The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
High 10" tom resonates with a "wobbly", "vibrato" sound when I hit(strike) my low 12"
Old 3rd July 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

High 10" tom resonates with a "wobbly", "vibrato" sound when I hit(strike) my low 12"

I bought a Tama Starclassic Performer B/B drum kit with 8x10, 9x12, 14x16 inch toms in Duracover Wraps from a Sam Ash store about 2 months ago. I'm using Evans EC2s as the top heads and Evans Resonant Glass heads as the bottom heads. Using the tune bot, I've tuned the 10" tom to D3, 12" to B2, and 16" to D2, with the top heads tuned lower than the bottom heads. I've found these tunings to give each drum individually the optimum amount of resonance for me.

The problem I've encountered is that for some reason, when I hit the 12" tom, it causes the 10" tom to resonate, but not just with a normal resonance, but with a "wobbly", "vibrato-sounding" resonance. I've determined this by putting my hand on and taking it off the 10" tom while striking the 12" tom. I know it is not a problem with the stand because it even has the same result when I hold the tom with my hand by the mounting system. This sound is especially annoying because I hear it clearly in my tom mics.

I've tried tuning the toms differently, but tuned too high, their resonance is choked, tuned too low, and the top head rattles. I've tried muffing. One little drum dot near the edge of the top heads sounds good to me, but too much muffling and the drum sounds dead. I've even tried putting cotton balls in the drums, which someone suggested. It didn't help.

Is there a solution?
Old 3rd July 2018
  #2
If you are aiming for maximum resonance, then yes, the toms will all ring sympathetically, even when the snare is hit, let alone an adjacent tom.
If the 10" tom is resonating with a wobble it is perhaps discordant with the 12" tom, despite what the tunebot is telling you.
If you want the toms to ring without damping, then you just need to find a collective tuning that rings sympathetically without wobbling.
Personally I tune by ear, and don't shoot for specific notes, rather just tunings that sound good together as well as make each individual tom sound good.
I would probably find a tuning for the 10" tom that sounds full and not chocked.
Then find a tuning for the 12" tom that both compliments the 10", but also doesn't induce a wobbling ring on the 10". The lowest tom can be tuned at a much lower pitch that stays out of the way of the two smaller toms.
Old 7th July 2018
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Here are a few ideas:

Space your Toms as far apart as possible to still comfortable play them. The more distance between them, the less sound will transfer from one to the other.

Don’t tune every Tom for max resonance. A deadened Tom played next to a resonate Tom will still sound resonant because of the sympathetic vibrations.

Don’t tune with a tune-bot alone. It works well for tuning single drums, but is not a substitute for making good judgments about how the whole kit sounds together. The overtones of one Tom tuned to a “perfect” pitch may sound out of tune when it blends with the sympathetic overtones of the other drums in the kit. As a result, sometimes you need to de-tune one or more drums (which will sound slightly “off” when played in isolation) to make the kit as a whole sound “right”.

Set up and Tune to the specific song. Do you really need all 3 Toms? If the answer is no, take out the Tom you don’t need and that will solve your problem. If the answer is yes, but you will only hit a Tom once or twice the entire song, then consider making some sacrifices on how you tune it for the good of the song. A lot of the tuning process is really about making the appropriate sacrifices and finding the right balance.

Don’t believe what you read on the internet about the “best” drums being the most resonate, with no dampening to be more “natural” etc. you would be surprised how much dampening and other “artificial” treatment goes into a great studio drum sound.

Good luck!
Old 7th July 2018
  #4
Gear Maniac
 

One other idea: try tuning the top head tighter than the bottom head. You may be able to get the same pitch but eliminate the wobbling sound by playing with the relative tensions of the top and bottom heads. Just because the top heads are looser than the bottoms on the other Toms doesn’t mean you have to do the same thing with the high Tom.
Old 8th July 2018
  #5
I agree, hardly anyone is recording completely resonant toms with no control over the sustain these days.
For something you play much less than kick and snare, it's often a problem to have toms resonating and ringing over the whole drum track.
However, I personally wouldn't have toms sustaining at different lengths. Better to manage the whole tom set as a family, rather than damping just one problem tom so it rings much less than the other toms.
Old 22nd July 2018
  #6
Here for the gear
 

Sorry for such a late reply. I did not realize that I would not get email notifications about replies. I have done a lot of experimentation on my drum tuning, yet the problem still persists. What I realize now about the "wobble" sound (after testing what sound I hear from each tom mic individually when hitting tom 2), is that it actually just tom 1's top head resonating when I hit tom 2. What the wobble may be could be the sound of tom 1's top head interfering with tom 2's frequency, causing a "wobbly" sound, which takes away from the clean tone tom 2 alone.

