Drum head pairing question for a Pearl fiberglass kit

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
techniques..because when the snare is tuned lower, I start hearing some strange overtones
You will find tuning a snare is a completely different beast. Depth x diameter is parametrically different, the snare side head has a job, snare beds change the heads shape slightly, the tension of the wires affects both the head and wires, it's quite the nut to crack.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
You will find tuning a snare is a completely different beast. Depth x diameter is parametrically different, the snare side head has a job, snare beds change the heads shape slightly, the tension of the wires affects both the head and wires, it's quite the nut to crack.
Yes it is! I was just watching a video with Jabo Starks...one of James Brown's drummers (which you probably know). His snare drum sound is awesome (to me) especially with that style of music. I'm getting a good look at the snare drum.. it looks like a metal Ludwig. A Supraphonic I'm guessing. It's obviously tuned up tightly. And I also saw that there was two areas (I believe I just saw) on the snare batter head where he did some type of dampening/muffling. I usually adopt the policy of not using any muffling or dampening on my drums. But admittedly it might be because I never figured out how to do it effectively. Are there standard things to know about it? Things that have been tried and tested that are proven to work well? I never know where to put the dampening element on the snare batter. Where on its "clock" I mean...2 o'clock positioning? 7 o'clock positioning? Somewhere different? Near a tension rod/lug? Between them? How far into the drum from the rim? Etc. It seems like whenever I try, my suspicion is always that it's too much muffling.
Is this just simply all trial and error? Or are there some standard techniques that should be learned first?
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Yes it is! I was just watching a video with Jabo Starks...one of James Brown's drummers (which you probably know). His snare drum sound is awesome (to me) especially with that style of music. I'm getting a good look at the snare drum.. it looks like a metal Ludwig. A Supraphonic I'm guessing. It's obviously tuned up tightly. And I also saw that there was two areas (I believe I just saw) on the snare batter head where he did some type of dampening/muffling. I usually adopt the policy of not using any muffling or dampening on my drums. But admittedly it might be because I never figured out how to do it effectively. Are there standard things to know about it? Things that have been tried and tested that are proven to work well? I never know where to put the dampening element on the snare batter. Where on its "clock" I mean...2 o'clock positioning? 7 o'clock positioning? Somewhere different? Near a tension rod/lug? Between them? How far into the drum from the rim? Etc. It seems like whenever I try, my suspicion is always that it's too much muffling.
Is this just simply all trial and error? Or are there some standard techniques that should be learned first?
Oh geez, there is a whole new can of worms in muffling. I personally dont muffle anything except the kick, my snare is cranked. But my head is a PS3, so it has a damping ring built into it. Plus its coated with a center dot.

Part of the million things to try as muffling:
Moongel
Tape
Ring cut from an old head
Piece of paper
Big fat snare drum
Wallet

The bigger/heavier/closer to center the object is, the more muffling it does. Conversely, the smaller/lighter/farther from center the object is, the less muffling it does.

Muffling can be done from inside the drum also. Fill a drum with cotton balls and watch it shut up. Or put a pillow in the kick.

