Tuning Drums | Official Drums Tutorial | Elevation Worship

Hey everybody my name is Vincent Baynard I’m one of the drummers with Elevation Worship and today we’re going to be
talking through sort of our approach to how we tune drums set them up and
achieve our drum sound with Elevation Worship so we’re going to start with the
kick drum and we’ve got a DW Collector Series kick here they’re just real
consistent drums for us and they’re what we like to use for a lot of our projects
and we’ve got a power stroke p3 clear black dot head on it we like this a lot
for the studio when we’re live we like to use the power stroke p3 smooth white
it just translated translates a little bit better and for the kick I like to
keep it real simple right now we’ve got new heads on it and
I just go through make sure everything is finger tight and we’re good there and
then I just like to go through and I’ll do the star pattern and just kind of do
a half turn on everything and just I’m feeling as I go making sure everything
is kind of uniform because a lot of times as you’re tightening they’ll kind
of loosen up so as I’m going I’m finger tighten in each one before I go to the
half turn so now that we’ve got everything like half turn we’re just
gonna kind of go through and feel and make sure nothing is too out of order
here so now that we’ve got the batter side pretty much situated we’re gonna do
the same process on the resonant side we’ll just kind of everything is finger
tight we’ll go through just half turn as a starting point and then just kind of
listen through the drum and just make sure nothing’s kind of out of whack and
then we’ll keep moving from there and on this resonant side we’ve got a power
stroke p3 ebony so now I’ve got half turn all around
we’ll just kind of feel make sure nothing is too loose this actually
feels pretty good and the wrinkles anywhere once we push down on the middle
so now we’ve got it pretty much in place we’ll put a kick pedal on it and then
we’ll give it a couple kicks and make sure everything feels good sounds good
we’ll make some tweaks from there so now that we’ve got the kick pretty much
tuned to a good place we’ve added a kick pedal and we’ve added a little Evans EQ
patch to the kick drum which helps with the longevity of the kick head a little
bit but it also adds a little bit of attack which I like and so now we’ll
just give it a few kicks and see how it feels how it sounds and we’ll make some
tweaks if we need to so that feels really good to me
and a lot of times I’ll just kind of double check making sure nothing is
loose keeping everything pretty uniform nothing’s wrong here so it feels good
sounds pretty good in the room so I think we’re good with the kick for now
so now that we’ve got the kick in a good place we’re gonna move on and start with
the rack Tom we’ve got a 13 by 9 rack tom here it’s usually our go-to size for
a rack tom and we like to use the tune bot it’s a cool little tool that you can
use to kind of quickly dial in a drum set it’s not like a final thing at the
end of the day you have to listen to the drum and like make sure you’re the drum
is agreeing with what you’re trying to do to it but I’ve generally found that
it’s a good place to start to kind of get something roughly in the ballpark so
for our rack tom we like to get both the top and the bottom head to the same
frequency I know sometimes you can tune the bottom head tighter for resonance
and stuff but I’ve generally found that getting both heads at the same frequency
gives you the maximum resonance and then you could control it from there with
some moon gels or something like that so we’re gonna start with the bottom head
we’ve got just a Remo ambassador clear and we’re generally shooting around 150
for our 13 inch rack Tom’s and right now these are just finger
tight and they’re sitting around 109 so we’re not too far off so now I’ll just
kind of go through and then just slowly tweak it bring it up and once we get
around 150 152 then we’ll just kind of move on to the top head and as I’m doing
this I’m listening I’m not just looking to hit a number I’m listening to the
drum and making sure that everything is sounding pretty uniform right now we’re
at 124 so we’re just gonna kind of keep moving up a little bit I’m probably
going about a quarter turn each time so we’re sitting at about 142 so we’re
getting there and then we’ll just make a final little small adjustment one thing
to note too that as I’m turning I’m feeling the tension on each drum so I’m
not cranking one and leaving another one pretty load to try to hit a number I’m
making sure that I’m trying to keep everything pretty uniform cool so we’re
at 153 which is good enough for me and then we’ll swap it over and do the top
head as well and then we’ll just start with we’ll probably do half turns here cool so we’re pretty much sitting around
152 right there so now that we’ve pretty much got at ballparked what I’ll do is
I’ll put it on the stand and then I like to when I’m hitting the drum to test it
I want to hear like one consistent note I don’t want it to be diving too much or
to have like any weird resonance so let’s just see what sounds like so that actually sounds pretty good so
what I like to do from here is we’ve got some moon gels and this drum is just
wide open right now and it’s ringing as much as it can because at the top and
the bottom are at the same frequency there’s a little bit of like a papery
sound that I’m hearing and I’ve found that usually the bottom head is where
that’s coming from so I’ve got a moon gel here that I’ve cut into a little
thin strip and then I’m just gonna place it somewhere towards the rim of the drum
not too far and then I’ll listen from there so that took that little tone that
