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Snare Compressors

Discussion in 'Drums' started by crazy_guitar, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. crazy_guitar

    crazy_guitar Member

    Hi, I have a question for the pros out there!
    I have pretty good results recording snare, but I wanna know what compressors (on Protools) should I use to get that powerful snare that you hear on rock bands these days, and what would be the settings of the compressor. I have all the bombfactory and Waves compressors. thanks
     
  2. slicraider

    slicraider Guest

    I am not sure if you mean tracking or mixing. In tracking I have often multed the snare and gated the mult and then compressed it. I have used dbx 160's as well as La2a's depending on how I wanted to shape the snare. The La2a is a much slower attack and let's the crack go through before adding sustain. Since these are mults, I compress alot and return to a different fader. In a mix I might use a dbx of some sort slightly delaying the attack with a fast recovery at a ratio of 2 or 3:1. I also sometimes bus the drums to a compressor on another set of faders.
     
  3. slicraider

    slicraider Guest

    Oh and sorry I don't usually do the compression in ProTools since I return all the tracks to a console to mix.
     
  4. Tim Lynch

    Tim Lynch Guest

    If you've got a compressor like a distressor you could bus the snare to the comp and nuke it. Then blend to taste. I don't have much luck with the LA2A software. The 1176 seems to add more crunch. I'd second putting all the drums except maybe not the cymbals to a bus comp just to keep all the kids in check. Also a stereo eq is nice too.
    Tim
     
  5. The BF 1176 works pretty well on snare...

    Try it with the top knob cranked all the way to the left and the bottom knob all the way to the right. Select a ratio, input to taste, output to achieve unity, and PING!
     
  6. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    I'd agree with all the above posts.

    Of the TDMplug-insI've used, the BF 1176 is my first choice on snare...no, it doesn't sound like a real 1176LN...but it's pretty good in its own right...fairly dark and crunchy with pump'n crest you can really hear.

    FWIW regarding outboard comps, I use one or more of these on snare: dbx 160, dbx 160x, Urei 1176LN, Distressor, Teletronix LA2A.

    A lot of what makes a rock snare sound powerful to me comes from the room and OH mics, and often from snare spillage in the toms mics as well. It's a whole. I worked recently in a studio that had a friend-of-a-friend copy of the individual tracks of a well-known big rock single from last year. The "snare top" track alone was rather small and unimpressive (and fwiw there was no "snare bottom" track), but as soon as I pulled up the faders of the stereo room mics, which were tracked with compression, that hit snare sound was immediately there. Tracking a rock drum kit in a great room makes a world of difference.

    Have fun,

    Jon
     
  7. crazy_guitar

    crazy_guitar Member

    Thanks everybody.
    I tried the BF 1176, and it sounded really punchy and powerfull, but it made alot of hihat bleeding, so I used a gate, and it fixed the problem. Because of this it sounded like a drum machine, so I turned the overheads very loud, and got an amazing sounding kit
    anybody with any more ideas?
    JOz
     
  8. erockerboy

    erockerboy Member

    Man, do you guys actually *like* plug-in compressors on drums?? I really have yet to find anything in plug-in compressor land that I can use and feel good about.

    If you ever get the chance, try renting a couple of cool outboard comp's and running your DAW drums thru 'em. I guarantee you, it will be an eye-opener if nothing else. A couple of Distressors will absolutely *kill* any plug-in you have ever heard.

    Anyway... Jon is right, OH and room mics are 90% of your snare sound. Dunno about you guys, but sometimes I squash the snare mic HARD, until the initial attack spike is all that gets through the compressor. Then, start bringing up the OH's and room until you get something cool, and bus compress it together with the dry snare and kick mics. I've gotten some of my coolest drum sounds by pushing those bus compressors beyond any sane limit, until they are pumping like crazy and you get that massive sucking sound from the room. Bonham city! Try lots of mults, too. I like to bus all the drums together, smashing that and then blending it back in to the 2-bus. Maybe it's just me, but I really dig 'lo-fi' analog compressors for that type of thing. Joe Meek's, UREI's and Distressors are all yummy.

    OK, in plug-in land I have actually found some use for the Waves RenComp and Metric Halo ChannelStrip. CS is nice cuz you get gating and sidechain limiting all in one plug, useful for all kinds of "trouble" drum situations. The gate on CS is actually pretty cool for mangling some things. RenComp is probably my favorite all-around software comp right now, and I will definitely use it in a pinch... but man, given the choice, I'll use outboard analog stuff any day.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    crazy, try to use as little GR with the gate as possible to keep the drum kit sounding real. 2-4dB of reduction when the gate is closed is usually enough.

