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rimshots/recording


Cymbals

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Here's one I've been thinking about a bit - for that aggressive snare sound on label recordings, other than it being very compressed, and mic'd with very expensive mics - are there consistent rimshots happening on the backbeats that give it that extra bite?
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man, I have been asked this one alot

 

I love the tone of the rim...but one can get into line level problems.

 

I have had my best luck recording on the rim utilizing two idealogies.

 

1.) If I am digging into the rim and off center of the drum at the same time I try to play the rest of the kit hard as well. It's tough to do (for me)*notice disclaimer. I always thought that if one plays a drum too hard it is unpleasing in tone because the sound actually chokes upon itself. I don't know why that is and I don't care really...it just plain sounds compressed. There's a fine line to walk when playing hard I think.

 

2.) Be cool with the rim shot...don't play it hard but just go for the sweet phat tone. Nice exercise in dynamic control. Leave yourself the headroom.

 

God, I'm chatty today...better get back to my day job!

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I think most heavy session players utilize the rim a lot especially on the back beat, I know all the really good one's I played with did.

 

In my experience if a drummer hits snare head only, the engineer really has his work cut out to make the snare really crack and sound good in the mix. Pro Country drummers are especially good about this, too many rock drummers don't get it.

 

Again, this is my experience...obviously this isn't necessarily true across the board.

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Cymbals...i think you'd find the majority of those "expensive" mics are 57's http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

i'm not a session player, but for one i did in college the engineer used an AKG 451 for the snare ( a mic normally used for OH's or HH's only). One section was all rimshots, and he kept bugging me to be more consistent. i finally just hit a bunch over and over, to say 'there...those all sounded the same here'. he didn''t buy it and came in the room to hear me play 'em again....the point being that it was his 'favorite' mic crapping out on some hits, as it wasn't meant for that spl. but this isn't a problem most real session players would run into much i'd think, as they'd generally be dealing with more seasoned engineers...

 

oh, lest i forget, this engineer in the recording program, the same one who also wanted me to hit the cymbals as an overdub, and then toms the same (for seperation reasons http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif ) was our

INSTRUCTOR!

don't even get me started...

 

 

 

This message has been edited by Rader Ranch on 06-06-2001 at 05:47 PM

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I agree with Felix's point number two.

 

I try to really relax when playing rimshots in the studio. Let gravity, the velocity of the stick, and the rim do the work. Using a die-cast rim will make those rimshots sound like GUN SHOTS!!!

 

The thing to remember is that the timbre of the drum needs to be consistent from stroke to stroke. The higher your stick height the greater the probability that you will strike the drum in a different manner. This is BAD in a studio situation. I used to practice for hours ... doing nothing but backbeats on the snare ... NOTHING ELSE!! I want to be consistent ... making my snare backbeats sound like samples because they are so much alike. I'm still not as accurate as I'd like to be; back to the woodshed!!! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

Mic choice as well as placement (even micing the bottom snare head) play just as much of a role in overall snare sound as does the drum itself, the rim type, the drumhead type, the drumstick, and the way you play the drum! WOW ... there are a lot of variables there ... but that can really be cool, giving you your own unique sound.

 

I absolutely love playing a live gig or studio session and have other musicians come up and say how much they love my snare sound. It's like someone bragging on how cute or smart your kid is! I'm a proud daddy! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/biggrin.gif

 

 

 

------------------

Bart Elliott

http://bartelliott.com

Drummer Cafe - community drum & percussion forum
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i think you'd find the majority of those "expensive" mics are 57's

 

Oh yeah, definitly or 58s depending on how loud the drummer plays...overheads (in most cases) are where a lot of sweet high tones come from but you need a nice durable mid-range frequency mic on snare drum.

 

I'm not a pro engineer but I've been around a lot of them and I'm in the process of really learning to mic drums right.

 

We just recorded a new tune using a lot of the EQ and mic techniques I've been trying to improve on. We're definitly getting better...if you're interested, the new tune is on our website and is called "Notes."

 

www.jamfree.com

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Originally posted by Rader Ranch:

Cymbals...i think you'd find the majority of those "expensive" mics are 57's http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/wink.gif

 

 

ah for f*ck's sake, I've lost two of my replies to this damn note, for mistyping my password. You'd think I'd remember to copy the text before posting.

 

Anyway, I agree - sure a 57 is used a lot, but Neumann stereo pairs are often used for overheads, or stereo pairs of KSM32's or 44's. Not cheap. Pre-amps - often costing more than a grand for two channels. Anyone price a Distressor or DBX 160 lately? Don't even go there. It's not cheap to get a pro sound - that extra 10-20% quality costs a bundle.

 

I'm talking the Steve Ferrone snare on Tom Petty's Wildflowers, or Next Year by the Foo Fighters.

 

Anyway, rant mode off, back to the rimshots.

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ah for f*ck's sake, I've lost two of my replies to this damn note, for mistyping my password. You'd think I'd remember to copy the text before posting.

 

yeah...that is seriously annoying...some conference formats seem to be able to remember and some don't...

 

Anyway, I agree - sure a 57 is used a lot, but Neumann stereo pairs are often used for overheads, or stereo pairs of KSM32's or 44's. Not cheap. Pre-amps - often costing more than a grand for two channels.

 

yeah, but i thought we were talking specifically snares/rimshots http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/confused.gif

 

It's not cheap to get a pro sound - that extra 10-20% quality costs a bundle.

 

you've probably already checked the good threads here and at recording.org concerning really good cheap gear, yesno? Harvey Gerst is always a good source for this kinda info...you know, the FMR-RNC, Marshall, Oktava kinda stuff...i'm personally looking foward to the buzz when the FMR-RNMP comes out... i guess my point going towards the 'it's the skill of the operator' arguement, as opposed to the gear itself.

 

I'm talking the Steve Ferrone snare on Tom Petty's Wildflowers, or Next Year by the Foo Fighters.

 

Next Year is from their latest? i still gotta get that one. i'd be curious to hear what you (and everyone) consider a bad snare sound as a comparison to your good examples. super short list for me would be a 70's Bruford snare/rimshot sound, Lenny White piccolo/rimshot (loved the way he did single stoke rolls as fills coming way to the edge and back before going down his huge toms)...a bad sound to me being the 1st track on the latest Fiona Apple (All I Need?)...way over compressed/limited...sounds like a digital snat followed by white noise...

 

i'm definatley soaking up you folks talking tuning and technique for topics such as this as well! http://www.musicplayer.com/ubb/smile.gif

 

 

 

This message has been edited by Rader Ranch on 06-07-2001 at 02:54 PM

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Hey Rader (and others),

 

Thanks for taking the time for responding. I guess my question really is - are rimshots often used (in conjunction with all the gear) to get that aggressive snare sound, or do you think not? Granted, I should probably also ask the folks in the forum down the block, but I figure, some of ya might know.

 

Yea, "Next Year" is on their latest cd released - from last year. (no pun intended)

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I'd have to think about it a bit to come up with a proper answer but a couple of snare sounds that jump out as just awful without much thought...

 

I hate Loosely tuned snares...you know the kind you hear on a lot of old 80s Punk.

 

The Blasphemy of ZZtop's remixed CDs (Fandango, etc.), Gated with nasty sounding delay...YUCK! I returned my CD telling the store manager it was defective. ZZtop's drummer had such a unique snare sound...almost sounded like a tom, really low but also really Texas.

 

I understand why people like it but I hate the super high pitched and compressed piccolo attempting to sound like a TR808 drum machine sound that a lot of R&B drummers are using these days.

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