This is true. Sitting behind a kit you always have to remember that the sustain you hear isn't the same that's being hear in the crowd.TheArchitect said:Clear amb over Clear amb tuned tothe same pitch. Don't worry about resonance. It won't be heard by the audience and its what gives depth and dimension to the sound.
ludwig402 said:Have you tried a Remo Vintage Ambassador?
My latest set came outfitted with them, and although they didn't work for me on the rack
toms, the floor tom (16", 3ply Lud, no muffling, clear Ambassador reso) sounds pretty good tuned low..
Less resonance (woooom), but still a nice deep sound and soft feel.
Works well when playing songs like "Come Together" and you don't want to use a tea towel.
Can't speak to high tunings.
Typically I'll use a clear Emperor.
Best summation of what I have learned over 35 years of playing as well. Excellent writeup.I do a lot of studio and tech work in Nashville. The larger size square toms are always the most difficult. Depending on the brand that you prefer, there are several choices. The biggest factor in what you are describing is the bottom head tuning. If that head is not right, it doesn't matter what other factors are involved. You will fight the drum and get frustrated and never get what you are looking for. Try this with your current head selection first:
-Take the drum of its legs & place on the floor.
-Loosen both heads completely.
-Get both heads to finger tight.
-Place the batter side head down on the floor.
-Don't worry about moving across the drum type of tuning.
-Make small turns 1/4 to 1/2 a turn (this will keep it level) around the drum while tapping the bottom head with your fingers.
-it will go from no tone to an eventual ring and at some point, the ring will just completely open up and if you go too far, the ring will choke. You are looking for the sweet spot of the longest amount of sustain. This is the natural pitch of the drum. The head tells you exactly where it needs to be.
-Once you are there, you need to fine tune. Tap on the head around each lug. Find the highest and the lowest and compensate. Most drummers always tune up. This is where most of the trouble starts. Bring the low ones up and the high ones down (compensated tuning) till there as close to the same pitch as can be.
-Now repeat the process on the top head and listen to the drum.
Sometimes the drum is just fighting itself and can't work effectively. Once you have identified the tuning you can find the proper heads for the job. A big mistake that drummers make is blind buying heads because they think it will work, put them on, don't correctly tune and it kills the drum. For the sound that you are looking for it sounds like you need a 2 ply batter head. Remo Emporer, or Pinstripe. It's essentially the same head the main difference is that the pinstripe has the 2 plys glued together up to that black pinstripe. Sonically the area with the glue adds and extra muting effect and focuses the drums. They are pretty narrow in sound and are less forgiving in feel, but they are the most controlling. With Evans The G2. For what you are trying to achieve, I like the Evans EC2 Clear. It's a 2 ply head with an ultra light weight muffling between the edges of the 2 plys. It will not be as dead as the pinstripe but the goal is the same = Fat & more focused. To minimize sustain, you may want to go with a thinner bottom head. Remo Diplomat, Evans Genera resonant. Those combos plus the right tuning should get you square.
If you have any questions, give me a shout. I work with drummers and drum gear everyday. I would love to be able to help.