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Snare drum preamp / microphone
Old 4th September 2003
  #1
Here for the gear
 
cvikman's Avatar
 

Snare drum preamp / microphone

On my day to day recording sessions, I use a shure sm57 and a vintech audio X81 preamp for my top snaredrum microphone when multitracking drums, what do you guys out there use ? What preamp do you prefere to use ? What microphone ?
Old 4th September 2003
  #2
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e-cue's Avatar
 

If I'm doing "top" micing on a snare, I usually use a 57 and a 414 on the top for some crispy harshness with either API or Sytek pres. I've used the Vintech and thought it sounded pretty damn good, looking at just the snare pre(s) are kinda like looking and one tree in the forest. The APIs and Syteks work better tonal-wise for me with how I approach mic'ing the rst of the kit.

Honestly, I haven't top mic'ed a snare in a while. I usually prefer mic'ing the shell which gives me more "crack" and sounds a lot more representative of what a snare actually sounds like.
Old 4th September 2003
  #3
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Wiggy Neve Slut's Avatar
 

Well for me its both a 1073 or API 3124..

I find i can get the tone and or colour that i am looking for out these two. Same for kiks as well, although i like my Shep on kiks a bit more as its a bit more tighter in the bottom end department and the EQ is a bit more flexible in the mids and low mids which is where i like to 'carve' a lot of **** outa that range.

E-Cue:...

Pls explain the shel miking a bit more.. i have read a bit about it lately and have not really seen it performed by anyone out here. Does it work better for phase relationships?
Do you still find urself using a bottom mic as well.. igven the close proximity of the snare strainer?

Cheers
Wiggy
Old 4th September 2003
  #4
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

I used to use a 1073 on snare mics but lately have been liking the Chandler TG2 for that application (57 on top, 414 on bottom).

The TG2 is both colored and open-sounding (more open than the 1073 or API pres). I don't like it for tracking vox, but for snare, toms and overheads the TG2 has been good to me lately.

Jon
Old 4th September 2003
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
Well for me its both a 1073 or API 3124..
Same here except the API is a 512c.
Equally as good is the UA2108 on snare. Very aggressive when pushed.
Old 4th September 2003
  #6
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littledog's Avatar
 

i'm always trying something new.

last couple of sessions i used an Oktava mc012 with the screw in pad on top through a vintech 1272. worked great.

but admittedly, at least 75% of my snare sound comes from my overheads.
Old 4th September 2003
  #7
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Wiggy Neve Slut
E-Cue:...

Pls explain the shel miking a bit more.. i have read a bit about it lately and have not really seen it performed by anyone out here. Does it work better for phase relationships?
Do you still find urself using a bottom mic as well.. igven the close proximity of the snare strainer?

Cheers
Wiggy
Well, when you stick your head above the snare drum and hit it, what does it sound like to you? Kinda like a ton with snares on it? I just noticed the snare sound more like a snare when I mic'ed the side of the shell. It's nothing new or really innovative. The downside of course is that you'll get extra bleed. I usually use copper tube insulation or in a pinch folded tissue paper console taped to the mic to block the path from the sound I don't want too much of (like hi hat). I usually don't need to mic the bottom snare, but almost always do. If you are looking for a 311 type snare sound, try this on a piccolo snare. It probably won't sound as good with a pre with a slow rise time.
Old 4th September 2003
  #8
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BradM's Avatar
I too often mic the snare from the side....somewhere between the middle and the top from about 4" away seems to work most of the time. I've been using my brightest sounding SM57 and running it through an Altec 1589B mic preamp. It's one of the solid state ones with the plug-in transformers. It's really crunchy and gnarly when pushed hard so it's like having a built in compressor and distortion feature right in the mic preamp. For drummers that hit really hard I use a Shure in-line pad to keep the amount of crunch controlled. Whatever this preamp is doing really keeps my snare tracks out in front. I love it. Besides the Altec I really like the API 3124.

Brad
Old 4th September 2003
  #9
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rainsinvelvet's Avatar
I've been doing the API 312 /sm57 combo lately , but on some folks snare's I like a 421 with the roll-of 1/2way on.
When I do mike the bottom its w/ a 414 through whatever pre is left in the rack.

If the track has room for a slightly thicker sound I like the 57/1272 combo also.

