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Old 01-05-2019, 05:49 PM
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Default A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

I have two 15" snare drums: The Tama Star Reserve 8x15 maple/bubinga/olive/cordia/mithril (TMBS158S) and the Tama Aronoff signature 4x15 brass (KA154). I've played them using tunings ranging from tight & choked to JAW for a low, fat sound. However, both drums sound really great when tuned normally.

I'd never compared them side-by-side until last week and when I did, I was surprised at the both the similarities and differences in sonics. The Star model has an unmistakeable woody warmth, the brass has the cut of a metal shell. The size of the Star drum makes it louder than the Aronoff model. Both have a lot of overtones and ringing.

I made a comparison video using 4 mics: kick, overhead, & each snare. No fancy chops, just simple playing to try and reveal the sonics of each drum (and because I'm not a fancy chops drummer).

After I was finished, I decided to make a second edit/video using only the overhead mic. I did this 'cuz a few forum members have been querying about recording their kit and I want to show how important the OH mic is: It provides the primary sonic image of the kit in the room.

Another reason I did this was to hear how the room sounds. I recently moved my photo studio to a 40'x60' metal out-building and was curious how it would sound in recordings. By placing my kit in the center of the room, I avoided slapback and am really pleased with how the kit sounds. It's not professional in terms of acoustics, but it works for me.

Both recordings have EQ & minimal compression, but no reverb was added nor removed. The EQ & compression on the snares is identical, too.

I know these are niche drums, but perhaps these vids will inform others who are considering this size of snare drum.

Comparison with 4 mics.
Comparison with OH mic only.



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Old 01-05-2019, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

That's the best tuning/recording of the Kenny Aronoff Signature 4" X 15" brass snare I've heard to date.
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Old 01-06-2019, 01:00 AM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

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Originally Posted by Vintage Old School View Post
That's the best tuning/recording of the Kenny Aronoff Signature 4" X 15" brass snare I've heard to date.
Thanks. Yea, I’ve managed to get some pretty poor sounds from the drum.

When I bought it, Terry Bissette was in the store (it was a Tama promo event) and showed me how Aronoff tuned it for a low, fat sound. It sounds really great tuned like that, but after a while I wanted to see if it was more than a 1-trick pony, and I began trying different tunings. Some were hits, some were misses.

At the time the only snare I had was a Starclassic brass (below), and I figured if I was gonna have a second snare I should get something that provides a clear departure from the norm.

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Old 01-06-2019, 01:43 AM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

I really feel the mithril in the wood drum really gives it that certain je na sais quoi
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:18 AM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

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I really feel the mithril in the wood drum really gives it that certain je na sais quoi
Well, after all, it is labeled “Reserve”.
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Old 01-06-2019, 02:52 AM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

Thanks for taking the time to do this!

I really love the meaty "thwack!" the Aronoff snare has. There's something about the tone of black nickel over brass shell snares that just sound right to me.

It's interesting that (to my ears at least) the differences between the two snares were much less pronounced in the overhead-only recording than the close-miced one.

And finally, that ride cymbal sounds amazing!
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Old 01-06-2019, 03:42 AM
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Default Re: A Comparison of Tama 15" Snare Drums

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Thanks for taking the time to do this!

I really love the meaty "thwack!" the Aronoff snare has. There's something about the tone of black nickel over brass shell snares that just sound right to me.

It's interesting that (to my ears at least) the differences between the two snares were much less pronounced in the overhead-only recording than the close-miced one.
Thanks! I enjoy doing this stuff. It helps me learn.

The close mics capture all the harmonics much more than the OH mic. However, they don’t capture the snappy sound very well (which is why some engineers mic the snare-side).

The positioning of the mic on the batter side of the snare is a matter of taste. For me, it’s a learning curve.

https://www.sweetwater.com/insync/ho...ic-snare-drum/

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And finally, that ride cymbal sounds amazing!
Anything that helps me sound better, is what I tell Wifey.
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