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  #1  
Old 04-01-2014, 02:50 AM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Snare tuning for miced gigs

Hi guys,
This is my first post here. I'm sorry if I sound too naive. I have learnt drumming through the internet. Never had a drum teacher (so basically,no feedback on how I play or how my drums sound). I have learnt tuning my drums the same way on the internet from various sources. I had watched Bob Gatzen's videos on tuning and prefer to tune my drums to specific notes [like Bob does :) ].

I recently performed a gig in my college and the snare tone in the mix was quite loud and not that perfect fat sound as can be seen here.

The sound guy told me that my snare was not tuned properly. Though I had tuned it previously (by ear), I rechecked the tuning again and it seemed ok to me (not perfect though). To me, the snare sounded good without the mics but on mics it had a very distinct tone that was loud enough to spoil the snare sound.There was no muffling used. The tone became louder on hitting the snare a little off-center or a rimshot. I am not sure whether the problem was with the mix or the snare tuning/rim. Need some feeback from you guys.

I have some questions for my fellow drummers here.

Has anybody had similar experiences?
How to address this problem in such situations?
How do I make my drums sound "mic friendly"?

PS: I have a mapex 14x5.5 snare. I had tuned my batter to D and resonant to slightly higher than D
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2014, 03:09 AM
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Dr_Watso Dr_Watso is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

If you're putting a mic really close to something, there's no harm in damping it a bit if you don't like an over-ring or tone you're hearing in the mic'd mix. Grab some moongels for your next gig and see if it helps things sound better to your ear.

For what it's worth, I didn't hear anything offensive in that snare tone. As a general statement, though, if you want fat, tune the batter lower. Tuning tighter leads (generally) to the higher and more ringy tones.
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  #3  
Old 04-01-2014, 03:31 AM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

It sounds like maybe the sound man wanted a very generic sound? I don't know, but the recording doesn't sound that bad to me. Like the doctor said, if you want fatter, tune the batter lower and add moon gel or something. If it was my snare, I might tune a bit higher and leave it unmuffled, but it sounds like we probably want different results anyway. My idea of a fat snare sound is like Bonham's on Houses of the Holy. :)

As far as volume, the snare sounded fine in the mix to me.
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  #4  
Old 04-01-2014, 04:25 AM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

The extended video of the full song here is exactly what I'm talking about. That sound comes very clear when I move on to the ride cymbal. I am listening to it on my speakers and it is quite painful to my ears, sad :(

I used to tune my resonant head as tight as I could and the batter to a note of my choice.
The snare sound was very crisp and I used to like it very much. Until one day, a local drummer (having played a lot of gigs) told me that the sound I was getting was more suitable for blast beats(death metal) rather than rock. So I had to change my way of tuning. But ended up with even more undesirable sound.

Any tips for tuning my drums suitable for rock/metal?
What do you guys think of the tuning of my drums in the video above?
I'm sure there must be way to get a better sound out of them?

By the way my drums are 14", 10", 12", 14"
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  #5  
Old 04-01-2014, 04:41 AM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
It sounds like maybe the sound man wanted a very generic sound? I don't know, but the recording doesn't sound that bad to me. Like the doctor said, if you want fatter, tune the batter lower and add moon gel or something. If it was my snare, I might tune a bit higher and leave it unmuffled, but it sounds like we probably want different results anyway. My idea of a fat snare sound is like Bonham's on Houses of the Holy. :)

As far as volume, the snare sounded fine in the mix to me.
yes, the sound guy was used to listening to a generic sound and I want that too. There are always people telling me my snare sounds strange. I am unable to figure out how to get that generic sound.

Bonham's sound on Houses of the Holy....yes that's perfect!!! :)
Can u explain to me how you get that kind of sound....?
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  #6  
Old 04-01-2014, 05:14 AM
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wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Just from a quick listen, it seems like at least part of it may be your technique.
There are times when it sounds like you're hitting it close to the edge and you're getting a higher pitched popping type sound.
And then at other times, it sounds like you're hitting it in the center, and getting a lower, fatter tone.
Almost sounds like two different snares.

