What Is The Key To Getting A Big Sound Out of A Small Drum?

by kindbeats on February 5, 2015

Phil Salvatti: thinner heads. Light tuning. Too high chokes, too low thuds. Its a a very deliberate, delicate balance. Then a 50,000 watt PA.

Matthew Medeiros: I saw a Narada Michael Walden clinic. He said you only get out of a drum what you put into it.

Jon Berger: Papa Joe Jones said when you are tuning and start to feel it in your belly you are getting close. Creating maximum resonance is key .Many of us including me usually like to cut out some of this by detuning a lug, applying moon gels, tape or zero rings.But this is dampening the drum and will cut down the volume. I have found maximum output can be created by Tuning both heads to the same pitch( Note) Aiming for as pure a tone as possible that rings as long as possible . .When playing it never dead stroking your stick . Don’t play thru the drum find the sweet spot and snap off the head. A larger , heavier stick will bring out depth , more fundimental pitch( More sound ). A smaller thin stick will bring out for high end partials ( less volume).

Mary Munroe: So Jon, you mean the characteristic frequency of the tom?

Jon Berger: i don’t know what you mean by that Mary Munroe. There is a range that each drum has before it loses resonance being too loose or begins to choke or stop ringing .It’s not simple 1 note there are perhaps several pitches that will sound good to us .It’s up to our ears, and of course how this works in relation to the rest of our kit.This, I might add , will also help your drums resonate.The sympathetic vibrations caused between the other drums. it helps make our drums sound fuller ,But can also drive us , engineers and sound men mental.

Mary Munroe: I thought every “structure” has a characteristic frequency whereby the vibration or resonance dissipates much more slowly because of oscillation and containment. Like when bridges collapse as soldiers cross them if they are all in-step but at a certain step, creating the characteristic frequency of that bridge, & it resonates like crazy and busts the bridge. I am no sound-wave expert but would like to be! I see of course how that alone wouldn’t determine the best Sound from a drum.

Joshua Lee Mason: Jon is 100% right. Know the drum, know the acoustic properties of the material it is made of, know the drum key (each design feels different), and know the heads. Take your time with it and explore the balance between what you want and what the drum wants, as these aren’t always the same.

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