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Thread: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

  1. #1

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    Question How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    I'm curious, if I was to tighten the top head completely lets say, and then go every tuning possible with the bottom head (reso) what exactly should I expect with differences?

  2. #2

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Someone answer this question! I want to know!

  3. #3

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    I looked it up on Google and I'm still not getting great responses!

  4. #4

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Check out tunadrum, they do a better job explaining it than i could.

    but here's my 2 cents.

    The way you tune the reso will change depending on the way you tuned the top head. and the size/depth of the drum itself.if you tune it tight you will get a higher sound from the drum, if you tune it to loose then youll get alot of boom. find your balance lol
    -Steven

  5. #5

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    batter head controls pitch and reso head controls resonance (how long the sound lasts) and sometimes will change pitch slightly
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  6. #6

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    The reso head will affect both the pitch of the drum, as well as the resonance. If you tune a reso head as low as you can just above wrinkles, and continue to tighten the batter head, the drum will still sound pretty dead and lifeless. Once you start to bring the reso head up in pitch, the drum starts to open up and show some signs of life. There is the old saying, batter for feel and reso for pitch. Now I'm not saying that the batter head isnt important, because a poorly tuned one will have detrimental results, but don't underestimate the reso head. They are crucial to a good sounding drum.
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  7. #7

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    it helps it resonate
    Happy Drumming!

    IS15

  8. #8

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    And very small changes, say 1/8 turn on each lug can make a big difference in the sound. I've been experimenting with my kit of late to learn what those changes do.

    And I'm learning that the toms can go higher than you think sounds right alone. But when you record, they will have a much nicer sound. Go too loose and floor tom, for example, will sound like a cardboard box out front.

    As you go thru the tuning zones, the drum will sound good or bad or dead or pitch bend. Lots of things will happen. I would love to hear the results of someone besides me trying that very experiment. Sounds like a science project for one of the younger folks.

    Randy

    Randy

  9. #9

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Quote Originally Posted by 66musicmaster View Post
    And very small changes, say 1/8 turn on each lug can make a big difference in the sound. I've been experimenting with my kit of late to learn what those changes do.

    And I'm learning that the toms can go higher than you think sounds right alone. But when you record, they will have a much nicer sound. Go too loose and floor tom, for example, will sound like a cardboard box out front.

    As you go thru the tuning zones, the drum will sound good or bad or dead or pitch bend. Lots of things will happen. I would love to hear the results of someone besides me trying that very experiment. Sounds like a science project for one of the younger folks.

    Randy

    Randy
    I see what you did there. And I like it!

  10. #10

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    According to Roy Burns from Aquarian drum heads, ideally the reso head should be tuned slightly higher than the batter side. You'd figure he'd know too - his resume is pretty danged impressive!

  11. #11

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Rather than spending time searching Google, "try it out" , do an experiment, thats part of drumming, like the person who listened every 1/8 turn. One will learn so much more by trying and listening. Secondly, on all the physics between batter vs reso, try reading through the online Drum Tuning Bible, which is indexed well so you don't have to read the whole thing fro a certain topic. If you have a look through that, you'll see there's not too much sense tuning the batter way up as high as it will go, as it pretty much chokes the drum, and is far off from the fundamental note or sweet spot for a drum of given size.

  12. #12

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Quote Originally Posted by rabidpenguin45 View Post
    The reso head will affect both the pitch of the drum, as well as the resonance. If you tune a reso head as low as you can just above wrinkles, and continue to tighten the batter head, the drum will still sound pretty dead and lifeless. Once you start to bring the reso head up in pitch, the drum starts to open up and show some signs of life. There is the old saying, batter for feel and reso for pitch. Now I'm not saying that the batter head isnt important, because a poorly tuned one will have detrimental results, but don't underestimate the reso head. They are crucial to a good sounding drum.
    Quote Originally Posted by 66musicmaster View Post
    And very small changes, say 1/8 turn on each lug can make a big difference in the sound. I've been experimenting with my kit of late to learn what those changes do.

    And I'm learning that the toms can go higher than you think sounds right alone. But when you record, they will have a much nicer sound. Go too loose and floor tom, for example, will sound like a cardboard box out front.

    As you go thru the tuning zones, the drum will sound good or bad or dead or pitch bend. Lots of things will happen. I would love to hear the results of someone besides me trying that very experiment. Sounds like a science project for one of the younger folks.

    Randy

    Randy
    Quite true guys, been doing that ever since I had more experienced drummers show me those tuning tricks years ago. Pretty fail-safe.
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  13. #13

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    And it helps to have a "good ear" for music, since turns result in tones or pitch to be compared around and across the heads: hit too hard and all the over-tones will mask true tone at each lug, hit at spots of unequal distances from each lug results in unequal tones, too, tapping with drum key sometimes results in sounds not loud enough to hear differences, tapping with a stick's tip you sometimes hit the rim unless you rotate the drum and has a different sound than tapping with the butt end of a stick, etc.
    My favorite method(actually I should say the one that works for me) is to hold the stick with butt about 1" up and just past the bevel and tap/press the head. Stops all over-tones but you need a very quiet room for this.
    And the reso tuning may change if its weight and the batter's are not equal.
    This forum's consensus is lighter weight reso/heavier batter or thin under thicker. Personally I find tuning's easier if they're of equal weight.
    Yes, read everything you can and experiment. Just don't over-tighten your heads so as to make them worthless, ie.:don't torque a 16" FT to sound like an octoban!

