Skip to main content

Choosing Toms

Lesson 15 from: Fundamentals of Drum Tuning and Recording

Kris Crummett

buy this class


Sale Ends Soon!

starting under


Unlock this classplus 2200+ more >

Lesson Info

15. Choosing Toms

Next Lesson: Choosing Cymbals

Lesson Info

Choosing Toms

I want to talk about tom's now that we figured out what kick we want to use and which snare drum we want to use for the session, we need to figure out what tom's we want to use. Now. Right now, all I have today are two different sets of tom's that have two different types of heads on him and that's because there's all different types of tom's. I mean, you could have anything from an eight inch tom to an eighteen to twenty different depths. Tom's go for days and a lot of times that's a drummer preference or basically based around whatever you have on hand at my studio. Ah, a lot of times what gets the most used is the twelve interact tom and the sixteen inch floor, tom. But what happens? Mohr instead of changing, tom's is changing. Tom heads and I'd like to talk about how you can have almost identical tom's and get completely different sounds out of them just by changing the heads. So right now I have twelve in a sixteen from my studio with remo pin stripes on him, and then I have a twe...

lve and a sixteen, which are basically, they're both maple that the same would they're from the same brand, but these have remote coded emperor heads on him. So what I'd like to show you is how really similar heads that are tuned pretty similar can have a completely different impact on the sound. So arm these tom tracks, and first, we're going to hear the twelve in the sixteen with the remote pin stripes. It's, the little more acute modern sounding for, uh, head that will demonstrate. So do you just want to give me a little, uh, beat back and forth on the toms, and we can hear how the dynamic sound just on those heads? You had just tom's? Yep. And now that I've shown you how the clear to ply pinstripes sound, I'm going to show you how coded embers sound, which air to ply, but they're a little thinner, and they have a coding, so they get a little more of ah, tone, um, of what you might call a vintage sound, but you can e q and a little harder, which is kind of cool, but they just have a character of their own, so I want to play a similar little tom roll thing for us. Go cool so you can hear that the coded heads have a cool, a cool character to him, kind of a vibe to him, and the pinstripes thin stripes have a little bit more of a kind of ah, full range sound to him a little more highs, a little more lows and that's what makes him cool and there's a lot of heads in between? I just kind of wanted to show you the two different sides of the spectrum with heads like that, you can go a little thinner with the coded heads, but you'd have to tune him up quite a bit higher. Another thing to look out for tom's is I don't like to do tons of deadening on him. You can get really neat sounds with doing a lot of deadening, but I like a little bit of sustained and I can get rid of that in the mix if I need to, um and I'll show you later on. How do you pick mike's based on the the tom sustained as well? Basically on these tom's, we just have a couple moon gels and I'll show you just a little bit of moon gel just like the snare could make a huge difference on the rack. So go ahead and let me arm that track so they can hear it and here's the rack, tom without the tending and it sounds pretty good, but the end of the tom just has a little bit of a nasty ring too, so we'll throw this back on I kind of docked overall more tough and you get a lot of less of that ring. You could add more moon gels to get less ring or tape or anything else you want to. But for me, moon jails control the sustained in the perfect way. Um, and that pretty much concludes tom's. I think for this session, I really want to go with the red and black tom's that have the pinstripes. I'm kind of going for a rock sound, so I think that's what we're going to do, so we'll switch those out and get some simple set up.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Kris Crummett - Syllabus.pdf
Kris Crummett - Pro Tools

Ratings and Reviews

Kevin Howard

Kris is methodical and goes over everything related to drum recording in great detail. He covers heads and even how much moon gel he uses for damping the heads, Mic placement, shell choice( size, wood etc ). Listen to Dance Gavin Dance to hear some of his work. I found this class to be super informative and very practical in it's approach. Thank you Kris !


this is a great class! i play drums personally, and i love percussion! he also teaches well


This is an amazing class! Kris is a very scientific instructor. This really opened my eyes to the drum recording process. Take Notes!!!! There are about a thousand unique facts and techniques that you should know. This will help you to record drums correctly at the source so that you can minimize the amount of digital destruction you will do later and thus get a "Professional" sound.

Student Work