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What's better than sm57 on snare?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by svart, May 10, 2004.

  1. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    I'm getting less than optimal results with my sm57... I know everybody loves them but what's better? I've been using a condenser on the snare because the sm57 lacks enough clarity and crack to cut through the mix(yeah, yeah, I know change it at the source.. 3 snares later i change the mic!) But now I need something with more body too. any suggestions? anybody use the audix D1?
  2. captaininvisible

    captaininvisible Active Member

    Jan 31, 2003
    Any decent hypercardioid

    Say goodbye to Mr Hi Hat Spill :D
  3. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    well, the hihat has never really been a problem, it's the actual tone and charachter of the mics themselves.. the sm57 is too muddy with no attack, various condensers are nice and bright with lots of attack but either a whacked proximity effect or no bottom end at all. any ideas?
  4. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Try an AT MB3000, a larger diaphram dynamic vocal mic (about $50). Same top end response as a 57, but extended low end. Also, I have an obscure EV RE-38N and posted a query awhile back as to what it's highest purpose was. A member from Germany has two of them and says it's the best snare mic in the world. I haven't had a rhythm track session . I haven't had a rhythm track session in here since that post, so I can't confirm it . Besides, finding one would be a challenge, and I'm not selling mine :)
  5. BetaMonkey

    BetaMonkey Active Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Snare Mic


    Funny you should start a thread because I am going through the same thing.

    Everywhere you look or read, all you hear is, "Yeah, just use the SM57" and "Oh, gotta use an SM57 on the snare!" So, of course, you use one! And, I have gotten some great sounds out of it. But, lately, my results have been the same - uninspired, lifeless, dull. It's not a phasing thing and it's not a position thing - I've looked into those a lot. I guess experimentation has run its course.

    I have tried a few condensers - some C1000's and a Studio Projects B3. The B3 was actually really nice - it just caught way too much hihat and couldn't be used on anything really rocking heavy.

    I thinking of trying out some e604's or maybe a Beta56 and see what happens. Anyone try any of those out on the snare?

  6. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Distinguished Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    Try mic'ing the bottom of the snare, and combining the signal with the 57 on the top (don't forget to reverse the phase on the bottom mic). Works wonders! Much more pop!

    I use a 57 on the top, and a Sennheiser MD441 on the bottom. Fantastic!

    Also, maybe some EQ treatment is in order? How about the snare tuning? Just some other things to try...
  7. mikE@THECAVE

    mikE@THECAVE Guest

    I thought I heard the studio projects C-1 was good.Why don't you talk to alan Hyatt in the PMI section of the forum.Plus you can use it for vocals
  8. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    The C1 is great if you don't mind a little more hat bleed, and you aren't really slammin'.
  9. BladeSG

    BladeSG Guest

    I totally agree Doublehelix, exactly what I was gonna say! :)
  10. kinetic

    kinetic Guest

    Yes I agree with Doublehelix as well. The 441 is a great mic for many things - I used to totally abuse mine by sticking it in the kick drum, but next session it would be on brass or backing vocals and it always delivered. It's a very tight mike.
  11. Salmacis

    Salmacis Guest

    What about the AKG C747?

    incredible, incredible, incredible sound on snares, my friends!

    somebody from akg told me that the mic was designed especifically for that application

  12. dale116dot7

    dale116dot7 Guest

    I've been resisting using the SM57 on snare recently - I want a different sound! Here's what I've been using and have been happy with:

    Old C451, use pad
    New C451B, use pad
    CK61-ULS with homebuilt tube body
    Altec M11 Coke Bottle
    Oktava MK012, use pad
    Audio Technica Pro37R

    I like to listen to the snare through each of the mics and pick the one I like the best on that one. I'll try a 57 too but I don't frequently pick it.
  13. lorenzo gerace

    lorenzo gerace Active Member

    Jan 27, 2002
    The top/bottom mic is sure the first thing to try to get a "truer" snare sound: a mic on the top head alone doesn't sound like a snare to me, more like a gunshot at 150db, while adding a bottom mic you can capture the shell resonance and springs (should I say snares? :lol: ) that IMO are an essential part of the sound.

