huuuuge pain to tune, once its there tho it has the perfect attack and resonance, but when its not it has a really bad resonance, love hate relationship lol
    Last edited by drmn4life; 03-24-2011 at 02:09 AM.
    12x5 Pork Pie Lil Squeeler Snare
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  16. #16

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    Question Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by drmn4life View Post
    i'll have to try that, i have an 18" and its is a huuuuge pain to tune, once its there tho it has the perfect attack and resonance, but when its not it has a really bad resonance, love hate relationship lol
    How do you get your floor tom to sound good. How do you tune the batter and reso. Just curious cause we are always looking for advise or ways to tune those floor toms from different drummers.

  17. #17

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    what kind of drum is it? Floor tom make size? I've had some problems tuning a 14" tom before and sometimes those are used as floor toms but my 16 and 18 were relatively easy to get right.

    But it is kind of fun to sit down and tune which can sometimes lead to hours but you'll need to give your ears a break. Kind of like shopping for cologne smell too many and it all smells the same.
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  18. #18

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    I did a quick re-tune of my 16" floor yesterday before the show. Man, I'm glad I did. It sounded unreal in this dome we played last night. I think I've FINALLY got the EC2 to where I can stand it! I'm at about 3/4 of a full turn above finger tight on each side.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneRoney View Post
    My tips - use the same head on top and bottom, tune them exactly the same, and dampen to taste.
    Might be a difficult task if you're a fan of ultra thick heads!

  20. #20

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    How do you get your floor tom to sound good. How do you tune the batter and reso. Just curious cause we are always looking for advise or ways to tune those floor toms from different drummers.
    well i have a 14" rack tom, and an 18" floor.. with the 18'' i finger tighten the reso and tighten about 2- 2 1/4 turns, and with the batter i finger tighten then 1/2-1 full turn. the thing is with my kit, they belonged to my cousin, who left them in a giant warehouse with swamp coolers, and during the summer that warehouse got sooo humid and gross and hot, the hardware is so bad that the rods will unscrew themselves after about an hour of playing, and i dont see it, so as time and playing progresses, a lot of the rods are tightened differently due to me tryin to do quick re tuning during practices with the band. even tho with the band all u hear is attack, but by myself if not retuned properly, they sound like booty. but ya to answer your question, for batter heads i tune as low as possible. and the reso tuned just above.
    Last edited by drmn4life; 04-04-2011 at 01:30 AM.
    12x5 Pork Pie Lil Squeeler Snare
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  21. #21

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    I've been working on my tom tuning. Got the floor tom to ring and sustain with a nice deep ring to it. No damping of any sort. Ludwig Accent cheapies. The attack still has some slight overtones, but I think I'm as close as I'll get for what I want. And where you hit on the head makes a difference in the tone also. At this point I can't imagine damping them. Get good sustain and it makes a big difference.

    Like someone said, the drums will sound completely different recorded with the rest of the band. I think my original problem was thinking the heads had to be close to wrinkle to get a nice low sound. The Pstripes can go on up. At Wrinkle is fine playing alone or practicing, but recorded is just blat blat blat. No "tone" to speak of. I might have them too high for most folks, but I am getting better recorded sound. And the whole drum is resonating.

    This tuning thing is very mysterious at first. I am finding that by just tightening and loosening and experimenting, it is becoming less mysterious. Short of tightening to breakage, I don't know that it can hurt other than stretching the heads if I decide to go lower. And it's a learning experience.

    I think I have the wrong heads for my ultimate tone, but am working with what I got. I set my kit up at a jam session for everyone to play, so I need tough heads, 'cause who knows who's gonna be banging away next. I'll know more after next week's recorded jam.


    Good luck to everyone trying to achieve perfect tone.
    Randy

  22. #22

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    Quote Originally Posted by 66musicmaster View Post
    I've been working on my tom tuning. Got the floor tom to ring and sustain with a nice deep ring to it. No damping of any sort. Ludwig Accent cheapies. The attack still has some slight overtones, but I think I'm as close as I'll get for what I want. And where you hit on the head makes a difference in the tone also. At this point I can't imagine damping them. Get good sustain and it makes a big difference.

    Like someone said, the drums will sound completely different recorded with the rest of the band. I think my original problem was thinking the heads had to be close to wrinkle to get a nice low sound. The Pstripes can go on up. At Wrinkle is fine playing alone or practicing, but recorded is just blat blat blat. No "tone" to speak of. I might have them too high for most folks, but I am getting better recorded sound. And the whole drum is resonating.

    This tuning thing is very mysterious at first. I am finding that by just tightening and loosening and experimenting, it is becoming less mysterious. Short of tightening to breakage, I don't know that it can hurt other than stretching the heads if I decide to go lower. And it's a learning experience.

    I think I have the wrong heads for my ultimate tone, but am working with what I got. I set my kit up at a jam session for everyone to play, so I need tough heads, 'cause who knows who's gonna be banging away next. I'll know more after next week's recorded jam.


    Good luck to everyone trying to achieve perfect tone.
    Randy
    Sounds like you're on the right track. I've gone from liking that low barely tight tone to a much higher tuning. I dont think I understood (when I started) that the low tuning doesn't sound good in the full band setting.

  23. #23

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    I'm getting there. I went home last night and worked a bit more on them. Think I got a good tone. We'll see when the band sets up next week.

    It's amazing how much information is out now vs when I played drums in the 80s. It's amazing how nice even cheap kits are compared to those from the 80s.

    THese forums are great for finding the tips you can try to see what to do to solve an issue. Back in the 80s, we removed the bottom head and just went with the top, which was easy, but still hard to get good tone. I do miss the little muffler pads built into the older drums that allowed you to adjust without having to buy moongels or whatever. Of course I'm also seeing you don't really need them.

    My advice to anyone working on tone would be to keep reading and keep trying.
    Randy

  24. #24

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    On the original topic...I've found that tuning both heads to the same tension yields the best results with my particular set up. (Tama Swingstar with EC2/G1)

  25. #25

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    Default Re: Floor tom tuning

    I don't know how all this tuning just barely above wrinkle got started. It was meant for bass drum tuneing, and for some that's fine but.....???? not me.
    Drums need tone not blattt. Tune those drums up and let them ring out.
    I get good tone by having the resonant head tuned pretty close to the batter head. Maybe the reso a touch lower. Sometimes even. Being barely different in tuneing between the two gives them resonance. You have to experiment and you willl hear and figure it out. I think this tuneing thing has been blown way out of proportion. It's not that hard. Pitch those toms at intervals. Tune those heads up. Don't be afraid to tighten them up a little. You can tell if there dead or alive. When you are alone and the toms ring that's good. There going to sound that much better when your jamming with a band or in a large room with band.

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