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  #1  
Old 05-17-2013, 09:35 PM
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otb otb is offline
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Default Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Hello!
I would like to post my thoughts about snare drum tuning. I've played lots of rock and fusion for a long time time back in the day and I've always tuned my snare drums very high in order to obtain some cut and very aggressive rimshots. I wasn't into experimenting with snare drum tuning outside of a certain range I felt comfortable with.

About 2 years ago I started getting into more groovy stuff, and during some studio sessions lately I've found that low tuning with some more muffling works wonders for some snare drums. I've experimented with some ideas that were previously unfamiliar to me, like extreme muffling (like taping 2 wallets to the snare drum), putting 8 sheets of paper on the snare drum, tuning it so low that the rods were only finger-tight etc.
The main problem was how to achieve a good, fat sound and get rid of boxy over- and undertones, while still maintaining a powerful rimshot sound with lots of body. While some ideas didn't give good results, some were outstanding (the paper worked wonders, for instance) and will be included on the upcoming album I recorded with my band, The Cookies.

Check out this fresh video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjLBI55_c_k
I'm using a Black Panther Blaster 13"x7" snare drum with a worn out Remo Fiberskyn and 2 pieces of moongel. The head was tuned very low (a bit above finger tight) and the snare drum sounds really great in my opinion - the sound engineer was also impressed by how it recorded.

Do you have some experiences like this? Maybe some other ideas for achieving interesting snare sounds?

Best regards guys and girls! :)
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

I like low tuned snare drums too, but the lower you get, the more you lose clarity with the ghost notes, and it gets uncomfortable to play... So I tend to tune my snare medium I guess, reso at A and batter slightly lower.

This video is a favourite, very nice drum sound and the playing is phenomenal. Oh, and compare the pitch of the snare at the start and the end of the solo. ;)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQnxGppzGtM
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

In the first video the snare drum was good. In the 2nd video Abe's snare was well tuned but had way too much over ring in it for my liking. Just an observation is all.
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Old 05-17-2013, 11:47 PM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

I do love me some low tuning but it is true that you lose clarity of lighter played notes. The back beats sound very cool and are great for singer songwriter type gigs.

I want to experiment with 2 snares, one low, one medium, when the right situation presents itself.

Jim
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:45 AM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Great video! Snare reminds me of the 80's sans verb :)

Deep? This is deep, & also fantastic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrN5QtHOsEQ
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Old 05-18-2013, 12:46 AM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Nice sound, nice band. I have to say I guess my snare is tune on the low side compared to most. I was never a fan of overly poppy or over-tensioned snare 'sounds but they fit in some music.
The most curious thing fo yoru video is you have cymbals angled *away* from you? Any reason for that? Its counter to most setups I've seen.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:14 AM
tracer tracer is offline
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

You are right. Sounds very good. I just recently noticed how low Gavin Harrison tuned his snare in one of the videos featured here on DW, and Steve Gadd videos frequently feature him playing a snare tuned low. You are on to something, and I liked the song as well! Very creative.
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Old 05-18-2013, 05:51 AM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Great video! Snare reminds me of the 80's sans verb :)

Deep? This is deep, & also fantastic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrN5QtHOsEQ
I subscribed to Ash's youtube page, just because of how great a drummer he is. He isn't super flashy, but man, his pocket is about a mile wide. I'm not a huge fan of the low-pitched snare sound he uses, but it sounds VERY fat.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:56 AM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by otb View Post
I'm using a Black Panther Blaster 13"x7" snare drum with a worn out Remo Fiberskyn and 2 pieces of moongel. The head was tuned very low (a bit above finger tight) and the snare drum sounds really great in my opinion - the sound engineer was also impressed by how it recorded.
That's certainly a very different sound from the Blaster than I usually hear. But it sounds good.
I guess it proves there are no rules, you just have to experiment and see what works for the music.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sjogras View Post
Oh, and compare the pitch of the snare at the start and the end of the solo. ;)
Hmmm, does he have to tune it up for every song? Doesn't seem very practical to me...
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:49 PM
tamadrm tamadrm is offline
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

I'm a fan of all different tunings,depending on the drum and which heads are on it,but the uber high lug popping tweaked all the way up tunings do nothing for me,and just destroy good drums.

Those low tunings felt just right for the music,and didn't get lost in the mix.

I don't understand the senseless angled toward you cymbal set ups.There is no sonic reason for it,and it WILL accelerate wear and cracking.....and it really dosen't look cool either.I just don't get it.

Steve B
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Old 05-19-2013, 06:52 AM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

I have gotten into lower tuned snares. In particular, lower tuned reso heads. Creates a sort of "give" to the sound that makes it easier to get more different tonalities from it. The really tight snares feel like one trick ponies to me now. I had thought that I needed a really deep shell to get a "fat" sound. Then discovered I could get it with a regular 5" Acrolite by detuning a bit and a small amount of damping on top. The snares I've detuned may not be as loud as they could be but I still have some loud ones, and a bunch of microphones if I were to need more.
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

First of all, thanks for everyone who watched and liked the video!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
In particular, lower tuned reso heads. Creates a sort of "give" to the sound that makes it easier to get more different tonalities from it.
Absolutely! I've started experimenting with tuning the reso a bit lower recently and I'm also achieving some very interesting results sometimes.

Quote:
That's certainly a very different sound from the Blaster than I usually hear. But it sounds good.
I guess it proves there are no rules, you just have to experiment and see what works for the music.
Thanks man :)

Quote:
Deep? This is deep, & also fantastic! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrN5QtHOsEQp
Sounds incredible, thanks for sharing that link.

Quote:
The most curious thing fo yoru video is you have cymbals angled *away* from you? Any reason for that? Its counter to most setups I've seen.
I've seen many drummers lately who use unconventional cymbal angles like that, including Chris Coleman and Chris Daddy Dave. A great Polish drummer named Robert Luty has been tilting his cymbals like that for some time now as well. I'm experimenting with this setup right now and there are two things that I like about tilting my cymbals like that:
1) it gives me immediate attack on the crashes, therefore I can hit the crashes very soft and still get a very full sound
2) it makes the kit feel very "different" and kinda makes me approach some things I play in a different way than I would normally do. When I play some jazz or fusion stuff I set up my cymbals in a traditional way, but when I'm playing some modern groovy stuff, I like to experiment a bit :)

Oh, and the Abe Laboriel video - I love his setup, it just looks so "wrong" with the bass drum on the left. And the pitch shift between the start and the end was ridiculous!
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2013, 02:04 PM
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inneedofgrace inneedofgrace is offline
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Default Re: Low tuned snare drums sound awesome (video included)

Quote:
Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
Great video! Snare reminds me of the 80's sans verb :)
You beat me to the punch - was going to say the same thing!
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