Getting a nice "crack" out of the snare?
#31
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #31
The Audio Whisperer
 
donsolo's Avatar
I don't know about that, I heard a drum sound here friday that made me want to vomit. I would have rather had that be a Boss Dr Rythym than this drum sound...you could really tell it was like Behringer SDC squished and VERY little close mic...the drums just had no definition.

The thing about drum triggering is that it creates one of two effects:
Super smooth even hits that are VERY radio-ready
Realistic drum hits that are affected by velocity IE Brighter as they're hit harder.

Where those Steven Slate drums excell really is if you load em into Drumagog and do Effect 1, Doing effect two requires some heavy Sampling experience that'll give you the concept of Velocity layering. I will be more than glad to help anyone who's using Kontakt 1 or 2 as their sampler to load samples into it.
#32
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #32
Moderator
 
Tim Farrant's Avatar
 

What is the obseesion with plug in's to "fix it".

I am sick of all the crap bullshit DAW plugins that are supposed to fix the mistakes of poor recordings. If you cannot get a good snare sound with the tools you have, preamps and mics, maybe you just need a drummer who can hit the damn thing hard enough!!

Failing that, use a compressor with a slow attack around 150mS or more, and a fast release around the same. make it pump. Should do the trick.
#33
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #33
Gear addict
 
AudioFocus's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BOWIE View Post
The elusive crack you've been chasing is probably not possible because you're probably listening to a snare that's been mixed w/ a trigger (most of the modern albums). You CAN get a great snare w/o triggers but if you really want "that sound" it's all in the trigger sample.
i, personally, hate samples and I prefer to be generous w/ the bottom snare mic. Compress that sucker and rely of the top of the snare for attack and "pop"
Have to agree with you on this one. A well miked snare bottom is essential to a killer
snare sound. While alot of people use cndsr mics, I prefer a dynamic. You can get closer to the sound source without endangering your mic or getting a shitload of distortion. I am partial to the Shure Beta56.

Hope that helps.

Cheers,
Creston
#34
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #34
Lives for gear
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
bull, mic it right , hit it right and mix it right, and you don't need no steenking samples
Andy Wallace, Chris Lord-Alge, and many others would disagree w/ you.
#35
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #35
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moracspace View Post

25 years of engineering and i never used a sample or trigger.My clients come to me for that reason.They want the real thing 99% of the time.
The 1% i send to home studio guys,that manipulate everything to sound so fake.
Its weird I've never had a label or any client for that matter contact me and even mention whether or not I'm going to use samples. Most of the time my clients come to me to make the mix sound kick ass, and don't really give a shit how I do it. You're making it seem as if using samples isn't genuine and is for "home studio guys". Well we've sold a lot of samples to guys who make records that sell in the millions. And oddly enough, their records don't sound fake. We've also sold to guys who haven't yet sold a few million records, home studio guys as you'd call them. And again, there is some amazing talent out there and I've reposted a lot of there mixes, they sound awesome.

Samples or no samples, it doesn't make the mix. The mixer makes the mix.
#36
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #36
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post

Samples or no samples, it doesn't make the mix. The mixer makes the mix.


Damn straight!

I find that using compression to bring the snare hits to a more even level does hinder the crack a bit. I am keeping the attack at around 30ms. It just lets a tiny bit of transient through. To get more snap, I am using Dominion to give a little transient boost. it depends on the mix but around 35ms at 4-6db cuts right through anything you can throw at it.

I also run a parallel track of the snare, super heavily gated, intoits own verb. You can tune the verb to give the snare damn nearly any body tone you want. Running the snare verb into another drum bus verb, and panning off a little give the room a whole new dimension. Use a tiny amount of predelay on the snare verb to make the "room" bigger.
#37
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #37
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peeder's Avatar
 

Reality is ugly.

That's why I love it.
#38
18th March 2007
Old 18th March 2007
  #38
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djui5's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Farrant View Post
What is the obseesion with plug in's to "fix it".

