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#1
16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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Snare Rattle

I was tracking a band Friday night, and they had a song that had a few passages where there was just toms and kick, but then it would go right back into kick and snare. The problem I was running into was that the snare strainer was rattling when the drummer was hitting the toms. I'm sure its happened to me before, but this time it was very noticiable and down right annoying. We tried tuning the toms a bit, which helped some.. but not entirely. Any of you guys run into this problem? What did you do?
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16th June 2008
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one small strip of DUCK TAPE. rattle gone.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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tighten the tom heads a bit or loosen the snare bottom a little. i would leave it in though unless its over the top annoying. a light piece of electrical tape across the snare wires works too. duct tape leaves too much sticky white glue goo.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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snare rattle is the sound of life.
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16th June 2008
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Duck tape seems to last much longer then anything else. When it starts to lose its grip, its about time to change out the heads anyway. Electrical tape ..maybe as a very temp fix but it never held longterm.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio View Post
I was tracking a band Friday night, and they had a song that had a few passages where there was just toms and kick, but then it would go right back into kick and snare. The problem I was running into was that the snare strainer was rattling when the drummer was hitting the toms. I'm sure its happened to me before, but this time it was very noticiable and down right annoying. We tried tuning the toms a bit, which helped some.. but not entirely. Any of you guys run into this problem? What did you do?

You can try to loosen the lugs on either side of the snares (bottom head, 4 lugs total, 2 on each side) a bit. This helps quite a bit. If nothing else works, why not just turn the snares off in those specific sections and punch the sections if it's bothering you that much? Definitely an easy and full-proof way to eliminate it. If it detracts too much from the "vibe" roll back the previous take, have the band play through (along with the previous take) until you get to the section in question and THEN punch so it doesn't feel so punched in.
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16th June 2008
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I put a piece of duct tape on the snare chain between the snare and the chain... once I put a bit of terry cloth with it --- when the snare is hit, it still rattles, but only when it is hit. You may have to experiment a bit, and it'll give a dryer snare sound, but it works. As for the idea that it's the nature of the snare, I think that's a copout for those who don't want to do the work end of this. It sounds very unprofessional in my opinion to have a sloppy sound when it could be so easily avoided.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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It's a matter of personal taste not a copout.
There's snare buzz all over the Expensive Winos album (Keith Richards with Steve Jordan on drums), a copout?
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16th June 2008
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The snare rattle just didn't fit this particular song, which is why I asked... Im usually fine with the "normal noises". I'll try the tape & tuning, if neither of those work I'll have to have someone turn the snare on and off during the passages... the drum has his hands full so to speak.
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio View Post
The snare rattle just didn't fit this particular song, which is why I asked... Im usually fine with the "normal noises". I'll try the tape & tuning, if neither of those work I'll have to have someone turn the snare on and off during the passages... the drum has his hands full so to speak.

If it's a sensitive recording, it might be better to have the assistant just place a hand gently on the bottom head/snares instead. Even with a really smooth snare strainer mechanizim turning them on quickly can cause some noise.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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I'd hate to be that assistant... sitting on the floor next to the drummer... making the drummer uncomfortable with my presence so I could put my hand under a snare drum during "tom passages"... I would wear eye protection if I were that assistant [and gun shot ear protectors!!] as inevitably shards of wood would end up all over me [if the drummer is good], best to keep them out of the eye... and golly I hope the drummer showers regularly... that's kind of an odd height to be on nose level.
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn View Post
it might be better to have the assistant just place a hand gently on the bottom head/snares instead.
lol! funniest thing i've read here in months.
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
It's a matter of personal taste not a copout.
There's snare buzz all over the Expensive Winos album (Keith Richards with Steve Jordan on drums), a copout?
Then I'll be more clear. Some parts will sound like crap with the extra noise (ie. a quiet part with alot of tom work that brings out the buzz). In such a case, especially if the band doesn't want it there, it would be a copout to shrug it off. I'm not familiar with "Expensive Winos" so either it didn't effect the vibe of what they were doing, they liked the raw or live feeling it had, or they were lazy... undoubtedly it is one of the first two. So yes, in some cases (such as a person wanting to get rid of it because neither he nor the band he's recording likes it), it is most definitely a copout.
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn View Post
If it's a sensitive recording, it might be better to have the assistant just place a hand gently on the bottom head/snares instead. Even with a really smooth snare strainer mechanizim turning them on quickly can cause some noise.
LOL

