snare mic position

Discussion in 'Drums' started by huub, Jul 29, 2004.

  1. huub

    huub Guest

    hey there!
    whenever i record drums, i end up with a rather dull snare sound..
    i use the usual mics (sm57, sometimes together with a Neumann km 140).the bottom mic doesnt give me the brightness i'm looking for, and i dont really like the bottomsound anyway...i end up eqing and aural exciting to get a decent sound, but that ofcourse makes my hihat leakage even more of a problem..
    where do you guys point the mic at? as close as possible, aimed at the middle or the side of the snare?
    please share your experience, and i'll be eternally grateful!!
  2. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003

    I find that no matter what mic or position i use there is always a freq i wish to take out with the snare. ( i can hear everybody going "duh")

    I generaly scan the 300hz to 700hz region to find exactly what i want to take out, not too much though or it can start to lack a bit of body. Then i usualy add anywhere between 100 and 300hz, again scanning to see exactly where the sweet spot is, just to give it a bit of beef.
    I may sometimes add a little higher up in the spectrum depending on what sound im going for.

    Then I compress it.

    You mentioned you get a lot of hat leakage when you eq your snare, what are you boosting? Sometimes we associate treble with volume, maybe all you have to do is comp it a little??

    As for positioning, I place the mic in a spot i think is ok, then i get the drummer to play hats while monitoring the snare mic, i get someone to move it around a little to find the best point of rejection ( for hats) and best point of pickup for snare, a fine line!!
    Generaly pointed at the centre. I dont like to have it extremely close, i like to give the snare hit a chance to develop.

    I like 57's but i also use a beta 57, give it a try, you may like it.

    Also, you said you mic the bottom, have you checked for any phase problems happening?

    I dont know if my way of working is the correct way but so far i have been happy with my snare sounds! :D


    BTW, a good drummer and snare helps!!
  3. johnthemiracle

    johnthemiracle Active Member

    Jul 26, 2004
    vienna, austria
    Home Page:
    hi guys!

    leakage: try to position the mic near oder below (probably impossible) the hihat, pointing away from the hat. provided it's a cardoid that should cancel out most hi freq leaking from the hat.

    mic pointed at snare center: more tone
    mic pointed at snare rim: more percussive "splang!"

    a good idea is to take the hi end snare content from the overheads, not from the snare mic. (provided the overhead is placed correctly to capture the whole set).

    other than that..snares can be "dull" sometimes, sharp snares were en vogue in the 80's...i thinnk...
  4. huub

    huub Guest

    oh, believe me, i seriously compress my snare..
    but the thing is, i normally mix live music.(not p.a., but i work in broadcasting)
    I get whatever the p.a. feeds me, wich is an sm 57 mostly..the mic is placed by the p.a. company, and i never have problems with those snares being overly dull..but when i record by myself, i do get those problems..the last band i did had an acoustically fine sounding snare, i use good mics, neve preamps..must be my positioning..
    i don't get it!!
  5. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    maybe you should try turning off the comp !!!

    i did all my live snare without any comp and just took a bit of the "box" sound out of it.... a bit of highpass .... and maybe lift some at 4 to 5 kHz

    if it still sounds dull check you mic and p.a. ...

    i always start off by playing a couple of cd's and set the master eq to match the way i think a p.a. should sound...
  6. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    I pretty much always use a pair of 57's. Parrallel to the heads, looking across both heads respectively, about an inch to an inch and a half above and below the rims respectively. Since this orients the mics to ninety degrees (relative to the OH's) check phase on both, sometimes it's not automatically the bottom that needs flipping (if). After that, I usually just add some top end to the top mic and hi pass both at the mix. If it's a bad snare drum then more radical eq , etc. Always sounds like a snare, easy.
  7. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    hows this for wrong. I once comped the hell out of a snare and boosted tones of 800. yes 800 not 8k or anything like that. Soloed it was real weird but in the mix I would punch the eq in and out to see and everyone, including myself thought the eq made the whole mix louder and cooler and really very mean sounding. Its was hard rock so mean was the name of the game.
  8. iznogood

    iznogood Member

    Feb 9, 2004
    hows this for wrong.

    there's no such thing as "wrong"!!!!
  9. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    I agree with the comment about getting the upper mids and high end info from the OH mics. I'm using an EV RE-38 for snare these days, very large diaphragm neodymium dynamic. Together with the OH's, I'm getting lotsa meat with good definition micing close over the rim at roughly 45 degrees. Try a bigger mic for giggles.
  10. huub

    huub Guest

    recorderman: parallel as in as in not so much pointing at the snare, but pointing over it?
    eeeehm, i hope you understand this somewhat questionable sentnce...
  11. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest


    I've been trying to keep the hi-hat out of my snare mic ever since I started recording my band- and it was always a pain because my drummer's setup kept me from putting the snare mic near or under the hi-hats...

    Using a Beta57 - a hypercardioid - made the difference. The angle of greatest rejection is easier to get for me.

    I don't know if this'll help you out at all or not...

  12. Doublehelix

    Doublehelix Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2001
    I've been using a 57 on the top and a Sennheiser MD441 on the great! Miking the snare bottom really helps with the crack of the snare, and should get rid of the dullness.
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