Overtones vs. Thud!

ConvertedLudwigPlayer

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You could try the Paul Leim method to eliminate overtones as seen throughout this video:
It appears that he has put tape on top of cymbal felts that act as a gate to immediately come down and kill some overtones once the tom has been hit.

Evans has a similar version of this that is smaller and involves a velcro dot that is placed on the head to help control overtones. I suppose you could not attach the velcro to the dot for a similar effect, but I have not tried them:
https://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/evans-min-emad-tom-and-snare-dampener/443815000000000?cntry=us&source=3WWRWXGP&gclid=Cj0KCQiAjszhBRDgARIsAH8KgveOrL8eo85XVFMnXFIvUw-vmkL86_vfoWwwKk_ia2hjljcEDVkHHIgaArt2EALw_wcB
 

singleordoubleheads

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Everyone here (and most drum-related places) go gaga about "getting max resonance" and "I never muffle anything" etc, but I was just listening to Journey Greatest Hits Live yesterday, with the mighty SS on his huge double-headed(!) Sonor kit, and it is SUPER-THUD City!! Not that it is a bad thing per say, but nothing like Simon Phillips or Billy Cobhams kits.
 

lrod1707

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Some overtones are nice in my opinion. I don't like toms to just give that "thud" sound. I like that thud on my bass drum, but even on the bass I like a little overtone.
 

DrumWhipper

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I run wide open, but use moongel to control overtones. Both of my floor toms have a full piece each, while my rack toms have partial pieces.
 

jaymandude

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Heads and tuning are the keys. If you play with a band, those overtones will quickly be buried in the mix. There are good overtones and bad. Find that pleasing overtone through the tuning. All drums will have that sweet spot where it just sings and resonates. Tuning takes patience and practice. Don’t be afraid to experiment and eventually you may find that you don’t need much muffling at all on the drums. Bob Gatzen’s tuning vids (YouTube) are also very good.
This is basically true. Especially the tuning part. To the OP, I don't know how experienced you are, but let me say this. If you know how to tune, I mean really tune, then you can get rid of most of the overtones by tuning, by messing with the relationship between the heads. Now, you might not like the feel of the drum, or even the pitch, but you can definitely tune out the stuff you don;t want to hear. This takes a looooooog time to get together, and probably some touring on backline kits every night. But it's possible... Very often microphones don't like the long sustain that we like from behind the kit, so it helps to know how to tune that out without putting moongel and gaff tape everywhere.

Anyway, good luck..
 

Drumceet

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Look how Alex Van Halen tapes up his snare head! I could not believe it when I first saw a photo of it, and his snare sound is incredible.

I used to use rings and heavy dampening on my snare and toms, but I've gotten really good at tuning the drums and now I don't need anything on my toms, but I still use half a moon gel on my snare, and it's perfect.

I was getting a lot of ring but spending time tuning properly brought it down to a level that I liked. The moon gel just helps to seal the deal, but I've actually come to like some of the ring now that it's tamed somewhat.
 

NickCesarz

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This is somewhat on-topic, but I've found that the positioning of the drums in the room makes a gigantic difference in tone and sustain. For example, if you set your drums up in a corner of your space, the floor tom may sound dead, lifeless, and thuddy. By moving the kit to the center, the drums may now have huge sustain and resonance (all which will be affected positively by dampening to your liking).

To achieve this with ease, I walk around the room with my floor tom, striking ever so often, and listen to the sustain of both the drum and the room. When it sounds good, I set the kit up there. Of course, you can't exactly do this in a live setting, but I believe that the room plays a huge role in how our drums sound, prior to making decisions to dampening.

As to the OP, I do love Moongel and sometimes use a bit of gaff tape if the gels are starting to suffer. Also, to anyone who has tried it, does washing your Moongels actually bring them back to life? I have not tried it.
 

Tommy D

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I can't use any muffling on my drums. I have tried using Drum Dots, even cutting them in half to have less effect, and they just choke the drums. I find I need to spend just a bit more time working on the top/bottom head tension relationship to smooth out any errant overtones I get and after that they still sing, but have nice fundamental tones come out of them.

I will look sometimes change heads to achieve the sounds I want. For example, my Saturn kit has Evans EC Reso heads on the bottom to not only take out some sustain, but to clean up some overtones those drums produce. I am contemplating using coated G1's as reso heads on my tuned up jazz kit to cut out a bit of the ringy overtones, but I'm going to play it a bit more with the clear G1's and reassess them. If the overtones don't bother me when I have the whole kit going, then the clears stay as those ringy sounds help the kit's sound.

But no way am I going to use additional damping.
 
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dangermoney

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My preference is to tune the toms using the same tension on both top and bottom heads applying a strip of gaffers tape along the edge using the method demonstrated by Kenny Sharretts in one of his videos. I find that it gives the drum a nice round punchy tone without overly dampening it. If I'm close micing, then I might also supplement the tape with a small piece of moongel if necessary.

As for the snare, I usually run it wide open but will sometimes put a small piece of moongel on it if the room requires it. I try to avoid this though as I prefer a ringy snare. My brass snares get reverse dot batters while my maple and aluminum snares get coated single ply batters.
 
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