Why does my snare ring when hit slightly off center and would die cast hoops (or something else) minimize this?

drumsforme

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That ring is normal and healthy. You may need to go there for a sharp accent or if you want to get a bit funky. A Zero Ring takes that precious commodity away....
 

Old Drummer

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That ring is normal and healthy. You may need to go there for a sharp accent or if you want to get a bit funky. A Zero Ring takes that precious commodity away....
To clarify, I don't like zero ring either. I can get zero ring by putting my wallet on the head, for instance, but that's not what I'm looking for. Lesser dampening, such as a few small pieces of tape, doesn't seem to do much good. It's as if I have the same excessive ratio of ring to tone on an overall more muffled drum. I think I want to change the ratio of ring to tone more than I do eliminate the ringing.

Since I was reasonably content with my old Premier 2000 and have read that parallel strainers like the one on it tend to dry out the tone, I'm wondering if what I want is a drier tone, which I think is not quite the same thing as a ring-less muffled tone. If so, surely parallel strainers aren't the only way to achieve this. This is also why I wonder what effect different hoops would have.
 

Swissward Flamtacles

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3. No, the drum is not perfectly level. To check this I placed it on a reasonably flat table and tried to slip a piece of paper between the drum and the table at the same place on the table while turning the drum. In some places on the drum, the paper would slide under it while on other places the paper wouldn't. I did this with both the hoop on and off and the results were similar. This tells me that the drum isn't perfectly level, though I have no idea if this matters or how much it matters.
Sorry for asking again, but even at the snare beds, it's just a slight gap? Are the beds symmetrical? If they are completely out of whack or non-existent, you could use some sanding paper or take the drum to a shop if you don't want to try it yourself.
 

RayB

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I absolutely embrace the ring, and pay close attention as part of the tuning. The ring must be in tune or it becomes a nasty overtone. I quit muffling years ago. It is so effective to use different areas of the head to get different sounds.
Well said. Snare drums ring more the further you hit them off-center. I totally agree, pay attention to the sound of the ring. You can hear if it sounds out of tune; the overtones are all dissonant and make you cringe. I never get it perfect, but getting the ring even really makes the drum sing. I love to play a wide open snare sound. You get to a place where the feel in your hands tells you the sound you're making. Different sounds as you move away from dead center. As several people have suggested, if you want a consistent whack with less ring, hit it dead center. I'd rather control the sound with my sticks, not any type of muffling.
That said, sometimes muffling the snare is exactly what's called for, especially when recording. There's so many convenient ways to do this with your wallet, gel, or muffling rings; and you can remove these and go right back to the open sound. I don't use tape anymore, but I'm sure drummers still do when a sound mix requires an absolutely consistent drum sound. Sometimes when I'm playing live I think a dead thump would work great on a song, so I put my wallet on the snare. I also have a metal shell snare drum that rings a little too much no matter how I tune it, so it always gets a piece of moon gel.
But there's nothing like taking a bite on a wide open snare drum.
 

Matched Gripper

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* * *
3. No, the drum is not perfectly level. To check this I placed it on a reasonably flat table and tried to slip a piece of paper between the drum and the table at the same place on the table while turning the drum. In some places on the drum, the paper would slide under it while on other places the paper wouldn't. I did this with both the hoop on and off and the results were similar. This tells me that the drum isn't perfectly level, though I have no idea if this matters or how much it matters.
* * *
It matters, and can definitely be the cause of excessive, dissonant ringing.
 

kzac

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The Catalina is a kit made off shore, where processes are not well controlled. Therefore, you can easily wind up with drum shells which are not true. (bearing edges are not flat and the shells are not round.

So what is the eventual result of out of tolerance?
Drum heads don't seat properly so you wind up with higher tension in some places and lower tension in other places
You can validate this by moving your stick 1/2in away from the rim with the head tuned and tap the head at each lug all the way round the drum
If after some wrangling the head is not able to be balanced (same sound at each lug), then you have problems with the roundness and or flatness of the shell or both.

