DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM   

Go Back   DRUMMERWORLD OFFICIAL DISCUSSION FORUM > Drum Gear > Drums

Drums All about Drums and Drum Kits

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 07-28-2016, 04:01 PM
single-ply single-ply is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 225
Default My observations on snare reso tuning

Yes, another thread on this. Sorry! I know there is a lot of discussion here and elsewhere on the correct tension for a snare side head. Here is what I've noticed and are simply my observations.

First of all, let me say that I approach the snare side like the batter side. I like the head to have the same pitch at each tension rod. I find this makes getting a consistent pitch on the batter side much easier, especially important for orchestral snares, where evenness of pitch between L & R sticks is very important.

There's a lot of valid opinions out there. Some say the reso side should be a 4th or 5th higher than the batter, others say it should be lower.

What I have found is that some of my drums sound great with a cranked reso and others sound better with a lower pitch. Why the inconsistency? I think it has to do with the depth of the snare beds.

My drums with the deepest beds are my Pearl Philharmonics. They sound muddy and unfocused unless the reso is at least a 5th higher than the batter.
On the other hand, my Ludwig shells and my Craviotto snare all have shallow beds. All of these drums sound their best with the reso head about a third lower than the batter.

I'm not here to proclaim anyone is doing it wrong. Go with what you like, but I just wanted to point out the observations I've noticed on my snares. It's a correlation I've never really thought about until recently.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07-28-2016, 05:21 PM
Destroyer772's Avatar
Destroyer772 Destroyer772 is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Maysville ky
Posts: 1,251
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

I think it is a very interesting observation and one I will be looking at future reso side snare tuning's.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-28-2016, 06:17 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Interesting stuff. I've been all over the map with snare tuning over the years, but generally have fallen into the tighter reso crowd. I have four snare drums with different beds, and I tend to agree that the deeper beds need to be handled a bit differently than wide shallow beds.

I'd be curious to know what type of sound you are aiming for, and what genres you use these drums for. I'm basically a rock/country/pop drummer most of the time, and I always struggle between a snare that has enough body for a meaty backbeat, and one that is tight and crisp enough to be articulate.

Great observations. Thanks for sharing!
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-28-2016, 06:28 PM
GruntersDad's Avatar
GruntersDad GruntersDad is offline
Administrator - Mayor
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Gulf Coast Seminole, Florida
Posts: 22,365
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Snare head tension, bed depth, bed width, width and number of snare wires, type of snare wires, 2 mil, 3 mil, 5 mil heads, tension of lugs either side of the snare wires. All affect the sound as well as the batter head. Then throw in the depth of the drum, snare material, wood, metal, acrylic, and you have yourself quite the testing ground for your own sound. Continue to experiment.
__________________
Johnny. Pictured left to right, Bermuda, Weird Al, Grunt.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-28-2016, 07:38 PM
mandrew mandrew is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,262
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Concert snare are happiest with the reso about a 5th higher than teh batter, assuming that the batter is tuned from about G to a Bb.

Drums will sound best when treated like musical instruments, not like things to "bang" on. A reso head tuned to the same note as the batter, third, fourth or fifth generally sound better because the overtones between the upper and lower pitches are happier, more complementary. I like fourths or fifths the best. If my batter is tuned rather low, I go with a fifth interval. As I tune the batter up, I slide into a fourth.

I also tend to use diplomat weight reso heads for quicker and crisper articulation, and sensitivity. Since the heads are thinner, I also find them easier to tune to pitch for some reason.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-30-2016, 12:33 AM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by single-ply View Post
On the other hand, my Ludwig shells and my Craviotto snare all have shallow beds. All of these drums sound their best with the reso head about a third lower than the batter.
I'm curious about something. I took a few minutes and tinkered with one of my snares before work today, and tuned the reso to a note that is a third below the batter. Here's the thing - the reso head is so much thinner than the batter that it is hard to tell if the note is actually above or below that of the batter. For example, I tuned the batter to Bflat and the reso to G. It still sounds to me that the reso is higher than the batter unless I go down an octave, in which case the reso is looser than I've ever used it. I didn't have time to play with the drum much to test it.

