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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]
BrandonPorter

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No. 76 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:51 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
^^Fun? Who's having fun here?

This forum is only for serious people. If you are having fun you're in the wrong place... Big Smile



"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
surdo





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No. 77 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 8:54 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
BrandonPorter wrote:
^^Fun? Who's having fun here?

This forum is only for serious people. If you are having fun you're in the wrong place... Big Smile


DOH!!! Big Smile

Who cares what drummers think anyway??? Big Smile

Wink



RvJim

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No. 78 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 9:10 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:

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


You just focus on that and watch the passion filter away, been there done that... I play for personal satisfaction first now and business second.

I guess you have to have given it all to the business and lost the passion to play music to appreciate what I am saying here, I am not saying anywhere that the business isn't hard and competitive cause I sure as hell know it is, but the art of drumming and playing music needs to be separate from it or you're headed for misery.


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.


TO me its an unprofessional attitude.

And I've done my time playing with drunk people and refuse to do it, and I also don't play with people who can't account for their own inability to play in time by blaiming me, they don't make it past the audition.



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





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No. 79 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 9:36 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
RvJim wrote:
You just focus on that and watch the passion filter away, been there done that... I play for personal satisfaction first now and business second.

I guess you have to have given it all to the business and lost the passion to play music to appreciate what I am saying here, I am not saying anywhere that the business isn't hard and competitive cause I sure as hell know it is, but the art of drumming and playing music needs to be separate from it or you're headed for misery.

TO me its an unprofessional attitude.

And I've done my time playing with drunk people and refuse to do it, and I also don't play with people who can't account for their own inability to play in time by blaiming me, they don't make it past the audition.


Hang on a moment. I feel that the holier than thou attitude isn't at my end.

You seem to allude that because I look at the business as being highly competitive and professional, I have lost my passion for music. This is not so.

You've "been there, done that". As if I have not. I am still active within the industry.

You are also of the opinion that I, a person you have never met, am headed for "misery".

You also seem to state that my thinking being able to tune a drum is unprofessional. Well, you are entitled to that opinion. I do not. That is my right.

You also seem to be pointing out that I play with drunken musicians only, and that you never do anymore. I take it this implies superiority? It certainly comes across that way. I play with many musicians. Some more drunk than others. This is the industry that brought forth people such as Charlie Parker (drunken smack addict) Fleetwood Mac (coke heads) and many many more.

And then go on to imply again your superiority that these people wouldn't make it past the audition. I gather you are a band leader? I am not often in a position to hire people as I generally work in a side man role. I've been a band leader. But it's too much of a headache.

As I said earlier, you are entitled to your opinion, but please keep your personal attacks and insults to yourself.

And in closing, please do not assume I have not given my all to music. I have, my friend. At times at great cost.


surdo edited on Dec 30, 2006 9:39 AM

marv





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No. 80 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 9:37 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I can't believe that this has come up yet again! Didn't we beat this thing to death a long time ago?

I really don't understand why folks get so upset that some of us use this. It's like we've broken some unspoken 11th commandment of drumming ... Thou shalt not use drum dials to tune thy drums.

I've gone back thru the conversation to see if anything new was added. I did find this quote

"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. "

I just wanted to reply to this and point out that those drummers from 5000 years ago didn't use cars to transport their drums to the gigs, so we probably shouldn't be using cars either ......

Oh well .... just trying to have a little fun



surdo





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No. 81 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 9:43 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
marv wrote:
I can't believe that this has come up yet again! Didn't we beat this thing to death a long time ago?

I really don't understand why folks get so upset that some of us use this. It's like we've broken some unspoken 11th commandment of drumming ... Thou shalt not use drum dials to tune thy drums.

I've gone back thru the conversation to see if anything new was added. I did find this quote

"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. "

I just wanted to reply to this and point out that those drummers from 5000 years ago didn't use cars to transport their drums to the gigs, so we probably shouldn't be using cars either ......

