Snare side experts needed - audio example included

Soulfinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 25, 2017
Messages
343
Reaction score
267
Location
Vienna, Austria
Really, back off the snare side head tension a bit and see if it gets better. That drum wants to resonate but the reso head won´t let it. Also, the snare wires might be too tight as well.
 

blueshadow

Just Shuffling along
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Aug 5, 2005
Messages
13,668
Reaction score
1,743
Location
North of Austin, Texas
Just my experience and opinion. Keep the snare side...for me there's nothing better on a Ludwig Snare than the Ludwig snare side....for the batter though I go with Aquarian and for wires Canopus, they in my opinion make all the difference
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
Thanks for all the help. I'm so used to working with metal snare drums that maybe I'm trying to push this maple a bit too far. I can usually just crank metal snares up quite hi and still get a great sound. Maybe this wants a bit lower tuning all around.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
960
Location
Germany
When changing the heads, did you inspect the bearing edge and hoop for evenness/roundness? It just seems odd to me that with even tuning a strange tone like this would creep in.
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
Yep. I checked it over very well and the bearing edges look perfect. I agree that it's pretty odd
 

Hop

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
705
Location
L.A., CA
To help you with a comparison I took a couple of brief videos using a smartphone (S9), so it will have that limited quality aspect to it.
Your recording seems more high pitched on the attack so I'll attribute a portion of that to your device.

The fist vid has some lighter strikes and the second more firm. I do notice overtones build when hitting the batter head off-center, then drying up moving towards dead center.
Obviously there is more ring when hit off-center, and I do use this to my advantage for some sound differentiation - to get some of the "honk" in a accent pattern for example.
I also had a Hammered Bronze 6.5" x14" nearby and it had similar overtones when I struck the head off center. That drum has Twin Channel Die Cast hoops and a Remo FiberSkyn head - it's an older head but not much playing time on it. In the vid I also slightly dampen the batter head with a very light finger touch and the overtones really drop off (also on the Hammered Bz).

I would say that the top head is certainly the culprit generating the undesirable tone, which can easily be tamed by even the tiniest bit of damping... or you can just play it loud and proud!!!



 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
Hop
Your video sound like what I would expect. Mine has something other than just shell resonances to it. Judging by the clip, I'd say your snare is in a lower tuning around a B flat, just off the top of my head. Mine was quite a bit higher, around a D. I will keep experimenting. This odd sound drives me a bit crazy simply because I don't know why it happens. Right now I'm just in research mode trying to understand it. One piece of moon gel stops that issue but it also takes away the character of the snare. It's funny that when I am engineering sessions, I always ask the drummers to dampen some of the ring. Now, when it comes to my own snares, I want to hear a little bit more ring. What a hypocrite I am!
 

okachobi

New Member
Joined
Apr 10, 2007
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Just my experience and opinion. Keep the snare side...for me there's nothing better on a Ludwig Snare than the Ludwig snare side....for the batter though I go with Aquarian and for wires Canopus, they in my opinion make all the difference
I agree with this opinion. Ludwig's batter heads are crap, but the snare sides are fantastic. They are super thin and sensitive. The ring you hear, IMO, is due to a combination of the tuning and the Ludwig batter head. The first thing I do with a new Ludwig metal snare is put an Ambassador coated on it. You're always going to have some ring, but you can clearly hear the resonant wave in your recording which is causing sympathetic snare buzz. I think a little more distance between the head's pitch as well as adjusting the snare wires would help, and if this is a vintage ludwig, consider replacing the snare wires. It sounds a bit like some are looser than others and putting uneven tension. That happens if they become stretched out or get snagged during transport. Of course, save the originals...
 

Drumbumcrumb

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2019
Messages
180
Reaction score
173
Location
Rhode Island
Idk, sure sounds like either a head/head interaction or a snare wire issue. (Also - Have you checked everything for tightness at the mounting points? Lugs, butt, throw?) I’m thinking your SS head could be just too tight. I know 400 is the ‘magic number’ for tune-bot users, but ime that’s waaaay too tight. (350-375 is more like it) I’d try backing off the snare side more than you’d think. I know Ludwig makes a good SS head, but some drums just ‘like’ a different brand. I’ve had better luck with Evans 300 and Hazy Ambs, even on old Ludwigs. I keep some of each around, you never know what a shell will like best.

For the wires - this is why I prefer cords. (I didn’t think Ludwig ever used straps? Maybe the drum was pre-owned, or you switched...) It’s one thing to have your wires centered, but they also want to be squared. You can’t really adjust that with straps/ribbon, but with cords you can. Also, the cord holes are further out and allow for a wider pull - you’re pulling from the ends of the plate instead of the middle (which sometimes leaves the outside wires less tensioned).

This is part of my love/hate relationship with Ludwig... They make great drums that are often poorly engineered. The crappy throws, the crappy lugs, the splayed rods, the loosening rods, too-short spurs, clamps that don’t clamp, etc, etc. Sure they’ve had some winners, but they never seem to buckle down and keep it consistent. When you buy say a $700 drum, you shouldn’t have to start troubleshooting and replacing parts and all that. But hey it’s Ludwig, so we keep buying!
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
I was tuning the snare side to 440 (A) but did drop it down to 391 (G). I've got an Ambassador SS Hazy on it right now. I didn't like the Ludwig SS. Seemed super thin, like maybe 2mil? Not sure, but I replaced it. I've tried both the stock wires and puresound custom 20. I actually liked the stock a bit more. The stock wires came with straps. That's how the new 403 snares are coming now. It has the 88 throw-off. I did swap the straps for strings. I put an Evan HD Dry on the top and tuned it lower. It got better. I still have some troubles when I try to get the wires as tight as I'd like them. Then the strange overtones start again. Maybe this snare just wants a lower tuning with a bit looser wires. I'm definitely not a snare genius. Just trying to learn as I go.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
960
Location
Germany
I still have some troubles when I try to get the wires as tight as I'd like them. Then the strange overtones start again.
Now that does point to the snares. I don't know of any interaction between wire tension and batter head overtones.
In the end, I think you need to figure this out for yourself, so many variables. Much easier to tell with the drum on your lap. Maybe take it to a shop with knowledgeable staff and ask for help there.
 