I was hearing out of there so I’m just gonna leave that and then I’ll put one
somewhere around the top towards the rim as well and this is just taking a little
bit of the resonance out just to make it a little more manageable so that sounds
pretty good to me right now and we can go through and make final tweaks once we
get the full kit put together but I think we’re good with the rack tom right
now so now that we got the rec tom in a good spot we’ve added a couple floor
toms we’ve got a 16 by 16 and an 18 by 16 and the process for these two is will
be the same process that we did on the rack Tom I’ve already gone through it
it’s tuned in the top and the bottom head to the same resonance on both sides
and then once we get them in a good spot add some in gels to control some of the
resonance and on the 16 we like to keep it about 120 121 on top and bottom and
then on the 18 we like to keep it around 96 and those numbers just kind of give
us the intervals that we’re looking to here between the drums and sort of big
picture the reason we’re using coded heads are to give us just a little bit
more of a warm sound in worship it’s kind of a lot of big Tom’s and stuff
like that and the clear heads just kind of cut have a little bit too much attack
for us and from some like a tuning perspective when we’re using the tune
bot what you need to do the reason I was putting it on the drum throne was
because you need to have one side of the head muted so that you can see
the and see and hear the frequencies that are happening on the whatever head
you’re working on at the time so that’s why I was doing that and one other
little thought is we cut the moon gels into little strips rather than just
putting a full moon gel on there what that does is it lets us kind of get a
little more refined in how we control the resonance without just completely
squashing the sound of the drum we like to still let them breathe and have some
life to them and we found that if you can just use little strips instead of a
full and then that helps us with that so I’ll go through these now and let you
hear the drums again this is 150 ish on top and bottom and this is 121 top and
bottom and then this will be 96 top and bottom so that’s a nice little interval
and it sounds really good for our context so now that we’ve got these in a
good spot we’ll add in the snare alright so now we’ve got all of our Tom’s in
place and tuned up nice we’ve added in the snare this is a six and a half by
fourteen Ludwig black beauty it’s one of my personal favorite snares and it’s one
of our favorites to use for recording I’ve done the same process with this
snare that I’ve done with the Tom’s as far as using a tune bot the only
difference is we tune the top and bottoms to different frequencies and
I’ve just found that it just sounds a little better that way on the top I like
to keep it around 250 something like that and then on the bottom I keep it
around 380 and that’s just a personal preference it feels good to play in that
range and it also sounds good one thing to note about the snare tuning
is I know in worship a lot of times the tenancy is still I tuned down really low
and you can definitely get good drum sounds that way but I’ve found that by
kind of staying in the mid-range a little bit of tuning that it lets the
drum breathe a little bit better and that kind of helps with some of that low
in that people are looking for so this might actually be tuned to maybe a touch
higher and some typical snare snares would be
tuned but I found that this records really well in this range and it also
just sounds really good in the room one final little thought about the drums
themselves I like to use these lug locks and what this does is on the snare in
particular it’s getting a lot of love so if you can just pop them on here
it keeps the rods from detuning and keeps your snare and the rest of your
drums and tuned a little bit better there’s a couple different ones that I
like to use this one is made by tuner fish and they just look like a little
fish which is cool but I like these a lot for the tops because it keeps it can
only go so far before it just doesn’t let it detune any further I like to use
these little just kind of rectangular ones on the bottom just because they’re
more convenient you don’t have to worry about them falling off as much as you do
with the fish so now that we’ve got everything kind of put together I’ll
just kind of go through the kit real quick let let you hear it and then we’ll
move on and kind of round things out talking about cymbals so now that we’ve got the actual drums
themselves put together we wanted to just briefly touch on our approach to
cymbals we typically are going for a darker sound which is pretty typical of
worship music size wise we tend to lean towards 20-inch crashes they just have
enough decay but they get out of the way of the mix pretty quickly for high hats
we typically stay 15 16 inches something like that it gives us a nice wash for
when we’re opening them up for some situations but it still has a nice
crispness to it when it’s closed 22 inch rides usually are where we’re sitting
for the same reason they’re bright enough when you’re crash riding that
they sit in a good spot in the mix but they’re not weak sounding like maybe a
20 or something would be for our context and you can achieve that dark washy
sound with any brand we’re not too brand specific we use all kinds of different
brands so this is pretty much our approach to achieving a drum sound and
worship music it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all approach but it’s what
works for us in our context I hope this has been helpful and thanks for watching

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