Tuning and sensitivity on 8x14 snares

vintagedrummersweden

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I can't really help you out with any brilliant ideas, but my main snare since a couple of years back is an Eames 8X14 snare and it's great for any style of music - soft och loud (I play mostly the latter).
I try to tune it pretty high tensioned on the batter side, that's all I remember...
 

219Dave

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Okay- loosened the snare wires a good bit, and it totally worked! I feel like everything I thought I ever knew about snare drums was wrong, ha ha. Thanks for your help, everyone!
 

dsop

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Hey guys-

Recently got a lightly used Yamaha RC 8x14 birch snare (new model) on reverb. I'm not that experienced with snares of this depth. Snare sounds good when hit hard, but any ghost notes have no snare sound on them.
I have one of these snare drums. It sounds great, and is just as sensitive as any snare. I put Ludwig die cast hoops on mine. Currently have a Remo coated reverse clear dot on top, and the stock snare side head. Both heads are quite tight. Snare wires are cheap 16-strand wires from DFD, not the stock ones. Wires are attached with plastic strap. Easily my favorite snare.
 

musiqman

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I just bought the Puresound Custom Pro wires for my 14x8 this week.

Very sensitive but only when needed. The snarebuzz when playing other items of the kit is almost none existing now.
 

219Dave

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While I have you here, which head for good all around but fairly fat sound? I have other snares for high end crack. I have both ambassador and evans hd dry on hand.
 

dsop

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While I have you here, which head for good all around but fairly fat sound? I have other snares for high end crack. I have both ambassador and evans hd dry on hand.
Again, the coated Ambassador is quite adaptable and can sound fat at lower tensions and a bit of dampening.
 

High on Stress

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Again, the coated Ambassador is quite adaptable and can sound fat at lower tensions and a bit of dampening.
Agree with this. Personally, I hate the Evans HD Dry head. I know some say it's great for taming a ringy sounding snare but I have a friend who owns a studio who puts them on all his snares (he's not good at tuning, not saying all users of this model can't tune but it seems to be the case with this person) and they are consistently crappy IMO.

I think we get hung up on trying to hear a perfect processed snare sound like on a studio recording. I've fallen prey to that in the past myself. From the driver's seat, a snare that sounds good overall ... to microphones near and far, to other people playing music with you, to the audience, even simply to get a nice sound in context with the other drums ... is one that is going to have some overtones and some snare rattle. Especially with an 8 inch deep snare, why choke the depth out of that drum by having thick dry heads cranked up too tight with wires that are too snug?
 

richardh253

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Bit of an outlier here this one-off steam-bent "Tumbling Boulders" in red marine pearl w/ new-vintage-style Leedy lugs and wide-42 snares and clip hoops
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. I can crank it pretty crisp, and it drops down nicely as well. But I'll admit I'd have bought it as a 6.5 or 5.5, loved the wrap + the lugs. TB isn't building drums these days - http://tumblingboulders.blogspot.com/
 

Hop

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While I have you here, which head for good all around but fairly fat sound? I have other snares for high end crack. I have both ambassador and evans hd dry on hand.
I've got a Ludwig Coliseum and tend to use Remo "Controlled Sound Coated Bottom Black Dot" head, which gets the results I want.
This variant is a coated 10-mil single ply head with a 5-mil black dot on the reverse side.

Also as far as "sensitivity," you'll find no perceivable difference in the common snare depths. Consider the speed at which sounds travels, in this case, from the initial attack on the batter head to activating and coupling with the reso head. While velocity is dependent on temperature, it is around 1,125 ft/s, at 68°F, and the energy moves even faster through the solid material of the shell. My math skillz aint great, but I think that would mean the energy takes about 1/2048th (0.000488) of a second to travel from batter to reso heads when fitted to a 6.5" shell depth. So 5" or 8" shell isn't really going to be appreciably different.
 

Cauldronics

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To me it’s more a question of how a deeper snare is played when you want to bring out finer dynamics. Yes, the tension of the heads and wires matters a lot, but for a drum that’s nearly the depth of a floor tom, it helps to play it with that in mind. You might have to dig in a little more than you would on a regular snare to get those finer notes heard. Think of it as making the drum enunciate.
 

Markkuliini

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I've got a Ludwig Coliseum and tend to use Remo "Controlled Sound Coated Bottom Black Dot" head, which gets the results I want.
This variant is a coated 10-mil single ply head with a 5-mil black dot on the reverse side.

Also as far as "sensitivity," you'll find no perceivable difference in the common snare depths. Consider the speed at which sounds travels, in this case, from the initial attack on the batter head to activating and coupling with the reso head. While velocity is dependent on temperature, it is around 1,125 ft/s, at 68°F, and the energy moves even faster through the solid material of the shell. My math skillz aint great, but I think that would mean the energy takes about 1/2048th (0.000488) of a second to travel from batter to reso heads when fitted to a 6.5" shell depth. So 5" or 8" shell isn't really going to be appreciably different.
It's not about the speed the impact travels but the added volume of air that the impact has to move to reach the bottom head.
I have always felt that on the deeper snares the stick impact and the snare response feel but more separated than on a let's say 4" deep drum. There's definitely a difference on sensitivity when it comes to ultra low ghost notes.
 

