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  1. #1
    Top Of The World Johnny Van Halen Cash's Avatar
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    Default Drumming Question

    Please forgive me if this is in the wrong thread, so move if necessary. I'm wondering, just for curiosity's sake (I've always wanted to know this), what makes Al's snare sound so unique? Is it the type of snare (brand), how he manipulates it (if that can even happen), or technique?
    If it sounds like bull shit, feels like bull shit, and appears to be bull shit, it's probably Eddie talking about his new lead singer being his new brother at a press conference...

  2. #2
    Forum Frontman It's Mike's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny Van Halen Cash View Post
    Please forgive me if this is in the wrong thread, so move if necessary. I'm wondering, just for curiosity's sake (I've always wanted to know this), what makes Al's snare sound so unique? Is it the type of snare (brand), how he manipulates it (if that can even happen), or technique?
    this will probably end up in the musician's corner forum in time but can't hurt to leave it here so more people see it.

    Personally, I have no idea.

  3. #3
    Romeo Delight mohalen99's Avatar
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    I believe that Al plays a 6.5x14 rosewood snare. The recorded sound and the live sound that he gets has much to do with the drum heads he uses and the way in which he tunes the snare. You can use a damper or muffling on a snare to lessen the attack but it sounds to me like he uses very little, if any, and goes more for the clean, rich 'POP' of the drum itself.
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  4. #4
    Eruption Infinite Cactus's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 04:02 PM
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    His technique also has a bit to do with it. He uses very large sticks and hits hard. At least he used to.
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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk edwardv's Avatar
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  6. #6
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  7. #7
    On Fire
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    Alex used a Tama rosewood snare drum around fair warning through 5150. I think he went back to a metal Ludwig snare by the time OU812 came out. Personally I think Alex could make a cardboard box sound like himself. I think it's all in the secret way he tunes the drum, the way he hits and the combination of heads that he uses. I love the fact that he has kept that sound all this time. It's part of the great VH sound and in today's crappy pop world with fake processed sounds it SO refreshing to hear a snare drum that is unique to the individual.
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  8. #8
    Eruption
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    It's a special ludwig snare drum with a dial on the side for different signature sounds. You just turn the dial to "Alex Van Halen" and bam!! You have your Alex Van Halen sound.

  9. #9
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    Same reason Ed would be recognizable playing an out of tune Japanese Hamer guitar with four rusty strings ....

    They're Van Halens.

  10. #10
    Eruption Dr5115's Avatar
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    Speaking of drumming. Does anyone else think that the drums are wayyy to low in the mix on ADKOT. It's nice to actually hear the bass on this disc, but the drums are too low imo.

  11. #11
    On Fire DressedinRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr5115 View Post
    Speaking of drumming. Does anyone else think that the drums are wayyy to low in the mix on ADKOT. It's nice to actually hear the bass on this disc, but the drums are too low imo.
    I agree with you and mentioned it in a different string. Al being back in the mix on this recording is uncharacteristic for VH and disappointing. He, of course, is part of their signature sound and it's not coming through on ADKOT.
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  12. #12
    Romeo Delight crazystix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr5115 View Post
    Speaking of drumming. Does anyone else think that the drums are wayyy to low in the mix on ADKOT. It's nice to actually hear the bass on this disc, but the drums are too low imo.
    The bass guitar is so high in the mix that it drowns out the snare throughout much of ADKOT.

  13. #13
    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by crazystix View Post
    The bass guitar is so high in the mix that it drowns out the snare throughout much of ADKOT.
    I don't find that at all. Sounds like an eq issue with your system.

  14. #14
    Hot For Teacher Han Valen's Avatar
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    I think it's funny that you can finally hear the bass guitar on a VH album, and it's NOT Michael Anthony. lol
    Al's snare sound is his own. It comes from the way he plays, and yes the tuning and heads and such help. It's his version of the "brown" sound. BIG, warm and majestic.
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  15. #15
    Romeo Delight crazystix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoBrownM&Ms View Post
    I don't find that at all. Sounds like an eq issue with your system.
    Don't think so since I don't experience this with other VH albums on the same system.

 

 

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