The Agony of Buzz

ryevick

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I am about to lose my mind. I have been trying to get a clean tom and floor tom tone from my kit for I don't know how long. It's like playing whack-a-mole. I get my 10" tom sorted out, then there's a buzz in my 14" tom. I get it sorted out and another one starts buzzing. I'm not talking about something you would really notice if I was playing with other musicians. I'm set-up in my home trying to get some recordings started and I'll think everything sounds great. I record a test/level track and there it is. The 12" tom is buzzing or a floor tom. The mic just makes it stand out.

I've tried everything. A crazy range of drum heads which I currently have Evans Hydraulic heads on them. I figured if anything could kill the buzz it would be those but nope. I've just said forget it, I'll correct it in the DAW but when I straight cut those slivers of frequencies the drum just sounds awful. Moon gels don't help. I've tried all kinds of tuning methods even the one that has one lug completely loosened but these tuning methods and moon gels are more for overtones. This sounds like someone's loosely taped a metal washer to the underside of the head.

I've tightened all of the hardware within the drums. Heck I even what so far as to go concert tom. I've removed all bottom heads & hardware. I actually really like the way that sounds and will keep it that way.

I don't know what to do. The only thing that comes to mind is counterintuitive and doesn't really make much sense but I'm thinking about loosening the hardware on the drums just a touch, just a little bit... maybe the hardware's a little too tight. That would not explain why I can get a drum to sound right though, momentarily at least.

The bearing edges seem fine. I've thought about maybe trying new hoops. I haven't changed the factory Sonor Force 3007 hoops. I also have really looked into how much that would cost. If they are costly... I don't know... maybe it's time to consider a new shell pack but that it that very last thing I want to do.

Suggestions?
 

notINtheband

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So is it snare buzz or reso head buzz from one or more toms?
Sorry, just reread and I see you already answered in the original post.
So, have you considered raising the tuning of all the drums? Or lowering the tuning of the whole kit? If it were me and at this point, I would be experimenting with the kits placement in the room (in case the offending frequencies are coming from interaction with a close proximity surface), and raising the whole kits tuning a bit at a time. I’ve had buzz issues but never to your extent. Bringing tuning up or down usually fixed it but sounds like yours is more extreme.
I have 3 tunings I use for my kits, which I use based on the room or gig or session.
I will screenshot for reference:
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Seb77

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A drumset is basically a piano with the sustain pedal pressed, everything resonates with everything. I would say embrace that, electornic drums or sample baks sometimes try to emulate exactly that for more cohesion. If you don't like it, you could try noise-gates, eithter in the recording or acoustically, by which I mean mufflers that come off the batter head when the head is struck, but redcue sympathetic vibrations.

Re: buzzing noise - does this happen with the floor tom on its own as well? Maybe there is something wrong with the shell., like plies separating?
 

Deafmoon

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You certain it’s not a hardware issue on a piece of furniture in the room of the Spurs of the bass drum or something other than the drum? I have a glass piece on a wall cabinet that drove me to drink t I figured out it wasn’t the drums at all but this vibration coming from that piece of glass. I can’t tighten it either, but figured out if I leave the door ajar, no buzz.
 

ryevick

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Thanks for the replies, keep them coming. I have experimented with changing the tuning of the entire kit some but plan on doing more. I do have all of the drums for the particular Sonor series I own. Last night I removed the 18" floor tom and the 14" rack tom. Which changed the current kit to 8, 10, 12" rack toms and 14 & 16" floor toms. I played around with the tuning a bit last night before I went to sleep including raising the 22" kick pitch a bit and I thought the kit sound was amazing. Until I woke up and did a test recording and the 10" tom was buzzing.

It's not the room or anything near the drum that is buzzing. The way I know this is I've found out (with all of these issues I've been dealing with), that the best way to hear the buzz on a drum (or these drums), is not to stick the drum with a stick but softly tap it with a mallet and you can have your face right on top of the drum and the buzz is very obviously coming from that drum. I also know this because when I try and tune out the buzz a lug at a time, you can hear the buzz changing.

And yes I've had buzz on stand alone floor toms. I took the 10" tom off the kit and had it right near me in my lap and the buzz is there.

There's no separation withing the plies.

The one factor that I know effects the kit and everything else is my thermostat. At night I drop it down to 61° during the day I have it set to 69°.

I have done mixes with previously recorded test that do have buzz on 1 or 2 drums and I know that in a song mix you would never know it's there if I didn't tell you. I know some people that actually like buzz in their toms... they need counseling immediately in my opinion :blink: I like a lot of styles of music but I just really want a clean sound. I do have a V-Drum kit that I can record ultra clean with but you lose SOOOO much feel and have zero feedback from the kit like an acoustic kit gives you.