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by trickg View Post
    According to Roy Burns from Aquarian drum heads, ideally the reso head should be tuned slightly higher than the batter side. You'd figure he'd know too - his resume is pretty danged impressive!
    there is no carved in stone way to tune a drum . if you talkto 20 drummers you'll get 20 different ways . what works for roy burns might not work for phil rudd. the best way to answer your own question is ..... go get one of your toms and a drum key , now sit down with your drum ,and mess with both heads ,and keep messing with it until you learn how a drum works . we could all tell you how to do it , but we would all tell you different and you wouldnt learn a thing . so my advice is get your drum and learn how it works. its the only way.
    Tamaholic

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by atomcorr2 View Post
    there is no carved in stone way to tune a drum . if you talkto 20 drummers you'll get 20 different ways . what works for roy burns might not work for phil rudd. the best way to answer your own question is ..... go get one of your toms and a drum key , now sit down with your drum ,and mess with both heads ,and keep messing with it until you learn how a drum works . we could all tell you how to do it , but we would all tell you different and you wouldnt learn a thing . so my advice is get your drum and learn how it works. its the only way.
    Ok - I can concede to that although in my own experience, I tend to do it pretty much that way - bottom head slightly higher - it just seems to ring a bit better that way, although I know drummers who are proponents of tuning both heads the same.

    I'm also fully in agreement that experiementation and really finding out on your own is the best approach - how else can you really "know?" I'm that way with heads - rather than ask a bunch of people about tom heads, I just try them. If I like them, I make a mental note of it, if I don't I play them out, and then just don't get them again.

  16. #16

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Quote Originally Posted by trickg View Post
    Ok - I can concede to that although in my own experience, I tend to do it pretty much that way - bottom head slightly higher - it just seems to ring a bit better that way, although I know drummers who are proponents of tuning both heads the same.

    I'm also fully in agreement that experiementation and really finding out on your own is the best approach - how else can you really "know?" I'm that way with heads - rather than ask a bunch of people about tom heads, I just try them. If I like them, I make a mental note of it, if I don't I play them out, and then just don't get them again.
    I like the sounds I get from my Swingstar (EC2 batter/G1 reso) with the 12" tom reso tuned a bit higher than the batter. On my 16" floor I like both heads about the same.

  17. #17

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    I use Remo Pinstripes on top and Emperors on the bottom. They are on Catalina Maples.

    I've tried different tightness between reso's and batters. I've come to like my reso's maybe an 1/8th turn above rinkled and the batter slightly tighter on my up-toms. My floor toms I like my reso's with a few minute rinkles and batters alittle tighter. My floor toms seem to be much more sensitive when it comes to resonance. Live, with the accoustics of the room I'm in, I like them this way. I have just enough ring out of my toms that they don't sound dead or flat. As far as recording, I've not recorded in awhile, but I'm sure tuning alittle more Resonance into them might be necessary.

    I think with a properly sound accoustic studio, I'd like alot more resonace in the tuning. My teachers set was in a recording studio and his drums had more resonance than mine. Just my personal experience.

    As far as the original question, tightening your batter way up and a loose reso to me would basically sound like a muffled concert tom. Just a guess.....

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  18. #18

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    I Have found that the depth of the drum also matters ALOT in tuning the rezo
    In my old SC maple which had deep toms 10X8 12 X 10 and so forth i would tune the batter for my fundamental Pitch and use the rezo for resonance : when miked up at a gig adjustments to the rezo would not effect the pitch so much as im guessing the rezo is so far from the batter and the mic was picking up mostly batter sounds
    so if a drum was a little to resonant and boomy i could just slacken off the rezo to control it.
    But now i run hyperdrive sized drums the Rezo tuning has a major effect in the herd pitch of the drum
    But i dot really have and problems with boomy room tones as the hyperdrives are all about tone and punch not resonance
    So ill add
    Rezo tuning is also effected buy the depth of your drums
    For the record i run my rezo slightly higher than my batter
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  19. #19

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    The guy at GC tuned my floor tom, and said the bottom head should have no wrinkles or you will get a growl sound...I don't know about that though...
    -DrumRookie

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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZackPomerleau View Post
    I looked it up on Google and I'm still not getting great responses!
    look it up in real life. lol
    MAPEX MAFIA

  21. #21

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    Quote Originally Posted by chafey View Post
    look it up in real life. lol
    Tamaholic

  22. #22

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    Default Re: How does tuning the bottom head affect the drum?

    I've always had my reso tighter by 1/4 turn more than the batter which are 1/2 over finger tight and I love the sound of all my drums tuned this way.

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