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To those of you with multiple snares....

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I really enjoy finding where each snare wants to "live," (for tuning) and which head, rims, and snare wires a drum sounds the best (to me) with.

I have several sets of die cast, wood, single flange, straight, TF, and COB rims, many different kinds of snare wires, as well as many different heads that are already broken in. When I get a snare, l put on a broken in rough white ambassador (as a neutral sound,) and tune it very neutrally. I play it for a while, record it a bit, and then (based on what I hear) start experimenting. Based on what I have heard, I might try a different head. When searching for THAT pitch, I bring the drum way down (tuning wise,) play a few tunes, and bring it up gradually between tunes (rehearsals are great for this, while vocalists are working out harmonies or something, I can QUIETLY tweak the drum I working with.)

I usually find a sweet spot that screams "leave me here, this is where I should live." I might try to augment that tuning with a different head (if neccessary) and rim choice, and occasionally different snare wires to help enhance the drums "voice." After I find "where the drum wants to live." It stays THERE! If I need a different sound for a gig or a track, I switch drums, and rarely retune a drum from where it wants to live!

After a lot of experimenting with many snares, I have had many surprises. The most recent surprise is how great a cheap 12" Steel snare sounds tuned waaay down with Emperor heads and a some muffling, Memphis fatback to the max!

Various past findings include:

Most 13's can sound really fat tuned down a bit (unfortunately I haven't found a 13 with a good cross stick though.) 15's are wonderful drums. 4" (depth) drums, are VERY versatile.

If you are cranking a snare up to the moon, nothing beats a stave (MUCH more body when cranked. Most drums really thin out when cranked, NOT staves.) The Sleishman Free Floating system is wonderful (and much better than the Pearl copy.)

To ME, strainers really matter, I turn the snares off A LOT! DC rims really bring modern BB's to life.

Maple really changes with age. Nothing beats vintage NOB. I still haven't heard a bad Noble & Cooley snare, but for single ply wood, nothing beats solid walnut (but solid cherry comes close.) My fave ply drums are Jarrah ply, and Eames Birch.

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SD-a-Holic,
MSG
 

moodman

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I noticed that my snares were kinda tuned alike, so I made an effort to get them further apart. I have coated Ludwig mediums on 2 Ludwig snares, Aquarian coated on a N&C. I like to tune them all at the same time, kinda tweaking them till they all sound good alone or in combination, I always have a main and aux when playing.
I have a N&C SSClassic that I crank both heads to the same note. The 5x14 solid maple shell has a bell-like ringing note. The 42 strand puresounds are kept loose.
My 6.5x14Black Beauty has a more complex note, is tuned medium range, top head a little tighter, stock Lud snares. I have a wood rim on top, think it brings the rimshot to a nice place and ,of course the cross stick is nice, once simulated horse hooves by just clicking it in two different areas.
I have a 6.5 Ludwig AccentCS Tuned a little above medium range, 12 strand puresounds.Really like this cheap little snare.
I have a Mapex picc cranked to simulate a timbale or if a want a high, nasty snare.
 

theneonguy

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You have a cool snare collection, man. I noted that most are deep. I prefer the deeper snare sound myself, with a 6.5" Pork Pie Big Black leading the way in my meager collection. What cracks me up is the guy who said to sell all your snares except the 2 Ludwigs. LMFAO! Also the guy with what looks like dozens of snares on racks. I guess he must be totally deaf from playing them all, night and day. What? He doesn't play or use them much? Seems like a hoarder to me. If it looks/quacks like a duck... Now I know why I can't find decent used snares at good prices. MSG snagged them all already. HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!
But yeah, you have considerable variety there, and prolly get lots of different effects from them, unless you're putting Ambassadors top and bottom on every single one as some might do. I have a good variety of heads as well as snares. Several have the prime quality Evans EC 360 Reverse Dot, some have Remos. I have a Slingerland and a Rogers with their own proprietary heads and I'll keep those on until they wear out, then upgrade to Evans. But the prior commentary is correct about the head being the most important factor in how the drum sounds. That and it's tuning. Variety is the spice of life. Some need more than others, or think they do. I like high tuning, lots of tension, for a loud crack and killer Rock sound. Each to his/her own. Just my opinion.
 
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Theoneguy,

I don't know if you were referring to me as having mostly deep snares, but I don't.
In 14's I have six 4x14's, eight 5 or 5.5's, nine 6 or 6.5's, three 7 or 8's. Other than 14's are: three 15's (4, 5.5, and 8,) two 13's, three 12's, and some 8 and 10's.

Or something like that... I lose track, and they are spread all over (in rehearsal halls, in cases, in band vans, in cars....)
It isn't a collection, they are colors on the palette, and tools in my toolbox. I only NEED two (I like to look at B&W photos as much as the next guy, dig?) But I like having the different colors available to me if/when necessary.

