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  #1  
Old 10-05-2008, 05:31 PM
Phat_Rolls Phat_Rolls is offline
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Default Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

I have just a basic snare that came with my ddrum diatribe, yeah I know not the greatest but I have heard cheap snares sound pretty decent. I tried to give mine some oomph by buying all new heads and i bought a PureSound 20 strand snare wire.

I bought a remo hazy reso and an Emperor X reverse dot batter. With this configuration my snares always buzzed really bad, no matter how tight/loose I had the reso. I gave up on the Emperor X because it's so sluggish and I had to tune it extremely tight to get any rebound. I decided to put my stock (Remo) head on and now I'm not getting the nasty buzzing, instead I get a quick "pop", very empty.

How tight do you have your reso side on your snare? I'm thinking about buying a coated Ambassador for my batter, do you think that will help the snare sound more full? I was amazed how different the 2 heads sounded, I went from a nasty buzz to an empty pop just by changing my batter.

Any tips on creating just a good all around rock sound is greatly appreciated!
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2008, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Tune the resonant snare side head to an "A" and then the top to something like a C. That will be a good starting point.

You'd also be surprised at how much you can jack up the resonant head. It stretches very well!
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  #3  
Old 10-05-2008, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

My snare side heads are usually pretty tight and then the snares I tighten just to a bit past touching the head.
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  #4  
Old 10-05-2008, 08:33 PM
Phat_Rolls Phat_Rolls is offline
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Thanks for the tips!
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  #5  
Old 10-05-2008, 08:49 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Any snare can sound good. You just have to keep experimenting with the tuning of the top and bottom heads. The snare strand tension is also important. Don't give up, Keep on working with it, It will happen. When you get it right don't let anyone else touch it! I once chased a fellow drummer around a night club with a stick in my hand because he put a drum key to my snare while he was playing my kit with his band. His band was opening for us. Ever since then I tell people to bring their own snare if they are going to play my kit at a shared gig.
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  #6  
Old 10-05-2008, 10:32 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

I don't know if I will be able to add much, but I suggest that you begin with a benchmark. Start off with an even tuned top and reso tension and use that for benchmarking. Any changes that you don't like, bring it back to the original tension. I always suggest having a benchmark tuning configuration even if its not one you like becuase you can always go back. If you don't have a benchmark, you can easily get lost in any changes you make and it can become frustrating.

Keep it simple. Quarter turns on the lugs can produce large results. Stay focused on the sound and don't be afraid to experiment.
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  #7  
Old 10-05-2008, 11:43 PM
Phat_Rolls Phat_Rolls is offline
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Thanks for all the tips!

I ran to GC and picked up an Ambassador (coated). I tuned both sides evenly and then tuned the batter about a full turn, doing quarter turns at a time as suggested. This thing sounds damn nice now!! As a bonus ,since this is a single ply it has quite a bit more rebound then my old Controlled Sound reverse dot. Has a nice ring to it too!

Again, thanks for all the tips, I'm happy again :)
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  #8  
Old 10-06-2008, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

I'm glad to see that you found what you were looking for. Glad to know we could help. Enjoy the sound.

One thing to keep in mind. A new head needs to stretch. As time goes your new head will loosen and some pinpoint adjustments will be needed. The more you play it the quicker it will stretch. Just keep an eye on it.

Peace
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  #9  
Old 10-06-2008, 01:02 AM
Phat_Rolls Phat_Rolls is offline
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

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Originally Posted by That Guy View Post
I'm glad to see that you found what you were looking for. Glad to know we could help. Enjoy the sound.

One thing to keep in mind. A new head needs to stretch. As time goes your new head will loosen and some pinpoint adjustments will be needed. The more you play it the quicker it will stretch. Just keep an eye on it.

Peace
I will definitely keep that in mind. Thanks!
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  #10  
Old 10-08-2008, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

There are several sites that show you how to tune properly, I have experimented with different types of heads especially on my Black Panther Walnut and they all sound good so I finally just put a basic Remo Ambasador on, tuned it up and forgot about it. I have found that once you have it tuned correctly (regardless of heads) that it will kick in on it's own once your playing with the band. Just like electronic equipment I find that there is a burn in time and once it has reached that point it all sounds fine. So, check out those sights like "The Tuning Bible" and just enjoy playing your music with some pizazz and it all turns out fine. No more experimenting for me, just Ambassador's from now on.

Last edited by Bruce M. Thomson; 10-08-2008 at 07:21 PM.
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  #11  
Old 10-10-2008, 01:21 AM
Phat_Rolls Phat_Rolls is offline
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

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Originally Posted by Bruce M. Thomson View Post
There are several sites that show you how to tune properly, I have experimented with different types of heads especially on my Black Panther Walnut and they all sound good so I finally just put a basic Remo Ambasador on, tuned it up and forgot about it. I have found that once you have it tuned correctly (regardless of heads) that it will kick in on it's own once your playing with the band. Just like electronic equipment I find that there is a burn in time and once it has reached that point it all sounds fine. So, check out those sights like "The Tuning Bible" and just enjoy playing your music with some pizazz and it all turns out fine. No more experimenting for me, just Ambassador's from now on.
I like the Ambassador that I threw on, has incredible rebound and good snap, the only thing I don't like is that it seems much thinner then my Controlled Sound Reverse Dot head did, no matter how I tune. Oh well, still sounds pretty good.

