Need Suggestions on Snare Tuning

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crfonck
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Post Fri Sep 21, 2007 9:42 am

Seems I always tune my snare drum the same, and I no longer like how that sounds. I currently have a new Sonor Force 3005 maple snare that sounds a little flat to me. I had the stock Remo head, but changed to an Evans Genera Dry with not much difference.

I seem to tune the top and bottom heads to about the same tension, the top maybe a little tighter. I'm playing some classic rock lately and the drum just doesn't seem to fit the music well. Any other tension or snare combinations that you guys are using to get a different sound?

Thanks
markmywords
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Post Fri Sep 21, 2007 1:35 pm

what size drum is it? and what's the exact sound you're looking for? that huge open snare or like a tight very muted snare, How classic of rock sound basically?
crfonck
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Post Fri Sep 21, 2007 2:16 pm

The snare is a standard 5.5 x14" maple Sonor. I guess it has kind of a tight, muted sound. I'm looking to get more of an open, big sound. I always seem to tune the heads the same on a snare drum...just looking for alternate tuning and/or drum head suggestions.
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wanglegacy
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Post Sun Sep 23, 2007 12:57 am

i like the tight muted sound,
but thats true if you are looking to play that style you would want it more open..
i always just put moongel pads on my stuff,
thats makes tuning easier.
but i dont know if it'll help you in your case
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SINISTER
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Post Sun Sep 23, 2007 11:52 am

reso medium.........batter tight as hell.......sound ring or moon gel on top.....will give you a great solid crack
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markmywords
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Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 1:34 pm

If you want the big open sound you're going to have to take off all the moon gels and dampners and tune up the bottom head to about the f# to g range. Then have a relatively thin batter side like a genera dry or Ambassador preferably coated. If this doesn't give you a bigger sound you need a bigger drum. Me I love huge snare drums, I have a 15x8 That I just used on a record, sounds massive. And I'm acquiring an old ludwig 15x10 pretty soon. but you have to move up at least to a 14x6.5 to 7 to get a much bigger sound from a snare. Metal snares sound pretty huge sometimes but i like wood snares myself. tune up the heads a little and you'll notice they enter zones as you're moving up. Start with them the same, then tune up the bottom and see how it sounds it'll probably take a while to get it but there will be a point where it really explodes and that's as big as you'll get it. and remember no dampeners if you want it big, just gotta deal with the extra harmonics that come out, part of what makes it sound big.
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Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 8:13 pm

Rule of thumb...Tight bottom head, then tune the top to the desired pitch or sound. Also try a remo CS coated or Emporer X for a fat sound. Get rid of the dry head. Open the drum up.
When you turn the strainer screw while hitting, there will be a point at which it is dry and choked the it will open up if you turn it a little more. That's the sweet spot.
Bottom head tight is best.
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mattcore
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Post Mon Sep 24, 2007 10:48 pm

Yea, reso head tight and batter head medium or whatever you find sounds the best. Loosen the snares all the way and tighten them as you tap on the drum and youll find the sweet spot.
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crfonck
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Post Tue Sep 25, 2007 7:37 am

Appreciate all of the advice. I'll try your suggestions and see how it sounds. Felt like I was in a tuning rut and needed some other advise. Thanks!
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dannydrumperc
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Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:08 am

Have you check the bearing edges on your drum? Maybe that's the problem. Check it's snarebeds too. Also, unproperly sitted drumheads sound dull.

About your drumhead selection, the Genera Dry is a muffled head, so don't expect much openness from it - at least from the audience. My suggestion would be any plain single ply drumhead (Ambassador, G1, etc.) and add muffling as needed.

I have a similar drum (Mapex Pro M 5.5x14) and I have a coated Remo Controlled Sound (very popular among rockers) on it. Quite open sound when not played on the center but phat and dry when hitted in it. I tune it tight but below "choking point" (that table-top sound, you know?) to still get some tone out of it. The snareside head (Ambassador snare) is medium tight for a crisp snare sound but still some depth. The snares are tenssioned just below choking, too. It has a very standard and "all around" snare drum sound. Works for almost anything.
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Post Fri Sep 28, 2007 10:34 am

crfonck wrote:The snare is a standard 5.5 x14" maple Sonor. I guess it has kind of a tight, muted sound. I'm looking to get more of an open, big sound. I always seem to tune the heads the same on a snare drum...just looking for alternate tuning and/or drum head suggestions.


Big and open? You need to get rid of the Genera Dry and go to a single or two ply head with no ring or muffling devices. In a Remo this would be the Ambassador (1 ply) or Emperor (2 ply). In the Evans, this would be a G1 (1 ply) or G2 (2 ply). Also, the calssic rock sound had gobs of processing from the mastering process.
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dannydrumperc
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Post Fri Sep 28, 2007 11:01 am

Emperors and G2s are 2-ply heads. They are not as ringy as 1-ply heads but still could be tuned for an open sound. Remo's ControlledSound or Evan's PowerDot heads are 1-ply heads with a reinforcement dot/patch on the center. These kind of heads retain most of the Ambassador/G1 character and openness, but the center dot help to beef-up the sound.
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Post Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:14 pm

tune the bottom head higher than the top. i think it gives it more of a cutting sound but that all depends on how you play, like if you use more rim or more head when you hit the snare
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scottie gee
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Post Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:27 pm

i always use a remo coated ambassador on the top, and drumer was dead on, tight bottom head! then you can adjust the top head for a looser sort sound by tuning down, and a tighter sound by crankin up the top head. no muffling of any sort (i don't muffle any of my drums in any way, unless recording and maybe a t-shirt in the kick drum... but only if they make me...) and I like to adjust the snares so that the very lightest touch of the drum makes the snares rattle...

also, be sure that when you're tuning that the whole head is in tune with itself... i tap around lightly right in front of each lug and make sure they're all the same pitch... after getting them in the general neighborhood...

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Post Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:56 pm

Normally you're supposed to tune the resonant head lower than the batter head. I was never very good at tuning a snare, i know how to, but i never really found that sound i liked.

I don't know if this will help you, but i pretty much use a drum dial because I'm sick of spending a crap load of time tuning my drums. If you don't have one, get one, its a big help for only $50. I found that tuning the resonant head to 82 and the batter head to 90 gives the sexiest sound I've ever heard on a snare and I'm sure you would too, so I'd suggest that you at least borrow a drum dial from a buddy and try that tension setting.