Do I need a tuning device?

JimmySticks

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Do you need a tuning device? No.

I just use the FLINT-stone method, you know, like the song goes. Meet the Flintstones. Its a nice interval and it's just simple. Also, once you have your lugs all tensioned equally, don't be afraid to turn one of the rods up or down a turn or more. It can take the sharp or flat wonkiness out and make that shell sing at the proper tone.

I tried the dial, still have it, but it's not the be-all for drum tuning. Keep it simple, don't overthink it.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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Pls clarify the correct "lug nut" tuning fashion. Do you mean the lug and then the lug opposite or what?
I’m guessing you have 6,8,and 10 lug drums. Here’s the patterns. Start at 1.
D4B98B1A-6382-425B-8C2F-4066A8835579.png
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E5715195-EB5E-48C8-9047-0C68C93002EA.png
 

mydadisjr

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I’m guessing you have 6,8,and 10 lug drums. Here’s the patterns. Start at 1. View attachment 526645 View attachment 526646 View attachment 526647


Yeah, thanks for posting those tuning diagrams.

I think younger drummer might think they can get a tune bot/drum dial and it will automatically tune the drum for them.

Absolutely not.

You MUST get the drum in tune finger-tight (as tight as you possibly can with fingers) and then CAREFULLY CAFREFULLY start tuning up the t-rods A QUARTER TURN AT A TIME... NO MORE... going across the drum in lug nut fashion as shown above. THEN YOU USE THE TUNE-BOT.

This is essential to getting a drum easily and quickly in tune but it takes some practice.

Tuning drums is an art, not a science.

Practice.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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Yeah, thanks for posting those tuning diagrams.

I think younger drummer might think they can get a tune bot/drum dial and it will automatically tune the drum for them.

Absolutely not.

You MUST get the drum in tune finger-tight (as tight as you possibly can with fingers) and then CAREFULLY CAFREFULLY start tuning up the t-rods A QUARTER TURN AT A TIME... NO MORE... going across the drum in lug nut fashion as shown above. THEN YOU USE THE TUNE-BOT.

This is essential to getting a drum easily and quickly in tune but it takes some practice.

Tuning drums is an art, not a science.

Practice.
Or if you have one of those drum keys like Evans or Tama that have the top of the key where you can fine tune, that’s like the same thing as finger tighten. Even after doing all this-tightening/loosening the drum evenly with fingers and the drum key it’s not always going to be even when you check it with the Tunebot. Most of the time it will be close, sometimes really close. Most of the time I also will get the head even with the Tunebot before I even reach my desired pitch just so it’s easier to get the lugs even when I’m up near that pitch. I think I saw someone online suggest that. I actually think he would put a little tension on the lugs after finger tightening it and then do the Tunebot to get everything perfect before taking it all the way up to his desired pitch.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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rayboomboom

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I have a Drum Dial and like it. I have tinnitus and hearing loss so sometimes it just helps to have a tool. I have never used the Drum Bot though and am interested.

Just fyi on the DD. When you make a change to a lug, you have to lift the DD off the head to get an accurate reading. It's a bit of a pain sometimes, but I've found that it does work. I've read at least a couple people here say they've had trouble with the DD and wonder if that would have fixed the problem they had with it.
 

mebeatee

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Yes you need a couple tuning devices....one a mallet or your thumb/finger to tap the shell...and a drum key plus time to experiment.....then you realize you need more drums because of the tunings.....bwahahahaha...
The only tuning device I want is the tuning knob on the radio, so I can change stations when everyone else's fav toon comes on...;)
I will open another can of worms though as I have been known to use a tuner app on an iPad to see what the hz of different drums/percussion units are....sometimes not referencing the "note" per se and tooning from there. Think more abstract percussion musics/tooning like Harry Partch or John Cage for instance. A "bot" wouldn't last for 4 and 53/89 measures, or get flustered because it hz too much.

Either/or really whatever works....I can see the usage for a tuning device if that's what a situation or whoever wants......or....
Ya can buy some yummy groceries with the price difference between a key and a unit....or better yet there's a few more bux towards more drums to toon up!!!!!
bt
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I have a Drum Dial and like it. I have tinnitus and hearing loss so sometimes it just helps to have a tool. I have never used the Drum Bot though and am interested.

Just fyi on the DD. When you make a change to a lug, you have to lift the DD off the head to get an accurate reading. It's a bit of a pain sometimes, but I've found that it does work. I've read at least a couple people here say they've had trouble with the DD and wonder if that would have fixed the problem they had with it.
Yes, you’re supposed to lift the drum dial off each lug every time. There’s some videos on YouTube of how to use it. But Tunebot is definitely better than the drumdial overall.
 

