I’m pretty inexperienced in tuning my drums. I can usually manage the toms okay, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the snare. Every time I hit the drum, there’s an unusually long echo coming from the drum instead of the crisp snare sound I’m trying to get. The heads on top and bottom look like they’re okay, and the snare is on (not sure if needs adjusting or anything though). Any help would be AWESOME, thanks!
What kind of drum are you using? Metal drums in general have more “Ring” or “Sustain” then wooden drums. The type of metal, or wood being used will also affect this. If you are getting a longer than desired snare buzz then you’ll have to look at your snare wires as well.
For “Ring” issues: You can try some muffling (moongel or tape) start with small amounts on the top head, and add more (moving the muffling towards the center will also help cut the ring, but you’ll loose some tone as well) until the drum rings like you want. The other thing is a different head (What kind of head are you using?). There are tons of options here. Ask yourself if you like the feel of a single ply over a double ply, if it doesn’t matter to you try a coated double ply. If you like the feel of a single ply head then look into the heads that have built in rings or dots.
For Snare Buzz problems: First thing! make sure your snares are set properly. When you engage your wires, are they sitting in the center of the head, or is there more space on one side then the other. If they aren’t centered readjust the wires. The edges of a drum head vibrate the fastest and you don’t need to have extra wire over that section. If that’s not the issue check your tuning on your bottom head. An unbalanced bottom head can give you some interesting, and unwanted snare wire sound. Lastly, go with a set of wires that have less strands. Most SD’s come with 16-20 strands, see what you have. If you have a real wide set of wires 30+ then change them. You’ll be fighting them, and they were made to give a lot of snare sound.
I hope that helps.