I dont really think there is a wrong way to muffle a drum as long as it achieves the desired effect.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
best way to eliminate ring is to strike the centre of the head, Dampening for a particular sound is up to you I'd say. His ( Jabo ) Snare could be a COB as well..
I hear what you're saying. For some reason, I just rarely choose to hit the very center of the snare drum. It always sounds like a total dead spot to me. I like it to have a slight intonation at least... some level of urgency. I like for it to have character.. like someone talking with some kind of feeling. I tend to be most expressive with my snare. I love the way, for example, when Jabo plays, some of the snare hits sound like his standard snare sound for most of the song, but then occasionally there's one here and there where you go "oooff that was tight!". And I'm not talking necessarily about a rim shot. I mean where he's hitting off center.
I have been mostly influenced by the following drummers: John Bonham; basically all of James Brown's drummers; Stewart Copeland; Tom Breichtlein; the drummer on Jeff Beck's album "Blow By Blow" (his name slips my memory now and I want to continue finishing my thought and not go look up his name right this second). Pretty much all of them are very expressive with their snare. They use it to speak rhythmically in very..."sexy" dare I say... not sure what to call it.
Now I also love drummers like the ones who have played on Bob Seger records (the song "Night Moves" comes to mind)... those kind of drummers that were on more softer rock from the late 70's .. like possibly Ambrosia or Al Stewart or Gerry Rafferty... drummers like that who have played with those kind of artists where the snare always sounds tasty, appropriate, and not obnoxious. There isn't a lot of "hey look at me!!" to their snare drums. I'm trying to have a couple of my snare drums tuned in that way to take along with me when it's appropriate. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this, but I thought those kind of snares were more of the lower tensioned tuned variety. (Yes? No?) I have tried to tune some of my snares this way using low tensioned recommendations from Tunebot and others. But, like I mentioned before, I'm noticing that when I do that, the snare emits an unpleasant hum. That's where I'm thinking I need to utilize muffling techniques to achieve the sound I just mentioned. Hitting the center of the snare drum just isn't going to be something I can or want to do at this point. To me, the center of the snare drum is like a black hole where all sound, tone, and character vanishes never to be seen again. It almost registers to me like an absence of the drum having been hit. Like I wouldn't be surprised if the other musicians I play with turned to look at me confusingly like " did you just drop out of the beat there?" if I were to hit the dead center of the snare. To me it doesn't sound good and it doesn't feel good.. it's like the feeling going through the drum stick to my hand and to my arm has a completely unsatisfying feel to it. I've seen Drumeo videos where Jared, I believe, talked about hitting the dead center of the snare and I think it's the only time while watching a video on there where I said out loud "Um whaaat? Yeah, that isn't right at all. Did I just hear what he said correctly? 🤔". Lol.. true though. Anyway.. suffice it to say that I'll never be able to play that way. So therefore, to be able to have lower tensioned snare drums in my collection, I'm going to have to start learning these dampening techniques because I'm always going to hit my snare drum at least slightly off from dead center.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Oh geez, there is a whole new can of worms in muffling. I personally dont muffle anything except the kick, my snare is cranked. But my head is a PS3, so it has a damping ring built into it. Plus its coated with a center dot.

Part of the million things to try as muffling:
Moongel
Tape
Ring cut from an old head
Piece of paper
Big fat snare drum
Wallet

The bigger/heavier/closer to center the object is, the more muffling it does. Conversely, the smaller/lighter/farther from center the object is, the less muffling it does.

Muffling can be done from inside the drum also. Fill a drum with cotton balls and watch it shut up. Or put a pillow in the kick.

