Anyone else go for lower tension on their snare side head??

fobz

Active Member
How tight would you say? I'm starting to think maybe my definition of cranked might have been excessive.

I just backed it off until the drum opened up. And i got none of the issues you would associate with a truly loose bottom head. It's still plenty tight and focused, just minus all the downside associated with a (possibly excessively) tight snare side head.
Agreed: it can be too tight (when ghost notes barely get any snare resonance - that can be a useful way to measure it...)
 

Tom C.

Junior Member
Agreed: it can be too tight (when ghost notes barely get any snare resonance - that can be a useful way to measure it...)
This is one of the places where it can be really hard to tune by ear. At least in my opinion. The snare side head has so many different factors, and the snare bed changes the way it should be approached too. With toms you know you want to have all the lugs to the same pitch on each head. Not the same with snare side...

This is why I like using a drum dial on the snare side. Because it seems that the tympanic pressure is more important than pitch. Anyone else?

And this is a great way to measure how tight do we mean when we say 'cranked'... Because it can definitely go to far.

What are others getting for tension measurements with a drum dial on their snare side heads? And do you change these tunings depending on the situation? ex. the type of music, type of drum, the room? ect.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I tune my snare side by the note it makes when I tap it. I memorized that note. I can't do looser snare sides, it makes me want to hurl
 

jda

Gold Member
Relax
-ing the bottom head I don't think ever has the bottom head "pitch" lower than the top.
It's still higher. It's just the interval top and bottom is closer. Sometimes on certain drums you need that to open the drum tone...err full up.
 

ToneT

Silver Member
I'm wondering if some of our Gospel Choppers tune the bottom head to the same pitch as their (usually) very tight batters, or lower like Steve Maxwell does?
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
Agreed: it can be too tight (when ghost notes barely get any snare resonance - that can be a useful way to measure it...)
This is basically my final check:

If I can do a soft buzz roll at the edge of the drum and the wires still activate, the head tension is good. If the wires do nothing, the head tension is too tight.

If the wires wont shut up and are tight, you have a head issue. If the wires wont shut up and the head is tight, you have a wire issue.
 

fobz

Active Member
This is basically my final check:

If I can do a soft buzz roll at the edge of the drum and the wires still activate, the head tension is good. If the wires do nothing, the head tension is too tight.

If the wires wont shut up and are tight, you have a head issue. If the wires wont shut up and the head is tight, you have a wire issue.
100%

Great way to check responsiveness
 

Tony_H

Active Member
I tried messing around with my DW 6.5x14 Maple snare for our shows this weekend. I usually keep my reso around 400hz, so I figured I would tune down a bit and I had the best snare sound I've ever had out of that snare.
Tune-Bot readings:
Batter (Remo Coated Ambassdor): 256hz
Reso (Remo Snare side Hazy): 312hz

No muffling or or dampening and it was absolutely perfect.
 

Ronzo

Junior Member
So I finally had some time to lower my snare tuning.

Former:
Batter 298hz
Reso 399hz
G#3

Current:
Batter 217hz
Reso 326hz
D#3

Have to say I do like the sound. Gonna play it like this for a bit and may try and find a happy medium. First things I notice were ghost notes are more ghostly and sympathetic buzz is less.
I just may be a reformed cranker….
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JoeVermont

Active Member
After mindlessly subscribing to the "crank your snare side head" principle since I first learned to tune drums and never being quite happy with my tone I've recently backed it off about half a turn and ALL of my tone and feel issues have gone away.

It's fat, warm and open even when cranked, there's no zingy overtones, my snare wires are more responsive. The feel of the drum has improved, it's gone from feeling choked and stiff to a nice consistent rebound. It's so much easier to play.... literally everything has improved.

Anyone else tune their snare side head relatively low for the feel and tone? Any other recent converts from the cranked snare side side of the debate?
OMG - this topic has been on my mind for a while and was considering posting. I have a Yamaha birch snare (5.5 x 14) that sounds really good 'N' swampy with the snare head a little lower than the batter (Tunebot 272 / 251).

I recently rehearsed in another band's space and used their kit - love the snare sound so I Tune-botted the guy's drum. It's a Pearl steel 6.5x14 and was 290 / 109. I tried it on my Yamaha steel snare. Meh.... I think the magic was the room we were in and the actual drum.