Renu

New Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2012
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
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.
What about springs inside the lugs?
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
I don't think it's the springs. I'm starting to hear this problem on many of my snares now. The one common denominator is ME, so I will take it that I'm the problem. My guess is that maybe I'm trying to get the snare wires too tight and they start creating weird resonances like that. I've tried swapping snare wires out and the problem still plagues me. I've seen a lot of guys say to just tighten the snares till they make contact and you can still get them to respond to a very soft hit. When I set it up that way, the wires are just way too noisy for my liking. I'm looking for a shorter snare sound, so I tighten them up a bit. It doesn't take much before I start hearing the problem again. As I said before, a little muffling stops it but that isn't what I was going for. I guess I'm still kind of a noob; more engineer than drummer by far.
 

Hop

DFO Veteran
Joined
Feb 11, 2012
Messages
2,246
Reaction score
705
Location
L.A., CA
One thing to consider is how the drum sounds within a musical setting. Most of the "noise" is going to lost in the sound scape of the band setting while playing music.
If you're too critical without other instruments you may not get the best sound or it may not even be realistic. You can make a drum very sterile sounding in the pursuit of perfection (i.e. trying to get it to sound like a particular drum off a record that has a lot of tuning/dampening/processing/gating...).

Snares are just plain sensitive, you can snap your fingers a few inches above your drum and it will activate the snares. Conventional folklore says to just "crank" the bottom head, but what vibrates more, a tighter or looser head? What will have more attack, a tighter or looser head? What will have shorter sustain, a tighter or looser head? It's all about compromise to get "that" particular sound, even if you're going for a drum corps snare dryness/articulation.
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
I will keep experimenting. I may try the Puresound Equalizer snare wires. That may or may not help. I thank you all for your input. I'm probably just being way too picky or my skills at dialing in a snare are not quite there yet.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,346
Reaction score
360
Location
SF Bay Area
Could it just be a harmonic ringing based on the interval of the tuning?

Maybe the Pearl doesn’t do it because the smaller shell won’t create that harmonic?

Evidence points to the likelihood that two drums of the same depth and diameter, made by the same company, would be more likely to share build characteristics than another drum built by another company, which also has very different dimensions.
 

Cauldronics

DFO Master
Joined
Feb 14, 2011
Messages
5,346
Reaction score
360
Location
SF Bay Area
Another thing that can happen is the tension of the strainer pulling the wires can slightly deflect the shape of the shell and cause weird overtones and ringing that don’t exist before that point of tension is applied to the shell.

Like you mentioned earlier, when you tightened up the strainer to get a shorter note out of the drum, the weird ringing began again. It could be that your idea of a little more tension in the strainer is more than what the average joe drummer would use.

One potential solution is to weave thin fishing line through the wires. This will shorten their decay and the note of the drum. It doesn’t look great but it’s effective.
 

noreastbob

Very well Known Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2010
Messages
855
Reaction score
224
Location
Great North Woods, NH
My lord it sounds like a wide open snare! Any kind of mild damping will be perfect. I use 1/2 a moongel on my Edge. I feel no dishonor. Just move the gel closer or farther from the rim to adjust the amount of ring you want.
 

Seb77

DFO Veteran
Joined
Apr 11, 2013
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
960
Location
Germany
Another thing that can happen is the tension of the strainer pulling the wires can slightly deflect the shape of the shell
You might be right, but this would be way too much tension. Wires on the snare side head should be anywhere between "kissing" and "embracing" each other, not the wires "strangling" the head.

You can get a tighter, crisper snare response with deeper snare beds and/or wires that are pressed into the head more than just being pulled across.
There is also a method of overtightening the wires that creates the 70s Steve Gadd sound, but you need a very loose batter head for this, and some serious batter head muffling.

Accepting snare buzz is a life lesson in a way. Nothing is perfect, or rather, it's the imperfections that create beauty. Embrace the buzz!
 

mcirish

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 18, 2020
Messages
74
Reaction score
40
Snare buzz isn't the real problem here. I realize snare buzz will happen. It's that sound that happens after the initial hit that drives me crazy. It happens .5-1 second after the initial hit. It's probably caused by tuning, wire tension, type of wires and probably many other things that combine to cause the trouble. I know, I'm totally anal about it and I'm probably being ridiculous. I'd just like to understand what it is that I'm hearing. Surprisingly, it happens most on the Ludwig 403 classic maple snare. I would think my metal snares would have it more, but it's mostly just my Ludwig snares that I wrestle with. Which, is odd in itself. Yes, muffling the snare does help. Maybe I should just get over it and move on. I do use some dampening in sessions. I like to hear a bit of the shell ring as that give some character. I guess I have been thinking I should be able to get a great sound without the odd overtone thing, even without muffling. I watch a lot of tuning videos and I never hear that problem in any of those videos. It's got me a bit baffled. Anyway, thank you all for your input.
 


Top