Emergency tuning in 10 minutes
Well we have all been there before!!!
Time to switch between bands and then you get handed over a kit from the venue thats just completely battered and ready for a junk yard.
Let´s go over some easy very fast and effective ways to get sound out of a kit in under 10 minutes.
Let´s get started!!!! ready steady go......
The Bass Drums
The Batter Head
Take all the tension from the skin then turn the lugs until they are all finger tight.
Push your fist in the middle of the skin and apply some pressure.
Get your drum key and with quarter turns start tightening the lugs one by one, remember to apply the same format as with a wheel of a car always tune one lug and then the opposite side.
(See the picture above)
The idea is to get the wrinkles in the skin to just go away.
Once you've done this and all the wrinkles are gone then release the skin.
Et voilá this is as low as it wil go without the skin fluttering move onto the front skin.
Remember we are trying to do this in 10 min!!!!
Same process again losen all lugs until the skin is dead finger tighten the lugs again.
Now do the same as with the batter head get those wrinkles out once you are done release the skin now the difference is the batter has to be low and the resonant has to be higher obviously this all depends about you choice of drumming but we are on a time schedule here!!!
Give each lug two full turns tap the skin make sure it has some pressure and move on.
This should give you a absolute basic sound for your bass drum.
The Snare Drum
Release the snares take all the tension from the drum top and bottom.
Start with the resonant head (bottom skin), get the lugs finger tight and then turn them with half key turns remember to turn one lug then the opposite side and so on.
Let´s try to get the snare skin to be as tight as possible without it snapping,..I like to call it Table top tight , usually about 3 full turns is where the resistance is heavy and if you keep going you will break something eventually, so let´s stop there just to be sure.
Flip over the drum and now get all the lugs finger tight and then lug by lug give it pressure, as with the bass drum apply some pressure in the middle make sure the wrinkles are gone and now give it a full turn.
Check if its giving some sound with the snares off, and then if needed apply some more pressure or lower the pressure.
If you tighten to much and you get a lot of overtones and time is running short then losen the lug closest too you completely and the two lugs to the side of it as low as you can without the wrinkles appearing.
This is a very quick way to kill overtones and get a fat sound but still have tension enough to get a response from the snare drum.
Don't forget to flip the snares back into place before starting the show and setting the tension desired.
Tom´s & Floortom´s
Flatten all batter skins finger tighten the lugs.
Again put pressure in the middle of the skin and work away all the wrinkles as with the bass drum.
Do this to all the batter heads on all the toms and the floor toms you wanna get the lowest pitch without fluttering.
With rack tom´s so NOT the floor tom´s you want to get the resonant head higher pitched then the batter head.
Check the pitch of the batter skin if you can.
Make sure you pitch slightly higher then the batter head.
If there is to much noise then give all the resonant skin lugs 1,5 to 2 turns.
With floor toms you want to get the reasonant head as low as it will go without fluttering.
Make sure to get all the wrinkles out and do NOT pitch the skins up as it will give a lot of overtones and kill the response off the skin.
Time is running out!!!! check all the drums.
Having problems with over-tones ??
Apply some moon gel to the tom´s and floor tom´s or do the old tape-trick take a piece of tape and make a tunnel with the tape then stick the tape on the drum and that will quickly take away annoying overtones on the skins, i like to personally place two to each side of the microphone on the batter skins.
You can also apply tape to the resonant skins, don't bother rolling the tape as it will fall off quickly , make a cross over the skin if you wanna be drastically about reducing overtones if not just one long strip from one lug to another across the drum skin.
You can also stick some tissues stuck to the drum but these are pretty drastic measures more last resort measures then anything.
If you have done the steps before right then none of these extreme measures will be necessary.
Et voilá this solves mayor nightmares using a kit thats completely out of tune or when you have to tune a kit at a festival before playing and you cannot even hear the kit because the band before you is actually that load!!!!
I will get in too fine tuning drums in more detail in another lesson.
Thanks for reading...
hope you can use these little quick fixes to good use.