Should a 5" solid wood snare sound Louder than a 5" Supraphonic

Markkuliini

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Ok guys, that video was total BS. It tries to claim that dB-peak is the same as perceived volume. It's far from the truth.

Let's disect this thing...

Firstly, his/hers touch and aim on the drum was pretty bad, it was not constant.

Secondly, there was no rimshots. Rimshots are absolutely necessary if you want the hear the shell's sound and volume. Hitting like that we mainly heard the heads ringing, naturally at pretty much the same volume.

Thirdly, and this is the main point: Even if rimshots and steady force were used, the SPL meter would still probably show pretty even numbers, even though we would feel that some drums are clearly louder and pearcing than others.
Why is that? It's because SPL meter doesn't represent the ear very well, and only shows the loudest peak in dB's which is always the LOWEST fundamental note that the drum produces, usually around very ear pleasing 200 Hz.
The lower the frequency, the more energy it requires, and that's why it's always the drums lowest note/highest energy peak that determines the dB-level (unless the meter is calibrated to a specific pitch)
And it doesn't matter at all how wild or mild it's upper harmonics are. Unmuffled ambassador on a bell brass snare, hit with off center rim shot. You know how that rings and pretty much melts your face. OUCH! Well, SPL-meter thinks that's not too loud, it's only the fundamental note, nothing else matters.

(Attached picture what a snare drum might look like on EQ. Note how much higher the 200 Hz peak is compared to every thing else)

But what makes humans perceive a snare drum's volume is it's upper harmonics, the ring. And actually also how fast the drum releases it's sound. You know, those really immediate and popping kind of drums that make everyone blink at every back beat.
We perceive them louder too. But they are not louder judged by how much they make dB-meter peak, since the meter can't really tell the difference between wide sounding snare with slow attack (vintage mahogany in low tuning) and tight gunshot type snare with fast attack (jarrah with diecast in tight tuning).

I feel bad that someone has used so much time and effort to make a video that has absolutely no useful information, and it's actually making people think that loudness is something that a SPL-meter can easily meter.

snare.png
 

Elvis

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Ludalloy 400. I also have a HH bronze which I have not tested since it is 6 1/2
Then yes, in my opinion, the N&C would seem louder, especially if its the 3 7/8" deep model.
Loudest snare drum I've ever heard.


Elvis
 
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drummer5359

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There are a lot of variables. I currently own ten single ply maple snare drums from various manufacturers. The depths vary, the bearing edges vary, the type of hoops vary. Every one of them is capable of being quite loud. Are they louder than my Supraphonic? I think so.
 

JDA

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Silver sparkle is louder.
Metal is brighter than wood. and
heavier cymbals can play lighter.
What other drummer logic is there.

O
if you arrive last at your gig set up space will be smaller..
 
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jptrickster

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I would say the Supra was louder compared to its wooden counterparts back in the 60’s and 70’s. I lv’d the tone and feel of a Jazz fest and other 3 ply’s of that era but they got drowned out, ‘cept for the wood Powertone, serious balls.
The Supra was a much needed kick in the ass for R&R. Wooden shells have evolved, mega ply’s sharp edges, no rings , I believe they have gotten louder/cleaner over the years. Supra stayed the same as it always was. And then I bought a microphone and none of it really mattered anymore. Can you hear me now?!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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I don't know about that but I would think to be a fair test, the mic should be the same distance on every snare. On the snare before the acrolite, it's much closer and on the acro, a shorter drum, it's like four inches above the drum. I would think that would affect volume. I'm no scientist though.... I didn't really think any of those drums sounded good. They seem to all have the same tone and weren't tuned for each specific drum.
 

Hop

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Sounds may be "psychoacoustically" perceived as differing in loudness even though several different tones have the same sound intensity simply because our sensitivity to sound is variable across different frequencies. The flaw is inherent in our physical and mental limitations to perceive sound energy as it exists (interested parties can check out this subject by looking up Fletcher–Munson curves aka "equal-loudness contours") .

All SPL meters measure how much energy a sound generates. However, more complex SPL meters are also capable of tonal detection, measuring/producing a spectrum analysis of a sound across an extremely wide range of frequencies (see attached images for examples).

So to be fair to the producer of the video posted above, it really wasn't a waste of time. It showed that striking the batter head in that manner produced consistent sound intensities (energy) across the sampled lot, answering one (small) part of the "loudness" question.

However, a more important question or set of questions as to the "quality" of the sound produced was raised. The video answered "How much energy?" and Markkuliini is asking the more relevant / critical "What kind of energy?" question.

Unfortunately that question is to difficult too answer without some kind of epic undertaking. I don't know what lunatic would try this kind of project other than an internet-billionaire with way too much time on his (or her) hands... but I think it would be fun to catalog... maybe one day if I hit the lotto or become an internet-billionaire???

After all the data capture was done for all the possible snare components combinations (shell, heads, rims, tension, strainer/butts etc..) we could produce a theoretical catalog full of tonal frequency maps for a given snare. Could it end the arguments over what sounds louder or better? Probably not. The catalog would just show what a snare's potential is. I think we'd revert to challenging individual perception again and we'd all have to go and get semi-annual hearing tests (including equal-loudness contouring assessments) and display them as "listening credentials" to validate opinions!!!
 

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