Tuning Ludwig snare drums with Tune-bot

Tune-bot tuning schemes for Ludwig Acrolite LM405 and Supraphonic LM402 aluminum snare drums.

By Darin Soll

Last August, I posted Tuning drums with Tune-bot, which consolidated a number of Tune-bot tuning tips from prior posts. While that post is by far the most popular page in this blog, a number of you are looking for more details about tuning snare drums, especially Ludwig snare drums, using Tune-bot.

This is not a surprise--after all, there are a lot of Ludwig Supraphonic, Black Beauty, and Acrolite players out there!

Ludwig Acrolite Classic Reissue in 6.5x14
features a seamless aluminum shell
In this post, I will provide the Tune-bot tunings I use for my Ludwig Acrolite 6.5x14 (LM405) snare drum.  These tunings should serve as good starting points for the Ludwig Supraphonic 6.5x14 (LM402) snare drum as well, as the Supraphonic and Acrolite are based on the same aluminum shell.  However, since the Ludwig Black Beauty has a denser brass shell, tuning frequencies at the lugs for that drum will be somewhat lower, similar to my Slingerland Sound King 6.5x14 COB snare tunings in Tuning drums with Tune-bot, and Getting the right sound out of your snare, part 2.

Darin's Ludwig Acrolite
6.5x14 snare drum Tune-bot tunings:

Fundamental drum note: Tune each reso lug to: Tune each batter lug to: Reso:Batter frequency ratio:
3f, 174.6Hz 363Hz 273Hz 1.33
3f#, 185Hz 384Hz 289Hz 1.33
3g, 196Hz 396Hz 314Hz 1.26
3g#, 208Hz 400Hz 328Hz 1.22
3a, 220Hz 400Hz 360Hz 1.11
Drum:  Ludwig LM405C Acrolite Classic Reissue, 6.5x14 seamless aluminum shell
Heads:  Evans Level 360 G1 Power Center Reverse Dot coated batter, Evans Level 360 Hazy 300 snare

Supraphonic tuning frequencies may be slightly lower since the Supra's chrome plating may brighten the tone of the shell.

Ideally, you want to tune snare drum resonant lug frequencies to a perfect fifth (1.5 times), perfect fourth (1.33 times), or major third (1.26 times) higher than batter lug frequencies, and my 3f, 3f#, and 3g tunings conform to this.  My 3g# and 3a tunings do not because Tune-bot recommends against exceeding 400Hz at the lugs with thinner (2-3 mil) resonant heads for snare drums.

Also, be sure to check out "Darin's Top Ten Tips for Tune-bot Tuning" in Tuning drums with Tune-bot.  These tips provide general guidance that will help you avoid common drum tuning issues and get the most out of your Tune-bot.

My Acrolite really sings between 3f# and 3a, so I can cover Zeppelin or crank it up for No Doubt or Katy Perry.

Side note:  I've noticed that my Acrolite seems to be really touchy about drumhead seating--has anyone else noticed this with Ludwig snares?



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