Matt Halpern Signature Snare drum from Pearl Drums | New for 2021

matt halpern signature snare drum pearl

Pearl drums have just released the brand new Matt Halpern Signature Snare drum. This is part of the Pearl Signature Series Snare line.

Matt Halpern is a phenomenal drummer and it is great to see he now has a signature snare drum. Let’s see what makes it unique and what Matt wanted it to achieve. 

Who is the Matt Halpern Signature Snare drum for?

If you know of Matt Halpern you will most likely know him from his drumming with Periphery. Complex music that is aggressive, melodic and softer at times. At its core, this is what the drum aims to achieve. A powerful snare drum that is also responsive to dynamic playing.

Matt Halpern also had a few other things he wanted to achieve with this snare. He wanted it to have its unique place in the already extensive Pearl snare drum line up and he didn’t want it to break the bank. He wanted a premium grade snare that was out of the price range of the average drummer. We all know how expensive some snares can be!

What is the Matt Halpern Signature Snare made from?

The 14″ x 6″ snare drum is made from a 1.5mm brass shell with a black powdered coat finish. The snare drum also features powder-coated black brass STL Swivel Tube Lugs and black mastercast hoops. 

The drum also comes with the great Ultra-Sound snare wires in conjunction with the SR-150 click-lock.

Yes, this snare drum has a lot of black but it looks incredible. The drum also features yellow gaskets and details to finish off the look.

Features:

  • Size – 14″ x 6″
  • Shell – 1.5mm Brass Shell w/Black Powder-Coat Finish
  • Lugs – Powder-coated black brass STL Swivel Tube STL-55MH/B 
  • Hoops – MasterCast (DC-1410B/1410S)
  • Strainer – SR-150 Click-Lock
  • Snares – Ultra-Sound (SN-1420I)
  • Heads – BATTER Evans Heavyweight Dry, SNARE Evans Hazy 300 (S14H30)
  • Air vents – Black Powdercoated w/Yellow Gaskets AH-03B Die-Cast (x3)
Matt Halpern Signature snare close up

Brand new Evans Heavyweight Dry batter heads as standard

To accompany, the Matt Halpern Signature snare drum Evans has also developed a new batter head. This head has to deliver on the goals of the drum. 

This led to the creation of the Evans 14″ Heavyweight Dry Coated Drumhead. This head features two plies of 10mil film, a 3mil reverse dot, precision drilled vents and Evans patented UV coating. 

This head is extremely durable with a compressed attack and wide dynamic range.

Everything this snare needs to shine. 

What does it sound like?

Overall this snare achieves what it set out to do. The brass shell is cutting and lively but yet controlled by the help of the triangle layout air vents and Evans head selection. 

This gives you a cutting aggressive sound that is also a little dry when played at higher volumes. When you pull back to the mid-volume hits and ghost notes this drum has more tone with a quick snare response. 

Overall this drum has great clarity and an impressive dynamic range.

It is worth noting that this snare also has a wide tuning range so you will be able to find a pitch that is best for your style of playing.

Have a listen to Matt playing his signature snare drum here.

Where can I buy one?

This snare drum is now available in the majority of online music stores or from your local drum shop. If you are looking to order online here are our top picks.

Our thoughts

There is no doubt that this is a great snare drum. I think it looks fantastic and it has everything I look for in a snare drum. Power but yet dynamic where needed.

The bold finish won’t be to everyone’s taste though and that is understandable. 

The only thing I think that is disappointing with this snare drum is the price. Matt expressed that this drum was designed to be affordable but this thing isn’t cheap. Brass snares are never cheap but there are many other great brass snares out there cheaper than this. To be clear, this isn’t the most expensive brass snare either. You are still going to be paying more for a Tama Starphonic or Ludwig Black Beauty for example. 

Overall, I still think this is a great snare that has sonically accomplished what it set out to. Matt should be proud of this great snare drum himself, Pearl and Evans have managed to create.

Tama S.L.P. Snare Drums | Brand new additions for 2021

Tama SLP snare drums new for 2021

The Tama S.L.P. snare drums have become a staple for many modern drummers. The Tama S.L.P. range has a diverse selection of different types of snare drums that sound great and won’t break your bank.

Let’s take at the new additions for 2021. 

What are Tama S.L.P. snare drums?

