Snare side experts needed - audio example included

mcirish

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Hey Guys,
I've got a couple of snares: Ludwig LM400, Ludwig Classic Maple 6.5x14, Pearl 3x13 brass and a Pearl Sensitone Phosphor Bronze 6.5x14. I am having some issues with the Ludwig snares that maybe you might have an answer for. I kind of set the LM400 off to the side when I got the Pearl Phosphor Bronze but I just got the Classic Maple. The problem? From both Ludwig snares I get a very strange overtone that happens after the snares stop. It's not simply head ring. It's a secondary overtone that begins after the wires stop and it lasts a couple seconds. It's very metallic in sound. Almost like I've choked the snares but they try to vibrate anyway. I'm trying not to be vague but its hard to describe. I'm sure it's due to my lack of understanding. If I us moon gel or any muffling, it will go away. So it's really just when it's wide open. I won't be playing it completely open but I'd like to understand what I am hearing.

snare overtone problem

Here are some specifics:
Ludwig Classic Maple snare 6.5x14
stock heads - Weather Master Heavy Coated on batter and Weather Master clear snare side. I assume its a 3mil snare side
Tuning: I like a medium high tuning: Bottom=A (pretty tight), Top=E (I usually think of a D as a medium tuning and an F# as high)
Stock snare wires

So, The Pearl snares do not have this odd overtone when tuned identical and played wide open. Do you think it has something to do with the snare bed depth differences?
I can post an audio clip if really needed but I figure this has to be so common that many of you know exactly what it is right now.

Thanks for the help.
 
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Seb77

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Audio would be helpful I guess.
Are the wires intact, nothing bent or loose, all flush against the head? How are they mounted? Plastic strap, cord, ribbon?
It sound like you know how to "true" a drumhead to have the same pitch all around. If the problem goes way once the batter head is muffled, it probably does originate there.
The snare side head seems a bit on the tight side for my taste, but a lot of people crank it like that. Have you applied any"tricks" such as loosening or tightening the t-rods near the beds differently?
I don't know about snare beds on Ludwig wood snares, but I know the Supra has a very gradual bed on the shallow side. Shouldn't be problematic, it's part of what makes the drum work so well.
 
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mcirish

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Hi,
Thanks for the reply. In the first post, I added a link to a cell phone recording of the issue. It's a crap recording but you can hear what I'm talking about.
The snares are using a strap. I could try using cords if you think that would help.
The hoop is sitting level and all tension rods are tuned evenly. I didn't try any changes to the snare side rods as far as loosening some.
 

speady1

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If it were me, I'd change the heads. I know some love them, but I despise the stock Ludwig heads for this very reason. They sound brittle, bright, and ring-y to me. I have a 6.5" Supra, BB, and CopperPhonic that all got new heads on day one to "tame the ring". I swapped all of them to Evans hazy 300 snare side, and coated G1 or G2's on top. Problem solved for me.
 

mcirish

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You might be right about the heads. I'd prefer a Remo Controlled Sound batter and either the hazy 300 or Ambassador hazy snare side. With some very ringy drums, I've like the Evans HD Dry too, but sometimes I don't feel I can get that head up to the pitch I want. Still, the HD Dry doesn't need any moon gel or gaff tape. Lately though, I've used controlled sound heads with a little dampening and I've been very happy with the crack.
 

Heartbeat

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I know exactly what you're talking about. Switching to a hazy Ambassador snare side can help. Also a little dampening on the batter head. I've experimented with snare wires with good results, too. I know, it's very frustrating. Mine was worst on my 8" Copperphonic.
 

Myk

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Ya, I would change the stock heads, may be the collar
 

Hop

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...The problem? From both Ludwig snares I get a very strange overtone that happens after the snares stop.
Here are some specifics: Ludwig Classic Maple snare 6.5x14
stock heads - Weather Master Heavy Coated on batter and Weather Master clear snare side. I assume its a 3mil snare side
Tuning: I like a medium high tuning: Bottom=A (pretty tight), Top=E (I usually think of a D as a medium tuning and an F# as high)
Stock snare wires...
I can clearly hear the after attack "whistle" going on from the sound clip.

I've got a 403 as well, in BEM... Oddly, I thought it sounded really good out of the box and played it that way for weeks. I was actually surprised how little sympathetic vibration I got out of the snares (this is in a boomy/small square room, 26" kicks). After getting used to it, I wanted a bit better stick response and added some tension first to the reso then the batter head (still using stock heads). After a small amount of tension (I tune by ear with conservative moves like 1/8 - 1/4 key turns) on that reso head, I got a lot of sympathetic snare buzz.

