Overhead and snare placement question

Discussion in 'Drums' started by CHUCKY, Apr 5, 2004.


    CHUCKY Guest

    Hello there im new to this forum but am really liking it...
    I have had a enough work in studios to know how to work them but really do not like my engineering skills ( the sound and tones of everything i record )
    I am doing a recording of a Hardcore band ( for those who dont know hardcore is a cross of punk and metal ) in a couple of weeks.
    I have been working with these guys for a little while with a click track to make them tighter musically. The studio we will record the drum tracks in is a fully nice studio ( treated and everthing) and has a decent amout of room in the main studio and acoustical treatment.. Times that i have recorded in the room i have had the drums placed near a wall and have used a XY tech placed over top of the drummer and have not been at all pleased with the tone of everything... I have at my disposal alot of small and large diagram condenser and such for the OH's.. + with reguard to the snare i have no idea how to get a Fat snare something that doesnt sound to distant or to hollow.. I have tryed micing on the top, top + bottom ... but still cant get anything im happy with... what is the best way to do it...

    if anyone could help or give some good suggestions that would be nice

  2. Sebatron

    Sebatron Well-Known Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Try an SM-57 on the snare just over the rim pointing towards the centre... if the preamp has a ' pad ' use it.
    Try and avoid using the condensers for the close miking.
    Maybe tune the snare down just a tad ... if the drummer lets you ...
    Sometimes sticking a short piece of Gaffa Tape on the snare skin will reduce the ' ring ' a bit ..... even a small piece of tissue or cloth can help as well ..... sometimes it can act as an L.P.F.
    If you have a Sebatron preamp , flick the ' deep ' switch to on.

    Forget about any XY technique or textbook $*^t .... this is a 'hardcore' band and you want to capture some attitude.

    Don't worry about miking underneath the snare , it'll only steer you away from the goodness to be had from the skin itself.
    Try reducing ambience or reflections in the room as snares often take off in the upper mid regions.
    It's only rock and roll but we like it. :wink:
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Some snares do well with the mic off the shell, particularly deeper wood shell models (not shallow metal ones). The 57 is a good choice, spend some time with placement. Moving the mic a half inch can make all the difference in the world. Sebatron's on the money re; tuning and taping the head. Also, where the drummer is hitting the head will have a lot to do with the punch factor. A lot of engineers will use compression to accentuate the attack and low end of a snare. IMO, always best to try for the sound you want with no processing. For OH, stay with a small diaphram condensor, and try them in front of the kit about waist high, 3-4 ft back for better balance between drums and cymbals. Whether you wind up with a garage band sound from them will depend on the room treatment. Good luck!
  4. garysjo

    garysjo Active Member

    Jun 15, 2001
    Pembroke, MA
    The first order of business is the drums themselves. Do they sound good in the room? Many drummers (some of them quite good ones) can't tune their drums worth a damn. If they do not sound good to start, nothing you do as an engineer (except flying in samples) will get you where you need to go. Search drum tuning on this and other forums. There are some very good threads on this topic. For me, once the drums are tuned well the heart of the snare resides in the overheads. The snare mic adds whack, but to me the "life and magic" in the snare comes from the overheads and room mics. I prefer XY positioning for overheads, many AE's like spaced pair. My current fav is a Royer SF12 which is a stereo ribbon. Killer in this application. In regard to snare mcs, I used to use 57's all the time. Recently I tried a 421, which many typically use on toms. It was fantastic, great rejection in the hypercardiod pattern and no boxiness or hollowness that often comes from the top close mic on snare. This is what works for me, there are hundreds of other options. Definitely start wth the tuning though.

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