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Thread: Tuneing drums

  1. #1

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    Hello fellow drummers, I noticed the other day while practicing on my drums that they didn't sound quite right. Went on youtube and noticed a drummer that i have never heard before by the name of Rob Brown. He made a video on how to tune your drums quick and easy and make them sound really good. To make along story short i tried his tuneing method and found it to be very helpful. I took off the moon gels off of the drum heads and was amazed on how well the drums sound now. It goes to show you that as a drummer and musician you learn something new everyday from other drummers and their ideals.

    Keep drumming

    Gregg

  2. #2

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    I just looked him up. Interesting. His method is exactly what I do on my kick drum. Gonna try it on my toms and see what happens.



  3. #3

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    I am gonna try this cause he does it with the toms mounted. I see he uses Optimount system which works great for tuning and positioning the toms. Great video.

  4. #4

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    Gotta love it!
    Rick, where are you, man?
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  5. #5

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    A rather simplistic approach (which I prefer) but there are still so many variables when it comes to tuning that I don't think any 1 method works under all conditions.

    Acoustics are always going to play a roll in the sound of your drums. The fact that tuning is a individual preference also comes into play.

    I agree with tuning the drums on the set as opposed to the idea of taking them someplace else, putting them on a spinning wheel and then take the drum back to the set. If they are on the set, you get a instant read on how they sound in relation to the other drums.

    If you are happy with the sound of your drums, that's great. If you aren't, tune them till you are. About the only thing I agree with in all the tuning videos I've watched, is that the tension should be even around each drum, after that, you are on your own.

    Sling, are you refering to me?
    Last edited by rickthedrummer; 10-22-2012 at 11:45 AM. Reason: ----

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    ... but there are still so many variables when it comes to tuning that I don't think any 1 method works under all conditions.
    That's right. As much as I appreciate another idea for fast tuning, this will only work "some" of the time. Any pro drummer that's been out there doing it for years knows this. There are a ton of variables like the room acoustics, type of drum shells, sizes of the drums, type of heads, roundness of the drums, bearing edges, etc.
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  7. #7

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    It's an interesting tuning method, and I'll give it a shot to see if it's something that's for me. I like having my toms at harmonic intervals to one another, so I'l have to see, but knowing another way to get your drums close when you are in a real hurry is useful too.
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  8. #8

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    I gave this a shot on my much hated 12" Starclassic tom at lunch. It's quick and gets the job done. Problem is I still hate the tom. LOL.

  9. #9

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    There is no right or wrong way to tune. It's whatever works for you that matters. The fact that maybe your method doesn't agree with someone else's preferred, or imagined "correct", method doesn't matter to anyone but them. Do whatever is best for you. His method works in order to get them close. If they sound good right there, your done. If not, tweak them till they sound good to you. Mounted, or off the kit. Doesn't matter.
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  10. #10

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    I also use this technique for my bass drum - I saw Bob Getzen do it on his bass drum and it is very straight forward. It didn't occur to me that I could do this on my toms; I'll have to give it a try.

  11. #11

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    Thats the way I do a quick tuning as well. If I have more time I go through and check each lug, after I use this method.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    Sling, are you refering to me?
    Who else? Comes to tuning I always look to you for additional, favorable comments.

    Pressing down on the head "seats" the head and the constant pressure is making the "star pattern" for tightening tension rods needless.
    SONOR 6 pc Special Edition 3007's red maple, old Pearl Brass 14x6 FF snare, Yamaha Tour Custom maple 8 pc., Tama 4 pc., honey amber B/B, Ludwig Supralite chrome 14x6.5 steel snare, Paiste, Saluda & Zildjian
    Loaned out Slingerland upgraded 4 pc 1963 black, wrapped maple + 14" Pearl birch FT
    The Almighty Speed King pedal, Speed Cobra, Sonor Single

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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    A rather simplistic approach (which I prefer) but there are still so many variables when it comes to tuning that I don't think any 1 method works under all conditions.

    Acoustics are always going to play a roll in the sound of your drums. The fact that tuning is a individual preference also comes into play.

    I agree with tuning the drums on the set as opposed to the idea of taking them someplace else, putting them on a spinning wheel and then take the drum back to the set. If they are on the set, you get a instant read on how they sound in relation to the other drums.

    If you are happy with the sound of your drums, that's great. If you aren't, tune them till you are. About the only thing I agree with in all the tuning videos I've watched, is that the tension should be even around each drum, after that, you are on your own.

    Sling, are you refering to me?
    i agree 100% with Rick.... but i do have to say , if your new to drumming this is the best tuning vid that ive seen ..
    Last edited by atomcorr2; 10-22-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinglander View Post
    Who else? Comes to tuning I always look to you for additional, favorable comments.

    Pressing down on the head "seats" the head and the constant pressure is making the "star pattern" for tightening tension rods needless.


    C'mon, Sling, my comments are always on the favorable side. I'm very easy to get along with.

    I can't believe I just said that, must be time for scotch.

  15. #15

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    Ive heard similar methods before. This is a good general tuning method to use when you have no time to tune and need to get setup quickly
    DW Remo Vic Firth Zidljian

  16. #16

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    Guys I'm gonna go against the grain here and say the while the concept is good, the drums sound like dog poo in this vid. Maybe it's the mic or something else (I really hope so!) but IMO they sound horrible and I listened with a pair of Sennheiser studio headphones that I recordwith in the studio as well as a pair of Denon headphones I use for just genral listening.

