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  #1  
Old 07-24-2010, 11:49 PM
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Default Resonant snare head tuning method

Simple enough question - what's your method for tuning a resonant snare head presuming you're using a snare with lower bearing edges around the snare wires...do you:

A) Tune lugs either side of snares to lower pitch for more snare response? If so, which lugs do you tune first?

B) Tune all lugs to an equal pitch? If so, which lugs do you tune first?

(B.T.W I tune my resonant snare head low because I like the feel and to keep the drum open/not choke it).
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:13 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

I start by tuning the head up evenly, using the usual cross lug technique. I usually tune up to around G# or A, to get a clear tone from the head, and easy snare response. After that I might adjust the lugs near or opposite the snare beds to fine-tune the sound, but I like starting with an even tension just like on any other drum.

I haven't found that low pitch overall or lower tension at the snare beds increases snare response, actually just the opposite. When the head doesn't have enough tension it seems to interfere with the wires instead of helping them vibrate more easily.
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Old 07-25-2010, 12:56 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

I like my snare side head tight, but have my snares just past rattle so they really crack. I just sold a drum to a kid near me and met him in a shopping mall and I really hit it to show him my tuning and the echo was like a gun shot. It really cracked. I use to loosen the lugs by the snare beds but no longer do. I don't mind a little snare buzz and that was the only reason to loosen those lugs. I also crank the batter.
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Old 07-25-2010, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

The natural tendency is to over tighten the tension rods that are beside the snare beds.
I am careful not to over tighten these tension rods.
I equalize the tension rods by going around the rim and loosening and tightening the rods until I find the point where I feel tension. I then tighten in 1/4 turn increments until the head is equal and tight.
I then use my drum dial to set each tension rod to 90 on the dial.
That usually does it. I get an equal and tight head.
I sometimes have to back off a bit on the tension after I tune the batter head.
I never go above 90 on the drum dial.
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

I also tune my snare head fairly tight, much tighter than I do with the snare's batter head. I always bring it up slowly and keep all tension rods tightened so that there are equal pitches at each and every rod, including those at either side of the snare beds. I keep a check on it's tuning the next couple of days because things do stretch a bit, especially being a 3 mil head and the tension that it's under and do slight corrections until things stabalize. I also find that by keeping the tension fairly tight on the bottom head, it will lower the effects of sympathetic buzz associated with my higher rack toms.

Dennis
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Old 07-25-2010, 08:39 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

So for everyone who said they tune for an equal pitch from each lug...which lugs do you start on? Ultimately what I'm asking is: is there a rule of thumb for which lugs you should start with?

When I tune each lug to the same pitch I have found that you can get to an even pitch quicker by tuning the 4 lugs either side of the snares first, whereas if you tune the other 4, (or 6 lugs depending on whether you have 8 or 10 in total), first and the lugs either side of the snares last, the lowest possible even pitch of the head goes way up and takes longer to reach.

It sounds rediclious because in theory it shouldn't happen, but trust me it does! Though I'd imagine it's less noticeable on a 10 lug snare. Mine's a 13 inch 8 lug.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:28 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

It really doesn't matter where you start, but it does matter how you progress. Always tune your tension rods in a star-like pattern. I usually start with the tension rod just to the right of the head's logo, just so I know where I started. From there go directly across the face of the head to the opposite side and adjust that rod. From there go back to the other side where you adjusted the first rod and in a clockwise rotation, skip the next rod and adjust the one next to it. From here go across the head again and adjust the rod directly across from the last. You probably get my drift from here. Never coarsely adjust one tension rod right next to the other because of the possibility of pulling the head unequally to one side of the shell. ALWAYS think EVENLY when making any adjustments. When fine tuning, as in getting the head in tune with itself, it would be fine to go in a sequential order. This is basically for an eight rod per side drum. I tension my ten rod per side drums just a bit differently.

I hope this made sense, it was a very long evening I had and my brains feel like pasta, lol.

Dennis
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

8 Lug Drum
I always start by rolling the 4 rods between my fingers that are away from the beds.
I get them finger tight. I do two opposing lugs at once.

I then finger tighten the 4 lugs that guard the beds.

