Do metal snares inherently have more sympathetic buzz?

Philaiy9

Junior Member
So after a few years of playing only metal snares (an LM402 and an Acrolite) I finally bought a wood snare: a Slingerland Hollywood Ace. I like that it's more articulate and a bit quieter, although there are some things about the metal drums I like too. But I think the biggest difference is the huge amount of sympathetic buzz the metal drums get. Playing the metal snares there's a long trail of buzz after each stroke from interacting with my rack tom, and it almost completely disappears playing the wooden drum. I have an ambassador on the Slingerland and Aquarian modern vintage mediums on the Ludwigs, tuned similarly. The Slingerland has vintage Ludwig 16-strand wires and the Ludwigs have 16-strand Puresound equalizers. Frankly, this problem turns me off from playing the metal ones--I know there are things I can do to limit it but it's a pain when the Slingerland completely sidesteps the issue.

Has anyone else noticed that metal snares have more sympathetic buzz? It would make sense considering they're built to be more resonant but I've never actually heard it said before.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jda

Stroman

Platinum Member
I don't think it has to do with shell material. I think it has to do with snare beds.

In my experience, deeper snare beds produce less sympathetic buzz, regardless of shell material.

Take a look at the snare beds on your Hollywood Ace snare. I'd bet they are deeper than the metal drums to which you're comparing.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
The snare beds on Ludwig snares are almost nonexistent, which makes the wires easier to activate for sure. That said a sharp edge and shallow beds on a wood drum will have pretty much the same effect. An awful lot of buzz caused by an adjacent drum usually depends on how close in pitch the two are, which can be tuned out by adjusting one or both of the drums.

My guess in this case is your wood drum has deeper beds and rounder bearing edges, both of which make the snare wires a little less sensitive, hence less sympathetic buzz.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
To supplement the above, broken/bent/crooked/stretched wires will have more sympathetic buzz than straight wires in good condition. Even if just a little crooked, the tension is not the same across all the wires. The ones with the least tension do the buzzing.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
The shell material has minimal effect, IMO. When something’s not right on the snare, it’s not the shell material causing the problem.

I’ve minimized excessive sympathetic buzz it by tweaking the reso head tuning and/or tightening or loosening the tension of the snappy. On a couple church kits, the butt ends of the snappy were not parallel to each other (i.e., skewed), and in another the snappy was not centered at all (one butt end was at the bearing edge).
 

Philaiy9

Junior Member
Thanks for all the replies. Looking at the snare beds, you're right that the Slingerland's are much deeper. I wish Ludwig had crimped in those kinds of beds to make things easy, but oh well. I'll keep experimenting with the tuning to see if I can reduce the buzz.
 

Neilage

Junior Member
Another trick to reduce sympathetic buzz is slightly loosening the 4 reso lugs adjacent to the snare wires.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
16 strand snare wires reduce buzz in my world.

Maybe try them on your metal snare
 

classikdrummr

Active Member
Tighten the Reso head as far as you can without choking it. Tighten the Wires as well. Tune your 10 " Tom down Slightly . That helped me
 

RobertM

Platinum Member
The snare drum with which I have experienced the most sympathetic snare buzz was wood, Yamaha Club Custom. It was weird.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
I learned something from a sound man just recently.

We were doing some recording and my metal snare was giving him fits. He took a 3" piece of masking tape and a stuck it on the resonant head across the snare wires. Problem solved. Sounds great: dry, sensitive and clean.
Did it to a cheap Ddrum snare with no beds once…worked well, I thought. Brought it from not the best snare I ever heard to decent enough for an emergency ;)
 
  • Like
Reactions: A J

A J

Well-known Member
Did it to a cheap Ddrum snare with no beds once…worked well, I thought. Brought it from not the best snare I ever heard to decent enough for an emergency ;)
My snare is a steel shelled Pearl Sensitone Elite 5.5" x14". It sounds great live but apparently it needs a little restraint for recording.
 

classikdrummr

Active Member
I learned something from a sound man just recently.

We were doing some recording and my metal snare was giving him fits. He took a 3" piece of masking tape and a stuck it on the resonant head across the snare wires. Problem solved. Sounds great: dry, sensitive and clean.
yes , ive done that. I Also put a business card between the snare wires and the reso. I didnt like it though. It choked the snare wires too much and was too dry IMO.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
yes , ive done that. I Also put a business card between the snare wires and the reso. I didnt like it though. It choked the snare wires too much and was too dry IMO.
I do this when storing or transporting snares so the wires dont buzz from things that arent drum related (spin cycle on washer for example). Its usually just a piece of paper, but yeah been doing this forever.
 

A J

Well-known Member
yes , ive done that. I Also put a business card between the snare wires and the reso. I didnt like it though. It choked the snare wires too much and was too dry IMO.

Yeah. I had to remove the tape this evening at practice. It choked the sound too much. Great idea when you really need to dial back snare drum volume. Not so good when competing with Marshal amps! 😉
 
Top