I am sick of all the crap bullshit DAW plugins that are supposed to fix the mistakes of poor recordings. If you cannot get a good snare sound with the tools you have, preamps and mics, maybe you just need a drummer who can hit the damn thing hard enough!!


#39
6th February 2008
Old 6th February 2008
  #39
Gear addict
 

Old thread, but that doesn't stop me. Other things to look at that I didn't see mentioned here are the room treatment and how hard are you hitting the cymbals (want more snare crack in the mix? hit the cymbals softer!)?

Based on your gear, and because you said the kit sounds good in the room, I'll assume you've tuned it and have new enough heads on there so that you're getting the sound you'd like to hear on tape (or DAW). When the instrument sounds good but the recording doesn't, and the mic's and pre's aren't total crap, you need to look at (1) the room treatment and (2) mic placement. But first the room. If it's poorly treated, you'll get bad phasing in the high end and a muddy low end that sucks all the energy out of everything around it when you go to mix it.

The other thing is that, the way playing in a room sounds good, doesn't always translate in a DAW because microphones' "ears" aren't as sophisticated as ours. And when I refer to our "ears", I'm talking about how we perceive sound in the brain as well. Anyway, that's what I was getting at with hitting the cymbals quieter: sitting there behind the kit (or even in front of it while someone else plays), you can hit cymbals pretty hard and still hear the snare. Our ears/brain help us with that. Microphones aren't that suave (bad room treatment will only make it worse!). The snare gets masked. You can't really fix it in the mix, especially if want the thwak sound (hence sample triggers), because the cymbals now own the high end. Cymbals don't have to be loud to be effective. Definitely something to pay attention to while listening to recordings that you like.
#40
6th February 2008
Old 6th February 2008
  #40
Gear nut
 
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Generally to get a little more crack out of the snare i tend to tune it up a little dryer then i normally would like my drum to be, even useing bandaids (or moongel if you want to get fancy) to dampen the ringout a little. Once the drum sounds nice and crispy, your next step is going to be a gate after its tracked. What most people define as "Crack" is actually more due to the lack of sound after the fundamentel sound of the stick strikeing the head, so use a gate on the top snare track to cut the snare to a shortness of your likeing. Dont be afraid to go pretty short (mine is usually ending up between 30 and 50 ms lately, but you have to experiment) because you're overheads are going to make it sound natural in the mix. Then, compress it, and eq it paying attention to cutting out the ringing in the mids and boosts in the 5k area and 10k area (again, you'll have to look for the sweet spots in the frequency range to boost and cut). That should get you pretty close, so theres my 2c.
#41
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #41
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DamnYankee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewd View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm a drummer who owns a home studio. I'm never satisfied with my snare sounds. It never sounds out front enough and doesn't have the "crack" that it needs. I'm confident with my mics (57, 58, Audix drum mic set, AEA Ribbon, KSM44), pres (UA M610, Presonus ADL 600, Blue Robbie) and converters but I am pretty new at enginnering. Any tips that have proven effective?

Thanks for any info!
D
The crack you seek lies in your drumming technique (or rather, lack of). When you learn to hit with both force and pop of the wrist, she'll sound like a gunshot and you won't need much compression or eq'ing...
#42
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #42
Gear addict
 
rockrev's Avatar
 

This is where room mics and a GAK track make the difference (IMHO).

dj
BLP
#43
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #43
BLP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by username View Post
Try a small diaphragm condenser. When I want a realy cracky snare, I've found 451's to do a reasonable job.. though I'm not much of a fan of those mics in general.

depending on the snare sometimes a snare bottom mic can make the snare stand out abit..
I'm a big fan of the 451 in conjunction with a 57 (an old trick, I know...). Tape them together (try align the diaphragms) and use that as your top mic system and then another dynamic on the bottom. Reject the hi hat, aim at the center... Just the usual.
#44
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #44
Gear addict
 
svart's Avatar
 

Bah!

C'mon give up some of the secrets folks!

I'll tell you mine.