I will then do the 4 lugs that are not next to the bed with a key first before torquing the bed rods with the key.

I always torque the rods that are next to the beds last.
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Old 07-25-2010, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

I just crank it up real tight, so the snare beds have no wrinkles. I listen for a certain note, and it's pretty high.

Drum Dials...I have no luck with them on snare resos so I do it by ear.

You can only get them so tight before they start pulling out of the hoop or stretching, that's been my experience.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

Thats correct Larry,
Some heads can only be tuned so tight before they start to pull out.
The drum Dial can help you see this.
If you are torquing a head and the needle of the dial stops moving up on the scale it is time to stop.
You have reached the limit of that head on that drum.
Some drums and heads will not make it to 90 on the dial.
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Old 07-25-2010, 09:15 PM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

It depends on how I'm tuning the snare. I'll either tune both heads to medium-low for a huge, wet, fat backbeat, or I'll crank the batter head while tuning the snare-side head up to about medium-high. I don't like the sound of a cranked snare-side head...it sounds a bit too plasticy to me. I really noticed how much the snare-side head tuning matters when doing studio sessions where they double-mic the snare. When you play, you mostly hear the top head.

When I fine-tune now, I listen to the side of the drum, and I can hear the relation between the tone of the top head, the snap of the snare-side head, and the meat of the shell...
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Old 07-25-2010, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

Quote:
Originally Posted by audiotech View Post
It really doesn't matter where you start, but it does matter how you progress. Always tune your tension rods in a star-like pattern. I usually start with the tension rod just to the right of the head's logo, just so I know where I started. From there go directly across the face of the head to the opposite side and adjust that rod. From there go back to the other side where you adjusted the first rod and in a clockwise rotation, skip the next rod and adjust the one next to it. From here go across the head again and adjust the rod directly across from the last. You probably get my drift from here. Never coarsely adjust one tension rod right next to the other because of the possibility of pulling the head unequally to one side of the shell. ALWAYS think EVENLY when making any adjustments. When fine tuning, as in getting the head in tune with itself, it would be fine to go in a sequential order. This is basically for an eight rod per side drum. I tension my ten rod per side drums just a bit differently.

I hope this made sense, it was a very long evening I had and my brains feel like pasta, lol.

Dennis
Pretty good for a pasta brain! ;-)

With snare drums--which don't tolerate it well when the head is going on the least bit unevenly--I always use two keys simultaneously at opposite tension rods. Also, when I tap near tension rods I do what Gatzen does and tap at opposing pairs of rods. One pair, next pair, etc. It's almost always the case that both opposing tension rods are either high or low. (Or just right!)

I have found that some snare drums like the batter higher than the reso, others seem to like the batter lower than the reso. You need to experiment and find out.

But I never go looser or tighter at the tension rods nearest the snare beds unless I feel I have to.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2010, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Resonant snare head tuning method

On another thread around here I found someones simple snare tuning method and tried it.
my version:
You start at finger tight on the reso and go around the drum twice (star pattern)
at half turns = one turn each lug

then to the batter starting finger tight make your way around the drum 3 times (star pattern) at half turns = 1 1/2 turns each lug.

this gets you really close to a great rock snare sound in like 5 minutes...
I fine tune a little on each head and had a great snare sound in under 10 minutes start to finish. I think I added another 1/8 turn (or less) to each lug. BANGO!!! Instant pop/rock snare sound.

Easiest snare tuning I've ever done. Nice crack, nice pop and minimal overtones.

Checked with the drum dial after and Batter is around 89-90 and the reso is around 85.
If you can get your top and bottom heads working together in just the right way, the drum really opens up to a fat, deep tone even at higher tension.

I accidentally came upon this one day when I tightened my batter 1/4 turn and got a flappy
dead sound - then I tightened my reso 1/4 turn and the thing just came alive!!

Even though I tightened both heads I got a deeper, fatter sound!!

I have since not been able to get that sound - it was the magic snare tuning that I should have never messed with:(

On the bright side - this simple tuning method above gets me pretty close to that sound it just doesn't have the same depth to the POP...

I keep my snares pretty loose - I don't like when they are tight and choke the head.
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