Snare Batter Gaff Tape Hack

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
Hey everyone! Been a minute since I've posted here but I continue to lurk from time to time and respond to DMs when I get them.

I thought you all might be interested in this gaff tape hack we decided to explore in the latest episode of Sounds Like a Drum. It was inspired by a couple interviews we read with Questlove and we are REALLY digging the results.


Anyone else ever tried this?
 

makinao

Silver Member
Tried this right after the episode was released, on my 45 year old Pearl steel snare that has served as my mod testbed for a couple of years. I just happened to have a Fiberskyn on it, and a new roll of gaff tape on hand.

Fantastic :cool:
 

BonsaiMagpie

Junior Member
I really dug the high sound on it, the low was a bit wiresy for me. I've got a Mapex tomahawk which I really dislike the overtones on, and have resorted to putting a hydraulic on. Very tempted to try this with an Evans HD Dry I have
 

BenOBrienSmith

Senior Member
I really dug the high sound on it, the low was a bit wiresy for me. I've got a Mapex tomahawk which I really dislike the overtones on, and have resorted to putting a hydraulic on. Very tempted to try this with an Evans HD Dry I have
We tend to prefer the raspy snare wire response for lower tunings as it helps elongate the sound (and allows the reso to move more), creating a longer note (very important for deeper tunings). That said, it's easy to adjust to taste.

I already know that I want to try this out on a Hydraulic and see if it removes the need for any muffling at ULTRA low tunings. It can't be overstated how great the head felt at these different tensions with the mod. Definitely beats having something on top of the head.
 

hawksmoor

Senior Member
If this will eliminate that painful feeling that you're hitting a table-top rather than a snare at higher tunings, I'm going to have to give it a try. I too liked the high sound.
 

newoldie

Silver Member
For a mini-version of this, where just slight dampening is needed or for a deeper tone, perhaps install the tape in small segments around the underside of the drum head (if so desired for aesthetics/or more permanent muffling in lieu of gels)?
 

gdmoore28

Gold Member
This is a must-try idea. I tried to use oak sticks but had to stop because of the pain resulting from slamming the snare. It was like driving needles into my wrist. I don't use heavy sticks anymore, but this still looks like a good step toward more comfort.

GeeDeeEmm
 

Blisco

Senior Member
I tried it tonight on my new Hammered Copperphonic and a new Coated Emperor. The results were outstanding. The low tuning was so phat and phunky and the medium was just thick and full of crack. I dig it. Lot of snare wire activity too.

It is a unique sound and totally different than applying moongels all over the head.

I'll be playing it this weekend as-is so I'll see how the microphone picks it up. I intend to boost my IEM mix with wet, reverby snare far more than normal just to hear the goodness.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
Update: the snare performed well. It was chunky and phunky with a delicious splat and decent sensitivity at all volumes and surfaces.

I did end up cranking up the head a bit between sets but I'm really digging this hack.

I fiddled with my IEM mix as well. Normally, I don't have any snare in my mix but this was so comfortable and smooth that I actually boosted the fader to near tom levels with no ear strain. It was cool to hear some snare and pop in the mix for once. That aforementioned phatness makes for a easy blend with the toms and guitars etc... A lot less crack makes it pleasant. I could hear a lot of snare activity and that produced a nice natural reverb-y effect that enhanced my mix, rather than detract from it and cause pain and strain.

I asked our sound guy about the FOH (not telling him what I had done) and he said it was great. I guess not having anything offensive about it means it was cool. No news is good news type of thing. Typical sound guy: when I explained the gaff tape, he shrugged and said it was fine. LOL those guys!
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Hey everyone! Been a minute since I've posted here but I continue to lurk from time to time and respond to DMs when I get them.

I thought you all might be interested in this gaff tape hack we decided to explore in the latest episode of Sounds Like a Drum. It was inspired by a couple interviews we read with Questlove and we are REALLY digging the results.


Anyone else ever tried this?
This hack literally changed my life haha - I have a 13" cherry snare that I use as a primary in my current band that's a hip hop/ jazz thing and this sound absolutely CRUSHES. Feels awesome too - there's a softness to it which I never usually get a highhhhh tunings.


Total game changer for me personally haha.
 

Blisco

Senior Member
I bought a $650 snare just to try this hack and I don't regret it one bit. Plus, I can always swap out heads and I have a totally different sound from the same drum. Heck, I might just get a fleet of heads and dress up a few and swap them out. A lot cheaper than having 5 snares sitting on the shelf, no?
 
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