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Drum Tuning Bible

Drum Tuning Bible

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Published by Louie Jay Tipgos

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Published by: Louie Jay Tipgos on Jul 18, 2012
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11/02/2012

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Drum Tuning Bible:
By J. Scott Johnson, a.k.a. Prof. Sound - July 7, 1999 Page 1 of 20
Table of Conents: 
TABLE OF CONENTS:..............................................................................................................................1FORWARD:.................................................................................................................................................3TYPICAL ANSWERD QUESTIONS:........................................................................................................3TRUTH’S OF DRUMS:...............................................................................................................................3HOOPS/RIMS:............................................................................................................................................4FUNDAMENTALS OF TUNING:..............................................................................................................4CONSTRUCTION GUIDELINES, ALL DRUMS:....................................................................................5TUNING AND SEATING THE HEADS, ALL DRUMS............................................................................5
L
EARNING
H
OW
, R
ESONANT
S
IDE
T
UNING
- T
HE BEGINNING
:......................................................................6B
ATTER
S
IDE
T
UNING
:................................................................................................................................7T
IME TO
Z
ONE
:...........................................................................................................................................7R
ESULTS
– W
HAT
T
HEY
M
EAN
:..................................................................................................................7
TOMS:.........................................................................................................................................................8
T
OM
, D
RUMHEADS
- B
ATTER SIDE
:..............................................................................................................8T
OMS
, D
RUMHEADS
- R
ESONANT SIDE
:.......................................................................................................8T
OMS
, G
ENERAL
H
EAD
G
UIDELINES
:...........................................................................................................8T
OMS
, S
OME SELECTIONS AND CHARACTERISTIC SOUNDS
.............................................................................9T
OMS
, T
UNING
P
ROCEDURE
:.......................................................................................................................9
KICK DRUM:............................................................................................................................................10
K
ICK
D
RUM
, D
RUMHEADS
- B
ATTER SIDE
:................................................................................................10K
ICK
D
RUM
, D
RUMHEADS
- R
ESONANT SIDE
:............................................................................................10H
OLES IN
Y
OUR
H
EAD OR
N
OT
?................................................................................................................10P
ADS AND
 / 
OR
P
ILLOWS
:............................................................................................................................10S
OUNDS
, K
ICK
D
RUM
C
HARACTERISTIC
P
AIRING
:......................................................................................11K
ICK
D
RUM
, T
UNING
P
ROCEDURE AND
T
RICKS
:........................................................................................11
SNARE DRUM:.........................................................................................................................................12
S
NARE
, C
ONSTRUCTION
B
RIEF
..................................................................................................................12S
NARE
, D
RUMHEADS
- B
ATTER SIDE
:........................................................................................................12S
NARE
, D
RUMHEADS
- R
ESONANT SIDE
:....................................................................................................13S
NARE
U
NIT
, G
ENERAL
G
UIDELINES
:........................................................................................................13S
NARE
D
RUM
, I
NSPECTION AND
H
OW TO
I
SSUES
:.......................................................................................14S
NARE
D
RUM
, T
UNING
M
ETHOD
1 (F
AT AND
W
ET
):..................................................................................14S
NARE
D
RUM
, T
UNING
M
ETHOD
2 (P
OP
, A
RTICULATE
, N
OT
C
HOKED
, P
REFERRED BY MANY STUDIO
D
RUMMERS
):............................................................................................................................................15S
NARE
D
RUM
, T
UNING
M
ETHOD
3 (H
IGHLY
R
ESONANT
,
BRINGS THE MOST OUT OF THE SHELL
):.................15S
NARE
D
RUM
, G
ENERAL
T
UNING
G
UIDELINES
:..........................................................................................15S
NARE
U
NIT
, I
NSTALLATION OF
:...............................................................................................................15S
NARE
U
NIT
, S
OUND AND
T
HE
5 S
TAGES OF
:.............................................................................................16S
NARE
D
RUM
, T
IPS AND
T
RICKS
:..............................................................................................................16S
NARE
U
NIT
, B
UZZ
I
SSUES OR
S
YMPATHETIC
V
IBRATIONS
:........................................................................16
 
Drum Tuning Bible:
By J. Scott Johnson, a.k.a. Prof. Sound - July 7, 1999 Page 2 of 20
TUNING SEQUENCES, SUGGESTED:..................................................................................................17INTERVAL AND DRUM SIZING:..........................................................................................................17MUSICAL NOTES FOR TUNING, SUGGESTED:.................................................................................18MICROPHONE USE, IN BRIEF – HOW THEY CAN EFFECT THE SOUND:...................................18
K
ICK
M
IC
T
RICKS
:....................................................................................................................................19S
NARE
M
IC
T
RICKS
:..................................................................................................................................19
CONCLUSION..........................................................................................................................................19LINKS OF INTEREST:............................................................................................................................19ACKNOWLEDGMENTS:........................................................................................................................20
 
Drum Tuning Bible:
By J. Scott Johnson, a.k.a. Prof. Sound - July 7, 1999 Page 3 of 20
Forward: 
Others online have written tutorial guides who explain in simpler terms how to get a sound out of your drum.This is not intended to be such an article. It is my position that it means nothing when you get advice such as“put 2 turns on one side and then a few more on the other side”. It does not describe or teach how to achievetone and control, but admittedly, there are those for whom such advice is all that’s required. For others, whoreally want to understand
all
their drum can do and may have been lost for years wondering, understand itrequires thinking and work. If you’re looking for a shortcut to great sound, you’ll find it in the knowledge yougain from this article, once
 you
apply it. Finally, if you read the entire “bible”, it should aid you in choosing adrumset to fulfill your dreams.
Typical answerd questions: 
1.
 
Difference between heads, when to use what.2.
 
How to make it resonant, fat, punchy, open, less/more ring.3.
 
How mic’s effect the choice of heads.4.
 
What’s the fundamental note of a drum vs. it’s pitch and timbre.5.
 
What difference does the wood and construction make in the tuning.6.
 
Drum interval sizing.7.
 
Example head setups and results.8.
 
Snare buzz issues.9.
 
Snare replacement, tension and choice issues.10.
 
How to get more articulation, volume, crack, sensitivity and warmth from a snare drum?11.
 
What difference does a cast, wood, steel hoop make?12.
 
Example notes to tune to?13.
 
Kick drum muffling.
Truth’s of Drums: 
1.
 
The interval between drums is more important than many realize and size is the key to evenly resonantincremental notes between drums.2.
 
The tiniest of movements on the tuning lug “can” make huge differences and raise pitch drastically.3.
 
A sound or tuning that works for a small venue will not work as well for a large venue.4.
 
Head selection for microphones will likely be different than without. Get to know the utilization of microphones well if you’re going to use them, even slight alterations in placement make a huge difference.5.
 
The sound heard from a CD at home is not what a drum really sounds like but on few occasions. What youhear is usually an altered version recorded according to what the producer and the artist want it to soundlike through alterations.6.
 
All drums sound different at 0, 5, 15, 50 foot or differing distances. So what sounds good to the drummerwhile playing may be terrible to the audience, in whatever form the audience takes.7.
 
This tuning method works for ALL DRUMS.8.
 
Less expensive does not mean inferior.

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