cymbals vs. drums

Discussion in 'Rides / Cymbals' started by idiophone, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    Okay, somebody tell me what's REALLY going on here. I know how to mike a drum kit, I know how to get great sounds, I've got great gear and great kits and snares, but no matter how hard I try, the snare drum track always turns into a ride cymbal or hihat track. Ditto the overheads and room mics.

    I know these modern punk drummers are beating the living daylights out of their cymbals, but their snare drum always rings true on record. I know that good players hit the crap out of their drums, and barely touch their cymbals (in comparison), and I certainly get good results when I, personally, play that way, but what of these guys that just bash the $*^t out of everything? Somehow, the snare drums on modern punk records pop right out of the mix.

    I've been told to get off the wheel of frustration and use sound replacer, because that's what these modern producers are doing. Is this what's really going on?

    I'm at my wit's end here.
  2. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Sound replacer is a good option and will give you a clean snare track..nothing but snare.

    I personally would try to position the snare mic as to avoid the most bleed from the other instruments in the kit, then gate it in the mix. You can also use some good EQ'ing to get a snare to pop out in a mix..and an expander/compressor can help a lot. Believe it or not I've always been able to get the snare mic pretty isolated, but keeping the snare sound out of the other mic's has always been a bit troubling...
  3. TheChronic

    TheChronic Guest

    Beta 57 and a gate and you shouldn't have a problem.
  4. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Active Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    you shouldn't have to gate. mic placement is everything. i don't mind a little bleed, it sounds natural. but that's just my opinion.........i never compress or gate the drums, i let them ring true.
  5. Chance

    Chance Guest

    you always have the option of using a trigger and something like an Alesis D-4 module, then you would have 99 different snare drums to pick from
  6. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    Like I said, I'm not talking bleed here - if I'm playing, or somebody who's a real player is playing, bleed is musical. Gating just doesn't work with bashy cymbals because when the gate opens, you get tons of cymbal with it.

    Yes, I tried the Beta 57. Didn't work. These guys play LOUD on the cymbals.

    I'll restate the question: what is being done on these new pop-punk-rock records to bring out the snare. Are they guys who mix these records using sound replacer?
  7. quartermoonpro

    quartermoonpro Active Member

    Jul 29, 2003
    Sound Replacer or Drumagog. They both work great!
  8. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Sound replacer dosen't have anything to do with bringing a snare forward in a track. Sound repacer is for replacing a snare with another snare that might work better for the's a sound issue not a mix issue.
    I honestly believe that if the cymball's are clouding your snare in a mix then the snare is either 1)out of phase with the OH mic's or 2)the cymball's prominent freq is similar to the snares and they are fighting freq wise or 3)both scenarios.
    To get a snare to pop out in a mix you need a comination of things. First being that the snare isn't fighting freq wise with any other instruments...this can be acomplished with some precision eq'ing. Second is compressing the snare to keep it steady. This is a good idea if the snare is a prominent part of the driving force of the song...if you need that steady crack. Third is can move the snare around in the stereo spectrum to get it to sit in it's own pocket..this will help bring it out in a mix.
    The use of sound replacer won't necessarly bring the snare more forward in a mix, it will change the sound of the snare and the new snare might not fight freq wise as much as the original snare with the other tracks and therefore the new snare might stand out in the mix a little more. If the original snare is the sound you want then sound replacer won't help you, a better mix will. To compress or not is a personal decision and isn't a necessity, automation can acomplish the same task if the issue is a volume thing.
    You also need to be carefull of phasing issues in your drum mic'ing as this will cause the snare to sit back in the mix. Reverb on a snare will also cause it to sit back in the mix.
    Another trick would be to gate the room mic's and trigger the gate with a copy of the kick track so the room mic's only play when the kick is playing...this will prevent the room mic's from playing when the snare is playing for the most part.

    I appoligize if you know anyting I've just stated..just trying to point out everything I know about getting a good snare sound in a mix.
  9. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    You dont really say what mic you're using to get your snare with....perhaps something with a real high side and back rejection and a low sensitivity...Beyer 422....or something...Sound replacer and the Drumagog work as well as a Reamp.You can then pick and chose your snare sound at will.
  10. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    I feel as though I'm not being clear. Thanks for the responses, but it's stuff I've already tried.

    What is being done on these records to make the snare pop out of a mix? Are the engineers able to do it, or do they throw in the towel on the real snare and grab a sample with sound replacer?

    I'm really not trying to be difficult....

    Current drum setup:

    Overheads: AKG 451 or AKG 414
    Snare: 57 or Beta 57, top and bottom, yes, I flip the phase on one.
  11. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    I understand your question......and the techniques I've listed are what is being done to get a snare to pop out in a mix. EQ, compression, panning, and automation are all tools to get a snare to pop out in a mix or to make a snare sit back in a mix....
    Replacing a snare with a sound replacer program is useful for getting the "snare" you want...if the original snare isn't say you mic'd a thin generic snare and you'd rather have a maple tama snare'd use sound replacer.

