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Hi George !
Thanks for the quick response to my overhead question ! Maybe this one is related ...

I am totally disgruntled with the close mic sounds I am achieving from snares.. my boss, did a few projects with Allen Sides when he was living in LA, is constantly saying that Allen just tracked with a 57 thru an API pre direct to tape, with results that I love. I keep trying alternate mics, singly and in combination, and keep thinking that using a "faster" pre must be the solution.. if I pull the mic back, sonically the snare sharpens up, but I also cop more H/H spill.. this is only a problem when I am not recording really pro drummers... but surely there is something that I can do ? I have tried splitting the signal, and using extreme eq, gating and comp on the split to create a "thwack" track.. but that always seems a tad too artificial.. am I chasing my tail ?

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Couple of things.

First, I'd ignore the hat and get the snare sound right. Old card players trick here: while listening to the sound, move the mic *under* the plane of the top head of the snare, outside, and perhaps more and more under the rim of the drum. This cancels the body tone more and more (it becomes more and more out of phase). Next, threaten the drummer with a lobotomy (maybe his second) if he doesn't switch to a lighter Paiste or hit the hat less hard.

If all else fails, do a side-chain on the snare to an old dbx 160 or so and re-insert a bit of the overshoot that results.

Good luck.


George Massenburg

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Have you tried miking under the snare as well? I usually don't like the results, but recently I had the same problem and miking the underside with the raunchiest mic I had and squashing the snot out of it really brought the track home. The key to making it work is the correct over/under ratio.

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Demian Norvell
AppleSeed Studios
Ruch, OR

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Here's my favorite trick for getting a super-realistic crack.

I take an Earthworks QTC1 or TC30k and place it as close to the shell of the snare as I can get it before the shell bumps the mic when the drummer hits the snare.

In other words, I am mic'ing the side of the snare drum with an omnidirectional microphone.

By moving the mic up and down the shell (closer to the rim that holds the top head or closer to rim that holds the bottom head), I can vary the sound. The amount of "body" changes relative to the amount of "crack" due to nodal points existing alongside the shell.

The snare sounds so much more like the sound of a real snare drum heard in the same room... you won't believe it.

All the drummers who've heard this mic'ing technique on their snares have been impressed by how natural the recorded snare sounds. In many cases, reverb wasn't even needed!

Sceptics concerned about bleed need not worry. Even though we're talking omni, with the mic so close to the shell, your preamp gain will be so low that you'll pick up less bleed than you'd pick up with an SM57 on the top head.

With an API 512, I have the gain pot turned all the way down and I have the pad engaged. Going straight to tape, the tape machine still gets hit hard.

Also, those who are afraid of proximity effect need not be squeamish... omni mics don't suffer from a heightened low-mid response when you move them closer to the sound source like cardioid mics do.

I have yet to run into another engineer who uses the omni-against-the-shell technique iluustrated here. But I wouldn't be surprised if this technique becomes a "standard" as others discover it on their own.

Once you listen to a snare recorded this way, you'll wonder why you ever settled for the flat "paper" sound you get when you point an SM57 at the top head or the "sandy" sound you get when you point a 451e at the bottom head.

If you're curious (and indie-rock or emo inclined), the most recent record from the band Karate (Southern Records) has a snare recorded with an Earthworks omni.


[This message has been edited by microsoftsucks (edited 03-20-2000).]

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I'm gong to try that.
Just one thing though, I dont normaly like the sound of drums out in the studio (often a trashey racket & no sub bass on the Bass drum or toms) ), I like the sound of them processed and in the control room.
Recorded,
Jules


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Producer Julian Standen
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Come hang here! http://www.gearslutz.com
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Interesting suggestion about the earthworks on the snare. I have an SR-77 do you think it will do as well as the other earthworks you mentioned? I will try this!

Also, to the first question about a pre for snare with fast response. Maybe try an old Neotec Series one. I have them and they are very fast and aggressive. Great bargain.


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