    Plus, what preamp are you using with that 57? May be a thing worth investigating, and usually to get that crack out of the snare you need to EQ and compress it a fair bit, according to the rest of the kit and the track.

    Anyway since I assume you already did these things, a mic I tried on the snare and gave me an accurate and way present sound was the Neumann KM 84 (the old one, not the new KM184 which I haven't tried in that position), lots of detail and a fairly hot output, so maybe you'll need to pad your pre.

    Another trick is to tape two mics together (say a 57 with the KM84) and put them one on top of the other so that the capsules are almost lined up and phase coherent, then you blend them on the same track or filter what you don't need out of both and combine, must 've time to experiment a bit, but some great sounds can come out of such a combination.
    I read some guys like an AKG 414 B-ULS in hipercardioid mode and pad engaged.

    In general condensers will give you more detail and presence then a dynamic, try it out and see if you like it.

    Hope this helps

  14. Stabb

    Stabb Active Member

    Jan 2, 2004
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    Have you tried another 57?

  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    They can be a bit hard to find but a Beyer M201N is very nice on snare. It may be a bit too dark for many but I like it because it adds a "fattness" that I like. ... I also like to put a AT Pro35X clip-on on the bottom of the snare with the phase flipped along with the 201 or a 57 on top.
  16. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Hey thanks everybody!

    Since each one of you gave detailed and very good ideas I can't answer everybody but I've tried a few 57's, I've also mic'd the bottom head with 57's,a mk-219, mc-012s, C1 and a few others. I moved the bottom mic to a side mic and decided the mc-012 was a contender, but I don't care for it on the top head. I haven't tried the C1 on the top but i will certainly give it a try this week when i have time. Other than that I have tried a pile (literally) of different heads and 3 different snares(each with different shells, steel/wood/brass). If you wanted to know i chose a 12x8 maple handmade snare to focus on with it's deep sound but loud and quick attack.

    also i noticed something different with two of the mics. the sm57 and the mc-012 on the snare, the sm57 on top(many different positions) and the mc-012 on the side. when attempting to mix these two I can't seem to get one's frequencies to fill in with the other. in layman's terms they just don't sound good together, I could get the 57 sounding pretty good but lacking in the snares attack, and the mc-012 sounding really good for the attack but when mixed together they seem to stand apart in the mix. I've tried reversing phase and moving mics and the effect lessens but so do the sweet spots.
    I would have tried more mics and different approaches but time to experiment is something i don't have nearly enough of these days!

    Any ideas?
  17. heinz

    heinz Guest

    Kurt was right on with the Beyer M201, I love that mic on snare.

    Also sometimes like MD 441 or MD 421.
  18. sign

    sign Guest

    Another vote for the M201. Get one, you'll never want any other mic on snare.
  19. two mics on top

    worked with a guy in town that used a 57 and a 451, both on top, both pointing at the same point (the heads were almost touching) and it gave a great sound without dealing with phase issues. The 57 gave all sorts of punch and body, and the 451 gave a great crack that cut through. You should be able to substitute your favorite/available dynamics and condensers.

    BTW, early in the thread, you asked about the D1. I've got a set of Audix drum mics, and love 'em for live stuff -- haven't tried them in the studio. The D2 is my preference on snare, just because it has an bit fuller/warmer sound. If you're micing a sharp piccolo snare, then the D1 would be the ticket.
  20. svart

    svart Active Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    Thanks Captainbonehead, I actually found a deal earlier on a D1 so it's on it's way. I am also looking for the m201 everyone seems to like... can't have too many different mics around the studio! I'll keep everyone informed of what i find and I'll post a sample when i get it right.

    thanks again!

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