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Shell material for snares tends to be metal, funnily enough. Steel and brass provide the kind of uppercut needed to scythe through a wall of guitars, so maple and birch tend to be overlooked in heavier situations.
But where kicks and toms are concerned, a surprisingly wide range of materials crop up; here maple and birch are popular staples, the former with players such as Lars Ulrich, who perhaps looks for more warmth from his toms than some. Birch’s focussed tonality cuts through a mix well, so is worth consideration if you’re playing with thick, detuned guitars.
A final word on size - the advent of metalcore, with its hardcore influences, has seen players like Killswitch Engage’s Justin Foley and Moe Carlson from Protest The Hero deliver devastating beats on four and five piece kits. Very punk rock, very cool and very much more affordable…