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To the Owners of the Drum Dial
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Poster Re:To the Owners of the Drum Dial [Re:PoorButGood]
HammerDown





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No. 51 Posted on Jul 25, 2005 7:42 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
The Drum Dial, for those that belive it helps them...great, have at it.
My brother who is a gadget guy had to have one, so for giggles I tryed it and herd for myself first hand that the drums STILL had to be tuned by ear.
Personally I don't have the need for it, or feel it works very good.
Guess I'm one of the lucky ones that can tune by ear (and fast) either my basic 5 piece old Big Ludwigs (that I know aren't perfectly round w/out laser cut bearing edges...lol) OR my brothers (way to many) 12 piece Tama Rock Stars.
But then again when I started playing drums, back in 1970 (cough-cough..lol) one had no choice but to learn how to tune properly, or sound like poo.
So the bottom line is, have fun drum dial users.Tongue



moneyowen





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No. 52 Posted on Jul 25, 2005 7:46 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
well thats good, my boy, but guitar tuners work because they display a very specific pitch which we then try to obtain with our own string on our own guitar. No such thing is happening when we tune drums or use gadgets to help us do it.

Thanks for the physics lesson but my original point seems to have travelled over your head. My point is that I fail to see the relationship, even involving physics or calculus or algebra, that when there is exactly equal tension on a drumhead that this somehow means the drum now has a good sound or is "in tune" (kind of a vague term anyhow) Nor can we set the device to 70 degrees north or whatever, apply it to the drum and vavoom, it is now "in tune". I do not believe this to be so. Your opinion may vary.

thats all I had to say about it. If you have a hard time getting good sound from your set, and this thing helps you out, then by all means, use it. I would not, however, get too hung up on it, set it on a certain number and then be convinced that your drums are now sounding good. You should know this for yourself, and use this as a guidline and not a gospel. I have logged my share of studio dates, and have never had an engineer require the use of such a thing. I fail to see where this device lends some level of studio cred. Not in my circles anyway.

I honestly do not understand why this topic seems to get so many peoples back up. There were lots of recordings made before these things existed, and good drum sounds were somehow obtained. I have serious doubts as to whether there was measured exact even tension across the drumhead before tape was allowed to roll. I do not feel either that you are more/less of a man if you do/do not use this.

It is NOT like a guitar tuner though, in that you could have no idea how to tune a guitar, and buy an electronic tuner (or tuning fork) and have success. IMO it is not a good idea to buy one of these, and have a revelation occur that you are now obtaining good drum sound. It's not fair to compare the 2.
Its probably a good tool to use if you need it.



HammerDown





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No. 53 Posted on Jul 25, 2005 12:02 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Oh yea...I concur with the above...^Wink


Apolloswan





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No. 54 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 7:48 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I just wanted to clarify what someone said earlier about the drumdial being not a good tool, using the phrase "In tune with what?" well the drum is in tune with itself, and the rod inconsistencies you speak of do NOT affect the use of the drum dial! it doesnt measure torque, the torque is not important. it measures pressure. it measures the pressure of the head near the lugs and the bottom line is it is fast and useful. like someon above me said the dial does compensate for shell inconsistencies If you have never tried one you should and you will really want one. i agree with the person that started the thread too this is just tuning dont have a fit. i definetely cant tune as well without the drumdial and i think that if everyone tried it they would be as surprised as i was. when i heard that it was possible to tune my drums without much effort and have a great tone i was really really excited, and after using it i was super happy, enjoy technology its a good tool easily worth the money.


Royalstar





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No. 55 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 8:57 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
PLEASE READ THIS IF YOU ARE CONSIDERING BUYING THIS:

i didnt notice anybody say anything about the different readings that the drumdial provides. if you buy one of these things, the only minor problem is figuring out which tensions sound good for your drums. the drumdial comes with some suggested ratings but for different heads and drums you have to play around. start with what they give you then work around and see what sounds better or worse for your kit.

i also saw some people say that it scratches the drumheads. this is only if you slide the drumdial around the drum which you are not supposed to do. i noticed that if you slide it you get slightly different readings than if you pick it up and place it down like it says to do. and somebody said that it depends on how hard you set it down. i set it down as light as i can because otherwise you can break it or stretch the head.

finally the rim gauge is not a problem to use at all. i dont know what people were talking about with it. you just stick it on and put it up against the rim and your done.

i love my drumdial. it just took a little bit of fooling with the tensions and my drums sound amazing. i dont have to worry about being in a quiet room to hear each lug, i just adjust each one quickly and go. thanks for reading



