HELP mixing the SNARE!

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by Frozenn, Feb 8, 2007.

  1. Frozenn

    Frozenn Guest

    Everytime I record the drums, I always get this nasty ring coming out of the snare, and whenever I mix, it's always difficult to get the right EQ settings to remove this "ring." If someone could please help me with this issue, I'd greatly appreciate it!

    PS. I used two SM57's on the snare and they're placed on the top and bottom.

    Thank you!
     
  2. David French

    David French Well-Known Member

    Damp with a wallet or whatever during recording, or use a spectrum analyzer to identify the ring frequency and remove it with a high Q filter.
     
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Usually the ring is there live, but you are just noticing it more when you record. Assuming your heads are in good shape and the drum is in tune, you need to work on dampening the drum. Do a google search on this topic. More hits than you can shake a stick at.
     
  4. DanGtr

    DanGtr Active Member

    Try using a zero ring - most music stores will have them. It looks like a piece of drum head cut into a 1" wide circle. I've found that they will dampen the snare's ringing without making the drum sound dull or dead.

    Also where you place the top SM-57 will have a great affect on how much ring you pick up. If the microphone is close to the lug which is the major contributor to the ring you'll hear more of the pitched ringing in the recording. Try rotating the snare drum around or re-tuning that lug. The biggest thing that will help is using your ears before you place the mics.

    You're probably already doing this but you should flip the polarity on the bottom mic to avoid cancellations in sound. If the bottom mic's polarity isn't reversed it could accentuate the drum's ring.
     
  5. natural

    natural Active Member

    YES to all the above.
    You don't need help mixing the snare, you need help in recording the snare.
    There's this trend now to just record everything straight without making any adjustments under the assumption that all things are fixable in the mix.
    If the ring was there from the start, it needs to be attended to at that time. Failure to recognize, evaluate, adjust and fix problems from the beginning makes for headaches and a poor quality product later
    Tuning is first approach. After that come O-rings because they don't actually touch the head when the drum is hit allowing the drummer to play unaltered. Next come wallet's, moongel, tape, etc. Of these, moongel is probably the best.
     
  6. Frozenn

    Frozenn Guest

    Thank you to everyone who replied to my post. What would be the best microphone to use for the snare aside from the SM57's?
     
  7. I don't think they are referring to your mic selection as the problem. The SM57 is a fine microphone for transducing a snare drum. I think the advice given to you was more about placing the microphone in the right place related to the drum and the room as well as other instruments. Also, the tuning of your instrument is crucial. You're not going to make a junky sounding snare sound like a DW once it's recorded. It's already at a disadvantage before it even hits the microphone if it sounds bad in the room. Even a DW that's tuned well could sound like poop if the mic isn't in the right spot for that drum. So, just experiment. That is what technology has ruined. People find it easier to go on the internet and figure out what is best for them from people of broad experiences. (Some people who give you advice might not really know what is going on and just repeat things they've heard online?). What I'm saying is this: Just experiment. A LOT. Take what you have and learn what it can do...what it can't do. THEN buy new gear based on what you have learned...not on what you heard is good online. Don't take this as an insult, please. Do take my advice though. Just go out and try EVERYTHING that you can think of. Try things you see online, and then try the exact opposite of what it tells you to see WHY what you're doing sounds good or bad. That is what makes you a good engineer. Knowing WHY things sound like they do and adjusting relatively. Not just knowledge of what some people online told you. You'll impress a lot more people when they come in with this ringy $*^t sounding snare and you can tune it up because you know what it needs, and then make their 40 dollar snare sound amazing on tape than scratching your head and then saying...mmm give me a couple days for the people on recording.org to tell me what to do. Again, I'm not bashing anyone unless you're just looking for handout information rather than experimenting.


    Good luck with all your future projects!

    Neil
     
  8. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Yeah, tune it right first. I spent about 30-45 minutes dialing in the snare tuning before I even put a mic on it for my last go. I had the familiar honky ring going on, but after that amount of time tuning, which usually involves getting to the point of "This is probably not going to work, but..." I ended up with a nice tight snare sound and not a piece of duct tape or an O-ring used. Then its a good sound, so you can focus on placing the mic to capture that. Its really a simple, albeit time consuming process. Get the source sounding good is step one. Then a decent mic (not great, I don't own any of those yet!), then decent gain staging, maybe some compression. New heads sure make it easier! ANDY
     
  9. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    I can't believe I haven't seen someone say this yet but just pull out as much eq between 700 and 1khz as you can or are comfortable with(without ruining the sound). You immediately notice a lot of ring will disappear. I record a lot of demos for a lot of local bands and the most common problem with them is tuning their drums, probably 90% of bands I record have ringing snares and cutting eq at the range mentioned has always been a solid solution to the problem.
     
  10. natural

    natural Active Member

    Yikes! someone let the cat outta da bag.

    Based on the author''s original post, we're assuming that the eq fix was not working well as a solution. I think we've been focusing on diagnosing and treating the patient correctly from the start to avoid such nasty invasive surgury.
    But yeah, in a pinch, radical eq can, in some cases, yeild better results.
    But liposuction is not an ideal substitute to eating your veggies.
     
