Hi-hat noise spilling onto snare mic

Discussion in 'Hi-Hats' started by funktion, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. funktion

    funktion Guest

    Has anyone any ideas of how i can reduce the spill from the hihat im getting on my snare mic.

    im using a km 84 on the hat facing almost directly away from the snare and i dont have any problems this way round. but the ammount of hi hat noise im getting on my snare track is sometimes really uncontrolable, depending on the rhythm and wellie from the drummer of course, sometimes even gating is of no use.

    I'd like to carry on using 58's on top and bottom snare as they seem to give the most "drumlike" sound. ive tried lots of different positions for these mics but sometimes its a real problem!

    i guess my real question is, does any one know of any other way of reducing this (maybe with baffles or whatever?)
    or does anyone know of a more directional dynamic mic with similar response to the a 58?
  2. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    Have you tried an SM57? Sometimes that will give you a litte more separation from the HH's. SM57's are essentially the same mic as the 58 inside, but without the metal ball grille. That makes then a bit more directional, slightly less "omni" in pattern. (Not that the 58's are in any way an omni mic, but the ball moves the source (usually a vocal) a little further away from the mic element, and reduces/diffuses some of the blast from plosives. The 57 doesn't work quite that way; it's got a metal screen, but not a ball covering, and IMHO a little more directional. The 57 is overall better suited for this type of work (snares, guitar cabinets, brass mic'ing, all kinds of tough-duty stuff, and without the ball, they're less obtrusive, easier to get into tighter spots.)

    You may get more of the snap of the snare that way, too, instead of using the 58's.

    Depending on the setup, the type of floor and reflections, you may not have a lot of options here....I realize you may be going for quite a lot of things with that many mics, but remember too that many times people are forced to use one mic for both, and split the difference. It's not the most ideal way to mic 'em, but it can be done. (you can of course mic a well tuned kit with as little a 3 mics if you're creative enough...) [/i]
  3. funktion

    funktion Guest

    hmm ok, thanks for that.. i was always under the impression a 58 with the cap off was the same as a 57 but ill stand corrected and definately give it a shot!

    i do normally mic the kit up with as little as 3 mics, normally a matched pair of calrecs i have and a re20 on the kick, but in the case in mind, ive thrown up about 16 mics, and wanna play around with some real control!! greedy!
  4. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Philadelphia, PA/ Greenville, DE
    Home Page:
    hmm ok, thanks for that.. i was always under the impression a 58 with the cap off was the same as a 57 but ill stand corrected and definately give it a shot!

    You're probably right about that.... I know those things are built like tanks, but I'd be a little worried about any mic with the grill off; esp around a drummer & his sticks! :wink: I didn't realize you were doing that, so the point may be moot doing it with a 57.

    And I know what you mean about all those mics; once you start, it's tough to stop!!!! :twisted:
  5. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    make sure the snaremic is facing away from the hats; most of the time this means its placed directly under the hihat, facing towards the floor-tom.
    i've also used MacDonalds coffeecups (the ones that are made of soft paperish plastic stuff) around the snare-mic.
    cut off one half of the cup, but leave the bottom in. make a hole in the bottom for the 57 to fit through, and put the cup between the diaphragm and the hihats.
    (im sorry but i cant explain it any better.)
  6. JonLewis

    JonLewis Guest

    Your biggest problem is that you are using the mic with it's gill off. The grill actually is part of the acoustical mechanism that creates the “cardioid” pattern. In other words, when you take off the grill, it allows the mic to pick up from the back as much as the front; essentially making it an omni-directional (or close to it) not to mention the effect it has on the frequency response. Yes, with the caps off the 57 and 58 are the same mic, but again the grilles actually changes the acoustical properties of the mic. That is what makes the difference. Also, you are exposing the diaphragm (the plastic that is only microns thick) to drum sticks. Any damage to it will severely degrade the sound of the mic; just dropping a mic can change the sound (to the discerning ear).

    With that being said, the “standard” is to use 57's on the snare. Some people like a condenser or Sennheiser 421's. What you have to realize is that the snare mic, in most cases, can be no more then 6 inches from the hats; no mater what you do you are going to get hat on the snare track. Yes, trying to get the back of the mic pointed at the hat will help tremendously due to the cardioid pattern of the mic, but can be physically impossible due to how tight most drummers set their kit up. Not to belittle you if you know this, but “cardioid” simply put means that sound off axis to (not directly in front of) the mic is rejected. This is why a singer can stand in front of a monitor at 100+ dB SPL without feedback (of coarse a good monitor engineer helps, but without rear rejection, it would be impossible). For a good explanation of microphone patterns check out this page (http://www.shure.com/shurenotes/feb2003/mic.asp) on Shure's website. Also, a Google search for “microphone pickup patterns” returns some great info on the subject; understanding how microphones work can go a long way in knowing how to use them to get the best results.

    Good luck,

    BTW: No offense Thomaster, but putting a coffee cup around/over a mic will really change the sound of it. Just try taking a microphone and cup your hands around it while talking into it and see what happens (even worse hold it like rappers do, and really hear how muffled it sounds). Just like taking off the grill, you are messing with the acoustical properties of the mic.
  7. huub

    huub Guest

    If the kit allows it, you can place a popfilter wrapped in heavy cloth inbetween the snare mic and hihat..helps a bit..
  8. vhollund

    vhollund Guest

    Its a classical problem ,the overheads taking too much snare is a bigger problem.
    Gating and Eqing well is good tool.

