Get answers to the most common Welch Tuning System and WTS drum questions.
What is WTS?
Every WTS drum features the revolutionary Welch Tuning System™ (WTS). A system of pulleys and cable brings both heads into tune with the turn of a single handle, similar to tuning a guitar string. Say goodbye to your drum key and multiple tuning points! Tune instantly and effortlessly, tune mid-performance, and never play an out of tune drum again! Learn more and watch the video.
To tune your WTS drums with the Welch Tuning System, turn the handle of the WTS tuning knob on the side of the drum to lower or raise the pitch of your drum. The drum will retain that pitch until you turn the tuning knob again.
Why would I want both drum heads to be under the same tension?
Tensioning both heads at the same time allows the drum to be tuned as a whole, providing a clean and clear note at any pitch.
As stated in Prof. Sound’s Drum Tuning Bible: "To create an ‘open, resonant’ sound, both heads should be of equal pitch….you'll reach a point where the drum evens out, the Doppler is gone and the drum becomes open and even in sound. This is the point where both heads are or are close to being identical in pitch.”
Alternatively, to create an open and resonant sound, both heads should have the same amount of tension. This allows the batter head, resonate head, and shell to all vibrate at the same frequency, resulting in a true resonance of the drum as a whole.
What if I want to tune the top head differently than the bottom head?
A difference in tonal relationship can be achieved by using a thicker or thinner combination of heads.
Under the same tension (as achieved with the WTS drums featuring the Welch Tuning System (WTS)), a thinner head can give you a higher note than a thicker head. The even tension from WTS will provide a consistent, clear note at any pitch.
When you find the combination of heads that produce your desired sound, your drums will always maintain this relationship of tone.
How easy is it to change drum heads?
Very easy and quick! The whole process is a cross between changing a guitar string and replacing a shoelace.
Release both heads and hoops by simply unwinding the tuning knob and unstringing the cable from the pulleys. After replacing your heads, thread the cable through the pulleys and re-attach the cable to the tuning knob.
NOTE: You do not have to cut the cable every time--you can simply unstring the cable from the winding post of the tuning knob. However, it does take a bit longer to completely unwind the cable. If you need to change heads quickly on stage, cutting the cable and replacing it will save you time! Watch the tutorial video on our 'How to Change Drum Heads' page!