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Fat snare sound.
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fcorl
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#1
6th August 2007
Old 6th August 2007
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Fat snare sound.

I'm trying to get a warmer, fatter snare sound but I'm getting a sound that is a little too flabby (loose and ringy), and a bit more out of tune than fat. I've experimented with a couple different snares and tunings. The best luck I'm having is with a black brass 14 X 6.5. I have been loosely taping a leather wallet over the rim and slightly touching the head to reduce the ring. Not bad but just a tad loose, but If I tighten any more it starts to become the tight snare sound.

I'm getting to much ring in the snare mic and a loose and out of tune head in the overheads.

I've heard most recording techs/engineers say "tight is better" and "crank it down with rim shots on every strike......"

If that is the case, how are engineers and producers getting that nice dry, fat, and intimate sound?
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6th August 2007
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What snare mic are you using? Have you tried a different one?


Try to capture it as good as you can and tweak it after tracking with eq's and comps.

Also have you tried different positions of the mic?

Michael
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6th August 2007
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I just use ALOT of tape over the head....
And tweaking the snares them selves is VERY effective (loosen it normally makes it fatter).

I like very much my 8X14 maple pearl for that purpose.... sounds like a punch in the face.

Anyway.... if you have the time, try recording THE RINGY SOUND and then mixing it.... although I prefer the tight and focused sound of taped snare, ringy sounds good in some mixes too.

Another thing I must say is that with Evans' MX Gold I was able to get THE fattest sound ever. It is a marching band head... sounds weird and good at the same time.

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6th August 2007
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Maybe you could try those vented snare heads from Evans?
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A wallet taped to the head provides the fat snare sound you are talking about. It also depends on the drum, but a deeper Ludwig is usually a great starting point.
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6th August 2007
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One thing that wll help is a real consistent drummer. Grab some big sticks..... 2B Rock.... whatever. Tune the drum pretty loose with a little bit of muffling. If you've got a dynamic mic that is a little bottom heavy, try it out. I'll use a ATM63HE, got the snap of a 57, with less honk and more balls. Light compression going in.... thats that.... Oh yeah. a nice room would help too. You should try to get some of the sound from a room mic.

So,
Big Ass snare.
Big ass sticks,
Play it hard
choose the right mic

salt and pepper to taste.

Thats just me. it seems illogical to crank the skin if you want a fat, big sound.
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6th August 2007
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I have tried a couple snare mics (i5 and SM57) in every position possible. I have also used the Evans Dry head on the maple snare and I like it. I haven't changed heads on the brass yet. I do love the ring at times, but I also want a dryer sound too. I also like looser snares and hate the sound of tight (chocked) snares, (although I was messing around with the tightness of the wires the other day "while the hard drive was rolling" and even though the looser snares sounded better "in the room", it recorded better with tighter snares.....?????

I hate the idea of smothering the drum with tape or towels, but maybe a bit more dampening is the answer. I would rather get it right going in than have to go crazy with EQ, etc....
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6th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Methlab View Post
A wallet taped to the head provides the fat snare sound you are talking about. It also depends on the drum, but a deeper Ludwig is usually a great starting point.
Thats my basic setup.... Wallet taped to the head of 14X6.5 (Black Brass.... very similar to a Black Beauty)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorl View Post
Thats my basic setup.... Wallet taped to the head of 14X6.5 (Black Brass.... very similar to a Black Beauty)
Doh..I didnt catch that in your post until second read. Ok if you are still having issues, I would reccoemnd paying a guy who tunes drums to come out for an hour or so and see if he can do it with that snare. It should cost you less then 100 bucks, and it be well worth the investment, because he can show you exactly what to do..especially if you have audio examples.

I would also say that you may need to slip a sample under there.
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6th August 2007
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I started this thread out thinking of snares, then all I can think of
is Methlabs icon !
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6th August 2007
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You use the words "fat" and "dry" to describe the same sound. I think of those as being opposites. Could you give me an idea of how they work together?
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If you don't like take, you could also try some moongels. These things are awesome and don not leave any residue on the drums. They seem to be the perfect for snares and toms.

I have a 6x14 copper snare and it sounds like a beast with a moongel and a 57 going thru some API's.
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gibralter also makes a cheap external muffler you might consider. Its more adjustable than a wallet.
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If you haven't tried it already you should definately try moongel.