  11. ABozung

    ABozung Guest

    Snare Ringing

    You gotta be able to tune drums to ever think of getting good drum tones. Sorry but whoever mentioned pinching the 1K, I dont agree. Sure it may fix a ring, but by all tonal value it also should ruin the snare tone. I rely on the 1K range alot for my snare. I agree with all the recommendations on retuning the drum. There should be zero ring, unless you purposefully want it (some do). You gotta break that baby down and start over lug by lug to get it right or just do what you really want to do and that is have a real drum technician come on and help or hire a online session player.
    Hate to break it to ya, but when you finally have great sounding snare you will love it.
    Tommy :wink:
     
  12. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    The audix I5 in my opinion is superior to the Sm57 in nearly every application. Many people on this board will tell you the I5 is the way to go. However there are diehard 57 fans on here that couldnt tell you what an I5 looks like that will be quick to tell you different.
     
  13. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Jeremy, why all the hostility? The Audix mic is a GREAT for sure. Is it 'superior' to ANY other mic? This, just like evryone elses, is an opinion. Your experiences with this are simply YOUR opinion based on such experiences. Saying someone might have other opinions that arent based in factual experience is a bogus claim on your part....You simply have no way of knowing these things. You'd be surprised how many people on here own both and use them regularly.

    The fact is, the i5 isnt going to solve this problem any more than any other mic can. This is a mechanical problem only and deals with proper tuning of an instrument. This has already been discussed and pointed out.

    If you simply want to bash folks for having a different opinion on something dont hijack a thread to do so. Start your own and see how far it gets.
     
  14. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Who said anything about radical eq'ing. Just narrow the Q and yank a couple db's out of the thing. Some crappy snares require a healthy chunk but for the most part just a little does it. It's nice to think you can just throw a mic up tune the drum right and be happy but for a lot of people on this board that isn't the case. We aren't all recording in acoutically treated rooms built to accentuate the goods and get rid of the bads.

    Sorry AB but I don't agree with you at all. Pulling out some 1k has never ruined a snare tone that I've worked with. You also need to keep in mind "tones" are subjective. You may really like something the talent I record doesn't. I've recorded some well respected drummers that really liked having some 1k notched out. Now I will say I've recorded a few spectacular kits coupled with equally amazing drummers and yes, they don't need much eq'ing at all, but most people I record couldn't properly tune a ring out if their life depended on it. Corrective eq'ing is sometimes the only way to make something not suck, it's unfortunate but true. I'd love to not have to eq anything.
     
  15. I've had little success removing ring with a notch filter. You almost always have harmonics of the ring as well, making your eq look like a comb filter in the end....and here's the bad news. The frequency that is making the ring usually correlates to the note that the snare is tuned to (fundamental). Cutting that WILL kill the sound of the snare. Your ring will be gone, but it will also make the thing sound thin and weak almost always. Maybe it can work, but I'd MUCH rather just make the fuckin thing sound right before I even plugged a mic in. It's just logic. A microphone is made to capture an acoustic sound and translate it into voltage. It doesn't know if there's a ring or not and how to fix it, so no mic choice is going to fix your ring problem, unless it's a really shitty mic with a bad frequency response that happens to have a huge dip in the register that your snare is ringing. That will fix your ring, but now your drum sounds like $*^t again. Just tune the fuckin thing.

    Neil
     
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Do the Amish actually use that kinda language???? :lol:

    I gotta agree with the non-surgical approach to this. No EQ on earth is gonna fix this in such a way as to make it a great sound. Adequate ...maybe.

    And then in SOME cases I would agree with Jonnyc's approach.

    This is pretty much a case of running a bunch of demo bands in and out of the studio on a regular basis. Ya never know what kind of crap gear you have to deal with until it hits the door. So it makes sense to have a fast 'kill-it-record-it' method to sound control.

    Since most of these types of sessions are not relying on a producer or even production values resembling a record, per se, the quick and dirty will always be a choice. And not a wrong or unsound one.

    For something being recorded for release, it makes no sense not to TUNE everything the best possible way. A drumset that has been prepared properly for a recording is a joy to work with. New heads properly stretched, bearing edges cared for, hardware tight and silent, cymbals matched to the song at hand, only the amount of drums needed for each individual track( reduces sympathetic tones)....these are all things that advanced recording enthusists long for. A room that deals with sound properly. Good equipment thats tuned up and working.

    Its amazing just how good a drum sound you can achieve with just a little preparedness.

    Then theres never any need to add noise floor in EQs, compression, or anything else one might have to introduce electronically to tame the sound. In this situation, SM57's are golden, as are all mics one might choose to work with. Its just simple placement at this point. Even a room full of monkeys with a handful of.........okay I'm not going there!!! :wink:

    Theres a huge.....HUGE difference in the quality when its quality from the start ...at the source.
     
