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Snare drum rolls

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  • Snare drum rolls

    There are Effects for Bass Drum Rolls and Cymbal Rolls, but I haven’t seen a Snare Drun Roll piston, tab, or button in photo layouts of Theatre Pipe Organs or VPO’s. Am I missing something here when it comes to snare drum rolls? The only way I have been able to achieve them is as a trill, but I have heard them on recordings and trilling rolls isn’t very practical.

    I am looking for some background history or information on this topic.

  • #2
    I have one on my Allen, but it sounds more like a machine gun.
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    • #3
      With a real snare drum, rolls sound fine. However, if you simply replay a snare hit repeatedly to create a roll, it will indeed sound just like a machine gun as the sound is identical every time and the decay of the sound will have to be artificially truncated for each hit. The answer is to sample a real snare roll. Of course then the sample has to be looped for playback and getting the loop point right so there's no glitch is not easy. But it is do-able. Then, of course, whether it's a real roll or a sampled one, someone will say that the roll is too slow, too fast or uneven etc! You can't win!

      I can't recall seeing a snare roll on a theatre organ but there again it's not something that I would have immediately looked for when I was playing them more regularly! In orchestral playing, which is what I concentrate on now, I do need a snare roll and I have both snare hits and rolls on the Roland.
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      • Ben Madison
        Ben Madison commented
        Editing a comment
        why not have a military themed recital.

    • #4
      There's an older Wurlitzer electronic theatre-style organ on CL that has a Snare Roll tab for the pedal section.

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      Click image for larger version

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