I suppose I will get the kit set the best I can and attempt to forget it but that's going to be hard to do.
 

Seb77

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Could you post a snippet of such a recording? In the end, it might just be standard afterring that you don't like? Have you tried muffling the heads for a shorter sound? Maybe this would be more to your liking?
 

ryevick

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Could you post a snippet of such a recording? In the end, it might just be standard afterring that you don't like? Have you tried muffling the heads for a shorter sound? Maybe this would be more to your liking?
I've deleted the previous recordings because they were from a different kit layout. I'll try and post something tonight or tomorrow.
 

ryevick

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Well this is the latest example. You can hear the buzz for sure. Going across that's an 8, 10, 12 toms and 14 & 16 FT. The 12 is making some noise but the 14 is the hot spot this time. I could take this down and retune them and It might shift to the 10" or 16 FT. It's strange. It usually is brighter and more metallic sounding. As I mentioned before these are Evans Hydraulic heads and they don't sound that great but if I could get the buzz out I could make them sound pretty good with some tweaks. This audio clip has zero processing.

Toms

For contrast I'm posting a video clip I did for my 7 year old nephew who really wanted me to do this song. I had the stems and he heard it. I did it in a hurry and you can tell. It's warts and all. I listened to it maybe 2 or 3 times before I did this but total improv and you can tell at the end when I almost keep playing :icon_lol: I am completely out of time at the breakdown near the end. In fairness, so are they. I am posting this because it has a few tom rolls (especially the one at the end) that have such a much better tone and what I like.

Kool and The Gang
 

CaptainCrunch

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I know it's not the answer for everybody, but my solution was to learn not to care, and release the snares when I'm not playing the kit. I thought that video sounded fine, you were playing louder than any distracting sound I could hear.

I generally tune my snares super high and dry, and my drums about as low and thwacky as they'll go. No packed lugs, vintage stands, PS3/Amb smooth white on bass no felt/towel, coated Amb or Emp tops/clear Amb resos. If I'd actually tried to chase it down, I'd be in the madhouse.

I just remind myself it's a plywood tube with heavy garbage bags over the ends, nobody but drummers care what they sound like, accept the things I cannot change, etc.
 

ryevick

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I know it's not the answer for everybody, but my solution was to learn not to care, and release the snares when I'm not playing the kit. I thought that video sounded fine, you were playing louder than any distracting sound I could hear.

I generally tune my snares super high and dry, and my drums about as low and thwacky as they'll go. No packed lugs, vintage stands, PS3/Amb smooth white on bass no felt/towel, coated Amb or Emp tops/clear Amb resos. If I'd actually tried to chase it down, I'd be in the madhouse.

I just remind myself it's a plywood tube with heavy garbage bags over the ends, nobody but drummers care what they sound like, accept the things I cannot change, etc.

Yeah I pretty much agree. The video was done when I had it pretty well controlled but there was a slight buzz underneath and also using Evans EC2 Clear heads on the toms. I always use Evans HD Dry on the snare. If I can get the hydraulic right I think they will end up recording really well.
 

Jhouse86

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As Davezeedle said check the lugs. I had a rattle in a black beauty with imperial lugs. When I shook the drum I could hear it, I pinpointed the rattle to a specific lug, removed it and found a small washer inside just bouncing around. It wasn't even a washer similar to anything found on the drum. Assembled on a Monday morning or a Friday evening I'm thinking.
 

ryevick

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As Davezeedle said check the lugs. I had a rattle in a black beauty with imperial lugs. When I shook the drum I could hear it, I pinpointed the rattle to a specific lug, removed it and found a small washer inside just bouncing around. It wasn't even a washer similar to anything found on the drum. Assembled on a Monday morning or a Friday evening I'm thinking.
As I mentioned earlier I converted all of my toms and floor toms to concert, instead of just removing the bottom heads, I had to remove the hardware too because the lugs are loose and rattle like a sizzle ride when you hit the drum without a head on them. I would say that you all have probably found the problem. I don't know yet. I've never packed lugs on any drum kit so that's a new concept for me. I'll have to look some tips or tutorials. I imagine different manufacturers design their lugs differently, so one method may not apply to all makes but then again it may, I don't know... but thanks for the info davezedlee & Jhouse86.
 

Jhouse86

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If you're going to pack lugs, cotton balls are the easiest in my opinion. Good luck with this issue. Be sure and let us know when you find the problem! Cheers!
 

ryevick

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If you're going to pack lugs, cotton balls are the easiest in my opinion. Good luck with this issue. Be sure and let us know when you find the problem! Cheers!
Will do! One question though. When you guys are talking about packing lugs, are you means packing material below the thread line or below and into the threads (as much as possible). I assume you mean the cavity below the threads, as material in the threads might give issues to particular methods of tuning.
 


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