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  #1  
Old 10-24-2010, 07:58 PM
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Coldhardsteel Coldhardsteel is offline
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Default Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

My set is very much due for some new heads. And I mean very, very much due. Looking around, I've been trying to make decisions based on what I've heard for myself, what I've played, and reviews and word of mouth from here and other sources.

The main problem, however, are my snare heads.

I tune my snare to an almost unecessarily high level of tuning. That makes me sound like some idiot who doesn't know what he's doing, but it gets me the sound that I want. I currently have a pretty old Renaissance Emperor on my batter and stock reso, and both are pretty tight.

Originally I had planned on getting another Ren. Emperor, but then I changed to coated Ambassador, and now I'm on coated Emperor. Regardless of the batter, they'd be over a clear Ambassador Snare side.

So I wondered, in the end, would tuning these heads the way I do practically homogonize the sound? Does a head retain its character no matter how tightly you tune it?
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Old 10-24-2010, 08:05 PM
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bobdadruma bobdadruma is offline
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Default Re: Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

Tuning tensions are a personal thing.
Tension changes the way that the drum sounds and how it plays.
If my snare is to tight. I have trouble articulating certain things and I don't get the sound that I want.
To loose and the same thing happens. I also get more buzz than I like if the heads are to loose.
I set my snare as tight as I can so that I can play it properly and get the action and sound that I want.
There is no correct answer.
You have to experiment and do what is right for you.

I have found that I like my snare batters in the area of 86 to 88 on the drum dial to give an example of the tension that I use.
I keep my resos in the 76 to 78 range on the dial.
I tune by ear but I use the Dial as a reference.
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Last edited by bobdadruma; 10-24-2010 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 10-25-2010, 04:46 PM
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drthemez drthemez is offline
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Default Re: Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

I would say it has a lot to do with the drum as well. For example, i tune my snare like you described, pretty tight on both sides... I do this because IMO you can get away with it with deeper drums (my snare is 8 x 14). In other words i can tune tight and still get a full sound. If i go to tight on my stock snare it just sounds too weak and has no body. I also tune my bassdrum relatively high for a bass (its 20x22), and use no muffling besides the insert that comes with the emad. If you heard my bass youd prob never guess that i have it tuned as high as i do because it has such a monstrous deeop thud. These are just my opinions, and many im sure many would disagree. Its all about what you like!

How big is your snare anyway?
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Old 10-25-2010, 05:51 PM
EvansSpecialist EvansSpecialist is offline
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Default Re: Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

Cranking heads "to infinity and beyond" will certainly decrease the character of the head, but more importantly, the drum! In the end, the pitch you tune to is subjective but if you listen carefully while tuning, tuning to the fundamental of the drum will allow the true sound of the shell to come through.

Snares can be tricky because you have the added element of the snare wires. Many people have their snare wires cranked (supposedly to increase the snare response- this becomes counter-intuitive at a certain point) and are choking out their drum. To compensate, they crank up the heads until the drum loses most of it's true sound and turns into more of a "pop."

Getting the right tuning for you and your drums takes time and patience. There is a lot of great media out there on tuning to help though. Bob Gatzen has some fantastic videos on YouTube related to tuning. Do a search for him.

Best of luck!
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Old 10-25-2010, 06:26 PM
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Spectron Spectron is offline
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Default Re: Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

I crank my batter down pretty tight
about 90-92 on the drum dial.

There is a point where the drum starts to sound high and ringy
I like to go another 1/4 turn tighter around all the lugs.
The drum tone gets lower and fatter but the action is articulate.

snares as loose as they will go without rattling.
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Old 10-26-2010, 01:09 AM
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Coldhardsteel Coldhardsteel is offline
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Default Re: Does cranking a head eliminate its character?

Quote:
Originally Posted by drthemez View Post
... I do this because IMO you can get away with it with deeper drums (my snare is 8 x 14)...

...How big is your snare anyway?
14"x4", I believe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EvansSpecialist View Post
Cranking heads "to infinity and beyond" will certainly decrease the character of the head, but more importantly, the drum! In the end, the pitch you tune to is subjective but if you listen carefully while tuning, tuning to the fundamental of the drum will allow the true sound of the shell to come through.

Snares can be tricky because you have the added element of the snare wires. Many people have their snare wires cranked (supposedly to increase the snare response- this becomes counter-intuitive at a certain point) and are choking out their drum. To compensate, they crank up the heads until the drum loses most of it's true sound and turns into more of a "pop."

Getting the right tuning for you and your drums takes time and patience. There is a lot of great media out there on tuning to help though. Bob Gatzen has some fantastic videos on YouTube related to tuning. Do a search for him.

Best of luck!
I've watched all of the Gatzen videos, and although they do seem like very good videos, I've always ended up following different advice. I might review the snare video just to check myself.
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