When you are saying you tune the reso a third lower, are you tuning it REALLY loose?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-30-2016, 02:02 AM
mandrew mandrew is offline
Gold Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 1,262
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
I'm curious about something. I took a few minutes and tinkered with one of my snares before work today, and tuned the reso to a note that is a third below the batter. Here's the thing - the reso head is so much thinner than the batter that it is hard to tell if the note is actually above or below that of the batter. For example, I tuned the batter to Bflat and the reso to G. It still sounds to me that the reso is higher than the batter unless I go down an octave, in which case the reso is looser than I've ever used it. I didn't have time to play with the drum much to test it.

When you are saying you tune the reso a third lower, are you tuning it REALLY loose?
This confuses a lot of people. Good question.

When the reso is tuned "lower", you correctly identified the G as being lower than the Bb in the stream of things. Because the reso is thinner, tightening it to the point where it sounds good, and still has enough tension to energize good snare action, the G may have to sound higher than the Bb. This is not a real problem because the overtones produced by the interval are still pleasant and compatible to sound good.

Tightness only comes into play to produce a pitch. The overtone series produced by the varied pitches between the two heads are what gives the good sound that we are looking for.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-30-2016, 02:31 AM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,521
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Post some audio clips of your snare and I'll tell you if it sounds any good. The snare-side head is there to excite the snare wires. A looser head will result in a larger (longer) sound from the wires. A tighter head is harder to excite, so the wires won't vibrate as long, giving you a tighter sound. If the snare's batter head is extremely loose, the snare-side head shouldn't be extremely tight. The opposite is also true.

For best and longest lasting results, a snare-side head with no (or low) collar is a wise choice.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-30-2016, 05:40 AM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by mandrew View Post
This confuses a lot of people. Good question.

When the reso is tuned "lower", you correctly identified the G as being lower than the Bb in the stream of things. Because the reso is thinner, tightening it to the point where it sounds good, and still has enough tension to energize good snare action, the G may have to sound higher than the Bb. This is not a real problem because the overtones produced by the interval are still pleasant and compatible to sound good.

Tightness only comes into play to produce a pitch. The overtone series produced by the varied pitches between the two heads are what gives the good sound that we are looking for.
OK, that is what I was wondering. I often hear people say they tune the reso lower, but I suspected it might actually be the octave above the note they are calling a few steps lower. A reso head actually tuned lower than a medium-tensioned batter is pretty flabby, but maybe that works for some people on certain drums.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
Post some audio clips of your snare and I'll tell you if it sounds any good. The snare-side head is there to excite the snare wires. A looser head will result in a larger (longer) sound from the wires. A tighter head is harder to excite, so the wires won't vibrate as long, giving you a tighter sound. If the snare's batter head is extremely loose, the snare-side head shouldn't be extremely tight. The opposite is also true.

For best and longest lasting results, a snare-side head with no (or low) collar is a wise choice.
Maybe I caused some confusion with my questions. I'm not really asking how to tune a snare drum. I can tune one just fine, and know what I like to hear. I'm just experimenting with different tunings that I hear people describe, and trying to understand their terminology. I also like to see if I can discover something I wouldn't have normally come across on my own because "I already know how to tune a snare," and have 40 years worth of prejudices, lol.

I am mostly just playing around to have fun and avoid ruts.

Thanks, all, for your contributions to the conversation!
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-30-2016, 07:03 PM
single-ply single-ply is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 225
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Thanks for the discussion, guys. Like I said in my original post, these are simply my observations and there is no right or wrong on this.

So you have some context on how I approach it these days, I'll try to describe my process.

When I tune a batter side or a snare side, I put it in on surface like a bed or blanket to dampen the head not being tuned. When tuning the snare side, since the snares are usually attached, I slide a thin metal 18" ruler underneath the snares to keep them off the head.

When tuning the batter head, I like one that has some give when you press it with your finger. It doesn't feel right with the sticks if it feels and sounds like one of those plastic-sounding marching snares, but that's just old-school me. Once I get to feel right, I get all the rods in tune.

I flip it over and tune the bottom with all lugs the same pitch, again with just some slight deflection when pressed with a finger.

