Have you ever listened to a record and caught a guitar player with an out of tune string or a bass player with bad intonation? Even worse, have you heard an average singer without Melodyne!!??
As producers, it is our job to ensure that everything we record is in tune and that includes the foundation of our mixes -- the drums!
In this tutorial join Fab Dupont and world renowned drummer Graham Hawthorne (Paul Simon, Fatboy Slim, Bon Jovi, and more) as they dissect the entire process of replacing, tuning and maintaining drum heads and hardware that are the essential and often overlooked elements of great drum recordings.
In this step-by-step guide to tuning drums you will learn about the importance of drum heads, the purpose of snare drum accessories, the influence of drum stands, and much, much more.
Learning how drums are tuned is crucial for every engineer to know because badly tuned drums will sound flappy and lifeless. The difference between a kick drum that tears through a rock record or sits calmly inside of a jazz mix may only be quarter tone away.
Topics Covered Include:
The order you should tune your drum lugs
Tuning the top and bottom head
Changing drum heads
Compare an out of tune drum kit to an in tune drum kit
Using a drum key properly
Accurate muffling and dampening drum heads
Developing overall tone in a drum kit
waltdizzy •Wednesday, September 21, 2022
This was absolutely fantastic and exactly what I needed to know about drums from an engineer perspective.
orlandonandez •Sunday, February 20, 2022
There will be no subtitles in Spanish please?
oddur •Thursday, November 4, 2021
Interesting video, however the video and audio do not match once 10 minutes have passed, a bit annoying not being able follow the tuning process.
xiaozi0624 •Saturday, May 18, 2019
i think this is not a good video about how to tune the drum kit,just check the periphery studio pass to get more stuff to learn....
live-demo.nl •Friday, January 5, 2018
Great to se this from a production perspective. One comment I immediately thought of in the chronology of setting up, miking and sound checking section was that after you set up the drums, you'd like te be sure that the kit is in the right place for the room. I've played drums several times in the same place and it turns out that a 4" difference in the location of the kit makes a big difference in tone and decay time etc.
If I remember correctly, from the Dave Grohl documentary, the legendary drum sound from Sound City was only obtained if the drum placement was correct.
angie •Friday, July 29, 2016
Il Pianista •Friday, April 29, 2016
Well I've seen tons of videos about tuning drums, and this is simply the clearest and most helpful I've ever seen. Talking about practice, not just theory, and explaining every little step. As it usually is with puremix stuff.
Thanks Fab, thanks Graham.
Pearlpassionstudio •Saturday, November 28, 2015
Very good tutorial, thanks. Changing your bottom head is just as important as the top. Having a huge set in the studio, 10 drums, I also use a Tune-bot and after getting the drums very well tuned, I document the setting numbers from the tuner for future tuning. Thanks for the tutorial.
funkygh •Monday, August 31, 2015
oh and one other comment - it's theoretically possible that an overtone of a tom could set the snares into vibration, so it's also possible that avoiding perfect intervals (fifths, thirds, etc) could minimize the amount of sympathetic vibration. I haven't see this in practice very much, but sometimes snare buzz magically diminishes or increases. I would guess that it's due to a tom overtone changing.
drbeckel •Saturday, August 22, 2015
Thanks for enforcing the fact that it really does take some time to get it right. One thing I wish you had touched on was how to minimize resonance snare buzz when the tom is hit.