Tuning a snare 15"x8" like a floor tom

Quai34

Junior Member
Ok so, I received my Summit snare Walnut 15"x8" and I started to use the tunebot website to try to put the snare at E2, like it would be a 15" floor Tom but they gave me 110 hertz at the top lug and 156 to 185 bottom depending on the resonance I want, more difference between heads leads to less resonance. But, in order to get the head on the snare bed, I need a minimum tension right?
I cannot follow their recommamdation for a snare? So, what do you think should be the minimum tension on the batter head? Is the fact that it's a 15" means that it needs more tension than a 14"? Or less? Let me know, I know there is some superman at tuneboting here.

Updated:
I tune it like the picture below and while the Tom sound was good, the snare sound, once the snare wires are engaged is crap. So, I remember that you need to tension your snare head I order to minimize the buzz and weird sound with your wires, right? Because I think it's what I experimented with E2/82 hertz, snare head lug 183, batter head lug 110. There is no way I could get a good snare sound, even if I want a low snare tuning with a snare head lug at 183, correct?
image.png
 
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drum hostage

Active Member
I've played around with a couple of snoms
a pearl birch 8 x 13
and one of those yamaha hip stage customs (my wife's)

oh and I cut snare beds into a ddrum 16 pocket kit tom (it was shallow, made of ash) to make sort of like a DW ballad snare style dealie.

I assume you are going for a sort of big ballad/backbeat sound? (which seems to be where snoms go)

weirdly enough, putting a coated pinstripe (batter) and getting it very evenly ("pure" for lack of a better word) tuned on the pearl really helped tame it

the yamaha seems challenging, but the wife is in that "don't tune my drums" mood (oh that will change when she has to play with someone and then I have like 15 mins to 'make it go')
but it suffers from that fish nor fowl problem a little as is (stock heads which I'm not too fond of)

as weird as it sounds and as much as a reso head guy I am, controlling the overtones on the batter...caveat in my LIMITED experience*...seems to get some mileage on curing that fish-nor-fowl problem

I've seen a few guys use hydraulic batters, I assume to smooth that out as well.

so maybe experiment with tuning out too many enharmonic overtones on the batter, and see if that gets you closer
(personally, I like to try to do it through tuning than throwing 30 moongels on something...I suppose one reason is, I like it when you get good tonal variation across the head - I think it creates a more lively musically dynamic instrument that responds to expression better)

hey, can you tell i'm 3 beers into it?


*so if someone goes "he's full of shit, dont listen to him" follow that advice
 
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Quai34

Junior Member
Then, I decided to get a low snare and to use some dampening or big fat snare drum if I want to lower the pitch when I will be using it as a Tom and then, I started to tune up both head up to fundamental 129/C3, top lug 180 and bottom lug 289. When wires engaged, they are nice, wet of course but nice decay, regular, no "waves" in the sound.
But still, question:
1) 289/180 = 1.6, so more than a fifth between the 2 heads. Normal? Or should I try to stick with a perfect fifth between heads?
2) Is C3 too low for a snare? My lowest one, is at F3 and tunebot guide doesn't go lower than that in their recommamdation?
3) My 16" Floor TOM is at C2, so, it could,he a nice octave between them but my 12" Tom is at B3 so, isn't a bit stupid to have only 1/2 step between the 15" snare Ztom and the 12" TOM when I will be using the 15" as a Tom?
 
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jaymandude

Active Member
In my experience, and Emperor wieight snare head, or an Evans 500 will help you tune the snare head lower.

The hydraulic batter didn’t seem to sound as good as a coated Remo double ply with a little more muffling. My drum for this is a 6.5x15 50’s Slingerland with some mahogany in the shell
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I've played around with a couple of snoms
a pearl birch 8 x 13
and one of those yamaha hip gigs

oh and I cut snare bets into a ddrum 16 pocket kit tom (it was shallow, made of ash) sort of like a DW ballad snare style dealie.

