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Old 12-25-2012, 09:37 PM   #1
gateway01
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New Kit Setup Help

I just bought myself a Tama 6-piece Imperialstar kit. It's my first real drum kit and I'm not entirely sure I set it up right. The toms have an odd sound to them (very ringy and more impact noise than pitch) and I can't get the snare to a) stop rattling, and b) sound good.

The instructional DVD wasn't much help in tuning them, so I'm looking to UG for advice. I generally play punk (Green Day, Franz Ferdinand...), hard rock (Chevelle, System of a Down...) or melodic metal (Dream Theater, Trivium...) so I would like tunings suitable for these types of music. I especially like that seamless, tight tom sound that you hear in modern metal tracks like Trivium. (ex: Like Callisto To A Star In Heaven [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VAwdHRHH1-M])

I hope I'm being clear enough. If not, let me know. I'll see if I can get a video of some sort up.
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Last edited by gateway01 : 12-25-2012 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #2
Second Rate
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i'll try to help you out here, if i can. First off, as a fellow Tama user, i find their stock heads to be crap. I don't care if you have an imperialstar or a starclassic, those clear heads are bunk. anyway, to get that thuddy, sustainless "modern metal" sound, i usually tune my top heads tight , and the resonant heads much looser. To get rid of excess ring, there are a few options... new heads, something in a thicker weight. Remo Pinstripes, Aquarian Studio X, Evans EC2 are all good options. Also, a product called Moongel helps a lot in killing excess ring from batter side heads. As for the snare.... a bit of that rattling (like when you hit the toms and bass drum) is caused by "sympathetic vibrations." This is due to the (i hope i'm explaining this right) closeness of certain frequencies in your kit and there is no way to completely eliminate it. It is possible to somewhat reduce it by slightly detuning the lugs that are right next to the snare beds. Now, if it is rattling too much when you hit it, your snares are too loose. On my own snare drum, a lot of the excess "ring" comes from the snare side head. I alleviate this by placing a couple small squares of duct tape on the bottom head (duct tape is really a drummer's best friend, miracle substance really).

As for tuning in general...... i suck at explaining it in detail, but the general idea is to get all of the lugs to the same tension and remove any wrinkles in the head. There are quite a lot of videos on the subject of drum tuning on youtube though, so.... just run a search on it.

I hope this helps at least a bit, and enjoy the new set.
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
gateway01
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Originally Posted by Second Rate
i'll try to help you out here, if i can. First off, as a fellow Tama user, i find their stock heads to be crap. I don't care if you have an imperialstar or a starclassic, those clear heads are bunk. anyway, to get that thuddy, sustainless "modern metal" sound, i usually tune my top heads tight , and the resonant heads much looser. To get rid of excess ring, there are a few options... new heads, something in a thicker weight. Remo Pinstripes, Aquarian Studio X, Evans EC2 are all good options. Also, a product called Moongel helps a lot in killing excess ring from batter side heads. As for the snare.... a bit of that rattling (like when you hit the toms and bass drum) is caused by "sympathetic vibrations." This is due to the (i hope i'm explaining this right) closeness of certain frequencies in your kit and there is no way to completely eliminate it. It is possible to somewhat reduce it by slightly detuning the lugs that are right next to the snare beds. Now, if it is rattling too much when you hit it, your snares are too loose. On my own snare drum, a lot of the excess "ring" comes from the snare side head. I alleviate this by placing a couple small squares of duct tape on the bottom head (duct tape is really a drummer's best friend, miracle substance really).

As for tuning in general...... i suck at explaining it in detail, but the general idea is to get all of the lugs to the same tension and remove any wrinkles in the head. There are quite a lot of videos on the subject of drum tuning on youtube though, so.... just run a search on it.

I hope this helps at least a bit, and enjoy the new set.


thanks for the explanation!

By the way, I'm no n00b to sound. I'm a guitarist and my band's co-audio engineer, so I understand what you're talking about. I'll give some of this stuff a try, but I'll save duct tape as a last resort. I just got this kit, I don't want to cover the heads with glue.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #4
Niiko
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You should check out Bob Gatzen videos on Youtube, also take the time to read this:

http://www.menet.umn.edu/~kgeisler/Tuning.pdf

I play a lot of funk/hip hop stuff and have my toms tuned quite low but I know a lot of guys tune in intervals (Varies) so you can start there.
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