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drum tuning... and heads
Old 26th October 2002
  #1
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

drum tuning... and heads

i put the evans G2's on my rack and floor tom and now my floor tom wont tune as low... its driving me NUTS! i had remo coated ambassadors on it before. i took the bottom head off in hopes to get it lower but that doesnt seem to matter.

wtf am i doing wrong, or am i doing nothing wrong and the evans just cant be tuned as low as before. the "sweet spot" im hitting with those heads are just too high.

basically with the remos i had the tension lugs about as loose as they could go without rattling [well, a couple would start to rattle after a minute.

its a 16" tama rockstar [i know... not the best shell in the world]
Old 26th October 2002
  #2
rll
Gear Maniac
 

Re: drum tuning... and heads

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
i put the evans G2's on my rack and floor tom and now my floor tom wont tune as low... its driving me NUTS! i had remo coated ambassadors on it before. i took the bottom head off in hopes to get it lower but that doesnt seem to matter.

wtf am i doing wrong, or am i doing nothing wrong and the evans just cant be tuned as low as before. the "sweet spot" im hitting with those heads are just too high.

basically with the remos i had the tension lugs about as loose as they could go without rattling [well, a couple would start to rattle after a minute.

its a 16" tama rockstar [i know... not the best shell in the world]
Taking the bottom head off is going to give you less overall sound and resonance-- if you're looking for a deep sound put both heads on. I have a trick that can work that I've been using for years: put the remos back on to start with. Tune the bottom head tight, to the point where there is a definitive tone, and not just a thud. Now loosen the top head as far as you can, in fact, you can often loosen several of the lugs--tape them if they rattle, or take the tuning screws out all together. You should get a much bigger, deeper sound. I have a 13" floor tom-- it helps that it's a killer drum-- and that thing sounds bigger than any 16" floor tom I've ever recorded. Doesn't seem to make sense, but it's true. Smaller drums often sound bigger when recorded. In fact, I often do a lot of rock albums with an 18" x 16" bass drum, again, it sounds more massive and great than my 22" or 24". Obviously a great room helps too...

rll
Old 26th October 2002
  #3
I'll go on record and say that I think the G2 is a much better tom head than the Ambassador, certainly as far as achieving a deep, rich sound.
My little tuning trick is to have the bottom head slightly tighter than the top.
Turn the drum upside down placing the top head on the drum stool or something. This isolates the bottom head so you can see and hear what you are doing. From a totally slack condition start tightening the nuts one full turn, trying to make the turns as equal as possible and tightening opposite nuts in turn. It shouldn't take more than a few turns before the bottom head is tight enough to eliminate any wrinkles in the head. Tap the head adjacent to each nut to ensure that the head tuning is roughly equal around the drum.
As I said, tune the bottom head very slightly tighter than you envisage the top head be. It's the bottom head that provides most of the resonance.
Turn the drum over repeating the same procedure. Once you've got all the wrinkles out and each nut is tuned equally you should be able to hit the drum and hear a full, fat, deep floor tom.
If not, there is something wrong with the heads.
Old 26th October 2002
  #4
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

yeah,,, thats NOT happening. but what could be wrong with the head? the Evans just doesnt want to tune low. and if i make the bottom head lower than the top head... it gets some really weird tonality.

the sweet spot for that head is just so much higher. it sounds great in its sweet spot... just too high for what i need.

guess i am going to have to go back to remos.

oddly, i put the generra dry on my snare and it sounds much better at a lower tone than the powerstroke3 i had been using for years on it. and the evans eq3 kick is just incredible sounding.

maybe i should just get the tom sounding sweet with the G2 and record it and see how it fits in the recording.
Old 27th October 2002
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I've said this before but I think it deserves saying. I switched back to REMO heads after about three or four years of using nothing but Evans heads. The Remos sound better, last longer and tune easier. When I say they last longer I mean they retain their tone longer in between tunings as well as how long they sound good on the drums.

One thing I do with any heads are to make sure the head is married to the barring edge. What I do is mount the head and tune it a bit tighter than I want it. I then stand on the head and bounce on the balls of my feet for a couple minutes. This insures that the head and the shell are working as a unit.

I find the drum itself will have a couple sweet spots, and the head will as well.

Also you could add a suspension mount to the drum. They help add a lot of definition to the low end/fundamental of the drum.
Old 27th October 2002
  #6
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

well the evans are just smoking the remos on the kick and snare... its just the toms that are giving me a headache. i dont understand why the evans wont tune as low, but im going to switch back to the remos on the toms.
Old 27th October 2002
  #7
bleen
Guest
AJ,

I've been an Evans proponent for the past 5 years or so, using them on all of my kits. Recently, I decided for grins to put Ambassadors on my toms (coated on top, clear on the bottom). The G2's and G1's won't be going back on the drums...

