tuning snare drums

dbkman

New member
i have a weird way of tuning my snare. i tune the reso ( bottom ) head first. and then the batter, and i usually have the batter tighter than the reso. and i tune it up till i get a nice slap with a little ring.
 

skitch

New member
DrummerBoarderSinger":1h0koebk said:
how should i tune my snare. i want it to sound like a professional rock snare.
I tune mine with crack in mind and just a little bit of ring. Heads are Coated Ambassador on top and the Remo snare side. I read an article in MD about snare tuning and that snare should have some crack to it. This was sometime after the highly processed era of snare drums in mainstream music when most drummers were trying to figure out how the drum sounded like it did. The answer was that you can pretty much do anything in a studio situation whereas live you need cut and bite so that the snare won't get lost in the mix.
 

botcore69

New member
nice tight batter, medium/tight reso and snare wires medium/tight. overall gives me a nice high end crack with some nice snare for quieter stick articulation, otherwise theres no point havin the wires. cnt understand havin a wet, loose snare drum tho :? altho snares are about as personal as wot underwear youve got on so im not gonna say wots right or wrong. mess about with it see what u can get. peace
 

Airborne Ranger

New member
When I start tuning I tension the batter head until there is a slight "give" when I press the center, so it's a medium tight tuning. I then tune the bottom head a bit higher. I make sure there is even tension all around the heads. I then start with the snares very loose and play the drum with one hand while I tighten the strainer with the other until the snares just become crisp and there aren't any weird buzzes, that gives you a crisp sound without choking the drum. That method gets me in the ballpark, then I fine tune until I get a nice ring, and a nice crisp sound. I then have someone else (my daughter loves to do this) play the drum while I listen out front to see how it sounds from across the room and make adjustments if needed. I play a lot of coffee house gigs so brushes are required, I might loosen the batter head slightly to give me a fuller sound with brushes.
 

RemoteContact

New member
http://home.earthlink.net/~prof.sound/

- The Drum Tuning Bible

Head choice is really really important also. Like ranger, loosening the batter head may help get a fuller brush sound but I think a thinner snare side head would really do the trick. A 200 weight instead of the standard 300 weight perhaps. Drumsmywife, thats generally bad advice. I know DW and other companies suggest optimum tunings through pitches but DrummerBoarderSinger did not even reveal the dimensions of the drum in question.

Amen Skitch.
 

scotttyrcha

New member
Again, I think this is a preference thing. It's what you like. I personally crank the snare side pretty tight to get the snare sensetivity created by the snare wires. The batter head I tune kind of medium to where you still get a nice snare crack as well as good stick bounce without choking the snare.

Just my .2cents
 

drumur

New member
I tune mine with crack in mind and just a little bit of ring. Heads are Coated Ambassador on top and the Remo snare side. I read an article in MD about snare tuning and that snare should have some crack to it. This was sometime after the highly processed era of snare drums in mainstream music when most drummers were trying to figure out how the drum sounded like it did. The answer was that you can pretty much do anything in a studio situation whereas live you need cut and bite so that the snare won't get lost in the mix.
AHa...to those who want to know what triggers are good for...there on application, in which they work wonders. For that big 80's snare or Balled snare...and the sound man can suck.

In the many years I've been playing (none of your business how long...it's really long), I've found that tuning the bottom tight produces the best sound and response. You're right...you probably want to tune the top at least medium for live performance.
 

Hack_and_Slash

New member
I just tighten the crap out of both sides and adjust the snares pretty tightly. It can really make any snare have that nice crack noise to it. It's not gonna substitute for a really nice snare, but it works.
 

dunkerton12

New member
The people have already given good advice-tune the batter to your liking and then the reso a minor third higher.

Also keep in mind that no matter how hard you try, you're not going to get your snare to sound like one on an album you've heard (if that's your goal). There's so much more to recording that drummer's sound that just sticking a mic up to the drum and recording. Just get a sound you like and go with it.

Good luck, tuning can be a pain in the ass!
 

