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Micing both sides of the snare

how important is this? I know most project studios don't do it, but is it a good way to get a crisper snare sound? what exactly does it do for the sound if "crispiness" has nothing to do with it? We will be using a D6 on the Kick, two AKG 460b Condensers as OH's, and we have an md 421 and a 57 to play with as far as the snare... as you might know from my other thread, I was toying with the idea of using the 421 as a kick mic with the D6, but is it better suited for the snare? once again, we are a metalcore band, if that helps, and as far as other assorted mics go, we have a blue baby bottle and a couple of 58's, I don't know if that'd help with the drum recording process... I doubt it, but I figured I better mention it anyway, cuz as you might have guess, I am not a recording specialist by any means... thanks so much in advance, you guys are beyond helpful


DaveRunyan Sun, 01/30/2005 - 07:04

I always mic the top and the bottom. Sometimes I don't use the bottom track but I always like to have the option at mixdown. I usually use an sm57 on the top and just clip a Sennheiser e604 to the bottom. I found it to be a good idea to make sure the snares are in good shape and tight enough to not rattle.

DaveRunyan Mon, 01/31/2005 - 22:22

Yeah phase has to be correct. I always wait till mix down to switch it. Sonar has a phase switch on every track. It can be interesting sometimes NOT to reverse the phase and play with the EQ on the bottom. It is strange but sometimes when you narrow in on the actual snare sound with EQ out of phase it sits quite well with the stronger top track. Hell I will try anything though.

anonymous Tue, 02/01/2005 - 07:27

Whether or not you mic the bottom of the snare also depends on what you are picking up in your overheads. When I put the overheads behind the kit, roughly over the drummer and pointing in and down, I get a nice overall kit sound, including plenty of the chain-sound from the snare. This sounded great, but not for the style of music we were going for. We wanted more isolation and control and less room sound.

When I moved the overheads forward, directly over the cymbals and pointing almost straight down, I captured mostly cymbals, but lost a lot of the chain-sound from the snare. My top snare mic is picking up mostly the tom-sound of the snare, so I put a mic on the bottom (with a short polarity reverse cable) to capture the missing chain-sound. I mix it in just a little bit so that the snare is present and discernable.

Not knowing what style of music or sound you are going for, I would say that if you only have those 5 mics then I would experiment with placing the overheads behind the kit and angled in to capture the overall sound. Then see how much "crispiness" or chain-sound you still need and place your 57 and 421 accordingly. The D6 sounds good on kick (that's what I use) so I probably wouldn't double-up with the 421, but it's always good to experiment!

I hope this helps.