Apolloswan





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No. 56 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 9:08 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
i love the thing too


offthewall





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No. 57 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 2:18 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I own the drum dial, it's very handy. When I first got it I had trouble just tuning it to my preferred tension, the readings tend to change as you go along tuning at each lug and as you repeat the process once again (which is what you will need to do). You will notice that the first lug you have tuned will be much higher than what you originally tuned it to after going around in a "star shaped pattern". This means you have to loosen it, but the Drum Dial will sometimes not read the head properly so it is easiest to tap very lightly next to the drum dial instead of picking up and dropping the tuner every time you loosen a tension rod. After tapping you will notice the needle will start to show the actual tension of the head. So just repeat the star shaped pattern tuning again but loosen the tension rods that are too tight, and even tighten some of them because once you change the reading on one of the tension rods another lug could go out of tune. So go around in a star shaped pattern once more to make sure that all of the tension rods are at you're desired tension. It should only take you several times around to get you're heads tuned to you're desired tension.


Badmagik69





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No. 58 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 4:18 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
do not spend 60$ on a drumdial. read this thread Big Smile
http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=149843



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No. 59 Posted on Dec 29, 2006 5:23 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
offthewall wrote:
You will notice that the first lug you have tuned will be much higher than what you originally tuned it to after going around in a "star shaped pattern".


This is due to the tensioning of the other tension rods. The head becomes tighter and pulls at all the tension rods, making it a higher tension once you've tightened all of them.

As per the original thread, my opinion is for people to just learn how to tune. It's not that hard. My opinion, anyway.



"For as the world became flooded with information, the question of how much one knew assumed more importance than the question of what uses one made of what one did know." --Neil Postman
HammerDown





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No. 60 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 6:44 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Posted this back in May...on another Drum Forum...

*"Ok,I caved... as some may know I've been totally against these do hickeys for a long time.
(let me finish)
Now real quick, I've been drumming for some 30 years, back in the day,I went through the pains of teaching myself how to tune a drum. I can tune any drum, with any head combo to my liking and most others in relatively very short time.
All my past experiences with these "dial" gadgets was time spent (only) with my brothers "Tama Drum Watch"...well after spending some time with a DRUM DIAL the original, I can honestly say it works pretty darn good and yes it can help those get a very good base line for tuning a difficult drum/kit.
Further more...the "drum dial" is in fact much more sensitive to tension and operates much more smoothly-almost fluid like vs the Tama product could ever hope to...trust me, for several hours I spent time with both...hands down the "Drum Dial" is better!
With that being said, one MUST STILL tweak the drums (tone)in at each lug by ear as >neither dial can get that perfectly right. But the (drum dial)...gets it much closer than the rest.
Oh and those torque wrench do hickeys...still suck!

I'm working with the creator in that I'm spending time with his product and will offer my input on settings for the larger 26" Bass Drums and larger 18" and 20" floor toms."

And also...the "Drum Dial" is much heaver then the Tama Dial...so they won't use the same numbers for the same tone on a given Drum. I feel that the added weight of the "Drum Dial" is in part what makes it function better then the other product. That and the fact it appears/feels to be made of much better quality parts (dial).


HammerDown edited on Dec 30, 2006 6:52 AM

surdo





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No. 61 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:11 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
PoorButGood wrote:
Alright, I'm considering buying a Drum Dial in order to enhance my tuning and so it will be more precise. I was wondering who uses it here. What are the pros and cons? Is it really beneficial? Is is worth the money and does it do what it is supposed to do flawlessly? Any thoughts? Are you satisfied with it or not? And did you suck at tuning at first or you just wanted to be precise?


I personally believe that ear training is a lot cheaper. I've never had to rely on a piece of equipment to tell me my drum is in tune. Nor would I want it to.

What am I, a guitarist??? Big Smile



HammerDown





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No. 62 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:18 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
I personally believe that ear training is a lot cheaper. I've never had to rely on a piece of equipment to tell me my drum is in tune. Nor would I want it to...

And I agree however, what the "Drum Dial" can do for the new drummer is...when he gets his drum to a tone he likes, they are then able to record it and use that number as returning point if needed.
So in that aspect, yes it's helpful.



surdo





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No. 63 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:32 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
HammerDown wrote:
And I agree however, what the "Drum Dial" can do for the new drummer is...when he gets his drum to a tone he likes, they are then able to record it and use that number as returning point if needed.
So in that aspect, yes it's helpful.


Perhaps, but it seems to me that prevention is better than a cure. Which is what these gadgets are to me. An easy way out of what is after all a very simple problem.

