January 19, 2013

Tune-bot and PDP 20-ply snare drum

By Darin Soll

A couple of new gear acquisitions worth writing about...

One of my Christmas gifts this year was a Tune-bot, by Overtone Labs.  I was skeptical about this product after getting mixed results with a couple iPhone drum tuning apps I have tried.  Tune-bot quickly won me over with its Filter feature, which makes it incredibly easy to screen out overtones and dial in the main frequency at each tuning lug.  Once it picks up the main frequency, you can press the "Filter" button, which causes tune-bot to ignore frequencies beyond a narrow filtered range until you press "Filter" again.

Like many tuning apps, Tune-bot enables you to experiment with different tunings, and then save your favorite settings to recall for future head changes.  Very cool.  I'm finding that tuning my snare drums to 260-280Hz on the batter side, and 400Hz on the snare side sounds best to my ear.

Speaking of snare drums...I recently discovered that PDP released a new 20-ply maple/bubinga snare drum about a year ago.  Both the 5.5"x14" and 6.5"x14" models are very attractively priced.  I chose the 6.5"x14" option when I ordered this beauty a couple weeks back from CymbalFusion for $199!  The inner and outer plies are bubinga, exposing a beautiful grain for the lacquer finish, and the 18 plies of maple between generate a wonderful crack that reminds me of recent tracks by Shinedown and many others.  PDP didn't skimp on hardware with this new drum--it features 2.3mm hoops, DW's mag throw off, and attractive tube lugs, making it a serious contender with Ludwig's "Brick" and Pearl's Reference wood snares.  This drum will not get lost in your band's mix!

Reply and let me know if you picked up any new gear this holiday season!

--Darin