Hosbilt 411

  • 411 is the place to find videos and information direct from Hosbilt™ to assist you with the care, maintenance and tuning of your Hosbilt™ instrument. Watch Craig getting hands on with his bass and tenor drums and find out how to properly assemble and disassemble. Learning how to care for your instrument will ensure it always sounds great.

    Hosbilt Turnbuckle Tensioning System by Craig J. Colquhoun

    Functional tuning is an ongoing process. Every time the drums are to be played, they must be tuned. Conversely when the drums are being stored they must be de-tuned. The unique Hosbilt Turnbuckle Tensioning System makes this very easy to do.

    The turnbuckle tensioning system is meant to be used by hand with no extra tools. All necessary adjustments to the tension rods must be done by hand. Using any type of spanner on the knobs or rods will damage the equipment and void the systems warranty.

    If the drum that you have chosen isn’t capable of reaching the pitch that you want, you will find that a smaller drum will be capable of that pitch without putting undue stress on the turnbuckle system.

    The de-tuning of the drums accomplishes a number of key things. The heads and counter hoops on your drum will not be under tension any time when it could be exposed to cold temperatures. Cold temperatures make the heads shrink and put undue pressure and forces onto the tensioning components of your drum. This will extend the life of the heads and hoops greatly.

    The tuning system on your Hosbilt is totally independent of the shell. If the drum is left under tension at all times the dominant hand head on the bass drum or the top head on the tenor drum, will in time, go down in pitch from playing force. In this design the opposite head will go up in pitch. The resultant overall pitch of the drum will remain close to the same however, since the heads are now chording with each other the fundamental note of the drum will not be at its maximum. If you de-tune the drums after each time you play and are ready to put them away in the case, the drums will have a very consistent tone when you re-tune them before you play the next time.

    The process of tuning both heads to the same pitch is called “putting the drum in tune with itself.” Each tension point on a drum is responsible for the pitch of a certain amount of surface area or zone on the drum’s head. When all of the zones are at the same tension the fundamental pitch becomes maximised and the pitch becomes definable to the listener.There are two means of equalising the zones:

    • One is by ear.
    • The other is by measuring the tension with a Tympanic Measuring Device.

    Any Tympanic Measuring Device (TMD) can readily match these zones. Always ensure that the drum being tuned has the head horizontal. Also ensure that you never try to take a reading in a place that has muffling under the head.

    Place the TMD on the head in front of the tension point where the claw is. Measure each tension point the same distance away from the bearing edge on the head. (The bearing edge is the part of the shell that the head is stretched over.) Always take readings from every tension point before making any adjustments. Pick any reading from one of the zones as a starting point. Make adjustments to each tension point until they all read the same number. This may take going around the drum 2 or 3 times when you first do it. In tuning a Hosbilt you need to only tune one head, the other head will tune itself. Once the zones are all at equal tension the fundamental note of the drum speaks clearly.

    Using a chromatic tuner, check by striking the drum softly with a beater. If an electronic tuner will not pick up the pitch, then chances are there is more than one note being created at the same time. The drum is not in tune with itself. Go back and re-check to ensure the zones are equal. If the tuner does give you a solid reading, compare the reading to your ultimate goal and make the necessary adjustments. Equally decrease the tension on all points to lower the pitch or increase the tension on all points to raise the pitch until the desired note is achieved.