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Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Lesson 2 of 32

Tuning a Floor Tom

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

Studio Pass with Tommy Rogers and Jamie King

Tommy Rogers, Jamie King

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Lesson Info

2. Tuning a Floor Tom

Lesson Info

Tuning a Floor Tom

Like say we've already got these drums kind of in the ballpark of whatever uh but I'll tune it down just to give you guys an idea of what happens and when you do tighten up a drum you go like I'm not really a drummer so you go around you go cross absolutely yeah yeah the uh I usually go you know, just across so whatever like in an x pattern with the way you keep even tension on the drum or whatever and they'll have like if you don't do the even you know the cross tuning going get out around you know the drum will be uneven on the shell and things like that uh that affect pitcher just yeah, it'll affect the tuning like said the head will team properly it'll look like one side will be wrinkle on the other side of the tiger and you know, just resonate completely but you know let's pretend like we took the head out would put this on and up you know? We put the hoop on here and we've got these loves just finger type which one of you is a sitting head even you know, down evenly I'm just goin...

g around and just getting these things finger tight here and then like said what I normally do I normally just go ahead and put some tension I have this is old school nearly drum torque you know tuner ah sister or whatever it's just it's kind of like a torre great you use for cars you know like a you know, a tool of what everybody's just cheap plastic when made for drums and if you've got nice move lugs or whatever, this is a really good tool to kind of get you the ball parks particularly if you're in a club and you know you've got noise going on you know, you could get kind of even tensions all around but also I'm a really big advocate just learning to tune by year there's a lot of products out on the market like you have ah, you know, I think they have a new product called a tune bought I haven't used one her is really good they have ah um probably called attention watch or whatever which you actually put on the head itself if you you know, use one of those or whatever it's important to note that they don't really work well on two ply heads because they read the tension of the head and the top plywood to ply heads is usually a little loose more loose so you could get a kind of a dampening effect is part of the design of the drum to my experience they only work on single ply heads support for people to know out there so who makes that tooner right there that's a company called neary I don't know, I mean, I think they still make these things. I've had this thing for, like, fifteen years that's a cool, big one. I've seen some new, smaller ones. Yeah, it's got arrested, which evans has a click, you know, attention thing, this is just to me, it works a little better, it's a little more accurate? Uh, you know, I just, you know, use it to kind of like citizens it's a short cut to him, just like you use a guitar to know a lot of people can tune a guitar by ear, get a reference pitch in tune it but it's just quicker and easier just to plug a tuner in the guitar and just, you know, let a light tell you, when you're in tune, this is kind of something you couldn't memorize settings for, you know, once you get into drum how you like it, you can memorize tensions and recall those later if you have to change ahead during a recording session. Like said, I've gotten these drums, finger type, and this is my for rock and metal both I generally tune the drum to the lowest, purely resonant pitch that I could get there's different styles like like, like if you're doing you know, a thrash metal type project or something something there's some people leave the tom heads just really loose and almost, you know, tune in and treated like a kick drum tory it's just there's not a lot of residents just just a lot of attack and low in uh I personally prefer to dio tohave a good about amount of residents on the drums, but I like a big sound, so usually the lower tunings orbit the bigger sounds, what is the lower tuning for? For how do you find the fundamental will get us exactly what's gonna ready to just to do the like, sit up, get everything seated, finger tight and I go through and I I come up just a little bit like a quarter turn, just as tommy was saying crossing over just to keep the tensions even yeah, personally, I have no clarity on drums I'm learning that they were always watch blake I'm like, I wish I could help you it's really a lot, you know, this's one of these things like an intimidating thing. Well, yeah there that it always has been for me. What is this strangely a thing that's you know, I learned by trial and error over years it's like they don't you don't they don't teach this stuff, you know, I've had students you know I do education sessions at my place there should be like a live class that doesn't yeah there should be you hear it here? Um well they don't teach this to schools and you can't you know I'm saying so it's kind of weird it's essential you know their drums need to sound good you know, for live and for a studio and you know they don't teach it but what I'm doing is so does the stretching happened now later yeah, I put a little bit you know, put some tension on on the drum or whatever to get the there's gettinto where there's no wrinkles if you I'm sure drummers know whatever you can if you push down and there's wrinkles or whatever you can actually hear that kind of like the crinkling as well pushing flecks in it which is a little so yeah just come up until I feel like a good tension that there's not a lot of wrinkles it's killing me no not doing