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tuning and destroyed drum heads

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  • tuning and destroyed drum heads

    Hi guys, it's been a while since I've been on the forum. I've been drumming lots and the band are starting to play a few gigs and recently recorded in a decent studio.

    I have a few questions about the acoustics:


    I've read countless tutorials on how to tune toms and I would say I know exactly what what to do and was keen to not stick tape all over them to deaden the sound. However, after several attempts of tuning and them still resonating too much I've put tape on the underneath skin and they sound much better - is there a way to tune without having to do this as I feel like it's a quick fix and not a true fix?

    Skin Destruction

    I've got some batter heads on my kit and the tom has massive dimples in it from playing. I hit pretty hard but surely they should withstand a good beating. The heads are of reasonable tightness, do they need to be uber tight or uber lose or something?

    Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    I find remo pinstripes pretty good heads. I ususaly throw them on and need little tuning. I really like the DW custom heads that come with the kit but you cannot buy them once they are shot. I will most likely to back to pinners.
    Tama Arstar TM6 Pro 2X PD85's


    • #3
      Try Aquarian... I found these to be very VERY easy to tune and get the "ring" out of my drums with. (I was not fond of tuning!!! These seemed to get the job done for me.)

      I used the Studio X for batter side... I can't remember the ones I used on the bottom.. I think they were a clear double ply- but still Aquarian...don't recall exaclty which heads exactly on the bottom though.

      - your source for electronic cigs. Use coupon code "" for 10% off every order!!!


      • #4
        First off if your putting dents in your heads you need a two ply head. If you still are denting your heads your technique( how you strike your head and how hard you hit them) may need some adjustment. If a head is dented you will never get it to tune correctly. Having said that... tuning is subjective meaning once you have the drum in tune with its self it comes to personal taste of how you want the drum to sound. Just remember if it sounds good behind the kit it may sound totally different to your audience so find a nice balance. A drum should resonate which helps it project to the crowd. I've found that tensioning the heads fairly tight gives a nice sound to the crowd.
        www.myspace.com/tongueingrooveTd 20 Purple Fade V Session Cy15, 2x Cy14, Cy8, Asi+ Crown k2 amps, BBE max. Legion 15's, Madison 18 subs, Tama,Yamaha hardware.
        Your never as good or bad as you think you are !


        • #5
          I agree with Sizzle, let them ring (as long as the ring you ar describing is resonance and not overtones). If overtones are the problem, then the heads are not as in tune as they could be. Try a little bit (half) of a moongel near the edge. For floor toms, I've tried the trick of throwing a couple of cotton balls in the drum, which help to tame ringing.

          Most people think that the toms have to sound great behind the kit, which leads to a crappy, wet cardboard kind of sound out front. If you are recording I would recommend coated single ply over clear single ply, bottom head tuned just a bit higher than the top.

          Edrums- KD-120, PD-125 (3), PD-105 (3), Yamaha PCY155, PCY-135 (4)
          Module - Roland TD20X
          Software - Pro Tools and Toontrack Superior


          • #6
            I used Emperiors (they are 2 Ply)on top and black ebonys on the bottom. I use the drum torque to give them even tension all around the drum. They sounded great. If you are putting dents in your drum heads it could be due to your toms being tilted to much.
            Roland TD-8 Mod, DIY burgandy Mapex drums 12" snare, 8" 10" and 12" rack toms, 14" rack floor tom, 22" Bass drum , 3 cy-15r cymbals, one for the ride 2 for the crashes and cy-14c for hi hat.

            Songs i've recorded using my old TD-7

            My drum kit


            • #7
              The Drum Torque ! I have one of those forgot about it thanks for the reminder LOL!!
              Tama Arstar TM6 Pro 2X PD85's


              • #8
                I still say try the Aquarians... they'll help with the "denting" issue too. (Try the Studio X dude... you won't be disappointed) Like previous posters mentioned, overtones are no good, but some sustain and punch is good!

                How far do you have the toms tilted? it's a lot easier to "dig in" if they are tilted towards you too much.

                - your source for electronic cigs. Use coupon code "" for 10% off every order!!!


                • #9
                  Moongel can do magic to this kind of problems.



                  • #10
                    SIZZLE has hit the nail on the head there. If your denting heads your more than likely doing something wrong, regardless of the heads you use. As for tuning, thats a big question and theres heaps of answers on the internet...
                    My Kit


                    • #11


                      • #12

                        Just to update you all really. I went with the 2-ply aquarians in the end and am very pleased with the results. They have a warm, deep tone that I've been looking for in a tom sound for a long time. I may have to replace the under-side skin at some point but I would fully recommend replacing stock skins with these if you are after a decent sounding set of toms.

                        Thanks for all the info on this subject


                        • #13
                          evans make a hydrulic oil filled 2 ply head it works very well nice tone and not all that over ring in the heads


                          • #14
                            Anytime you use two-ply heads, or tape, or moongel you are reducing the natural resonance of your drum.

                            One might argue that in so doing, you are reducing the musicality of the instrument.

                            The concept of "over-ring" might be "over-hyped".

                            What we hear sitting at our kits as "over ring" may very well not be heard at all even ten feet away. Especially when the band is actually making music. But if we reduce the resonance of our drums to remove this over ring, we are deliberately reducing the musicality of our drums.

                            Unless we are playing jazz in a very intimate club, over-ring may well be something to strive for, and not something to eliminate.

                            I have an instructional tape from Ginger Baker ( of all people!) and the over-ring on his drums, when the mike is next to his mouth and he is playing just a drum or two, is absolutely horrendous.

                            But when he plays along with a band the kit sounds absolutely brilliant! All the richness of the tone is there, all the sustain, all the sharp impact of each individual note. Over-ring? Can't be heard.

                            I thought the original loaded kits on my TD-10 expanded were way too sharp, too tinny, too bright. Then I attended a Roland demo night, and heard the untouched original kit played through a very good sound system in a live music context. The kit cut through just enough - again it sounded brilliant!

                            Perhaps part of the reason so many acoustic kits sound so dead and dull and like cardboard to us in the audience is because the drummer didn't like the too bright sound of over-ring, and tuned his drums so that they sound great to him in his throne. But crappy to everybody else?

                            Perhaps before we all go out and eliminate that over-ring we should actually investigate if it is the wrong thing to do for our drum sound?
                            Immensely powerful yet with a liquid cat-quick elegance


                            • #15
                              Interesting post gingerbaker, I agree with you to an extent. However, since writing the original post I have recorded with the 2 ply aquarians and I'm so much happier with the sound I got than when I had the single-ply ringers on. I think that if you aren't mic'ing up your drums and are playing to a large crowd then you can get away with it. My band are playing big gigs now where drums tend to be mic'd and they sound really sweet when they're played - I share my kit on occassion and being a listener in the crowd is a treat...

                              My Yamaha custom is now one of the best kits I've ever heard!