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Old 01-12-2019, 05:37 AM
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Default Snare Drum Comparisons

I have two Tama aluminum snare drums. The Starphonic Aluminum (PAL146) and the SLP Classic Dry Aluminum (LAL1455). I compared them in an earlier video, but had to switch out snares between takes. With my current set up, I decided to compare them again, but in a side-by-side fashion.

4 mics: kick, overhead, & each snare. No fancy chops, just simple playing to try and reveal the sonics of each drum (same as before).

EQ & minimal compression to mix well with the overhead mic, but no reverb was added nor removed.

Tama Aluminum Snare Drum Comparison

Tama Starphonic Aluminum (PAL146)
Heads: Evans coated G1 over Evans Hazy 300

Tama SLP Classic Dry Aluminum (LAL1455)
Heads: Evans coated G1 over Evans Hazy 300

Snappy (both snares): Tama Super Sensitive Hi-Carbon Snappy Snares MS20RL14C

Snare mics: Shure SM57
Kick: EV N/D868
OH: Shure KSM32 positioned over both snares

Kick was EQ'd & lightly compressed to fit with the OH sonics.
OH was EQ'd with a slow +2dB rise in above 300kHz.

Kick drum: Tama Starclassic bubinga 22x18
Hi hat: Paiste 16" 602 ME
Crash: Paiste 17" Signature Fast Crash
Ride: Paiste 20" Traditional Medium
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:19 AM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

Well, those both sound great!

I'm surprised that the 10-lug drum sounds a little more open and has more spread compared to the 8-lug. I suppose it is called a dry aluminum snare drum after all...

Again, thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-12-2019, 08:42 AM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

The Starphonic is well worth it’s higher price point. Absolutely nothing wrong with the way it sounds.
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:23 AM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

I assume the standard position snare is getting picked up by the bass drum mic? I can certainly hear additional & slightly disconnected bottom end compared to the remote snare. Both sound good though.
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Old 01-12-2019, 02:17 PM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

Both great snares. The Starphonic has a slightly more complex and extra depth of sound that can be desirable or not depending on what you are looking for. However, the SLP is certainly still a great snare.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:29 PM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I assume the standard position snare is getting picked up by the bass drum mic? I can certainly hear additional & slightly disconnected bottom end compared to the remote snare. Both sound good though.
My first thought was, wow, I REALLY prefer the snare with more depth (the Starphonic), but I wonder if you aren't on to something, Andy. I think it warrants another comparison, switching the position of the two snares but keeping everything else exactly the same.
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Old 01-12-2019, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

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Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
My first thought was, wow, I REALLY prefer the snare with more depth (the Starphonic), but I wonder if you aren't on to something, Andy. I think it warrants another comparison, switching the position of the two snares but keeping everything else exactly the same.
Maybe, but if you watch the earlier video he does the switch out method in comparing the two snares and the results are pretty similar.
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Old 01-12-2019, 06:06 PM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

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Originally Posted by BertTheDrummer View Post
Maybe, but if you watch the earlier video he does the switch out method in comparing the two snares and the results are pretty similar.
Interesting - I reviewed, side-by-side while open in two tabs, the two vids using the full mic array and the OH only. You're right - they are closer than I would have expected. I believe I hear a touch more depth from the main snare in the close mic'd vid, but there wasn't a ton of difference, to be sure. I still would like to see a switch in positions of the drums themselves, just to appease my curiosity!
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Old 01-12-2019, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

Thanks for the responses. Y'all are very astute and I love it!

Quote:
I assume the standard position snare is getting picked up by the bass drum mic? I can certainly hear additional & slightly disconnected bottom end compared to the remote snare.
Excellent point, Andy. The kick mic was unmuted (i.e., "on") only when the full kit was played. When the kick is not played, its signal is muted and we are hearing only a snare mic & overhead.

I also muted whichever snare was not being played so that we hear just the snare mic & overhead (and kick if the full kit is being played) for a truer sound of each drum. See attached screen grab. The grayed-out areas in each track are muted. Much better than gating, IMAO (In My Amateur Opinion).

For sure, there is more throat to the voice of the Starphonic (my terminology); more lower frequencies to its primary sonics. It is very obvious when the drum is tuned a touch lower, but for this comparison I wanted them tuned pretty close.

And if you listen carefully, when the drums are played without any muting or wires, the Starphonic has higher pitched harmonics in its decay. But once the snares are on and the Moon Gel applied, its tone seems to drop below the SLP. I was surprised by this, and thought maybe the wires on the SLP were too tight (which causes pitch shift).

In my amateur experience, the SLP has a relatively narrow "sweet spot" for its tunings. The Starphonic has a wider range for its tunings. Here's an example of it tuned for a fat rock sound (and EQ'd & mixed to fit the tune and make it sound good and make me glad I purchased the drum).

Sidebar:
I'm not doing this to show off amazing chops (obviously). My reasons:
  • With all the drums available to us, hopefully this will help guide someone to their personal choice, regardless of brand/model.
  • I'm also hoping that others who are new to the recording process can see what I've done to get the sound they hear; thus the geeky gear list.
  • This is a personal exercise for me. Kinda like homework. Set up the kit, put up some mics, get a good sound. If not, try again.
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Old 01-13-2019, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Snare Drum Comparisons

Only difference I hear is more depth from the Starphonic. But honestly I had to really concentrate to hear it. Not sure the purpose of the video other than to show less expensive drums can sound as good as those in the high dollar category. I will guarantee you, the audience can't tell. Matter of fact they can't tell wood from metal, triple flange from die cast, Evans from Remo, 2Bs from 7As, etc. Heck, I've played places where the audience couldn't tell the difference between the drums and guitars. That however is another story. Bottom line in your ?study: Audience really only hears volume.
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