I'd say try de-tuning that reso head slightly and see if it affects the 'whistle' at all; then I'd also try a slightly higher tension as well, just to see if it disappears in a higher range as well.
Do you have die-cast or triple flange hoops on your 403?
 

Seb77

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That doesn't nice indeed.
Has to be something with the batter head. A wire wouldn't produce a tone like this, nor would the snareside head with the wires on. Maybe you could do a snares-off soundfile as well. it should also be different depending on where on the head you're hitting.

Could be a batter head tuning issue pure and simple. Try tuning really low but real evenly all around, then tighten by going around the drum doing quarter turns making sure it's really even.

You could check the wires by "strumming" over them lightly when they are tight to see if any of them buzz or are too tight.
You could also do this with the snares off to check (also visually) if the wires are all straight and at the same height.
I have had one or two wire sets, even expesnive ones, that were soldered badly.
 

mcirish

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Hop, You threw me off a little. I didn't even know the real number for the snare. I had to look it up. Yep, it's a 403.
I just have the stock triple flange hooks that come on it
 

mcirish

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Seb77,
It sounds pretty good with the snares off. The tuning around the drum is very even. I'm thinking heads now. Maybe a run over to GC is in order this afternoon.
 

Hop

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Hop, You threw me off a little. I didn't even know the real number for the snare. I had to look it up. Yep, it's a 403.
I just have the stock triple flange hooks that come on it.
I have DC hoops on mine, and I'll give it a 'critical' listening to later today, but I think off-hand I can say I don't have an issue like this.
I would change the tension on the reso head to see how it affects that aftertone, or even swap out the snares from another drum (as you mentioned it sounds good w/o snares engaged) to narrow the issue down.
 

mcirish

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I did another test. I left the snares on but set the drum on a soft cloth so the snare side head and snares would not be part of the sound. Amazingly, that strange overtone is still there. That makes me think there is something wrong with this stock head; at least at the pitch I want it to be at.
 

mcirish

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I got the heads: Ambassador hazy snare side and a controlled sound batter. I change heads one at a time to see if I could figure out where the issue is. It's still there but not to the degree it had been. I then changed the snare wires out from the stock 18 wires with straps to puresound custom 20 with strings. It has a much looser snare feel and that annoying overtone is reduced even more but it's still there. I guess it's time to start playing with snare side tuning. Anyone have any recommendations? I always tune to a G-A. Anything looser just doesn't feel right. But maybe I don't go for pitch but go for some other pattern to get an even response. Heck, I thought it would be easy to make this sound better than the Pearl Phosphor Bronze. Boy, was I wrong. That one just sounds right with no messing around. Obviously, I have some holes in my snare knowledge.

Is it possible that the shell just has that odd overtone inherent in it? Maybe I will tune it real low for that thuddy Eagles kind of thing. I'm sure it would be fine then, but not exactly what I was after. I was really hoping this would just be a slightly drier sound to what I already have.
 

Myk

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Maybe check if all lugs/throwoff/butt are tight on the inside of the shell , i had a rattle that i thought was the inside of my tom mount ( I mount my tom on a snare stand), but it turned out to be the inside mounting screws were loose
 

mcirish

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Hi Myk,
That was the very first thing I did, even before changing heads. It's a bit of a mystery. With a little muffling on the too, there is no problem. I was just trying to get a great sound wide open.
 

Ptrick

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I found my Ludwig snares in particular started acting funny with very high snare side tension. Try backing it off a bit and see. You might have to go a bit higher on batter to match the same overall pitch/feel.
 

mcirish

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Ptrick,
Do you shoot for any particular pitch on the snare side?
 

Ptrick

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Bottom-Between a G and G#, which is in the 390-415 HZ range on a tunebot, around 82-83 on drum dial.
 

mcirish

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I had it at an A. I dropped it to a G and it seems a little happier with that. I've got the batter tuned to a D so it's a mid tuning. I think I'm going to need to get used to using a bit of muffling on it just to tame the overtone a bit more. I like a little ring, but this is something completely different than ring. But, a little moon gel solves it. Maybe at some point I will throw a HD Dry head on it. I have one around here somewhere. That may dry it up too much but worth the experiment.
 


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