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snare mic Dynamic Microphones
Old 6th July 2002
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
snare mic

It's been quite a while since I have used a 57 on a snare. The mic choices are:
GrooveTubes AM62 picks up a lot of the surrounding drums, but sounds great on snare
GrooveTubes AM40, similar to the 62 but picks up less background.
AKG D224 an old fav of mine.
Sennheiser 409 plus AKG 451, both as a top snare mic.

What are some of your alternatives to the SM57?
Old 6th July 2002
George Massenberg has used the Sennheiser 431. I haven't tried it yet on snare, I trust GM's opinion though. I've also heard good things from a few people about the Beyer 201. I haven't had time to try either of these yet in this application, but credible opinions matter.
Old 6th July 2002
Gear Nut

I've had great results with an AT 4041 when a '57 just isn't cutting it.

Matt Oaks
Old 6th July 2002
Moderator emeritus

A couple of years ago, I went through a phase of using a cardioid Earthworks mic on snare. It worked well, but I'm back to a 57.
Old 6th July 2002
Lives for gear

Depends on the quality of the drummer and the kind of music, but I use the Beyer M201 most of the time.

The Sennheiser MD441 is very good also.

Peace, Han
Old 7th July 2002
Gear Addict

snare mic

I recently went *back* to using a Sennheiser MD441. This is such a great mic. I have generally been micing the an inch from the shell, sometimes facing right into the hole inside the logo. I've also had some great results with an Earthworks QTC1 in the same position.
Old 7th July 2002
57 + sometimes a 451 with 20db pad taped to the 57

Just happened to recently pick up
Beyer 201
& Sen 441

So I will see how I get on next tracking session,

Good to get the Ideas from you guys...

Old 7th July 2002
Capitol Studios Paris
jon's Avatar

I tried a 421/441 combo for a while 3 years ago but am back to getting what I need from a 57 on top and a 414ULS on the bottom.

Much of the overall snare sound for me comes from the tom mics, the OH mics, and the room mics.

The snare top mic really just provides a bit of attack, as well as the snare fx send and the send to an 1176 brought up on another fader.
Old 7th July 2002
There is only one
alphajerk's Avatar

a crown cm700. killer rejection of the crash hat, great crack off the snare... high spl
Old 8th July 2002
One with big hooves
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I use a 57 most of the time. Sometimes I'll break out an AKG D310 which is has a tighter pattern and is a little more crisp. I've also used a Sennheiser 504 or 421 a few times and even a 414B/ULS once or twice in the last year. But 90% of the time I'm using an SM57 to a Daking or 1272. I dunno, it works. If it sounds bad I'll swap it. But, if it sounds bad usually no amount of ****ing around with the mics makes it better.

What inspired you to try the AM62 on snare? Boredom?
Old 8th July 2002
Lives for gear
drundall's Avatar

I think my favorite sound for rock was a 57 top and 441 bottom.

Done the Jules technique of 451 taped to 57. So seventies but sounded great.

Gonna try a 414 on top again as soon as I get a good drummer.grudge
Old 8th July 2002
High End Moderator
mwagener's Avatar
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
[BWhat inspired you to try the AM62 on snare? Boredom? [/B]
Boredom, what is thatheh

No, I had a few engineer students in from MTSU here in Nashville. We set up a snare and tried 10 different mics. We recorded them all to different tracks with the same level and then made a blind comparison. The 57 ended up being very low on the list of favorites, 6 or 7 if I remember right. The AM62 sounded by far the best of all of the tested mics on that particular snare in that particular room (very live), but it turned out later, when used in a kit it picks up too much of the surrounding sounds. The AKG D224E came in second, the GT AM40 third. The test was not very scientific, just to show them what happened by using different mics. We then went and took our favorite three mics and tried them in different positions. It's great having the opportunity to mess around with mic setups without having the client breathing down your neck.
Old 8th July 2002
Lives for gear

I'd love some suggestions for a snare mic with a lot of top end and a scooped 460hz area. I ALWAYS end up boosting 10k and cutting 460ish. It would be nice to find a mic that already did that for me.
Old 9th July 2002
Gear Guru
Drumsound's Avatar
I really like the sound of the ATM 23HE for snare. It was designed for snare and sounds quite good. I usually mic the shell if the drum is wood, and the head if it's metal. Other favorites are 414b/uls on the shell and the Beyer M88 in either position. I need to get a 201 some day.yuktyy
Old 9th July 2002
Lives for gear
davemc's Avatar

Dito the Atm23e.
I tried sm57, m88, md441 and KM85 and like the AT better.
A lot of people talk about a 201 might see if I can find one around here.
Old 9th July 2002
Lives for gear
sonic dogg's Avatar
In my former life as a working studio manager/producer we obtained two mics that became the go to's under all circumstances....both beyers....a 201 and a 422...awesome snare mics...we also had senn 421's 441's and shure sm81's but the beyers were without a doubt the best sounding with the best rejection of them all....i wish i still had i use an audix d-1...and a 57...the audix is nice...made here in oregon locally...try one u might like it........ya know, once i had a client with a huge wood shell snare that defied all traditional methods of acheiving a good sound...the drum itself sounded great in the room but had so many little transient tones that only showed up in close out of sheer frustration i took him off the clock and began the experiment...wound up using a shure sm-7 we had laying bled a lot but man did it sound good....peace
Old 10th July 2002
Motown legend
Bob Olhsson's Avatar

Assuming I'm using the overhead as my main snare mike, the snare mike is only used to add body to the overall sound. I've had great results with 451s, KM-84/86, D-224, Sony C-37 or M-88s. If I need to primaraly use the snare mike, a 57 often wins because of how it sounds in the mix.
Old 10th July 2002
An older sage studio owner Peter Rackham once said to me, "If you get a lot of spill from the hihat - chose a mic for the snare that at least makes that spill sound nice" - he was making reference to the hihat spill sound you can get on an Sm57 - he hated it!

