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Tom tuning range

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#1
Barden

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I've been doing some thinking about my preferences for rack toms. Of my original 10, 12, 14 tom configuration, I found that I phased out of using the 12 because I like the configuration of one up and one down AND I liked the voice of the 10 better for the note I wanted on the "up" tom.

 

I don't see many people playing a 10 up and 14 down. This has me wondering if the 10 that I have just has a lower tuning range than most 10s.

 

I have also tuned it into a range that I would use an 8, but I now have an 8 for that and they sound good together when I want those voices.

 

I believe the perceived note from the 10 is typically around F4/350Hz, but sometimes lower.

 

So the questions that arise for you all are:

If you have a tom tuned in this range, what size is it?

If you have a 10 inch tom, about what note or Hz is it tuned?

If you have a 12 inch tom, about what note or Hz is it tuned?

What neighboring tom intervals are involved for you?

 

If you need help answering the quantitative questions, I recommend an online piano and hitting the notes until you think you recognize the note of the tom in question.

Or if you can use this link and sweep the fader through a range:

http://www.szynalski...one-generator/ 

 

 

Happy Friday


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#2
EyeByTwoMuchGeer

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I think one reason there aren't too many 10/14 setups is that 12/14 is the classic pairing. I'm guessing there are more buying options with 12/14 vs something like 10/14 or even 10/12/14.

In any case, smaller drums usually have a wider effective tuning range. 10s and 12s can sound amazing tuned low or high, and the smaller diameter and depth really helps the drums project at lower tunings - you don't need to input as much energy to get everything moving as opposed to a 16" floor tom.


I would say that the average 10" tom could cover most of the sonic space that a 12 does, and vice versa.

I'm not a big believer in the hertz/tunebot settings. I think if you are getting into that fine of detail, you're overthinking. But, more power to you! Hope someone here can help out!
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#3
Barden

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I think one reason there aren't too many 10/14 setups is that 12/14 is the classic pairing. I'm guessing there are more buying options with 12/14 vs something like 10/14 or even 10/12/14.

In any case, smaller drums usually have a wider effective tuning range. 10s and 12s can sound amazing tuned low or high, and the smaller diameter and depth really helps the drums project at lower tunings - you don't need to input as much energy to get everything moving as opposed to a 16" floor tom.


I would say that the average 10" tom could cover most of the sonic space that a 12 does, and vice versa.

I'm not a big believer in the hertz/tunebot settings. I think if you are getting into that fine of detail, you're overthinking. But, more power to you! Hope someone here can help out!

yeah the classic pairing has a root in the conversation, but I knew a lot of people with 10,12,14 that wanted to play with only two toms and chose between the 10 and 12. I find most people chose the 12. And the heart of the question is why?

 

I don't really tune with a tunebot either, but I needed a reference for comparing the notes that the drum resonates at because your "low" tuning might be my "high" tuning.

 

If memory serves, my old 10 inch tom from my mapex kit didn't tune as low. So it made sense to reach for a larger diameter drum to get the targeted note.

 

 

I now have my kit split between two places and have 10,14,16 at one sight and 12, 14 at the other. This is what has me thinking, because the 12, 14 doesn't feel quite right to my current preferences.


Edited by Barden, 13 July 2018 - 01:57 PM.

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#4
gbow

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Are you sure you have that 10" tuned to F4? That is extremely high for a 10" tom. The standard tuning (according to tunebot) for a 10" tom is a D3 which is 147 hz. 

 

Go here to the tune-bot calculator and you can see all the tunings they offer for a 10" or any other size. 

 

http://tune-bot.com/calculator.html

 

If you choose the highest tuning they recommend, you get an F3 at 175 hz and if you choose the lowest tuning they recommend you get a B2 at 123 hz. 

 

For my 10" (or most other drums) I find that I have a hard time getting them to sound good at the lowest tunings. That's barely above removing the wrinkles and it's hard to get that to sound good on the smaller toms. My 10" sounds best right around their standard or "default" tuning of a D3 147 hz. 

 

gabo


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#5
xsabers

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Are you sure you have that 10" tuned to F4? That is extremely high for a 10" tom. The standard tuning (according to tunebot) for a 10" tom is a D3 which is 147 hz. 

 

Go here to the tune-bot calculator and you can see all the tunings they offer for a 10" or any other size. 

 

http://tune-bot.com/calculator.html

 

If you choose the highest tuning they recommend, you get an F3 at 175 hz and if you choose the lowest tuning they recommend you get a B2 at 123 hz. 

 

For my 10" (or most other drums) I find that I have a hard time getting them to sound good at the lowest tunings. That's barely above removing the wrinkles and it's hard to get that to sound good on the smaller toms. My 10" sounds best right around their standard or "default" tuning of a D3 147 hz. 