    MAESTRO Guest

    hi hat

    try using a noise gate.not the greatest but a peavey gatekeeper works ok for this situation
  10. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    you're right, if i would shove a mic in a coffeecup just like that, it would sound different.
    i guess my explanation is a little difficult. what i mean is to just take something (be it a piece of cloth or whatever soft material) and put that in between the hihat and the mic.
    i have used halves of coffee-filters for this...
    but i guess i just cant explain it without a picture. maybe i'll post one in a minute
  11. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    1st, I'm not sure how technicly different a 57 and 58 are but they do sound worlds different to my ear. I most always use a 57 for live drum vocals b/c it dosn't pickup as much drums as a 58 does. IE it's better suited for snare b/c it rejects better. It's all about placement. Just keep having the drummer hit the snare/hat combo until you get as much hats out of that 57 as possible.

    2nd you asked for 57 alternatives, how about a beta 57, a Beyer 201? etc. I've also piggy-backed a SD condensor on the 57 for a little different tone....can be pretty cool....watch phase. Also you can mic the shell of the snare with LD condensor...again watch phase.

    lastly, as far as the coffee cup idea. Hmmm, not shure about a Micky D's coffe cup, BUT, I have made a little wooden "half box" looking thing that I mount via a drum claw. It shrouds the 57 from the hats. I, nor any of my drummers that I use it on, thinks it makes the snare sound funny. In fact it greatly gives me control over the snare mic without effecting the hats. Great for drummers who hit that hats as loud or louder than the snare. Honestly if drummers would work more on dynamics and hitting the brass softer than the skins it would take care of most problems. As far as too much snare in the overs.....never have that prob either. I try to get as much nice roomy snare as I can in the overs. The other mics are just there to add a little body and presence..

    good luck
  12. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    so here ya go. i dont know if its clear enough

    theres a bunch of coffee-filters taped to the base of the mic.[/img]
  13. J-3

    J-3 Active Member

    The real question is does it give the snare a nice robust flavor?? I find that too much caffine makes my snare tracks jittery. But then again not enough caffine make the snare kinda lifeless........... :lol:

    No...actually what you did with the cup is kinda what I did with the wood. My wooden shroud is larger and isolates more than the cup I'm shure. i was going to line it with absorbative material but actually i think it fattens the snare a bit to have a little reflection from the wood isolator.

    To each his own....there is NO such thing as cheating when it comes to recording.....what ever it takes to make it sound good is legal.
  14. TomK

    TomK Guest

    Here's what I do. Have you had a chance to get a look at those small foam rectangles that Aurlex sells. They have a cut away in them to go around the front end of a mic. The concept is really great and it works, except make them your self. If you have any spare acoustical foam (Sonnex or something like it) cut out a rectangle roughly 3 x 6 inches or what ever size fits between the H/Hts and snare, carve out a hole in the center of the foam smaller than the diameter of the mic so that it creates a snug fit and try it out. It works great. I've even made a similar one for ride cymbals and it works perfect.
  15. DaveRunyan

    DaveRunyan Active Member

    Raise the Hi Hat............. It doesn't take much sometimes.
  16. JonLewis

    JonLewis Guest

    In recording the MOST important part is the performance; without a good performance all of the engineer's efforts are in vain. One of the most important factors to getting a good performance is to make sure the artist is comfortable. By asking the drummer to compromise his normal setup, even in the slightest, will detract from his performance. Asking the drummer to raise his hats is like asking a guitar player to change the action of his ax, which would be absurd. I don't think I am being overly dramatic, but maybe some drummers out there could chime in on this point. But, personally I would NEVER ask an artist to compromise the way they have always done things and are comfortable with.
  17. TomK

    TomK Guest

    I agree with Jon!!
  18. DaveRunyan

    DaveRunyan Active Member

    I have probably asked 6 drummers if they minded raising the HH just a bit and never had one complain. I am not talking about raising it a foot or anything like that. Lots of things have to be done when recording that don't have to be considered live. Part of life. As a session bassist I was told every time to change something for what they wanted. Hell I was even handed bass guitars I had never played on before and asked to play the same song in several different keys. Session players get asked to do things all day long.
  19. JonLewis

    JonLewis Guest

    I do not doubt that they did not complain; session players are paid to do what they are asked, some are just happy to be in the studio and some just want to be accommodating and congenial. My point is not weather they will do what you ask, it is how it effects their performance.
    I have the opposite philosophy. It is my opinion that the studio is a controlled environment and should be as relaxed and comfortable (for the artist) as possible. Where live sound is more like damage control from the engineering point of view.
    With all of the “vibe” and “feel” put aside, from the technical perspective you would have to move the hats twice the original distance from the snare mic to get a mere 3dB reduction in bleed.
  20. JonLewis

    JonLewis Guest

    Check this post out ({old-link-removed}). Sound technically sound. I'll have to try it. Curious just how it effects the sound of the snare track. They say it is “musical,” more so than gates anyway.

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