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Bass Tuning.. Which note?? Which Octave?

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  • Bass Tuning.. Which note?? Which Octave?

    OK, I am aware that the Bass Drum should be tuned to the "same Low A" as the pipes, only a couple octaves lower. Which Octave?? 1 or 0 ??

    Bb 1st octave puts it one octave lower than the Bass Drone.

    Bb 0 octave puts it 2 octaves lower.

    Would the size of the Drum help determine which octave is best??

    The 16X30 Premier I have at home and annoy Pipe Students with, I have tuned at Bb 1st octave +33 cents ( 475hz) with a Peterson VS-1.

    The Drum at Band, was tuned by a previous band member at G# ( Pipes Low G ) in octave 0, nearabouts 475hz A ref. The band Drum is smaller, not sure by how much I am guessing 26x14.

    I didn't have both Drums side by side to compare, but the 16x30 sounds bigger and boomier and a perceived lower pitch, even though the smaller drum is tuned an octave lower. Maybe the smaller drum has more/different damping action, hence the different tone. (It has black heads, and I didn't take it apart to look inside.)

  • #2
    Re: Bass Tuning.. Which note?? Which Octave?

    All drums from 30 inch to 14 inch can be tuned in the same octave.
    The bass drum "A" is one octave below the bass drone which is one octave below the tenor drone which is one octave below the Low A which is "roughly" one octave below High A.
    Since octaves relate to frequency by 1/2's the following example is true.
    High A could be 960Hz
    Low A 480Hz
    Tenor A 240Hz
    Bass drone 120Hz
    Bass drum 60Hz fundamental.
    All tenors could be tuned in the related scale between 60-120 Hz.

    Hossman

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    • #3
      Re: Bass Tuning.. Which note?? Which Octave?

      Thanks Hoss

      So A# / Bb 1st octave it is.

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      • #4
        Re: Bass Tuning.. Which note?? Which Octave?

        It depends on the pitch of Low A from the pipes.
        When they are at 480Hz and higher you are actually into a very flat Concert B if
        using A-440 reference.
        Just learn to use your ears and use the tuner as an ear training tool rather than a drum tuning tool.
        In the end you'll get much better results.
        Especially when tuning tenors to the different intervals of the scale.
        Listen to the drones then hum that pitch into the tuner then hum that pitch into your drum. Your ears will get better at it over time.

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