Is that the telephone? No, its the snare drum!

Discussion in 'Drums' started by T-Slice, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. T-Slice

    T-Slice Guest

    I sometimes battle with a ringing in the snare. I have been reading a lot about drum tuning. What is it that makes the drum ring like so? Are the heads too loose, too tight, not broken in enough? I just don't know...
    I can't very succesfully EQ it out. It's all over the frequency spectrum, but it seems to be around 700Hz that is most anoying.
    I would like to prevent that horrible sound from ever entering the mic, how can I do this?
  2. Church

    Church Guest

    It probably has a lot to do with your room acoustics. If you are using new heads, and they are tuned properly, then you can bet it has something to do with the actual room the drums are in. If so, just get used to EQ-ing it out.

    Generally, though, properly tuned NEW drum heads won't do this.

  3. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2002
    Damping pehaps? Try taping a wallet to the head.
  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    You rock.:cool: I was going to say that! Try it, it works!

    PS a leather wallet works best.
  5. bounce

    bounce Guest

    hey hey hey. i've been playing drums since 1823 and the absolute coolest thing i've found is this stuff called "moon gel." it's less than ten bucks and will come with 4 small gels that are kinda gooey like dried jello but stick just enough and can be placed anywhere on the drum. they take out only the resonances you want to remove and leave the sound of the drum intact. excellent stuff. i use them in my studio and others. highly recommended.

    (the first studio i recorded in broke out the maxi pads! -built in adhesive: )

    do a google search on "moon gel drums"

  6. T-Slice

    T-Slice Guest

    All Right!
    Moon Gels sounds good to me!
    Maxi pads sounds even better for my budget¬°
    Thanks A Lot!
  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I use Moon Gel too ..and it's great for toms and even the kick sometimes but I swear, for snare drums a leather wallet works a lot better. It won't hurt to try ...
  8. TheArchitect

    TheArchitect Active Member

    Mar 26, 2005
    Doesn't that get awfully dead though? A zero ring or Moon gel is the most I would ever want to use. The resonance of the head/shell is the whole point of using acoustic kits. If you take that away you might as well use samples. Having said that, it does take a LOT of work to get everything sounding good sometimes and when the client is paying sometimes you do what you have to.

    I guess what I am asking is, is that the go to technique or the "we gotta get the session rolling" fall back plan?
  9. Bobby Yarrow

    Bobby Yarrow Guest

    My two-cents: I usually find myself pulling tape, gunk, and goo off drums. Most drummers come in with every drum so dead I feel like they're playing cardboard. The ring usually only shows up in the close mic, and can be minimized by proper tuning and mic placement, maybe a little gate later on. If the drummer can't get a good sound with a natural ring, I'm probably going to be triggering the close mic anyhow, so I don't worry about it. More often, a good ring that sounds silly on a solo'd spot mic sounds good in a full mix. Seems to me anyhow.
  10. bounce

    bounce Guest

    heya. kurt, would you send me your wallet so i can check that out? hee hee. i promise to send it back...
    it may be lighter when you get it, but won't that help your back anyway?

    okay, i had to take that one : )
  11. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    I've never used a wallet yet....but moongels and duct tape work. My setup is ghetto enough and if a drummer saw me duct tape a wallet to his snare he'd probably leave.
  12. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    I've never yet found a snare that couldnt be tamed no matter what the tuning was,with the 'ring of old drum head'...the trick is to make it fit around the rim really well so it doesnt tend to flop when you smack the drum hard.The wallet does sound good,but requires a drummer whos really accurate and not imtimidated by stuff sitting in his way.Smae with the moon gel..The moon gel stuff is really a decent product as is the ole stayfree maxi pad.

    As far as the 'go to' solution in a paying customer get the session going, I always have two, sometimes three,extra snare drums...they're already 'studio ready'...all of the hardware has been damped...heads are new or recently new....theres a variety of sizes and materials...and head types...The point is, if you're going to record live drums and you are dependant on the client to provide the drumkit, then you either become an expert drum tuner(how many drummers like that??..or at least have alternatives to the trouble points of recording live drums.The other solutions to this are having a studio kit of a high enough quality that the frikkin drummer wouldnt balk at playing it,or provide a set of hours at a cut or special rate for 'DRUM DINKING'....The BEST solution is to have a dedicated space tuned for drums.The elimination of overtones,rings,bass buildup and other crud that comes with recording something loud in a space goes very far into providing a set of return clients simply because your drum space sounds great.Its much more cost effective in the long run than any number of expensive equipment choices,though I can say from personal experience that a set of great pres in a tight well balanced and natual-sounding room with a well tuned set of drums actually becomes music at some point.Even if it is just the drummer.!!!!
  13. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    It's a very old studio trick from the 60's.

    I have heard of guys that tuned the head so loose you could see wrinkles in it and then taped a wallet to it for damping.
    Gaffers tape is what I use ... never duct tape. Duct tape leaves too much gunk.

    I can understand whay you would think that. But in practice it has worked very well for me in the past. Like I said, it can't hurt you to just try it. Who knows, you may be surprised. I was.
  14. bounce

    bounce Guest

    i was doing a drum session in Nashville (as a player) back in 19 eighty and 9 and the producer actually did try the wallet trick on my snare. it sounded really good for a relatively DEAD snare sound (which i like on SOME songs) but it WAS hard to stop looking at the big brown blob on my snare (kinda changed my focus from the performance a smidgeon or six). If i need more dampening (than a client's snare or it's head) can give i reach for the moon gel. that's if his/her snare is the right tone for the tune versus one of my many other snares (always good to have a few or more in your studio for those starting out). if it needs to be deader, i put more than one on the snare. heck, each gel is only the size of a quarter. the beauty of the small size is that you can get a bit closer to the center than larger options and kill only the overtones you want (there are different resonances and overtones as you move toward the edge from the center. lower tones and "meat" are in the center. higher tones and "ring" are toward the edges.) if i want a REALLY dead 70's kind of snare, i'll use a homemade zero ring which can be made from an old drum head (just cut out a ring along the edge of an old head starting at the very edge and then an inch in from there on the inside- looks like a big "O" for those of you who haven't tried this). works great and stays put. this won't work with brushes but fine for multi-rods. or you can have your ex-girlfriend (who left you) hold down the edge of the snare head for ya while the drummer plays the tune : )

  15. T-Slice

    T-Slice Guest

    Wow, thanks a lot everyone.
    I think I will go with the ex-girlfriend trick, sounds like the most entertaining (as long as I can get her to shup up while we're recording)!
    I've used manufactured Zero rings before, and they did work well. Also I like the fact that it wont distract the drumer as much as a wallet. Plus the Zero ring is dampening 360 degrees around the rim, not just in one spot, but hey, I have enough feedback to fix a ring in any situation, thanks again!
  16. Johnson Cabasa

    Johnson Cabasa Active Member

    Sep 5, 2003
    aren't there enough eagles records in the world. maxi-pads, wallets, kotex, tape all of it leased directely to the thing souning like and eagles record. if you tune the bottom head about a 5th above the top head and tune both heads evenly with a small strainer loke a 14 or a 12 if you can find one then you can usually get a great snare sound wihtout all the BS.

    some moongel here and there can help as well byut you need to get most of the way there with tuning or your scverwed. head selection helps too ambassadors on onthe top head and diplomats for the bottom snare head and even thought the bottom snare head doesn't get hit you should change the head and the snares about every fifrth time you chang e the top head.
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