the x pattern thing now because we've got some pretty even tension on the uh on everything but you like said I've got some tension on the drumhead itself and what I want to do is I want to stretch the drum head and you want to just put some weight you know you don't have to do ah whole lot of weight yeah exactly like see peoria just pushed intention stretch the head more tension stretched ahead and luckily like say we've we've already kind of gotten these in the ballpark whatever so we've already I've already done this process once so that you know I mean this this process for each drum could take you know, fifteen, thirty minutes, you know, even without, you know, talking and explaining the situation but then like said what I like to try to do is it like to tap the tones of, you know, defined the pitch of each look to make sure they're they're matched up and you know, this process of repeated is repeated on the bottom also just so you know, like normal like the remo emperors a two ply which is really popular for mail in iraq, you know? But the bottom is almost always a single ply resident and the bottom's going to tune up a little higher naturally will be the lowest purely resident picks we've already the bottoms are already in the ballpark now, so I won't get into that just so we can start rocking here as soon as possible. But um so is this is this uh because you and tommy are sort of known for just getting a really awesome organic, not over process sound is this part of your distinct sounders that's just something that you should do for every kid in every session yeah I think this like so this is pretty typical normal stuff I think that anybody should be you know, like so this is you know, you know those there's there's people out there who are using like the easy drummer and superior drummer these air something similar processes that they've used to create those sounds and samples order of course they don't use any muffling on their drone and you know you could buy some pre process samples out there that they've done this same type of tuning processes and things you know and they had have use muffling and stuff of that nature and uh but yeah, I think just like this one this process will work for different styles obviously like you're doing like a jazz record in r and b those have different times you can listen to those recordings and what's become standard with those recordings are higher tune tom's you would want higher tom you know and less muffling xff so you can hear more those overtones and obviously they're playing with brushes and lighter sticks and things of that nature and so you know but it's the same process you still wanna stretch the head out you still want to get you know detentions even for lugs in on the bottom of whatever likes it bottom typically too you know typically tunes a little higher for using a two point on top and a sink reply on the bottom uh what's on another popular head obviously the remo ambassadors an industry standard whatever the ambassador's air great sounding drum heads or whatever but they require a little more muffling and they they don't last as long, you know, you know, this is the single ply their thinner most mental you'll see even tommy hits he's not a drummer per se but he's the drum hard and you know, we would burn through the un ambassador, you know, and a couple of hours probably. I know, you know, as myself I started as a drummer, so I knew, like, you know, an ambassador snare last me like, you know, two or three hours, you know, before it's just usable, but yeah, I guess now I'll let you guys know that I'm going to be hitting this drum whatever, so we can change the audience so you guys can hear that here I go. Well, actually, one thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna mute uh we'll just lay my hand in the middle of the drum to kind of mute the the fundamental picture, this room and I want to hear pitches for each look and try to make sure they match up like that this this nearly drum toward tool of some of these tools will help you get matched up, you know? Quicker, but it's it's important bill to hear you know and try to try to hear the pitch and make sure if you got even tension all the way around, it might be hard for some of you guys to hear home or whatever, so what's it going to sound like you're going to hear a higher note if it's if it's tighter and your goal is to just get it even right all the way around the vehicle you like that? I'm not even I'm not even focusing on the overall picture of the drum right now. Basically, I'm just wanting to make sure my tensions even I've got the drum nice and stretched in, and I mean muting the fundamental pitch, I'm actually able to hear the pitch of each looks and it sounds pretty pretty even to me, but then, you know, it's, like up just and with experience, this become faster, you know, it's, just like when you first learn to type on a keyboard, you have to look and it takes you longer to type over time, it gets to the point where you don't have to think about it, like with drum tuning, it kind of gets that way, you don't have to use the tools anymore. That kind of thing whatever so you know don't get discouraged and well I have been working on this tom for two hours and it still doesn't sound good you know you only muffle it before you do that yeah that's a good point yeah that's what helps me whatever time to go ahead and put some muffling on there even if it's too much muffling um it helps to do that because you get more of the fundamental pitch it takes some of the the overtones out you know so you and I can I'll hit the drum with him with with that with what leslie and without muffling so you can kind of possibly hear the difference or whatever he definitely in this room you will wait to hear the difference but let me hit this drum and uh we'll see we'll see where we're at pitch wise pretty