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snare drum troubles.(overheads make up for bad snare sound?)

Discussion in 'Drums' started by allthingsexcellent, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. it seems the majority of my snare recordings are junk. heh. ive been recording the same snare for the past 3 years, well the same kit for that matter... just got new cymbals last year though.. but anyways.. its a 14 x 6.5 ludwig supraphonic. it sounds real awesome live, and ive spent lots of time tuning, and always upkeep on that stuff... so i know it sounds good in person at least. just when it comes to recording i cant really capture the "livelyness" of it... I use a sennheiser e905 for the snare...

    so i guess when i first able to record on my own, i did the snare the standard way - 2-3 inches( well more like 4-5 since i hit kinda hard i guess)off the rim faced toward the center of the snare.. well it makes the snare sound like a carboard box. then i tried 5 inches away from the snare body aimed at the soundhole ... ive been doing it that way for sometime.. and it gets by, but still not that good.. ive tried positioning it a lil underneath capturing some wiresound, but didnt mesh well with the overheads... then all other ways sounded real bad, and wrong.. ha i know the over heads really get the snare to sound like a snare.. but i want the snare by itself to be enjoyable (obviously)

    as for the snare/overhead mix... i tried mono and stereo.. when mono i use a ksm27, and with stereo overheads i use 2 sm81's... i have better luck running them in mono, maybe because im not that skilled with stereo overhead thing still... they just always sound washy, and just somewhat bad sounding... the ksm27 is darker sounding.. but works... id like to try more with the stereo 81s though...

    so anyways...should i try a different mic? i have a sm57, but didnt like that in any configuration, and i just saw a post on someone using a md421 on a snare.. which im gonna try tomorrow when i get to the studio...

    ok after all that babble, and tips and lil pointers on this?? :)
     
  2. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Stick your SM57 underneath the snare drum as well as the e905 on top.

    Solo the top snare and overhead mics and try flipping the phase on the top snare mic: it will probably sound noticeably better one way or the other. Then solo the two snare mics without overheads, and flip the phase on the bottom mic; it will probably sound big and fat one way, but thin and anemic the other.
     
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah, I like the sound of a good fat snappy snare drum. Of course, I want that with a butt kicking bass drum. Deep musical toms. And clear zingy cymbals.

    Yeah, I'm the one who also loves MD421's on snare drum, bass drum, toms. But I also love SM57's just as much. I've also had some interesting and enjoyable results from only using a single overhead while panning toms left & right. So use your KSM 27 for the overhead. Stick your e905 or a SM57 on snare drum top. While engaging the -10 DB pad on your SM 81 on the bottom of the snare drum, phase inverted. Don't invert the top microphone just the bottom. Then invert the bass drum microphone that's inside the bass drum. And stick that additional SM 81 on hat if you think it's real necessary.

    Then, if you're able, engage the pads on your microphone preamps. This will allow you to crank your microphone preamps more. By turning up the gain, you're actually lowering the open loop feedback in the operational amplifier. This provides a more open, punchier quality with a small trade-off in low-level noise. When gain is reduced, the amount of inverted phase audio, passed back to the input, creates a more restrictive and squeezed tonality to the preamp.

    Now to get better sounding big room like drums? Right, unless they were recorded in an acoustically beautiful room, which you probably didn't have, what to do? You'll probably want to add some phony digitally imitated room ambience, so when the drum is hit, you feel it sustain. Basically a short platelike reverb algorithm. Not too long. Not too short. And it will add the stereo ambience you desire while utilizing a single overhead. Try it. It'll work. Now do this without using any crappy EQ. Think you need some? Rolloff a little extreme low-end and suck out a little bass drum at 250 hertz. Want to get daring? Try a little limiting & gating on snare drum & bass drum. Then call me in the morning.

    Beat off better with Remy
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  4. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Does this apply to all pre-amp designs? Would the pre-amps on small Mackie mixer benefit from in-line attenuators for example (assuming a loud enough source)?

    What about the Soundcraft series 5 desks that I usually work with live: they don't have pads, they have 'range' buttons which, as I understand it, reconfigure the input stage to provide less gain... should I be pressing those buttons more often?
     
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Very valid questions.

    Greg Mackie did something interesting when he designed his 1604 back in the day. Microphone gain & pads are incomprehensible for some folks to deal with. So Greg made his microphone preamp at a fixed 20 DB gain setting. This negates the need to limit input level to the first stage preamp. No pads necessary. A girl's dream. So level gain trim is actually accomplished by a post preamp buffer amplifier. This created a more consistent sounding microphone preamp over a larger range of gain settings. The gain trim still varies with the inverted feedback around the buffer amplifier, second stage, still giving you some margin of tonality change based upon open loop feedback gain. But not as much of a noticeable change as varying a wider range of inverted feedback to the first stage input preamp of a conventional old-fashioned microphone preamp with pad.

    The console you are accustomed to using has been patterned more like my older vintage Neve console. Where the gain trim is interconnected with the input pads. It's designed to make life easier. When I want that more open quality, I'll generally have to run faders lower when cranking the preamp higher. Especially if analog mixing.

    Yes, I think with in-line pads, you'd be pushing one of the operational amplifiers with much less inverted feedback. This would still open up the sound some, at least in my warped brain, with a small compromise in increased low-level noise directly related to pad loss. And since I have this idiotic notion that I can "see sound", this should still be somewhat effective. I've rarely been wrong but hey, I'm not from Great Britain where you guys know sound better. I'm just another dumb efin' American. An underachiever and proud of it. Everything I know I learned from Bart Simpson.

    I'm always animated.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  6. IIRs

    IIRs Well-Known Member

    Very interesting answer, thankyou.
     
  7. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Do you mean open loop feedback or closed loop feedback Remy?
     
  8. thanks for all the responses guys!!! yea i run an allen and heath system 8 board, and i pad the bass and snare channels already....

    im printing all this out, and taking it with me to the studio.. im leaving in a bit!!!! werd!

    i would never thought u put a sm81 on the wires.... heh
     
  9. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Open loop? Closed loop? Embroidery loop? Velcro? Duck. Duck. Goose!

    Yes. Well, the operational amplifier is rated at "Open loop gain", which is maximum gain, generally with a reduction in high frequency response. While the feedback loop of audio is a closed loop from output to inverting input, to reduce gain and make the operational amplifier more stable. So, it's all rather loopy with Soupy Sales. Hey. Somebodies knocking at the back door? Perhaps you should go see who it is? Somehow I don't think it's Snagal Tooth or White Fang? Duck!

    Loopy Scooby Doobie broad or, LSD girl. That doesn't sound right?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  10. by the way, the 421 is pretty darn good on the snare.. ha... i put it about 6-9 inches away from the sound hole... i compared it straight up with the e905 recording.. and it is so much better, the 421 adds body and some nice "higher" end... so i guess it was mostly just that mic i was using!
     
  11. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    wow Remy thanks for clearing that up. :lol:
     
  12. here is what i did with that suggested setup:

    md421 on snare, about 7 inches from sound hole. Sm81s for overheads. positioned somewhat behind the drumset, aimed towards each crash on each side. and an e602 on the kick, positioned just outside the rim of the bass drum, aimed at the beater... i have no front head on the kick drum

    http://www.allthingsexcellent.com/mamagotnosoul160kbps.mp3
     
  13. HansAm

    HansAm Active Member

    When doing Stereo-Overhead. remember that both mic's should have the same distance to the center of the snare. Use a mic-cable o.s. to mesure. This greatly reduses phase issues.
    Then do the phase stuff suggested.
     
  14. i eyeballed it.. but forgot to do that.. i always do.... dang it... heh
     

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