Snare dampers

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
Hands up - unashamed beginner to acoustic kits!
My 20" Yamaha Stage Custom came with one of these Premier Olympic wood snares. I like the look of this - but it doesn't have an internal damper. Why would a manufacturer NOT fit a damper? Even the tatty generic Taiwanese 7" Hohner I already own has one. (And I think I prefer the sound - The Premier is awful 'sharp' to my ear: thought I'd been shot the first time I hit it! 😄)
Can't see the point of buying decent kit then smothering it in gaffer tape, toilet paper and other kludges like that. Am I being precious?
 

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mrfingers

Senior Member
Snare dampers of the past still didn’t do their job: lots of jazz drummers placed their wallets on their snare batters....for some reason. 🤔
 

lefty2

Platinum Member
You can use anything on the outside of the snare head close to the rim. Adhesive dense foam tape that you put under the topper on the pick up. You can use napkins folded up with masking tape. You can buy moon gell or other similar jelly type dampening devices. I bought some round clear ones not long ago they work great and they did not leave a purple stain on your drum head. If they get dirty you just wash them off with soap and water in there as good as new. My advice to you is a little bit can go along way so don’t dampen very much.
 

Bonzo_CR

Silver Member
Another popular 'clean' method that works well is to cut a 1" ring from an old head and lay it on top, around the edge of the head. That will cut overtones out.
You can even buy pre-cut rings for this (for example Evans E-Rings)
If the circle results in too much dampening then just cut it to half, or a short arc of 4-10" and lay it on the bottom edge. I have a set of arcs that I keep in my stick bag for varying levels of damping depending on the room.
 
There are also external snare mufflers. I got some when I bought a set of various hardware parts on ebay and I like them now.
I put them at the 10 o'clock position and they don't get in the way of sticks and brushes. Another plus: you can vary the pressure with a screw and you can remove them easily when you want the regular snare sound.
 

Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
You'll find that it's not been common for a very long time.

There are a number of ways to muffle and they all sound and feel quite different.

Internal mufflers can only be adjusted to be tight or loose, you can't choose where on the head they go.

I can't say I use much tape. I never do, really. I may just add a bit of the room demands it, but for regular playing I've almost gone off. I'd rather choose the right drum. First thing I do on a house kit is take the tape of, usuall tons of it, and actually TUNE the drums.

I have lots of devices, but if I use anything it's mostly a piece of Moongel that I move around until I get the desired result.

When I go more exteme is when I actually want to realla change the sound. That can be a wallet, a shirt, a towel, one of the Big Fat Snare products, some sort ot rattly or jingly sort of thng.

My most used device is a seed pod rattle that I put on top of my 12" aux snare. Takes all the ring away, but also adds multiple attacks for an almost electronic sound.
 

GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
I posted a mention in the Drums section about the Gretsch Brooklyn snare, and Gretsch uses an internal muffler that is actuall two pads connected by a piece of metal that touchs in two spots about 6 inches apart rather than on round pad. Much more control over the use of the devide than just the one pad.
See it here.
 

vyacheslav

Senior Member
Most drums were fitted with internal dampers many years ago, because there was only one type of head. Basically, a standard, coated Ambassador. Now, they are so many types of heads with built in muffling, there is really no need for them anymore. Gretsch is going "backwards" for nostalgia's sake. Internal mufflers and direct to shell mounting brackets.
 

wraub

Well-known member
On my main snare (14") I use a ring cut from an old head.
On my small kit snare (10") I use one clear Moon Gel.
All of my snare drums are on the "inexpensive" side ;) and none have internal damping.
 

Mr Farkle

Well-known member
I don’t understand, why muffle a snare unless recording for a specific sound? I don’t even play in the center of the snare because it sounds dead to me. I also use my Acrolite much less than my Supralite because it’s so much drier. I guess I just like the natural ring. I also play with a light touch so maybe that makes a difference?
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I posted a mention in the Drums section about the Gretsch Brooklyn snare, and Gretsch uses an internal muffler that is actuall two pads connected by a piece of metal that touchs in two spots about 6 inches apart rather than on round pad. Much more control over the use of the devide than just the one pad.
See it here.
Very nice. My Premier has a nice and unusual throwoff too.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I don’t understand, why muffle a snare unless recording for a specific sound? I don’t even play in the center of the snare because it sounds dead to me. I also use my Acrolite much less than my Supralite because it’s so much drier. I guess I just like the natural ring. I also play with a light touch so maybe that makes a difference?
What's the definition of 'drier'? Heard it used to describe Glyn John's drum sound for the Eagles. Does it mean 'duller', more muffled?
 

markdrum

Silver Member
I can't stand the drum sound on the Eagles records. Maybe that's why I'm not a big fan. We did an experiment in a studio one time. We put togehter a kit made of cardboard boxes and put the mics on them. We recorded "Desperado" and it sounded way too much like Don Henley's drums. I hear that you can get that same sound from sacks of flour. Just don't hit too hard.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I use Remo O Rings on my batter heads, save my bass drum. You just place them on top, and they float freely on the surface. They kill overtones without smothering the sound.

I like a tight, crisp, Stewart Copeland snare sound. Low tunings on the snare sound feeble to me, and I hate the mushy response.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I don’t understand, why muffle a snare unless recording for a specific sound? I don’t even play in the center of the snare because it sounds dead to me. I also use my Acrolite much less than my Supralite because it’s so much drier. I guess I just like the natural ring. I also play with a light touch so maybe that makes a difference?
Funny, as I play almost exclusively in the center, unless I'm executing ghost notes. My snare heads, always coated, end up worn in the middle with a circle about the size of a quarter.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I can't stand the drum sound on the Eagles records. Maybe that's why I'm not a big fan. We did an experiment in a studio one time. We put togehter a kit made of cardboard boxes and put the mics on them. We recorded "Desperado" and it sounded way too much like Don Henley's drums. I hear that you can get that same sound from sacks of flour. Just don't hit too hard.
Don Henley: Great vocalist, pedestrian drummer. He got the job done . . . barely.
 

Yamaha Rider

Well-known member
I can't stand the drum sound on the Eagles records. Maybe that's why I'm not a big fan. We did an experiment in a studio one time. We put togehter a kit made of cardboard boxes and put the mics on them. We recorded "Desperado" and it sounded way too much like Don Henley's drums. I hear that you can get that same sound from sacks of flour. Just don't hit too hard.
Haha! Me I love the Eagles - but more for their songs than their drums I grant you. I think Glyn might have deliberately smothered em in the production.
 
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