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Drum Tuning

Discussion in 'F.O.H.' started by jaredistheman, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. jaredistheman

    jaredistheman Member

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    So i've searched google for some tips on drum tuning and i haven't really found a ton of useful information. I'm curious what methods/techniques/tips you guys could share when it comes to drum tuning. All drums included.

    I deal with so many drummers who have no clue how to tune their drums and it's frustrating because i don't know how to either. So i definitely want to learn to improve the sound of my samples.
     
  2. AllanD

    AllanD boom tap boom-boom tap

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    There are two methods. One is to use a Tension Watch. Two is to do by ear.

    Ear is much more complicated. Start with finger tightening the lugs. Now we want to get pitch. You tune the drums "across". Here's a chart. Use your imagination to imagine in a drum shape, with 6 lugs.

    x x
    x x
    x x

    Let's say we start on the low right key, we'd tune like this.

    2 5
    4 3
    6 1

    Get it to a basic pitch you want. Once that happens, put your finger directly in the center of the drum, and hit the drum very close to the lugs. You want every single area to have the same pitch with the others. Always tune up, never tune down. If the pitch is too high, loosen all the lugs again, and start over. It's a very time consuming process! The Tensionwatch is pretty damn accurate, so I'd recommend that route.
     
  3. alan1990

    alan1990 Member

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    start with the lugs finger tight.

    then tune each lug up a half turn going in a star pattern around the drum and then hitting the drum to check how it resonates after you go around the drum each time. eventually you will get to the point where the drum resonates the best and loudest ( if it starts to get quieter you have gone to far) this is usually the best spot for a drum to be tuned.

    then just push on the middle of the head a tad to muffle the drum and tap about an inch or so toward the center of the head in front of each lug and make sure the head is in tune around each lug just like you fine tune a guitar

    then repeat for the bottom head. If the toms ring out to much you can make the bottom head either a tad tighter or a tad looser ( only like an 1/8 to 1/4 turn) then the the top to help this problem

    ive head decent results doing this in the past but would also like to hear what someone like Brian Hood has to say as I really enjoy his drumming
     
  4. soundsunderground

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    I do finger tight > a few 1/4 turns in star fashion > get out the drum dial bring them all to the same, but lower than their final destination > then do the final tweaking by ear
     
  5. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

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    There are so many excellent videos on how to tune drums on youtube.
     
  6. Loren Littlejohn

    Loren Littlejohn Lover of all boobage.

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    I tune by ear btw.
     
  7. Trevoire520

    Trevoire520 Member

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    Personally I like to really crank up the snare tight, as this tends to get less ugly resonances, more crack and alot of volume.

    Toms I always tune pretty low, and always start off tuning the lowest tom.

    Reso heads can be tuned higher/lower than batters to get pitch bend up/down in the sustain of the tom. Whatever way you go it's important to make sure that the result isn't sounding ugly when you hit the tom. Ring and sustain in drums is fine as long as it's in tune and not dissonant.

    Kicks are basically tuned as low as possible, normally finger tight and then a quarter turn up.
     
  8. arv_foh

    arv_foh Brian K

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    [ame]http://www.amazon.com/DRUM-DIAL-Precision-Drum-Tuner/dp/B0002FP120[/ame]
     
  9. AEL89

    AEL89 Member

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    Tighter = more resonance... that kind of "pung" sound that takes intense surgical EQ'ing to fix. I prefer low tunings for snares, especially with heads with little resonance anyway.
     
  10. jeid

    jeid Terribad

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    Look up Bob Gatzen on Youtube, he's tone deaf, but he can tune a drum. His method works well.
     
  11. everybody's x

    everybody's x My name is Damage

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    good info here, more or less

    http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/

    Basically, I start finger-tight. push down in the middle and tune in a star pattern just till the wrinkles come out. Seat the head with pressure in the middle, repeat wrinkle removal then I fine tune by ear. I try to pitch the bottom heads a step higher than the top.
    FWIW I prefer deep snares and low pitched toms,your preference may vary
     
  12. CAlexanderParra

    CAlexanderParra Nocturnal Dream

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    Here's a video a friend of mine made about drum tuning. Thought it could help.

     
    #12 CAlexanderParra, Jul 13, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2015

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