Detuning only some lugs???

MVE

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Just watched a video by Nick V at SW where he suggests detuning three lugs on a tight snare to give it a different less overtone sound.
I am new to drums, so please forgive the noob question. But it seems like having drastically uneven tension might be potentially damaging to the drum head or the drum itself, especially a wood shell.
Am I crazy or is it a bad idea? Or maybe its ok for a bit of time, but even them back up when you’re done kind of thing?
 

TPC

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I do this sometimes. It can provide a certain proportion of attack, pitch, and sustain that is unobtainable with even tensioning. I do think/agree though, that if the tensions are too disparate, the head will wrinkle and that could certainly cause some damage.

My bass drum is almost always tensioned this way, with the top two lugs loosened up significantly.
 

LRod1707

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If it's for overtone control, try a snareweight! I've seen this (detuning) method before and I personally don't like the idea of having lower tension on a few lugs. I like everything relatively equal. That's just me though!
 

Tornado

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I think this sounds good sitting right above the snare and mic'd, but sounds thin out front if not mic'd. There are plenty of other ways to control overtones. This method can create a cool "electronic" sound if that's what you're going for though.
 

noreastbob

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To my way of thinking it's a totally bogus cop-out method of... not tuning. It's not good for the action, the head, the drum, the hoop... you name it. And Tornado is right. Out front it sounds like a flimsy plastic slap if there's no mic.
If you must kill the natural overtones use damping. However, as bothersome as overtones can be to the player, out front they add cut, presence, and much of the crack and cool tones we love.
 

bernard

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Works on all drums, in moderation. Try it. If it sounds good, it is good.
And no, it won't hurt the head or the drum, unless you do something really excessive.
 

dcrigger

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To my way of thinking it's a totally bogus cop-out method of... not tuning. It's not good for the action, the head, the drum, the hoop... you name it. And Tornado is right. Out front it sounds like a flimsy plastic slap if there's no mic.
If you must kill the natural overtones use damping. However, as bothersome as overtones can be to the player, out front they add cut, presence, and much of the crack and cool tones we love.
But some of have to play with mics - so how in the world is it a cop out??? Putting a drum under a microphone is like putting it under a sonic microscope - and unlike an acoustic scenario one can fall on the crutch of having the ugly stuff soaked up with distance.

And as far as damaging the drum or the hoop - really doesn't seem likely at all. As for the head... who cares? But even then - damage??

So no, I disagree - it's a completely legitimate tool for one's tuning tool belt - one that has been used successfully at the highest levels of our art for decades.
 

David M Scott

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Just watched a video by Nick V at SW where he suggests detuning three lugs on a tight snare to give it a different less overtone sound.
I am new to drums, so please forgive the noob question. But it seems like having drastically uneven tension might be potentially damaging to the drum head or the drum itself, especially a wood shell.
Am I crazy or is it a bad idea? Or maybe its ok for a bit of time, but even them back up when you’re done kind of thing?
There is a video on YouTube that shows how to get that Phat 70s sound by detuning the lugs. Start at 11 and 1 o'clock with medium to tight
then gradually work down till 5 and 7 o'clock just over finger tight. I've used it for 70s Soft Rock and it certainly deadens the sound.
 

Deafmoon

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I detune the 2 lugs on my snare side head between the wires on both sides and on my batter bass drum head at the top two lugs. I don’t detune toms on either side.
 

MVE

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Thanks everyone for all the great responses.
I gave it a try and, I can happily report, my drum shell did NOT implode and fold inwards into a pile of plywood splinters and mylar plastic.
It made a dramatic and awesome difference in the sound that seems like it would be very useful for some things. Hitting the center of the head gives a lovely dry snare sound. However, it seems to absolutely ruin all other sounds like rim shots and ringing the edges. So it’s not a great way to keep the snare all the time.
Thanks for all the replies.
 

k_50

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I do it a lot to get the some of the phat-ness of a low tuning, while retaining the response and sensitivity of a high one. IMO it's not a cop-out, but just another one in the bag of tricks to get the sound you want.
A similar trick is to detune one of the bottom lugs on your floor tom(s) when playing a very "live" room. It cuts the boom, and sustain without drastically changing the sound, and response of the drum.
 


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