Snare drums, differences, how many do you really need? etc

lostcausestudio

New member
New to owning a drum set, Had an electronic kit for a while but no one really wants to track on an electric kit. Bought me a good set, mapex 6 piece, and some good cymbals. But one thing I have noticed is a lot of people have more than one snare drum. I understand that they sound different depending on material, snare beds, heads, snare wire count, and overall depth, but in reality how big of a difference is it between say a birch snare, and a maple snare? how big of a sound difference is there between a 5.5 inch deep snare and a 4.5 inch deep snare? How many do you really need to kinda cover the scope of snare sounds? I currently have the mapex birch snare that came with my kit, plus a steel shell snare.
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
I don't know what the ins and outs are but all I can say is that it doesn't hurt to have at least two snares. I have the Arbiter Flat~Lites kit and the snare on it is OK, but not volcanic. The shell is a hard plastic, I think. But I also use an old, decrepit metal snare from my old Mirage kit that I bought in '91. The snare wire knob doesn't even work so it has just one sound although if you put it snare wires up and hit them, you get a different sound. I like both snares and I use both.
 

ibleedburgundy

The Anti-Lambo
I have 2 snares that I use regularly. Own 6.

Ludwig supraphonic and this old Sonor wooden snare.

I use the Ludwig for surf rock or rock in general.

The Sonor snare I use for slow tunes when I want a deep 1980s power ballad or thud snare sound.

A snare drum can alter the entire way your drumming is coming across. It's a quick and easy way to change your sound. Highly recommend. Change your snare drum change your life!
 

Chris Drums

New member
If your focus is recording, the amount of processing of modern snare sounds makes the actual drum less important. Tuning and playing technique is a big part too, of course.
 

Gtoboy

Active member
New to owning a drum set, Had an electronic kit for a while but no one really wants to track on an electric kit. Bought me a good set, mapex 6 piece, and some good cymbals. But one thing I have noticed is a lot of people have more than one snare drum. I understand that they sound different depending on material, snare beds, heads, snare wire count, and overall depth, but in reality how big of a difference is it between say a birch snare, and a maple snare? how big of a sound difference is there between a 5.5 inch deep snare and a 4.5 inch deep snare? How many do you really need to kinda cover the scope of snare sounds? I currently have the mapex birch snare that came with my kit, plus a steel shell snare.

It can be very dependent on genre and tempo. Tuning is just as critical. There are several plugins that are designed to alter the tuning of a drum that has already been recorded, but like anything it is best if the sound you start with is close. Mapex has some good quality metal SD's that are fine for recording, both 5.5 and Piccolo. The difference between drums IMHO is more obvious when going from wood to metal and acrylic, wood type differences are usually less obvious when recording.
 

Xdrummer

New member
New to owning a drum set, Had an electronic kit for a while but no one really wants to track on an electric kit. Bought me a good set, mapex 6 piece, and some good cymbals. But one thing I have noticed is a lot of people have more than one snare drum. I understand that they sound different depending on material, snare beds, heads, snare wire count, and overall depth, but in reality how big of a difference is it between say a birch snare, and a maple snare? how big of a sound difference is there between a 5.5 inch deep snare and a 4.5 inch deep snare? How many do you really need to kinda cover the scope of snare sounds? I currently have the mapex birch snare that came with my kit, plus a steel shell snare.

You don't indicate the size of your 2 snares - but I think a wood snare and a steel snare should give you plenty of options. As others have indicated, learning how to tune your drums if very important to have good sound. While every drum has an ideal tuning range - some snares are very flexible in their ability to be tuned up or down to provide a wide range of tones. Often steel snares are much louder than wood (not always a good thing in a recording room) - and I personally prefer wood - I like maple snares - but prefer birch toms/kick.

Certainly there is a difference in tone between different woods, steel vs. brass, thin shell vs. deep - but those differences are simply not as important as having a well made, well tuned drum, mic'ed well, in a decent sounding room.

Since I am a drummer and gigged a lot for many years I did collect a rather large selection of snares - 11 at one point - which included everything for, 13x3 to a 14x6.5 including maple, birch, bass wood, steel, brass and acrylic.. While I could tell the difference in live applications - often in recording situations, it was sometimes hard to tell which sounded better.
 

kennystone

New member
The Sonor snare drum combines good sound quality with a great drum design. The drum itself is made of quality maple, and gives a very good sound. The rim of the drum is made of high quality steel, which improves the sound.
 
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