Just because a drum sounds good to your ear doesn't mean that they will sound good to a mic. Snare is the hardest drum to get a good sound from and professionals will do all kinds of things to make them sound good to the mics. I have been around a lot of this and can tell you that a lot of times the drums sound TERRIBLE in the studio room but sound magical on the recording. Don't let these folks tell you otherwise

you want more crack? As a drummer who records here are my tips:

1. move the mic away from the drum. The loss of boom will automatically make it sound like it has more snap.

2. lower the angle of the mic. Pointing down at the drum will get you more boom, pointing inwards towards the side of the drum will get you more shell/crack, likewise, point away from the center and towards the rim and you will get more crack.

3. Use a smaller diameter drum with a deep shell. This will get you crack like no other. I have a 12x8 just for the crack sound.

4. to get crack with ONE mic and still retain some of the fatness regardless of the size of the drum, get a thicker single ply top head and a extra thin bottom head. Tune the bottom head as LOOSE as you can tune and still hold the note you want and then tune the top head TIGHT but in tune with the lower head. tighten and loosen the snare wires while you hit it to get the right balance of crack and buzz through the MIC. It WILL be extremely buzzy to your ears but it will sound great to the mic.

5. When all else fails, lose the 57 and get an M201.. Oktava 219 sounds good too on small snares..
#45
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #45
Gear addict
 

Transient Designer

#46
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #46
3 + infractions, forum membership suspended.
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewd View Post
Hi Folks,

I'm a drummer who owns a home studio. I'm never satisfied with my snare sounds. It never sounds out front enough and doesn't have the "crack" that it needs. I'm confident with my mics (57, 58, Audix drum mic set, AEA Ribbon, KSM44), pres (UA M610, Presonus ADL 600, Blue Robbie) and converters but I am pretty new at enginnering. Any tips that have proven effective?

Thanks for any info!
D
Does the snare 'crack' when youre 5 feet in front of it?

if not. Tune it properly? Change the heads? try differnt head brands/meterials? Try different size sticks. Differnt tip materials? Try hitting it in the sweet spot? try a different snare? try a different room?

If it doesn't crack the mic/pre/comp certainly won't generate the crack for you. If the snare has the crack when played then it's mic placement. Direct and distant.
#47
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #47
The Audio Whisperer
 
donsolo's Avatar
Ok so we revived this old horse. Here are some things to keep in mind.

Time alignment and phase alignment are not (I repeat NOT the same thing. You can adjust the initial attack but you'll wind up with weird phasing sounds in the tail end where the natural reverb of the room comes into play. This is NOT a viable method as you really create a delay between the two tracks but only in the tail end.

As for the drum technique comments, you apparently don't do too much "for money" recording or you'd find that you can't actually tell a drummer to go home and practice. You'll wind up with a band that doesn't ever book time again. At least that's true in my part of town. Sample replacement also smooths out the tonal differences between snare hits. Sample replacement is the same thing as Autotune these days. You need to be prepared to use it if you're looking to make music that comes anywhere close to top-40 radio.

It's honorable to want to make records on tape with minimal edits and capturing that "Magical Take" but bands just don't want to pay for the studio time that is required to do that. I LOVE The Doors and their first album was recorded over a weekend. It sounds great but there's too much imperfection (Humanization, Life, Soul, whatever you want to call it) for it to be truly commercially viable today in the form that was captured then. I caught some real flack on Moan Zone after saying something along these lines about the Beatles. I love the Beatles but we just aren't making records like that anymore, at least not for commercial release.

If you want to take the honorable road and try to capture that "Magical Sound" in the room with the band, you're probably lying to yourselves. Do you have compression? Do you use it? How about Reverb? Do you close mic the drums? Of course you do. My point is that those of you who are touting the high road of "Get it right on tape" are very right in many regards. Unfortunately, the tides have changed to a point where everyone wants Pink Floyd perfection on a budget that was equivalent to Pink Floyd's drug/alcohol/cigarette use for one day (I included Syd though).

