Thomann's Cool Online Guides: Drumheads

4. Built

The acoustic laws – which are the same for whatever sound is being produced on whichever instrument - are:

  • A thin drumhead has a clear tonal definition and straight response. Resonant heads are a good example. Thin drumheads – on the batter side – are often used for jazz music. Durability can be a problem–they also dent easier.

  • The thicker a drumhead becomes, the more low end is being produced. The reason for this is that more mass is being moved.

One ply

Examples are Ambassador, Diplomat and Powerstroke 3

You get them in light medium and heavy. The light ones are mostly used as resonant heads. One ply heads excel with a more open and truer tone compared to two ply heads.

Two ply

Pinstripe as a classic, Emperor and Powerstroke 4 are examples for 2 ply drumheads.

They have a fatter sound and faster decay – meaning their sound is shorter compared to 1 ply heads. Because of the extra layer they last longer, like a built in reserve. 2 ply heads are mostly used for Rock, Pop, R&B etc.. They are unsuitable as resonant heads.

Resonant heads

Resonant heads are always 1 ply. They help shape, as mentioned above, the sound of the drum. The resonant head gets excited by the batter head and responds – tuned accordingly – with a range of harmonic overtones. The overall combination of the instrument's specific overtones are what determines the timbre ("flavor of sound") of that instrument.

Resonant heads are usually very thin. In general they can not be used as batters. They tare or dent.

Coating

Drumheads come as transparent, coated white, coated black, to name but the most common. The colour or coating however is not just visually appealing – it influences the sound also.

Traditionally drumheads are coated white. This originates most likely in an attempt to make them look more like actual skins in the first place.

The coating is imperative when playing with brushes – on the snare. On a smooth surface you don’t get the typical brushes sound. Apart from that the coating ads to the oscillating mass, hence giving more low end. The same is true for black drumheads. The black colour makes it even heavier adding extra bass.

Oil fill

A 2 ply drumhead with a small amount of oil in between. On one hand the oil adds to the oscillating mass hence more low end – on the other hand it eliminates unwanted overtones.

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in online competitions

Note: Participation in an online competition runs independently from any purchase at Thomann GmbH. The following Competition Rules apply when participating in any online competition run by Musikhaus Thomann:

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Drumheads overview

Arturia DrumBrute Impact Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag Origin Effects Revival Footswitch Aston Microphones Swift Cameo Studio PAR DTW Audient iD44 EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card Korg D1 IK Multimedia UNO Synth Presonus Studio 1810
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Arturia DrumBrute Impact

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Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface

Daslight Light Rider Wifi DMX Interface, Tablet-based DMX control, intuitive operating concept allows quick access to all functions and simplifies use, free App "Light Rider" for iOS, Android and Amazon Fire Tablet, perfect for DJs thanks to beat synchronization via...

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Gator iMac 27" Tote Bag

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Origin Effects Revival Footswitch

Origin Effects Revival Footswitch, 2-button footswitch, add more flexibility to the Origin Effects RevivalDRIVE with footswitchable mid-boost and dry blend

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Aston Microphones Swift

Aston Microphones Swift; Universal Mic Mount without Rubber Bands; fits Mics from 40 bis 60 Diameter; two quick release spring clips; made of Aluminium, grade glass-fill nylon polymer and medical grade latex ("ShockStar" suspension); Dimensions: 145 x 60 x 170...

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Cameo Studio PAR DTW

White light LED PAR With variable colour temperature and dim-to-warm function, Professional LED PAR for use on theater and drama stages or for object lighting, Dim-to-warm function ensures a dark orange light colour in the low brightness range by...

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Audient iD44

20-in / 24-out desktop audio interface Fully metallic desktop housing, Control knobs made of solid, hand-milled aluminium, 4 Class A Audient console mic preamps, 60 dB gain, AD / DA converter of the highest class, 2 ADAT inputs and...

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EQ Acoustics Spectrum 2 L5 Tile Black

Acoustic Absorber Material of the absorber's core: 100% polyester with textile cover, Very robust, Non-allergenic and doesn't contain irritants, Odour-free, Good efficiency in the medium and high frequency ranges, Wall and ceiling mounting is possible with the flexi-system (hook...

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Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card

Universal Audio Apollo Thunderbolt 3 Card; Expansion Card for Apollo Rack Interfaces; two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, 5 W bus power for all connected Thunderbolt 3 peripherals; up to 40 Gbit/s; System requirements: macOS Sierra/High Sierra or Windows 10 with Fall...

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Korg D1

Digital Piano 88 Keys weighted RH3 keyboard (Real Weighted Hammer Action 3), 5 Sensitivity curves, Stereo PCM sound generation, 120 Voice polyphony, 30 Sounds, 30 Demo songs, Key-Off simulation, Damper resonance, 3 Effects, Metronome, 2x Line out 6.3 mm...

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IK Multimedia UNO Synth

Monophonic analog synthesizer with step sequencer, arpeggiator and effects section Classic setup with 2 VCOs and noise generator, multimode filters, amps, 2 envelopes and LFO, Waveform VCOs Triangle, sawtooth and variable pulse width rectangle, Multimode filter with 12 dB...

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Presonus Studio 1810

18 x 8 USB 2.0 audio interface 24 bits / 192 kHz, 2 front combo inputs Mic / Line / Inst (XLR / jack), 2 front combo inputs Mic / Line (XLR / jack), 4 XMAX Class A mic...

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