I will definitely check out the tuning bible, thanks!
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  #12  
Old 10-10-2008, 02:16 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

The most important thing is fine tuning.. make sure both heads are equal tension all the way round, small move, very small moves and go from there, if you need to lower or raise the tension of one of the lugs then fine, but you must start from a position of everything being equal.

Some folk lower the snare head lugs either side of the snare but I find that doesn't make for a very nice sound.

I use two snares, a Ludwig Maple and and Ludwig 402, the 402 is pretty tight and the maple a little slacker, however they are very finely tuned and are perfectly equal tensions all the way round.

For toms I like both heads to be the same tension, I get a much better 'round' sound from that. A drum dial is a good way to start, but you should try to do it by ear as much as possible to get used to it.
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  #13  
Old 10-20-2008, 08:37 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phat_Rolls View Post
I have just a basic snare that came with my ddrum diatribe, yeah I know not the greatest but I have heard cheap snares sound pretty decent. I tried to give mine some oomph by buying all new heads and i bought a PureSound 20 strand snare wire.

I bought a remo hazy reso and an Emperor X reverse dot batter. With this configuration my snares always buzzed really bad, no matter how tight/loose I had the reso. I gave up on the Emperor X because it's so sluggish and I had to tune it extremely tight to get any rebound. I decided to put my stock (Remo) head on and now I'm not getting the nasty buzzing, instead I get a quick "pop", very empty.

How tight do you have your reso side on your snare? I'm thinking about buying a coated Ambassador for my batter, do you think that will help the snare sound more full? I was amazed how different the 2 heads sounded, I went from a nasty buzz to an empty pop just by changing my batter.

Any tips on creating just a good all around rock sound is greatly appreciated!
The fact you're using a 20 Strand will be why the Snare is buzzing so badly, the less Strands you have the more Tone you get from the Drum, so if you're looking to get more Body out of your Drum you ought to consider getting a new set of Snares or just cut the one's you have down to say a 14 Strand to begin with. If there's still too much Bite cut off another Two Strands and keep going until you get the right balance (taking into account how you have them Tensioned).

I have a Coated CS and an Ambassador Snare Side on my Snare (and old 80's Premier Deep-Drawn, Steel Shell 14"x4.5") Tuned to C and A (Batter and Reso) this works because C and A are at a natural Harmonic Interval so the Vibrations from the Batter compliment those of the Reso. I also cut my Puresound 14 Strand down to a 10 Strand and as a result I have a Snare that has alot of Tone for its Depth.

Hope this helps,

Kev

p.s. Two VERY useful vids from Bob Gatzen;

- Snare Tuning: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxm3QunDjUs
- How to eliminate Snare Buzz: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WcHAFg...eature=related
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  #14  
Old 10-21-2008, 03:15 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

This is so cool I had to share it with you. I was having the same trouble with snare buzz and it was driving me nuts!!!! So, yesterday I find this thread and watched the Gadzen video about snare buzz, and went home and tried his suggestions. WOW, Holy crap and pass the mustard!!!!!!! I clipped four wires off my 20 strand snare and mad it a 16, re installed it and like magic....my snare drum sounds totally different, more focused and crisp and believe it or not the snare buzz is gone!!!! I know Bob Gadzen said that it is impossible to eliminate it totally but mine is virtually gone and the drum sounds fantastic. Here I was contimplating buying new heads, a new set of wires or even a whole new snare! Now I can spend my mone on more important things ..like beer...
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2008, 08:57 AM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
My snare side heads are usually pretty tight and then the snares I tighten just to a bit past touching the head.
thats what i do too, works really well
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  #16  
Old 11-09-2008, 04:47 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

I usually tune my resonant head a little tighter than the batter head.
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2008, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Okay just a simple question to follow this thread on, how to you tune to a particular note (I've seen A & C mentioned) in particular what do use as a reference?
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  #18  
Old 11-15-2008, 11:33 PM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.Howden View Post
.
p.s. Two VERY useful vids from Bob Gatzen;

- Snare Tuning: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxm3QunDjUs
- How to eliminate Snare Buzz: http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=WcHAFg...eature=related
I agree - check out the Bob Gatzen vids ... his sanre tuning technique is a great place to start and a revelation the 1st time you get it right!!

I also use Puresound snare wires (16 or 20 strand depending on the drum) and you need to make sure that the snares are set properly to eliminate buzz ...

good luck
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  #19  
Old 11-16-2008, 12:49 AM
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Default Re: Can't get snare to sound right... tips?

Invest in a drum dial. 60 bones USD Once you find a great tuning combo, it's repeatable. Drum Dial gets you right in the neighborhood, then you tap the lugs and fine tune it. I like my resos on all toms at 80 batters between 70 - 75. Some guys like equal tensions, but I think it's a great tuning aid,because your head won't be all caddywumpus and shit.
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