They are all tuned-set up differently, and they ALL get played, or they are gone!
MSG
 

shilohjim

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I'm up to 10 snares, and am going to trim it down to 2, a 5x14 acrolite with an Ambassador single ply, and a 6x14 Jasper shelled custom snare with an Evans HD Dry tuned down with 42 strand snare wires. Should cover a lot of ground.
This snare drum collecting is funny business considering Hal Blaine recorded 1000s of songs with "just" a Ludwig 400. Oh well, keeps the manufacturers in business.
 

Marquisjohnson22

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I have 18 (with 3 on the way) and I have a lot of variety. Yeah, some may have similarities but they pretty much have their own sound and I always know exactly what drum to go with when I want a certain sound.
 

Buxom

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I've got a 13x3.5" Mapex MPX that has become my main snare, and a 60s 14x5" Tama that's on the back burner in need of repair, but sounds decent as it sits.
 

pedro navahas

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I have 4 with one more I am working on but only use two, 5x14 Legacy ten lug and 6.5x14 Black Beauty. I have found they cover everything for me, the rest are just pretty to look at!!
 

Cauldronics

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Marquisjohnson22 said:
I have 18 (with 3 on the way) and I have a lot of variety. Yeah, some may have similarities but they pretty much have their own sound and I always know exactly what drum to go with when I want a certain sound.
Any favorites? The Kingbeat's gotta be up there, I'd think.
 

chilledbongo

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if you're a gigging drummer, then you know that no matter what one snare may have sounded like in one roon, it's going to sound different in the next room...

therefore, when you say you tune all your snares the same, im guessing you're a stay at home type of drummer?

i find that whenever a snare sounded great at the last gig, it sounds like crap at the next one. so i find myself adjusting the tuning accordingly.

youre going to get differences in projection from various drums, which depends more on the shell type than most anything else.....

if you gig a lot, then i'd say it worth owning multiple snares.
if you're a genuine drum collector, likewise...
if you just stay at home with your drums, then owning many snares is an issue between you and your wallet (or wife).
 

aparker2005

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Yeah I play my fair share at gigs, some pretty big venues for a local drummer. It's nice having multiple ones to choose from.

I play mostly at my church 4 times per week. My drums sound pretty much awful in there. No deepness to them at all.

I played a gig 2 weeks ago at The Rev Room in Little Rock. I hit my floor Tom with a hot rod and nearly fell off my chair. It's a Yamaha Stage Custom birch, but man that thing sounded like a RC, PHX, whatever. Could have been the mic helping, but man that thing was so deep and full
 

Cauldronics

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chilledbongo said:
if you're a gigging drummer, then you know that no matter what one snare may have sounded like in one roon, it's going to sound different in the next room...

therefore, when you say you tune all your snares the same, im guessing you're a stay at home type of drummer?

i find that whenever a snare sounded great at the last gig, it sounds like crap at the next one. so i find myself adjusting the tuning accordingly.

youre going to get differences in projection from various drums, which depends more on the shell type than most anything else.....

if you gig a lot, then i'd say it worth owning multiple snares.
if you're a genuine drum collector, likewise...
if you just stay at home with your drums, then owning many snares is an issue between you and your wallet (or wife).
In general in the practice room my snares are all medium tuned. When I take two (one and a backup) to a gig, I tune to the room if needed. Usually new tuning isn't required, so much as varied amount of dampening and/or snare wire tension. Projection doesn't matter much if the snare is mic'd, which it usually is.

I was surprised how much my BB sounded like a generic, $30 snare drum the first time I heard it in a room that didn't agree with it. On that same gig, the bass drum sounded like a cannon in a canyon when it had sounded more controlled in the practice room.
 

Marquisjohnson22

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Cauldronics... the King Beat and Mastercraft are two of my favorites, The DW Edge of course, My Premier Seamless brass, The Legend 4x14 bronze, and the DW Black Nickel over brass all see a lot of stand time. I love them all though and they all see time in the stand. I rotate snares just about every week at when I play at the church and vary what I play on gigs. I like to change it up!
 

Cauldronics

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Nice! I should probably rotate mine more. Rotations are usually a few months for me. The only time they go more quickly is when I'm playing effect-type snares, like my 6x12 Pork Pie maple (pre-Squealer, not sure what it is but it sounds great).

A kingbeat or mastercraft have been on a strong blip on my snare radar for awhile now.
 

bolweevil

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I'm down to three snares, all Ludwig: 5" hammered bronze supra, blacrolite, and '65 jazzfest.

I tend to tune the bronze up or down depending on the room, use the blacro for practice, and save the jazzfest for special occasions.

All in all, I'd keep the bronze if I had to go down to one.
 

audiochurch

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i own 3 right now because my wife insisted on buying me a 15" supralite to celebrate our child due in december. hmmmm. i might have to make a third child if this is the case.
 

MatrixClaw

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audiochurch said:
i own 3 right now because my wife insisted on buying me a 15" supralite to celebrate our child due in december. hmmmm. i might have to make a third child if this is the case.
:laughing5:
 


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