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There are a variety of tools with can assist you with not only the tuning process, but with adjusting the drum's sound after you've tuned it.

The Drum Dial

This device is a drum tuner's dream. Instead of having to tune by ear, the Drum Dial can measure pressure at each lug and give you a numerical reading on a gauge. All you have to do is tune your lugs to the number on the gauge and the tone comes out even in much less time than it would normally take to tune a drum. Rocco Yeingst of local band Shotgun Diplomacy said he often tunes his drums with this device and it turns drum tuning from a two hour process to a half-hour process.

Drum Dial

Kick Drum Muffling

Kick drum muffling is probably the first thing you'll want to do to your drum set. If you've ever wondered why you can't get the punchy tone of the kick drum on your favorite record, you might want to look inside your kick drum. Is there anything in there? No? Then try putting something inside. Some drummers mount pillows on either the batter or resonant head of their kick drum, or simply tape a pillow down inside the shell so that it muffles PART of the kick drum head. You can also buy a special head by Evans or Aquarian that features a foam muffling ring mounting system on the batter side. Evans' version is called the EMAD head; Aquarian calls theirs the SuperKick II. Both are great solutions, albiet expensive. If you're on a budget, go for the pillow solution. You can also try a blanket.

Kick Drum Muffling


Moongels are another drummer favorite but these have a different purpose. What a moongel is is a sticky blue square you put on a drum. When put on the drum it focuses the tone of the head and eliminates the overtones drummers often try to avoid. Often you'll hear of people who tape paper or tissues down on their heads to control the drum's sound. Moongels are easily adjustable, relatively inexpensive and also cool looking muffling.


Rem-Os and other O-ring types.

If you're not a fan of Moongels, another solution you can use is the O-ring. There are companies, namely Remo, that make sets of plastic rings for your drum heads. They come in varying sizes to fit your heads perfectly. They perform essentially the same function moongels do. They control overtones and focus the drum's sound, though they do deaden the sound more than a moongel would. If you're looking for something that's going to really give you a thicker, fatter tone, this is probably a very good muffling solution.


Muffling... on a budget

Ok, so you can't afford to buy moongels or Rem-os for your drumkit, but are looking for household ways to deaden your drum sound a bit. If you're looking for a light muffling, try electrical tape. What you do is basically lay a strip on the head with a pinch of the strip raised so you can pull it off easily. Another one is the aforementioned duct tape over tissue or paper, which deadens the sound a fair amount. If you're looking for a really dead, dry sound, you can put felt strips under the heads before you tune your drums. The fatter the strip you use, the deader the sound will get, so don't overdo it or your drum will hardly have any tone.