  17. ABozung

    ABozung Guest

    Snare Ringing

    Well,
    I guess there are so many possible mistakes that can be made of course on many levels. Micing, mixing, tuning etc... I guess that is why there are professionals who actually do these things. I am beginning to wonder if the majority of song writers and the like are even serious about the quality of their music anymore. If you can't tune it, take to someone to tune it for you. If you can't mix it, then take it to someone who can, If you can't mic it right, then find someone who can. Oh yea, you might have to slip someone a few bucks. God forbid paying for anything that makes you sound better! Sorry for the ranting ahead of time, its just a never ended trend that I am finding in these forums. Maybe that should be a topic. Hobbiests are one thing, but some people really get peaved if you don't tell them all your secrets. Not that it is happening here in this particular post, but many times, people get attitudes. You know you want to help them to a point, and there should be a point in which they realize: Hey I might be in over my head, I should really slip someone a few bucks to get what is right for MY sound, MY song or whatever. Its not like anything actually costs that much anymore. I mean internet session players, engineer, producers and the like are very reasonable. Does anyone feel the same way?
    Do people even know the quality and professionalism that can be delivered from ones computer to another. You don't even have to leave home. I'll bring in a group and it is my job to know what I am dealing with. There are times, when I have to hire someone, do a track(s) myself
    or NIX a track and redo it many times because it doesn't cut it. When people start complaining, I just look at the group and ask if they want garbage or someting to be proud of. For some bands recording can be like boot camp. It was for me the first time I recorded an album. We had people come in to do some parts. It was an ego blow, but we had to learn the parts when we hit the road to do live concerts anyway. Sorrry, Hey but I didn't swear! thats a plus. :evil:
     
  18. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Appearantly you are just a dick that offers zero help to the poster and is trying to pimp mics.

    I've owned the i5 and sold it because it doesn't do what a 57 does. It is a different mic with a different sound, and a sound I don't like, but YMMV. What is crap to me is gold to the next guy and vice versa. I'd take an E609 over an i5 any day.

    Back to the topic....

    After tuning, dampening, and EQ if you still have a problem you can use sample replacement. Programs like Drumagog, Aptrigger, or good ole tab to transient/paste in Pro Tools may be the solution.

    I will say that I'm quick to jump to drum replacement because my clients either can't tune their drums or they are a hard rock/metal band and 90% of that drum sound is samples anyway.
     
  19. elcubo

    elcubo Active Member

    been there before...sometimes you have to work with people with crap as instruments...the problem obviosly its in the traking...you have to fix that in the tracking...but, sometimes u cant fix it at all...the most desperate measure i did once was to duplicate the top snare track and compress the $*^t out with a dark EQ...put it along wiht the original track and keep the bottom snare a little lower...if u have a SSL comp works like a charm... :wink:
     
  20. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    THANKS ART! Yeah to that observation.........

    Okay. So heres where it gets sticky. And heres where it separates the self-recorded from the studio owner having an act in for a project.


    The self-recorded...and I hesitate to say hobbiest or home budget studio, cause theres a dividing line there too.....so self-recorded fits the bill. I self record, am a hobbiest, and also have paying customers....and a toy that costs a bit of cash......

    SO...The self-recorded. Solutions to a problem like a badly tuned snare, poorly maintained amps, guitars with 5 good strings (maybe not such a good example as Keef has made a long career from this) ...These things are something that in this instance can be controlled and since there is no clock running, its simply a matter of applying the cure. If your a self-recorded artist who relys on your bandmates to play their instruments on your gear and on your time, its up to you to keep them on the target of the project plan as you are probably the producer of sorts.

    Sessions like this dont cost much even though it can be frustrating at times if you play in a group with someone who doesnt take care of his/hers gear. Its always a trick if they happen to be the main songwriter/centerpiece entertainer.

    Studio Owners. This is something that as a studio owner, you should ALWAYS have a quick and down and dirty solution to these problems that walk in the door. When I was doing this more or less full time, there would be a meeting of the client and the Studio at which time there would be an exchange of riders which lined out the requirements of BOTH parties. The Studio usually stipulated extra strings, working amps, decently tuned drumkit etc etc.. It was also stated that shoulod any of these particulars not be met, there would be additional time charged to the project, HALF of which would be due at the end of the day the session was booked on. If it got to this and there was a balk on the part of the offensive musician, the session was done for the day and would not be rescheduled until it was dealt with. OR they could RENT from the Studio, professional gear which would ALWAYS work and sound great no matter what the problem was.

    I always keep a deep metal snare with a Genera Dry head, two sizes of strainers, a coated Ambassador head, and several weights of sticks available. You should also have a set of triggers or some sort of triggering device with drum replacement hardware/software at your disposal. If you have the room, an entire drum kit, tempered to your room is always advisable. Two guitar amps of different natures is a good thing to have. Working pedals, effects devices to play with, and an assortment of mics of course. Bass is the same thing . At LEAST two different methods of capturing bass sound at hand and ready to throw in the fray at a moments notice.

    If discussed at the start, its amazing how easy it is to move a session forward on a positive note without loss of VIBE even with the most anal of artists in the room.

    A quality snare drum is cheap and easy to maintain in comparison to hardware or software as well as the time it takes to implement it.

    Time is money, but also time as in downtime can destroy the vibe of a session. Dont ever think that vibe isnt in your top five things to have as a studio.
     

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