I recently bought an Acrolite (pointed B/O badge - 'cause I know people will wonder). The guy who sold it to me "Just threw new heads on it" and it sounded amazing. I Tunebotted that drum and have used it that way ever since .... snare side is higher than the reso but not really cranked - 286 / 336.

So yes, occasionally my bandmates will hear me say "Mind if I tune-bot your drum?"
 

AdamI

Active Member
I tried messing around with my DW 6.5x14 Maple snare for our shows this weekend. I usually keep my reso around 400hz, so I figured I would tune down a bit and I had the best snare sound I've ever had out of that snare.
Tune-Bot readings:
Batter (Remo Coated Ambassdor): 256hz
Reso (Remo Snare side Hazy): 312hz

No muffling or or dampening and it was absolutely perfect.

So I finally had some time to lower my snare tuning.

Former:
Batter 298hz
Reso 399hz
G#3

Current:
Batter 217hz
Reso 326hz
D#3

Have to say I do like the sound. Gonna play it like this for a bit and may try and find a happy medium. First things I notice were ghost notes are more ghostly and sympathetic buzz is less.
I just may be a reformed cranker….
I find keeping the snare side low and cranking the top head still works if you want to tune higher.

Like your old batter setting with will work with the new snare side setting if you want the added fatness and sensitivity but still want a lot of crack.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
It all depends on the depth of your snare and the margin you have between your two heads. If you have a 5", and you want to have it at a high pitch, let's say, A3 or A#3, or even B3, it all comes down to the interval you have left. Over 400 hertz for your bottom head and it will choke the drums so, 392 to 398 is a good range but if you want to get your usual 5th with your batter head, on a 5" deep, the batter will be too loose, then you just dial a 4th or a 3rd between the two heads, I'm always on the side of thing with the bottom head higher than e batter head.
But recently, I was feeling that my snare was too tight, I was a bit afraid to tighten it down (Ell to loose it down in fact) but it was tough to have a good reading with the tune bot and it's usually the same when the bottom head is too tight.

So, I asked my store and I was right (Yes, when I'm not sure of something I ask here and visit my drum guy at my store, I know, shame on me!!!!), we had to losen down the bottom head because it was at 409, even 413... Due to humidity that had expanded my Star Reserve Maple plain snare 14X5 and thus, without doing anything, it had tighten the bottom head to a point that it was like a marble table top feeling. I loosened also a bit the batter head too and went back to A#3 for the snare tuning and it was way better.
But on the 13", Benny Breg 13X5.75, I had to tighten it more on the bottom head, due to the smaller diameter to get the same result. I have a 3rd on the Tama 5", a 4th on the Benny Greb and a 5th on the Star Reserve Sendan, between heads, because the Sendan is 6.5, then, more room to play with the heads without having the bottom too tight, over 400 hertz.
Last thing I always have to do is to make sure none of my snare is at the same tuning of the Toms, even by an octave or I have more sympathetic buzz, so, Toms are C2, G2, B2, E3 (16, 13, 12, 10) and thus snares are either F#3, G#3, A3, A#3 and my 15"X8 snare is C3 so, best tuning I found.
But again, do not tighten it too much, half of a turn or even a quarter turn could go a long way, you can always go lower in the bottom head if you keep the interval you chose (a fifth, a forth or a third) with your batter head, usually the tuning that is the sweat spot for your snare.
And be carefully with the change in weather with any solid one ply shell.

Funny, I cannot believe I have given advices on tuning, I spent so many times learning all of that!!! That's why I have 4 snares in the kit, easier for me to change playing another snare on the fly than tuning again the same snare, too much work, well, too slow I am in doing it, I use only quarter turn all the times, even less.
 

Cmdr. Ross

Silver Member
The only snare side head I crank is on my steel shelled snares. The 14x6 mahogany is less like you mentioned here.
 

Tony_H

Active Member
I'm glad Ross commented on this thread because I forgot about it...lol

I kept the tuning listed above for my two shows this weekend and it's a keeper!!!! Now I just have to remember to save those settings in my TuneBot before I lose the random piece of paper that it is scribbled on. ;)
 
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