Your Preferred Method of Snare Drum Muffling

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
Several threads have been launched as of late on the topic of overtone control, mostly as it pertains to toms. This thread focuses on snare drums. What do you do, if anything, to muffle your snare? Moongel, tone-control rings, tape, your wallet? Share your solutions and explain why you implement them.

For the most part, I like a tight, crisp snare drum, not a fat one, so I don't use heavy muffling. A strip of blue painter's tape positioned about an inch from the rim is my modus operandi. It tames a few rebellious overtones while permitting the head to resonate without severe restriction. Otherwise, I play my snare wide open.
I've really enjoyed the Snareweight M1. It clips on the hoop - it's a nice looking piece of leather that kind of floats on the head - it's got magnets on it, so you can flip it all the way up and go to zero dampening or you can magnet the sides into the middle for variable muffling options.

It's the by far the best looking and most versatile little muffling system I've ever used - photographs well too and costs $15. Comes in white, black and brown.

There's a wider version too if you want more muffling options called the M80 - that might be nice for some people because it's about twice as wide as the M1.

My only problem is that it didn't like my vintage style stick saved hoops that have that little bend in towards the head - every other kit/drum though it's worked like a CHARM.
 

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Stevedot2

Well-known member
What are people's thoughts on pre-muffled heads? There are tons of them out there but I really wonder if they are worthwhile.
 
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Odd-Arne Oseberg

Platinum Member
I generally don't really muffle, but I do bring and a bunch of Moongels just in case. Reality is that the only drum that's seen much of them for a long while is my Pandeiro.

Big Fat Snare gets used, but I wouldn't say it's a regular thing. It has happened.

EDIT: I have coated Ambassdors on everything but the BD which is a PS3.
 
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C.M. Jones

Well-known member
What are people's thoughts on pre-muffled heads? There are tons of them out there but I really wonder if they are worthwhile.
I'm using Ebony Pinstripes on my toms and bass right now. They're two-ply heads with an overtone-reducing agent between the plies. I like them just fine, and they do, in my case at least, eliminate the need for external muffling. I tried one on my snare too but have since returned to my standard Coated Ambassador.
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
What are people's thoughts on pre-muffled heads? There are tons of them out there but I really wonder if they are worthwhile.
I've used the Evan Genera Dry before with good luck and I've had the Evans EC2 SST heads on my toms with GREAT luck - in fact I have a "sound test" type video with those EC2 SSTs on youtube that 12k views and ONLY likes - not a single dislike which is rareeee haha. people LOVE the sound of those heads.
 

Stevedot2

Well-known member
I'm using Ebony Pinstripes on my toms and bass right now. They're two-ply heads with an overtone-reducing agent between the plies. I like them just fine, and they do, in my case at least, eliminate the need for external muffling. I tried one on my snare too but have since returned to my standard Coated Ambassador.
I'm still confused about pinstripes... I was under the impression there is nothing between the two plys, the clear version appears to have a slight oily substance but that this is just a trick of the light caused by the two plys interacting. The muffling part comes from the outer edges being fues together.

That was my understanding but I see different opinions all over the place. I had clear pinstripes on my old Dw maple kit, they sounded great regardless of how exactly they're made.
 

iCe

Senior Member
What are people's thoughts on pre-muffled heads? There are tons of them out there but I really wonder if they are worthwhile.
I use them now on toms and my bass (both Pinstripes), but i keep my snare wide open. Years back i always used a bit of dampening on my snare to reduce ring. Most of the time i made a square from a piece of tape and taped that on the batter head. Toms have always been wide open.

Until i discovered Todd Sucherman in 2011 or 2012 or so. Loved his snare sound and noticed that i liked a controlled ring. Played coated Ambassadors for a while, but switched back to coated CS (my preferred head). I keep the muffling off since then, since the CS does control the overtones and to me it's perfect. I did experiment with some moongel during live gigs, but then it sounded too dead to me and i didn't like the feel.
Don't know if you can count a coated CS as a premuffled head, but the power dot does muffle a tad.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
I'm still confused about pinstripes... I was under the impression there is nothing between the two plys, the clear version appears to have a slight oily substance but that this is just a trick of the light caused by the two plys interacting. The muffling part comes from the outer edges being fues together.

That was my understanding but I see different opinions all over the place. I had clear pinstripes on my old Dw maple kit, they sounded great regardless of how exactly they're made.
No oil in Pins. What you're seeing is light refraction as a result of 2 separate plies in contact with each other
 

NouveauCliche

Senior Member
No oil in Pins. What you're seeing is light refraction as a result of 2 separate plies in contact with each other
This is true - and it's actually really neat to know the science of it.

