Tuning Snare

Discussion in 'rec.music.percussion' started by ch_squire, Aug 27, 2003.

  1. ch_squire

    ch_squire Guest

    This is something I've always been lousy at, and being away from music for a
    number of years hasn't helped.

    Looking for some advice on tuning a snare drums. I have a new kit, Mapex M
    Series. The snare sounded horrible when I set it up for the first time.
    Very tin-ey sounding, even though it is a wood snare.

    On the advice of the local drum shop, I replace the top head with a Aquarian
    Studio-X Texture Coated with Power Dot. It sounds a little better now, but
    unless I tune the top head way up, I'm still getting that tin-ey sustain.

    I would like to be able to tune the drum down for a "rock" sound. Any
    advice/techniques you can share would be great.

    Thanks!

    ch_squire
  2. "down for a rock sound" is wrong. You are trying to get a low sound out of a
    small drum most likely. if you want a big fat sound then buy a big fat drum
    like a 6.45 x 14 metal drum.

    --
    George Lawrence
    George's Drum Shop
    1351 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road #21
    Copley, Ohio 44321
    http://www.GeorgesDrumShop.com
    http://www.Drumguru.com
    330 670 0800
    toll free 866 970 0800

    "If thine enemy wrong thee,
    buy each of his children a drum."
    -Chinese proverb




    "ch_squire" <nospam@noway.com> wrote in message
    news:GtT2b.3745$hf1.1327@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...
    > This is something I've always been lousy at, and being away from music for

    a
    > number of years hasn't helped.
    >
    > Looking for some advice on tuning a snare drums. I have a new kit, Mapex

    M
    > Series. The snare sounded horrible when I set it up for the first time.
    > Very tin-ey sounding, even though it is a wood snare.
    >
    > On the advice of the local drum shop, I replace the top head with a

    Aquarian
    > Studio-X Texture Coated with Power Dot. It sounds a little better now,

    but
    > unless I tune the top head way up, I'm still getting that tin-ey sustain.
    >
    > I would like to be able to tune the drum down for a "rock" sound. Any
    > advice/techniques you can share would be great.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > ch_squire
    >
    >
  3. Vince Hine

    Vince Hine Guest

    My advice, go to drumweb.com and print Prof. Sound's drum tuning bible. It
    is free and has 42 pages on drum tuning. It was a great help to me.
    v
    "ch_squire" <nospam@noway.com> wrote in message
    news:GtT2b.3745$hf1.1327@twister.rdc-kc.rr.com...
    > This is something I've always been lousy at, and being away from music for

    a
    > number of years hasn't helped.
    >
    > Looking for some advice on tuning a snare drums. I have a new kit, Mapex

    M
    > Series. The snare sounded horrible when I set it up for the first time.
    > Very tin-ey sounding, even though it is a wood snare.
    >
    > On the advice of the local drum shop, I replace the top head with a

    Aquarian
    > Studio-X Texture Coated with Power Dot. It sounds a little better now,

    but
    > unless I tune the top head way up, I'm still getting that tin-ey sustain.
    >
    > I would like to be able to tune the drum down for a "rock" sound. Any
    > advice/techniques you can share would be great.
    >
    > Thanks!
    >
    > ch_squire
    >
    >
  4. Perry Justus

    Perry Justus Guest

    I'm able to get as fat, if not fatter, a sound out of my WFL 5x14 snare (with rough bearing edges, even!) than my 6 1/2x14 Ludalloy Supra. I'm unaware if this
    technique works for all snares, but for both of mine (I haven't even touched my scary old Percussion Plus) I tune this way, after everything's seated:

    Tighten both heads 10 small/medium turns on each head, in a batter/snare pattern. Once this is done, tighten the snare side three to five more times. If the batter still
    sounds a little foggy, tighten it two to three more times. When I've reached this point, I smack the batter off-center, towards the edge, to listen for a warm ring.
    Usually, there's not quite enough pitch bend, so I tighten the snare side a few more times.

    Having such a radical tensioning difference between the batter and snare totally makes sense; if you're not into a musical ringing tone, don't do this. Actually, scratch
    that; -do- do this, and just hit the head in the center instead of playing every little inch. I don't go for a uniform tension anymore -- it's too much of a hassle for me, any
    way -- and I know that a handful of others don't, either. This results in less of an exact pitch in the center of the drum, but allows for a much more beautiful tone
    outside that area.

    It may just be because my Supra has a few dents on the bearing edges, but I've noticed that it sounds best when the tensioning of the batter is offset like this: Lug 2
    lower than lug 1, lug 3 lower than lug 1, lug 4 lower than lug 1, lug 5 equal to lug 1, lug 6 higher than lug 1, lug 7 higher than lug 1, lug 8 higher than lug 1, lug 9 equal
    to or lowe than lug 1, lug 10 much higher than lug 1. The whole "right" side, minus the top and bottom lugs (this is if I have the head logo lined up to be dead top
    center, with the strainer positioned on the exact sides), is lower than the rest of the drum, now that I think about it. Draw your own conclusions... it works for me! :>

    Now, if I can just get the hang of tuning toms and especially bass drums (AIE!), I'll be all set to toss aside my bass drum towels... might take another six years...

    Perry


    On Wed, 27 Aug 2003 04:05:34 GMT, "George Lawrence" <drumguru@ameritech.net> wrote:
    > "down for a rock sound" is wrong. You are trying to get a low sound out of a
    > small drum most likely. if you want a big fat sound then buy a big fat drum
    > like a 6.45 x 14 metal drum.
    >
    > --
    > George Lawrence
    > George's Drum Shop
    > 1351 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road #21
    > Copley, Ohio 44321
    > http://www.GeorgesDrumShop.com
    > http://www.Drumguru.com
    > 330 670 0800
    > toll free 866 970 0800
    >
    > "If thine enemy wrong thee,
    > buy each of his children a drum."
    > -Chinese proverb
  5. John P.

    John P. Guest

    "Perry Justus" <pjustus@arn.net> wrote in a message

    > Now, if I can just get the hang of tuning toms and especially bass drums

    (AIE!),
    > I'll be all set to toss aside my bass drum towels... might take another

    six years...

    I think tuning toms is easy, but you have to invest some time and patience.
    I just set the drum on the carpet (so it kills whichever head is on the
    bottom), tighten all lugs equally in a cross pattern until I'm in the ball
    park of the note I'm looking for, then tap with a pencil (eraser end) about
    an inch from each lug to tweak until it's the same all the way around. Flip
    the drum and do the same for the bottom head. Then I lay the drum on its
    side and tap each head in the center to match the notes of each head. Once
    everything is all matched up, if I decide I want to tune it up or down a
    bit, I just turn all the lugs an equal amount (in very small amounts).

    My rack toms I have the top and bottom heads the same. On my floor tom, I
    tune the bottom head a little lower than the top.

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