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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Oct-16 > Creating snares with a Eurorack

Creating snares with a Eurorack

Creating an electronic snare timbre, with a modular, is not as difficult as you might think. Dave Gale patches up some tonal white noise…
The rattle of a physical snare has quite a high and bright tonality, which can be emulated using white noise

A coustic snare drums haven’t changed much over the years. Their construction has largely remained the same since time immemorial, so what is a snare and is it more than just a rattly noise? Well, simply put, a typical acoustic snare will consist of a round metal ring that has a width (height) of anything between three and eight inches. Top and bottom, you will find a skin, which is known as the ‘head’, and if struck, will create anything from a thud-like sound, to something quite tonal. The factor that dictates the pitch (frequency) of this tone is how stretched the head is across the surface, coupled with the depth of the drum itself. The trick is to tune the drum so that as you strike the upper head, often referred to as the ‘batter head’, the tone rings true in all areas of pitch, bearing in mind that there are a number of points around the edge of the head where it can be further tightened and stretched. Some music, notably rock, tends to use a lower pitched tonal centre as a tuning for the drum, and hence also uses larger drums, whereas styles such as jazz and funk might use something higher in pitch. The snare component is connected with the lower head. This is a set of tightly coiled springs which come into contact with the lower head, and hence rattle in sympathy, as the lower head vibrates. The snare rattles with quite high and bright tonal colours, which could be compared to white noise.

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