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Thread: Tuning for Playing Live

  1. #1

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    what do you guys do when playing out at gigs with regard to tuning? Do you just tune at home to an overall good sound, or do you get to there early and tune for specific venue?

  2. #2

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    I tune for the venue.

  3. #3

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    I was thinking of doing that also, but what if it's a place that you don't know and find it's pretty difficult or even impossible? I've always just tuned at home and just tweaked at the venue, but I'm increasingly finding that they sound awful. The only issue is if they leave the jukebox on and people are chatting etc, how do you get around that?
    Last edited by agent_orange; 06-01-2013 at 12:44 PM.

  4. #4

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    Get there early? I just quickly tune during soundcheck.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by agent_orange View Post
    I was thinking of doing that also, but what if it's a place that you don't know and find it's pretty difficult or even impossible? I've always just tuned at home and just tweaked at the venue, but I'm increasingly finding that they sound awful. The only issue is if they leave the jukebox on and people are chatting etc, how do you get around that?
    It may not be your tuning...but acoustics that you are dealing with.

    Your drums will sound much different in another room...any other room.

    You've become accustomed to the sound of your drums in your practice (or wherever you keep your drums) now you are in a different place and the sound doesn't bounce around the same.

    There's really nothing you can do about it....just accept the fact that your drums will sound different at every venue you play. You will get used to it over time....but a crappy room will always sound crappy, and a good room will always sound good. You'll just learn to accept it and play on.
    "The problem with information on the Internet is that you can not validate it's authenticity. " -Abraham Lincoln

    SILVERFOX DRUMSTICKS & SOULTONE CYMBALS Endorsing Artist.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Tuning for Playing Live

    If the venue is bigger than my practice space, all mufflers and moon gel things come off. My big concern is my snare: outdoors it sounds like I don't have any snare wires, especially if it's breezey! I have yet to figure out a solution. Crank up or crank down the batter, etc.?
    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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  7. #7

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    Default Re: Tuning for Playing Live

    Always tune at home.
    Have you got you're ticket for the rock train? You gotta earn that Ticket!!

    Premier Genista - Pearl Masters - Primus custom snare - Zildjian A Custom- DW 5000 pedal - Zildjian Zack Starkey sticks

    I play lead Drums

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Tuning for Playing Live

    After you get a few gigs under your belt, you start being able to "read" the room.

    If you walk into a club that has carpeting, drapes, anything that is a "softer" surface, you adjust your drums to go with that. Most soundchecks are done when a room is empty, so, depending on the size of the venue, there may be 100- 300 people in there during your gig, and those people will soak up some sound too.

    On the other hand, if the room is hard surfaces, no carpeting, low ceilings, be prepared to do some muffling.

    Being able to tune is all important, a good tuner is someone who can get a consistent sound regardless of venue.

  9. #9

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    I tune up my kit once there real quick, and usually it will sound fine. Remember your kit always sounds different when your behind it as apposed to being in front of it. The only problem ive had with my drums not sounding good in a new place is my piccolo snare. that thing has amazing crack at home, but in wide open places is sounds like I have the snare wires super lose. One time I did get to hear someone else play it though, and it actually had more of a crack sound. So again remember drums sound different when your behind them as apposed to being in front of them.
    DW Remo Vic Firth Zidljian

  10. #10

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    Tune for max sustain, tweak for venue.

  11. #11

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    every room is different and the drums usually go somewhat out of tune after a ride in the trailer so i usually just spend a couple minutes working on them at the venue. if it's noisy or i'm not allowed to make noise i'll throw the dial on and get in the pall park and then just tweak em real quick at sound check. Like rick says, after awhile get the ability to read a room, or just know it from playing it often.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by marko138 View Post
    Tune for max sustain, tweak for venue.
    +1
    Always tune both heads to each other for the toms
    At a gig its easy to remove sustain (moongel, etc.)
    But not so easy to increase it on the fly without completely retuning

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