I now have Evans EC Resonant heads on all my toms. My 10" tom is tuned to a C3 (Top head: 218 Hz, Bottom: 232 Hz) now. My 12" is tuned to a G2 (Top head: 147 Hz, bottom head: 193 Hz). So the tunings are not in the same frequency spectrum anymore.

What I'm wondering now is why tom 1's top head is so sensitive to me hitting tom 2, when tom 2 does not resonate like that when I hit tom 1. Is it because 10" toms are just that sensitive? Is it the number of plies or because it has a wrap? Hmm...
Old 22nd July 2018
  #7
All toms speak when you hit one of them.
It's easier to hear on Tom 1 because it's a higher pitch. It's also very close to Tom 2 I presume.
You will never get a pure isolated tone, like a drum machine. The trick is to tune toms so they resonate in harmony with each other, and/or lower their pitch and use a bit of damping if you want them to ring less when they are not being hit.
Old 25th July 2018
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

Every drum and every drum head will have its own resonant frequency, which will “hum” whenever sympathetic vibrations at that frequency (or related intervals of the frequency) are transferred from neighboring drums (or any other instrument for that matter). The head on your 12 Tom is a different size than the head on your 10 Tom, so they have different resonate frequencies. The fact that you are tuning your Toms to the notes of a chord probably isn’t helping the situation, since chords are based on notes at related frequency intervals. Also, keep in mind Toms never ring out at just a single frequency, but consist of multiple tones which change over time as the vibrations speed up and then slow down. Thus, it is actually possible to get annoying ringing at the end of Tom hits rather than at the beginning.

The best solution is to take out any drums that you don’t need for the recording. They can’t ring sympathetically and screw up the sound of the other parts of your kit if they aren’t there to begin with.

The second best solution is to tune them to minimize this effect, and/or find sympathetic frequencies which actually sound good together. This may or may not be possible for a given song or setup.

The third solution is to dampen them so they only make a sound when you hit them, not hit something next to them. You only have to dampen enough to make the problem not noticeable in the mix as a whole. You usually don’t have to make your drums completely dead sounding.

You could also experiment with different drum heads. Remember, different materials and different sizes at different tensions equals different resonant frequencies.

Good luck.
Old 25th July 2018
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

FWIW, I just spent the afternoon changing the heads on my drums from REMO Clear Emperors to REMO Vintage coated Emperors on top and REMO coated Ambassadors on the bottom. The difference between clear and coated on the amount of overtones coming off the Toms is pretty stark. Night and day really.

My kit is a Yamaha Recording Custom with 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 Toms, 20 bass drum.

You may want to try switching up heads to see if that is the solution to your problem.
Old 25th July 2018
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

FWIW, I just spent the afternoon changing the heads on my drums from REMO Clear Emperors to REMO Vintage coated Emperors on top and REMO coated Ambassadors on the bottom. The difference between clear and coated on the amount of overtones coming off the Toms is pretty stark. Night and day really.

My kit is a Yamaha Recording Custom with 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16 Toms, 20 bass drum.

You may want to try switching up heads to see if that is the solution to your problem.
Old 25th July 2018
  #11
Lives for gear
 
norfolk martin's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
I agree, hardly anyone is recording completely resonant toms with no control over the sustain these days.
For something you play much less than kick and snare, it's often a problem to have toms resonating and ringing over the whole drum track.
This is why I gate toms on mixdown, however un-fashionable the practice may be in these "spill sounds good " days . Soloing the tom mics on mix down I usually find that they are adding a continuous resonant rumble and some bad sounding snare, kick and distant mic'ed guitar to the the track that adds nothing except mud.
Old 12th August 2018
  #12
Try tuning the 12 to where you like it or the 10 if it gets played more. The take off the bottom head of the other tom and see if it has the same issue. Then try with no top head. Sadly something has to move for you to fix it.

Also does it do the same thing in different environments? Could it be where the kit is in the room?..
Old 25th April 2019
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Have you tried putting the drums in a different room?
Old 26th April 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Have you checked the roundness of the shell and the condition of the bearing edge? That seems a more likely cause than tuning being a bit off
Old 26th April 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Have you checked the roundness of the shell and the condition of the bearing edge? That seems a more likely cause than tuning being a bit off
Old 24th June 2019
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Gulliver's Avatar
 

If you're close-miking each tom individually, you can always strip the audio sections of the songs where each tom isn't being used..

*however, sometimes the tom mics can contribute to the overall drum kit sound, so use discretion according to what you want.
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump