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tuning a metal (glockenspiel or other) bar lower in pitch Plugin Presets/Expansions
Old 5 days ago
  #1
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tuning a metal (glockenspiel or other) bar lower in pitch

Probably not the right forum, but I couldn't find any good info, so i figured i'd try here. Let's say you have an aluminum bar that's slightly too sharp. Actually what i have is called a "aluphone" which is an aluminum tuned bell. It was advertised as 556hz, which was perfect, as I use c#=278 as my reference pitch (long story), but it came as 558hz. Sure it's a tiny difference, but I can hear it, and heard it as "beating" before i checked the tuning. While it's kind of a cool effect, it sounds much better when I tune up to it, but that's not practical for my setup.

I tried metal washers, tape, etc, nothing works. I haven't tried soldering, that might do it, but I don't know that solder would stick. Any other suggestions?

edit: okay, I read you can tune a glock bar down by sanding the middle of the bar's bottom. So a bar is obviously not the same as a bell. But perhaps there is part of the bell i could sand to tune down?
Old 5 days ago
  #2
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In general, to tune a piece of metal. Thinner is lower pitch. Thicker is higher pitch. Assuming all other variables are the same.

If you have a tube, removing a bit of the thickness will make it higher pitch. The effect will be stronger in the middle than at the ends. Doing it symmetrically would be best from a vibration standpoint to avoid the pitch from changing over the notes duration.

Note: I have BSME and did take a vibrations class. But have no practical experience with what you are doing. Just trying to give the the nutshell engineering principles. My day job is to design tanks welded out of carbon, aluminum, and stainless metal.

On the practical side, for brass cymbals, I know I like large thin ones because they are lower pitch. I play drums. I went through many cymbals before I got a set that was pitch matched.

adding to it is a problem. You could find a person/shop that welds aluminum, and have them add a bit of weld. then sand that weld down till you match the pitch. but I think the results may be ugly looking. I would suggest adding two small "Tak" weld in the center of each end on the bottom. Then the discoloration of the welding may not be visible. Depending on the metal, the heating of welding could destroy the sound properties of the bar. very risky.
Old 5 days ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 

It may depend on how you attached the added mass. It may need to be added and oriented appropriately to the end of the bar. It is resonant with a length mode, width mode and thickness mode. You can add equal width and thickness to end by using aluminum pins press fit thru the added material into the bar stack. I would make sure each face is flat and polished to maximize mechanical contact.
Old 5 days ago
  #4
Lives for gear
RBhan's solution is better than welding. Mechanical attachment can be re-done for tuning.
Old 5 days ago
  #5
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okay, thanks. here is what i got from the tuning church bells:

"A bell is unlike any other instrument because it actually produces multiple notes, called partials. Tuning a bell is a time-consuming process that requires the bell founder to be proficient with both a simple tuning fork and high-end digital tuning equipment.

Using a lathe, metal is shaved from inside the bell at various points until the proper tuning is achieved. The bell founder must tune the five lowest partials, at a minimum, to the standard of A3=440 vibrations per second.

From the lowest partial to the highest, the notes are:

The hum (an octave below the prime or “strike” note)
The prime (an octave above the Hum)
The minor third (of the Prime)
The fifth (of the Prime)
The octave (of the Prime)

While the prime tone is the most important note of the bell, the hum tone, the minor third and the octave must be tuned with the same accuracy. Of particular interest is the minor third, which is unusual in a musical instrument.

Although the profile and tuning process works to intensify the prime while subduing the minor third, it is the minor third that gives bells their beautiful, melancholy, plaintive and compelling sounds."



So now I am hesitant to add or weld, for fear of messing up the partials just to get the "hum" which i think is the given 558hz c#5. On aluphone's website, they say something about sounding an octave below the note, which i assume they are talking about the "prime" but it reads as 558hz on a tuner. BTW if you are curious:

Old 5 days ago
  #6
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Drumsound's Avatar
Have you contacted the company? As they seem to be a newish company, that's still functioning, I'd assume they would want to help you.

Baring that I'd contact Century Mallet - Home Page.
Old 5 days ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Have you contacted the company? As they seem to be a newish company, that's still functioning, I'd assume they would want to help you.

Baring that I'd contact Century Mallet - Home Page.
yeah, but they are european. He said "it is possible, let me get back to you with info". I am pretty sure i will have to just sand the inside of it down. Which i am not adept at, so hopefully it turns out okay. kind of crazy how that works though, taking mass to tune it down. I wonder if it were possible to get a tuned cymbal this way.
Old 5 days ago
  #8
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the pitch of bells/cymbals/gongs/crotales/tuned discs etc. is mostly depending on thickness, form and diameter: instruments which are thin, flat and large sound lower than instruments which are thick, bell-like (curved) and small - adjust whatever parameter is the most easy for you to change.
Old 5 days ago
  #9
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
yeah, but they are european. He said "it is possible, let me get back to you with info". I am pretty sure i will have to just sand the inside of it down. Which i am not adept at, so hopefully it turns out okay. kind of crazy how that works though, taking mass to tune it down. I wonder if it were possible to get a tuned cymbal this way.
Steve Maxwell drum center will re-lathe cymbals. I have one ride cymbal that's washy, but bright, that I'm tempted to have done. There's probably someone somewhere that will re-hammer them as well...
Old 5 days ago
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
Steve Maxwell drum center will re-lathe cymbals. I have one ride cymbal that's washy, but bright, that I'm tempted to have done. There's probably someone somewhere that will re-hammer them as well...
Cool, but I am saying if you could have a cymbal with a solid fundamental tone, but still sounded like a crash or ride or whatever. Maybe even a hi hat where you could bend the pitch.

I have tuned my drums this way, and with the bell at the top and a huge 40" symphonic bass have five octaves of c#. But if I could get cymbals tuned to c# or g# that would be incredible.
Old 5 days ago
  #11
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Cool, but I am saying if you could have a cymbal with a solid fundamental tone, but still sounded like a crash or ride or whatever. Maybe even a hi hat where you could bend the pitch.

I have tuned my drums this way, and with the bell at the top and a huge 40" symphonic bass have five octaves of c#. But if I could get cymbals tuned to c# or g# that would be incredible.
I think that would be tough, because cymbals are made to have a ton of overtones and not have a defined pitch, so that they can work in many situations. There are sometimes cymbals (especially thick ones) that seem to have a defined pitch.
Old 5 days ago
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I think that would be tough, because cymbals are made to have a ton of overtones and not have a defined pitch, so that they can work in many situations. There are sometimes cymbals (especially thick ones) that seem to have a defined pitch.
do you have any examples of that? I would be inclined to go that direction depending on the sound

I do close mic my rack tom, which is on the same stand as my crash, and when you hit the crash, the head rings sympathetically in c#, that's as close as I get to a tuned cymbal.
Old 5 days ago
  #13
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
do you have any examples of that? I would be inclined to go that direction depending on the sound

I do close mic my rack tom, which is on the same stand as my crash, and when you hit the crash, the head rings sympathetically in c#, that's as close as I get to a tuned cymbal.
I don't have specific examples, but have played some heavy cymbals, and heard some people play them that are closer to specific pitch. Things like Earth Rides, and even the original K Custom ride, and the Z series, all from Zildjian and all unlathed, seem to give more of a pitch than a wash of sound. I always shied away from such cymbals, personally.
Old 5 days ago
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I don't have specific examples, but have played some heavy cymbals, and heard some people play them that are closer to specific pitch. Things like Earth Rides, and even the original K Custom ride, and the Z series, all from Zildjian and all unlathed, seem to give more of a pitch than a wash of sound. I always shied away from such cymbals, personally.
pitch/first overtone is easier to hear with thicker (ride) cymbals as you mentioned but a (somewhat more) defined pitch can also be achieved with thinner/smaller (crash) cymbals: check out terry bozzio's signature cymbals - the (most important) reason he left paiste back in the nineties was that the company was not willing to support his wish for cymbals tuned to a specific pitch (or at least to have clearly defined intervals between them)...
Old 5 days ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
pitch/first overtone is easier to hear with thicker (ride) cymbals as you mentioned but a (somewhat more) defined pitch can also be achieved with thinner/smaller (crash) cymbals: check out terry bozzio's signature cymbals - the (most important) reason he left paiste back in the nineties was that the company was not willing to support his wish for cymbals tuned to a specific pitch (or at least to have clearly defined intervals between them)...
I would love to believe that part about bozzio, but he also claims to have a "chromatic" drumkit which is nonsense, and he even admitted it in an obscure interview I read, that it's all for show. I mean, come on, he has notes written on the heads of the piccolo toms or whatever, which are mostly the same size. I have done literally years of research on drum tuning, and have sometimes spent entire days tuning a single drum, I play tabla, have congas (or conga-type drums) taikos, etc. And the usable range of drums those size (and most drums in general) is far far less than an octave, more like a major 3rd at best.

He was claiming to have a chromatic kit even before electronic drum tuners came about. Then in that interview he says "you know, you really can't tune two headed drums to a specific pitch".

I am all for showmanship, which is what his kit is all about, and he is a great drummer, but that's a load of horse something (exactly what part of the horse escapes me at this moment).
Old 5 days ago
  #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
I would love to believe that part about bozzio, but he also claims to have a "chromatic" drumkit which is nonsense, and he even admitted it in an obscure interview I read, that it's all for show. I mean, come on, he has notes written on the heads of the piccolo toms or whatever, which are mostly the same size. I have done literally years of research on drum tuning, and have sometimes spent entire days tuning a single drum, I play tabla, have congas (or conga-type drums) taikos, etc. And the usable range of drums those size (and most drums in general) is far far less than an octave, more like a major 3rd at best.

He was claiming to have a chromatic kit even before electronic drum tuners came about. Then in that interview he says "you know, you really can't tune two headed drums to a specific pitch".

I am all for showmanship, which is what his kit is all about, and he is a great drummer, but that's a load of horse something (exactly what part of the horse escapes me at this moment).
i can guarantee that the story about terry leaving paiste is true (i was their international artist relation manager back then) but i'm with you that he's been stretching the idea about both tuned drums and cymbals a bit far and cannot fulfill all of his claims...

