Topic: Snare Drum Dampening  (Read 19378 times)

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Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2011, 02:34 PM »
Internal dampeners/mufflers are no longer used because they choke the sound. When you strike the drum, the stick pushes the head down while the internal dampener/muffler is pushing up. Also they tend to be noisy when disengaged.

Internal dampener/mufflers haven't been used in new drums for well over twenty years.

Offline NY Frank

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2011, 04:46 PM »


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Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #22 on: April 02, 2011, 05:48 PM »
Well, I guess I stand corrected if those are current Ludwig Snare drums. Why they would do that, I have no idea.

Offline Buddy Bryan

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #23 on: April 07, 2011, 09:03 PM »
It took me a while, too, to get over the fact that what I'm hearing is not what they're hearing.

At the same time, I have decided - I want some good tone, too.   :)   So, I still do things to muffle - and quiet - the snare.   

Still waiting for that magic snare that I can lay into without my ears bleeding.


Same here. I play mostly small to large clubs. Drums are usually mic'ed. I tune pretty good and try to avoid any muffling except for the kick. I have a lot of snare drums (35). Lately I have been using either a Ludwig Supra 6.5x14 or a Black Beauty. Both sound great. Both have some ring/overtone. It's part of the sound. Most sound guys love them. I never dampen them live. I can see maybe in a studio doing it though.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #24 on: April 07, 2011, 09:39 PM »
Well, I guess I stand corrected if those are current Ludwig Snare drums. Why they would do that, I have no idea.

I imagine as a retro cue.
I agree with you though, the internal damper has been consigned to history by improved methods of control.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #25 on: April 07, 2011, 09:43 PM »
Lately I have been using either a Ludwig Supra 6.5x14 or a Black Beauty. Both sound great. Both have some ring/overtone. It's part of the sound. Most sound guys love them. I never dampen them live.

As I say, for me it really depends on the circumstances and the sound you need.
In louder bands with a wall of guitars, snare ring tends to disappear into the sonic soup and any damping will render a snare drum small and dead.
In more exposed situations, with a noticeable ring your ear can become focussed on the snare, rather than the kit as a whole, and in those scenarios I do find the ring really starting to annoy me.

Offline Bob Pettit

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #26 on: April 09, 2011, 11:21 AM »
Internal dampeners/mufflers are no longer used because they choke the sound. When you strike the drum, the stick pushes the head down while the internal dampener/muffler is pushing up. Also they tend to be noisy when disengaged.

Internal dampener/mufflers haven't been used in new drums for well over twenty years.

Regarding your comment that about the internal damperer pushing up and choking the sound, well now that's the point of them really, they dampen the sound and since they are fully adjustable you can go very slight to heavy, or none at all, just as you like.

As far as internal mufferers being noisy, if it rattles there is a mechanical problem. If they are working properly, a well designed muffer like a Ludwig would challenge even the most discerning connoisseur to hear if it changed the sound. Remember, vintage Ludwig LM402s like Bonham played all came with these devices as standard equipment. Sometimes vintage sound, like the sqweek on a Speed King, is not 'perfect'.

I imagine as a retro cue.
I agree with you though, the internal damper has been consigned to history by improved methods of control.

And history tends to repeat itself .... just wait until a new generation starts demanding internal muffers 'like Bonham had'.

Fads come and go in the drumming world just like anywhere else.

 :)


Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #27 on: April 09, 2011, 12:38 PM »
Regarding your comment that about the internal damperer pushing up and choking the sound, well now that's the point of them really, they dampen the sound and since they are fully adjustable you can go very slight to heavy, or none at all, just as you like.

And as people finally discovered, that is a really bad way to go about it. This is why Yamaha (and a few other companies) designed the external dampener which clipped onto the rim, pushing on the drumhead, like the internal dampener, but from the top. I used to own a full set of those Yamaha clip-on dampeners.

With the internal dampener, the drumhead is being pushed in the opposite directly of the initial attack of the drumstick. At least the external dampeners gave the opportunity for the drumhead to vibrate a bit more.

The internal dampener is like pushing someone in a swing. If you are pushing from behind, while at the same time you got someone holding the swing from the front, you're not going to get much for your efforts. Sure, you can adjust it to just lightly touch, but you are still pushing against the drumhead from the opposite direction; it doesn't allow for much membrane vibration.

The external dampener is like pushing that same swing with no one in front of the swing blocking you, but after you push the swing you don't move out of the way, so the swing hits you, thus stopping or reducing the swing's movement.

That is what the internal dampener went bye-bye. If you used it lightly, it rattled and was noisy. If you tightened it down, you choke any membrane vibration from the initial start.

Offline Bob Pettit

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #28 on: April 09, 2011, 06:05 PM »
That is what the internal dampener went bye-bye. If you used it lightly, it rattled and was noisy. If you tightened it down, you choke any membrane vibration from the initial start.

Each to their own on what sounds best, but don't mislead us that internal damping devices normally rattle and are noisy. I've heard many snare drums with these devices and have encountered only one that rattled .... and it had a mechanical problem which was able to be fixed.

