To drill or not to drill

J

JohnoWorld

Guest
I have an old keller 10ply maple snare that I built myself a few years ago but I didn't get an air hole drilled in it.

It's a very responsive drum and I get great ghost notes, but when I play aggressively and quickly, the main hits just don't cut through. When you hit a rimshot it's fine, but if you play a big centre hit, there just isn't the attack that you need.

It's like the previous note is still playing as you're trying to create a new one.

So my question is this:

If I drilled a hole in the drum, what would happen to the sound?

Reading Dunnetts website, he says that when aggressive playing, an air-hole is needed, which is why he offers them with and without.

Does that mean that the air-hole gives attack and a shorter decay?

All my other snares have an air hole (apart from my Guru) and they all have lots of attack (apart from the guru) so should I get a hole drilled to give it the attack that I need?

Its a 10ply keller maple 14 x 8

cheers
 

Wave Deckel

Gold Member
Add an airhole. It will increase the attack, give you more clear/precise notes. If you add more airholes, the sound will get drier. The Tama Star snares have three airholes e.g. and they sound fantastic.
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
Add an airhole. It will increase the attack, give you more clear/precise notes. If you add more airholes, the sound will get drier. The Tama Star snares have three airholes e.g. and they sound fantastic.
Interesting, cheers fella, that's exactly what I'm looking for, might just stick with the 1 though as I still want it to be nice and wet
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Yep. Buy the grommet first to verify the hole size. Tape the shell inside and out with masking tape, and drill outside to inside. The tape on the outside will keep the bit from wandering when you start the hole and the tape on the inside will prevent tear out. Use a sharp Forsner bit if you have one. Take your time and let the bit do the work. If possible, put a block of wood on the inside to further prevent tear out.
 

belairien

Silver Member
A quick Google search says the vent is their to relieve pressure. Without it, the drum could choke as you are just compressing the air inside.

I would do it as the vents are standard on most drums.
 

Les Ismore

Platinum Member
An 8" snare drum isn't going to benefit from an air vent IMO.

Compressing air? In theory its not a bad thing, moving air is whats makes the drum work. Top head is moved down by stick strike, which moves the air against the bottom head, drumheads are meant to move, so no real air compression. If the batter head moved down and stayed down against a non moveable bottom head, then the air would be compressed, but that's not how a drum works.

With an 8" shell I want the air to do the work, not escape. 8" depth is a lot of air to move... why would you want to push some of it out a hole? IMO an air vent lets sound out of the shell to be heard, that's the sonic difference.
 

belairien

Silver Member
I was just going with what I found. There may be a little bit of compressed air in the initial impact. But I dont know the physics behind it. I don't know for sure if it would affect the the drum much. But I'm going to go plug a vent and see what happens.

Well nothing came of it. Thank you internet!
 

mesazoo

Member
He is also describing the type of behavior that occurs when striking the center of the head. That is not a spot for optimal sound.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
They have vented heads that you could try that would accomplish the same thing....or vent your own with a hot pin around the perimeter.

As a test.

Or a solution.

I'd say hold off on the drill and try that first.

Or, drill. And if you aren't satisfied, plug it.

I have unvented shells I gig with. When I swap heads, there's small dust bunnies in there. WTF is that all about?
 
J

JohnoWorld

Guest
Thanks a lot guys, will try the vented head first as Larry suggests
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Drums w/o air vents are not air tight, dust (air) gets sucked in at the bearing edge.
Are you saying in essence that the drum won't hold water without leaking?

(Assuming both heads on tuned normally)

That would be a good bearing edge test?
 

Smoke

Silver Member
They have vented heads that you could try that would accomplish the same thing....or vent your own with a hot pin around the perimeter.
Try Evans Genera HD Dry heads

http://daddario.com/EvProductDetail.Page?ActiveID=3567&productid=423&productname=HD_Dry&sid=ccc489d5-3df0-4ef9-8ad2-51489fc24c3a

I tried them on my Y-SC steel snare, while they did seem to kill overtones, they didn't seem to be real sensitive (my drumming doesn't call for a hard hitter). Might be worth a try for less than $20 USD.
 
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