VIRTUE Drums

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While I have you here, which head for good all around but fairly fat sound? I have other snares for high end crack. I have both ambassador and evans hd dry on hand.
Sounds like you've got things dialed dialed in better now, but a thinner snare side head (2mil thick - Evans 200 or Remo Diplomat Snare Side) will be more sensitive and shorten the sustain a bit, both of which could be helpful in further improving the sound, especially at lower tensions with more nuanced playing.
 

Fibes

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Try taking the reso down to 380 to 385 1 inch from the edge with the tune-bot and then just bring the batter up to desired pitch. Most of the time I'll use my drum dial to tune the snare reso head because there are differences in their application with regards to the tension rods on each side of the snare beds. I have all this written down for myself, but from my sad memory here is how at 62 years of age I get my best snare tuning every time:

As I said above, I use the drum dial on the snare reso only because it measures tympanic tension, not hertz like a tune-bot does. The reason this really matters is because of how the snare beds affect the tuning rods on each side of the beds. By measuring tympanic tension with the drum dial, you are assuring even tension across all tension rods. You can't achieve this with a tune-bot. Because of the snare beds, you will have to tune the snare bed tension rods much higher to get the same pitch with Tune-bot as the tension rods that are not beside the snare beds. So you are effectively NOT getting you're snare head to have evenly distributed tension, and are most likely choking the snare wires.

If you don't have a drum dial, I have found that tuning the reso with a tune-bot at 380-385 greatly reduces the audible choking effects of the snare wires. But for maximum sonic joy, use a drumdial on the reso. Start off with the factory recommendations. That's what I did, and then I used my tune-bot to guide the drumdial tension to where I wanted it, and that's at 380 to 385. Once you have that, just use the tune bot on top to dial in your fundamental pitch. I generally work in the 200Hz fundamental range. Depending on the project, maybe some moon gel or other means of controlling some of the resonance if needed. But this method will totally open your drum up. You can always tamp down some of the resonance but you have to get the drum screaming wide open first.

Let us know how this works out for you.

One more thing - I only use Canopus wires - pricey, but killing every time.





Hey guys-

Recently got a lightly used Yamaha RC 8x14 birch snare (new model) on reverb. I'm not that experienced with snares of this depth. Snare sounds good when hit hard, but any ghost notes have no snare sound on them. Like I'm hitting a tom. I took off the Evans HD dry I had put on, and put an ambassador back on. That didn't work. The reso is factory remo head. I have it tuned medium with a tune bot, on the batter side. Reso side is like 395 at the lugs. I have messed around with snare wire tension, and also with moon gels. Should I crank the reso head above 400, or will that choke it out? Should I try a higher tuning on the batter head? Or any other heads to suggest? Finally, should I consider switching out to 42 strand snare wires? I have 6 or so snares, but don't want to relegate this for fat backbeat 70s sound only. I also didn't see this as a snare that I'd keep tuned high, as I have others in that role.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

Markkuliini

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Try taking the reso down to 380 to 385 1 inch from the edge with the tune-bot and then just bring the batter up to desired pitch. Most of the time I'll use my drum dial to tune the snare reso head because there are differences in their application with regards to the tension rods on each side of the snare beds. I have all this written down for myself, but from my sad memory here is how at 62 years of age I get my best snare tuning every time:

As I said above, I use the drum dial on the snare reso only because it measures tympanic tension, not hertz like a tune-bot does. The reason this really matters is because of how the snare beds affect the tuning rods on each side of the beds. By measuring tympanic tension with the drum dial, you are assuring even tension across all tension rods. You can't achieve this with a tune-bot. Because of the snare beds, you will have to tune the snare bed tension rods much higher to get the same pitch with Tune-bot as the tension rods that are not beside the snare beds. So you are effectively NOT getting you're snare head to have evenly distributed tension, and are most likely choking the snare wires.

If you don't have a drum dial, I have found that tuning the reso with a tune-bot at 380-385 greatly reduces the audible choking effects of the snare wires. But for maximum sonic joy, use a drumdial on the reso. Start off with the factory recommendations. That's what I did, and then I used my tune-bot to guide the drumdial tension to where I wanted it, and that's at 380 to 385. Once you have that, just use the tune bot on top to dial in your fundamental pitch. I generally work in the 200Hz fundamental range. Depending on the project, maybe some moon gel or other means of controlling some of the resonance if needed. But this method will totally open your drum up. You can always tamp down some of the resonance but you have to get the drum screaming wide open first.

Let us know how this works out for you.

One more thing - I only use Canopus wires - pricey, but killing every time.
This is pretty much my method also. Reso to 380 Hz, and then batter to around 250-290 Hz. My batter is often perfect fourth or perfect fifth lower than the reso. Seems to get REALLY good sounding sounds it if every snare, add them I can adjust to taste if I want to.
 

Treviso1

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I love 8x14 snare drums and they are my absolute favorites. I love the feel of the drums, the fact that you can crank them up and still get a deep, full bodied drum sound out of them. However, I sit very low and for those of you that do so too, you just need to make sure you buy a snare drum stand that is designed for deep snare drums so that you can get the drum into your sweet spot. I probably own about six 8x14s currently.
 

Treviso1

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This is pretty much my method also. Reso to 380 Hz, and then batter to around 250-290 Hz. My batter is often perfect fourth or perfect fifth lower than the reso. Seems to get REALLY good sounding sounds it if every snare, add them I can adjust to taste if I want to.
What tune bot are you guys using?
 


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