    In any case, your gate should not be muting the snare track fully unless you're specifically going for that dry/drum machine effect.

    If you really have too much HH in your snare track, try replacing those hits with a good-sounding snare hit from the same tracking session that doesn't have HH behind it...if you have any. Remember when tracking that it's a good idea to ask the drummer for a few good solid hits of each part of the kit at the end of the song...esp. kick and snare.

    When there is too much HH in the snare track during a tracking session, start by working on your mic placement...and of course, you can also try hanging a small 10" x 8" piece of carpet from a mic stand between the snare and HH...that has helped me a number of times. Or, if you're on unusually great terms with the drummer, try asking if he can move the HH just a bit further away from the snare...or if he can play the snare a bit harder and the hat a bit softer...however, these really are last-resort options.

    Jon
     
  10. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    Originally posted by Jon Atack:
    A lot of what makes a rock snare sound powerful to me comes from the room and OH mics, and often from snare spillage in the toms mics as well. It's a whole. I worked recently in a studio that had a friend-of-a-friend copy of the individual tracks of a well-known big rock single from last year. The "snare top" track alone was rather small and unimpressive (and fwiw there was no "snare bottom" track), but as soon as I pulled up the faders of the stereo room mics, which were tracked with compression, that hit snare sound was immediately there. Tracking a rock drum kit in a great room makes a world of difference.

    Jon, you comments about that snare track are reassuring, I thought it was just me, but it is hard to believe anybody can get anything very huge and impressive from just a 57 on it's own.
     
  11. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Jon,
    Any tips on making a verb sound like what you heard?
    I got a H3000, M2000, PCM80, SPX1000, 990, 90, Rev7, ..that it.
    Any settings on any of these come to mind?
     
  12. Jon Atack

    Jon Atack Member

    Hack,

    I wish I could make a verb box sound like a good recording space.

    For snare verbs, I often try gating and smashing the snare ambiance in the drum tracks and using that. Sometimes I'll try playing the snare track out to a courtyard or live space and recording the natural reverb. If using digital boxes, I'll start with an EMT250 if there is one, or an Orville or H3000 or SP2016, or a PCM70 or 60...and follow them up with compression and EQ. I like the 480L when I need an unusual envelope on the snare, tweaking faders 2 and 3 on page 1...I forget what those parameters are called, it's "shape" and "diffusion" or something else.

    I don't really know the M2000 and PCM80. I use the SPX90 and REV7 for the strangest things sometimes. The SPX boxes have a chorus patch I use a lot, grainy echoes, and a vocal verb that does a good street/ghetto vibe for rap mixes. The REV7 also has a nice grainy stereo echo, and a cheesy verb that can be useful. The bass and kick patches sometimes come in handy, too.

    Jon
     
  13. wiggy

    wiggy Guest

    Snare compressors.. where do you start!!!!, a personal fave of mine is the rare Neve 2264e with the variable attack and relase, distressors, urie 1176----Black is better! but silver is better than dbx or RNC.

    its all in the applciation and the user!

    Peace
    Wiggy
    2" tape till i die!
     
  14. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    The most underated & great sounding compressor on snares in protools is the digidesign compressor. I can get this to sound better than DBX160XT's (which is the main snare sound I use a lot). Usually I mult my snare off onto 3-5 channels (and time adjust all channels so there is no plug in delay affecting phase), and use 1 channel for top end, one for mid, etc... On the multed channels, I use the BF 1176, Compressor Bank, and sometimes channel strip depending on the sound. But, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAN, don't sleep on the digidesign compressor. This is an, of course, all software based suggestion only.
     
  15. drundall

    drundall Guest

    Originally posted by wiggy neve freak:
    Snare compressors.. where do you start!!!!, a personal fave of mine is the rare Neve 2264e

    I'm with you 100% on that one.

    ;)
     
  16. bohemio

    bohemio Guest

    when mixing in PT, and getting drum sounds... I usually (depending on the natural snare sound) bring up the 1176 from bombfactory... I don't know why, lately, I have changed that to a JoeMEEK and ended up using the JoeMEEk... It get's kind of like a nasty sound to it that i kinda like...
    again, it all depends on the natural snare sound, and what works best for the song and the kit....
     

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