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Greets all,

I usually record acoustic music, but will be recording a metal band this weekend. The band wants to use this recording as a sound reference. Pantera - Revolution Is My Name

What do you recommend I do to get as close to possible to that snare sound using an SM57?

I realize there are a huge number of variables that go into getting that sound which I can not re-create: room, preamp, snare itself, etc... But any pointers would be greatly appreciated!

Here is what I have in mind:

* SM57 not too close to snare in order to pick up more rounded tone, less ping.

* Should I mic underneath the snare as well?

* Unfortunately, I don't have a spare tube pre for the snare mic and will be using an RME pre, decent but not ideal.

* Post production EQ, maybe a notch filter to balance out ping etc.

* Post production gate (software), med-fast attack, med-fast release

* Should I use any snare reverb? Software reverb and setting suggestions? In the past I generally don't like the sound of snare reverb, but I'm sure a little could go a long way. In the link I posted the snare is very tight and not mushy but also ballsy.

Thanks so much


Davedog Fri, 11/05/2010 - 10:19

That snare is very dry. That doesnt mean theres no verb on it, its just really short with no tail. The sound of that snare can be achieved with the snare tuning itself. Get the snare to sound like that in the room, stick a top and bottom mic on it, check the phase of the mics, you'll want the setting with the most pop, dont EQ at tracking, and let er rip. You 'might' want to compress this a bit during tracking and if you really want the sound of the snare to be so separate as it is in the video you supplied, then be prepared to replace it later with a sample of it being played alone. It sounds like this is what they did to eliminate any bleed from the rest of the kit. Metal drum sounds are generally replaced simply to clear them up from each other. Unless you have access to high-end gates and the knowledge and experience to use them properly, this is your best bet.

Big K Fri, 11/05/2010 - 10:53

There is a little ambient on it, yes rather dry, and they compressed the crap out of it... insane..but fits the music ;-)
If you listen to the HiHat, seems extremely quiet compared to the snare for that kind of drumming . I would not concede him that much sensitivity....
There is no audible bleed on the snare from the kit, either. Very true...
That makes me think, it is either a recorded sample, like you said, or they used something like drumagog.
That would be a fast and efficient way to any snare sound. Artefacts of the original snare (mainly overheads) can be completely wiped out with, e.g., ReNovator, when needed at all....
Can we ask somebody at their studio?

A SM57 and some manual work should get you a reasonable result. I used nothing else for a decade, but maybe you want to ask a friendly guy at a well equipped studio to help out..
Nahhh,... will be cheaper to get this drum replacer...

anonymous Fri, 11/05/2010 - 11:57

Yea I hear it too.... that snare is sample replaced. Aaaaach! Why does metal have to be so clean these days?! But I have to admit it does sound tasty in that song. I'll just do the best I can with an SM57 pair over and under (matched axis/ mic position) and experiment with some post production comp/limiter/gate UAD-2 plugins.

So for now, nevermind the sample replaced aspect... I just want to be sure to get that nice pop in the snare. From my previous experience this comes from placing the mic farther away from the snare (higher up). Correct?

Whenever I mic close to rim (angled at center of snare) I get too much snare ring/ping... which requires some EQ notching. It sounds good but seems to lose some of the fullness...

As for drum replacement plugins.... is Drumagog the best?

Thanks for the comments

RemyRAD Fri, 11/05/2010 - 14:23

I've gotten sounds like this from snare drums before. It's all of the above. A good snare drum is over $300 US and is the most important part. Good heads and knowing how to tune them properly, which generally requires a real musician. Piccolo snare drums frequently sound like this. And it is heavily gated. In this particular respect, from what I'm hearing, instead of putting a 57 on top and a AKG 451 or SM 81, KM 84, KMS 184, on the bottom, phase inverted, I recommend the total opposite. Put the SDC on the top and the 57 on the bottom. Better still, put a SDC on the bottom as well, phase inverted. And gate them both together, quickly with a very short, very short ambient cloud from some digital reverb. If you use ProTools you might want to try the Smack plug-in? But plenty of us get the smack without the smack while getting smacked. Oh and this Pantera recording sounds very ProTooled around with.