...and from a manufacturers point of view: cymbals could get manufactured to have more of distinctive pitch - besides terry, almost no one seems to be interested though!

nevertheless, terry's an incredible drummer (especially when playing with a rock band) and a really nice bloke!
Old 5 days ago
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
Probably not the right forum, but I couldn't find any good info, so i figured i'd try here. Let's say you have an aluminum bar that's slightly too sharp. Actually what i have is called a "aluphone" which is an aluminum tuned bell. It was advertised as 556hz, which was perfect, as I use c#=278 as my reference pitch (long story), but it came as 558hz. Sure it's a tiny difference, but I can hear it, and heard it as "beating" before i checked the tuning. While it's kind of a cool effect, it sounds much better when I tune up to it, but that's not practical for my setup.

I tried metal washers, tape, etc, nothing works. I haven't tried soldering, that might do it, but I don't know that solder would stick. Any other suggestions?

edit: okay, I read you can tune a glock bar down by sanding the middle of the bar's bottom. So a bar is obviously not the same as a bell. But perhaps there is part of the bell i could sand to tune down?
Just ignore me if this isn't helpful. There was global info I completely missed in your post sooooo-

1. Your scenario is that you want to record this thing in a track with other instruments playing. That scenario is easy....elastique. I do this all the time to fit bell trees, Glock, vibes, marimba, tuned wood blocks.

Or.......

2. You're just standing around alone, playing this thing solo in a room, have a good ear for frequency beats and simply want the preference of the pitches being exactly in freq beat so the sound won't irk you. In which case, all the physical tweak comments sound interesting if you're into it.

I wasn't able to understand the context in which you use this thing in the real world.

In lots of scenarios, I wouldn't dare change imperfections because they may be magic as they are.
Old 5 days ago
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deedeeyeah View Post
i can guarantee that the story about terry leaving paiste is true (i was their international artist relation manager back then) but i'm with you that he's been stretching the idea about both tuned drums and cymbals a bit far and cannot fulfill all of his claims...

...and from a manufacturers point of view: cymbals could get manufactured to have more of distinctive pitch - besides terry, almost no one seems to be interested though!

nevertheless, terry's an incredible drummer (especially when playing with a rock band) and a really nice bloke!
well I believe you, but probably not bozzio. Perhaps he got a better offer, but it's not like he found someone who did make them a specific pitch. if he did, i'd love to know who they are.
Old 5 days ago
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thenoodle View Post
Just ignore me if this isn't helpful. There was global info I completely missed in your post sooooo-

1. Your scenario is that you want to record this thing in a track with other instruments playing. That scenario is easy....elastique. I do this all the time to fit bell trees, Glock, vibes, marimba, tuned wood blocks.

Or.......

2. You're just standing around alone, playing this thing solo in a room, have a good ear for frequency beats and simply want the preference of the pitches being exactly in freq beat so the sound won't irk you. In which case, all the physical tweak comments sound interesting if you're into it.

I wasn't able to understand the context in which you use this thing in the real world.

In lots of scenarios, I wouldn't dare change imperfections because they may be magic as they are.

it is part of my tuned drum kit. i have five octaves of drums precisely tuned (and used in a similar way as tabla) to c# (one in g#) and the bell is the fifth octave. I am a student of Indian Classical music from tabla, and intonation is extremely important, and I play with a drone. so anything slightly out I can hear, and if I don't, it's good enough anyway. The bell is ever so slightly sharp and beats, which is kind of cool, like a vibrato, but when i tune the drone up, it sounds perfect. I could tune everything else up, but it would mess up my reference pitch, which I rely on heavily to tune the drums accurately, and be just a pain, more trouble than dealing with the bell as is or just eliminating it.

I am an all analog guy, so elastique whatever that is, won't work live. I do have a frame drum i use for a drone, and use varispeed to tune it, but don't play it live.
Old 4 days ago
  #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
well I believe you, but probably not bozzio. Perhaps he got a better offer, but it's not like he found someone who did make them a specific pitch. if he did, i'd love to know who they are.
i haven't been following much what sabian did but i remember hearing terry playing cymbals which indeed showed a pretty distinct pitch - hard to hear if you're trained listening to more traditional music and instruments!

regarding offers: for some other drummers (i could name a few, but not terry), that was the thing which made them switch - it's no secret that some manufacturers offered a steady income to drummers by getting them lots of drum clinics and some royalties for every of their signature cymbal being sold, regardless of whether these cymbals did sound anywhere close to the prototype cymbals the artists got (often not much)...
Old 4 days ago
  #21
Gear Addict
 

Cymbals operate on a whole different principle than a bar, as does a pipe.
Old 3 days ago
  #22
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I think I found the culprit of the errant sharpness, the inside of the bell has a large logo that is raised aluminum, I am guessing they don't account for it? Sanded down the logo for the most part, got it to around 556.6, but I don't want to go too far, maybe see if it changes at all. there is almost no beating as is. Really cool that it worked.
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