Tuning a 16" head to itself

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electrizer
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Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby electrizer » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:03 pm

I was thinking whether a thread like that is HOD-worthy but I'm getting conflicting info from the web, so I hope you guys can shed some light on this.

I've always been obsessed with nice, open tom sound with "rounded" decay (a "bwow" kind of sound). Recently I've made a lot of attempts to tune my SQ2 16 floow tom nicely, and while all the other toms came out sweet, I'm having a lot of issues with this one.

Whenever I watch a video on tuning, after both heads have been brought to one tone, everybody pretty much disregards the "ring", or the harmonics after you hit the head, which is basically the result of the head not being stretched evenly towards all the lugs. And that's what bothers me. I can tune a head allright but I want to be able to hear a nice, long, fundamental tone without all the dirt. All the smaller toms (10x9, 12x10, 14x14) were fine and I was able to achieve clean notes on all the heads but the 16x16 is giving me a lot of shit... (Note that mine are not "power tom"-sized ones)

Maybe I'm splitting hairs here, but clean and undistorted tom sound is something I've always been a freak about. A lot of people recommend finger-tightening the lugs first, which I consider very misleading. Instead, I press in the center, tighten each lug until I can see my turning the key starting to affect the wrinkles and stop, then do that with all the other lugs. That's my starting position, the point of reference. Then it's half-turns up, in different patterns around the drum, until the wrinkles disappear, which unfortunately doesn't happen after the same amount of turns at each lug. I've tried the three sequences below and never really got a good, even "stretch" across the head, there was always a lot of dirty harmonics coming out.

Again, sorry for the length of the post but this is something I would like to get right. Also, does anyone recommend that DrumDial thing? That is supposed to look for the same tension by each lug right?

Many thanks!

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nomsgmusic
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby nomsgmusic » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:27 pm

Check your edges (top and bottom) even GREAT drums can develop some edge issues (shipping, gigging, being transported in bags.) Sometimes even a minor edge issue (that can hardly be seen by the naked eye) can cause tuning nightmares! Check your rims to make sure they lay flat too. Has this happened with many different heads? It could be a bad head too.

What happens when you tune the head to it's lowest possible resonant pitch? Has this been possible to do?

And for what it's worth, I use the lug tuning method all the way to the right on your diagram. It just makes sense to me. I have never used any of those tuning devices, but at times they have intrigued me (although not enough to actually get one. HA!)

If it is only this drum, you might also think about a different resonant head on this drum.

That's all I got without hearing it, and being there.
MSG
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electrizer
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby electrizer » Sun Aug 24, 2014 1:43 pm

Thanks MSG! Both heads are new, top one slightly played, both cracked in and seated. The drum is brand new, got them in Apr I think, never gigged. Hard to see what could be going wrong here
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Christopher
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby Christopher » Sun Aug 24, 2014 3:27 pm

nomsgmusic wrote:Check your edges (top and bottom) even GREAT drums can develop some edge issues (shipping, gigging, being transported in bags.) Sometimes even a minor edge issue (that can hardly be seen by the naked eye) can cause tuning nightmares! Check your rims to make sure they lay flat too. Has this happened with many different heads? It could be a bad head too.


+1

The bearing edges are easy enough to check with a large enough piece of glass or a super flat counter top.

Also, does the head spin freely around the drum when you first put it on, or is it tight?

Check the hoops for being out of round like Mark said, but also check the shell for the same.
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GoAndPractice
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby GoAndPractice » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:51 pm

Could also be a floor tom vs. mounted tom issue. Does the drum sound any better when you lift it off the ground and hit it? Maybe if you like how it sounds in the air then a different foot/cradle situation might be needed.
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electrizer
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby electrizer » Sun Aug 24, 2014 9:49 pm

Thanks for replies! Well, it looks like Ill have examine the drum a bit more closely. Re the position of the drum, Ive never played it in any other one than on the floor.
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langmick
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby langmick » Mon Aug 25, 2014 5:16 pm

Have you tried a clear Ambassador for comparison? I think the Evans heads are a little less forgiving than the Remos.
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electrizer
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby electrizer » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:26 pm

langmick wrote:Have you tried a clear Ambassador for comparison? I think the Evans heads are a little less forgiving than the Remos.


Thanks for your reply langmick! I'll give Remo a try, just for the purpose of this. The only reason I've stuck with Evans so far is that I've been hearing opinions that they don't detune as fast. The G2 that I have on top is that 360 degree thing which supposedly is to make our life easier when it comes to tuning and the head's longevity ;/
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electrizer
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby electrizer » Tue Aug 26, 2014 1:13 am

Anyone tried this?



Also, anyone does this to the head before putting it on? It's supposed to soften the collar of the head so that it wraps around the edge nicely

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Jim Richman
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Re: Tuning a 16" head to itself

Postby Jim Richman » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:05 am

Maybe you should try finger tightening the lugs first. You know, sometimes the little detail make the biggest difference. Also, get some different heads. You ma may have a dead one. (It happens)
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