The reason we use sample replacement, vocal track comping, compression, auto-tune and deep editing is because we're trying to fix problems because the band can't afford to sit there and record it 100 more times. If they were better, they wouldn't have to worry about it but last I checked, they're the ones paying and they decided they want to make a record. And after years of hearing radio hits like this, your ear as become accustomed to the sounds of these things.

I'm on the fence. If I have the luxury of getting it 100% perfect on a single take, I'll take it and be thrilled but my experience has taught me that this is really the minority of all recording sessions.
#48
7th February 2008
Old 7th February 2008
  #48
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Chris's Avatar
 

I like miking the shell. I had no crack before I miked the shell.
#49
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #49
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junior's Avatar
 

I never thought this thread would get so long and intricate...

Want maximum crack at the source? A 52-strand strainer and diecast batter hoop will add crack to ANY snare drum. Pretty simple and not too expensive.
#50
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #50
Gear maniac
 
johnbohn's Avatar
 

A good sized room with a decent snare drum tuned properly.
#51
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #51
Banned
 

Give it a squash. Compress upto -10 dB, slow attack to let the main THWACK come through then a fast release to bring up the body of the drum. The bottom head helps alot too. That's what we used to do before Steve Slate came round and revolutionised drum sounds with his sample collection.
EJW
#52
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #52
EJW
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I don't know if it's already been said but - besides a good source (snare that has a nice crack - and I'd recommend a Musashi if you're looking for a good priced one), a bottom mic on the snare will do wonders.
#53
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #53
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Long_Shaded_Eye's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by moon_unit View Post
* Compress using an aggressive attack time and medium fast release.
I'm not sure that an aggresive attack time will add more crack to that snare ...

/Nick.
#54
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #54
Lives for gear
 

Recording with plenty of headroom in the mic-pre is quite useful if you want good, powerful snare sound.

Compression is for bad drummers or bad drums!

Andy
#55
8th February 2008
Old 8th February 2008
  #55
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svart's Avatar
 

We all understand the whole idea of the "perfect drummer/drum/room" and understand that is the easy way to get a great sound but that isn't possible for the little guys most of the time. To make this thread useful and somewhat different from the 457348937 other threads like it, lets get away from the "me too" attitude of the "perfect drummer/drum/room" statements and focus on getting the most out of what you have at hand.

I tend to use 1 mic and move it around to get the balance of what I want out of the snare. Multiple mics can help and/or hurt but sometimes take too long to get sorted out with polarity problems, freq/resonance/response differences, etc.

once you get the 1 mic sounding sort of how you want it, mult the signal from the recording device to two tracks. I tend to use one track uncompressed and tweak the EQ for the top end sizzle and then compress the other track after EQ and use it for the low end thump. You can then adjust the levels independently without resorting to trying to using large amounts of EQ and/or compression on one track. I tend to compress the low freq component after EQ because it keeps the cymbals as such under much better control. It will take some time to get it right but after you do it a few times you will *know* how to do it.
#56
9th February 2008
Old 9th February 2008
  #56
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illacov's Avatar
 

Red face Hows this for crack?

I tried a trick with a peace of crap Pacific snare (free at guitar center one day!)

Tune both top and bottom to the point of damn near splitting the head.

Tighten the strainer and tight as you can.

Try one overhead mike (MXL V67i on warm), one sdc on snare (i used an mxl 991), I used two kick drum mics (SM58 and Cad drum pack kick mic (CHEEP) (both inside the soundhole) (I put tons of moongels on the resonant head) with a blanket inside the kick and for a nice little trick I used the two pencil condensers from the CAD drum pack on CHAIRS about butt height to be honest, in stereo.

I probably have sh*tloads of phase issues, but all I used for processing was Ferox VST (Free), Pushtec eq (Free), (Antress Modern Fairchild clone).