Oh well .... just trying to have a little fun


Well, they did use canoes to take their drums down stream. Wink

Big Smile

I never stated my opinions in order to insult. I stated my opinion. That's all drum forums are. Opinions. We each have our own. If we didn't, forums wouldn't exist. Big Smile



RvJim

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No. 82 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 9:48 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
hmmm, I never insinuated any of those things you merely choose to take my words in that context - I appologise if you took offense it was not intended.

And I most certainly never said being able to tune a drum is unprofessional, that is rediculous.

And when you are first playing with other players you are auditioning them as much as they are you. And furthermore in my opinion a functional band is a team effort and no one is leader.

And I said if you focus to strongly on the business instead of the music the passion will slowly filter away, I never said that your passion was gone, it evidently isn't or you wouldn't be trying to defend your position. And I also never said that I wasn't active in the industry, I just choose not to view it as a competition anymore. And I have bleed, lost and given up many things in my life to play music and not all of them monitary but certainly a lot of that - but that doesn't make me a better musician than someone else, but the experience I feel does help but it is beside the point to this topic.

And my choice not to play with intoxicated people is not a superior stance it is a personal choice - I expect professionalism from people I work with and intoxication on stage or in rehersal is not professional at any level in my opinion, not saying it doesn't have a time and place in the music industry.
surdo wrote:
Hang on a moment. I feel that the holier than thou attitude isn't at my end.

You seem to allude that because I look at the business as being highly competitive and professional, I have lost my passion for music. This is not so.

You've "been there, done that". As if I have not. I am still active within the industry.

You are also of the opinion that I, a person you have never met, am headed for "misery".

You also seem to state that my thinking being able to tune a drum is unprofessional. Well, you are entitled to that opinion. I do not. That is my right.

You also seem to be pointing out that I play with drunken musicians only, and that you never do anymore. I take it this implies superiority? It certainly comes across that way. I play with many musicians. Some more drunk than others. This is the industry that brought forth people such as Charlie Parker (drunken smack addict) Fleetwood Mac (coke heads) and many many more.

And then go on to imply again your superiority that these people wouldn't make it past the audition. I gather you are a band leader? I am not often in a position to hire people as I generally work in a side man role. I've been a band leader. But it's too much of a headache.

As I said earlier, you are entitled to your opinion, but please keep your personal attacks and insults to yourself.

And in closing, please do not assume I have not given my all to music. I have, my friend. At times at great cost.



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





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No. 83 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 10:32 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Just so that you will know that I am a nice guy, I agree with everyone and all that they have said.

At least I think so.

I haven't read what they wrote but why would anyone write something that is wrong ? Right ?

Great topic. At least I hope so.... Clown



Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
Dave





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No. 84 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 11:00 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I agree. Two professionals just doing a little venting.

While I think RV might have been a little harsh, Iíll admit that
Iíve been playing for almost 40 years, and I'm still not very skilled at tuning drums.





"You beat calfskin/mylar with wooden sticks. Get over yourself." - Mark

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No. 85 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 11:57 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
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


Start Crusher Rant #3189

I have trouble tuning drums and the reason is that I am TONE DEAF!! I am not lazy or incompetent or anything you and your little buddy described. I am offended every time I hear words like this. I get my wife or one of my band mates to help me to get to the point where it is in tune. Maybe you should think about the individual instead of making statements like this. There are reasons why people can't do certain things and it doesn't revolve around people being lazy. You cannot tune what you cannot hear.

Edit to say this: None is an embarrassment to the drum community because they have a hard time tuning.


Crusher edited on Dec 30, 2006 8:13 PM


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No. 86 Posted on Dec 30, 2006 2:04 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
surdo wrote:
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


My sincerest apologies to you for not being able to tune my drums! My goodness, I don't even know what I am thinking sitting down in front of my set without knowing how to perfectly tune my set. After all, it's been 2 whole years since I started playing so it's expected that I should know the in's n' out's of drum tuning. It not like it's a difficult thing, ya know.

