Tuning Diary – Day 4

Had a great show at the Garage in London last night with Sunless ’97, supporting Toro Y Moi, from the US. It was a sold out show, and surprisingly it was 3/4 full when we went on first so we played to a big audience (which was nice). However I spent the trip up and back studying the Prof sound’s drum tuning bible, & decided to implement the bible in day 4.

Day 4.

I began at the beginning and took just 1 tom, my 13″, as it tells to concentrate on 1 small first to start to learn how to tune, and not to get this confused with tuning the whole kit. This involves, removing all the heads, eliminating and lug or shell buzz, seating the heads, then experimenting with pitches of the drum, and also results and what they mean. (This is all explained more clearly and in detail, under the section ” Tuning and Seating the Heads, All Drums” onwards).

From this research I learned that I used to just strive to get the pitches on the top head in tune with each other and think this is the drum tuned, so why doesn’t it sound good? Seems stupid but obvious now, so you need to get the top head in tune with it’s self and also the bottom head, and then experiment with taking the whole pitches of each head up and down. Also I found that the bottom head really is the note and how much sustain is gained and the top head is more of the attack.

I also repeated this sequence for my bass drum, seating the head properly then lowering to a desired pitch. Bass drum is much more difficult to hear the different pitches at the lugs, but easier to get an overall sound, right heads help, as a powerstroke on my kick works like a dream, while a pinstripe sounds like tripe.

Tomorrow I will focus on the first tom again, and have a go at my second snare, taking her apart and starting from scratch.

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