 

gabo

You have to be sure you are talking apples to apples here. I agree the F4 would be extremely high for a 10" drum's fundamental note, but not so much if you are referring to the pitch at the tension rods when isolating the heads. An F4 at 349 Hz, still exceeds the Tune Bot's max batter head setting of 328 Hz (highest pitch, lowest resonance) for a 10". Anyway, I thought it might be good to define terms to clarify the discussion.  


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#6
MustangMick

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When I was using a 10,12,14 setup I started with

 

E / B / E

 

Cheers

Mick


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#7
Cauldronics

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One set of toms I have can be tuned to sound like a 12 and a 16 without sounding flabby or dead, while the actual toms I have are 10 and 13. No other toms in my stash can do that.

To your questions about measuring hz and intervals, to me that’s getting a little too scientific and away from the musicality of the instrument. I would recommend just using your ears.
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#8
Barden

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Are you sure you have that 10" tuned to F4? That is extremely high for a 10" tom. The standard tuning (according to tunebot) for a 10" tom is a D3 which is 147 hz. 

 

Go here to the tune-bot calculator and you can see all the tunings they offer for a 10" or any other size. 

 

http://tune-bot.com/calculator.html

 

If you choose the highest tuning they recommend, you get an F3 at 175 hz and if you choose the lowest tuning they recommend you get a B2 at 123 hz. 

 

For my 10" (or most other drums) I find that I have a hard time getting them to sound good at the lowest tunings. That's barely above removing the wrinkles and it's hard to get that to sound good on the smaller toms. My 10" sounds best right around their standard or "default" tuning of a D3 147 hz. 

 

gabo

I am Not sure about the measurement!

 

I will double check it when I'm with the drum. I'm likely an octave or two off.

 

I do have a tunebot that I can check with when it comes back from repair.


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#9
Barden

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One set of toms I have can be tuned to sound like a 12 and a 16 without sounding flabby or dead, while the actual toms I have are 10 and 13. No other toms in my stash can do that.

To your questions about measuring hz and intervals, to me that’s getting a little too scientific and away from the musicality of the instrument. I would recommend just using your ears.

Don't worry, the Hz intervals are only my way of communicating via keyboard. I always do use my ears and am on the fence about even keeping the tunebot.

 

I don't even tune the toms to specific intervals. For me it's about what feels right for the music at hand.


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#10
mpungercar

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I used to play a 10/14 kit, mainly because I liked spread between the 10 14 better than the 12 14. I have no idea how I had it tuned back then, but I'm currently playing 10,12,14,16 and the 10 is at 253hz for both batter and reso, at the lug using a tune bot. The fundamental for the 10 is 147hz.


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#11
EvEnStEvEn

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I don't see many people playing a 10 up and 14 down.

 

ZORO used to play 10" up & 16" down, maybe he still does.
It sounded great in his "ten commandments" videos


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#12
What It Is

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Benny Greb plays a 10" up.  Sounds like he's got that thing tuned way down.  I've played the 10" up and I love it, but the 16" down is a huge spread.  Currently going with 10" up 14", 16" down.  I like it as it makes me rethink my fills.  The 10" (Starclassic Maple) can do anything I ask of it.  It's currently doing my laundry!  Ba-dum-bump!


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#13
rondrums51

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A 10" tom always sounds like a dead bongo drum to me. It's just too small to project any tone beyond the bandstand. Just my humble opinion. 

 

In spite of all that DW "note of the drum shell" crap, I always look for drums that have a wide tuning range. They don't choke up when you tune them tight. And they don't lose their tone when you tune them slack. No matter how you tune them, you get a clear fundamental note and good resonance. It's hard to find drums that meet this criteria. I find that thin-shelled drums are most likely to get it. 

 

The best drums for tuning range I ever owned were Sonor Teardrops. I had an early 70's rosewood set that sang like a choir at any tuning. They had thin six ply shells, no re rings. I tuned them up high for jazz gigs and down deeper for big band gigs. They responded wide open in every situation. 

 

I sold them in a moment of financial desperation, and I've been kicking my own ass ever since. Nobody is making drums like that today, except maybe INDe. 


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#14
Barden

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Benny Greb plays a 10" up.  Sounds like he's got that thing tuned way down.  I've played the 10" up and I love it, but the 16" down is a huge spread.  Currently going with 10" up 14", 16" down.  I like it as it makes me rethink my fills.  The 10" (Starclassic Maple) can do anything I ask of it.  It's currently doing my laundry!  Ba-dum-bump!

Yes!


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#15
Barden

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A 10" tom always sounds like a dead bongo drum to me. It's just too small to project any tone beyond the bandstand. Just my humble opinion. 

