Why does my snare drum ring? What are the causes of its ringing? How do you fix the ringing of a snare drum? Are there any adjustments or changes I should make to stop my snare drum from ringing? If you own a snare drum that frequently rings when you strike it, then maybe it is the perfect time for you to know what are the necessary adjustments that you should make to your snare drum so that it will sound great.
It is really a massive headache for all drummers who have their snare drums ringing when a drumstick strikes them. If your snare drums are made of cheap materials, then it would really be difficult to do anything to reduce its ringing, aside from changing it with a better one; however, if your snare drums are made of high-quality materials, then maybe just some little adjustments to be done to it, and then it is good to go.
Aside from low-quality materials, one of the reasons why your snare drum is ringing is that there is a huge chance that it is out of tune. After you have tuned it properly but there is still some ringing to it, then you can start to muffle it to reduce the excess ringing. It would be best if you remembered that muffling your snare drum must be your last resort when it comes to ringing, as they are probably out of tune.
How To Tune A Ringing Snare Drum
If your snare drum frequently rings when struck, then maybe the drum heads and hardware that comes with it are really cheap, but if not, then your snare drum is really out of tune. Tuning your snare drums properly can significantly reduce the ringing that is really annoying to listen to when you are playing your drum kit.
If you are short on time and would like to tune your snare drum as fast as possible, then it is highly recommended that you use two tuning keys rather than one, as it allows you to turn its opposite lugs at the same time. It is also better for the uniformity of tension of all your drum lugs.
The reason for the needed uniformity is that there is a harmonic in front of each of the tension rods, so when there are different tensions, there is also a high chance that you will have a variety of harmonics overlaying on top of another, resulting to the unpleasant ringing sound from your snare drum. It is why you need to make sure that the pitch produced by your snare drum is even in all parts of the snare.
It is not really required that the uniformity of the tension is perfect, but if you can use some specific devices like a drum dial to tune your drums, then it would really be a great help. If all of the drum lugs of your snare drum are within about a quarter turn with the others, then it is already great.
To tune your snare drum, the first thing you need to do is to place the drum heads on and make the drum lugs finger tight on its resonant head and loosen everything on the batter head. Start with the resonant head by tightening the lugs using the two drum keys. There is no rule on how tight it should be, but you would want to have your resonant head as tight as it can, but not to the point of choking it.
The tighter your resonant head is, the more sensitive it is to snare wire, which is perfect if you prefer playing with some ghost notes.
The next step is to flip the snare drum over and place it on your snare stand and try to play with it, and start to tighten the lugs on the batter side using your finger. After the lugs are already finger tight, use your two tuning keys and make one or two full turns on all the lugs, as you would prefer the lugs on the batter side to have one-third or half of the tightness compared to the resonant side.
Try to play the snare and listen if there is still some ringing to it. Remember that it would still be better if your resonant head is tighter to your batter head if you still want to tweak its tuning. If you have tuned it, but there is still some ringing to it, then the next best thing you can do is to muffle the snare drum.
Muffling A Snare Drum Ring
So, what is drum muffling? Drum muffling or also known as dampening, is a way to alter the sound of the drum. When it comes to a snare drum, when a drummer decides to muffle his snare drum, this means that he wants to kill any unwanted ringing or overtones. If you have already tuned your snare drum, but you can still hear some annoying tones, then muffling it is the best next thing you can do to remove it.
There are many ways that you can muffle your snare drums. Muffling is also not expensive, so it is not necessary that you will have to spend much money to remove the ringing of your snare drums. The best material you can use to muffle your snare drum is a moongel, gaff tape, or an o-ring.
Moon gel is an excellent muffler for your snare drums as it allows you to fine-tune its resonance to what you prefer. Moon gel is basically a sticky gel pad you directly place above the batter drum head. The more you put it closer to the center, the more muffling you can get, resulting in a significant reduction of the annoying ring sound.
Another muffling material is the gaffer tape. Cut a very thin piece of cloth, paper towels, or toilet paper, create some little squares from any of the materials mentioned, and use the gaff tape to secure the pads that are placed above the batter drum head like a band-aid. Placing it near the center of the drum head will result in a more muffled sound, while if you place it near the edge will result in a less muffled sound.
Last is the O-ring. Personally, I use this in my drum kit as my muffler, as they worked great for my liking. An O-ring is a 1 to a 2-inch-wide circular strip of plastic material that you can place on the outer section of the batter drum head. It is perfect for muffling as it can almost completely remove the ringing of the snare drum; however, its sound can be a little bit dead for others.
EQing Your Ringing Snare Drum
If you play professionally and use a mic on your snare drums, then you can have it EQ’d to remove its ringing sound. Boost all the parameters and try to sweep the frequencies where your snare drum rings the most. If you have located the frequencies where it rings the most, you cut the frequencies to the point that the ringing is eliminated. It is the best way to EQ your snare drum.
Why does my snare drum ring? When your snare drum rings, then it is clear that it is out of tune. You will need to tune it, and if the ringing still exists, then you should put some muffler to it, as it is a great way to eliminate the ringing of your snare drum.