Fleabear

New member
Back to the preference thing on this subject. I personally like my batter head cranked up tight as possible....I like the feel and response. I also like to have the snares mid-tension...not choked....but not sloppy loose either. And as already stated....head selection is key.....and also the drum itself. The other thing to always remember when going for your "sound"....on the whole set...and the snare is this. Your set will sound different out front...than it does from your throne. Always have someone else play your set so you can listen to it out front....or better yet....record it from out front and listen to it. Since someone else will not hit the set the same way as you do....it will sound a little different...but you can still get an idea. Also....if the sound you're going for is something you've heard on a recording......good luck. Having spent time in a bunch of studios and in live situations over the years.....you'd be surprised at the sound of your favorite drummer's set sounds right in front of you...as opposed to the recorded sound on CD.
 

ytsejammer

New member
It's all preference. I usually get a different sound each time I tune, since I'm usually in a different mood. I don't like tuning too tightly because it's too much of a high pitched pop, which I know a lot of drummers like, but I don't. Aside from the actual sound I get, I just tune the top about two and a half turns (I was taught to turn each oppoising lug a "half" or "quarter" of a full 360 turn until I got the sound I wanted). This gets a great sound for me, unfortuantely the lugs do come loose a lot more with this method. I tune the tops and bottoms the same. Basically I just wait for there to be no ringing sound after I hit it.

If you have trouble tuning, buy the DrumDial drum tuner. It is a great way to tune and help you get a feel and ear for tuning your drums, and eventually you'll find you won't need it anymore. It's also great for last minute tuning before a gig.
 

digdrummer5

New member
I generally tune (or at least tweak) my snare every time I play it. I am rabid about my snare sound, and OCD about tuning it. . . I have been playing long enough to know exactly what I want my snare to sound like, and have spent countless hours experimenting with tunings, heads, snares, etc. I think that is really the only way to achieve exactly the sound you want. . . just find a room with depth that won't slap sound right back into your face, then start playing with tunings until it sounds sweet to you. It may be helpful along the way to take notes on what you find and how you got there, especially if you find a sweet tuning that isn't exactly what you want now, but might work later.
I personally like my snare to have a lot of depth with very little ring and a solid rim crack. On my snare (Risen Drums 1/4" acryllic 4x14", 10 lug, Evans EC2 reverse dot coated batter head, evans G2 resonant head, Gibraltar 16 strand snares) that translates to the batter head being tight enough to have very little give when pressed in the center, the resonant head being about 3/4 turn tighter than the batter head, and the snares tight, but loose enough to sound classic when doing a tight double stroke roll, if that makes sense.

One of the best ways to improve as a drummer is to know your kit inside and out, and learn how your kit will respond to different tensions. That and know all of the PAS 44 rudiments inside and out and be able to play them perfectly competition style. You can never go wrong with rudiments. :)
 

Alan_

New member
if playing rock, I like a snare that rings, but not that "soup kettle" ring. more of a bonham sort of sound. bottom head medium-tight, top head medium, snares just tight enough to keep them from rattling off all the time.

if playing music that requires more articulation (funk or death metal), I'll crank up the tension on both heads, maybe even place some sort of tiny mute (like a moongel cut in half).

Heads are a big part of the sound. I like using a coated Emperor on the top and an Ambassador on the bottom for my supraphonic, for the wood drum I'll use a dryer head like a genera tuned kind of loose, and for the aluminum drum I'll usually stick to an ambassador top and bottom. I like coated heads in case I wanna play brushes.
 

keith bushey

New member
I have a "Black Panther" 7x12, and a Pork Pie Squeeler 4x12.....for both of them I use my drum dial ; 90 on top and 80 on the bottom. I like my batter head a hair tighter, it delivers more umph! Snare wire is usually pretty tight. Both drums never need to be mic'd...their that loud.
 

Alan_

New member
never say never. just because something doesn't need to be mic'd doesn't mean it won't sound more balanced if it is, even if the sound guy only puts a little in the mains. this is assuming the whole band's going through the pa.
 

Skipper

New member
dunkerton12":7msjz4c3 said:
There's so much more to recording that drummer's sound that just sticking a mic up to the drum and recording.!
Hey, I'm an engineer, and that's pretty much what I do.

EQ and effects on a snare tend to only take away from the snares natural sound.

The only thing we do is add a little bit of compression, but anything over 2.5:1 ends up sounding like a snare in reverse.
 
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