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that hardcore snare sound...
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opus
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24th December 2005
Old 24th December 2005
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that hardcore snare sound...

What is the secret to that soft smack snare sound I hear so much now. I hear it in lots of indie rock , Emo and Hardcore. An example would be like Killswitch Engaged. I know it's compressed to hell but I cant seem to get that sound going.
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24th December 2005
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Get the best snare you can, tune it as well as you can then compress it with a nice compressor with a slow attack and as long a release as the song allows and you should be getting in the ballpark. Oh yeah, get the drummer to actually hit the thing with some gusto.
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24th December 2005
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Yeah, i'd agree with that last point the most. Get a drummer with some balls, if you're the drummer...get some balls. thumbsup

I'd also add that a great punchy preamp (API) will help get you there.

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24th December 2005
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I generally find myself using similar compressor settings on snare no matter what the genre (just what my ear likes). I think it's really the drummer and the drum that make the difference.

Brad
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24th December 2005
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everything they just said, plus a trigger.
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24th December 2005
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on a scale of 5, how much EQ-ing do you put on your snare tracks?
1 would be "i don't touch the EQ" and 5 would be more than 5db pf gain at any frequency.

I prefer a biting snare sound for rock songs, much like what you'd hear on Sunny Day Real Estate's Rising Tide. For metal, if I ever record a metal band, I'd go with Dimmu Borgir phat, bigger-than-the-universe sound.

and i'm a drummer, so i pay more attention to this than anyone else in the band.

thanks,
owen
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24th December 2005
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New heads & tuning also. Tuning is very important to the snare sound. As well as head selection in conjunction with the type of snare. Different depths and shell compositions require different heads. Experiment with the sound coming from the snare first and foremost. I find Bonham's technique using a coated Emperor on metal snares work well. Personally, I typically like coated Ambassador's on wooden shell snares.......but then there's always an exception. My 4" thick 14" diameter tama bell brass snare also likes coated Ambassadors. Experiment with tuning and record your sound while doing it. You'll be surprised at how a low tuned snare records versus how it sounds in the room. Especially with close mics. I've been low tuning my bell brass snare lately with phenominal results....and I have no outboard compressors. Another thing, don't skimp on the snare wires. Get the $40-50 snare wires by Puresound. It'll change the drum. I was skeptical until I tried it. Now it's standard on all my shit. For metal music go bell brass...no doubt about it. If you can't, then go with steel like Bonham. And go deep with the shell depth. The more snare wires the better.
good luck
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24th December 2005
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"on a scale of 5, how much EQ-ing do you put on your snare tracks?
1 would be "i don't touch the EQ" and 5 would be more than 5db pf gain at any frequency."

I would have to say 5. I always get projects where I have to set up fast and mix faster. So it's like a little boost at 300, a bigger cut at 700, a little 8k a little 10k and move on.

Any tips for that kinda tuning. any note's you usually tune your snare to? Top head tighter than bottom? What is the trick?

thanks
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24th December 2005
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EQ on the snare is bad news. If you are able to get your kick and snare nicely in phase and you go EQing your snare or kick, the bleed will really tear your otherwise nice phase relationship all to hell. The solution is to really tune the snare correctly. When tracking, I try to get a solid mix up so I can hear how the kick and snare are sitting in the mix. If I think I need to add some top to the snare, I tune it up or tell the drummer to hit the damn thing like he means it, or both.

For tuning, I like to start with just the top head on. A good place to start is to get the snare to be around an A. I then add the bottom head. I generally like resonant heads to be tuned lower. Sometimes a 5th, but there is no way to really tell. You just have to do it til it sounds good.

I then toss the wires on. Looser and you get a buzzy, more live sounding snare. Tight and you get a "tight" or "dry" sounding snare.

Practice makes perfect. EQ makes poop.
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24th December 2005
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Never eq the snare. Never like the sound, maybe the post by dokushoka explains why, but I just never can make a snare better by eq-ing. I do like to stack snare sounds, tho, and a super fast release on an 1176 can be fun.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad McGowan
I generally find myself using similar compressor settings on snare no matter what the genre (just what my ear likes). I think it's really the drummer and the drum that make the difference.

Brad
I always try to get the compressor to be working with the tempo of the song and with the drummer's dynamics. If you are getting too much stick, and not enough body, a faster attack can help squash the stick down into the decay. For a good drummer, I like an 1176 with a very slow attack, to let the crack of the stick through, then a release that is as long as possible before the next snare hit comes in. Doing this on the kick and snare makes them go pooooooompaaaaaaaaahpooooooompaaaaaaaah
instead of pooom paaaah poooom paaaah if that makes any sense.
I really like the 1176 on snare because the ratios are great at shaping the "body" of the snare and you can drive the output amp to make the snare brighter if need be.
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24th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithrt99
everything they just said, plus a trigger.
I think it's possible a sample is what he's hearing on some of this stuff.
Metal mixes in general have drum samples used to the point of being cartoonish.
Indie rock is slowly catching up sadly enough.
I don't mind sample use here and there, but it's getting to the point where you don't even hear real kit (other than cymbals) on a bunch of rock records now.
Kinda bums me out.
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25th December 2005
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the drums on that killswitch record are mixed with the sounds of triggers.
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25th December 2005
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A recent production of mine had me getting one of those slower attack, longer release snare sounds where the close mic had all the "pop" and the compressed overhead/room gave more of the "shaargh" to the snare in the mix. I had the threshold lower than what looked sensible (you know, according to the meters), but whatever.