    Essentially to answer your question in a simple manner...the engineers do it in the mix.
  12. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    Thanks, Randy.

    How is sound replacer seen in the business? As a necessity? As a fail-safe? How eager should I be to use it? I have philosophical problems with it (like I do with Autotune - the very definition of "necessary evil"), but I'm open to how other people view "ProTooling" stuff.
  13. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    I'm not sure how many people actually use it. I've read that in a lot of the new pop stuff it's used quite a bit..but I've never used it. I look at it as a "quick fix". This might open a can of worms but I've noticed a trend with producers lately with them using things like sound replacer as a security blanket of sorts. Instead of getting a good drum sound in the first place they'll just quick track something then replace it later. I attribute this to fixing it in the mix...bad bad in my book. There are situations where I can understand using if your making a loop that's going to be played in the background of a pop song and you want to use the HH pattern...then you'll double the HH track and replace the second track with something crazy sounding..and EQ or process the begiber's out of that track to make some cool sound. Or if you're on a sierous budget and can't afford to track drums in a nice room..then maybe replacer would be a good option for you to get that sound you want. It's just another tool to me.
    Personally I'd like to get the kit right the first time...if you don't like the snare...get a new snare. That's my outlook on things.
    I agree with you about's an easy way out. Another "security blanket" for people who can't really sing or producers who need everything to be perfect so they don't have excuses if the track fails....
    I'd personally like it if everyone worked more on song arrangement/performance/production than using studio tricks to polish their product. On that note I'm not a big fan of click tracks either...unless the drummer's way off tempo. I feel like they take the life out of a song...but then all that pop stuff need's to be perfectly polished....

    Sorry for the rant..sometimes you just need to let it all out.
  14. moles

    moles Active Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Winnipeg, MB
    It seems to me that all this talk about proper eq'ing on the snare to get the sound to sit properly isn't going to work until the cymbal bleed is fixed. I mean, how do you separate the snare from the cymbals if, by eq'ing the snare, you are applying the same eq to the crash? If your drummer wants to hit the crashes hard, maybe you can convince him/her to REALLY raise the crashes up higher. I don't play drums, but I would guess this would be easier to deal with than spacing the kit further horizontally. You would know better than I. I remember seeing Eddie Kramer (or maybe it was Tom Lubin) in one of his videos miking a kit with the ride and crashes raised to about arms length for the drummer (as in as far away as they could get while still being able to reach them).
  15. TheChronic

    TheChronic Guest

    Has anyone else had this problem? Ever?

    I have never met a drummer that doesn't tear into the cymbals... I've seen stands fall over, major dents, and know a drummer with a collection of 5 or 6 cracked cymbals from his overuse.

    Yet, no problem ever with too much cymbal bleed on the snare track.

    You can also use a pad on the pre or mic which helps a bit.

    You keep asking how the pro's do it, but I don't think most pro's have probably even delt with the level of madness your talking about.

    Maybe its your acoustics... I donno.

  16. Gary Ward

    Gary Ward Guest

    I can sympathize with you on this. The only solution that I have found is to trigger the snare and the bass through an Alesis DM PRO. I tried the DM4, but there was not enough control over the options. I know what you mean about the cymbals. I had never in my life seen ride cymbals that HUGE. Looked like gongs turned sideways.
  17. idiophone

    idiophone Guest

    >>You keep asking how the pro's do it, but I don't think most pro's have probably even delt with the level of madness your talking about.

    RIGHT! They can afford to send the band on a cruise and hire a guy who can really play. I'm stuck with "King Kong" the drummer, and I have to make it sound like Travis Barker.
  18. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest


    How much snare are you getting from the overheads?

    For me the real image and detail of the snare(and all the other drums) is captured in the overheads and room mics. The close mics serve only to enhance fundamental tones that the overheads may, unfortunately, miss.

    Listen to Green Day's 'Dookie'. If that kind of sound is anywhere close to what you're after, then the sound of the snare is predominately coming off the overheads and room mics. The sound of the room plays a crucial role, here.

    If the snare you're hearing in the overheads isn't what you want, then you need to back up and get it happening there. Close micing will only add body and texture to the up-front image created by the overheads.

  19. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    Sound Replacer is an easy way to do can even sample the snare you're using, in your own room, by itself and replace it with itself...I think more people are using it than will admit it these days, especially in cases like this where they're recording a drummer who can't balance him- or herself properly.

  20. Idiophone

    Do you have noise reduction software?
    If so get the thing to learn the sound of the kit you dont want in the snare track, then tweak till your just getting snare. It make sound bad, but it might just work.
    And in awnser to your question about pro's using drum replacer/drumagog .... ..... yes they all do.

    This is how I do it though, I will give away a secret of mine.... Grab your snare, with the same mics as you used for the kit, and sample it, get a few hits in there - (multi-hits will give you more of a real feel)
    Now you can replace the original snare with your new snare. Its the same sound, but clean. You can blend it in to your taste, kinda like adding salt to your dinner.

    Hope this helps
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