How Would You Set These Snare Drums Up?

Neal Pert

Well-known Member
OK, so imagine you have a snare drum collection for a recording studio and you want to set up those drums to provide you a wide range of options right off the shelf. So, you want something that's always high and ping-y, something really splatty, some big dumb fat drum, a "One Headlight" drum, etc. Here are the drums you have to work with. How would you set them all up (heads, tuning, snares, whatever) to get a range of sounds?

7 x 14 Noble and Cooley SS Maple
6.5 x 14 Ludwig Black Beauty (modern)
5.5 x 14 Ludwig Jazz Festival (vintage)
5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (vintage)
4.75 x 14 Noble and Cooley Alloy Classic

Have at 'em. In the end, you want five distinct sounds. No swapping out snare drums here, though you can add one drum. Explain your thinking. Now, obviously all of these drums are versatile and you're going to be messing with tunings and stuff for all sorts of reasons. But just do this as a thought experiment.
 

C. Dave Run

Gold Member
I know nothing about any of these drums but the Acro, which I dont particularly like.

Because of this, I would purchase a selection of different heads, and see what heads each drum likes. I would then make my decision for each snare based on how they act with different heads and tunings.

One thing I do know for sure is each snare side head would be a Diplomat. I would for sure also purchase a Hi-Energy, coated Ambassador, coated Emperor, and dotted PS3 heads. Maybe even a Pinstripe or Hydraulic for the splat snare. The splat snare would also get fatter wires.

The Acro is naturally dry. I would exploit the hell out of that with an Evan's Genera.

That's what I would do.
 

cbphoto

Diamond Member
7 x 14 Noble and Cooley SS Maple
6.5 x 14 Ludwig Black Beauty (modern)
5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (vintage)
The 7x14 gets Evans coated Heavyweight over Hazy 300 with 42-strand snappy.
The Black Beauty gets an Evans Power Center Reverse Dot over Hazy 300 with 22-strand snappy
The Acrolite gets an Evans coated G1 over Hazy 300 with 22-strand snappy
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
If it were me?

I'd buy the following:

Five Remo Ambassador coated heads
Five Remo Ambassador clear snare-side heads
Two Snareweight M80's
One Big Fat Snare Drum - Steve's Donut version
Maybe an old washcloth or small towel
Gaff tape
A drum key

If I couldn't get it done with these supplies, I don't need to be doing it.
 

mikyok

Platinum Member
If it were me?

I'd buy the following:

Five Remo Ambassador coated heads
Five Remo Ambassador clear snare-side heads
Two Snareweight M80's
One Big Fat Snare Drum - Steve's Donut version
Maybe an old washcloth or small towel
Gaff tape
A drum key

If I couldn't get it done with these supplies, I don't need to be doing it.
This!

I'd only need the Black Beauty as well.
 

JimmyM

Platinum Member
If it were me?

I'd buy the following:

Five Remo Ambassador coated heads
Five Remo Ambassador clear snare-side heads
Two Snareweight M80's
One Big Fat Snare Drum - Steve's Donut version
Maybe an old washcloth or small towel
Gaff tape
A drum key

If I couldn't get it done with these supplies, I don't need to be doing it.
I’m the same way since I only have one good snare (and don’t really want another one any time soon since mine crushes everything and I’m not gigging on drums much). I also love Ambs ;).

I think the best thing to do is just sit down with each one and see where the drum key takes it.
 

s1212z

Silver Member
6.5 x 14 Ludwig Black Beauty (modern)
5.5 x 14 Ludwig Jazz Festival (vintage)
5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (vintage)
I sort of have these except for a Pioneer instead of JF and Canopus version of a BB but same size.

For my Pioneer, I like it cranked tight. For some reason, this seems what this shell wants to do but have had it as a low tuned side snare a doosh slop sound. JF is probably better for tuning though but I've never had good results with just medium tunings for some reason.

For my BB, medium tight and same with my Acro but they can go anywhere tuning wise. As versatile as the BB is, I dare say the only negative is that it is too versatile. And sometimes with that trait, you can lack distinction or character. With the Acro, there are many quick muffling schemes that can be done to have a dramatic effect...and it is definitely distinctive. Sometimes Acro are not the right fit but when it is...it really is.

N&Cs, never owned but they seem to be workhorses like your Black Beauty...would love to have either, especially the Alloy :). So I'd probably pick my favorite workhorse snare of the 3 along with the JF and Acro and have enough to work with for just about anything. But if you want 5, I'd probably have the Alloy, SS and BB at either a low, med or high tuning (in any order) with the quick swap ready to go.

I tend to prefer diplo for wood snare side and canopus wires...and prefer a bit more wire for deeper snares just get a bit more sensitive and contain the sustain a bit more, but my preference. Usually just a coat ambassador on all unless a need a bit more beef, then CS coated
 

Winston_Wolf

Platinum Member
I'm with PorkPieGuy on this. A coated Ambassador (or CS Reverse Dot) would be my choice as a batter head for all of them, and a (no collar) clear Ambassador snare side. After that, I'd try to tune each drum based on what that particular shell and size does best.

7 x 14 Noble and Cooley SS Maple - I'd tune this one medium-high/high. Deep snares sound great tuned up because you get a lot of crack but there's body supporting the tone from the deep shell.
6.5 x 14 Ludwig Black Beauty (modern) - I'd tune this one medium. Get a little bit of honk mixed in with the meaty sound that brass shells snares are capable of. I might use a coated Vintage Emperor just to fatten up the tone a little more, but it isn't necessary.
5.5 x 14 Ludwig Jazz Festival (vintage) - I'd also tune this one medium, but also use a little muffling to dry it up a bit more.
5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (vintage) - This would be my "big fat snare drum." Tune it low and put a Zero Ring or Snareweight or some other sustain-killer on it.
4.75 x 14 Noble and Cooley Alloy Classic - This would be my gunshot snare. Tuned high, because this drum won't choke out and still gives a lot of tone when cranked.
 

Neal Pert

Well-known Member
Here's what I think I'd do:

7 x 14 Noble and Cooley SS Maple -- This would be my workhorse drum, medium-high tuning. I'd keep a reverse dot head on the batter, 300 snare side, probably the N&C snare wires, triple flanged hoops. I'd probably use the Canopus washers on this one.

6.5 x 14 Ludwig Black Beauty (modern) -- I think I'd let this be my "jazz" snare drum -- single ply coated head (UV1), 300 snare side, Canopus vintage snares (maybe 30s?), probably triple flanged hoops, tuned pretty high.

5.5 x 14 Ludwig Jazz Festival (vintage) -- I'd get this as close to original stock-sounding as possible, going for a very woody sound: Maybe a vintage ambassador, 16 strand Ludwig wires, probably swap out a modern snare strainer for functionality. Tuned Medium to medium-low.

5 x 14 Ludwig Acrolite (vintage) -- I'd put a thick head on this one-- maybe even a Hydraulic batter. Canopus wires. Tuned medium-low, Canopus Vintage wires (20s). This would be my splat drum, I think.

4.75 x 14 Noble and Cooley Alloy Classic -- I'd keep it lively with some triple-flanged hoops and a simple, single-ply coated head tuned pretty high. Stock snares wires.
 
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