Snare - Moon Gel, Gaffers tape, drum clip, wallet - What do you use?

swarfrat

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I prefer single ply heads even though I am not a fan of a long ring. I've come to accept a little ring as long as it's short and crunchy and not the obnoxious "I'm an advanced drummer who has learned to appreciate the acquired taste of obnoxiously ringing snare drums which you low life bashers obviously don't" that comes across so often on the boards. (Witness all the people chiming into a thread on muffling techniques about not using any).

I don't like the double note that's never in tune of a 2-ply head, and I like the feel of a single ply head. But otherwise you could expect me to be in the 2-ply camp just by my musical preferences. So.. just because a person likes ambassadors doesn't automatically put them in the "no muffling" camp
 

bpaluzzi

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A quick peruse of the replies reveals only one that mentions the kind of head(s) being used......
Lots of nifty suggestions, but on what kind of head(s)?
Would you dampen a Remo coated Ambo the same or differently than a coated Evans Genera dry for instance...two relative head choice extremes but ya get the drift.
bt
FWIW, I only ever use two heads on general-purpose snares -- a coated Ambassador if it's medium volume and below, and a coated CS if it's louder than that. Both are fairly open heads, and give me the headroom to add muffling as needed. I don't like heads with built in muffling on snares, unless it's a drum that is going to be used ONLY in one way (I have a coated hydraulic on my 15" snom, because that's only ever going to be tuned to "doooooosh")
 

cribbon

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When I want to cut just a bit of the ring, I use an O-ring (Evans or Remo, whichever is available). When I want that big fat Pink Floyd splat!, I use another head (13 atop my 14 Blacro) flipped upside down. When I'm not using it, I lean it against the two outer legs of my hi-hat and it stays there within easy reach.
 

5stroke

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All of the above...
Depending on the musical/physical situation. Each type brings a different quality and I try to match that up.
No "favorite."
 

MitchLyons

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Depends on the drum, the tuning, room/front of house (if any), and head selection. I typically avoid Moongel because I feel like it slightly dampens the overall attack of the drum, which is not something that’s ideal when playing hardcore/metal. My favorite dampening method lately has been the snareweight M80 on snares, folded in half. Gates the drum just enough to tame the annoying overtones but still lets the drum breathe.

On my toms right now I use the Snareweight M1 on the floor tom, the M1 folded in half on the 13” rack and the Snareweight Cuts (made of Mylar and discontinued) on the 12” rack tom. The Cuts dampeners are the best tom dampeners I’ve ever used and I’m very bummed that you can’t get them anymore.

Gaff tape is also a good friend of mine, especially if a reso head needs a little bit of love, or if I need a very small amount of dampening. It’s the most “transparent” dampening method and sounds the most natural.

Since I play loud music (hardcore and metal) in small rooms with minimal miking (usually just kick and snare), I typically take all dampening off of the toms and only use a very small amount on the snare unless it’s sounding ideal for the room. I tune my toms slightly higher than most would, for maximum resonance, which equates to volume in that instance.

For bigger venues with large PA’s, I try to keep the drums pretty dampened and let the sound man do his job to make them come through nicely. I don’t particularly think there’s a hard and fast rule that applies to every situation.
 

DavedrumsTX

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I have used many different things over the years. Even an old cotton sock, which interestingly bends around the rim. I don't now, moon gel is good but it dries out. I had high hopes for the "drum clip," but it just doesn't do exactly right. Gaffers tape is ok, put a piece on your snare and change it with the head change. The wallet, piece of cloth of some sort, all work well but sometimes gets a bit in the way. I have a few snares with internal mufflers, but they never seem to be quite right so I generally don't use them. Then there are the rings of all sorts, including cutting your own from an old head. Never got any of those to do what I wanted for some reason.

What's your favorite snare mute/muffler?


gabo
I prefer to tune the drums well and not use muffling. Muffling limits the different tones I can get out of a drum.

If the Engineer or FoH asks for muffling, I use Drum Tacs. They are best based on my experience and don’t get dirty like moon gels and Drum Dots. I will typically use them on my bigger floor toms(16”, 18” & 20”).
 

zeichner

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My unmuffled sound is an Evans UV1, which gives me the most brightness that I would want. From there, I have made a couple O-rings from old heads (1/2" & 1"), as well as a full head cutout & one with a 3" hole in the middle. I also like a SnareWeight M1 to take just a bit of the edge off. Additionally, I carry several bandanas in my stick bag, in case I need a different kind of muffled sound.
 

senecaty

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A very small amount of tape, if anything at all! I spend a considerable amount of time on tuning for matched frequency, head combos, using “high end” snares and straps…etc. in addition to collecting and playing killer drums. For my ears, very few need any muffling at all unless in the studio and requested by an engineer!
 

FrankF

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I like the snare weight m1. its about 20.00 bucks most places.
I agree of all the items out there and I’ve tried them all. The snare weight is the most consistent. I use different sizes on my snare and toms. Great product, doesn’t dry out and can be used over and over again when you replace heads. Also if you have several snares you can move it from one to the other without any problems.
 