Finally, the excuse I've needed to hire that trained monkey I've been wanting for my studio.
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16th June 2008
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ImJohn View Post
If it's a sensitive recording, it might be better to have the assistant just place a hand gently on the bottom head/snares instead. Even with a really smooth snare strainer mechanizim turning them on quickly can cause some noise.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I'd hate to be that assistant... sitting on the floor next to the drummer... making the drummer uncomfortable with my presence so I could put my hand under a snare drum during "tom passages"... I would wear eye protection if I were that assistant [and gun shot ear protectors!!] as inevitably shards of wood would end up all over me [if the drummer is good], best to keep them out of the eye... and golly I hope the drummer showers regularly... that's kind of an odd height to be on nose level.
the assistant has to lay on the floor, always have skinny assistant.
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16th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedWallStudio View Post
The snare rattle just didn't fit this particular song, which is why I asked... Im usually fine with the "normal noises". I'll try the tape & tuning, if neither of those work I'll have to have someone turn the snare on and off during the passages... the drum has his hands full so to speak.

i would never tune drums differently to solve a problem like this...you're sacrificing overall tone for just one section of a song. just my opinion, but i think it'd be better to record the song in sections. then, you can remove the snare from the setup completely for the sections that it rattles in...or, put tape on the snares while you record that section, then take it off (or put the snare back in position) when recording the other sections.

if you're worried about ruining the flow of the song for the artist, you could record the whole song with the original setup, then just punch the sections you need to get without the rattle.
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#18
16th June 2008
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how about this

i heard this tecnique from a friend of mine, never tried it out though

record the whole drum take with the snare off. so no chance of rattle at all
after that you mic up the bottom of the snare, play back the original top snare mic track through a 12" driver sitting on top of the snare and record what the bottom snare mic picks up

then mix this back in with the original dry snare track

as i said ive never tried it, i would imagine it would sound slightly (or maybe extremely) different to how the snare would have sounded had it been played with the snare wires on.

but interesting technique all the same
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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HEHe another classic thread at GS.

I agree with this ^^ fella..

My initial thought would be if hitting the toms is making the snare rattle too much then the snare is too loose or the drum is of questionable quality.
If you are absolutely in love with the snare sound with flappy snares then do a take of the break with the toms, with the snares off and edit together.

I do like the intern damping idea tho. Gotta find SOME use for the smelly useless ****ers.
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16th June 2008
Old 16th June 2008
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Solutions

Believe me, I play drums and surf drum forums, and this is a quesiton that MANY drummers also ask. (It bothers them, too.) No shame in this practical question. Here are some pracical things to try:

1. Drum positioning. Suggest that the drummer angle the rack tom a bit differently, and the snare, too. Small moves will let them keep their comfort zone happening, while lessening the rattles. (Reposition your mics after! : )

2. A small piece of cloth (small!) placed between the snare wires and the snare resonant head can help.

3. As has been suggested, SLIGHTLY loosening the four lugs nearest the snare bed can make an improvement - and not fundamentally change the tone of the drum, as a poster above me feared.

4. MY FAVORITE: suggest that they try different snare wires. When I switched to a set of "PureSound EQ" snare wires, WOW the snare (A) sounded better and (B) cut my snare vibrations to practically nil! Having a set of puresounds in the locker is a good thing. $30 can save the day.

5. "3 in one" machine oil on the moving parts of the snare strainer throwoff will ensure a DEAD silent snare release / engagement (if done with a smooth hand and not just "whacked"). This opens up the "throw off the snares for the tom parts" idea.

6. As has been said, adjusting the reso head on the nearest / "offending" tom can be a good compromise. It won't change the tone THAT much (minor adjustments here), and can solve the problem or cut it down greatly.

7. Lastly (should be "firstly"), experiment with a different strainer tension (adjust the tension knob just for this song). Try finding a happy comromise.

These are all valid approaches that pro drummers have used with success. Hope some of these ideas can maybe help someone.