For more than 5000 years human beings have been tuning drums. They did not need gimmicks to help them. Nor were they so helpless and reliant on others to do their work for them. But these days people just don't want to take responsibility for themselves. Even when it comes to one of the most simplistic of human actions; tuning a drum.

I hate to sound old and opinionated, but Philly Joe, Buddy, Gadd or any of these guys never needed a drum dial.

Confucius said, "When in doubt, ask."

That's what I did and it's served me well ever since. That drummers cannot tune and need DVDs, drum dials and the like is embarrassing. No wonder other musicians often hold drummers in contempt.

END RANT Big Smile



RvJim

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No. 64 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:39 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:

That's what I did and it's served me well ever since. That drummers cannot tune and need DVDs, drum dials and the like is embarrassing. No wonder other musicians often hold drummers in contempt.

END RANT Big Smile


I can't tune very well and I freely admit that, I do it well enough to get by but I certainly can't make my kit sound like it should, but no other musician holds me in contempt - I'll stand my own with any player you put in front of me. The ability to tune a drum comes far after the ability to play the drum. Without sounding like an egomaniac I feel I have a grasp of this instrument more than most do or likely ever will and I don't think my inability to tune drums well is a hinderence to that, although I do find it somewhat annoying.



"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously"
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surdo





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No. 65 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:39 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Just one more point. Did anyone read the MD cover story with Gadd a few years ago? According to Gadd's tech, Steve has different tensions right across his snare drum so that he can get different tones out of it to suit whatever he needs during the course of a song. A drum dial prevents this.

Uniformity is the death of individual expression.

That's it! The DRUM DIAL is the real Red Menace!!!!!! Big Smile



RvJim

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No. 66 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:41 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
Just one more point. Did anyone read the MD cover story with Gadd a few years ago? According to Gadd's tech, Steve has different tensions right across his snare drum so that he can get different tones out of it to suit whatever he needs during the course of a song. A drum dial prevents this.

Uniformity is the death of individual expression.

That's it! The DRUM DIAL is the real Red Menace!!!!!! Big Smile


furthermore, trying to live in the shadows of other players only hinders your ability to be creative yourself... I couldn't care less what other player do, did or are doing.



"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously"
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surdo





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No. 67 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:42 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
RvJim wrote:
The ability to tune a drum comes far after the ability to play the drum.


Not for me. I dealt with it within the first three months of my taking up the instrument.

Of course like anything else, one gets better with experience.



RvJim

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No. 68 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 7:45 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
Not for me. I dealt with it within the first three months of my taking up the instrument.

Of course like anything else, one gets better with experience.


I meant in terms of importance... I'd rather see a live drummer with timing, groove, feel, chops and a positive aura on an out of tune kit to a drummer with a beautifully tuned kit whose playing is mediocre.



"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously"
-Hubert H Humphrey
surdo





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No. 69 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:00 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
RvJim wrote:
I meant in terms of importance... I'd rather see a live drummer with timing, groove, feel, chops and a positive aura on an out of tune kit to a drummer with a beautifully tuned kit whose playing is mediocre.


I fail to see what this has to do with it.

It's really very simple. If one cannot tune a drum, one must practice tuning until one can do it. No excuses!

Recently I had a laugh with a friend in a recording studio. He's the owner of the studio and was expressing his utter disgust at the fact he'd just had to tune a drummer's drums. He told me he wants a drummer to be able to tune to specific pitches. Let alone just a nice round and even tone.

I tune my congas and other drums to specific pitches. I developed this through practice.

I really stand behind the idea that there is no reason why a drummer cannot tune his drums. It's just sheer laziness and the lack of practice this skill requires.

There's no excuse. And as shown by my friend, contempt ensues. Even if the drummer never hears this opinion.

I can understand electronic tuning devices for guitarists and bass players because fine tuning by ear is often not possible on stage. A drum is far less sophisticated. In fact it's the most basic of instruments aside from a pair of sticks being struck together.

That drummers cannot tune their drums is embarrassing.

END RANT # 2. Big Smile


surdo edited on Dec 30, 2006 8:03 AM

RvJim

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No. 70 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:11 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I still can't subscribe to the this attitude that its embarrising... aside the annoyance that I know others can make my kit sound better than me, in terms of tuning not application of playing, is so unimportant... and for the record I never walk into a studio without my kit perfectly tuned even if I have to spend 2 hours a drum to make them perfectly tuned myself (and I have done that).