All recorded in mixed in Reaper. There is definately some crappy noise in the recording because I'm waiting on my Mackie Onyx 24 channel board, but the stereo mics were run into PM1000 pres with upgraded caps and some mics went into ADA8000 channels but the rest like MXL V67i went into a Peavey PV14 (borrowed from our live gear) just for the hell of it. I never recorded drums before with multiple mikes but hopefully you'll appreciate my attempts at getting some cool sounds. I hear crack in a crushed kind of Led Zepp kind of way.
Check out the snippets. Let me know what you think.


Peace
Illumination
Attached Files
File Type: mp3 drums4.mp3 (1.17 MB, 240 views)
#57
9th February 2008
Old 9th February 2008
  #57
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bang View Post
Its weird I've never had a label or any client for that matter contact me and even mention whether or not I'm going to use samples. Most of the time my clients come to me to make the mix sound kick ass, and don't really give a shit how I do it. You're making it seem as if using samples isn't genuine and is for "home studio guys". Well we've sold a lot of samples to guys who make records that sell in the millions. And oddly enough, their records don't sound fake. We've also sold to guys who haven't yet sold a few million records, home studio guys as you'd call them. And again, there is some amazing talent out there and I've reposted a lot of there mixes, they sound awesome.

Samples or no samples, it doesn't make the mix. The mixer makes the mix.
the problem is...you get noobs that think the first thing you should do is use samples instead of first trying to tune a drum, mic it properly, and so on. in my opinion, using samples is just being lazy or being cheap. and when i say cheap, a drummer should get new heads when needed. and if you have a $250.00 pawnshop drumset that has been through hell before you bought it. but thats just my opinion.
#58
9th February 2008
Old 9th February 2008
  #58
Lives for gear
 

why do you worry about these noobs? If someone doesn't take the time to learn about drums, heads, micing, tuning, shells, its their own loss.

Drums are a fascinating instrument. They are also a lot of fun and very rewarding once recorded right.

One of the most asked questions I get is "how do you get your drum sounds" and my first line of advice is to rent 10 snare drums with some Ambassador heads, book a nice studio room, get and Audix i5 and some Audix SCX 25s, and experiment for 10 hours. Besides being a ton of fun, you'll learn a LOT.
#59
9th February 2008
Old 9th February 2008
  #59
The Audio Whisperer
 
donsolo's Avatar
I think the problem is that you're taught "get it right before tape" which is all fun and games if you're recording your own band for free.

Budgets just aren't what they used to be.

And I think the Low End has a lot of N00bs trolling around so it's important to keep them in mind and not misdirect them.

But it's OBVIOUS that if you have a good source, you'll get a good recording.

And this thing is 3 pages long full of "Dude, just get better drums."

Quit throwing money at a problem.

And drummers rarely are humble enough to admit they suck.
Ben
#60
10th February 2008
Old 10th February 2008
  #60
Ben
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grasshopper View Post
Wow, really?

Taking Back Sunday = rimshots
Underoath = rimshots
My Chemical Romance = rimshots
Nirvana = rimshots
Strike Anywhere = rimshots
Green Day = rimshots
Blink 182 = rimshots
Led Zeplin = rimshots

The list goes on and on and on and on. Are you sure you know what a rimshot is? I think in the 80's they were using samples for hair bands with reverse reverb.

I'm a drummer with a studio. I used to all-day rimshot until I was in a band with a more dynamic, far less aggressive sound and I realized that while a rimshot is a cool trick to get the snare to cut through a wall of distorted guitars (also a neat trick) especially live, it sounds ridiculous cracking out over a band with a more mellow sound. I'm with the guy who said "hit the drum harder" if you need the drum to sound like it has hit harder. You will avoid that ringy ping sound that can be unwanted and comes along with a rimshot on most snares.
If you intend to record diverse music styles and other drummers for that matter this trick will obviously pose a problem. It is nice to know you can get a somewhat decent "crack" sound from drummers who just can't get it themselves or don't have the snare to get it. Therefore I suggest trying the different tuning methods, mic placements, compression settings, and eq techniques suggested in this thread.
All said, there will never be any trick to substitute a bad a$$ drummer with nicely tuned drums and good, tasteful technique.
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