I assume you are going for a sort of big ballad/backbeat sound? (which seems to be where snoms go)

weirdly enough, putting a coated pinstripe (batter) and getting it very evenly ("pure" for lack of a better word) tuned on the pearl really helped tame it

the yamaha seems challenging, but the wife is in that "don't tune my drums" mood (oh that will change when she has to play with someone and then I have like 15 mins to 'make it go')
but it suffers from that fish nor fowl problem a little as is (stock heads which I'm not too fond of)

as weird as it sounds and as much as a reso head guy I am, controlling the overtones on the batter...caveat in my LIMITED experience*...seems to get some milage on curing that fish-nor-fowl problem

I've seen a few guys use hydraulic batters, I assume to smooth that out as well.

so maybe experiment with tuning out too many enharmonic overtons on the batter, and see if that gets you closer
(personally, I like to try to do it through tuning than throwing 30 moongels on something...I suppose one reason is, I like it when you get good tonal variation across the head - I think it creates a more lively musically dynamic instrument that responds to expression better)

hey, can you tell i'm 3 beers into it?


*so if someone goes "he's full of shit, dont listen to him" follow that advice
Ok, thanks a lot, I will still have to look for some translation as my English might not be enough into what words you use after 3 beers but that gives me an idea. I have put 2 large true tone gel to shorten the decay as it was super long, same as what I have on my 16" Tom. I tried with one or 2 more small ones but it dampen a bit too much I think and I loose the fatness of the 8" deep.
Ok, I tried as wel Drumtaks and I feel that they change a bit the tone or the pitch, making it a bit higher, anyone using both, drumtaks and true tone having the same feeling?
 

Quai34

Junior Member
In my experience, and Emperor wieight snare head, or an Evans 500 will help you tune the snare head lower.

The hydraulic batter didn’t seem to sound as good as a coated Remo double ply with a little more muffling. My drum for this is a 6.5x15 50’s Slingerland with some mahogany in the shell
Ok, I Have a Remo coated ambassador on top and a clear snare side, is it counter productive? I decided to ask Gary at Summit drums to put these heads because I know them and I didn't want to learn 2 new beast at the same time, the 15", which is my first larger and deeper snare and any other heads otherwise, how could I know if it comes from the head or the drums. But yes, having that kind of head that open the sound is stupid n a 15"X8"?
Hey guys, sorry for asking, I feel I'm back 2 years ago when I was learning how to tune my Toms and Snares, now that I'm good at it (my drummer friends said that, not me), why I decided to get a so different beast, I'm a masoschist!!!
 

Ryan Culberson

Well-known Member
Just took possession of my 10x16 DW snare/floor tom thingy today. I've used a few others in the past, including the 13"er that comes with the Yamaha Stage Hip set. Fun, useful drums, but a compromise of sorts. If it's a song that I know I'll be using the drum in snare mode, I employ a certain type of muffling (Big Fat Snare Drum, various rings, chamois, etc...). If I'll be using it in floor tom mode, I use a different type of muffling (Drum Dot or Moon Gel). Generally, I'm going for an excellent floor tom sound and then use different (more aggressive) muffling when I'm in snare mode.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Just took possession of my 10x16 DW snare/floor tom thingy today. I've used a few others in the past, including the 13"er that comes with the Yamaha Stage Hip set. Fun, useful drums, but a compromise of sorts. If it's a song that I know I'll be using the drum in snare mode, I employ a certain type of muffling (Big Fat Snare Drum, various rings, chamois, etc...). If I'll be using it in floor tom mode, I use a different type of muffling (Drum Dot or Moon Gel). Generally, I'm going for an excellent floor tom sound and then use different (more aggressive) muffling when I'm in snare mode.
Ok, thanks, what note did you tube it? If it's a 16" Tom, are you around C2?
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Also, the video that inspired me to try it with this type of drum is this video, Robert Sput Searight:

He has 4 full moon gel on it and you still here the boing under his snare sound and the Moogel are way far away the rim!!! I know CBphoto had one in the last but sold it, the Tama, because he said eh could never get a good sound out of it but the guy who bought it is very happy with it, maybe he could chime in?
 

Quai34

Junior Member
How many lugs? my experience is it's a snare or a tom , not both at once..
8 tube lugs, yes, my 16" floor TOM has 6 only, so, why 2 more will make a difference?
 

Z26R-#

Well-known Member
Try keeping the Reso head same tension and alter the batter to suit. Snare or Tom sound ..8 lugs isn't a lot for a 15" but it shouldn't matter that much. keep playing around with it by ear I think..
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I just twist the tension rods until I find a sound and feel I like.
Best solution right here.

Put the TuneBot down, tune the drum by ear, use TuneBot to write down final numbers.

