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Old 02-13-2006, 05:21 PM   #1
The Fly
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Paging all drummers..


I have a Pearl forum kit and for the longest while i've been trying to get the Joshua Tree sound. I have remo pinstripe heads on all my toms. But I can't seem to get the 'dead' sound that Larry mullen has on his kit. (think: with or without you)

I am a novice when it comes to drumming having only been playing for 2 years. How do you tune your drums to change the sound. Specifically, what does tightening the batter head vs resonance head do?

If someone could point out some good drummer websites, or help me out with the tuning, it would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 09-02-2006, 02:55 PM   #2
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Hi Aaron,
I see no one has posted a reply yet, so I'll try and help you out. First off, I do not know how advance you are as a drummer, so if I seem like I am talking down to you, I am not. Just trying to cover the bases!
OK, let's get down to it:
-You need to realize that you may not be able to get the exact sound that Larry's kit has during the Joshua Tree era. This is because each drum sounds different and the sound depends on many factors. A Tama maple 16x16 floor tom is going to sound different from a Yamaha maple 16x16 floor tom. So what you need to understand is that your Pearl set may not be able to produce the sound of Larry’s Yamaha Turbo Tour kit from the Joshua Tree tour.
-So the question is what wood is your drum made from? The Turbo Tour kit I believe is made from birch wood and each wood has different sound properties. So if your kit is made from maple, you will have a hard time getting a maple kit to sound like a birch kit. It’s just the way of life in drum world.
-Next up, the heads you are using. Larry started to use Remo clear pinstripes on his toms for the Zoo TV tour and still does. However, during the Joshua Tree tour, I believe he used Remo coated Ambassadors. Ambassadors produce a different sound than the pinstripes, here is a brief explanation of the two from the Remo website:

The Coated Ambassador® heads are medium-weight heads made with a coated single-ply 10-mil Mylar® film to produce a warm open, bright, and resonant sound with a warm attack. Coated Ambassador® heads are the standard of the industry for both live and recording situations.
Clear Pinstripe® heads are made with two 7-mil Mylar® plies, and have quick decay, making them ideal heads for the “fat” sounds of Pop, Rock and R&B and for those who want a low pitched sound with moderate attack and response characteristics.

-You can see the Remo Ambassadors on Larry’s kit if you watch Rattle & Hum, especially during the end of Exit. So if you want that the Joshua Tree sound, you will need to change your heads on all the toms.
-Another thing you need to realize is the drum sound can also be altered by the way the drums are miked, mixed, if they are gated, and if there are any triggers being used. I cannot post links because this is only my fifth post, but if you do a search from Yahoo with these key words “larry mullen drum kit configurations” you will find a link with the title Drum Kit Configurations and the site is called u2-atomic. The site lists Larry’s miking and equipment he uses. Each component Larry uses affects the sound of his kit.

OK, now about your question of tuning. Tuning is an art and takes some time to get used to. I don’t know how Larry likes his kit tuned, but there is a website that is the Holy Grail of tuning information. It is called the Prof. Sound’s Drum Tuning Bible and if you do a Yahoo search with the words “drum tuning bible” you will find the link.
-When you start tuning you must realize that you may not get it right the first, second or third time. Yet, with practice and patience, you will get good at it. This website also goes into great detail about the different types of woods used and their sound that they produce.
-Another thing to note about tuning is to tune the drums to what sounds good to you. Remember sound is subjective, some drummers want low and fat, some want high and tight like Stewart Copeland of the Police. So just because you follow the steps from the website, it may not be the sound you want from your kit and that is all right. Tuning tips are more of a loose guideline to follow as opposed to an exact mathematical equation.

Aaron, if you have any questions drop me a line and I will be more than happy to help you sort it out. Good luck and hope this helps in some way.
Take care,

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Old 09-08-2006, 04:09 PM   #3
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I forgot to mention that Larry could also be using Remo coated Emperor heads as well. Here is the info on them:

Coated Emperor® heads are warmer and more durable than Clear Emperor®s. They’re made with two free-floating plies of 7-mil Mylar® film, which gives consistent open warm tones which accounts for their popularity among many of today’s Studio, Pop, R&B and Rock drummers.

The main difference is that the Emperors are double-ply as opposed to single-ply Ambassadors.

But as I said it's hard to tell what heads he was using for the Joshua Tree tour, other than them being Remo and coated.
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Old 09-14-2006, 02:48 AM   #4
Ghost of Love
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Jeff, huh?

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