How do you get that "almost no snare" snare sound?

Mastiff

Senior Member
I notice especially in metal you often hear a snare sound that is very "thunky" with almost no discernable snare wire sound, but still not fully resonant as if the snares are off. Often kind of deep sounding too. I wonder how that sound is achieved? I've read about people customizing their snares to have fewer wires, but not sure if that's the trick. Incidentally, the Gavin Harrison signature snare comes with an 8 wire snare, but I haven't found anything close to that low of a count off the shelf (16 is what I could find without looking super hard).
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
In addition to reducing your number of snare wires, install a Remo Ambassador Black Suede Snare Side, a thick 5mil. The ebony film deadens snare response further. The sound is dark and thuddy. What you hear in recordings, however, might also be the result of EQ and other effects. The studio is a realm of deception.

I don't like thuddy snares as a rule. Even when tuning fairly low, I want my snare to sound like a snare. But I have gone thuddy for select recordings. It's a sound that works at times.
 

Otto

Platinum Member
I think there are probably more ways that sound is achieved than I am aware of...but I wonder if the sound you are hearing is due to chopping off the frequencies from the drums that are 'outside' the envelope designated for drums...often done to free up listening space in the high frequencies when some other instrument (say, a guitar or voice) wants to have it...The 'snare' sound is trimmed while the other tones of the snare are retained...giving a very 'thumpy' sound..

I would invite a reference to a song so we have some common source to base our conversation.
 

sumdrumguy

Senior Member
I notice especially in metal you often hear a snare sound that is very "thunky" with almost no discernable snare wire sound, but still not fully resonant as if the snares are off. Often kind of deep sounding too. I wonder how that sound is achieved? I've read about people customizing their snares to have fewer wires, but not sure if that's the trick. Incidentally, the Gavin Harrison signature snare comes with an 8 wire snare, but I haven't found anything close to that low of a count off the shelf (16 is what I could find without looking super hard).

I am not a fan of high count snare wires. I prefer the tone of the drum to be dominant - not the snare wires - and have experimented with cutting down standard sets.

8 strands works nice on shallower snares (5.5 and under). Anything above that, I prefer 12 strand wires. I have 12 strand Puresound Equalizer or Puresound Concert on most of my deeper snares.

I also have 13" rings inside my go-to "thuddy snares". Per C.M.Jones' comment, it tames the resonant head. With the heads tuned right, and the snares tweaked just so, they yield a nice fat goosh.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
Go to about 2:45 here for an example. It's a Beato video about Slipknot, but I chose it because it isolates the drums.

 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I am not a fan of high count snare wires. I prefer the tone of the drum to be dominant - not the snare wires - and have experimented with cutting down standard sets.
You nail an important point here. As wire count decreases, the shell's tone moves to the forefront. But when wire count increases, snare-snap becomes more prevalent, masking the shell's tone somewhat. As stated, on most occasions, I like my snare to say, "Hey, I'm a snare," so a twenty-strand set of wires is great for me, but your practice of dropping to twelve or even eight wires is the best way to highlight the shell's tone.
 

bud7h4

Silver Member
Go to about 2:45 here for an example. It's a Beato video about Slipknot, but I chose it because it isolates the drums.


YES! I love that snare sound. I would bet though, that it sounds just like any other snare in person. But maybe his snares are really loose (for the tone) and the excess wire buzz is somehow cut out in mixing.
 

Mastiff

Senior Member
I have some Grover snares on one of my drums, that are like that. Normal 12 strands, very dry, minimal. The strands are like guitar strings, wound with a very fine wire. I forgot what series they are, but most of their snares are like that-- roundwound guitar strings. Maybe their jazz series.
Their site shows all 15 wire snares if I counted right. But they are still pretty unique and I might give them a shot. If they can reduce sympathetic snare buzz like they say, that alone would be a win.
 

Iristone

Well-known member
I guess part of it is the sound of not miking the bottom snare head. My Ludwig Legacy sounds like that if I look right down to it when I play it - normally it has a bright, lively snare response
 

Capital D

Member
Their site shows all 15 wire snares if I counted right. But they are still pretty unique and I might give them a shot. If they can reduce sympathetic snare buzz like they say, that alone would be a win.

I think they are great! I use Grover Pro Percussion Club Bright non-spiral snare wires https://groverpro.com/product/snare-wires. Dry and very little sympathetic buzz.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
when I think of that sound, the Def Leppard albums High N Dry and Pyromania immediately come to mind

and I always thought it was the result of a deep wood snare - 6.5x14 - with a CS Dot head on batter and ambassador snare side head, both not tuned up really high...
 

SomeBadDrummer

Well-known member
when I think of that sound, the Def Leppard albums High N Dry and Pyromania immediately come to mind

and I always thought it was the result of a deep wood snare - 6.5x14 - with a CS Dot head on batter and ambassador snare side head, both not tuned up really high...
Loved High N Dry (what a great album), hated Pyromania. HND had a raw, cutting edge which was lost to over engineering on Pyro.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
Go to about 2:45 here for an example. It's a Beato video about Slipknot, but I chose it because it isolates the drums.

I hear plenty of snare wire in that sound, but it's a sound driven primarily by the microphone on the top head, with some 1176-style compression to make the sound bloom a bit.
 

drumnut87

Well-known member
in a lot of modern metal, the snare isnt as noticeable because its usually all sample replacements/augmentations. and more often than not its the same sample bank used from band to band. which kills the identity of the drummer.


but if its recorded drums, sometimes they dont blend the bottom snare mic in as much and let the top mic do most of the work.
 

ColdFusion

Member
C.M. Jones said:

"What you hear in recordings, however, might also be the result of EQ and other effects. The studio is a realm of deception."

👆This is the truth. I stopped struggling to re-create drum and cymbal sounds I heard in albums a long time ago. I kept sending back pefectly awesome cymbals because I didn't understand aural context from behind the kit.

But you have a lot of room to tweak a snare drum sound. Like he said, heads, snares, depth. And be open minded if you get a sound that isn't quite what you had in mind, but kind of close. Even if you get something sort of like what you imagine, it'll still be unique. And it will be "your" sound.
Maybe try a metal shell drum?

If you really want the power to re-create candy album sounds, you can get that joy with a quality set of V Drums.

(Sorry, I don't know how to quote yet)
 
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