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If you're getting alot of ring or alot of the of the top head, try this, take you're microphone and instead of pointing it down at the snare head place the mic as if you're micing the shell. Then raise it so maybe half the capsule is poking over the top of the head. Also I recommend the mic being back from the rim about an inch. Take a second mic and point it at the shell, down lower on the drum. Adjust the phase if need be, voila! very little head and a nice snappy sound. If you're still getting some ringing
you can try alittle moongel, but this should get you there
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fcorl
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6th August 2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russelldl View Post
You use the words "fat" and "dry" to describe the same sound. I think of those as being opposites. Could you give me an idea of how they work together?
russelldl
By fat I mean thick, warm, and close. Not huge and reverberating.


Quote:
If you haven't tried it already you should definately try moongel.
Yup, got some.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
If you're getting alot of ring or alot of the of the top head, try this, take you're microphone and instead of pointing it down at the snare head place the mic as if you're micing the shell. Then raise it so maybe half the capsule is poking over the top of the head. Also I recommend the mic being back from the rim about an inch. Take a second mic and point it at the shell, down lower on the drum. Adjust the phase if need be, voila! very little head and a nice snappy sound. If you're still getting some ringing
you can try alittle moongel, but this should get you there
Thanks, I'll try that. Is that 2nd mic a side technique as well? Do you mean place it closer to bottom head but pointed at the shell and perpendicular to the shell.
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+1 on Evans heads. Makes a big difference.
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All of the above and a light boost at 200hz.

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Point the close mic to the center of the snare drum. Parallel compress a little, put some reverb on but not enough to really notice. A squashed room mic blended in underneath it helps a little too.

Thats how I do it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russelldl View Post
You use the words "fat" and "dry" to describe the same sound. I think of those as being opposites. Could you give me an idea of how they work together?
russelldl
Here is an examples. And, before the flamming for band choices start, I'm simply posting an example of a specific style of snare snare sound, not my favorite band that I wish to copy

YouTube - Jet - Look What You'Ve Done
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKK View Post
All of the above and a light boost at 200hz.

yeah..200hz is your friend..Also, if you are getting it right during micing, if you look at it through a spectrum when tracking (no sub for your ears, but humor me) you will see a lot of energy in that 200hz area when the snare is nice and fat like you are describing.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcorl View Post
Thanks, I'll try that. Is that 2nd mic a side technique as well? Do you mean place it closer to bottom head but pointed at the shell and perpendicular to the shell.
Since you're actually micing the shell with the second mic, absolutely. What I prefer about the shell mic is you get none of that rattiness that you do with the under the snare mic. Dont forget to check phase!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by firby View Post
Point the close mic to the center of the snare drum. Parallel compress a little, put some reverb on but not enough to really notice. A squashed room mic blended in underneath it helps a little too.

Thats how I do it.
I think if you want alot of the sound of the top head that would be a thing to do. I could be wrong but I think that's what he's complaining that he's getting too much of
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Evan's E-Rings work the best for me. Remo also makes their RemOs. Just little plastic rings that lay on the head. I find that they muffle but dont kill the the tone. I use them on all my toms as well. Just nice punchy tone.
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eq

capture it as best as you can then eq. try a wide cut, yes folks a wide cut around 500hz by like 2 or 3 db then do a tiny narrow boost around the 250 hz then go back up the top and boost around 8mhz for some snap and brightness. if you have to put a small panned delay on it
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A lot of great feedback here!

My 10 step program when I am trying to get snappy, fat snare sounds:

1.properly tune the snare (I like the bottom head to be tuned a half step lower, with a slightly tighter "basket")
2.pull the mic (beyer m160, 57, i5) back slightly (3-4")
3.aim it to where the strikes are (thin, coated heads)
4.use an API 512
5.medium attack on compressor (1176)
6.fast release if I want more snare side sound
7.slow release if I want less snare side sound
8.add a little top end (5k or so)
9.boost around 180-250hz (slight dip around 500hz in some cases)
10. use a nice plate reverb on the OH mics or simply record in a great room
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I've been trying to get a fat slap sound out of the snare. I'm against EQing the snare if you're using plug ins. Try this: tune the snare (as always) and use an SM57 or a ribbon mic like the Apex 205. Then put a LDC under the snare. Then put a little piece of tape and maybe a bit of kleenex on the top head. Don't put too much or it will kill the slappiness. Use a compressor but make sure it's a bright compressor not a dark one. For me this means using my FMR RNC over my ART PRO VLA. I think that a mic on the snare of the snare will help you get a brighter sound. Make sure that you're tuning the snare to be fat WITHIN a certain reasonable amount. All snares have an ideal tuning and you can only adjust them so much away from that before they start sounding ugly. I don't know how much access you have to snares but piccolo snares give a nice "whap". If you're going for a fat sound (whatever that means), maybe you want a nicely tuned deep snare. Good luck... as with all acoustic instruments, I recommend to try to get the best sound you can before EQ, because low end EQ sounds just plain bad.
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