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  #1  
Old 01-07-2014, 03:20 AM
matthewordie matthewordie is offline
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Default Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

I love the snare sound in this video at the 4 minute mark:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKMkvmBq3Pw#t=236

I've tuned my snare similar and it sounds good but the head gets dented pretty easy being that loose. I use an Evans ST Dry. Is there a head that might be a little more durable for something like that?
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:31 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

Well first you'd need several thousand dollars to spend on a very expensive English snare. I hear the darker drums are stained with Earl Gray tea and then sprayed in a clear coat of thinly veiled marketing. Inside joke, the mad scientist that helps make these snares posts here.

As to your question I'd go for a plain ol' coated single ply head. Whichever brand you like. Tuned it just low enough for it to ring and muffle with a bit of tape/moon gel or your wallet and go nuts.

Just be advised this isn't going to carry at all for a live situation.
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Old 01-07-2014, 03:50 AM
matthewordie matthewordie is offline
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

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Originally Posted by Red Menace View Post
Well first you'd need several thousand dollars to spend on a very expensive English snare. I hear the darker drums are stained with Earl Gray tea and then sprayed in a clear coat of thinly veiled marketing. Inside joke, the mad scientist that helps make these snares posts here.

As to your question I'd go for a plain ol' coated single ply head. Whichever brand you like. Tuned it just low enough for it to ring and muffle with a bit of tape/moon gel or your wallet and go nuts.

Just be advised this isn't going to carry at all for a live situation.
Heh, yeah I'd be doing this for just practice as well as in the studio. Single ply won't dent you think?
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:13 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

Any head is going to dent if you hit it hard enough and often enough.

If you're really looking for extreme low tuning, I actually think the exact head is somewhat academic. Whatever you end up with is going to require a fair amount of muffling to trim out all the weird overtones and buzz you're going to get tuning really low.

The ST Dry is a total of 15 mil, so there aren't a lot of heads thicker than that. Remo and Aquarian both offer heads that are two 10-mil plies, and Aquarian also has a 3-ply head that is 21 mil if you want something really thick.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:45 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

I also found this video helpful: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quC9qRAPw-0

The advice on tuning low starts around 8:35 but I found the whole video helpful. A low tuned head will be more susceptible to getting pock marks so don't beat the hell out of it like you would on a high energy track. A low snare is really more of a ballad thing anyway.

Another old school studio trick is to tune the snare nice and low and then lay a leather wallet across the edge away from where you're striking. Sounds great close mic'd.
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Old 01-07-2014, 05:11 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

The Remo Suede heads are what I'd go for if you don't want plain ol Ambos. They are pretty different but Suedes are naturally very dark and low pitched - not a lot of highs there - so good for low tunings. But 10 mil single plys are pretty awesome.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:03 AM
Yoshinya Yoshinya is offline
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

I was told by several local indie rock drummers (your mileage may vary, obviously), that the head that they were all starting to get hip to for that low, almost completely dead sound, but still durable - was the Evans Hydraulic.

It doesn't matter if it's the blue, black, or clear, it apparently works GREAT for all of them. I've always thought Hydraulics sounded gross, period, but they also all think I'm nuts for being in a prog metal band AND tuning my snare high and wide-open.

Still - Give it a try!
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:14 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

We use an Evans coated G1 for that video, with a small piece of moon gel to control the very loose wires. It seems counter intuitive to use a thinner head for low tuning, but it actually delivers more tone than a heavier head. A lot depends on the drum too, & how easily excited the shell is at low frequencies. Reso head was really tight.

As for denting the head. Any head will dent more easily at low tensions, but there were no dents at the end of these sessions, & the guys were playing the drums fairly hard, & for extended periods.
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Old 01-08-2014, 12:36 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

You can extract several steps lower pitch as well as a delicious, wet gate, by laying a cut-out circle of head on your snare. Start with a new 1-ply batter, coated or clear, and cut a circle within a 1/2" of the target snare's diameter (a 14" snare wants a 13 overlay.)

