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Hi everyone!

I am using right now 2 sm57's for the snare (1 on top and for the bottom), and it sound pretty good. But I am thinking to try some other different mic for the bottom snare to have different snare sound option.

Any suggestions? What mic do you use or you like?


anonymous Wed, 05/03/2006 - 03:09

a large-cap condenser can be awesome. Really catches the fast hi transient of the snares. Make sure to turn on the pad if the mic has one. No pad on the mic and it might be too much. I use a 414 and I feel like it's all right, anyone please correct me on this.

Also, try another smaller-diaphragm dynamic mic besides an sm57 on top snare! You won't regret it.

ps- this is related to another post, but I would contest that an sm58 with the windscreen taken off, in fact sounds nothing like an sm57. Any takers?

RemyRAD Wed, 05/03/2006 - 12:42

I have enjoyed using an AKG C451 with pad on the bottom along with an SM57 or better still MD421 on top.

MAKE SURE YOU INVERT THE PHASE OF THE MICROPHONE ON THE BOTTOM OF THE SNARE DRUM. This will provide you with better tone as the bottom of the snare drum is actually out of phase with respect to the top.

You may also want to try some compression and gating on the snare drum for a fatter thwack?

Snared like a hare
Ms. Remy Ann David

amishsixstringer Wed, 05/03/2006 - 20:30

Actually, just flipping the bottom and forgetting it can get you into problems. Depending on the distance of your overhead mics, your top snare mic could be out of phase with your overheads. You may actually end up flipping either the overheads or the top snare and leaving the bottom normal. There are no cut/dry methods here. Also, time aligning the snare with the overheads will greatly increase clarity and punch. I advise against gating most of the time, but it has its uses as well. Again, no hard fast rules here. I have found that a sdc usually works nice on the bottom with a high pass. You often don't have to add much top end to the top mic as you can just pull up the "crack" track to taste. Works nicely if you can keep it organized. As far as inverting during tracking or after. It really makes no difference at all. I usually just track in normal phase, but to each his own. GOod luck, and you'll find that trying things out and experimenting will get you much further than asking people on a board what they "think" will sound cool or good.


RemyRAD Wed, 05/03/2006 - 22:36

One of the only reasons why I recommend inverting phase on the bottom snare drum microphone while tracking is simply because of some old consoles that I have seen where the phase invert button was only applicable to the microphone input. But in consoles that offer a phase inversion switch that is further downstream on the module then of course it can be done after the fact and no, I've never noticed any difference.

Now phase relationship between other microphone capsules can make or break the focus of the sound. Overhead microphones that are placed too low will generally cause phasing effects from interacting with the other microphones. I just generally set up my console as described previously and then position the microphones for the best sound. When I do that, I generally don't have to invert the phase of any microphones that I'd rather not invert the phase on. But with everything so personally subjective you must find what works best for you. Either way, depending on the music I'm recording, I frequently like to crunch and gate my drums and not necessarily in that order, sometimes while tracking, sometimes while mixing. With no set hard or fast rules.

Highway to headaches R us
Ms. Remy Ann David

Boswell Fri, 05/05/2006 - 02:29

Best I've come across for the underneath on a snare is a Beyer Dynamic M88. You MUST invert the phase on that channel, either on the way into the multitrack or at mixdown.

Phase effects caused by time delays are a separate problem. The thing about miking a drumkit is that most mics pick up some of everything as well as the drum they are pointed at, and the velocity of sound in air (about 1ms/ft) means that they will pick up the same sound at different times. So one method I have used is to add timeshifts at mixdown, using sharp transients such as rimshots as a guide for lining up the peaks. It usually works out that the overheads are un-delayed and the other microphones need 1-5ms to line them up. It's surprising what difference a time-compensated kit makes, particularly to the stereo image.

anonymous Fri, 05/05/2006 - 12:11

If you're using a DAW you can easily fix a lot of phasing and timing issues.

When dealing with the snare, i usually look for a loud isolated crack of the snare and enlarge the waveforms of the snare (top and bottom snare) and also the overheads. You can then invert the bottom snare if needed, and also slide the snare tracks over to match with the bleeded snare signal on the overheads. You need a nice loud hit to work with so you can clearly see where the attack is.

Do this with the toms, kick, etc. all matched to the overheads and you will have really nice results.

Also I've found that condenser mics seem to work well as a bottom snare mic. I usually stick an AKG 414 underneath the snare with a pad.