Getting a good snare sound

PsYkeR

New member
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'

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_jWDQoF_vw[/video]

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

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb_VQCRMYgs&feature=related[/video]

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!
 

blink44

New member
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?
 

SlackBackLazy

New member
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.
 

metldrummer2112

New member
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
 

SGarrett

New member
^^^ 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. :)
 

TamaDude

New member
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!!
 

myownenemy

New member
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.
 

wmpdrummer13

New member
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
 

Alan_

New member
TamaDude":2eotyh03 said:
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.
 

PsYkeR

New member
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!

[video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODf2iJWEnEU[/video]


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

Josh
 

TamaDude

New member
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?
 

wmpdrummer13

New member
Alan_":2iudzmwh said:
TamaDude":2iudzmwh said:
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!
 

PsYkeR

New member
TamaDude":mn35l4lq said:
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

Josh
 

TamaDude

New member
PsYkeR":10scnmli said:
TamaDude":10scnmli said:
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

Josh


Hey man,

Mic placement rules are very subjective to the sound you're looking to acheive.

Mirror image means placing the microphones in identical positions, but reversed. If say your top snare mic is placed at 12o'clock, at a 45degree angle, and aimed at the center of the head, than the bottom mic should be placed in the same position but aimed at the center of the bottom head. (see diagram below I snagged from google). This creates a phase problem which simply can cause distortion as their are two mics on the same sound source. Most mixers have a switch to fix this. I like to place my mic at the 11 or 12 o'clock to reduce hihat bleed.



For tom mic's I use Audix D2 & D4 and I've found that have the diaphram about an inch inside the rim at about a knuckles height off the head aiming at the center gives me the sound I'm looking for.

Hope this helps. :D
 

PsYkeR

New member
You guys ROCK! Cheers for the further tips- SGarrett, i know I may sound like a newbie (and i should because I AM), but the tension rods are the 10 drum-key shaped rods around the snare used for tuning, is that correct? The reason i ask is, the Pearl snare I have has additional 'tension' brackets around the shell, gold in colour, which can be modified using a flat head screwdriver. I've never had to touch these so I'm not sure what they do!

Also TamaDude, your snare looks like it's the same finish as mine! Here's a couple of shots of me rocking out with it in a wig at a gig late last year = )




 
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