Is it a physics thing?

Drum Guy

Member
my 14" snares between 3.5 and 6.5" depth seem to all have this choked bright snap from the wires when I hit the head dead center...thing is they all usually sound great, both metal and wood snares, when I hit say a half inch or more outside of dead center...there's body, sometimes throaty, or great resonance etc.

BUT when playing, I do like to try to strike center of head, or if I hit outside of center on purpose sometimes I hit the center instead - and when I do, all the body and shell sound are replaced by the snare wires loud, bright dead snap with 0 decay, resonance. Is this simply because the sound wave when hit in the center just bounces straight back up to the center head and cancels out itself or something?

I generally tune all my snares to between an F and an A with G/G# the usual - I try to align the snare wires usually centered between the rims, try to have throw off tension around half way when placing wires on bottom head, but don't know if I actually do that correctly

Any thoughts on how setting the snare wires differently might affect this deal? or tension suggestions or what?
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
Hmm?..are your wires stretched out?. Are they to tight?. I've not experienced this. Is your reso head to slack?. I know one thing...the boys here will get this situation under control.
 

Drum Guy

Member
Hmm?..are your wires stretched out?. Are they to tight?. I've not experienced this. Is your reso head to slack?. I know one thing...the boys here will get this situation under control.

generally like to have tension on wires when I play just at the point when they touch the reso head tight enough not to rattle as if there was a loose wire - but I never get even close to choking, even when I do tighten to the point of very little extra buzz - but no matter what hitting dead center does cancel itself out - no shell tone, just bright snap sound from wires.

wires great condition, mostly new, either Noble Cooley, puresounds or Canopus - and reso head is normally at 378 to 400Hz on tune bot
 
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Bozozoid

Well-known member
Hmm....the only other thing that ran past me was I'm thinking your using plastic strips for snare wire adjustment versus string. With string you have better ultra finicky adjustment. Don't sell your snares!..this thing is a small fix I'm positive.
 

Drum Guy

Member
Hmm....the only other thing that ran past me was I'm thinking your using plastic strips for snare wire adjustment versus string. With string you have better ultra finicky adjustment. Don't sell your snares!..this thing is a small fix I'm positive.
I'm sure you're right about it being a small fix (and how did you know I have sold a snare or 2 because of this :)

But I've got string, got plastic, got nylon string, got grosgrain ribbon, doesn't matter - does the issue when strike dead center

I'm starting to wonder if it's simply as Push Pull Stroke says - you hit the center and that's just what happens(?)
 

Bozozoid

Well-known member
I'm a 90% rim shot guy but the tip is hitting slightly..slightly off center. You adjust your wires nearly identical to where I like them which REALLY puzzled me. This is a rubrics cube situation but the night is young.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
If you are looking for overtones from dead center...that's the place where there are the least.

It does provides that short note option that is valuable.

I don't know if you can change that fundamental property of a fully vibrating drumhead

Ultra slow motion drumhead hits reveal that the center point is the place of least movement of the drumhead. The north and south quadrants move together. When they complete their cycle the east and west quadrants move together, then repeats. I'm wondering if it is proper to call the center point of a drumhead the nodal point. Hmmm. Cymbals vibrate similarly...circular membrane and all that.
 

Morrisman

Platinum Member
I get a deep, short sound from the centre of the snare drum. (I don’t rimshot my normal back beats.) But only if the snares are not too tight. If I want overtones or ringing, I play further out from the centre to get the tone I’m after.

Maybe loosen your snares a little?
 

Drum Guy

Member
thanks Larry - physics

morrisman - my wires are generally loose but not sloppy loose - the snare seems to project and is louder that way(?)

sounds like I just have to get used to hitting slightly off center to get the beautiful tone and resonance I want from some of my snares.

strangely though my black beauty 6.5", and Canopus 5.5" hammered bronze, craviotto 6.5" solid maple don't have this issue - no center hit snap sound...

but even my N&C 5x14 solid walnut particularly doesn't like center hitting - must all depend on the drum make and material I guess?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Think of it this way: When you drop a rock in the dead center of an above ground circular pool the waves travel equidistant to the edge of the pool, then return to center simultaneously also. Now drop that rock anywhere else in the pool and watch the resultant wave travel all over itself because the time from impact to edge is different all the way around.

Your drum is doing the same thing.
 

ToneT

Well-known member
If you are looking for overtones from dead center...that's the place where there are the least.

It does provides that short note option that is valuable.

