Tuning Snare Drum-Should Batter be Higher or Lower Than Reso

drumsforme

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On my snares- Bottom head not as tight as batter head. I don't want the drum to choke....I want it to speak.
 

KarnaKarma

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generally for me on thicker and/or denser shell like my Ludwig Classic Maple snare I like the reso to be lower than the batter head. On thinner shells like my Sakae Trilogy snare I like the reso to be bit tighter than the batter.

I tune each snare differently. IMHO some snares truly shine when the reso head is tuned lower than the batter, and the opposite could apply to other snares. The only way to know is through trial and error with your snare(s).
 

Markkuliini

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All this talk about LOWER reso head. I think people use this term very loosely, confusing terms pitch and tightness. Because, like said earlier, the snare reso head is usually over 3 times thinner, and when tuned to the same tightness as batter, it will produce significantly higher pitch.
It's similar on guitars, the thick strings produce lowest sounds but they have the highest tension and are much more difficult to bend.

I will test today to tune the paper thin reso actually to lower pitch than the batter, I'm not even sure if it will produce a tone when it's so slack.
 

kenshireen1

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No, it's not that high. It's the note that the batter heads gives about an inch from each lug. As a result the fundamental note for the drum as a whole is very close to 200 Hz.
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That was what I thought after posting my comment. You were checking the frequencies by the lugs and not in the middle. I test my frequency in the middle of the snare and it usually runs close to 200..That is a G
 

Markkuliini

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That was what I thought after posting my comment. You were checking the frequencies by the lugs and not in the middle. I test my frequency in the middle of the snare and it usually runs close to 200..That is a G
Yes, I understand. I was taking specifically the individual notes for each head, and only way to hear them is to dampen the opposite head and tap the head close to it's edge. If you tap the head to the center while the opposite head is dampened, you won't hear a specific note, only a dull knock.

The fundamental note of the drum is always way lower than the individual notes of the heads.
 

Seb77

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like said earlier, the snare reso head is usually over 3 times thinner, and when tuned to the same tightness as batter, it will produce significantly higher pitch.
I once checked with an old single tension snare drum, tension rods going from one hoop to the other, no lugs at all/completely free-floatting: an Ambassador coated /Ambassador snareside combo ended up about a fourth apart. The tension on the tension rods was obviously the same. It might be interesting to check with a drumdial if the surface tension was the same as well (I doubt it).
 

Markkuliini

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I once checked with an old single tension snare drum, tension rods going from one hoop to the other, no lugs at all/completely free-floatting: an Ambassador coated /Ambassador snareside combo ended up about a fourth apart. The tension on the tension rods was obviously the same. It might be interesting to check with a drumdial if the surface tension was the same as well (I doubt it).
Thanks, this was interesting! I'm usually forth or fifth apart between heads. Sounds like a natural solution. :icon_e_biggrin:
 

BillyCarl

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Bob Gatzen wrote the reso head often sounded good around a G and the batter could range from B to D, for a woodier sound to more metallic. I read that Paul Motian tuned his snare D over A, or was that Bonham? :) I play around with those ideas. Never have tuned the reso higher than the batter.
 

Markkuliini

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Bob Gatzen wrote the reso head often sounded good around a G and the batter could range from B to D, for a woodier sound to more metallic. I read that Paul Motian tuned his snare D over A, or was that Bonham? :) I play around with those ideas. Never have tuned the reso higher than the batter.
Double checked the video in question and he does a common mistake.
When he starts tuning the batter head, he claims that he's going up from the reso head's G, but in fact he has the octaves confused. His batter is not a third up, but a sixth down. It's a same note, but an octave apart
There's is more than one octave that exists.
I could almost bet money that your reso is also actually higher tuned than your batter.
 

TonyVazquez

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My Cannon 14x5 steel snare: I tune my batter AND reso heads equally high... Very. High.
I want my snare response to stop dead at "ratt" instead of rattling with decayed quick buzz.
This gives me a very tight loud "crack" sound without dampening; and when I dampen my
batter head with a Mylar drum head material it gives me a thick rim-shot sound
without the "pang".

I've tried the arena metal hair-band marching snare drum sound of the early 90s,
but after listening to Napalm Death's "Harmony Corruption" CD I fell in love
with the high/tight snare drum sound on that album.
 

noreastbob

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I tension by ear and feel. I try to keep the lug points to the same "pitch" per head. I tune the batter somewhat tight for the action I prefer. I tune the reso pretty tight. Maybe tighter than the batter. With the snares off it sounds choked. But the thing is it's a snare, not a tom. I "tune" my toms all the same pitch top and bottom and they sing but I don't want a singing snare. I want a nice cracking rimshot and sharp snappy snare sound.
Whenever a tom starts making my snare buzz a bit I check the offending tom but usually wind up snugging the bottom snare head just a tad and all is good.
 

Markkuliini

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Had to try this reso tuned lower-thing and filmed it. Sounds...erm...interesting. :icon_e_biggrin:

Sorry for the biking pants, hope that no one gets too aroused seeing them. My drum room is too chilly and these keep my back warm.

If you want to skip my babbling then the sound clips can be found at 1:50, there's my normal tuning, reso higher (perfect 5th in this case). And at 2:43 I play the drum with the reso lower (minor third in this case).

Tell me what you think. It's this really the sound you prefer over the first one? :-?

 

Fat Drummer

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I cranked my reso heads and burried the snares super tight for decades on all my snares. I got a very good feel and sound as long as it was the 80's and 90's!!!

So to maintain my relevance in the today's jobbing market, I've learned to ease back my reso tension by a good bit... but it is still 25 to 30% more tension than my batter. The biggeset change was learning to back the snares down in proportion to the reso tension. I'm a good 50% looser on the snares than I was when I ran everything so tight.
 


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