The Tama Sound Lab Project (S.L.P.) snares have been designed to give drummers a wide range of snare drums with professional-grade features at an affordable price. Much like the Tama Starclassic Performer drum kits.

These snares aren’t your average snares though. They feature exotic materials not always found on snare drums and come in a range of different sizes. 

These snares stand out and there is bound to be something that will pique your interest. 

New snare drums for 2021

Every year Tama is mixing up the options available in the great line of S.L.P. snare drums. 2021 is no different. Let’s take a look at the new additions for this year. 

Tama S.L.P. Dynamic Bronze 14″x4.5″

Let’s start with this eye-catcher. The aged patina finish makes this snare stand out from in bronze counterparts. Due to this finish, each snare is unique. 

Tama S.L.P. Dynamic Bronze

The combination of a shallow drum (4.5″) and a thick shell (1.2 mm) gives you a snare that has a strong attack with a firm crack yet a lot of sensitivity. This makes the snare very dynamic and great for a range of musical applications. 

Features:

  • Size – 14″ x 4.5″
  • Shell – 1.2mm bronze with an aged patina finish
  • Hoops – Die-Cast Hoop (8 holes)
  • Snare wires – 20 strands Starclassic Hi-Carbon Steel Snare Wires

Have a listen to what Tama has to say.

Tama S.L.P. Maple Snare, Satin Figured Maple 14″ x 4.5″ 

This is a beautiful maple snare that features a satin figured maple finish, allowing the natural grain of the wood to shine through. 

Tama S.L.P. Maple Snare, Satin Figured Maple

This features everything that drummers love about maple snares combined with Super Sensitive Hi-Carbon Steel Snare Wires. This gives you a full-bodied sound with a crisp and fast response.

Features:

  • Size – 14″ x 4.5″
  • Shell – 7mm / 7ply Maple + 1 outer ply Figured Maple
  • Hoops – Die-Cast Hoop (8 holes)
  • Snare wires – 20 strands Super Sensitive Hi-Carbon Steel Snare Wires

The last thing to mention is that these are being produced in limited numbers. When they are gone they are gone!

Tama S.L.P. G-Maple Snare Drum w/ White oak outer ply 14″ x 7″

With the S.L.P. G-Maple snare you are getting a thick and deep drum with a classic snare look. This drum features an outer ply of white oak that looks stunning.

Tama S.L.P. G-Maple Snare Drum w/ White oak outer ply

This drum features plenty of attack with plenty of power when hitting rimshots. 

Features:

  • Size – 14″ x 7″
  • Shell – 10mm, 11ply Maple + 1 outer ply White Oak
  • Hoops – 3.0mm Ultimate Steel Mighty Hoop (10 holes)
  • Snare wires – 20 strands Starclassic Hi-Carbon Steel Snare Wires

This snare is also being produced in limited quantities. When they are gone they are gone.

Final thoughts

I am a huge fan of these Tama snare drums. Especially the S.L.P. Dynamic Bronze, this is a real standout. 

If you are looking for a new snare the S.L.P. range from Tama is a great option. Amazing snare without the massive price tag. What else could you want?

Floor snare drums | The floor tom and snare crossover you didn’t know you needed

floor snare drums snom

One of the latest trends in drumming is floor snare drums. Often called a “Snom drum” or a “Baritone Snare drum”. It is both a floor tom or a snare at the flick of a switch. More professional drummers are adding these to their kits and more manufacturers are making them.

Let’s take a look at why you would want one and what options are currently available on the market. 

What are floor snare drums?

A floor snare is in essence a floor tom with snare wires on the bottom head. You can switch between the floor tom sound and the snare side by flicking on the snare wires on and off. Just as you would with any other snare drum.

What do floor snares drums sound like?

Snare wires off

Without the snare wires on these sound just like a floor tom. That deep sound that we all know and love.

Snare wires on

It is when the snare wires are on that they become a bit more interesting. You get a very deep and fat snare sound. You will not get the same sensitivity you would expect from a snare though. Due to the depth of the drum, the snare wires aren’t as responsive so they aren’t great for ghost notes.

The final thing to note is that depending on how the drum is tuned a rim shot won’t give you the big crack you would expect from a snare.

How do I integrate a floor snare into my drum kit?

Snoms are primarily designed to be used as an auxiliary snare. This leaves you with the question of where you should place this on your kit. There are two main placements to try for your setup. 