close where I would like to be like let me tune down and because I got lucky and it's you know actually close enough anticipated being uh but thea but usually what I would look listen for likes it if it's too low it'll have this rattle like a buzz like and some people actually leave it in there and you can't really hear in the mix but we have the drums are played by themselves will be able to hear this buzzy sound you know but I usually I tuned to try to get the lowest ah purely resonant pitch you can have the drum head in the drum combination when you just tune in to turn this thing down so I can get the get this thing to rattle for you try this uh hit the drum new can you guys hear that it all kind of going like boom like I'm sitting right over the drums and you can actually sounds pretty good yeah yeah I mean this is ah without muffling now like said ideally I want to get that we're all out of it you know, the whatever remember that vocalization I just did is so when we go up just incrementally like just like eight turns so it's not like a guitar where you you're like I want to set it to this pitch no yeah I don't achieving yeah I don't believe that you know like a lot of you know there's um because I know different drummers to different ways I've seen people say hail is to try to make it to the key of the song you like that and you can't do what you know like and I've tried to do that before on a lot of times I mean like with you guys you're constantly changing key so how is that going to working in tune the drums like for every section or whatever you know things of that nature so but you know and you know hear enough of the the pitch of the drum in the mix for to be an issue or problem you know, having said that I usually like the toms to be in intervals of each other so if you play the tom's together they you know they resonate well together you know it's not a dissident type sound like you know usually for this case will probably be in fifths with a sixteen and a twelve inch drum they'll probably teen and they'll probably naturally like if you do the lowest purely resident pitch you could get for both rooms and using the same head you know, combinations they will naturally to open in fists are used in the ballpark if you added the you know, the fourteen like you had twelve fourteen, sixteen like you might get some thirds or something like that you know, uh, orson fourth even you know, I know one bt bam record we were in had like, a diminished thing going on, you know? We're just force all the way down it's kind of cool, but it just depends on your like said that like a lot of like these d w I mean they actually find the patron of shale and things like that and they talk about they have the notes stamped in the drum and a lot of people think they need to, like, make their drum, you know you know, tuned to that note or whatever and it's like it's completely relative to the head because the double it sounds good yeah, the two ply heads they will they will tune up or they will tune into different pitches you know, the pure lowest purely resident pitch will be the low different pitch different brands, different thicknesses and things like that or whatever and like so you might tune a specific head to the pitch that it says in the drum and it just sounds not good I'm a fan of two and the drum where it sounds the best you know uh you know, itself or whatever so like, you know, if you know if you I said if you go use the strategy that purely lowest in the lowest purely resident page or whatever, you know the drone is going to sound good and it's going to sound big is the biggest possibly khun b and you can go you can always go up for their from there but it's certain point would you get higher pitch? You know, uh the drone will start to kind of choke out, lose resonance and, you know, attack and things like that like that I'll try to move through this quicker pace than I've been moving, but like I say and like said you could hear that rattle I want to just tune it up to where the rattles going lemon almost hit the drums and we'll just go up until it's gone really close so with like that tool does that help say if you're in a scenario where you need to tune and you you literally can't hear saves a band's playing in your side stage you need to know yeah he said that that will help you kind of getting the ball ballparks I've seen blake tune without listening and I always wondered that count a lot of the smaller bands I mean they don't have the luxury you know you're at a club you're inside the stage that your kid and you're like man what my drums of sound great live you know if you're you know blake whatever your drummer you know has the same situation you can't hear the drums is clear as we can here in the studio you know you've got all you've got the band playing and you know there's all this other stuff if you have a tool and you khun get your room sounding the way you want it to sound and use it kind of memorised the settings right him down or something like this to our store settings on your phone whatever you have to do you can recall a two least being the ballpark you know, live I don't think this is essential to have the drum sound is perfect is in the studio and obviously a little a little bit of buzz or whatever a choke tone live you're not going to notice that you know as much or whatever so but you definitely want to be in the ballpark with you know you don't have the drum sound horrible, you know? Uh yeah that's a it's a great use for these tools and I said I'm doing it strictly by ear right now uh because I think ultimately that's that's what you want to be able to do, you don't want to rely on like tuning guitar you don't completely rely on you know a tuner and never understand hey, I got to these to the fifth whatever you so we have a question from online just came in from mountain stream high I heard