Recorded by Mr. Henry Metal I think?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Big K Fri, 11/05/2010 - 15:45

Drumagog is very usable. Quite a few drummers agreed w/o discussion to support or substitute the sound of their cheap weak-sounding drums with it, when they heard it.
This is something, I would never do when a good drum set is being recorded, though. It is just not necessary. But for special drum FX or plain safe-the-recording situations
that tool is very valuable, with lots of good samples available. If it is the best... idk, it is doing all i need in good manner. I'd rather not need it, at all, though.
If you have an UAD card, try the SPL transient designer. It can be of great help.... With PowerCore I suggest the Character Plugin...

Yes Remy, you are ever so right: good musicians, good drums, a tuned set and a tight drummer... They have become very rare, these days, a my end of the world...
Next would be a singer who can sing and a ........ xxxxxxx
It is kinda amazing that those amateurish bands with less then adequate equipment often have rather decent compositions to offer....
This is, what keeps it fun.... and even more work to squeeze the potential out of their performances...

RemyRAD Fri, 11/12/2010 - 13:07

You're absolutely right BigK. It's always exciting when you get someone in the studio with true musical talent and/or genius. It's a rare occasion and becoming more rare as everything becomes more homogenized. Good for milk not for music.

I remember a young 14 year old girl whose Methodist minister father brought her to our studio to record a demo. She was incredible! Amazing! Her name was Ellen Amos. We put her together with a lovely black ghetto band that we had been recording. That ghetto band so poor that a local music store actually donated instruments for them to use for their recording. They were quite good. Unfortunately our masters, years later, were caught in a fire when the studio burned down. That same little 14-year-old girl did well years later and today is known as Tori Amos. I still have part of one cut from that 1978 session. She was much better then than she is now. She was a wunderkind and I know you know what that means even if I don't Schprecken Deutsche my friend.

I sure do miss that Dunkel Hefe' in Bavaria
Mx. Remy Ann David

Big K Fri, 11/12/2010 - 16:54

Hello Remy

I'll open a cold bottle of dunkles Weizenbier for the both us ... right now, we "speak"...
and... woahhh... is that nice... everytime.... lol..

Ellen had a decent musical education at Peabody's and lots of talent. What a pain that the master got lost...
But I guess, at the time you were much more concerned about the studio ... or what was left of it...
Even if it might have happened some time ago, I am sorry to hear about your misfortune...

I had a few, really only a few, gifted talents in my studio and some of them signed up with me. But, unfortunately, they were all not willing or able to persue a
professional carrier as a musician. From what I produced with them they could have made it... Chances would have been slim, though, was the time when majors
were absolutely dominant in the music business..I guess, you know what I mean... It is never easy... ;-)


Hi HaHallur
Drumagog was founded in 1999.... So, I don't know if was available...
But, otoh, I am not sure what you actually mean ...
Please, rephrase your post for me... TY.

Big K, born in Mittenwald in the Bavarian Alps, right on the edge to civilization.....

happydrummer1 Fri, 11/12/2010 - 19:28

sounds Triggered...

I use an Alesis D4 and It came out in 94 I believe, Ill have to check my samples but that snare sounds very familiar, of course I could be wrong...

you can get a drum module pretty cheap on ebay, just watch you don't buy crappy triggers, there is a big difference, unless you want to stuff your snare, and toms full of pillows to stop double triggering.

planet10 Sat, 12/04/2010 - 08:54

most metal is triggered, some use drumagog, some use an outboard sampler side chained to a comp, i always have the drummer hit the snare in whole notes if i need to sample it later on due to possible performance issues. in this sample it does sound sampled only on the single hits a i do hear the snare fills having some dynamics, which is complicated thru drumagog but you can get around that.

the biggest thing is the drummer, if he hits it well then your golden. here we have a house set that is a really amazing sounding vintage Sonor and most drummers want to play it when tracking, BUT it always sounds different with a less experienced drummer than a seasoned pro. the seasoned pro i NEVER have to sample anything (if only to change the snare in mixdown) but then the performance is perfect so drumagog will work even better.


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