Lots of overthinking going on here.

Trying to tune an unfamiliar drum to a specific sound using only numbers isnt working? That's because the device doesnt have ears. You do. Try using them instead.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Best solution right here.

Put the TuneBot down, tune the drum by ear, use TuneBot to write down final numbers.

Lots of overthinking going on here.

Trying to tune an unfamiliar drum to a specific sound using only numbers isnt working? That's because the device doesnt have ears. You do. Try using them instead.
Yes, ok, that make sense, the tunebot help me to stop as wel, I mean, I always hear even 0.5 hertz of difference so, I try again and again and cannot have the perfect pitch all a cross for my ears.... So, when I'm at "0.5 green" under the pitch goal or 0.0 for some other lugs, I stop. If no tunebot, I consume and it take years and I'm never happy, due to this stupid 0.5 hertz difference...I know, when I gave a new snare, I overthink all the time... Like "how I should approach this girl??"
 

Quai34

Junior Member
Try keeping the Reso head same tension and alter the batter to suit. Snare or Tom sound ..8 lugs isn't a lot for a 15" but it shouldn't matter that much. keep playing around with it by ear I think..
Ok, good idea, I'm happy with the sound and tension of the snare sides now, which was not the case before, then, I will play with the batter head. I understand I cannot have both so, maybe, Inwill try again to have my Tom sound I like and see how it is with the wires up, see if I like it... And if not, I will go for a snare sound the lowest possible, maybe keeping the C3 and verifying if it goes well with al the other snare son the kit and the Toms,
Thanks a lot guys, that was really helpful to help me to simplify it.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I think the biggest stumbling block comes from how you tune the bottom head of a snare very differently than the bottom head of a tom, because they do very different jobs.

On a snare drum the bottom head's primary goal is to provide a hard surface for the wires to vibrate against. On a tom you want the bottom head to vibrate in a way that complements the top head.

Another issue is that big drums sound really messy when tuned low, so to get a "big and low" tone from a snare drum you'll need to muffle a lot to filter out all that extra racket. But a snare tuned and muffled to sound good really low is probably going to sound a little dull and lifeless if all you do is switch the wires off.

I agree 100% with C. Dave on this one: Don't worry about the TuneBot right now, and especially don't worry about trying to force a snare drum into tom tom tunings. As you've already found out a tom tom that suddenly gets wires added to the bottom isn't going to sound like a (good) snare drum. You need to make the drum sound good as a snare first, and then make some small adjustments to get the tom sound to your liking.
 

Quai34

Junior Member
I think the biggest stumbling block comes from how you tune the bottom head of a snare very differently than the bottom head of a tom, because they do very different jobs.

On a snare drum the bottom head's primary goal is to provide a hard surface for the wires to vibrate against. On a tom you want the bottom head to vibrate in a way that complements the top head.

Another issue is that big drums sound really messy when tuned low, so to get a "big and low" tone from a snare drum you'll need to muffle a lot to filter out all that extra racket. But a snare tuned and muffled to sound good really low is probably going to sound a little dull and lifeless if all you do is switch the wires off.

I agree 100% with C. Dave on this one: Don't worry about the TuneBot right now, and especially don't worry about trying to force a snare drum into tom tom tunings. As you've already found out a tom tom that suddenly gets wires added to the bottom isn't going to sound like a (good) snare drum. You need to make the drum sound good as a snare first, and then make some small adjustments to get the tom sound to your liking.
Yes very you're right, there is no way it could sound good just adding the snare wires if the tuning is the one of a Tom. I noticed and remembered what I had read, that a bottom head on a snare needs to be tight enough otherwise the wires rattle a lot. I'm happy currently with the sane sound, it's at B2 now, almost still C3 on the tunebot but I checked it tonight and my tuning by ears was really close to the time not even numbers all across the lugs.
When I add more than 2 large true tones dampers, there is more weird overtone anyway.
I bought a snare weight M80, I will put it on snare and remove it in Tom, I think I will have to consider it as a Tom nut not as low as a 15" TOM.... Maybe between the 12" and the 13"?
I have the 16" at C2, the 13" at G2, the 12" at B2 and the 10 at E3, if at B2 it sounds too close to the 12", I will tune it back to C3, that will still be my lowest snare drum, the others are al between F3 and B3
 
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