I don't know if you can change that fundamental property of a fully vibrating drumhead

Ultra slow motion drumhead hits reveal that the center point is the place of least movement of the drumhead. The north and south quadrants move together. When they complete their cycle the east and west quadrants move together, then repeats. I'm wondering if it is proper to call the center point of a drumhead the nodal point. Hmmm. Cymbals vibrate similarly...circular membrane and all that.
Yes, the center of the head IS the nodal point. You should hear the fundamental of the drumhead clearly on a well-tuned batter head, with little to no overtones. The ring and overtones occur off-center and to the edge.

Drum Guy you sound like you're doing everything right to get your sound. Is your bottom head tuned evenly? If it is then it's just the nature of the drum. I tune my reso at G (392 hz) and my top head is at D (293.7).
Attention to detail with your snare wires (Straightness) is the way to go.
Did I miss something? How many strands do you use?

Uh oh! I just listed my TuneBot settings!

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSHHHH!

Better not tell Sounds Like A Dead Drum. They'll take me to task for my tight reso head!

Horrors!
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
By custom, I play my snare as close to the center of the head as possible. I like a dry, clean, abrupt snare, and overtones are all but nonexistent in that region. I utilize the perimeter for ghost notes and so on, but the middle is where I pitch my tent. As my batter head wears, a circle about the circumference of a quarter forms. That happens with my Remo practice pad too.

Complaints about overtones and buzz can sometimes be traced to errant strike zones. Some players load their snares with tape or gel to lend focus to their sound when they could easily achieve the same effect by hitting the head closer to the center. Tuning, heads, and muffling are discussed to the point of exhaustion, but technique is too often ignored.
 

Drum Guy

Member
Yes, the center of the head IS the nodal point. You should hear the fundamental of the drumhead clearly on a well-tuned batter head, with little to no overtones. The ring and overtones occur off-center and to the edge.

Drum Guy you sound like you're doing everything right to get your sound. Is your bottom head tuned evenly? If it is then it's just the nature of the drum. I tune my reso at G (392 hz) and my top head is at D (293.7).
Attention to detail with your snare wires (Straightness) is the way to go.
Did I miss something? How many strands do you use?
all good info thanks - your tuning is basically near mine too, 398Hz reso, with 292 to 300 batter, 90% of my heads are ambassadors/hazy or in some cases, Evans UV1/300

and yes I meticulously (maybe that's my problem? :) ) make sure my snare wires, which range from 16 to 25 depending on snare drum, are centered and dangle evenly in the air, flat, when held up strainer off, not favoring left or right, so they seem to be straight to me

basically, on most of my snares (not all like my BB, Carviotto, Canopus), when I hit the center, it just makes a dead but highly bright snappy wire sound (no matter how tensioned), but no body, no throat, no rich wood or metal goodness, no honk, nothing...the sound is like I lifted up tight snare wires by hand and let them snap back against the head, yuk (did I just say yuk o_O)

thanks for all replies - does seem like I just have to strike a little around the center but not the center itself for most of my snares

as usual, this forum's folks have been very helpful !!!
 
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ToneT

Well-known member
No problem with your snare wire set-up.
I'm fussy as hell with my snare wires, but the result is crisp, clean wire response.
I want enhanced treble response from my wires, and I use Puresound 20-strand Blasters mounted with Grosgrain ribbon.
 

rhumbagirl

Senior Member
This forbidden zone in the center of the drum is new to me. Does this mean I should now get twice the gigs I was getting before?? LOL

I hit my toms straight dead center. Same with the snare. But ever since I started using the TuneBot, I've not seen the nodal problem pop up. Maybe seen similar if the snare wires are too tight.

Oh, and I'm a hobbyist. Maybe that's it. :). (hobbyists have to pay to play)
 

ToneT

Well-known member
No one mentioned phase cancellation. You could have a tuning that subtracts body from the drum. Comb filtering, phase cancellation same thing.

If you haven't done so already, it's worth it to try a different tuning on just one head to see if it improves anything.
You're absolutely spot-on about that!
My Black Beauty would go dead after tuning the bottom head to F.
The drum would go "Buh" as if the batter was muffled.
This would happen at more than a few batter head pitches.
No tone, no body, no nuthin'!
 

Out of Round

Well-known member
I always stay well away from the center of the drum, but that's me. I've been using a coated CS batter on a 5x14 Supra, I land all my hits in a zone about 2 inches out from the rim, but not touching the dot at all. I get that "honk" that @Bo Eder talks about.
 
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