On the left of your hi-hat (or right if left-handed)

This is the most common place you would find an extra snare if a kit has two. It makes it easy for you to play your kit as you normally would but with access to that fat snare sound on the side. 

If you are primarily wanting to use this as an extra sound on your kit, this is the way to go. 

Snom drum of the left

In the position of your first-floor tom

If you are wanting to make the most of the floor tom functionality this is probably your best bet. You can use it as a floor tom in your playing and fills and then switch on the snare sound as and when you need it for particular parts.

The main thing to consider is that this will make playing your hi-hat with the deep snare sound ticky as it is a fair distance to cross over your hands. If you are comfy with your open-handed playing you have nothing to worry about.

floor snare drum on the right

How do I tune a floor snare drum?

The main thing to consider when picking up a floor snare drum is that it can be a tricky drum to tune. If you are wanting to only use them as just a snare without the floor tom you can tune them similar to a normal snare. If you are wanting to use them as a floor tom and a snare you have a delicate balance to achieve a tuning that works for both.

Resonant head

You are going to want to tune this like you would for a floor tom of this size. If you have it too tight and you are hearing a pitch it isn’t going to give you a nice floor tom sound.

Batter head

You will need to tighten the head finger tight first. You will then want to press in the centre of the head and tighten again until the wrinkles just vanish. You will then need to pitch match the individual lugs.

Snare wires

Due to the depth of the drum, you will need to keep your snares wires fairly loose. A lot of air will be moving around inside the drum so having the snares wires too tight will give you some odd sounds you won’t want from the drum.

To consider

Each floor snare drum is going to have its unique quirks so please consider this a starting point and not a definitive guide. This is a really fun style of a drum to be creative with so take your time and enjoy the process. For more ideas check out this great video by Sounds Like A Drum.

What floor snare drums are available? 

At the moment there are only a few dedicated floor snare drums on the market. These are still a new trend that is growing in the drumming community so I am expecting more to become available in the coming years. 

Here are the top picks of the snoms currently available on the market.

Pearl Modern Utility Maple 14″x10″ Floor Snare Drum

This entry from Pearl is part of their Modern Utility line. These are reasonably priced snare drums aimed at providing an option for everything the modern gigging drummer needs. 

That is good for you as this is reasonably priced if you are looking at testing the waters for adding one of these to your kit. 

This drum is currently only available in one finish, Satin Brown.

Tama S.L.P. 14″x10″ Duo Snare

This is very similar to the Pearl offering expect it is made from birch rather than maple. The size, features and price range are very similar.

This drum is only available in one finish which is the natural birch.

Tama S.L.P. 16″x10″ Duo Snare (new for 2021)

Tama has taken the concept and gone one further. The 16″ version of the drum looks and sounds mad in the best way possible. Due to its size, it seems to achieve the deep snare sound without as much compromise on the floor tom sound. Have a listen here. 

Custom drums

Apart from these two manufacturers, no other companies are making these yet. The other option currently would be to go to a custom drum makes and ask them to make you one. 

Can I do this with an existing snare?

Yes, you can. This is where the trend originally started by doing this with a normal snare drum. It is worth noting that the dedicated floor snares drums featured in this article are deeper to make achieving the sound easier than with a not so deep snare drum.

If you are wanting to convert an existing snare drum into a snom, here is a great guide Larnell Lewis created for Drumeo.

Main points:

  • Batter side – Evans hydraulic head. Very low tuning, just above finger tight.
  • Resonant side – Evan hazy 300 (3 mm) head. Not too loose, not too tight

Our thoughts

The floor snare drum is a really interesting concept and it is interesting to see how the pros are adding these into their setups. It is still early days for these so it will be interesting to see if the trend catches on and what other manufactures bring to the market. 

The only downside with the market at the moment is that the drums are only available in one finish. If you are wanting a drum that matches your setup you are going to be out of luck (for now). It would be nice to see this available as an add-on when buying a kit. Hopefully, this is something manufacturers will look at in the future.

Also, the snoms currently available on the market are mid-range drums. It would be great to see someone push the boundaries and create a premium product that truly nails the sound whilst creating a drum that is easier to tune. That is a lot to ask but I am sure one of the many great drum companies out there will be able to achieve this.

Overall, I love the concept. As a player that uses a floor tom on the left side of my hi-hat, I would consider replacing that with a floor snare drum to get the best of both worlds.