You are here

Drum Science - Part 2 | Podcast

Optimising drums for recording By Rob Toulson
Published November 2023
Professor Rob Toulson

In Part 2 of this 3-part series, Rob Toulson explains how to optimise the drum sound for recording by experimenting with drum head, damping system, tuning and drum shell combinations.

Show Notes


00:00 - Introduction
01:09 - Drum Heads
01:44 - Mersenne's Laws
04:05 - 1 & 2 Ply Drum Heads
05:45 - Damping Systems
07:10 - Centre Dot Drum Heads
09:27 - Choosing Your Timbre
11:44 - Selecting Your Drum Shells
14:25 - Optimising The Whole Kit
19:41 - Tuning The Kick Drum

Listen to Drum Science - Part 1

Useful Diagrams

04:00 - Different drum head coatings04:00 - Different drum head coatings 12:35 - Drum shell vibration12:35 - Drum shell vibration 17:00 - Tom tuning range17:00 - Tom tuning range

Presenter: Professor Rob Toulson - Biog

Rob is Director of RT60 Ltd, who develop mobile apps for musicians and sound engineers. RT60’s iDrumTune Pro app assists drummers with learning the skills of drum tuning and has been the number one music app in over 100 countries since its launch in 2012. More recently, Rob and RT60 developed Songzap, which simplifies the process of recording and capturing musical ideas, enabling songwriters to focus exclusively on their creativity.

Rob stared his career as a mechanical engineer with a doctorate in digital signal processing, before following his passion and moving into the field of music technology and specialising in percussion acoustics and audio software development. Rob has held a number of academic research roles in his career, including Professor of Creative Industries at University of Westminster and Director of the CoDE Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. Rob’s also a successful musician, music producer and sound designer, having worked with many artists including Talvin Singh, Wilfy Williams and Mediaeval Baebes, who previously topped the UK Classical Music Chart.

Rob is author of a number of music-related books and articles, including Drum Sound and Drum Tuning, published by Routledge in 2021, and co-editor of the Innovation In Music book series, which is also published by Routledge. His sound design work has been included in films by BAFTA Winner Shreepali Patel and has been showcased at Glastonbury Festival, The V&A and The Natural History Museum.

Go to Part 1
Go to Part 3

About the Recording & Mixing podcast channel

On this channel you’ll find shows packed with hints and tips about getting the most out of the recording, mixing and mastering process.

Find more shows at SOS Podcasts

Available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.
Listen on Google Podcasts.
Listen on Spotify Podcast.
Listen on Amazon Music