killer Snare drum sound!

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tsunami, Aug 19, 2003.

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  1. tsunami

    tsunami Guest

    HI everybody!
    How about some tips for killer snare drum sound?
    Personally, i've found out that for that big snare sound it got to be alot from the over head mics and room mics!..

    What about you guys?
  2. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    Yes I agree that overhead mic's do that to your snare drum. But the drum itself and the tuning is the most important thing. I also like to put a SM57 under the SD... and mix that signal with the one you get from above the SD. Then work gentle with a dynamic processor (like Waves RCL) on the top mic. And there you have it.
    A special trick to get a real BIG sound is to put pair of mics a few meters away from the drum kit... record them on their own track... then move the track in time on your machine ( Cubase, Logig PT and so on) so that the attack of the snare drum will be tighter with the tracks that you recorded with separate SD mics. Try out were it sounds good. Have this stereo track quite loud in the mix.... This way you will get a big sounding drumkit without the delay from the room.
  3. topher

    topher Guest

    Try this technique called the Smash Mic (similar to what Tore member of Park said). Place a mic (SM57) About 8 inches pointing towards your snare from the toms. and compress the hell out of it. If youve set your compressor right and add it with your other snare mic you should get a big snare sound. And it does help to mic up the bottom of your snare if youve got the mics to do so.
  4. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I just tried a Sennheiser MD441U on a snare instead of my usual SM57, and I really loved the sound! It had more snap and pop than that 57...I am not abandoning my 57, but I did go out and buy a 441 of off EBay the very next day!!! :)
  5. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Here's my penny's worth:
    a) i hate the SM-57... for anything.
    b) i don't really like dynamic moving coil mics for any drum but bass drum.
    c) i don't compress individual drums or drum mics and think that's counter productive to a sound with impact.
    d)more than one mic ona d rum is almost always overkill with the exception of a bottom snare mic.
    e) it's absolutely true that a great snare sound usually exists at LEAST as much in other mics as in the close snare mic.

    i start with a good overall kit picture (for this i like STC/Coles 4038's, but that's taste).
    THESE i may compress slightly (a Fairchild 670 is rather nice <g>)

    i like KM-84's for snare (top and bottom). i don't always use the bottom, but if i need it i am careful to see that the mics are positioned so as to be as closely in or perfectly out of phase as possible (the bottom can be polarity flipped back into phase).
    I roll off lots of bottom on the bottom so all it gets is the snare-y part of the snare, and i mix it in as much as needed to add that component.

    on the top mic, i tend to add a bit of bottom around 100Hz, some crack at 3-4K, and high top at 10K.
    i might roll a bit at 1K if it wants to be buzzier (seems to accentuate the snare rattle sound in a good way, sometimes).

    but the real trick to a killer snare sound is good TUNING on a good drum, and a good room that the drum excites.
    lastly, i find that for 90% of records, the sound is much better if you can get a drummer who does NOT hit the rim on the snare hits (a habit they pick up from playing live); which by the way is easier said than done!
  6. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    see how many ways there are to do things?

    I myself have no problem with 57's top and bottom on snare. Positioning them both parallel to the heads. The bottom one with slight angle up towards the head. Both
    about a 1'" away and a 1" above and below the rims.
    I add maybe 2db of 10K to the top snare. I like Neve pre's & eq's, and agree on of all the above points about drum, drummer and room. Phase: I flip polarity on one realtive to the other.
  7. Dave Nyberg

    Dave Nyberg Guest

    Often you hear the really snappy snare's which sound like a smack on a table with your flat hand. I really don't undersand how they get that. Any tips?
  8. ProJuice

    ProJuice Active Member

    Mar 1, 2009
    Killer Snare - Faking it in the studio?

    Arlo at Pro Juice might pee off a few 'real' drummers with his technique but it's still a pretty good method! This is from his audio tuts podcasts on the Pro Juice website...

    "You can't really get away with just using one snare sample these days. So in this tutorial, I'll show you how to create a killer snare sound for hip hop or breaks, inside of the box."

    Here's the link for the video: Killer Snare Sound

    Hope you dig it.


    Attached Files:

  9. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Even though this is an older resurrected post its great to see responses from recorderman and wwittman as both of these guys are miles beyond the majority of the average poster in terms of experience and discography. I especially liked the fact that they were almost diametrically opposite in their likes and dislikes and yet both can produce excellent results.

    This is why we try out everything.

    With todays technology and the fact we can peek into particular methods through the use of the internet and the books and recordings about certain recordings, it give an even larger palette of colors to paint with.

    The trick, of course, is to choose the right one for the task at hand.

    In the heavy THUD snare sounds of the late 70's and 80's , we would record the snare, usually with a 57, and then run that track back out to an amplifier hooked to a speaker cabinet laying on its back out in the tracking room. Then we'd lay another snare on top of the speaker grill cloth, mike the center of the snare with, usually, an SDC of some kind and run this back into another separate track, usually gating eveything out of the original track except the single impact sound. Then we'd play the track back and record the snare being 'played' by the amp and speaker.

    Just another sound to blend in. This was way before drumagog and stuff like that. Sometimes you could get the track to accurately trigger a drum machine snare. I liked the old Linn machines for this.

    But then just when you thought you had some cool method down, some band would come in and the drummer would be a master at tuning things and would bring an old Camco ten lug and all it needed was a mic.

    Its what makes this fun.
  10. BusterMudd

    BusterMudd Active Member

    Aug 13, 2004
    New York City
    In addition to all the above (especially re: getting a good drummer & a well-tuned drum), here's a tip I picked up decades ago and have probably used every single time I've recorded a drumkit since:

    Get your kick drum sound first. Figure out where the "point" of the kick is, that frequency where all the snap and thwack and (to a lesser degree) click is coming from. If necessary, apply a small boost (peaking filter) to the kick there.

    And then, put a reciprocal dip in the snare EQ at that exact same frequency.

    Doesn't have to be a lot. In fact, if you're cutting the snare (or boosting the kick) by more than 3dB you might wanna revisit that "get a well-tuned drum" thing. But a tiny boost at the kick's point mirrored by a tiny cut in the snare allows your foundational Boom/Bap to mesh gorgeously and sit just right.
  11. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW

    Great Post! Thanks.
  12. cmzoli43

    cmzoli43 Active Member

    Mar 8, 2012
    El Paso
    my first post here im still a noob at recording but for my snare sound i like to Use SM-57s under my snare strand and one on my top head, and usually i use wood tipped sticks that are more rounded to pick up the ghost notes and such but for a big room sounding snare i found acorn tips work best...also helps to have it tuned high on top on my drum dial i believe my top is 90-92 and bottoms are 85-88. Room mics help a lot too and yes the less rim shots the better the sound i have found but for the most part these guys above me have some tricks im gonna try as well =)
  13. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    Transient Designer Rocks.
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