If the bearing edges are not flat (test on a piece of glass with a feeler gage). Then you can have both the bearing edges and the snare beads recut. I would think that if your snare drum has poorly cut bearing edges, that you would probably be experiencing the same with the toms

Cutting bearing edges is all relative to machinery setup at the factory, and the technique used to cut the edges.
 

stevil

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@Olddrummer I think you nailed it talking about the ringing not being a problem with a group in a venue vs by yourself at home. Those overtones magically disappear in the context of a group, and add to a fullness of sound. So, as others have said, embrace them. If the sound is too irritating when you're solo, muffle the drum. I currently enjoy a wide open drum, but my favorite muffling solution was Drumtacs. They were more reliable/easier to use/less prone to getting nasty and dirty than moon gels.

 

6topher

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Because it's supposed to. Sounds like you accidentally tuned it right, lol.

So many drummers are afraid of the sound of drums. I'll see a dude with a $800 snare and super thick heads plus moongel & tape mic'd up and I'll think he probably could of saved a couple bucks & went with a cardboard box
 

5 Style

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I can't say 100% because I don't really know exactly what you're hearing, but I suspect that it could just be the nature of the drum. I had a similar experience with a Premier XPK kit that I just bought, which came with a snare that I wasn't getting a great tone out of. Of course a snare will ring more when hit off center (and incidentally, I haven't liked the sound of the exact center on any snare that I've had), but it's a question of what kind of ring it has. On this XPK snare, which by the way looks really well made, with a shell that has a perfect looking edge, nice strainer, finish, etc I was getting a kind of uncontrolled ring with a lot of "zzzz" sound of the snares buzzing on for too long and too loudly after the note was struck. Figuring that it was just a matter of getting the right heads and tuning, I took it to a local drum shop for advice and that place has people who are EXTREMELY good at this stuff, so as far as I'm concerned their advice is gold. The guy there explained some options in terms of heads, but when I mentioned the snares that I own and really like and the type of sound I was going for, he talked me out of spending the money on heads. He reasoned that I'd be throwing good money after bad on this snare which will likely never sound the way that I want it to.

A few years ago a guitarist friend bought a Catalina kit as a rehearsal kit, which I was grateful for so I didn't have to lug mine to jams at his house... and the thing, while not quite sounding incredible to me sounded pretty damn good.... except for the snare, which I volunteered to take home and mess with it. I can't remember if I swapped heads or what, but I couldn't get anything like an acceptable sound out of it. I realize that the Catalina Maple though is a slightly different line and the snare might actually be quite a bit different, but I suspect it may have some of the same issues. It seems to me that certain budget kits can actually be quite nice in all respects, except for the snare drum...

I don't know what your preference is as far as snare sounds go, but there are certainly many options that aren't too expensive which likely have a more controlled tone and respond better to more subtle playing (if you're always hitting the thing loudly just on the 2 and 4 than a bit of ringy buzz is hardly going to matter, right?). I don't actually own anything close to high end myself, but of the three snares that I have, which I really like and are all versatile/sensitive enough to be used for all kinds of music, the one that I'd expect to be able to find most cheaply is a Ludwig Acrolite. Keep that Gretsch snare, even if you don't play it so that it can be a nice extra if you ever sell the kit (and will be worth so little to sell on it's own that it's not going to be worth it to do so), but use an Acrolite or something of that quality in it's place and you'll likely be happy with everything.
 
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Seb77

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It seems to me that certain budget kits can actually be quite nice in all respects, except for the snare drum...
This. The topic of mathcing wood snare drums in genral has been discussed before. It seems snares are more critical to details in design and manufacturing than toms or bass drums.
When I got a set with a matching snare. It seemed to belong to the kit, but it had some slight issues. Nothing terrible, it just didn't work the way I wanted, so I felt the need to improve it because I wanted to like it, it looked good. I took mine to a drumshop, describing the problems, asking what I could do - and the shopkeeper just said "get another snare". Now, he was the shopkeeper and wanted to sell drums, but on the other hand, he was preventing me from buying all kinds of drumheads, wires, hoops, strainers for that drum.
 


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