The two plies are constantly changing with the environment, albeit in a minuscule amount. If you see no rainbow of colors it means that the two plies are too close or too far away to create a refractive visible light wave or spectrum length. You can test this by placing your finger in an area that looks perfectly clear with no light refraction. Press down on the top film and release your finger and you will see a dot of various colors for a second before the film returns to its previous distance. The red color area shows that the top film is approximately 700 nm (nanometers) from the bottom film. The blue color area is slightly closer with the plies being around 450 nm from each other. The other colors follow the same pattern based on their visible wavelength.
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
I'm still confused about pinstripes... I was under the impression there is nothing between the two plys, the clear version appears to have a slight oily substance but that this is just a trick of the light caused by the two plys interacting. The muffling part comes from the outer edges being fues together.

That was my understanding but I see different opinions all over the place. I had clear pinstripes on my old Dw maple kit, they sounded great regardless of how exactly they're made.
There is no oil between the plies. However, that grey looking stuff around the perimeter is a light muffling agent. Here is a quote from Remo's site - " Constructed with 2-plies of 7-mil Clear film, Pinstripe® Clear drumheads have an overtone reducing agent applied between the 2-plies providing overtone control with increased attack."
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
Oh, and to get back to the OP - I don't use any muffling at all on my main snare probably 95% of the time. When I do muffle, it's very light - just a loop of tape or two.

I do sometimes use a second snare, tuned very low, with tape all the way around the perimeter UNDER the head, lying between the head and the bearing edge. This is the best muffling for this kind of sound I've ever tried. I picked up that trick from the "Sounds Like a Drum" YouTube channel.
 

C.M. Jones

Well-known member
I'm still confused about pinstripes... I was under the impression there is nothing between the two plys, the clear version appears to have a slight oily substance but that this is just a trick of the light caused by the two plys interacting. The muffling part comes from the outer edges being fues together.

That was my understanding but I see different opinions all over the place. I had clear pinstripes on my old Dw maple kit, they sounded great regardless of how exactly they're made.
Yes, the muffling in Pinstripes is on the outer edges of the plies, not in the middle.
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
What are people's thoughts on pre-muffled heads? There are tons of them out there but I really wonder if they are worthwhile.
I've used Evans Dry heads (with the holes along the perimeter) and those work well for dialing back excessive ring.

On snare drums I've liked heads that have a fixed attachment like the Aquarian Studio X or Evans EC2. Those scale back ring (to less of a degree than Dry venting) but leave the center of the head feeling "normal."

But I really don't care for floating-style edge rings like the Remo Powerstroke. On snares they seem to do too much ring control for my taste and leave the drum sounding lifeless.

Even though my general preference is no muffling that preference is informed by trying a lot of different heads on a lot of different snare drums. Depending on what I want (or don't want) from a particular drum helps me choose heads that suit a drum but what works on one snare may not sound as good on another.
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
I use no external muffling at all....never ever.

In terms of pre-muffled drum heads, I absolutely love the Remo Emperor X coated with the black dot.

I tighten the living hell out of that head and my snare absolutely cracks, barks and sings with nil overtones.

Best snare head ever (for me).
 

cdrums21

Gold Member
I use no external muffling at all....never ever.

In terms of pre-muffled drum heads, I absolutely love the Remo Emperor X coated with the black dot.

I tighten the living hell out of that head and my snare absolutely cracks, barks and sings with nil overtones.

Best snare head ever (for me).
I'm with ya man, I have an Empeor X on my black beauty and at a little higher tuning, the head sounds great on that drum, tames the ringing of the brass shell just enough. A lot of people comment about the thickness and it being unresponsive....which is true to a small degree, but for playing loud rock back beats, it works great and sounds fat and powerful. The sound guys I've worked with have no problems with the snare in the front of house sans muffling.
 

Benthedrummer

Junior Member
I'm with ya man, I have an Empeor X on my black beauty and at a little higher tuning, the head sounds great on that drum, tames the ringing of the brass shell just enough. A lot of people comment about the thickness and it being unresponsive....which is true to a small degree, but for playing loud rock back beats, it works great and sounds fat and powerful. The sound guys I've worked with have no problems with the snare in the front of house sans muffling.
I think the only way to utilise that head effectively in terms of tuning is it just needs an above normal tension......for me, exceedingly high. It just hits this point where it truly opens up and explodes.
 

Ransan

Senior Member
I use internal mufflers for the snares and my vistalite floor toms I have, lightly though.
I think it’s novel that my black galaxy acrolite has a internal muffler and oh yeah, I use it.
For my other snares that have overtones, I will use a remo reverse cs dot.
 
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