I dont really think there is a wrong way to muffle a drum as long as it achieves the desired effect.
Ok cool.. thanks for those tips especially regarding positioning of the muffling devices on the drum. I guess I'm just going to start experimenting that way with my lower tensioned snares 👍😉
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
I hear what you're saying. For some reason, I just rarely choose to hit the very center of the snare drum. It always sounds like a total dead spot to me. I like it to have a slight intonation at least... some level of urgency. I like for it to have character.. like someone talking with some kind of feeling. I tend to be most expressive with my snare. I love the way, for example, when Jabo plays, some of the snare hits sound like his standard snare sound for most of the song, but then occasionally there's one here and there where you go "oooff that was tight!". And I'm not talking necessarily about a rim shot. I mean where he's hitting off center.
I have been mostly influenced by the following drummers: John Bonham; basically all of James Brown's drummers; Stewart Copeland; Tom Breichtlein; the drummer on Jeff Beck's album "Blow By Blow" (his name slips my memory now and I want to continue finishing my thought and not go look up his name right this second). Pretty much all of them are very expressive with their snare. They use it to speak rhythmically in very..."sexy" dare I say... not sure what to call it.
Now I also love drummers like the ones who have played on Bob Seger records (the song "Night Moves" comes to mind)... those kind of drummers that were on more softer rock from the late 70's .. like possibly Ambrosia or Al Stewart or Gerry Rafferty... drummers like that who have played with those kind of artists where the snare always sounds tasty, appropriate, and not obnoxious. There isn't a lot of "hey look at me!!" to their snare drums. I'm trying to have a couple of my snare drums tuned in that way to take along with me when it's appropriate. Maybe I'm wrong in thinking this, but I thought those kind of snares were more of the lower tensioned tuned variety. (Yes? No?) I have tried to tune some of my snares this way using low tensioned recommendations from Tunebot and others. But, like I mentioned before, I'm noticing that when I do that, the snare emits an unpleasant hum. That's where I'm thinking I need to utilize muffling techniques to achieve the sound I just mentioned. Hitting the center of the snare drum just isn't going to be something I can or want to do at this point. To me, the center of the snare drum is like a black hole where all sound, tone, and character vanishes never to be seen again. It almost registers to me like an absence of the drum having been hit. Like I wouldn't be surprised if the other musicians I play with turned to look at me confusingly like " did you just drop out of the beat there?" if I were to hit the dead center of the snare. To me it doesn't sound good and it doesn't feel good.. it's like the feeling going through the drum stick to my hand and to my arm has a completely unsatisfying feel to it. I've seen Drumeo videos where Jared, I believe, talked about hitting the dead center of the snare and I think it's the only time while watching a video on there where I said out loud "Um whaaat? Yeah, that isn't right at all. Did I just hear what he said correctly? 🤔". Lol.. true though. Anyway.. suffice it to say that I'll never be able to play that way. So therefore, to be able to have lower tensioned snare drums in my collection, I'm going to have to start learning these dampening techniques because I'm always going to hit my snare drum at least slightly off from dead center.
Funny you should say that, last night I listened to Whole Lotta Love isolated tracks, so after what you are saying here I would recommend seeking these types of you tubes out for a listen. you might find the iso tracks sound different to the full blend of all the tracks together.. Also try seeking the heads used by the Artists you mentioned if possible.. I didn't;t mean for you to hit the centre of the head just from the edges to the centre somewhere is your sweet spot you just have to find it and go from there..I love to play bigger drums because there is more real estate on the heads to explore for that reason. the 70's guys did that..Oh Yeah, just curious, is it Wood/ Fibreglass or just Fibreglass Set..
 
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TomInHouston1969

Active member
Funny you should say that, last night I listened to Whole Lotta Love isolated tracks, so after what you are saying here I would recommend seeking these types of you tubes out for a listen. you might find the iso tracks sound different to the full blend of all the tracks together.. Also try seeking the heads used by the Artists you mentioned if possible.. I didn't;t mean for you to hit the centre of the head just from the edges to the centre somewhere is your sweet spot you just have to find it and go from there..I love to play bigger drums because there is more real estate on the heads to explore for that reason. the 70's guys did that..Oh Yeah, just curious, is it Wood/ Fibreglass or just Fibreglass Set..
Ahh..I get what you're saying. Meaning that I shouldn't necessarily come to a conclusion about how my drums are sounding after doing these tunings until I can hear how they sound in the context of how they sound in the mix of other instruments being played as well? Yeah.. I've been kinda thinking that in the background. It is a little surprising how some of the drums on those isolated tracks sound compared to how you hear them on the record in conjunction with everything else.
It's actually one of the Pearl pure fiberglass sets. I'll look for a pic to post. The guy I bought them from had a pic of them setup somewhere in his house. I need to take some new ones of it after I finish replacing all the heads on it.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
These are the pics of the kit taken by the guy I bought them from....
 

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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Yep.. I am aware that both the Evans EC Reso and the G1 are both functionally good and accepted resonant heads. I'm just asking which one would be better paired with the Remo pinstripe on top considering it's a fiberglass drum.
Thanks! 🙂
The fact that it's fiberglass in my mind doesn't mean a thing. It's the head sound you are going for right now. Only you know what sounds good to you. It's totally your decision. Experimenting with tuning and different head combos yourself, in your practice room, is the only real way to know what you like and what you don't. There are no shortcuts. Time spent and money spent is the only way I know to discover which head combo works for you. Definitely take suggestions but at the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is yours.