 

In spite of all that DW "note of the drum shell" crap, I always look for drums that have a wide tuning range. They don't choke up when you tune them tight. And they don't lose their tone when you tune them slack. No matter how you tune them, you get a clear fundamental note and good resonance. It's hard to find drums that meet this criteria. I find that thin-shelled drums are most likely to get it. 

 

The best drums for tuning range I ever owned were Sonor Teardrops. I had an early 70's rosewood set that sang like a choir at any tuning. They had thin six ply shells, no re rings. I tuned them up high for jazz gigs and down deeper for big band gigs. They responded wide open in every situation. 

 

I sold them in a moment of financial desperation, and I've been kicking my own ass ever since. Nobody is making drums like that today, except maybe INDe. 

Your first sentence is right along the interest of my post. I wanted to know if my 10 inch tom is unique.

 

This drum is indeed a very thin shell.


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#16
JDA

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When I was using a 10,12,14 setup I started with

 

E / B / E

 

Cheers

Mick

see that's what I think/can't work around/.. the 10 and 14 become octaves; without  the differentiation a 12/14 has..

I like the "idea" of a "ten"  O it's so darn cute , small and easy to fit.  But find them a DISASTER in a set...As the first tom. Unless it's tuned well below the pitch (..) of the snare.  Just a PIA.  

 

It could also be the problem/issue with a 10 is... where- from what Snare you are coming from to 10: -the first tom.

If the snare is super-deep. It can work. If the snare is super-high. It can work.

If it's regular workaday medium Snare sound- the 10 irks me to no end..

I can turn a 10 down to resemble a 12 but something is lacking.

 

Best I can say about a 10 (I own) is  " at least it's small"...and "persist on"..
 

 

I have to think it is why Tama experimented with an 11" in  recent times..

(as opposed to the Leedy days..when there were quite a few 11's..)


Edited by JDA, 16 July 2018 - 04:55 PM.

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#17
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I think your head choice is a big difference maker in making that 10" tom work for you.  For me, the Tama SCM loves an Ambassador clear.  I've had an Emp clear on it, and while it loved being tuned low, anything in the medium range or higher sounded pretty doinky.  The Amby gave a wide tuning range (clear Amb on the bottom).  Tune the bottom head a little higher, and that thing will sing.  The 10" on my Oak Custom is pretty finicky with a more narrow range than the SCM.  Loves an Evans G2 or ECM.  Like most drums made of different woods, they will tell you where they want to be tuned.  Good luck!


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#18
rondrums51

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When I was using a 10,12,14 setup I started with

 

E / B / E

 

Cheers

Mick

see that's what I think/can't work around/.. the 10 and 14 become octaves; without  the differentiation a 12/14 has..

I like the "idea" of a "ten"  O it's so darn cute , small and easy to fit.  But find them a DISASTER in a set...As the first tom. Unless it's tuned well below the pitch (..) of the snare.  Just a PIA.  

 

It could also be the problem/issue with a 10 is... where- from what Snare you are coming from to 10: -the first tom.

If the snare is super-deep. It can work. If the snare is super-high. It can work.

If it's regular workaday medium Snare sound- the 10 irks me to no end..

I can turn a 10 down to resemble a 12 but something is lacking.

 

Best I can say about a 10 (I own) is  " at least it's small"...and "persist on"..
 

 

I have to think it is why Tama experimented with an 11" in  recent times..

(as opposed to the Leedy days..when there were quite a few 11's..)

 

Proves my point. 10" toms are basically useless. 

 

I was teaching some drum students at a high school recently, and the drum set had a ridiculous 18 X 22' bass drum, one ten inch tom, and a 14" floor tom. My students and I spent 15 minutes trying to get the 10" tom to fit into some kind of tuning range with the rest of the drums. We failed. Tuned up tight, it sounded like a bongo drum. Tuned down lower, it sounded like a cardboard box.

 

My students were going to be playing jazz concerts in a big auditorium. I said they should get the band director to get them a more sensible drum set!


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#19
DanRH

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I'm a big believer in the Drum Dial and have been using it for years. I basically tune all my drums to a 75, top and bottom and then tweak to taste. That works for me. Easy Peasy!


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#20
CherryClassic

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Personally I think it has a lot to do with type of wood, size of the drum, depth of the shell and heads being used.  There are so many variables so if you have a tom with a wide tuning range consider your self lucky.

 

Most of my toms are deep; 9x8, 9x10, 10x12, 12x13 rack toms, late 80's Ludwig Classic.  I mostly use the 10 and/or 12 they both can be tuned low or high with a nice robust sound especially with regular Coated Ambassadors.  With Fiberskyn FA's the tuning range seem to be a little shorter.  I think mostly in the higher tuning range.  But who want to hear a Fiberskyn head sound like a Bongo in most cases.

 

sherm


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