The Back Beats
When choosing the snare drums for Galaxy we took a variety of historical session snares and let Studio A at Blue Wave Studios tell us what would work best for us. As most drum techs will tell you, some rooms like certain snares better than others.
And the winners are:
Ludwig LM 402 Supraphonic 14X6.5
Ever heard of John Bonham? I really hope so. John and his LM 402 created the most sought after snare sound ever recorded. As the back beat of Led Zeppelin and one of the sweetest snare sounds accomplished, this Ludwig will give you an edge on any recording.
I used the Remo Coated Vintage Emperor for the top and a Remo clear Ambassador snare side resonant head to replicate John’s timeless tone. Tuning it mid to high top and high bottom really brought out its famous characteristics.
Armed with a distinct direct punch, gorgeous tonality and crack, you will have a hard time staying away from Bonham’s groove maker.
Dunnett Custom Classic Stainless Steel 14X6.5
Studio A really liked Ronn’s drums. This Stainless Custom snare is full of power, presence, projection and personality. Not built for the faint of heart, this beauty can be heard from blocks away. Huge attack and clear concise ghost notes that can show of a players brilliance or lack of.
Sticking with the heads of Ronn’s initial set up, I used a Remo coated Emperor top and a Remo clear Ambassador snare side bottom. Tuning both heads on the high side and fitted with 42 strand snares and Dunnett’s signature deep cut snare bed, you will be pleasantly surprised by the crisp attack and control this snare offers.
Yamaha Manu Katche Brass 14X5.5
Never a real fan of signature snares because usually the artist is not actually recording these snares in the studio. However, this snare is a beast. Most pro studios and session drummers with a decent resume will have either a this brass Manu Katche or a Ludwig Black Beauty close by when the first 8 beats of the click track starts rolling. With incredible attack and a dry finish this snare cuts through beautifully.
I equipped this brass beast with a Remo coated Controlled Sound top head tuned to mid range and a Remo clear Ambassador snare side tuned high.
All in all it’s a great driving snare with tons of bite. Perfect for rock, metal and any other track you want a snare to really be up front.
Ludwig Coliseum Chrome Over Wood 14X8
Last but not least we have the almighty Coliseum. As the deepest and only wood snare in the Galaxy line up, this behemoth is all about flavour.
The Coliseum is a deceiving snare drum. You would expect a long sustain out of such a deep drum, but this is not the case. This snare has beautiful control, warmth and charm. With the chrome exterior dampening the 6 ply maple/poplar shell, this drum has a mild to dry finish with a full bodied crack when hit with force. Great range of tonality through the velocities, this snare is an asset to this stacked selection of snares.
I set this Coliseum up with a Remo coated Emperor top tuned mid pitch and a Remo clear Ambassador snare side tuned high on the bottom.
Killer snare to add to most musical applications and has a tone that will give the song tremendous character.
Enjoy choosing your favourite snare. I guarantee you will have affairs with all of them. Don’t worry it’s actually encouraged.
1972 Gretsch Stop Sign Badge 12/16/22
That great Gretsch sound. Need I say more? Well, not really but I going to anyway.
Gretsch drums have been at the top session scene since fidelity mattered. This 72 Gretsch Stop Sign Badge ( SSB ) has Jasper shells and rounded bearing edges ( pencilled edges ). This combination of shell construction and bearing edge has been a studio secret weapon for drummers, producers and engineers for over a half century. The toms are 6 ply shells that consist of Maple/Gumwood construction and the kick drum is an 8 ply of the same. Massive punch and warmth from the kick and gorgeous tonality and control from the toms.
This kit was chosen for Galaxy Drums for the versatility it embodies. From Rock, to Country, to Funk, Pop, Indie, and Folk. The SSB Gretsch brings depth and authenticity to this sample pack that has yet to be accomplished by any other. Have a listen and you will hear the difference immediately. I dare you.
When approaching tuning this kit I chose to tune the bottom skins on the toms a bit higher than the top skins, to accomplish a slight decay that gives the drums life and vintage tonal character. Skins used on the toms were Remo Clear Pin Stipe tops and Remo Clear Ambassador bottoms. Both skins on the kick have been tuned low and used a few towels to dampen the length of sustain. Skins used on the bass drum were Remo Clear Power Stroke 3 batter side and Remo Smooth White Ambassador resonance side with 5” hole located at 3 o'clock.
I have been tracking on these drum for over fifteen years and every new engineer or producer that hears them for the first time is always blown away and will ask me to bring them back the next time we work together. Always great for business. Great sounding drums are a necessity!
2012 Dunnett Custom Stainless Steel 13/16/24
In the modern world of drums Ronn Dunnett is the man. A one man machine located on the West Coast of Canada that has been challenging all drum manufacturers to keep up since he started up Dunnett Classic Drums. He has been owning the custom snare drum world for quite some time and definitely owns the crown for full metal kits. When other drum companies like DW and Ludwig are asking you to make their titanium and stainless steel kits for them you know you are the best at what you do.
This Dunnett Stainless Steel Kit is a the cadillac of kits. Manufactured without flanged bearing edges, the shells are allowed to resonate clean and clear with full sustain. These drums possess gorgeous tonal projection, body, attack and a surprising presence of warmth.. This combination creates an extremely original sound that can work with any style of recorded music.
We chose this kit to offer an second elite option for Galaxy drums. With it’s distinct personality and unique presence it makes your job of choosing between the Dunnett and the Gretsch kits a enjoyable challenge.
When approaching tuning this kit I tuned both the top and bottom tom skins to the same pitch to create a consistent tone throughout the length of their attack and note duration. Skins used for the Dunnett toms were Remo coated Emperors on top and Remo coated Ambassadors for the bottoms. The kick was tuned between low and mid tension to accomplish a perfect combination of bottom end and attack. I used minimal towels between both heads again to control length of pitch. Skins on the kick were Remo clear Power Stroke 3 on the batter and Remo smooth White Ambassador for the resonant skin with a 5” hole located at 3 o'clock.
To summarize this kit I would have to say it kicks serious ass! As a drummer, I play better on this kit because of how damn amazing it sounds. It is in a league of its own. Any questions?