FWIW to my ear the Evans dedicated reso head sounds brittle. I'd go G1 or ambassador on bottom and pins up top. That's what's on my home kits
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Cool. Don't see many Pearl kits with those older style tom arms.
Thanks. But in reality, they're kinda a pain in the ass lol. As cool as vintage drums are, the drum manufacturers sure have gotten way better at designing their hardware to be more user-friendly. This kit takes awhile to set up due to how difficult it is to make adjustments. It's like a tedious puzzle. But.. it sounds great.
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
The fact that it's fiberglass in my mind doesn't mean a thing. It's the head sound you are going for right now. Only you know what sounds good to you. It's totally your decision. Experimenting with tuning and different head combos yourself, in your practice room, is the only real way to know what you like and what you don't. There are no shortcuts. Time spent and money spent is the only way I know to discover which head combo works for you. Definitely take suggestions but at the end of the day, the only opinion that matters is yours.

FWIW to my ear the Evans dedicated reso head sounds brittle. I'd go G1 or ambassador on bottom and pins up top. That's what's on my home kits
Hey there, Unc
Yes, you're right. Actually, I discovered a positive thing from the reality of what you said. Had I not gone through this process, I would have believed the reviews on these forums and other areas on the net that the pinstripes sound thuddy and terrible. I discovered that's not the case. They deliver a very focused tone with as much sustain as anyone could ever want.. on my floor tom at least.
I thought mentioning the fiberglass material the shell is made from was important. I thought the sound comes from the combination of the heads plus the shell. I was just trying to give the complete picture in order for the "doctors" to make a spot-on diagnosis 🙂.
It just so happened that I randomly had the Remo pin and the Evans G1 as spare parts that were given to me as a throw in when I purchased a snare drum recently from a local guy off of Facebook Buy and Sell. He decided to retire from playing and just gave me those 3 heads that either have never been played on or were played on so sparingly that I could hardly tell. And I thought it was a pretty awesome deal before he did that (it was a nice steel 14 by 6 and a half Pearl snare for $50). And he also gave me a bunch of hoops.
Anyway.. that random combo of heads turned out to come in handy AND sound awesome. It's a great combination that I never would have purchased as I previously only used batters and resos made by the same company when putting heads on my drums.
 

harryconway

Platinum Member
Thanks. But in reality, they're kinda a pain in the ass lol. As cool as vintage drums are, the drum manufacturers sure have gotten way better at designing their hardware to be more user-friendly.
Oh, I know that tune well. While I love vintage drums, I pretty much hate vintage hardware;). And yeah, those tom arms (kinda similar to the Rogers Swivomatic) ...... there's a reason Pearl changed those.

My solution was to go to RIMS mount/Yamaha hardware. Whatever brand (Ludwig, Remo, Gretsch, Tama, RMV) .... they all get hung on a RIMS suspension w/Yamaha tom mount on them. It's a bulletproof combination ..... and I never have to drill any "extra" holes in any vintage drum (I may remove the original mount, but I put it back on if I sell the drum.).

I do believe shell type (material, bearing edge, and construction) matters. That might well be personal choice as well, but what works well on a Ludwig Vistalite kit might not work so well on a Craviotto.

Those Pearl shells, they are a mid-modern design. US drum makers went from the vintage (with reinforcement ring) shell design to the straight shell, the main quest was for more volume and projection. Your Pearls are from that time period. And fiberglass shells have never been known for being QUIET:ROFLMAO: So ..... not the type of drums I'd put coated Ambassadors on (batter & reso). No.

My 3 choices for batter would be clear CS (black dot), Powerstroke3, or Pinstripe. Clear Ambs. reso. (maybe CS .... like my Slingy's). On bass ..... clear Powerstroke3 or Pinstripe batter (if I'm going boom and sustain), or Superkick I/II for punch. Single ply reso (most likely Ebony).

What other kits do you have? I think you mentions you have 3 other kits.
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Hey there, Unc
Yes, you're right. Actually, I discovered a positive thing from the reality of what you said. Had I not gone through this process, I would have believed the reviews on these forums and other areas on the net that the pinstripes sound thuddy and terrible. I discovered that's not the case. They deliver a very focused tone with as much sustain as anyone could ever want.. on my floor tom at least.
I thought mentioning the fiberglass material the shell is made from was important. I thought the sound comes from the combination of the heads plus the shell. I was just trying to give the complete picture in order for the "doctors" to make a spot-on diagnosis 🙂.
It just so happened that I randomly had the Remo pin and the Evans G1 as spare parts that were given to me as a throw in when I purchased a snare drum recently from a local guy off of Facebook Buy and Sell. He decided to retire from playing and just gave me those 3 heads that either have never been played on or were played on so sparingly that I could hardly tell. And I thought it was a pretty awesome deal before he did that (it was a nice steel 14 by 6 and a half Pearl snare for $50). And he also gave me a bunch of hoops.
Anyway.. that random combo of heads turned out to come in handy AND sound awesome. It's a great combination that I never would have purchased as I previously only used batters and resos made by the same company when putting heads on my drums.

