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i m loosing my snare...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by luxeomni, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. luxeomni

    luxeomni Guest

    Ok, there is my prob, i m loosing my snare when my distorted guitars comes in. when soloed or in the drum kit i m very pleased of the sound, very punchy etc, but with the distorted guitars un muted, its like its drowning into mud, have to raise the volume of the snare...
    what kind of eq can i boost or cut in snare or distorted guitars to have those 2 well separated ?
  2. That's just another piece of evidence that just because it sounds great by itself doesn't mean it will sound good in the mix.

    You love the snare sound you have, correct? Well, do a sweep of your eq (assuming you have at least semi-parametric options) to discover what is defining your snare, then have the rest of the instruments in the mix make a cut in that area. Its a good practice to think of a mix as a flat line and you want something occupying all frequencies on that flat line. However, you don't want things adding up together in "hot spots". That's what is creating your muddy sound. Your distorted guitar is trying to occupy your snare's place. A lot of times, its the hi's or the hi-mids that are causing problems with interaction between a snare drum and distorted guitar. I would start in the hi-mids and experiment a while with all tracks going. Then I would move to the hi's, then the low-mids, then the lows if needed. This is a place where parametric eq's rock.

    Also, try not to do a lot of boosts, but rather make room for your snare. Otherwise, you introduce phase shifts. Even cutting eq you cause phase shifts, but not near as bad audibly as boosting. If you see that you need a large boost to get the sound you want, try turning up the gain and then cutting the eq to compensate. For example, a 5db boost in the mids is the same as cranking the gain a little bit and leaving the mids at U and cutting the hi's and lows by 5db.

    Its best to do your mixing after everything has been tracked. Remember, mixing is not just setting fader levels and getting a good balance, but rather is making sure everything fits in its own place in the audio spectrum AND is balanced to your pleasure.
  3. karbomusic

    karbomusic Active Member

    Apr 19, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Brian makes some great points here. To expand on his points a little further you can solve some of this on your next tracking session by attempting to eliminate the problem before it starts.

    In other words the next time you track the same snare and guitar do a little preplanning if possible. It is very wise to choose tones, snare tunings, mic placement etc for the SONG vs the individual instrument. Back into your mix in other words. A killer sounding snare by itself means nothing if it is never going to be heard by itself. The final audience won't have a solo button [grin]. Also, think of it like this. It sounds great by itself, so bringing guitars in is considered "no longer by itself so it must sound different". This is a simple way of saying you cant change something and expect nothing else to change. However.... with enough experience one can anticipate this and mix/ track in such a way that the snare and other insruments the add together create the snare sound you wanted in the first place. Just like the bass drum is the punch for the bass guitar and the bass guitar is the tone for the bass drum.

    Many new musicians and engineers start out by trying to create great sounds for each instrument thinking that when they play them all at once it can only get better and this is rarely the case. All instruments and tracks are meant to work together as one coherent piece of music. Each instrument & frequency range is part of the team. If your in a session and you just moved the mic in a spot that sound wonderful for the guitar, then in the back of your mind you may want to be thinking "hmmm... this sounds great... But I wonder if it is going to interfere with some other instruments sonic space?"

    You can create some really great mixes by making tone and tracking choices based on the team/song approach and not the instrument itself. This is a very hard way thinking to adapt to especially if the engineer is also one of the musicians where they have trained themselves to the "sound" they get when playing alone and honing thier signature tone.

    I noticed you said guitars (plural) panning each a little left and right of dead center can help if they're not already there.

    You also to have several sonic positions you can "park" instruments:

    1. Close/Far (delay reverb)...
    2. Left/Right (panning)...
    3. High/Low (frequency, tone & eq)
    4. Time (when they play).

    Using these well will also create a clearer, defined mix reducing the need for EQ...

    Best regards-

  4. Thanks for the expansion, Karbo!

    One of the things I did to teach myself to create sounds for the mix rather than the instrument was put a strip of tape over my solo buttons (of course, I work in analog 99% of the time). That way, I was tempted less often to try and adjust an instrument by itself. Basically, make it a point to avoid the solo button except when absolutely needed.

    This is another reason I enjoy when a band asks me to come with them to a larger studio where we can set up the drums in a room, amps in iso-booths, etc... and do rehearsals to play with the mic'ing to get the drum tones we want, then we build from there. Its SO much easier to make adjustments to bass and guitars and vocals than it is to drums when trying to find correct tones for songs.

    The solo button is a good feature to have when tracking, but not so good to have while mixing. Its such a tempting button.
  5. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    I enjoyed reading this. :cool:
  6. fubar1217

    fubar1217 Guest

    Wow! I've been thinking that about bass drums and bass for a while now. Sometimes, I'll hear a kick drum and it'll sound HUGE, but then I realize, hey....it's the bass helping the drum get that sound.

    I've also been "victim" to an engineer messing with my drum sound to make it sound better in the mix. Before he started, he turned to me and said "you're not gonna like what I'm about to do to the kick, but trust me on this.....". He soloed out the kick and from what I thought was a nice punchy deep sound, he made it sound like somebody bouncing a basketball on concrete! But after all was said and done, it really pulled out and defined the kick parts.

    So to backup what karbomusic was saying, what sounds good by itself may not sound good in the mix and vice versa.
  7. luxeomni

    luxeomni Guest

    thx for all thoses precious advices !
    i ll be defintly aim my frequencies and sound at the tracking.
  8. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    All the above is true and applicable in many cases. But one simple thing has been overlooked... have you tried just turning the guitar down until you can define the snare?

    A very common mistake a lot of mixers make is to have the guitar real loud. Especially if the person mixing is a guitar player themselves. I have noticed a lot of guitar players want the guitar as loud as they hear it when they are standing in front of their amp, playing live with the band.
  9. jonnyc

    jonnyc Guest

    Kurt is 100% right there. I had a huge problem losing my snare and soloing instruments to get the best sound. I very quickly learned that eqing an instrument by itself rarely works out in the mix and I noticed that I always jacked the guitars up way to high and when the songs would get very loud everything but the guitar would fade back. And the basketball sound is a good one, pleasing to the ears.
  10. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    What is a decent rule of thumb or starting point for getting that basketball sound? I've got a decent pre (the brick), a D112, and a decently treated room....so I've got half of the battle beat.

    Any tips?
  11. You have one more option to define snare and kick drums.

    Use your snare track to compress guitar track.
    Make a little submix with snare and all other tracks that fight with a snare (guitar in your case). Now, put snare exremely loud and than compress the whole submix a LOT.
    Now, you will have great snare and great guitar.

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