tom sizes (15x15)

jem
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tom sizes (15x15)

Postby jem » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:14 am

I'll add two toms to my four piece 12-16-22 (USA Custom, 8x12 16x16 14x22)

However I'm a bit "lost" in sizes.

My "base" is 12-16. When I add one tom I go for two floor toms if space allows. So most often it’s “one up, two down”. If there’s not enough space it’s “two up, one down”.

The normal would be a 10 and a 14. But I sort of feel that a 14 is nether a floor tom nor a rack tom, therefore I'm considering a 15”. Also, 10-12-16-22 feels a bit “unbalanced”, same with 10-12-14-22. (And I sometimes feel like a 10 is too small, I grew up with 12-13-16).

I’m leaning towards a 10 and a 15, that would give options like:

10-12-15 (rather than 10-12-16)
12-15-16 (rather than 12-14-16)
10-12-15-16 (rather than 10-12-14-16)

Another options could be 12-13-15-16

Has anyone tried a 15x15? Any other opinions about sizes?

Thanks
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Paul Marangoni
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Paul Marangoni » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:31 am

I'm surprised that you don't like a 14" floor tom.

It really depends on how you prefer to tension your drums, but I find that 14" and 16" are great for floor tom siblings. I think 15" works better on its own. If you pair the 15" with a 16", you've got the 16" positioned just a bit further. Years ago I played 12, 13 and 15 toms mounted on 24" bass drums.

I have found that larger diameter drums work great for tighter head tensions (which tend to allow for softer dynamics), and smaller diameter drums work great for looser head tension (which favor louder dynamics). I am usually playing 12, 13 mounted and 14, 16 floors.
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Odd-Arne Oseberg
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Odd-Arne Oseberg » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:53 am

Never played one.

Mike & Mike (MD podcast) had a discussion about it in a recent episode.

As far as I know Gavin Harrison changed his 14" for a 15" quite a few years ago now. He probably feels a bit like you do.

I'd at least do some head experimentation first.
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Paul Marangoni
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Paul Marangoni » Tue Apr 10, 2018 12:47 pm

Odd-Arne Oseberg wrote:As far as I know Gavin Harrison changed his 14" for a 15" quite a few years ago now.

He also uses an 18" floor tom, so the 3-inch difference is a big factor. When you have multiple toms (more than four) it's difficult to get enough spread between the toms for a discernable difference between them. You can only get a 16" drum so low before it is unplayable, and it's equally difficult to get a 10" tom tuned high without triggering a bunch of unwanted sympathetic snare buzz.

If you listen to Simon Phillips without seeing him play, you would be hard pressed to say how many drums he is playing (especially if you listen in mono). Phil Collins on the other hand sounds like he has more drums than he does. Gotta love concert toms for multi-tom setups with extreme clarity.
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nomsgmusic
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby nomsgmusic » Tue Apr 10, 2018 8:54 pm

Jem,

I am a HUGE fan of 15" toms. I actually have three. I have a complete set (all sizes) of older Yamaha Tour Customs and that includes a 13x15 (mountable floor tom.) For my Gretsch's (again, I have them in all sizes) I have a mountable 13x15 and a 15x15 with legs. As Paul said, a 15 is a perfect choice for a single floor tom setup. But I have paired them on either side of the 14's and 16's, and it works. You just have to retune a bit to take best advantage of the drums. You can get a nice separation, it's like using 12 and 13 up top. I even used 12, 13, 14, 15 for a while, pretty cool (no recordings sorry.) I "think" Gadd's old Pearl fiberglass toms included a 15. I forget what the order and sizes of the other drums was though.

I feel the same as you about 10x14 toms (too big for rack toms, too small for floor toms,) but I dig 14x14's. However, I used to never be able to get a 14x14 low enough, and when tuned up, the 14x14 was just too hollow. That's when I started using the 15x15, and it's GREAT. However, I recently started putting a black dot on the bottom of all of my floor toms, and it has really helped me get them dialed in both low and high. So I am using them all (not at the same time) for different contexts now, and they all sound fantastic.

The 3" spread between toms is really cool, Garibaldi has been doing that for years (I stole it from him.) Anton Fig does that too. People will also tell you that 15" heads are tough to find, which is garbage, at least when it comes to Remo. I even have three 15" snares (yup six 15" drums here at the crib.) And although 15" heads aren't at every store, once you find a head combo that you dig, you just keep a spare in your case on the road, no prob. Hell, how often do we break floor tom heads anyway?

Go for it!!!!

Hope this helps!
MSG
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Paul Marangoni » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:00 pm

nomsgmusic wrote: I even used 12, 13, 14, 15 for a while, pretty cool.

I love that! Jeff Tain Watts used those sizes as well. Alas, most companies don't even offer 15" toms anymore (which really sucks).

Pretty sure Weckl, Vinnie and Gadd all used a 15" as their last tom back in the day.
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Pocketplayer
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Pocketplayer » Thu Apr 12, 2018 11:41 am

"If you listen to Simon Phillips without seeing him play, you would be hard pressed to say how many drums he is playing (especially if you listen in mono). Phil Collins on the other hand sounds like he has more drums than he does. Gotta love concert toms for multi-tom setups with extreme clarity."

That was cool! One of those, "Hmmm, never connected those dots before" moments.
Makes me want to hear more on this Paul. Is this because Simon's toms are very close
in size, using more? Phil's toms so distinctive that adds more to the listening experience
(satisfies the ears instantly) requiring less notes (the drums have so much personality in
themselves)?

I have always felt that if your drums speak so strongly, less is required to convey the
message. This is what happens when I play a V-kit set to some huge sounding kit...
they are so big, I end up playing far less.
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Paul Marangoni
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby Paul Marangoni » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:13 pm

Pocketplayer wrote:Makes me want to hear more on this Paul. Is this because Simon's toms are very close
in size, using more?


I haven't conducted any quantifiable research....but I think that now that Simon is using 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 toms and an 18 floor tom, the intervals between the drums just aren't large enough to notice (unless you're playing a fill from high to low, and hitting each drum in succession). When spaced out across the stereo spectrum it does create a musical effect, but I think it would sound just as interesting with four fewer drums. Easier on cartage too!

As for Phil's concert toms, last time out he was using 8, 10, 12, 15, 16, and 18. He has a much wider spread with six toms than Simon does with seven. The concert tom sound is much more staccato as well, so the different drums don't get in each other's way sonically.
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jem
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Re: tom sizes (15x15)

Postby jem » Fri Apr 13, 2018 12:20 am

Thanks for all comments, I'll give it some thought, more comments later.

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