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Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Dec 09, 2015 8:00 am
by The Tasmanian
I really like this system of snare tuning,
Its really great for engineers to know on sessions where the snare needs another tuning option.

And the best bit is - lots of scope to do close enough recalls of snare tunings during album tracking.
Quickly get very different tones, dryness etc.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2016 12:29 pm
by Lee
Chris that changed my life thanks for posting. Just when you thought you had it, something like this comes along and changes your approach. So cool.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 2:57 pm
by jasound
Thanks you Chris, thats absolutely brilliant.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 7:21 pm
by Dave77
Used this the other day on a Ludwig supra-phonic, was pretty special

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 11:04 pm
by stosostu
Thanks Chris. Not being a drummer myself, I am hesitant to comment on drum sounds in my studio, but this gives me a basis to work from in the future. :D

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 1:33 pm
by rick
I have been going round n round in circles really trying to learn whats what with drum tuning .

First .. I still dont really know what i am doing when i am tuning drums
Secound .. I dont play drums very well . ( kinda at all)

3rd most drummers really dont know what they are doing when they are tuning drums
4th most drummers dont really play drums that well ! ( but way way way beyter then me )

So given all of the above when a great drummer turns up in my life
And he can tune i am all eyes and ears !
Usually first thing they say is "what do you want ! "

Then they go through their own thing /system to deliver !
I have often left my drums the way somebody tuned them a month back because it sounded so good

I was in love with the above video snare tuning method and can attest it works , and works
Well .. But it IS a cheat and like all cheats it robs you of somthing

On my kit it kinda gives you the sound super easy but not the oomff and note of the drums
When i tune the kit to "the drums set " and the way it wants to sound everything is SO much better
Much fewer rings and oddnesses .
And i now have a more of an understanding of why different kits and different size kits are made.

This video is the supercool fast food of tuning .
It works , it will keep you going and there is no reason not to use it
Other then the drums can sound better, but its just harder.

I just bought a drumbot tuner the other week so right now i think i am cleverer and better at tuning drums
Then i really am .

I tuned my dw anniversary kit to the notes printed in the shells and wowie
It was SO much better then any drummer has managed to tune it .
Every body so far has said nah i never tune to the drum , there is no point .

Umm ...

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:09 pm
by Gian
Microphone porn or drum tuning ;-)

I wouldnt say I play drums, but I had to learn to tune them quickly when I was playing at church (dont play there anymore) and noticed as you did, Rick, that most drummers dont know how to tune theirs or anyone elses drums.

I agree, that just like all acoustic instruments, there is a resonant frequency of each shell and working with it and not against it will give you a much better result.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, experiences, and microphones (drool).

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 10:34 am
by Paul Maybury
Hi, like you Rick, I found the above tuning method to work but not be everything I want from a snare.
MOST drummers can't tune a kit to save their life, however much they may think they can.
Tuning within the range of the drum is paramount.
Most drummers who play live a lot but don't record that much have their drums tuned too low and too heavily damped.
I get drummers all the time who say, "I want to sound like Ringo/Bonham/Moon!" but have modern drums with double ply oil filled clear skins, damping rings, gaffer tape everywhere and holes in the reso kik head. They also tend to have loud and shitty sounding cymbals. That's when I slowly and gently get them to use my drums and introduce them to the idea of getting it right in the room, and getting a balance between all the elements of the kit before even thinking about what mics to use..
I'm slowly learning to enjoy tuning drums, it used to be something I did under duress as drummers couldn't do it, but now I do it cheerfully and without mercy. It took a long time to get the hang of snares, especially older ones with 8 lugs, the breakthrough for me was learning to get that bottom skin as tight as a board. Everything comes together much easier after that is done, less sympathetic ringing, more sensitivity and easier to find the pitch you want on the top skin.
I love drums.
Paul Maybury

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2016 9:07 pm
by The Tasmanian
The absolute best studio drummers that I have ever encountered over the decades - as far as tuning goes, when asked to give the snare a quick tune during takes, they just turn one or two lugs really flat or sharp and - bam! - its amazing.
None of that perfect note tuning on each lug stuff.

I learned very early on in my career that snare tuning is a black art - other drums less so.

But this video gets me really in the ball park, and from that point I do what these past great drummers do - just turn a lug or two up - or down.
As I can always go back to square one if I stuff it up.

For me, this tuning video gets me close enough to a starting point - which I never had the skill to do before.
Its great for us non drummers and engineers in a session where all else fails.

...and still, a LOT of drummers are pretty shit at tuning snares (just like me)
(here I am tonight blending a sound replaced snare to an existing snare on a current mix - that I didn't record..)

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Thu Mar 24, 2016 4:35 pm
by Gian
I can't remember if in the v ideo he talks about the tension of the springs.

But playing with that can give different tones too.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:40 am
by Paul Maybury
Yes, too much tension on the snare wires can choke the drum. Too little and it rattles all the time.
Further to that, in the video posted above, the narrator states that muting or muffling the drum reduces the high frequencies. How does that work? Obviously there is a tonal and sustain change but why would this specifically reduce the high frequencies emerging from the drum beyond what we are deliberately trying to achieve by damping the drum?
Cheers, Paul

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 11:20 am
by The Tasmanian
That makes sense to me Paul, any type of muting will decrease the high frequencies, including the springs muting the high overtones of the lower skin - from my experience I think this is correct.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:05 pm
by Paul Maybury
Maybe I haven't had enough coffee today, it doesn't make sense to me. Damping reduces sustain and resonance, as well as volume, but that would not be frequency dependant, would it?
And of course, it doesn't matter anyway as long as it sounds the way you want.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:47 pm
by The Tasmanian
But if you mute a snare using your hand whilst tapping the drum - you would lose high frequency - the more surface covered by the mute, the more loss of top end : same as muting a string on any stringed instrument?

I know when Ive done the tea towel trick I lose heaps of hi frequency, and when even partially covering the edge of the snare with the tea towel there is a noticeable loss too.
The high overtones (smaller vibrations) become deadened - but the lower ones pass through easier

anyone else?

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 1:50 pm
by Gian
Agreed, muting a guitar strings, placing hands on any drum and hitting the skin loses high frequencies - it sounds duller.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2016 3:39 pm
by The Tasmanian
I just had a further thought about this Paul - I've done heaps of Indian classical recording, and the tabla players use the balls of the palms of their hands to mute higher frequencies - so they get many more expressive tones out of the tablas - and it is very surprising how much high frequency they can reduce, (including they push in to bend the notes.)
If you've ever watched a great tabla player play - its astonishing the language and different tones they get from the drums.

Re: Snare drum tuning system video

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 1:05 am
by Ausrock
Another thing people either don't know or consider, is that (particularly for snares) the bearing edge profile seriously affects the sound just as the snare bed profile can affect how the snare wires sound. If the type of skins don't balance with the bearing edge profile you're never going to get a "perfect" response from a drum.