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  #1  
Old 06-06-2014, 08:52 AM
Poetman Poetman is offline
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Default Larry Bunker Tuning

Could someone chime in and tell me how Larry has his kit tuned here? I love the sound he gets! Tight, crisp, resonant. I know this particular recording is poor, but I figured some communal troubleshooting would help.

Thanks!

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Old 06-06-2014, 09:04 AM
blairndrums blairndrums is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

I found Larry's number online years ago,and called to see if he had any drums/cymbals for sale...(he didn't)...

We talked for quite a while,and he acted like we were old friends...cussing up a storm!

I was a little taken aback!
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:17 PM
Eminent Destiny Eminent Destiny is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

I cuss all the time.lol. It sounds like his snare was tuned a on the warmer side. Not too high. While those toms and bass drum are tuned typically high as most jazz players did then. Most likely higher on the resonant side than the batter. The drums will sound odd to you at first from right behind the kit, but when you play them, everyone will know and hear them clear.
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:18 PM
Purdie Shuffle Purdie Shuffle is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

Sounds like the toms are tuned in fourths on the high side of their tuning range. (Fourths = First two notes of here comes the bride.)

Great player!

John
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Old 06-07-2014, 08:57 AM
Poetman Poetman is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eminent Destiny View Post
I cuss all the time.lol. It sounds like his snare was tuned a on the warmer side. Not too high. While those toms and bass drum are tuned typically high as most jazz players did then. Most likely higher on the resonant side than the batter. The drums will sound odd to you at first from right behind the kit, but when you play them, everyone will know and hear them clear.
Thanks! Good to hear you say that. I actually thought I tuned the kit to a similar range, but it sounded strange--not bad--but strange behind the kit. Certainly Bunker has a different sound than Art or Elvin--even most other Gretsch players. I just wasn't sure what sound I was hearing. So, the toms were tuned higher on the reso. side, lower on the batter side? What about the kick?
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:05 PM
Eminent Destiny Eminent Destiny is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

Yes. The kick is the same thing. And when everyone is playing and the mix is up you hear a nice thump from the kick. Only when he does a quick solo around 2;20, you can kinda hear how high pitched it really is. I always try to get another drummer to play my kit so i can step away and really hear what everyone else is hearing. The sweet spot I try to find is when there's a nice loud boom with a naturally quick decay. And without using the mufflers. you just have to experiment with it.
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Old 06-07-2014, 12:06 PM
Eminent Destiny Eminent Destiny is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

I meant no muffles on toms. You still use the felts on the bass..
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2014, 08:04 PM
Gvdadrummasum Gvdadrummasum is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eminent Destiny View Post
I cuss all the time.lol. It sounds like his snare was tuned a on the warmer side. Not too high. While those toms and bass drum are tuned typically high as most jazz players did then. Most likely higher on the resonant side than the batter. The drums will sound odd to you at first from right behind the kit, but when you play them, everyone will know and hear them clear.
most jazz players I know... including myself who play in small combos and in situations that are not close mic'd tune just the opposite

Steve Maxwell tells you why in this email he sent me when I inquired about his tuning philosophy because his drums always sound absolutely stellar

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hi Anthony,
So sorry it took so long to respond to your email. Here's what we do for tuning: Top head is always tighter than the bottom. This is true for snares, toms and bass drums. Think of the bottom head for resonance and the top for pitch. With the bottom head at maybe 1 turn per rod, take the top head to about 1.5 turns and start there. That's about the right balance between top and bottom. Use the top to adjust the pitch. If you bring the pitch up a fair amount then tweak the bottom up a bit as well to keep about the same balance of the top being a bit tighter than the bottom. I use Remo coated Ambassador heads and use those on the bass drum batter side as well. I usually don't change the stock Gretsch resonant head which is a Remo Ambassador anyhow.

With this tuning philosophy the drums project better. When people tune the bottom tighter than the top, the drums lose resonance and also do not project out to the audience. All they do is project up to the player. So, on stage, the player thinks he's killing it sound-wise but out in the audience no one can hear the drums unless you have each one close mic'd and run through a house mix. So, in an acoustic environment our tuning method gives you the best resonance and projection for the drums and also provides better response off the head.

It's all a matter of personal preference of course, so I never say that our method is the only one. It's just what works for us and since a lot of people like how our drums sound I am glad to share the info.

Hope this is helpful!

Steve

Steve Maxwell
630-865-6849 cell.
http://www.maxwelldrums.com
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  #9  
Old 06-08-2014, 11:45 PM
Eminent Destiny Eminent Destiny is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

I guess someone's always gotta prove you wrong.lol
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2014, 09:53 AM
Rich K. Rich K. is offline
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Default Re: Larry Bunker Tuning

Interesting that Steve Maxwell says to tune the top head higher than the bottom. That's how I always did it, but so many folks said the opposite so I thought I was doing something wrong.

Notice Bunker is playing a Ludwig snare with the Gretsch set.
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