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fixing harmonics on the snare

Discussion in 'Drums' started by inLoco, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    ok so i've recorded my drums with the following setup...

    kick- akg d112
    snare top - sm57
    snare bottom - sm57
    hi-hat - akg c414 tl II
    toms - audix d2
    floor tom - audix d4
    overheads - studio projects c4

    all mics went to a focusrite octopre except the snare top that went straight to the pre on my motu 828 mkII
    snare bottom was with inverse polarity and because the room was an attic and had a part in front of the drums that had the celling descending, the overheads where miked xy!

    the drum kit is a 5 piece sonor 3001

    The mic on the snare top gets a bit of harmonics but the most harmonics are captured by the bottom mic.
    i've been using eq for removing harmonics in excess but can't push much from the lows cause will put the kick a bit on the front?
    any suggestion? gating?
    tips welcomed here!
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    Gating won't remove harmonics.

    Do you hear the harmonics in the snare when played live?

    Make sure the snare heads are tuned correctly.

    Instead of going crazy with the EQ you might want to try some different micing techniques. Don't be dead set on one mic technique. Change the position of the mic. Try a different mic. Experiment. Try different snares.
  3. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    yes i know i can experiment different mics and positions... as for snares not that big budget...
    but the thing is something like fixing in the mix! there's a bit to harmonic and i'm trying to see mixing possibilities...
    i'm thinking of adding a sample to the snare sound... could be cool to mix with...
  4. enginears

    enginears Guest

    Maybe fewer (4) mics would do the job (simple is best).....you could also dampen the harmonics by using calf drum heads or a wallet strategically taped to the top snare head....but take time and tune the drums (to each other)...get the sound in the room then just about any set up should work better.
  5. george745

    george745 Guest

    I've been reading this site for a while and also studying all I can on recording for a while now. I'm still a newbie but the best advice I have gotten is that a bad sounding instrument will sound bad regardless of how much you mess with it after it's recorded. I know it's a hard decision to have to scratch the recordings you've done, but trust me, you will be happy. I just decided to rerecord all my songs but the finished product is much better.

    With that being said, you have to get rid of the weak link. If you recorded each part separetly then just mute the bottom mic but if not, a good bet would be to fix the problem and start over.

    When you play the drums live is the harmonic there? If it is you should retune the drum to get rid of the harmonic. The wallet on top of the snare is a great technique.

    If you want to get it out of the mix, figure out what feq. the harmonics at and trim that freq to get the desired effect. This may work but it might be worth a try.
  6. Bobby Yarrow

    Bobby Yarrow Guest

    I know there are folks who just get it right going in and don't touch anything. Good for them. Me, I'd gate that snare, or kill the sustain with transient designer. And then trigger a decent sounding complimentary snare to tuck underneath.
  7. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Hey there,

    There are a few things mentioned here that I just want to touch on since I'm a drummer and might be able to elaborate a little more on.

    First of all, tuning. Yes, make sure the drum is tuned right. Tune the bottom head first and make sure all the lugs give the same tone when you hit next to them. (I'm not going to get into tuning here as there are many pages dedicated to this on the internet) Then, tune the top head to the tension you like. When this is done, check the tones of each head by muting the one not being hit with your hand. If you are getting excess ringing, tune the bottom head slightly higher than the top, and also another trick is to de-tune 1 of the lugs on the top head slightly.

    Secondly, dampening. I typically don't like to dampen my drums very much because I like the open, natural sound... but if you need to go and get some stuff called moon gel. You should be able to pick it up at just about any music store and it works really well. Place some of that (not a lot) on the head and that should fix you up.

    Lastly, one thing that hasn't been mentioned is the heads themselves. Obviously, recording on brand new heads is what you should be doing, and if you find the head that is on there rings too much... maybe you should try a different type. A coated, 2 ply head will have a much thicker sound and will also cut ring a fair bit. Some heads even come with internal muffle rings the help control the ring you are mentioning.

    Hope this helps... most of the time the ring you hear comes from the top head, so I'd try that first. If it is indeed the bottom one, try using a thicker head on the bottom... something along the lines of a 300mm or thicker. I've never seen anyone dampen their bottom snare head, but you might want to try that too.

  8. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i won't be recording new stuff! i like the sound! it just has a bit of harmonic that maybe could be removed! i've already tweeked eq, specially mids and it sounds great...
    it's not like metallica's new album where the snare is full of harmonics...
  9. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Distinguished Member

    Feb 9, 2005
    South Florida
    Home Page:
    A good way to help find and eliminate the unwanted harmonic is to use a parametric EQ. Set the Q (frequency width) to it's most narrow setting and set the boost to a high setting. Then sweep the frequency knob. Eventually you will hit the frequency of that harmonic. When you do, reverse boost to cut and voila, it's gone.
  10. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    :cool: right on dude!
  11. sproll

    sproll Active Member

    Oct 7, 2004
    Ahh ok, I misunderstood what you were looking for.

    pr0gr4m is abosolutely right... thats a good technique.
  12. audiofreqs

    audiofreqs Guest

    gating snares can cause some real annoying problems in the mixdown. especially if you're trying to pan the snare or hh in the mixdown.
    can anyone see where i'm coming from??
  13. DaveRunyan

    DaveRunyan Active Member

    Dec 13, 2004
    I have to gate snare drums quite often it seems but I would rather not. Even when I do gate them I wait until mix down to do it so I have more control over the results.

    I use the parametric EQ all the time on drums to get rid of problems like you are describing.
  14. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Moderator

    Feb 23, 2005
    Get the sound you want acoustically first. I have used-and this is no joke- MaxiPads (yes, the type your girlfriend carries in her purse!) taped to the skin(s). I prefer to use a non-marring tape like Permasel (basically a cloth-type of gaffer's tape, but only 1/2" wide).The Permasel is MUCH better than SureTape, in that it leaves virtually no residue when you pull it off. And you will be doing some of that, because you will have to try positioning the "drum-pon" in different locations.I have also had good reults just using the tape alone, making a 2"-3" "X"-type of "badge" that you can re-position on the head. By the way, that PermaSel is great "spike tape" to run along your mixer's "scribble strip" area because it won't mar the finish.LOVE.
  15. chen

    chen Guest

    when i have an unwanted resonance or harmonics on a percussive instrument, i usually go to the noise reduction plugin.

    simply highlight the unwanted harmonics tail and treat them as you normally treat a noise.

    the noise print you will get is the unwanted harmonics, that then can be removed from the file.

    and the most important: try to get things right at the recording session.

  16. Yeah what he said

    There is no reason, unless the tracks have been laid and the drummer moved to alaska, to electronically alter the drum track, it is a tuning and or head problem. Detuning one lug on the top works, as does a Zeroring(I think they still exist, havn't had to use it in a while)

    Tom you are right on
  17. Dave62

    Dave62 Guest

    I would go with the Parametric EQ solution with a super tite bandwidth so it doesn't take away the body of the sound and try to notch out the harmonic freq. Waves EQ's the (Q10) is tite enuf for that. Or SoundReplacer, or a plugin that does that. You could resample the same snare after its been retuned, Sound Replace and then mix it it in.

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