I now get a much lower fundamental on my mounted 16" (16x13 Tama Starclassic), and the rest of the toms have better tone, longer sustain, and stay in tune better. Maybe it's the just difference between the two-ply G2's and the single-ply Ambassadors, but I'm not sure. I'm going to try an Emperor (2-ply) on the 16 and see how that fares - I've been hearing that the new "smooth white" Emperors are, as they say, the shiznit.
Old 27th October 2002
  #8
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
i dont understand why the evans wont tune as low, but im going to switch back to the remos on the toms.
Could be you're not "seating" the heads to the drums, which is basically what Drumsound does by standing on a new head on a drum. This loosens up any non-uniformities where the head is attached (glued) to the rim. I've found that presssing the heel of my palm into the center of the head is enough pressure, and I think standing on a drum head will greatly shorten the life span of any drum.

When you press on the head, you should hear little cracks and pops, which is the sound of the glue breaking up around the edge of the rim. The pressure also makes the head "seat" to the drum's bearing edge, as opposed to barely touching it because it's too stiff to form over the edge.

In your situation, I'd just put the remo back on the floor tom and keep the evans on the higher toms. There's no rule that says you have to use the same kind of head of every drum. I don't.
Old 28th October 2002
  #9
Gear Head
 
heylow's Avatar
 

Speaking of seating,

Tighten the head up much tighter than you normally would, stretching it, get it in tune" with itself, listening to resonance.

Then take a hairdryer and go around the heads edges a couple of times slowly. Let it cool and tap near the edges again.....notice the difference? Now tune.

I got this little seating procedure from that drum bible guy of course, but it works.....I can always tune lower and clearer and the tom always has more "life" to it for longer.

Hope it helps.

I have used Evans for a long time now and have had no problems....but you guys are making me want to try Remos again! I have heard some rough stories about Remo quality control, though.



heylow
Old 29th October 2002
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by heylow
Speaking of seating,

Tighten the head up much tighter than you normally would, stretching it, get it in tune" with itself, listening to resonance.

Then take a hairdryer and go around the heads edges a couple of times slowly. Let it cool and tap near the edges again.....notice the difference? Now tune.

I got this little seating procedure from that drum bible guy of course, but it works.....I can always tune lower and clearer and the tom always has more "life" to it for longer.

Hope it helps.

I have used Evans for a long time now and have had no problems....but you guys are making me want to try Remos again! I have heard some rough stories about Remo quality control, though.



heylow
Wow that hair dryer thing sounds interesting!

Don't believe the hype about Remo not having good QC, or that Evans is perfect. I've encountered just as many dead from the box Evans, maybe more.

I didn't notice a problem with the tone of Evans heads, until I went back to Remo. I did always wonder why they didn't last as long though.
Old 29th October 2002
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I used Evans G2's on toms for a while, then tried Remo Ambassadors and had some problems with them. They tuned up OK but the coating didn't last all that long. About two weeks ago I put Aquarian Satin Texture Coateds on. Gid damn! What a difference. They tuned up great and so far they seem to be lasting like a mother****er. The coating is insane on them, great if you do brush work on snare. I usually don't like Aqurian heads but if you like coated Ambassadors (and who doesn't?) give 'em a shot. I'm pretty much sold.
Old 29th October 2002
  #12
That wasn't just hype about Remo. I've seen many complaints about quality on drum forums.
I agree that Evans aren't immune though. I'm sure they have their moments.
As to Remo lasting longer, I suppose it must depend on the application and the drummer.
I use both Remo and Evans as I believe they sound quite different from each other. Whereas a set of Remo's (on toms) might last a day in the studio before becoming hoplessly dented, I can leave a set of Evans G2's in place for several days continuous playing.
That's a fact, however I don't dispute other people's experiences so it must be just down to the way I hit them.
Old 29th October 2002
  #13
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i notice i dent the remos a lot quicker than evans too...
Old 30th October 2002
  #14
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

Interesting thread.

Listening back to the last two rock albums I recorded, one with Remos and one with Evans, the Evans came out much tougher-sounding on kick (EQ3) and snare (G2), but the Remos sounded better on the toms than the Evans G2s.

I'll look back at the session notes to see which Remos we used on toms.
Old 30th October 2002
  #15
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I've always noticed the better heads sound, the easier they dent. The sound of Diplomats on toms will blow your mind but they'll only last for an hour and a half of recording so it's a pricy drum sound to say the least.
Old 30th October 2002
  #16
Bob,
It depends on the drummer.
Diplomats wouldn't last through getting the drum sound on my kit. Seriously, I'm no heavy rock drummer although I do tend to play loud.
It's not about the money either.
You just can't take the time to change an entire set of tom heads every two or three takes, especially with mic placement in the way. That still applies even if they did last an hour.
I totally agree with you though, the thicker heads are a compromise. The same goes for snare. I often use a basic ambassador on snare but it doesn't last more than a couple of hours, especially if the song requires a slacker tuning.
Old 31st October 2002
  #17
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Phil Rudd (AC/DC drummer) story

Part of how they got that deep thud snare sound was by not tuning up the head at all, with the lugs and rim there only to hold the head on. When they recorded, they would change the snare head after every song. I don't know how they handled this live. The other part of that sound was of course, the way Phil Rudd played.

