How do i get a Pink Floyd Snare Sound??

MrHenryLucan

Junior Member
Hi everyone,
I'm new to this site, as of today, so not completely sure if this is the right area for the post.... whatever.

So, no doubt most people here have listened to 'Wish You Were Here' by Pink Floyd. When 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond' breaks in with the main part of the song, the drums sound so phenomenal! Particularly the snare drum. From my knowledge (which isn't much, but it's pretty good for someone who's been playing for 2 years)that's the sound of a good old wood snare tuned down pretty low. Now, the thing is, I have a snare that I'm just about to buy heads for. And I want the closest possible replica of that sound that I can get. I have 42 strand snare wires, if that will help at all, and muffling advice would help as well. But the biggest question remains: What heads should I buy!?

Now I know that I'll never reach the exact sound from the record because the people who recorded Pink Floyd in their glory days were the best sound guys on the Continent, but I think I can get pretty close.

If any more experienced people can lend me a hand here in my time of need, any suggestions would be great!

Thanks alot,

Henry


P.S.
If at all possible, I would prefer to use Remo heads, but if not that's ok.
 

Wick

Senior Member
You should try some of those new heads that can change the wood, depth, and date of the drum.
 

tvplaysdrums

Junior Member
I don't know much about Remo (Evans user), but if you want that old school sound, the Vintage Emperor seems like a logical choice.

As far as Evans goes, the Genera Dry snare head is great if you want a fat sound with minimal overtones.

Hope that helps!
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
If memory serves me correctly (from about 20 years ago when I read Saucerful of Secrets), when Pink Floyd went into the studio, the producer insisted on putting a tea towel over Nick Mason's snare drum to give it a low, thumpy, muffled tone. So whatever you do, tune low, and feel free to throw Moongel and O-Rings all over it. As far as heads, I would say a Vintage Emperor or a Vintage Ambassador would work well. I don't think you need to worry about getting a new snare, but you probably want to adjust your strainer to medium-loose to get a bit of response and make sure your snare-side head is loose enough to really let the snare dig in a bit. Good luck.

EDIT: You could also try an Evans G-Plus on the batter, I'm getting a very fat, responsive sound from that on a steel snare.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Agree with Al. In the Pompeii video Nick M's drums sound like they've been tuned low and heavily dampened.
 

alparrott

Platinum Member
Edit to the edit: Of course, one hopes that it was in fact Nick who played on some of those cuts...
 

Hercules

Senior Member
Edit to the edit: Of course, one hopes that it was in fact Nick who played on some of those cuts...
.... now now, Mr Mason was a passable drummer in his day (pre Dark Side....)


He did always have low tunings and not much ring - so try the old cotton balls inside the drum trick to mute the bottom heads and tune the top head quite loose and drape a small towel across it.

WYWH had a pretty compressed sound and a lot of very high freq. tops too, so that will be harder to reproduce "live", but as the others say - you can get pretty close.......
 

MrHenryLucan

Junior Member
Ok,

So i get it: Basically a thick batter, tune it way down and muffle the life out of it.
Anyone know: Tighter batter, or tighter reso for this sound? ( I usually go for tighter batter, but my snare is steel tuned way up ) And how much tighter/looser?

Oh yeah, I'm thinking of going with a clear Diplomat for the Reso as well, seems like it would have been the standard back then. If anyone wants to correct me, please feel free.

Thanks again for the feedback!

(and so quick too! holy...)
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
He played a Ludwig Supraphonic. Get a Supra with probably a coated Emperor batter and Ambassador clear reso. Study as many videos as you can find of Mason, and try to tune your snare to the sound of his snare with the wires thrown off. I posted this thread last week and at the bottom are three good videos Pink Floyd:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73150

Two of those videos are with the wires off, so there you go. Also take note of those strange looking mufflers he has taped on all his drums.
 

MrHenryLucan

Junior Member
Hey Strangelove,

So three things:

That's some epic research you got done on the Giant Beat ride's on that thread, but more on that later.

2. I don't think I'll be able to buy a Supraphonic...

3. I think you're mistaken with the drum sound I'm looking for. Those samples you gave me, his snare was tuned really high, very chokey and without the real boom from the Wish You Were Here record. What I'm looking for is a deep, loud, dark tone.

Maybe we're just thinking on different levels.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
He played a Ludwig Supraphonic. Get a Supra with probably a coated Emperor batter and Ambassador clear reso. Study as many videos as you can find of Mason, and try to tune your snare to the sound of his snare with the wires thrown off. I posted this thread last week and at the bottom are three good videos Pink Floyd:

http://www.drummerworld.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73150

Two of those videos are with the wires off, so there you go. Also take note of those strange looking mufflers he has taped on all his drums.
I used to have that Pompeii video, (if I remember right, it was on Betamax, lol) and I remember see that red tape on there and wondering what he had taped to the heads.
 

Thud

Senior Member
Don't go by the sound you hear on the Pompeii video in particular. The Floyd were among the first people to electronically modify their sound as far as I remember. They patched all their mikes through a massive desk that created the Floyd sound and there were an absolute crew of engineers running it all.
But also there's a story to that Pompeii video. They all turned up at Pompeii but their equipment didn't. At the very last moment the gear turned up and they rushed through a week long programme in 2 days.
Subsequently a lot of the material sounded awful and had to be redubbed in a studio in Paris some months after. The thing is, the drums may not have sounded that way at all before the engineers got busy. You can't really tell.
Yeah he had tape all over the heads. I think it's little pads to take the ring out of them.
 

Strangelove

Gold Member
Hey Strangelove,

So three things:

That's some epic research you got done on the Giant Beat ride's on that thread, but more on that later.

2. I don't think I'll be able to buy a Supraphonic...

3. I think you're mistaken with the drum sound I'm looking for. Those samples you gave me, his snare was tuned really high, very chokey and without the real boom from the Wish You Were Here record. What I'm looking for is a deep, loud, dark tone.

Maybe we're just thinking on different levels.
Oh yeah, you are right. He or his sound engineer definitely went counterclockwise on those lug nuts and seriously muffled the batter. But it still is likely a Supraphonic and since I think that was an Abbey Road recording, it is very possible they used the Ringo drum muffling method - DISH TOWELS. The sustain is virtually nonexistant, and I would bet that is how they muffled the snare and the toms on that album as well as The Wall. The volume is most likely coming from the mixing board at Abbey Road, like Ringo's was. Having used dish towels myself back in the 1970s, they really kill sustain and volume. Probably too much, which is why you don't see them outside of studios from that era, particularly that one.
 

Pachikara-Tharakan

Silver Member
I would try the towel route . However, only the engineer knows how that sound came with those console settings and such, I think.

Compared to the original recorded sound , the drum sound on Pulse CD is so crappy when they play the Dark side of the moon to its entirely.
 

Shedboyxx

Silver Member
Now I know that I'll never reach the exact sound from the record because the people who recorded Pink Floyd in their glory days were the best sound guys on the Continent, but I think I can get pretty close.
Aye there's the rub....

IMO, that's much more of it than anything. The production that went into Dark Side of the Moon (pre-dating 'Wish..') was groundbreaking. Records that have been made like that have an extraordinary amount of sonic magic done.

You are on a slippery slope any time you try to recreate polished, highly produced drum sounds in a live context. Set your expectations accordingly.

Jim
 

drumhammerer

Silver Member
yeah, everything back then was major muffling, supraphonic, studio wizardry, plus the warm sound of analog, which can't be replicated very well with modern technology. He was also one of the few drummers to record with acrylics (fibes), although I'm not sure which albums he used those on.
 
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