Yea Tom, IMO it's a one man journey. But to be fair, I wasn't on Drummerworld then. So that makes it different. I've spent hundreds of hours if not more, learning what heads I go for and more importantly, how to tune the drums the way I think they should sound.

I didn't exactly know what I wanted going in. Except I knew I wanted to experiment. Which I did. When I was done, I had a stack of heads at least 6 feet tall. I tried all manner of heads. I kind of figured out what I wanted via the experimentation process. Hearing different heads up close and person. Cha-ching. It's the only way I know, to get those pesky preferences identified.
 

paradiddle pete

Platinum Member
A lot of these heads weren't around when that kit was built, so yeah experiment..for sure. I don't like clear heads , at first they sound impressive then they kinda sound like a beach ball or something.. oh yeah lose the hardware..to me those drums were trying to emulate Ludwig and Rogers in those days then the wood fibreglass / fibreglass sets appeared .. creating a " hybrid " space in that part of the market..
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Oh, I know that tune well. While I love vintage drums, I pretty much hate vintage hardware;). And yeah, those tom arms (kinda similar to the Rogers Swivomatic) ...... there's a reason Pearl changed those.

My solution was to go to RIMS mount/Yamaha hardware. Whatever brand (Ludwig, Remo, Gretsch, Tama, RMV) .... they all get hung on a RIMS suspension w/Yamaha tom mount on them. It's a bulletproof combination ..... and I never have to drill any "extra" holes in any vintage drum (I may remove the original mount, but I put it back on if I sell the drum.).

I do believe shell type (material, bearing edge, and construction) matters. That might well be personal choice as well, but what works well on a Ludwig Vistalite kit might not work so well on a Craviotto.

Those Pearl shells, they are a mid-modern design. US drum makers went from the vintage (with reinforcement ring) shell design to the straight shell, the main quest was for more volume and projection. Your Pearls are from that time period. And fiberglass shells have never been known for being QUIET:ROFLMAO: So ..... not the type of drums I'd put coated Ambassadors on (batter & reso). No.

My 3 choices for batter would be clear CS (black dot), Powerstroke3, or Pinstripe. Clear Ambs. reso. (maybe CS .... like my Slingy's). On bass ..... clear Powerstroke3 or Pinstripe batter (if I'm going boom and sustain), or Superkick I/II for punch. Single ply reso (most likely Ebony).

What other kits do you have? I think you mentions you have 3 other kits.
I may have to take up your advice on the RIMS mounting system due to this vintage type one being a real bummer to work with.
The other drum kits I own are a Premier Genista birch kit, a Mapex Pro-M maple kit, and a Mapex Venus series kit. I'm not sure what the Venus series is made from.. probably something cheap.. but I couldn't pass up the price I got them for and I heard that the bass drum on those sound nice.
I guess I have 5 kits because I also own an Alesis Command electric kit.
Regarding what you were saying about the new mounting hardware available.. were you saying the RIMS suspension with Yamaha tom mount would be compatible with my Pearl kit?
 

TomInHouston1969

Active member
Yea Tom, IMO it's a one man journey. But to be fair, I wasn't on Drummerworld then. So that makes it different. I've spent hundreds of hours if not more, learning what heads I go for and more importantly, how to tune the drums the way I think they should sound.

I didn't exactly know what I wanted going in. Except I knew I wanted to experiment. Which I did. When I was done, I had a stack of heads at least 6 feet tall. I tried all manner of heads. I kind of figured out what I wanted via the experimentation process. Hearing different heads up close and person. Cha-ching. It's the only way I know, to get those pesky preferences identified.
Yep...I was trying to lessen the time spent experimenting a little as well as lessen having to spend so much money on heads to experiment with. But I guess it's kind of unavoidable.
 
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