Another anecdote: Phil was called out of retirement to play with AC/DC after they got rid of the bald guy who didn't cut the mustard. He was living a humble, happy life as a tending pigs on his own farm and was thrilled at the prospect of retreading the AC/DC tank.
Old 31st October 2002
  #18
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
RE: dented heads

With all due respect, if the heads are getting dented that easily people are either playing WAY TOO ****ING HARD or hitting the drum all wrong. Don't try to hit through the drum to the floor, hit the thing and pull the tone out.
Old 31st October 2002
  #19
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Agreed. According to every band I've played in, I'm the loudest drummer there is. Maybe so, but I almost never broke any heads, much less dented them.

Believe it or not, the stick can BOUNCE. Plus, it will sound better when it does.
Old 31st October 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 

The loudest drummer I ever recorded had the lightest touch I've seen. He barely touched the heads (but with great velocity) and it sounded like thunder... Nice sessions!yuktyy rollz
Old 31st October 2002
  #21
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i can hit a drum as hard as possible yet never dent a head... i dunno wassup wit dat. but i notice dents after people borrow my drums for a session. i have a neckbone split snare head doused in blood hanging on my wall. then there is my son who likes to play them....

i can hit them pretty damn loud, i can crack a stick before i break/dent a head.

i was just amazed at these evans on toms. remo kicks its ass. after micing them up and everything, they sound a LITTLE better... but i am having to still play around with its tuning. the ****ed up thing is that i threw on the tama STOCK head i had and it blew the evans away.... this thing has got to be 15 years old. im taking the rack tom head back...

the Evans EQ3 bass drums head is sadistic though. best damn kick sound i have had to date.

im running the Evans ST dry head on the snare right now. switched from the powerstroke 3's and i like the dry a lot better for pure rock. far more projection. i NEED some more snares though, all with different heads. im hurting BAD.
Old 31st October 2002
  #22
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
The only head I've had break was a snare side head which ripped out when I started tuning it up. Dented heads are the worst, especially if I just changed them and some idiot with no technique uses the kit. But I'm telling ya, try the Aquarians. So far so good with them.
Old 31st October 2002
  #23
I'm sorry, all this stuff about not denting heads is hogwash. If you hit (or play....if you must!) a thin piece of plastic film with a large piece of pointy wood you're gonna get dents.
OK, maybe I'm at fault for bashing ambassadors too hard, but Diplomats are way too thin for a drummer of my style. I resent the fact that 'my style' has been characterised as having no technique.
One of my influences was Narada Michael Walden. I don't think anybody could accuse him of having no technique, although when a friend of mine was assisting on a Mahavishnu album he said they had to rebuild the kit after every take.
I admire drummers of all types including those who play lightly (I think the drums often sound bigger - not louder- when played at lower levels).
Old 31st October 2002
  #24
http://www.drumdial.com/

I have one of these cause I a) am a moron and need a helper tool to tune drums B) cant afford a drum tech on every project

If you identify with points a & b above - I recomend you get one!

Carry on!

Old 31st October 2002
  #25
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally posted by chrisso
I'm sorry, all this stuff about not denting heads is hogwash.
OK, maybe I'm at fault for bashing ambassadors too hard, but Diplomats are way too thin for a drummer of my style. I resent the fact that 'my style' has been characterised as having no technique.
No one said you have no technique. Who here has watched you play to make that judgement?

Playing without denting heads doesn't require better technique than leaving little craters does. Hell, one technique is to drive the stick into the drum and not let it bounce. That achieves a different sound and is far more likely to dent the heads. And whether you bounce the stick or you don't, tuning is part of whether the heads dent or not. Generally, heads are gonna be the worse for wear if they are tuned loosely.
Old 31st October 2002
  #26
Gear Nut
 
Crushed's Avatar
 

drumdials

Jules,

I was wondering about those drum dials. Do they actually work well? By the way,
i found them 20.00 cheaper at :

www.interstatemusic.com

they have a beautiful comprehensive catalog for free
Old 1st November 2002
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Fibes's Avatar
 

I was on the phone with Alpha last night talking about how I just used one for the first time last week. It got me in the ballpark very quickly and once I had the drum dialed in I made a note of where the tension was at. I'm getting one 'cause I'm an engineer who doesn't have the patience to start from scratch.
Old 1st November 2002
  #28
Gear Nut
 
Crushed's Avatar
 

In the ballpark?

I have absolutley no experience with tuning drums. As a dumbass, I just twist the key around the head till it sounds "right" but I've never been happy with my tom sounds. I might try those coated ambassadors everyone's talking about. I'm also going to try that evans eq3 on my BD. Anyone try the eq4? Comments?

Edited: Sorry, Fibes. I meant to ask if "the ball-park" is better than where I am now? (The Parking Lot))
Old 1st November 2002
  #29
The Dumb Dial works for me!

Old 1st November 2002
  #30
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

i want a drum dial too.
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