A well designed device such as the Ludwig internal muffer on a Supersonic does not normally rattle nor produces any audible 'noise'.

It is understandable in an era obsessed with suspended mounting systems, matched shells, enhanced resonance, and letting the true voice of the drum come through, that the internal muffer would be relegated to the trash can. Judgement can be colored by the hype.
"Yes boys and girls, you need a new snare drum."



..

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #29 on: April 09, 2011, 07:48 PM »

It is understandable in an era obsessed with suspended mounting systems, matched shells, enhanced resonance, and letting the true voice of the drum come through, that the internal muffer would be relegated to the trash can. Judgement can be colored by the hype.

Wow, you're making some huge claims there.
Firstly, I never had a good experience with internal dampers. You keep mentioning Bonham. Did he ever use the internal damper on his Supra. I'm guessing you had to be there to know.
For me it's an inflexible device. It always dampens in the same spot on the head. When I record, I find I get the best results damping the last 1/4" at the very edge of the head.
Also, with lower tunings the internal dampers tended to raise the pitch of the drum when engaged. I also found that high pressure levels and vibration caused many internal dampers to slowly release, giving you the perfectly dampened drum for the intro of a song, and too much ring by the outro. The same issues did create a metallic rattle from time to time.
OK, you lay some of the blame for that at my door (bad use of damper, bad maintenance os damper). I would say in reply, I get the perfect amount of damping everytime with a piece of tissue and a tiny piece of tape (usually costing me nothing). So why would I opt for a temperamental solution when I already have the perfect solution?
As to hype in modern product design.......
All the modern innovations I've adopted have been as a result of my desire to get the best out of my equipment. I still use RIMS because the sound is tangibly better to my ears.
Having started as a pro at the end of the 70's, when drum kits were hardly different to what they were 10, 20 years earlier, my drums evolved in response to the demands of the workplace.
I once got a call from one of the most revered record producers in London. I took my beautiful Gretsch kit to the session. I had my sound down, we set up the mics and we were up and running shortly afterwards, except..........
The producer claimed to hear an unwanted metallic quality in the drums. I couldn't hear it, so was at a loss to change anything. We all hunted and hunted around for quite a bit of time (time is money in the studio). In the end, as you might have guessed, it turned out every lug on the Gretsch drums encased a spring. The springs tended to resonate with the drum. Removing each spring on the session just was NOT an option. This was well before the internet, and no one had told me about this design issue with Grestch. I'd used the drums on several album sessions before and never had a problem. I was viewed as inexperienced and unprofessional by everyone else at the session (yeah...... humiliating). I never worked with that producer again.
So this is a long way of saying, not every vintage design idea is great. And not every modern improvement is 'hype'. If you work in potentially career damaging situations regularly, you'd better keep abreast of the latest innovations and keep your gear up to date and working flawlessly.

Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #30 on: April 09, 2011, 09:42 PM »
Each to their own on what sounds best, but don't mislead us that internal damping devices normally rattle and are noisy. I've heard many snare drums with these devices and have encountered only one that rattled .... and it had a mechanical problem which was able to be fixed.

A well designed device such as the Ludwig internal muffer on a Supersonic does not normally rattle nor produces any audible 'noise'.

It is understandable in an era obsessed with suspended mounting systems, matched shells, enhanced resonance, and letting the true voice of the drum come through, that the internal muffer would be relegated to the trash can. Judgement can be colored by the hype.
"Yes boys and girls, you need a new snare drum."

[insert real name here], please do not accuse me, on my own forum, that I am willfully choosing to mislead people. If you don't agree with me, fine ... debate all you want ... but don't you dare accuse me publicly like you just did.

You experiences are your experiences.

My experiences and comments are based on my experiences in the music industry, which includes university research and study in the areas of physics as it relates to music and sound, a former drum shop, thirty plus years as a professional studio musician and performer, etc.

The math and physics about the internal dampening is what it is ... like it or not. You chose to look over that part of my statement and focus on the "noise" aspects, which I never implied or claimed was with every drum that had internal dampening. It was and is an issue, whether it be 10% or 90% of those drums makes no difference to me. The noise potential is one of the factors that played a role in the vast majority of companies dropping the mechanism.

Don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message.

Offline Bob Pettit

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #31 on: April 09, 2011, 11:34 PM »
[insert real name here], please do not accuse me, on my own forum, that I am willfully choosing to mislead people. If you don't agree with me, fine ... debate all you want ... but don't you dare accuse me publicly like you just did.

You experiences are your experiences.

My experiences and comments are based on my experiences in the music industry, which includes university research and study in the areas of physics as it relates to music and sound, a former drum shop, thirty plus years as a professional studio musician and performer, etc.

The math and physics about the internal dampening is what it is ... like it or not. You chose to look over that part of my statement and focus on the "noise" aspects, which I never implied or claimed was with every drum that had internal dampening. It was and is an issue, whether it be 10% or 90% of those drums makes no difference to me. The noise potential is one of the factors that played a role in the vast majority of companies dropping the mechanism.

Don't shoot the messenger just because you don't like the message.