you tune you mentioned this already, but I heard you two in the top of the drum differently to the bottom of the drum do you tune the top hire uh pitched or vice versa? It's vice versa usually like and this is just because I'm using it like said the standard resin ahead, which is like a normally remo ambassador in this case is they said evans resident head, which is a single ply just like the remo ambassador single ply just means thinner, thinner it's one ply the's emperors air to ply drum heads, so these emperors normally like said they the two ply heads for some reason they just tune up lower and that's usually usually reason why you know the reason that happens whatever like said there's different schools of thought obviously if I tuned the top on the bottom to the exact same pitch, you're going to get even more resonance now it's like I like a good resonant tone like when we hit this we hear a good a good decay on the sound but at the same time I don't like I don't want too much residents you know usually you know you have to you know, in the production usually have tio gate drums or mainly you know, you gave the toms in the mix so you don't like you don't want a distracting amount of residents so if it's you get a tom sound that's you know, just rings for three seconds you know that's not going to be very what do you mean what's the result if you do it backwards like what if you tuned the top higher than the bottom I think you just have a little bit better yeah, little more choked of a sound okay, yeah uh like that I like it's a strange with drums like you know and it's you know, logically when I first started I thought if you tune it higher you're going to get more attack in a strange because in reality he was he was that's not true you tune it higher get more mid range you get actually less lows less highs more mid the higher tune the drum lower u turn the drum by ratio you get more highs morelos less mids on dh that's kind of like you know yeah so you know and usually like that you'll see when we get to the mix q portion of it drums up usually for most rock you know there's a significant amount of mid range that gets cut out makes it's pretty typical from what we're accustomed to hearing now if you listen to recordings of drums back in the you know the seventies and before the seventies four cq is concerned you know there was a lot less moderate the drums were more box he sounded and that's what you get you know naturally michael the drums sound boxy without a good hefty mid range could so the more natural mid range you can cut you know, with the drums acoustically close you're going to be let me finish this time I think we're close and if you notice I'm stretching the drum while I'm tuning cartoon stretched to stretch that hopefully it'll hold and you know once you get it stretched in really nice hopefully the whole tune the entire drum session so I know a lot of producers um recommend changing, you know, calm heads every day are twice a day you know I'm glad you brought that what what do you uh like the you know it depends on the drum head the player the style that kind of thing like said if you like the cool thing about emperors the two ply heads they're durable you know they're holed up and I think I personally I like drum heads when they're a little broken in they sound a little warmer and a whole tune better and so you know if the drum heads and still good shape there's no dance the whole of the same road it is in its holding pitch then I say use him until you know you notice like you know hey there's dance or holes you know the tone of the drone is changing things like that I mean you know typically like I'll you know use the same two ply drum heads on especially on the toms for the whole and against expensive yeah yeah like your friends in the traditional you like said that the ambassadors of great you're single ply they produce a lot of natural high end and they're really good and popular for recording because of that but like I said they don't last I mean like if you're using ambassadors then you would have to change the drums you know drumhead mohr because they'll start drummers know the more you play the drum if you take the head off it like the plastic whatever the material is just starts to give way and to the to the hits or whatever and that changes the tone of the drum in the pitch and that kind of thing or whatever but like said the the two ply a little more durable less susceptible there's a lot of heads like what's near his particular you'll see like the reverse dot the reinforcement dot to help it's tio helped your ability and you know what those more durable drumhead you're going to get you know you're going to get more use out of them with before you have to actually you know change the heads out so the kick drum like said unless you get like a whole again and you know really bad hole or dan I mean you almost never have to replace yeah you know they make it look like three enforcement dots and things like that and you could put so that your your beater won't burn through your kick from head or anything like that but uh yeah like said that they're the drum heads these days that will last a good good amount of time it was pretty good for now like they do like said that the idea is to get uh you know all the buzz just get the lowest period pitch and I think this is the lowest pure pitch we were going to do to get out of this combination right now whatever and I just repeat this process across all the time, so I'm not going to display, and I'm not going toe to do this, tom. Whatever. We've already kind of done that, and, um, so I think that should be good. Good to go with me might go up a little bit. I think it fell out it fill out overnight, and I think we have this drum muffled, so there's, a view a home probably won't be able to hear it is clearly, yeah, just happened to be in fifth.

