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Snare Drum Heads for Nice Corps Sound?


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Hello all,

First, I apologize for two things, first is forgive me if I've started this thread in the wrong category on the forums, I'm very new here. Second, is forgive me if my questions sound ridiculous, I'm new to the world of percussion/corps drumlines.

Anyway, I have some questions.

I'm Greg, and I'm starting snare lessons in August. I recently purchased a high tension snare drum from Sound Percussion Labs. The snare sounds great, but doesn't produce the sound I'm looking for. Right now, the snare (out of the box) produces that "rat-a-tat" traditional snare sound. I, however, am searching for that "table top" or "formica" sound that every corps uses now. Not really using the "crank the heck out of the top head" technique, but still a table top corps sound. The snare is currently equipped with a Remo Falams II batter, and a Remo Ambassador Snare Side. It's just a basic clear ambassador. I've heard around that the best combo would be a Remo Black Max batter, and a Falams II snare side. However, since I have a Falams II on the batter already, how would it sound if I kept the current batter, but put a Falams II snare side on the bottom? I fully intend to replace both heads at some point, but can only purchase one at a time for now. Any advice is appreciated.



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In all honesty, the heads work just fine for now. It might be how the drum is tuned from the heads to the guts themselves. With a Falam 2 batter head, you can get a good amount of tension into it. Almost as much as the old Tendura from Premier. However, really cranking down on a Falam 2 batter head will potentially be bad for longer term wrist health with the harsher 'basket' weave.

Adding a Falam 2 snare side/ resonant head will really dry out the sound and will lead to that table top sound you're looking for, but eventually there is that request for adequate tone instead of tuned so high that it makes large dogs cry and kills small dogs.

In my own opinion, grab a Max head (Doesn't matter which) and put that as the top head, leaving the Ambassador as the resonant head. While allowing the top head to get and develop holding tension, look at your guts and try to get an even tension across the entire assembly. That's my own head combination and when I actually had it maintained on my own personal drum, it sounded fantastic. No need for the table top sound if you're using the drum for solo work.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Another vote for one of the Max series here...

We use CyberMax top heads and Ambassador side heads. The type of snare can make a little difference... we have Mapex-Quantum stuff that has a pretty decent range from wet to dry. Dynasty's stuff always tends to sound quite choked off and hollow to me. I felt best with the sound out of our old Yamaha sFz's when they were outfitted with Hybrid top heads and hazy side heads. We briefly tried the hybrid side heads on those Yamaha's too... yuck. Terrible sound.

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In all honesty you might not be able to get the sound you are looking for with that Sound Percussion drum. Be very careful that you don't over crank it so you don't mess up the shell.

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