RyanLovesDrums

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I found one of the first videos I did from my tuning journey from a few years ago and I was using the DrumDial. The others are more recent using the Tunebot. Maybe someone can tell the difference?
 
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Jhouse86

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I have a drum dial and a tune bot. I use them both. Drum dial really comes in handy for snares. I could live without both, but they make things easier, so why not?
 

DrumKeys

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I don't need them but I do find them to be useful tools. I use them to record tunings I have arrived at (using my ears) for future reference. They also provide a means to share exact tunings with others who use them.
 

yazda

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As a newbie, I tried both a Drum Dial and Tune-bot Studio. The Drum Dial had me second-guessing my ears (readings contradicted what I heard), so given that I’m not a gigging drummer I returned the dial and kept the tune-bot. (Gigging drummers have said the drum dial is great for noisy environments.) The tune-bot has helped me understand tuning relationships within my kit, and it’s easy to use once you get the hang of it.
The problem I had with Drum Dial is it only works if the shell is perfectly round. My old Premier snare is a little out of round so if throws the Dial off. I'm going to try the Tune Bot. I'm a guitar player but have an old set of Premiers in my studio for recording and for me to knock around on. So like you I'm still working on drum tunings! Cheers!
 

Fibes

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I have a birthday coming up. I was thinking of getting a tune bot or something fairly inexpensive. I'm a play at home hobby guy. I wont be gigging or anything. The thin driving this issues is my two rack toms. Individually they sound find. Hit each at the same time and they sound awful. I'm open to any suggestions on this. Generally my drums sound ok at home other than that 2 tom thing so I'm open to any suggestions that will help. Drums are Yamaha Oak Customs. Thanks for any of your experience and insights.



I don't "need" one, but I do own both tune-bot and drumdial because I find them helpful. I tend to use drumdial on snare for 88/82 for jazz tuning, which typically gets me to a fundamental note of 189.4 on the tune-bot. that is dead on perfect (for me) for a jazz tuning that I like. I have different variations of tuning toms and kick with them but I won't bore you with them here. It took me about 3 years of refining that process to where I could repeat it and have a tuning that I want to get to every time. I just bought a Doc Sweeney solid Walnut Classic snare with Walnut reinforcement rings and it speaks wonderfully at that tuning. So long answer is that it works for me. The tools were a great help in identifying a pitch that works for me, allows me to repeat it on demand. On top of that, the DrumDial tunes the head for even distribution of tympanic tension and to my ears, the drum seems to be happier than just getting each tension rod to sound the same because in that scenario there's no accounting for a defective head or rim. TI don't "need them," but they make a great tool to get where you want to go, measurable and repeat-ably.
 

FatBoy46

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I have a birthday coming up. I was thinking of getting a tune bot or something fairly inexpensive. I'm a play at home hobby guy. I wont be gigging or anything. The thin driving this issues is my two rack toms. Individually they sound find. Hit each at the same time and they sound awful. I'm open to any suggestions on this. Generally my drums sound ok at home other than that 2 tom thing so I'm open to any suggestions that will help. Drums are Yamaha Oak Customs. Thanks for any of your experience and insights.
tuners-- tension meters/tools.. give you a POINT of reference as you tune- CAN save time- if you have roadie on the gig to change heads while you play anyway.. MOST users do not really know how to use them or what they are getting when they do use them. 1- Buddy Rich tuning- "you don't tune drums, you tighten them"- he tuned for stick response and most of his career was using calfskin heads. 2- Terry Bozzio tuning- toms from 6" to 20" each tuned to a specific note- each SHELL resonated at a specific note- (eyes cross here, smoke out of the ears). I have the tension meter- the drum dial, the torque wrench- haven't seen them in 25 years- I tune the top head to what I like, then the bottom head a little tighter- THEN if I have sympathetic tones- de-tune as needed. usually ONE lug gets loosened. my point being learn to HEAR what you want. Invest the time to tune your toms to different levels.. even a Pearl Export can be tuned to 2-3 different tunings- some custom bearing edges aren't friendly to more than one or two.. have someone sit at your kit and play the drums- so you can hear what the 'audience' would hear- VASTLY different from behind the kit. don't be afraid to write reference numbers from your tuning device on the heads- Drum kits are just a down payment on extra gear in your life...enjoy..
 

Lazmo

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Your ears are good enough generally, but I do use the Drum Tune Pro app on my iPhone... which allows me to get there quickly and makes it repeatable.
 


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