Thursday, January 6, 2011

Perfecting Your Snare Drum Sound

The following factors should be considered when perfecting the sound of your snare drum.

Head Choice
This is the most obvious factor that comes to mind when people consider the sound of their snare drum. It makes perfect sense that the type of head used (single ply vs. double ply, reinforced vs. unreinforced, etc.) would have a strong impact on the sound of the drum.

Visit the Evans Player Profiles to find the best snare head for you.

Snare Wires
Choice of snare wires is the most often overlooked factor in achieving a certain sound from a snare drum. There are a wide variety of options available; 12 strand through 30 strand, twisted vs. individual strands, brass vs. steel. Here are some general rules to help you in your quest for the perfect set of snare wires:

Your choice of tuning will not only affect the overall pitch of the drum but the resonance and timbre as well. Check out Bob Gatzen’s video on tuning your snare drum: Snare Tuning

Use of muffling such as the Min-EMAD, E-Rings and other modifiers affects not only the sustain/resonance of the drum but the overtones present in the sound of the drum. The Min-EMAD helps to suppress unwanted overtones while retaining the desired attack and tone. The variable application allows you to fine tune the amount of damping taking place. The E-Rings simply “float” on the surface of the drumhead. The rings round out the sound of the drum by minimizing high-frequency resonance. This, in turn, shortens the sustain of the drum.

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