Drum dial or Tunebot?

Stuflyer

Junior Member
Hi All, concerning tuning devices: I am wondering what your experiences with them might be? basically, do you prefer a tunebot, or a Drum Dial / Tama tension watch thingy, and what do you find are the pros and cons of each?

Any info happily appreciated.
 
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lefty2

Platinum Member
I tried a drum dial that my son borrowed from a friend. I didn’t spend a whole Lotta time with it. It didn’t seem to strike me as something I’d like to have. I think the tune bot is completely different in functionality, and may be worth your while. I‘ve seen a lot of people on this forum discuss how much they like the tune bot I’m sure some of them respond and help you out.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I have always relied upon my hand and my ear for tuning. I start with no tension on the head at all; then I tighten the rods with my fingers until I can't turn them further. Using a drum key, I continue to tighten each rod, in diagonal order, until I've achieved the sound I desire. This process grants me a greater sense of intimacy with my drums than a mechanized device would allow. I've never used a dial or any other gadget for tuning, neither live nor in the studio.

I don't oppose the existence of tuning dials. I'd just never want to be dependent upon one.
 

AudioWonderland

Silver Member
+1 for your ears. Don’t wanna be a boomer by its definitely worth trying to get really good at tuning the good old fashioned way before you buy a device to help you, just a thought.
Why do drummers think they are the only musicians on earth exempt from tuning assistance? Symphonies use tuning references. Guitar/bass players user them. Im glad you get what you need but using the tools will make you better.

I use the tune bot. The devices relying on tension depend on too many variables being on the mark
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
Why do drummers think they are the only musicians on earth exempt from tuning assistance? Symphonies use tuning references. Guitar/bass players user them. Im glad you get what you need but using the tools will make you better.

I use the tune bot. The devices relying on tension depend on too many variables being on the mark
I don't feel "exempt" from tuning devices. If I played in a symphony and the conductor demanded that I use one, I'd comply without complaint. But I don't play in a symphony, and tuning by ear has always suited both my live and studio applications. I've also worked with many string players who don't use devices for tuning. My current bassist is a human tuning device. His ear is impeccable.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
Get the Tune-Bot and never look back.

You'll absolutely learn the mechanics of tuning and thanks to constant exposure to well-tuned drums, your ears will become accustomed to what professionally tuned drums are supposed to sound like.
 

jdavis

Member
Using your ears is great and all - everyone should at least practice that skill. But, the tune-bot is a wonderful tool that I wish was around 40 years ago when I was starting out.

In my world, they're a supplement, not a crutch. One useful aspect is quick and repeatable tuning. You can use your ears to find a tuning you like, then document it and you'll always be able to get back to it in a flash.

As far as the tune-bot vs the drum dial? I'd rather tune using pitch rather than tension. If you're on the fence, maybe try one of the iPhone drum tuning apps to see if it works for you. Having the ability to clip the tune-bot to the rim is actually a pretty handy advantage it has over the phone apps, FWIW.

Good luck with whatever you choose! (y)
 

basset52

Senior Member
I've got both. I had the DrumDial before I bought the TuneBot. Since having the Tune Bot I haven't used the DrumDial at all and I won't use it again. I think the TuneBot is a more precise instrument. It has a number of functions, for example , such as being able to accurately measure the difference in frequencies between lugs . With the DrumdDal you need to pick it up or slide it to each lug, which I found to be a bit clumsy. With the TuneBot you clip it to the rim and leave it. I also found that to accurately read the DrumdDal I had to get down to have my eye level at the level of the rim - the TunBot has a screen that , when it is clipped to the rim , faces upwards and is easier to read. I could go on. My strong recommendation is the Tunebot.
 

Captain Bash

Silver Member
Hi, the tune bot is the best device for really getting tom intervals, batter and reso and between drums just right. Being able to conjure the same tuning for a room or recording is a very useful feature.

But let’s get real, most players can get pretty close by ear, but the tune bot adds more certainty. It doesn’t fix everything, partly because it’s a matter of taste as to what intervals are pleasing, furthermore most kits have a maximum of 2 or 3 sweet spots, so tuning outside of these wont deliver optimal sound. The trick is to find the sweet spot for your kit and application and head configuration and stick and then use the tune bot to dial this in. Works every time, no guess work.


I once spent about 3 hrs trying to get a snare back into the correct tuning after some idiot “borrowed“ it overnight for a gig, he switched out the batter head and cranked the reso so tight it bottomed out the lugs. A tune bot would have fixed this in 15mins and saved money.

Good luck.
 

IBitePrettyHard

Senior Member
The Tunebot is more precise.

The DrumDial only measures tension, not the actual pitch...meaning it can be even all the way around but not actually be in tune.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
But let’s get real, most players can get pretty close by ear, but the tune bot adds more certainty. It doesn’t fix everything, partly because it’s a matter of taste as to what intervals are pleasing, furthermore most kits have a maximum of 2 or 3 sweet spots, so tuning outside of these wont deliver optimal sound. The trick is to find the sweet spot for your kit and application and head configuration and stick and then use the tune bot to dial this in. Works every time, no guess work.
Definetly.

Use ears to find desired tone and device to store and recall if needed or to assist with experimentation.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
Why do drummers think they are the only musicians on earth exempt from tuning assistance? Symphonies use tuning references. Guitar/bass players user them. Im glad you get what you need but using the tools will make you better.

I use the tune bot. The devices relying on tension depend on too many variables being on the mark
Those instruments are tuning to and with each other. Drums are tuned to themselves basically, so stirking an A-440 chime before playing is not necessary. If you are at a gig and feel a drum has become untuned, you don't have time to drag out a tuning device. Use your ear. Many heads can be gotten for the price of a tuning device.
 

GetAgrippa

Platinum Member
The drum dial is just for even tension but with iDrum tune app works well enough. I’ve never tried a tune bot but definitely see the advantages -maybe I’ll get one for a gift.
 

dboomer

Senior Member
I have both as well as a Resotune so here’s my 2¢.

I find drum dial effective to quickly get me in the ballpark when swapping out heads. However drum dial is only showing you head tension which is only a single element under consideration when tuning. If you don’t have perfect bearing edges it can’t help you tune around that.

Tunebot is actually measuring the finished product so to speak. So Tunebot will give you a reading as you tune around minor mechanical issues that Drum Dial cannot.

The Achilles heal of Tunebot is that you habe to physically hit the head and you will never be able to do it exactly the same twice. Resotune uses a tone generator to resonate the head and therefore can be consistent for much higher accuracy. Tunebot is more intuitive to learn compared to Resotune but not nearly as accurate once you learn Resotune.

That said, I use any and all of them depending
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
The one situation where a drumdial wins is where you either can’t make any noise, or there is so much extraneous noise that your ears or a tunebot can’t hear the drums.

Both of these have happened to me on shared kits at big events. At one event there were speeches while we changed over. Another had a loud DJ playing through the change. In both cases the kit sounded horrible during the previous band, so I had to retune by feeling the tension on the drum key, and pressing in the centre to check for wrinkles. A drum dial would have been perfect.
 

Jml

Senior Member
I have a drum dial. I use it and I like it. It’s helpful in
getting the tensions even for each lug, and then I can tune accordingly.
 

yammyfan

Senior Member
For what it's worth, I have used a Tune-Bot to tune many drum kits that didn't belong to me and while a few of them sounded "good" to begin with, the Tune-Bot made them all better. Vastly better, in some cases.

I haven't met anybody who can tune better by ear than with a Tune-Bot. It doesn't matter how long they've been at it - the Tune-Bot does a better job every time.
 
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