I did not say (nor think) you 'willfully' mislead.... I know you believe (passionately it seems) that internal mufflers are noisy, and now that you clarify, admit they aren't that way all the time, thanks ...

As I said, it is my experience these mufflers do not normally rattle, especially when engaged. A young person without actual knowledge of internal muffers could have taken your earlier words (be mislead by them) to mean that there is no use for the device, case closed. IMO, they were a viable method to dampen snare drum ring in vintage gear, and should still be an option today.

..




Offline Bart Elliott

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #32 on: April 10, 2011, 12:06 AM »
I did not say (nor think) you 'willfully' mislead.... I know you believe (passionately it seems) that internal mufflers are noisy, and now that you clarify, admit they aren't that way all the time, thanks ...

As I said, it is my experience these mufflers do not normally rattle, especially when engaged. A young person without actual knowledge of internal muffers could have taken your earlier words (be mislead by them) to mean that there is no use for the device, case closed. IMO, they were a viable method to dampen snare drum ring in vintage gear, and should still be an option today.

And you continue to look over the facts regarding pressing a dampener up into the drumhead. Forget the noise factor, address the physics behind the device. That alone does show that it is NOT a good thing, which is why it is no longer used.

I have internal mufflers in my vintage drums; I left them there to maintain their value. But I also have other drums that had internal dampeners which I removed because of the noise factor and because of the flaw from a PHYSICS perspective.

No one said that it doesn't work, nor did anyone say it wasn't a "viable" method for dampening. What I AM saying, to all players (young or old) is the internal dampener is not the most effective or productive way to dampen a drum. That is why it is no longer used by the majority of the drum manufactures.

As I mentioned before, but I guess I need to mention it again, the WAS an EXTERNAL VARIABLE DAMPENER on the market three decades ago. It too is all but extinct. This was an after-market device that could be placed on any drum. It did the same thing that the internal dampener did, EXCEPT that it worked WITH the physics.

So if you like the sound of your internal dampener, and like how it works, great, use it.

Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #33 on: April 10, 2011, 05:11 PM »
^^^^^^^

Yep, I don't think anyone has suggested an internal damper can't work.
Personally I find there are cheap/free, but importantly more flexible solutions.
I think the issue is your rather out there claim that many design improvements are 'hype'.
Maybe some are, but the ones that have stuck around for 20 years...... probably NOT.

Offline Tim van de Ven

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #34 on: April 13, 2011, 07:57 PM »
I have a "vintage" Premier 2000 snare drum; I really like it. I use it on a number of recordings and I take it out on the road with me to play shows, as well.

I removed the internal muffler because when it was engaged, it gave me a dead spot on the drum (it muffled, all right, but only in the spot that it touched, apparently). When it was disengaged (and the drum sounded better) it seemed superfluous to me. So, out it came.

Offline MOUSE

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2011, 05:06 AM »
Quote
   I think most drummers would remove 90 to 100% of the muffling they use on their snare drums if they went out into the audience and listened to what the drum sounded like out there.


My train of thought as well. For all of the kit.

I have one of the external dampeners and it is useful in quiet gigs likes background playing at a wedding or recording. Generally i use nothing but a reverse dot head and tune the drum. I just added a  Pearl Chad Smith to my equipment and it's rings like hell from the throne but when playing in the band overtones are absorbed and cooks out front for rock.

A classic example of nil dampening is large marching band bass drums, listen to them played solo they ring something terrible, and then in a band situ, you will be surprised how that ringy goes to punchy.

Tape/gels/ o rings,  etc  to me are  just something you don't need to be fiddling about with when you are gigging.
Tama Granstar

Offline Hank Gagnon

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2011, 06:43 PM »
on my snare i use an ec2 with an o-ring. it also has a built in dampener. the rack toms and floor have o-rings. i'm always messing with the tuning. right now they sound good. i've seen top shelf drummers with no dampening and wonder if i'm doing something wrong because i do.

Offline Ryan Culberson

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2011, 07:31 PM »
on my snare i use an ec2 with an o-ring. it also has a built in dampener. the rack toms and floor have o-rings. i'm always messing with the tuning. right now they sound good. i've seen top shelf drummers with no dampening and wonder if i'm doing something wrong because i do.

If your drums sound good to you, then you are not doing anything wrong! 

Many top shelf drummers also choose to use dampening.  It's just a tool to obtain the sound they want for any given musical situation. 

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind" 

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Offline Chris Whitten

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Re: Snare Drum Dampening
« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2011, 09:49 PM »

Tape/gels/ o rings,  etc  to me are  just something you don't need to be fiddling about with when you are gigging.

As I keep repeating (why?), it really depends entirely on the circumstances.
There are no rules!!!
There is no rule you should put tape on your snare batter, and vice versa. Well ok, there probably is one rule - you should try to sound good, as good as you can. And with that in mind I quite often employ some damping (often tape) on my snare batter, both live and for recording.
The  beauty opf tape is that if the recording engineer or front of house sound person tells me they love the snare sound, but it's a little too dry, too dead, 5 seconds later the tape is gone!

 

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