I own a Drum Dial because I love to play drums. Not tune them - PLAY them. It's fun! After a long day of work, nothing puts me in a good mood like sitting down in front of my set and playing like I feel.

I am so GRATEFUL that I found the Drum Dial. Why? Because between a my job, classes at school, relationships & family I simply don't have that much time to devote to learning the art of drum tuning. That's not to say that I don't want to learn. My time is simply limited.

Also, the Drum Dial has helped me learn tuning the correct or "traditional" way. When I first started playing, I had to have my drum teacher help me tune my drums. After he would leave, I wanted to play around with the tuning because I wanted to learn myself and HEAR what a quarter turn of the drum key would really do. However, I was afraid that I would not be skilled enough to get the tuning back to the way my teacher had it. Now that I own the Drum Dial, I can actually spend some time (as limited as it sometimes is) messing around with tuning, since I am no longer afraid to never be able to find that "right" sound anymore. All I have to do is write down the number that made it sound so sweet.

If that makes for a bad drummer, then I don't want to be good!





"A truly wise man knows he has much to learn..."


Sonordrummr





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No. 87 Posted on Jan 2, 2007 8:37 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
moneyowen wrote:
I am stumped by the idea that having even tension at various spots on the drum head means that it sounds good, or is "in tune"ÖI doubt very seriously that each lug would have the precise amount of same tension at each spot or that the head would be exact all around the rim. In fact, I would imagine it would not be. Well OK I would bet a dollar that would not be the case.

Hey moneyowen and others. I agree that tuning by ear is the way to go, but I would bet that once a head is cleared (same pitch all away around) that the tension of the head at each lug WILL be the same (not the tension on the lug i.e., same # of turns etc.). Now, that does not mean that it sounds good, for instance it could be too tight or too loose, but the head would be in tune with itself as it were. The same pitch all around the drum. So I could see a benefit of using the DrumDial when you have carefully tuned your drums by ear with a particular head combination to the sound you like to aid you in getting to that sound quicker the next time.
Of course, I know guys that can change heads and tune their entire kit at a fraction of the time it takes me and they get the same sound every time without it. To each their own.



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LilDrmr





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No. 88 Posted on Jan 2, 2007 8:54 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I'm buying a tuning book and taking a drum tuning lesson with my teacher. I admit, I'm one of those drummers who can't tune. I have an ear, I just can't decide how I want it tuned. Big Smile


I love my PDP kit, the Royal Onyx, the pillow, the maple shells, I love my PDP kit
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No. 89 Posted on Jan 2, 2007 1:38 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
LilDrmr wrote:
I'm buying a tuning book and taking a drum tuning lesson with my teacher. I admit, I'm one of those drummers who can't tune. I have an ear, I just can't decide how I want it tuned. Big Smile


Now THAT is a good idea!





"A truly wise man knows he has much to learn..."


StillKickinIt

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No. 90 Posted on Jan 3, 2007 7:15 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Come on folks....regardless of what you use or how you like your drums tuned, the set is yours and set to your tastes and if it's good, you'll hear about it. If you don't have them sounding good, you'll hopefully hear about that too and strive to make improvements even if you have to use a pair of channel-lock pliers...personally, I use my teeth.

Hope nobody is a Dentist here....another rant session. Big Smile

I've never owned or tried a drum dial (mini torque wrench right?) and don't tune to a specific note pitch. My fingers have a built in torque wrench and I use my ears and the response of my sticks to determine the tension and then tune the toms to compliment each other. On my 12" tom, I think the bearing edge is uneven so the tension may not be equal at each lug. But I get it sounding good regardless. Plus, they are old drums and I don't think all the threads are in equal condition so going by actual torque may not be right.

