If it ain't broke, don't fix it. That would appear to be the philosophy behind DrumDial. I owned my first DrumDial when I was 16; I am now 31 and DrumDial hasn't changed at all, besides now having a model that has a digital readout. Thinking back to a time when I barely understood drum and cymbal tonality, I found it nearly impossible to tune a drum set. I knew the sound that I wanted to hear, which was also unrealistic at that time, but I was far from achieving a pleasant tone. What DrumDial taught me was what to listen for, as I became familiar with its use. It trained my ear to recognize in tune pitch. I owned a Pearl Export kit back then and played Evans Blue Hydraulics drum heads. With DrumDial I got the toms to sing and instantly I felt very satisfied with the drums I had spent a whole summer saving up for. It was DrumDial that made me feel like I had bought a good set of drums. Now some 15 years later, after having lost my first DrumDial, I have bought another one and I am as happy now as I was back then with this drum tuner. I would like to take a few moments and explain why I believe that DrumDial is the ideal precision drum tuning instrument on the market and why I don't think that will ever change.
There are 3 different kinds of drum tuners out there. First we have the design where you set a desired tension on the drumkey and it will alert you when you have reached the set tension. This is a good basic system but it has its flaws. There are a number of reasons why there may be resistance on a tension rod and all of them but 1 are not related to timpanic tension. Personally, I feel confident that I can register tension with my hands and a normal drum key accurately enough, therefore rendering this option somewhat pointless.
Another, and very popular, drum tuner is the Tune-Bot by Overtone Labs. I had first heard of Tune-Bot about 5 years ago and upon discovery, I will be honest, I found it interesting. Out of curiosity I borrowed a friends Tune-Bot for a time and attempted to use it. So how was my experience with the Tune-Bot you may ask? I didn't like it very much and here is why. It measures, or more accurately, interprets sound. It uses a microphone within the unit to capture samples and it does not actually measure anything physically tangible. In my personal experience with Tune-Bot I found there to be a lot of inconsistency and randomness with the device. Beyond that problem, Tune-Bot isn't useful in a noisy environment either. Overall, I feel that this method of measurement has room for error, unlike DrumDial. Tune- Bot seems to be a case where yes, it is a cool idea and it is a nice looking product but I feel that for the purpose of tuning a drum, you cannot get more accurate than simply measuring physical drum head tension. Tune-Bot is a gadget and will interest tech savvy people and can serve well as a conversational attraction for gear pigs. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just saying that for tuning a drum, DrumDial is better.
The difference is that DrumDial measures timpanic pressure instead of tension rod torque and that is really what counts when tuning a drum. It is also a very self explanatory instrument to use, which is what makes Tune-Bot so annoying. I feel like the drum tuner problem was solved years ago with DrumDial and that Tune-Bot is ultimately unneeded. Why reinvent the wheel when it works just fine and already makes sense? The beauty of DrumDial is in its simplicity. There is a rod that goes through a carefully weighted base and it registers on a dial that acts as scale; the end. With DrumDial it is quick and easy to use and it also gives you feedback on your ability to tune drums without aid. You will notice that if you have to tune drums and you don't have DrumDial with you handy, you will be remarkably good at tuning with your ears if you practice using DrumDial. I firmly believe that it is important to always pursue quality. DrumDial gives me the confidence in knowing that my drums sound as good as they possibly can and that I have the flexibility of many different pitches, intervals and tones. An important feature of the DrumDial that helps with tuning consistency is the Edge Gage. This feature keeps the DrumDial 3/4" from the hoop of the drum. With all of that being said I highly recommend DrumDial to any drummer regardless of their knowledge of tuning and drumming; Aric Improta uses one after all. DrumDial is available at just about every major music store and of course online too. Thank you again faithful readers and as always; stay happy, stay drumming!