Getting a good snare sound

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Getting a good snare sound

Postby PsYkeR » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:24 pm

Hi Guys! I've had my work cut out for me lately, in between uni, learning about Controllerism, and of course still practicing drums! I decided to chuck up a drum cover of a pretty well known track by 'The Lonely Planet'



I am particularly unhappy with my snare sound. I noticed that this guy Simon has a phenomenal sounding snare



The weird thing is, acoustically, my snare does not sound too dissimilar to this snare! I am using a Pearl Masters series Snare and one of the Audix DP7 snare mics.

What techniques can i use, both when micing and tuning, and also during post production, to give my snare a better sound?

Thanks again for the everybody!
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Getting a good snare sound

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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby blink44 » Sat Feb 28, 2009 6:37 pm

i hate this song, and i like your snare sound but the other guys snare sound is amazing.
ps, have you heard chaserrr's snare sound?
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby SlackBackLazy » Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:32 am

Sounds to me like you just need to tighten it, is that a remo emperor x on your snare? I had one of those once and if you want a decent sound just tighten it.
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby metldrummer2112 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:27 am

If you have an emperor X, my only advice is get a new head. In the center, it is a 25 mil head, as opposed to a regular emperor which is only 14 or 15 mil or an ambassador which is only 10 mil

EDIT: After posting, I realized that I said the emperor X was a 25 ply head. I meant 25 mil, sorry for any confusion
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby SGarrett » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:05 am

^^^ I think you mean millimeter and not ply. :)

Looks like he's using a copper snare with an Aquarian Hi-Energy batter, tuned super tight. Your maple snare will never have the same tonal qualities as any metal shell snare. Even the metal shell snares (brass, copper, steel, titanium, and aluminum) all have different tonal properties. Beyond that, the shell thickness can also determine a lot of snare's sound. Snare drums are about the only drum where the shell material makes this big a difference and your snare sounds completely different. :)

That said, what heads are you using? Looks like a Pinstripe or Powerstroke3. If it's the PS3, you just need to crank both heads up. If it's the Pinstripe, change it out. The main thing is that you get your drum sounding good for it, not for any other snare. :)
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby metldrummer2112 » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:09 am

SGarrett wrote:^^^ I think you mean millimeter and not ply. :)


Yes I did, I saw you logon, thought about it and realized you would correct me on it so I edited it :)
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby SGarrett » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:48 am

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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby TamaDude » Sun Mar 01, 2009 9:59 am

It will also help to mic both the top AND bottom heads in a mirror image. Make sure you flip the phase swith on your mixer.

It's hard to tell on the second video if he's using two mics, but he has a lot of high end snap to his sound. that could also be EQing.

I always use two mics on the snare when recording. Makes a huge difference. Hope this helps!!
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby myownenemy » Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:12 pm

your snare head looks pretty warn out man, i have a tico torres signature and i can get pretty close to that sound just by tightening the batter head like a madman.
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby wmpdrummer13 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 10:16 am

yea i use to have the similiar problem, thought i was tightening my batter pretty tight but then realized that it could be tightend way more and made it sound much better
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby Alan_ » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:12 am

TamaDude wrote:It will also help to mic both the top AND bottom heads in a mirror image. Make sure you flip the phase swith on your mixer.

It's hard to tell on the second video if he's using two mics, but he has a lot of high end snap to his sound. that could also be EQing.

I always use two mics on the snare when recording. Makes a huge difference. Hope this helps!!


this is something I did on a recent project, and I'm going to start doing it on a regular basis methinks.
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby PsYkeR » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:29 am

Hey Everybody! Thanks for the awesome feedback!

As per suggestions here and among friends, I have tried a couple of 'quick fixes'
* Firstly I tightened both heads
* Secondly I maneuvered the mic so it was not so close to the top head
* Thirdly I removed the O-ring dampener
* Lastly, in cubase, I used the EQ to bring up the high end of the mix a bit.

Here's a NEW video featuring the same snare with these modifications. I am super pleased with the result!




Incidentally, the snare head may look very old, but its only a week or two out of the packet! They were going cheap at the local drumstore. Could it be the Australian Summer has 'weathered' them? To confirm, the head is indeed a Powerstroke3 (You guys are good at this stuff!). The powder coat came off instantly (within about an hour of playing), even though i wasn't going particularly 'apeshit'.

Thanks again and always for the great feedback. This place ROCKS!

See you all soon

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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby TamaDude » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:39 am

Yes, a very noticeable difference! (allbeit a little hard to hear over the track you're playing to)

I may suggest adding a piece of MoonGel to mute the long ring a bit, unless you like that kind of sound which is cool also. Or, in Cubase, mess around with the gating a little.

But I have another question, how are you positioning your mics on your toms?
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby wmpdrummer13 » Tue Mar 03, 2009 7:42 am

Alan_ wrote:
TamaDude wrote:It will also help to mic both the top AND bottom heads in a mirror image. Make sure you flip the phase swith on your mixer.

It's hard to tell on the second video if he's using two mics, but he has a lot of high end snap to his sound. that could also be EQing.

I always use two mics on the snare when recording. Makes a huge difference. Hope this helps!!


this is something I did on a recent project, and I'm going to start doing it on a regular basis methinks.


Yea it is def a great method but i think most people forget to or dont know about flipping the phase, very important to do!
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Re: Getting a good snare sound

Postby PsYkeR » Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:48 pm

TamaDude wrote:Yes, a very noticeable difference! (allbeit a little hard to hear over the track you're playing to)

I may suggest adding a piece of MoonGel to mute the long ring a bit, unless you like that kind of sound which is cool also. Or, in Cubase, mess around with the gating a little.

But I have another question, how are you positioning your mics on your toms?



Hey TamaDude!

Yeah, I was hoping someone would notice my peculiar Tom mix positions.
In a nutshell, the reason for this is because of my 'bastardised' kit: I bought the PDP kit from the dudes at Billy Hyde Drumcraft in the city: They had been using it as a demo kit, and it came with two Pearl I.S.S mounts for the rack toms, and one of the PDP mounts for the floor tom. These mounts prevent me from using the Audix DP7 'mic clips' at the top of the tom (as the rim is being blocked by the mounts!). As such, until i purchase mic stands, i do not have much flexibility in Tom positions.

When i DO get around to it, where do you suggest i place the microphones?

In addition, I'm keen to learn more about positions of mounting two mics on a snare, particularly in a 'mirror image'. Incidentally, what is phase reversal, and when is it handy? Im not 100% sure the saffire pro has this integrated into the mixer. Is it something that could be added post production?

Cheers

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