My only trial and tribulation in drum tuning over the years has been the snare drum and I think I finally have that one down. Simple drum key...no problem. But I'm sure not going to criticize you if you choose to use another tool....because it works for you and makes your drums sound good...to YOU.

I've seen some extremely poorly tuned drums...in my taste/opinion owned by some drummers that aren't bad and have been at it awhile. I try to let it go for the most part, but if I'm comfortable with them, I will very gently offer to see if I can get a better sound out of them and that they can always retune to where they were if they don't like it. So far, they've appreciated the help. It's all in how you go about approaching it.

We need to be careful about how we say things sometimes. Especially in email and forums.



Kick me...beat me....hit me with sticks....
marv





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No. 91 Posted on Jan 3, 2007 3:13 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
A drum dial is not a mini torque wrench. I believe that's a different device you are thinking about. I think you may be describing something that sort rotates automatically and speeds up putting on new heads.

The drum dial is a device that measures the tension on the drum head.



StillKickinIt

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No. 92 Posted on Jan 4, 2007 6:41 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Well Hush My Puppies.......Thanks Marv, I was under the (under-educated) impression that it was measuring the torque of the lugs. I never bothered to look it up and haven't seen one nor been offered the exposure in local stores.

Very interesting. I went to the website and after discovering I was ill informed, looked for the principle upon which it measures. No dice....nada...no scientific explanation on HOW it measures the tension. There seems to be a needle that moves vertically....so is it measuring warbles (not to be confused with tribbles) in the head...wrinkles...an inch or so away from the bearing edge/rim?

Can anyone explain?

I feel so "stooopid" Big Smile



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moneyowen





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No. 93 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 5:57 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
there ARE little torque wrenches available as drum tuners. But this drum dial isn't one of those. so you ain't stoopid...


pwc





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No. 94 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 6:35 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
moneyowen wrote:
.. so you ain't stoopid...


At least in THIS context .... Clown



Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
marv





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No. 95 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 7:26 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
Still kickin it

No problem. But did you really expect them to give a scientific explaintation to us drummers? It's not like any of us would be able to understand that.

Usually the guitar center carries these, at least the one here does, so you might check that out where you are.

I certainly can't give you a scientific explaination but it bascially measures the tension on the head at each lug.



RvJim

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No. 96 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 7:38 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I will enlighten you to the scientific explaination.

When you turn the key on a lug you put a force on the collar on the head and that inturn stretches the head out. As the head stretches out it gains tension and that tension forces the head to become flatter. The drum dial is very simplictic in design it is quite simply a needle that is pushed up when placed on a surface and makes another needle move around a dial where a number can be read off, thus measuring the flatness of the surface it is placed on thus measuring the tension of the surface.

Now if a drum is perfectly round and has dead even tension at every point on its circumfrance it must also translate its energry evenly across the head and this energy is translated in a wave so if it is translated evenly there will be no phase. This phase is detected by the ear as a beating sound. Now the downfall of the drumdial also comes in here and as pointed out earlier it can't tune a drum to the drum itself, but if one uses his/her ears with the dial this can be achieved, if you slowly build the tension on the drum untill you hear a lug that is in tune with the shell you can measure the tension at that point and the make the head to that tension, then the next task is to make the opposing head the same note and it can be done in the same fashion but is of course much harder. The phase, or beating sound, can come from the heads not being in complimentary or same notes as each other and also at a lessor extent, but not in quality of sound merely in terms of phase, from them not being at a complimentry frequency to what will translate down the shell of the drum.

YOu can visually see the same effect I described if you drop droplets of water into a liquid and watch the rings come away from where it feel from the energy translating evenly, but if you drop more than one droplet with one slightly away from the other you'll see distortion in those lines and that is phase exactly the same as the kind you hear.



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





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No. 97 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 9:43 AM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
There was a tutorial of how to make your own Drum Dial for around $10.

Ill try fetching it up.