I then put the snare on a stand and tighten up the snares. Rarely is it right the first go around. I listen and go through the above process again, mostly fiddling with the snare side tension, until I'm pleased that the drum has the feel, sound and snare response I'm looking for. I don't use a tune bot or drum dial.

All I'm saying is that after I have done this process a few times and have a nice, open yet crisp sound, I have found that on my concert snares, all Pearl philharmonics with severe snare beds, the pitch I end up with on my bottom snare head sounds (on a stand with the snares off) generally a fourth or fifth higher than the batter head. On my Ludwig and Craviotto snares, which all have shallower beds, I have found that my resultant bottom pitch is lower than the batter.

By the way, I typically run Remo diplomat snare side heads and on Ludwigs I use their shallow collar heads.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-30-2016, 07:24 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by single-ply View Post
Thanks for the discussion, guys. Like I said in my original post, these are simply my observations and there is no right or wrong on this.

So you have some context on how I approach it these days, I'll try to describe my process.

When I tune a batter side or a snare side, I put it in on surface like a bed or blanket to dampen the head not being tuned. When tuning the snare side, since the snares are usually attached, I slide a thin metal 18" ruler underneath the snares to keep them off the head.

When tuning the batter head, I like one that has some give when you press it with your finger. It doesn't feel right with the sticks if it feels and sounds like one of those plastic-sounding marching snares, but that's just old-school me. Once I get to feel right, I get all the rods in tune.

I flip it over and tune the bottom with all lugs the same pitch, again with just some slight deflection when pressed with a finger.

I then put the snare on a stand and tighten up the snares. Rarely is it right the first go around. I listen and go through the above process again, mostly fiddling with the snare side tension, until I'm pleased that the drum has the feel, sound and snare response I'm looking for. I don't use a tune bot or drum dial.

All I'm saying is that after I have done this process a few times and have a nice, open yet crisp sound, I have found that on my concert snares, all Pearl philharmonics with severe snare beds, the pitch I end up with on my bottom snare head sounds (on a stand with the snares off) generally a fourth or fifth higher than the batter head. On my Ludwig and Craviotto snares, which all have shallower beds, I have found that my resultant bottom pitch is lower than the batter.

By the way, I typically run Remo diplomat snare side heads and on Ludwigs I use their shallow collar heads.
Thanks. Any chance you could make a short clip of you tapping each head in isolation? For example, put the drum on a stand, place your hand on the batter to muffle it, and tap the reso with the snares off? Then muffle the reso and tap the batter? It would be cool to hear the pitches on the different types of drum you describe.

Great discussion.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-30-2016, 07:36 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,241
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

I'm big on tuning my 3 toms and their resos to definite, complimentary notes. Tom resos I tune to the same note or higher than where the batters are tuned.

In addition, I like to tune all 3 toms to certain intervals so the "chord" resolves, usually a note on my 10" tom, (the note varies according to my wishes that day) then a 4th below that note for my 12" tom, with the floor tom being an octave (or 2?) below the high tom.

In addition, for the finishing touch, with the snares off, I like to make sure my snare note compliments the note of the 12" (middle) tom. This is a fairly recent tuning discovery for me, it really ties the collective notes together to my ear.

With the snare, no matter if I have it tuned up or down, my snare reso is always tight to the point where it the reso is being stretched. I don't go for a definite note per say on the snare reso, but I do listen for a certain tension/note that I like to be at or above. I just cannot get on board with a loosish snare or tom reso.

An observation, if I detune my batter head, the note of the reso head goes down too, without me touching the reso side. So when I listen to the reso for a certain tension, (on the stand, snares off, tapping it from where I'm sitting) I do it when the batter is tuned tight.

Drums are so personal when it comes to tuning and that it is both a blessing and a curse. I think it's the only tune-able instrument where there are no rigid tuning guidelines.

Blessing and curse.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks

Last edited by larryace; 07-30-2016 at 07:48 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-30-2016, 09:04 PM
single-ply single-ply is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 225
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by IDDrummer View Post
Thanks. Any chance you could make a short clip of you tapping each head in isolation? For example, put the drum on a stand, place your hand on the batter to muffle it, and tap the reso with the snares off? Then muffle the reso and tap the batter? It would be cool to hear the pitches on the different types of drum you describe.