It's a unique sound, one you cannot get with tuning, wallets, rings, etc.

I don't know if that's the sound you want, but it's wet, fat, deep, and ear-catching!

Bermuda
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:11 AM
matthewordie matthewordie is offline
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

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Originally Posted by keep it simple View Post
We use an Evans coated G1 for that video, with a small piece of moon gel to control the very loose wires. It seems counter intuitive to use a thinner head for low tuning, but it actually delivers more tone than a heavier head. A lot depends on the drum too, & how easily excited the shell is at low frequencies. Reso head was really tight.

As for denting the head. Any head will dent more easily at low tensions, but there were no dents at the end of these sessions, & the guys were playing the drums fairly hard, & for extended periods.
Whoa cool thanks for the reply. Did you detune everything evenly or use a method similar to the Benny Greb method where you detune just a few of the tension rods?
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Old 01-08-2014, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

Something I discovered when I finally tried an ambassador coated on my floor tom (had been using 2 ply all my life prior) is that single ply heads will play more of a note at very low tuning.

I would just use an ambassador with muffling... or maybe try a g12 or g14 - they're single ply and 12mil and 14mil respectively.
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Old 01-08-2014, 04:29 AM
matthewordie matthewordie is offline
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

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Originally Posted by Dre25 View Post
Something I discovered when I finally tried an ambassador coated on my floor tom (had been using 2 ply all my life prior) is that single ply heads will play more of a note at very low tuning.

I would just use an ambassador with muffling... or maybe try a g12 or g14 - they're single ply and 12mil and 14mil respectively.
That's interesting, I too have used 2 ply heads because I thought they'd have better control of overtones and durability. I don't beat up my toms half as bad as I do my snare though. I was thinking of trying a Remo Controlled Sound X. Single ply but extra durability in the center where it matters.
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Old 01-08-2014, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

I've been having good luck with Aquarian's Triple Threat head.
It's (to my knowledge) the only 3 ply head on the market.

The thought of a 3 ply head might sound crazy, but it's great.
Doesn't choke the sound at all, and has a wonderful tuning range.
I just used one on a session over the weekend. Stuck it on a 7x14 Brass snare and tuned real low... had a great "vintage" classic rock sound with plenty of balls.
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  #14  
Old 01-10-2014, 07:34 PM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

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Originally Posted by matthewordie View Post
Whoa cool thanks for the reply. Did you detune everything evenly or use a method similar to the Benny Greb method where you detune just a few of the tension rods?
Everything tuned evenly. That way, you get the most tone from the drum. Uneven tuning is used mainly to contain errant high overtones, as it skews the nodal response away from the centre of the head. The drums we use in the video use shell construction based mechanisms to control high overtones, not head control.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:41 AM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

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Originally Posted by matthewordie View Post
That's interesting, I too have used 2 ply heads because I thought they'd have better control of overtones and durability. I don't beat up my toms half as bad as I do my snare though. I was thinking of trying a Remo Controlled Sound X. Single ply but extra durability in the center where it matters.
Probably a good idea. It's more an impression than something I have actually tested. I might prove myself wrong.

I should have shown you this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0m_KCpwtx0

It's not a very resonant snare. I recorded my new aluminium snare at really low tuning yesterday, same head - coated g1 and with a control ring. It gets waaaay more of a low pitched note. Will show you the result if I post something.
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  #16  
Old 01-13-2014, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Head for extreme low tuning of snare?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bermuda View Post
You can extract several steps lower pitch as well as a delicious, wet gate, by laying a cut-out circle of head on your snare. Start with a new 1-ply batter, coated or clear, and cut a circle within a 1/2" of the target snare's diameter (a 14" snare wants a 13 overlay.)

It's a unique sound, one you cannot get with tuning, wallets, rings, etc.

I don't know if that's the sound you want, but it's wet, fat, deep, and ear-catching!

Bermuda
Is there any difference if you just place another head upside down on resonant? Does the locking hoop affect the overall sound?
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