If that's what is happening, in addition to tuning a bit lower, you might have to focus on hitting more in the center of the snare.
As mentioned, some type of muffling would help with that, if playing far off center is how you always play.
Could be off on that. It's just an initial impression.
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  #7  
Old 04-01-2014, 05:53 AM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by wildbill View Post
Just from a quick listen, it seems like at least part of it may be your technique.
There are times when it sounds like you're hitting it close to the edge and you're getting a higher pitched popping type sound.
And then at other times, it sounds like you're hitting it in the center, and getting a lower, fatter tone.
Almost sounds like two different snares.

If that's what is happening, in addition to tuning a bit lower, you might have to focus on hitting more in the center of the snare.
As mentioned, some type of muffling would help with that, if playing far off center is how you always play.
Could be off on that. It's just an initial impression.
I dont think I play far off center. I have played on other drummers' snares and I haven't had that kind of sound difference in my hitting. My current tuning methods make my snare sing like a bird even if I may hit within 2" of the center. I agree with you on "sounding like two different snares" but later on after the first song.. that horrible tone goes away, surprisingly :O Mayb the sound guy tweaked the EQ on the snare.

I have another gig ahead next week and I desperately need to get the snare right. I'll try experimenting with loosening up my reso and some dampening.
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  #8  
Old 04-01-2014, 07:03 AM
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Wavelength Wavelength is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Try tuning the reso head a perfect fourth higher than the batter and add some moon gel.
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  #9  
Old 04-01-2014, 10:47 AM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
Try tuning the reso head a perfect fourth higher than the batter and add some moon gel.
Hmmm... will try that

Thanks all for the valuable inputs :)

Cheers!!!
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  #10  
Old 04-01-2014, 11:16 AM
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Bonzo_CR Bonzo_CR is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wavelength View Post
Try tuning the reso head a perfect fourth higher than the batter and add some moon gel.
Good advice. Tuning will help a lot. I wonder if your heads being tuned very close together might be contributing to the ring. a Third or a Fourth between the head pitches can work well.

If you need it, another good way to get a bit of control over unwanted ringing is to use a piece of an old head. Cut a circular ring 2-3cm wide from the old head to fit inside the rim, and lay it on the snare head while you play. It will cut a lot of the ring out. (I sometimes use this on tom heads too, to make them sound 'thicker'). If this cuts out too much of the ring and makes the drum sound dead, you can use a half a circle or even less. I actually have a few strips of different lengths so I can vary the dampening effect.
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  #11  
Old 04-01-2014, 12:02 PM
akash.gpta akash.gpta is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonzo_CR View Post
Good advice. Tuning will help a lot. I wonder if your heads being tuned very close together might be contributing to the ring. a Third or a Fourth between the head pitches can work well.

If you need it, another good way to get a bit of control over unwanted ringing is to use a piece of an old head. Cut a circular ring 2-3cm wide from the old head to fit inside the rim, and lay it on the snare head while you play. It will cut a lot of the ring out. (I sometimes use this on tom heads too, to make them sound 'thicker'). If this cuts out too much of the ring and makes the drum sound dead, you can use a half a circle or even less. I actually have a few strips of different lengths so I can vary the dampening effect.
You are right the heads are tuned quite close to each other. Luckily, I have old heads and will cut them out. I have found moongel dampens much more than required.
Thanks :)
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2014, 02:31 PM
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wildbill wildbill is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Quote:
Originally Posted by akash.gpta View Post
I dont think I play far off center....

Then disregard my post and focus on the good advice given by the others here that pertains to your problem.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2014, 04:33 PM
adamosmianski adamosmianski is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

There's always going to be a balance that needs to be found between you and the sound man. They have a LOT of control over your sound. If you're saying it's a tone (like a ring, or unwanted sustain) that you're hearing, then he should be able to dial a lot of that out with the EQ, though you can certainly do your part with some dampening. Often times just a little bit of tape near the bearing edge is enough.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2014, 06:02 PM
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IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
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Default Re: Snare tuning for miced gigs

Addressing the Bonham sound - you will need to tune the resonant head quite a bit higher pitched than the batter. A perfect fourth was suggested, and I think that is a good place to start. My snare sounds most Bonham-esque with the reso even tighter than that, and the batter head tuned to a nice medium-high pitch where the head still gets lots of head sustain.

I strongly prefer a tight reso head in almost any situation, FWIW.

I wouldn't propose to tell the sound man how to do his job, but mic placement is a huge factor in how a snare drum sounds through the P.A. Many sound guys seem to just stick the mic on there and then adjust from the board, but good mic placement can help emphasize the characteristics of the snare you wish to be brought out.
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