An in tune kit is so unimportant most people listening can't tell the difference anyway, but I still prefer mine in tune and it normally is. Your holier than thou attitude with tuning is not gonna stand up for me I am sorry, people ask me to play on their recordings not because of my gear or how well intune it is but because of my ability to play my gear and I'll take pocket, feel, creativity, timing and musical knowledge of tuning ability any day.

When I need a drum tech maybe I'll call you, tuning is chump work and a skill not required to be a good drummer, only one that is useful.



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surdo





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No. 71 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:21 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Look, I am not about to argue with you. You have your opinion, I have mine.

I can tune to any pitch I want. But this is something I felt was my responsibility from the very outset. I cannot speak for others. But I have been in this business for many many years and I know, at least in my experience, what is required.
I am a professional musician and I feel the ability to tune is a professional responsibility. I always have and I always will.

It's my opinion. You do not have to share it. Nor do I require you to do so. You, after all, are my competition. And I am yours.



RvJim

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No. 72 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:32 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
It's my opinion. You do not have to share it. Nor do I require you to do so. You, after all, are my competition. And I am yours.


Not to carry on an over arguement cause I don't intend to... but I don't consider you or any other drummer a competitor... Music is a collective not a competition, I will help and assist anyone worth my time even if they somehow take work from me because of it because music is not about who makes it first but about the journey. Perhaps when you understand that lesson you'll realise how unimportant tuning is and how much more important loving your instrument for its passion instead of its ability to make money is.

Also, after I dropped the I am better than you attitude and started playing purely for fun the gates opened to people who want me to do things for them and it is no coincidence. Quality musicians are not just people who play their instrument well they are people who leave the ego at the door, practise hard, and enjoy making music with their instuments.

Good luck with your competition I'll be the guy having fun.



"The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously"
-Hubert H Humphrey
surdo





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No. 73 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:44 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
RvJim wrote:
Not to carry on an over arguement cause I don't intend to... but I don't consider you or any other drummer a competitor... Music is a collective not a competition, I will help and assist anyone worth my time even if they somehow take work from me because of it because music is not about who makes it first but about the journey. Perhaps when you understand that lesson you'll realise how unimportant tuning is and how much more important loving your instrument for its passion instead of its ability to make money is.

Also, after I dropped the I am better than you attitude and started playing purely for fun the gates opened to people who want me to do things for them and it is no coincidence. Quality musicians are not just people who play their instrument well they are people who leave the ego at the door, practise hard, and enjoy making music with their instuments.

Good luck with your competition I'll be the guy having fun.


The point is for me, at least here, only to mention my opinion. You said my attitude was, and I quote "holier than thou." To me it is simply a professional attitude. Nothing more, nothing less. Am I as a musician supposed to express an opinion I do not have? I don't think so. Nor do I believe you should do the same. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

As for the business? It is a highly competitive cut throat industry full of fragile egos, personal performance, high standards and VERY high cost.

Music is fun and should always be fun. But music is not the music industry. The music industry is an entirely different animal to that, say, of a drum circle sitting together and jamming out.

The ability to tune a drum, at least in this drummer's mind, is not chimp work. I love the drums. ALL drums and every kind of drum. That more than anything may have been what made me focus on tuning, as well as playing, very early on in my career. Of course later I discovered that even then it wasn't good enough and I had to get better.

I learned that it is not only the other musicians I had to please, or who could belittle me. A sound man who is inexperienced will often point the finger at the drummer if he does not possess the ability he needs to get a good sound from a poorly tuned drum. And you know what, chances are the other musicians just might believe him. Just as the drunken guitarist is believed by the bass player when he causes a song to speed up but then places the blame on the drummer.

Knowing how to finely tune a drum is a good skill to have. It's certainly better than not having it. This is only my opinion. I believe it is a correct one. Nobody else has to agree with me. I am no fascist! Big Smile



lilblakdak





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No. 74 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:44 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I used to be against the drum dial and other tuning aids until I talked to a drumtech for a very high profile artist and he uses them all the time. Makes it easy to get the drum close to were you want it and then you can fine tune it from there. Saves a lot of time.


Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory... lasts forever.
surdo





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No. 75 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:50 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
lilblakdak wrote:
I used to be against the drum dial and other tuning aids until I talked to a drumtech for a very high profile artist and he uses them all the time. Makes it easy to get the drum close to were you want it and then you can fine tune it from there. Saves a lot of time.


I use an electric drill when I need to save time. Big Smile

Of course I rarely have to tune as many drums as a tech. I only own about 50 or so and never use them all at once.



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