I always though this was a cool viewpoint.

Old 10th July 2002
Gear Addict
cymatics's Avatar

Originally posted by Jules
"If you get a lot of spill from the hihat - chose a mic for the snare that at least makes that spill sound nice"
I like this approach. Last night I put an SM81 on a snare instead of my usual 57 or beta 56. I was pleasantly surprised by the 'usable' hi hat bleed in the snare mike. The off axis hash of a 57 really bugs the **** out of me. I'd like to pick up a Beyer 201 or a KM184 for use as a snare condenser.
I was in a Mars Music yesterday and saw an 'open box' KM184 on clearance for $599!!! I tried to tell the sales guy that these sell for less than that new. He insisted that this particular 'Nooman' mike is hard to find and I should snap it up at this low price.fuuck I ****in hate that store. It serves me right for even going in there.

- Jon
Old 11th July 2002
Gear Head

Originally posted by planet red
I'd love some suggestions for a snare mic with a lot of top end and a scooped 460hz area. I ALWAYS end up boosting 10k and cutting 460ish. It would be nice to find a mic that already did that for me.
Try a Shure SM98 or Beta 98 - I don't know if they have that sort of a top end bost, but they sure seem to have a pretty big mid dip. I use one on snare all the time.

Old 11th July 2002
Here for the gear

As an engineer that works primarily with electronic music(!= dance music), I no doubt seek a slightly different aesthetic when recording acoustic drums. Yet despite this, my own research has arrived at many of same conclusion echoed in this thread. Very interesting.

My current modus operandi involves a 57 for spot miking the snare, reinforced by a stereo pair of Earthwork SR-77's for the overheads. Initially, I was bewildered regarding the 57's success in this application, but after some thought, it all came together.

Early electronic music(does == dance music in this case), made use of analogue synthesis techniques to mold their snares. White noise was filtered appropriately(LP) and the end result compressed to all hell. More recently, techniques like waveshaping have been substituted for simple white noise generation but the effects are very similar. It would seem that imposing nonlinearities on a snare sound either through waveshaping or the "poor" transfer function of a transducer(SM-57), brings the timbre into a more suitable realm. Perhaps then, we should be looking towards "****tier" microphones for spotting snares and save the 414's for other applications. As long as the band limiting of the transducer is more corrosive towards the low end than the "crack" range, the results could be very pleasants. Of course, those interested in accurately capturing the true sound of a drum, will find this useless and to them I apologize for my harangue.

Old 11th July 2002
Lives for gear

Many years ago, in my band days, I ask an engineer in the studio I was working in why engineers nearly always used a 57 on the snare. He said it was because the 57 was not a good enough or fast enough mic to pick up the horrible crap that comes straight away off the snare, and that, other than the initial crack, the mic would only hear the tones once they stabalized. I remember thinking that it sounded like total BS, but it might be true.

Years later, I confirmed this was true - As a live sound engineer doing medium to large FOH systems for all kinds of music, in venues from hotels to 20k sheds and larger arenas, I heard every snare drum there is. The 57 is the only mic that (potentially, at least) worked on them all.

Recently, I tried using one, and then a pair of EW SR77's to mic a snare. Of coarse, the EW gave me exactly what was there, but It didn't sound very good, probably for that reason.

Talking about mic-ing drums, I don't even belong on the stage with some of you guys
Old 13th July 2002
Lives for gear
chap's Avatar

depends on the song, style and drummer but the AM 62 and 40 work great. I thought I was the only one. Even a 414 can be a welcome change from the 57. Or the 57 top and AM40 bottom.
Old 22nd July 2002
Here for the gear
digitaltoast's Avatar
ATM29HE, great for a thick tight snare with a buzz. Gates and compresses well. So well - that it MUST be compressed - not really, but when you do, the snare expands into a wonderful posistion. I'll typically mix in a bit of the lower head via an AT electret condensor 813 or similiar and use delay between the two in order to eq - sort of a roll your own digital eq. Super on airy bass drums also - the big open ones without any padding like jazz drummas enjoy.

I'm currently looking for an entry level studio posistion / or paid internship. All posisbilities considered - if anyone knows anyone looking , rather listening for an engineer please have them contact me - or send me their info and I'll contact them.

Thanks all,
[email protected]
Old 13th April 2010
Gear Nut

back to life
Old 13th April 2010
Lives for gear
Ben B's Avatar

I've said it before, but I'll say it again:

EV RE-16!!! Superb on snare!

-Ben B
Old 14th April 2010
Gear Addict
Heil PR20
Old 14th April 2010
Lives for gear
tapehiss's Avatar
audix i5 and 451EB w/ CK1 on top.

usually an Oktava MK219 on bottom.
Old 14th April 2010
AKG 460 w CK1 on top and either an Earthworks SR77 or Peluso CEM6 on the side
Old 14th April 2010
Lives for gear
AudioWonderland's Avatar

Audix i5 works well. Senn e906 is decent. I even got a decent result from a cheap Samson C02 in the right situation
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