Great discussion.
I really haven't spent the time figuring out how to post a video yet. Sorry.

After I've gone through the tuning process with each head, I put it on the stand. That's when I tap both sides, without muffling either one, and can hear the relative pitch differences (keep the snares off for this).

I want to reinforce to all that, like you, I have heard all the different arguments concerning reso tension on snare drums. I am simply pointing out what I have recently realized with my snares. I tune them individually to arrive at the sound I like the best in terms of feel, pitch, and snare crispness. It just that when I've got my snares tuned to my satisfaction, there seems to be a correlation between the snares with a deep snare bed (reso ends up a higher pitch than the batter), and my snares with shallower beds, where the reso pitch tends to be lower than the batter.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-30-2016, 09:33 PM
larryace's Avatar
larryace larryace is offline
"Uncle Larry"
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In beautiful Bucks County, PA
Posts: 21,241
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by single-ply View Post
I really haven't spent the time figuring out how to post a video yet. Sorry.
Make a youtube video and post the link, that's how I do it.
__________________
Levis/Hanes/Timberlands/Custom made socks
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-07-2016, 07:29 AM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

I know this thread kinda died out, but at one point it was suggested I record my snare drum. I didn't have the opportunity right away, but I happened to have been house sitting over the weekend and was able to bring my drums. I recorded three snare drums - a Tama birch 5x14 (I think - might be 5.5x14), a George Way Walnut 6.5X14, and a Yamaha oak 6.5x13. It's a phone vid, so the sound quality isn't great, but I tap the reso and batter heads in isolation so you can get an idea of where I tune. I'm curious to know if others tune drastically differently, or if we're in the same ballpark.

https://youtu.be/Y8lBaa1VrOw

EDIT - one thing I noticed when listening to the YouTube vid is that the phone captured plenty of highs and snare response, but the beefy mids are totally missing. :/ Ah well.

Last edited by IDDrummer; 09-07-2016 at 08:01 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-07-2016, 03:23 PM
Winston_Wolf's Avatar
Winston_Wolf Winston_Wolf is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Fayetteville, NC
Posts: 2,086
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

That's just about where I tune my snare sides too.

I think all three snares sound great, but man that Way walnut snare is beautiful! I love the blue sparkle Ludwigs too...
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-07-2016, 03:56 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston_Wolf View Post
That's just about where I tune my snare sides too.

I think all three snares sound great, but man that Way walnut snare is beautiful! I love the blue sparkle Ludwigs too...
Thank you. Yes, the oak Yamaha has been with me the longest and has been a favorite over the years, but that walnut Way snare has quickly become my go-to for current projects. It's a great drum!

I love my blue Luddies, too. I'm not much of a gear hound, but when I get something I like I keep it.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 09-07-2016, 06:30 PM
drumming sort of person drumming sort of person is offline
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 2,521
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

They sound great. I would say that my snare side head is similarly tensioned. You probably tension your batters a bit tighter than me, but they sound nice. That room looks pretty sweet too!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-07-2016, 11:44 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumming sort of person View Post
They sound great. I would say that my snare side head is similarly tensioned. You probably tension your batters a bit tighter than me, but they sound nice. That room looks pretty sweet too!
Thanks - I've heard your drums and appreciate the comment, because yours sound great, too.

As for the room - I was house sitting a friend's log home, and it was gorgeous! Great room for drums. :)

I'd still like to hear the OPs snares, and see how the reso head tension compares. Any chance of a phone vid, SinglePly?
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-08-2016, 04:43 PM
single-ply single-ply is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 225
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Hey guys. I just saw these new posts.

IDdrummer, your drums sound nice, especially the George Way, but I do have a few comments. To me, it sounded like a very good comparison of three different snares of differing depth, diameter, and wood, and how they sound with the same tuning. I heard basically the same pitch difference between the snare side and the batter side, with the snare side always higher. No issues with that.

However, in my original post, I was just pointing out something I noticed on my snares. I typically tune a drum until I'm happy with it and don't specifically go for certain intervals or a higher pitch on the snare side head.