Drumskillz

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On snare? Depends. On the one's that need it, I prefer to use a Genera, Genera Dry or Attack Toneridge2. One of those will usually do what I need for it to do.

If I want less, I'll use the furniture pads mentioned previously. I remember seeing DrumTacs the first time and thinking "hey, those are chair felts". Then I saw a video where a guy used chair felts. Sold! If interested, just do an Amazon search for 'furniture pads'. Tons of 'em. All sizes.

Toms? Nine times out of ten, nothing. Just careful tuning and head choice. On the rare occasions it's necessary, a few cotton balls on the reso head does the trick.

Oh, and I neglected to mention...when I want the big old fat BOOOSSSH then I will make a quick and dirty BFD ring and throw it on. I have several now, made from different heads of different thickness. Great use for old heads.
 
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FlowTom

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Noted drum tech Udo Masshoff says:

"There will be no facking moon jail !"
 

gbow

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Great responses and thanks for all the ideas and things to try that I haven't tried before. Here are several things I took from the thread.

1. Thanks for the TACO dampener!! hahah, awesome.

2. I agree with many posters that a lot of times I use nothing. Here at DFO, we are all about good drums tuned correctly and set up correctly. So I am totally on board with that. However, there are those times when the sound/session/gig requires something. And on gigs, it needs to be something adjustable/removable as it may only be for a song or two.

3. Lots of great DIY ideas. I have used cut out old drum heads, wallets, bandanas, old socks, etc. etc. but there were a few other suggestions I have not used. Oddly I have never used the "binder clip" to hold down something. Which is brilliant and also an easy DIY version of the snareweight M80 and M1b if you have an appropriate piece of leather to use.

4. Thanks to Drum Gear Review! You guys are great.

Drum tone, especially snare tone, can always be an elusive thing. I'll have to say that sampled sounds have really upped my game in terms of recording real drums. I like to use Addictive Drums 2, but what I mostly use it for is finding a sound I really like, then trying every trick I can find to actually get that same sound with my real drum set up. All of the AD2 sounds are "real drums" set up and recorded in some of the best rooms and produced by the best in the business. So figuring out how to replicate some of those sounds is really hard at times. But it has improved my recording sound immensely and even my live sound as well. It's easy with AD2 to record your drums, trigger them with AD2 and then turn on/off the triggering. That gives you an easy A/B comparison between your recorded sound and the AD2 sound. I've spent hours/days/months working to get a snare sound that is equivalent to the AD2 sound. If you work at AD2 enough, you can also pull apart the pieces. There is a way to turn off all the FX on an AD2 sound to hear what the base drum recording sounds like. That gives you the ability to try to replicate your snare set up, mic, room raw recording sound with what they did. Then add your own FX to duplicate the fully processed sound. It's an interesting exercise if anyone is game for the challenge.

In my old age, I do a lot of session work. Some times as an actual drummer, some times as an engineer/tech and some times just as a consultant. All because I have developed many different techniques over the years for getting good sounds.

But it's a never ending quest. And part of the quest is finding different things to put on top of your drum to make cool sounds. Including traditional muffling techniques like we discussed here.

A bit off topic, but for a more comprehensive look at how to get interesting sounds, check out Mark Everetts channel on youtube (I think Mark also is here on DFO). Mark has a lot of interesting ideas about how to get cool sounds out of drums, some times not all that useful in "real" songs and sometimes "just the ticket" in a real song. But very creative and brilliant. Here's Mark talking about various cool drum mic'ing techniques.

 

1988fxlr

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Most of my snares have internal mufflers to adjust for lively rooms and when I’ve had drums that were ringy in all rooms I’ve used different head choices to control overtones. When you want to quickly go back and forth between a lively sound and a ringo vibe I like tying the corner of a cotton bandana around the 11 o’clock lug so you can flip it on or off easily. If you find thin golf towels with the little clip on them they can work similarly clipped to 7/8 oclock on the hanging tom so when its hanging it doesn’t interfere with the bass pedal (on a righty kit)
 

ChipJohns

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I played a lot of clubs back in the 80’s. I always had a pack of tampax with me. between set up and first song, ac kicked in or lots of people raise temp. either way i’d have a drum that would ring. i just pulled a pad out and stuck it the drum head. it usually got me through the set..!!
 

kzac

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I have used many different things over the years. Even an old cotton sock, which interestingly bends around the rim. I don't now, moon gel is good but it dries out. I had high hopes for the "drum clip," but it just doesn't do exactly right. Gaffers tape is ok, put a piece on your snare and change it with the head change. The wallet, piece of cloth of some sort, all work well but sometimes gets a bit in the way. I have a few snares with internal mufflers, but they never seem to be quite right so I generally don't use them. Then there are the rings of all sorts, including cutting your own from an old head. Never got any of those to do what I wanted for some reason.

What's your favorite snare mute/muffler?


gabo
I only muffle drums while in the studio, recording. For live play, I let them sing... even with mics...
 

6topher

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Tuning, head choice & playing dynamically on all areas of the head mostly. I do keep a moon gel around for less than stellar soundman or an obnoxiously harsh room.
 
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