EDIT:

OK, so technically it cost me closer to $8 with shipping on one of the parts, but the shipping was $6. Anyway, I ran across a mention of this on another forum and thought I would try it. Well, it took me about 10 minutes to put together and seems to work great. I've taken some pictures of how I did it below. The other diy drumdials I've seen used a machined metal base, but since I don't have access to a machine shop, I had seen someone mention trying a hockey puck. Yep, that's what it is, and it works!

Some of you are great at tuning and probably won't be interested. But although I've played for around 20 years, I've always been frustrated with my tuning. I get really close, but not quite. Anyway, since drumdials cost around $60+, this project was right in my budget. It is also a really quick project, so, instant gratification.

Enough, let's get to the pics.

Here's what we started with. A hockey puck ($.99 at the local sports store), a dial indicator off of eBay $.99 + $6 shipping), and two washers (might add more washers for more spacing).



Here's a closeup of the dial. It was a cheap dial indicator I found on eBay. I think this one has a 1" range and a 2" dial with a .0005" reading. I got it on eBay from a place that puts them up in dutch auctions, 10 at a time. Also, you'll notice the two washers on the little shaft on the bottom. I plan to add a few more today after I get by home depot. I want the dial to sit up about .5" from the top of the puck.



Heres a picture of it finished. I just drilled a 3/8" hole through the center of the puck and then just pushed the dial down through it. I started with a small bit and worked my way up to the larger one. The dial fits snug, but I need to secure it once I've added the other washers.

img]http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n65/eibbor-/drumdial3.jpg[/img]

And here it is on my snare. I tested it out on the snare batter and my 10" tom and it seems to work great. It's cool to see the dial move when you adjust the t-rods. If nothing, it's helped me understand how sensitive a head is when you turn a t-rod. It takes a bit of getting used to. It seems that when tuning down, you have to lift it and set it back down to get a more accurate reading, but like any tool, you get used to it quick.



Well, other than adding my extra washers, that's it! I just thought it was a cool project that was REALLY fast and easy and allowed me to have a tool that I otherwise wouldn't be able to bring myself to buy.


How it works.
The reason the DrumDial works in giving a measurement of tension (ambiguous, but useful for the application), is because of the spring used in a dial indicator to push the needle out of the dial housing. It was never designed nor intended to be used to measure anything with "give" to it, like a drum head. The spring has enough strength to push against the pressure of the drum head, enough for the needle to move the drum head away from the surface of the aluminum base. It doesn't have enough strength to push a hard material like glass or metal away from the base. The dial scale is indicating is the distance of the drum head from the surface of the aluminum base, not the tension. Since increasing the tension of the drum head decreases the amount of pressure countering the needle spring, the distance decreases and is reflected in the reading on the dial scale.



So, in a conveniently indirect way, it is measuring the tension of the drum head. The resulting measurements are ambiguous and unscientific, but extremely accurate and reliable for us for our purpose.

The Tension Watch and the Drum Dial both use different dial indicators, which employ springs of different strengths. When placed on glass or metal, they will both give the same reading or zero, because they have been mounted in the aluminum base so that the dial reads "0" when the tip of the needle is even with the bottom of the base. When placed of a drum head, however, they will have different readings because of the different strengths of the springs.


From PDF (eh).

http://www.pearldrummersforum.com/showthread.php?t=149843


ofDooM edited on Jan 5, 2007 9:55 AM

Sonordrummr





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No. 98 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 10:06 AM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
That is a cool little project.
thanks ofdoom!



Sonor Force 2003 fusion in Midnight Black
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marv





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No. 99 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 1:27 PM Profile | PM | Email | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
I tried putting a drop of water on my head but it didn't make any little waves .... maybe I don't get it????

just a dummer ....



RvJim

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No. 100 Posted on Jan 5, 2007 3:13 PM Profile | PM | Quote | Search | Copy | Favorite
drop droplets of water into a liquid


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