I had noticed that after going through the process with several snares, from drum set snares to orchestral snares, I found that to my ears, and the sound I liked from each snare, led me to this: The snares with shallow beds sounded best (to me) with pitches that were a bit lower than the batter and vice versa with my snares with very pronounced or deep snare beds. How much of a pitch difference depended on the severity of the bed. If you have seen a bed on a Pearl Philharmonic drum, it's a very pronounced, vintage style bed. These drums seem to want a snare head pitch of a fourth or fifth higher than the batter. My Ludwig Supra and Jazz fest snares have very shallow beds and sound best with the snare sides about a whole step or third lower then the batter. This may not apply to others who may like a batter tension much looser or much tighter than I like it. Again, I don't tune the batter to a specific pitch, but rather until it feels comfortable to play with a stick rebound I like.

I started the thread to see if anyone else had come to the same conclusion. IDdrummer, do the beds vary much on the three drums you played? If not, then the similar tuning that you have works. Of the three, the first one sounded just a bit choked to me. Does that have a shallower bed? If so, you might try a lower tuning and see if it opens up a bit.

But again, everyone's tastes are different. If you like it, you like it. No right or wrong!

Also, I'll look into posting a video, but I've got a lot of things pulling me in different directions, so I can't promise anything.

Cheers.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-08-2016, 06:36 PM
IDDrummer's Avatar
IDDrummer IDDrummer is offline
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Mid-Atlantic
Posts: 5,199
Default Re: My observations on snare reso tuning

Quote:
Originally Posted by single-ply View Post
Hey guys. I just saw these new posts.

IDdrummer, your drums sound nice, especially the George Way, but I do have a few comments. To me, it sounded like a very good comparison of three different snares of differing depth, diameter, and wood, and how they sound with the same tuning. I heard basically the same pitch difference between the snare side and the batter side, with the snare side always higher. No issues with that.

However, in my original post, I was just pointing out something I noticed on my snares. I typically tune a drum until I'm happy with it and don't specifically go for certain intervals or a higher pitch on the snare side head.

I had noticed that after going through the process with several snares, from drum set snares to orchestral snares, I found that to my ears, and the sound I liked from each snare, led me to this: The snares with shallow beds sounded best (to me) with pitches that were a bit lower than the batter and vice versa with my snares with very pronounced or deep snare beds. How much of a pitch difference depended on the severity of the bed. If you have seen a bed on a Pearl Philharmonic drum, it's a very pronounced, vintage style bed. These drums seem to want a snare head pitch of a fourth or fifth higher than the batter. My Ludwig Supra and Jazz fest snares have very shallow beds and sound best with the snare sides about a whole step or third lower then the batter. This may not apply to others who may like a batter tension much looser or much tighter than I like it. Again, I don't tune the batter to a specific pitch, but rather until it feels comfortable to play with a stick rebound I like.

I started the thread to see if anyone else had come to the same conclusion. IDdrummer, do the beds vary much on the three drums you played? If not, then the similar tuning that you have works. Of the three, the first one sounded just a bit choked to me. Does that have a shallower bed? If so, you might try a lower tuning and see if it opens up a bit.

But again, everyone's tastes are different. If you like it, you like it. No right or wrong!

Also, I'll look into posting a video, but I've got a lot of things pulling me in different directions, so I can't promise anything.

Cheers.
Cool, thanks for replying.

To answer your question about snare beds, the Way and the Tama both have fairly wide shallow beds similar to your Supra, which I have also used a lot. The Yamaha has narrow, deep beds. It's interesting to me that the Tama and George Way react very differently from one another, despite having similar beds. The Yamaha tunes up very much like the Way, with the only exception being that it will tolerate looser snare tension without a lot of buzz.

The Tama is an inexpensive drum that came with my Silverstar kit. It has proven to be the most challenging of the three. I have tried it with the reso looser, but wasn't satisfied with the sound in the amplified situations in which I usually play. It was too dry without much body. Despite sounding a bit choked in the vid, the drum speaks very clearly with good body the way it is tuned now, so that's about where I keep it. I may revisit the lower tuning just for giggles, though.

Still love to hear your drums, but I understand time constraints.
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are Off
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off




All times are GMT +2. The time now is 11:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Bernhard Castiglioni's DRUMMERWORLD.com