    Just my opinion.
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  17. #17

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    I agree with some of what he said. The parts I agree with are, the destination is the same- to get the drums in tune. Whatever method you use is up to you. The other thing I agree with is there is no need for all the theatrics, i.e. electronic tuners and turntables. Just tune the darn drums! Your ear will tell you all you need to know and your fingers will let you know what feels right.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by TamadudeNJ View Post
    Guys I'm gonna go against the grain here and say the while the concept is good, the drums sound like dog poo in this vid. Maybe it's the mic or something else (I really hope so!) but IMO they sound horrible and I listened with a pair of Sennheiser studio headphones that I recordwith in the studio as well as a pair of Denon headphones I use for just genral listening.

    Just my opinion.
    Drums sound fine to me. I can see how someone could say they sound bad. it sounds like they aren't tuned to perfection though, they sound just good enough. I would tune my drums that way knowing if had a short time to tune my drums for a big show where the toms will likely sound different anyway. For a big setting, I think the toms sound fine. For a smaller setting, i would have put a little more effort into the tuning and tried to get the tension rods a little more precise. this by no means is a perfect tuning system, but it gets the job done. plus when you watch his other videos, his drums are tuned the same way but sound fine.
    Last edited by groovearteest; 10-22-2012 at 10:30 PM.
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  19. #19

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    tell me whats the difference between fine and great?

    and why do you not seat the head? and why do you wear a beanie and a hoody ?

    take the fastest route if you want to sound average...eh i give up

  20. #20

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    Truth is, I wouldn't let this guy, Gatzen, or any of the other "tuners" within 50' of my drums, and I know they don't sound great.

    I stopped trying to be precise with my tuning decades ago, for the simple fact that when we changed venues, they were going to sound different. If you go from a club that holds 300 people to 1 that holds 500, your drum sound will be different. Add to that the layout of the club. If it has hard walls and little carpeting or drapes of, the drums will sound like mine do in my basement. If it has a lot of carpeting, drapes etc., it will soak up some of the sound of the drums.

    The "perfect" sounding set of drums is the 1 with the sound you are happy with.

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    The "perfect" sounding set of drums is the 1 with the sound you are happy with.
    And there you have it folks!
    TAMA- '99 Starclassic, '86 Granstar, '88 Granstar,
    '93 Rockstar
    Gretsch- late 50's Round Badge
    Zildjian K & K Custom (with a couple A's and a Wuhan China)
    Evans
    Remo
    Vic Firth
    Speed Cobra double pedal
    Starcast mounting system (including floor toms and snare)
    Hardware- TAMA and Gibraltar
    Snare Drums- various TAMA, Gretsch, Ludwig, Leedy, Wurlitzer

    "How can you impress the chicks if the chicks can do it themselves?!!" ~ from: kay-gee

  22. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by xsabers View Post
    What this does, as Gatzen explains, is gets the head to its LPP (lowest possible pitch). He actually doesn't get the wrinkles out until he removes his hand. Then he adds a bit more tension. Not a bad place to start or even end up if that's your desire.

    +1 on this, I follow his methods pretty close on all my drums.

    Yeah, tuning is very personal and what sounds "good" to you, sounds good. However, drums are an important instrument just like any other but unlike any other when it comes to tuning. There are soooo many variables.

    Take the time to understand how to tune, which YES can be done without the theatrics and gadgets. Develop an ear for it, which just like playing requires practice. You will NEVER no matter how hard you try get each lug to sound perfectly even because a drum set drum head can have as many as 10 tension points. However, they should be close.

    Your heads will last longer when properly tuned as well.

    The quick down n dirty method in that guys video is, as a few have posted, a good place to start. But to tune that way and not take another 30sec on each side to make sure the tension is at least close to being as even as possible makes no sense to me.
    John W. ("J-Dub")
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    5pc Tama B/B White Silk
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    7pc Tama SCP Birch Cherry veneer
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    6pc Tama classic Superstar Cherry Wine

  23. #23

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    I know drum tuning is individual and personal. I understand some people will tune drums in such a way as I personally don't like them. But I think there is a difference between a drum that isn't tuned to my preference and a drum that is simply out-of-tune.

    I just watched the video and after he was done, those drums were not in tune. Even if you overlook the discord between the top and bottom heads as a preference thing. The heads themselves were not even in tune with themselves.

    I honestly think I could have a non-drummer randomly tighten all the lugs and get similar results.
    Amateurs practice until they get it right. Professionals practice until they don't get it wrong.

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    C'mon, Sling, my comments are always on the favorable side. I'm very easy to get along with.

    I can't believe I just said that, must be time for scotch.
    It's that North Carolina air. The "Heady ya'll come set fer a spell" particles in the air affect the brain that way.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickthedrummer View Post
    The "perfect" sounding set of drums is the 1 with the sound you are happy with.
    Could we add the sound your band and audience are happy with too? I don't play in a band at this point anymore but I often retuned my drums to be sure they complimented what we were playing (style or type of music) and as mentioned here above the location, be it outdoor, indoor small, medium or large place.

    For me I like hearing from a listener or band member "Hey man your drums sound good!". Just my ego, what can I say.

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