EQ is weird on snare, sure. It's hard to fight the "pop" with EQ, but the the "shaargh!", which is a bigger part of the snare's overall character (you know, IMO), is definitely malleable with EQ, and even in a OH/room track, pretty easy to grab because it falls between the brass and the more fundamental frequency elements of the kit.

Of course, I often find myself applying brute force to parts of a kit to get them to do what I want. Brute force, baby. Totally useful.
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26th December 2005
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Killswitch? I'd buy a D4 and trigger, trigger, trigger.
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26th December 2005
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dbx 160 at 6:1 baby!!!!
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26th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max cooper
Never eq the snare. Never like the sound, maybe the post by dokushoka explains why, but I just never can make a snare better by eq-ing. I do like to stack snare sounds, tho, and a super fast release on an 1176 can be fun.

Interesting. Never ever have I NOT eq-ed a close snare mic. Some 3-6k, 10K and perhaps a little cut at 800-1000Hzk and sometimes a boost at 150-300Hz ALWAYS makes the snare sound better.

I do not like plugins though on a snare, quality analogue eq only...

Greetings,
Dirk
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26th December 2005
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that hardcore snare sound...
its all in the drum and the drummer, enough said realy
use an sm57 dont be afraid of EQ'ing it to hell and a dbx compressor is always nice. again all in the drum and the drumemr, you can get the sound with a mixwizzard and a behringer or no comp if you have a good drum and drummer, if not your best bet is properly triggers
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26th December 2005
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Huh? When did hardcore become mainstream? I'm from DC so I rememeber when ...
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26th December 2005
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Re drum tracking...

I start with all the signals flat....no EQ

A URS N12 EQ plug in across the drum buss... (Lift the HF with a 'smile curve' + a touch of 30 hz)
+ a McDSP Compressorbank II or URS SSL clone compressor
+ Cranesong Phoenix tape simulator...Dark Esssence @ 3 O'Clock

THEN add any EQ to the mic's.....if I really need it..
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26th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by picksail
dbx 160 at 6:1 baby!!!!

right on with that !!! also distressor or 1176 can be cool

pretty much though....kick ass drummer, kick ass snare....57 or the like, kick ass pre like a api, neve, hardy, or the like....and some compression

or, get some good samples...that seems to be the way these days...

mixman 499
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26th December 2005
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Yep.........that Killswitch record had Andy Sneaps signature samples in there all right! You can find more info on his website: www.andysneap.com
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Dude,
98 percent of those records are samples. Unfortunately, even indie rock is falling victim to this. I feel the approach fits hardcore better.

Also, I EQ the snare during tracking AND mixing. Usually doesn't take that much if your snare sounds good.

If you can, spend the $$$ to get a drum tech, they're worth their weight in gold if you don't know how to tune a kit yourself. Sadly, many young drummers can't do this very well.
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26th December 2005
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For a long time I tracked my snare with a 2-3db shelf @ 12K (1073).

But now, totally flat: 421/201/e905 -> 1272 -> AD16X.

I use the mic choice to mix it up tonally.

I try to keep it flat in the mix, and get tonal balance by blending in the room mics, if I need more pop, I'll cut lows and compress more.

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The "go to" studio in my area replaces all the tracks with samples and does not tell the client.

You would think the drummers would notice. When I pointed it out to a drummer he said (I swear to you), "The guys there are that good.....they can fix all my bad hits in the mix." They honest to god think it is them playing.
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26th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by discolightning
on a scale of 5, how much EQ-ing do you put on your snare tracks?
1 would be "i don't touch the EQ" and 5 would be more than 5db pf gain at any frequency.
thanks,
owen

I always record top and bottom. The blend usually gives me the sound I need without EQ. I don't eq until I hear the whole kit together with the overheads. If the snare isn't cutting I might eq the SNR top a little, but generally I don't use any. I know a bit about drums so I usually try put together a kit that doesn't need work. I have given up on recording crappy kits plus I hate replacing sounds. It doesn't sit right with me.
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26th December 2005
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I guess Im more in to the real snare sound, more indie side of things. Have anyone here had the chance to hear a Pork Pie big black? I've heard they are just as good as a black beauty. But not as fancy. Most engineers I know think the black beaty is "the" rock snare. Is brass the way to go?
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27th December 2005
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I've been looking for this kind of sound for quite a while too, and I found that it wasn't so much just the right comp. settings, but the right compressor too. I used to always use the BF 1176 plug in for snare, which is less than amazing, but I started trying the Waves C1 and just squashing the hell out of it with a really fast attack and release, and I've been getting great results. I don't really have any fantastic drum compressors to compare this too, but I think the C1 did a great job. Give it a try if you've got it.
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27th December 2005
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I EQ the mult on a snare.

Once in a while i'll EQ the original track if there was kick leaking into it or if its really boring.
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27th December 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Interesting. Never ever have I NOT eq-ed a close snare mic. Some 3-6k, 10K and perhaps a little cut at 800-1000Hzk and sometimes a boost at 150-300Hz ALWAYS makes the snare sound better.

I do not like plugins though on a snare, quality analogue eq only...

Greetings,
Dirk
Sounds like you're using a 57 huh? Try an Audix i5 and all that will be done already for you.

Brad
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