Take care,
Ed
#21
17th June 2008
Old 17th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roscoenyc View Post
snare rattle is the sound of life.
eric.

brilliant.

i would agree with that 100%...along with amp buzz, the sound of a pickup being switched from rhythm to lead, and a squeaky speed king at the top of a track !!

to the original poster....

punch-in the offending parts with the snare off ?

best,

jchristopherhughes
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#22
17th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
I'd hate to be that assistant... sitting on the floor next to the drummer... making the drummer uncomfortable with my presence so I could put my hand under a snare drum during "tom passages"... I would wear eye protection if I were that assistant [and gun shot ear protectors!!] as inevitably shards of wood would end up all over me [if the drummer is good], best to keep them out of the eye... and golly I hope the drummer showers regularly... that's kind of an odd height to be on nose level.
Yes, rock 'n roll aint fer the dainty!
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17th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGee View Post
Hey while you're down there....he he
LOL! Maybe they could just tell the drummer's 'shelter provider of the month" to put her 'other hand' on the snares ;-)
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17th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed97643 View Post
Believe me, I play drums and surf drum forums, and this is a quesiton that MANY drummers also ask. (It bothers them, too.) No shame in this practical question. Here are some pracical things to try:

1. Drum positioning. Suggest that the drummer angle the rack tom a bit differently, and the snare, too. Small moves will let them keep their comfort zone happening, while lessening the rattles. (Reposition your mics after! : )

2. A small piece of cloth (small!) placed between the snare wires and the snare resonant head can help.

3. As has been suggested, SLIGHTLY loosening the four lugs nearest the snare bed can make an improvement - and not fundamentally change the tone of the drum, as a poster above me feared.

4. MY FAVORITE: suggest that they try different snare wires. When I switched to a set of "PureSound EQ" snare wires, WOW the snare (A) sounded better and (B) cut my snare vibrations to practically nil! Having a set of puresounds in the locker is a good thing. $30 can save the day.

5. "3 in one" machine oil on the moving parts of the snare strainer throwoff will ensure a DEAD silent snare release / engagement (if done with a smooth hand and not just "whacked"). This opens up the "throw off the snares for the tom parts" idea.

6. As has been said, adjusting the reso head on the nearest / "offending" tom can be a good compromise. It won't change the tone THAT much (minor adjustments here), and can solve the problem or cut it down greatly.

7. Lastly (should be "firstly"), experiment with a different strainer tension (adjust the tension knob just for this song). Try finding a happy comromise.

These are all valid approaches that pro drummers have used with success. Hope some of these ideas can maybe help someone.

Take care,
Ed
Excellent suggestions.

BTW - Its a Pearl Master Series Birch Snare (8 x 14) and IMHO is one of the better sounding snares out there. Every drummer that brings in their own "recording" snare ends up using mine.
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17th June 2008
Old 17th June 2008
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Holly shit! Wherever there is a tom hit mute or erase the snare track...or strip silence that section of snare...or gate only that section...there are lots of options here boys...don't ruin the snare sound because of a little rattle...if the rattle is too loud after doing something like this, you probably have a bad drummer and you don't know how to tune drums...and also snare rattle is OK and in no way cop out...a little piece of gaff tape helps sometimes...the nature of a snare drum is for the snares to rattle.
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17th June 2008
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A good portion of the sound is in the overheads and my mono room mic... so that is capturing the toms and the snare in one mic.

And strip silence? LOL. Exactly how do you do that on a tape machine?
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#28
17th June 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ed97643 View Post
2. A small piece of cloth (small!) placed between the snare wires and the snare resonant head can help.
+1... this is the one that works, except I find foam tape to be even better, since it's springy, whereas cloth is not... the springy-ness allows better snare contact on snare hits, while keeping the snares away from the bottom head on tom hits/kick stomps/accidental knee bumps while toggling one's left foot between hat pedal & double-kick pedal in circumstances where that applies, etc.

You can find single-sided foam tape (well, i guess technically the tape isn't single-sided, but the sticky stuff is... unless you can find some mobius-strip-shaped carpet tape somewhere... THAT would be truly single-sided; but I digress), but more common is the double-sided... leave the peel-paper on while you slide it around to find the right spot... usually not too close to the center, so the head can still extrude well on snare hits, and then once you find the right spot, stick it right to the head under the snares.... sometimes you might need two thicknesses of it, depending on how loose the guy likes his snares. The adhesive isn't so aggressive that it will prevent you from cleaning it off fairly easily afterwards - should the drummer ever actually look under his snare after the session. More likely is that he'll notice it a year later & will think that the drum came that way from the factory.

Works great! If you don't want to get down there yourself, maybe Rice can send his assistant over to do it.
#29
19th June 2008
Old 19th June 2008
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Olive oil is your friend (not even kidding).

A drummer showed me that trick once and it work perfectly, even bith a loud bass amp really close on stage.
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19th June 2008
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Mediterranean solutions for rock&roll problems!!!thumbsupthumbsup
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