Serious snare question - The actual sonic difference between 5 and 6.5

Matched Gripper

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I have owned three 5x14” Supra’s from different time periods, tried every possible tuning and disliked them all equally. Same with Acro’s. Cranking the bottom head was the first thing I tried.
Surprising!
 

Elvis

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Well, for example I can´t stand the 5x14" Supra but I love the 6.5x14". The 6.5" gives me richness, body and musicality while the 5" is all "splat" and high end brittle crack.
Kinda sounds like the difference between a 20" and 22" ride cymbal, eh?

halldori said:
Regarding snare sensitivity; I think depth has very little to do with how sensitive snare drums are. The most sensitive and responsive snare I have yet played was a 70´s Premier Olympic marching snare 10x14". I remember scratching my head over that drum.
^^^YES^^^
I have a 13x3 and I used to have a 14x10. Both were equally sensitive.
I learned the same lesson owning both of those snares.

Elvis
 

JDA

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It never occurred to me to tension a 5 x 14 and 6.5 x 14 snare to identical (or close) pitch

Now I've spent some time doing that with 8 x 12 and 10 x 12 rack toms.

I got them satisfactorily close but acknowledged... the 10 x 12 was going to be darker and somewhat larger and was ok and have been ok with the difference.
 

Seb77

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A drum, however, is a membranophone - the pitch is determined by the size and tension of the membrane. The depth of the shell has nothing to do with it (or else roto toms wouldn´t work at all, and octobans were bass drums).
What the depth of a drum affects is the sound quality, the timbre, or whatever you want to call it.
There is a slight effect. You need to go to rather extreme differences in depth to make it obvious. You could test it with a 14x5 snare and a 14x14 tom using the same shell and heads. When tuned the same, the fundamental tone of the deeper drum will be slightly lower.
You need to tune the bottom higher on a deeper shell to get to the same relation between batter head and fundamental tone.
The fundamental tone is the result of the interaction between the two membranes and the air in between, the shell etc. (Not sure what the enclosure does, at the Frankfurt Messe I once saw some double-headed drums without a shell, would be interesting to do some testing with these. There are also drums with adjustable shell depth, would be interesting to check these as well).
 

ThomasL

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Like Seb wrote, a double-headed drum is a coupled resonator: two heads tuned to their respective tensions/pitches coupled by the shell and the air column inside the drum. So their is an effect, albeit relatively small.

I think deeper drums have more body at higher tunings, which is why I like 8x14 snares for jazz. And I like DC hoops, see the excellent post by MSG/nomsgmusic on page 2.
 

dboomer

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The part that no one seems to consider is the difference between 5-6.5 changes depending on the tuning. The change in depth acts differently on different frequencies. The harmonics will be different.

btw ... air motion does not move sound. Sound moves on waves of energy. If you are standing back 20’ from a speaker and you hear sound from that speaker your are not hearing the molecules of air that were in front of that speaker. If you were you would have been hit by 767mph wind
 

Seb77

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Here's another aspect: with a non-rimshot center hit, you hear a lot more of the fundamental tone. A rimshot stifles that part of the sound quite a bit. So, if you play mostly rimshots, a few inches of depth less or more might not make as much difference soundwise as if you play non-rimshot center hits.
 

ThomasL

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btw ... air motion does not move sound. Sound moves on waves of energy. If you are standing back 20’ from a speaker and you hear sound from that speaker your are not hearing the molecules of air that were in front of that speaker. If you were you would have been hit by 767mph wind
Sound travels through air as longitudinal pressure waves. It's not the air that moves at the speed of sound, it's the wave. The speaker element kicks the air molecules next to it, those kick other molecules and so on until the pressure wave hits your ear.
 


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