Class Description

Get an inside look at how things run in the studio with Tommy Rogers & Jamie King in this Studio Pass.

Tommy is the vocalist for the progressive metal band Between the Buried and Me and has worked with Jamie to produce most of the band’s albums. In this class, they’ll share their signature approach to production and detail the process they used to record Tommy’s latest solo album “Modern Noise”.

Both Tommy and Jamie aim to track songs that sound organic and real. In Studio Pass: Tommy Rogers & Jamie King, they’ll show you how things should run in a studio to get a final track that sounds like the band on their best day, but not over-produced.

You’ll learn about the role good pre-production plays in getting the best sound and what you should do before you ever set foot inside the studio. You’ll learn about the recording process as Tommy and Jamie track drums, bass, vocals, and guitar for a song from Tommy’s solo album. They’ll also deconstruct Pro Tools sessions and talk about how performance impacts the final arrangement.

If you want to learn how these guys work in the studio, don’t miss your chance to hang for two days with Tommy and Jamie and get a behind-the-scenes look at their process.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Jamie King - Tommy Rogers - Gear List.pdf

Jamie King - Tracking Template.ptf

bonus material with enrollment

Tommy Rogers and Jamie King - Syllabus.pdf

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Zachary Towne

Thanks for two outstanding sessions. Tommy, Jamie and the Creative Live folks really did a great job elucidating the studio recording process for producing honest, listenable, and powerful rock and metal recordings. I particularly appreciated the individual treatment of each instrument as well as how they all integrate into the mix. I found Jamie's methods to be straightforward and effective and I'm really looking forward to applying that to my own production.

a Creativelive Student

Another well done class from Creativelive. A glimpse into the daily life of a pro musician and pro engineer. Some great advice, tips and tricks that anyone can use to make better music. Was hoping they would get more into the business side of things, they did briefly discuss it towards the end, however a more detailed, longer discussion on the topic would have been good. You do learn some cool ways to record and mix. Some of these are obvious, some not so much. I am sure that for most people you will get something of value from this class.


This was an awesome 1st half of the course! Jamie touched on so many things that I've always had questions about in the production environment. I can't wait for the second day! This course is a MUST HAVE!! I will be purchasing it soon!! Many thanks for the Livestream!