I've tryed miking the shell of the snare,but havn't quite got the sound I'm looking for. I like the extra brightness from the snares,but miss the beef build up from prox-effect. I'm Very intrigued by the whole idea. I think I just need to spend a bit more time fussing w/ it. Plus I'm still battling that damn drummer who thinks his hi-hats are for taking his frustrations out on grudge

Eric
Old 4th September 2003
  #10
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Snare pre/mic

My greatest successes have been with an AKG C1000S or AKG 414 BULS through a Joe Meek VC6Q, Joe Meek VC1Q or Langevein DVC. I find the 414 problematic when you're dealing with one of those drummers that hits the brass harder than the drum heads. (Too much high hat bleed onto the 414). I can't sem to get an Sm57 to come anywhere close in sonic appeal to the above listed mics, so I've given up on them unless I'm really struggling for a good sound. Good luck. I've gotten interesting results micing the snare "sound hole" (just don't point it right at it, or you could blow the diaphragm) with a C1000S.
Old 4th September 2003
  #11
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cvikman's Avatar
 

Ok, the snaresound I do is only to 50% from the closemics on the drum, but the reason i asked is that sometimes (without the right preamp) I don't think the sm57 is a good representaion of how a snare sounds (lacking top end and transient information). Recently I have been using some very nice B&K microphones amonst others the 4011, with varied results. Any thoughts anybody ?
Old 5th September 2003
  #12
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57

Quote:
Originally posted by cvikman
Ok, the snaresound I do is only to 50% from the closemics on the drum, but the reason i asked is that sometimes (without the right preamp) I don't think the sm57 is a good representaion of how a snare sounds (lacking top end and transient information). Recently I have been using some very nice B&K microphones amonst others the 4011, with varied results. Any thoughts anybody ?
I completely agree that more often than not the 57 lacks top end when micing a snare to the point that I can't justify using one. I never considered the transient information aspect. Ultimately, obviously, "If it sounds good, it is good".--Joe Meek.. When you're doing work for hire in the world I operate in (unsigned artists with ridiculously unrealistic low budgets), clients get pissed when you start experimenting with mics/pres whatever and their fee is getting higher all the time. Most of the time I'm under so much pressure in that regard that I really have to "go with what I know" and unless the sound I'm getting really sucks, I have to operate on "first thought, best thought" principle.
Old 5th September 2003
  #13
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Opinions are always so varied and interesting.

Regarding the 57 thing... I've tried and tried for years to find something, anything that I like better on snare. I've had some success with 421s for the big 'fatback' sound. I've found mics that sound better on the snare (by itself, solo'd) but just don't work in the context of the kit or the mix. I've tried 2 different mics on top and one on bottom. Every time I think I've finally found the magic combination, I always throw up a 57 just for a reality check before rolling tape. The other mics always come down...

When we were at the workshop, I mentioned this to Michael, and he agreed it would be interesting to throw a 57 up (just for grins) as he hadn't used one on snare in a long, long time...

Guess which mic won the snare mic shootout!!!

Also, IMHO, (ducking) I've never really loved Neves on snare... On everything else, but too much 'thunk' for snare. I much prefer the Spider or the Trident 80 console pres ...

Of course, as always, YMMV.
Old 5th September 2003
  #14
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I'm a big fan of the Audio Technica ATM-23he. It's designed for snare and sounds a lot more like a snare drum to me than a 57, or anything else I've tried (EV 408, Beyer M88, various others). On the shell a 414 can be cool. I've gone back to micing the head. I went about a year and a half without micing the head of wood snare drums. I find that shell micing doesn't seem to work on metal snares. I miced the top recently due to physical set-up and I like the sound so I'm back to that. The 23 has really good HH rejection. I use the pres on my Neotek Elan for snare, by choice. It just does it for me more than my outboard (GR, '69, Vox Box, ART).
Old 5th September 2003
  #15
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my Earthworks SR69 just kills as a snare mic. I've heard the 71 can be even better.
Old 5th September 2003
  #16
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BattleAngel
my Earthworks SR69 just kills as a snare mic. I've heard the 71 can be even better.
Yup, an SR-71 is killer for snare.
Old 5th September 2003
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
Neve Sucks!'s Avatar
 

I´ve used the Sennheiser 441 together with the Chandler TG2. Absolute killer!!!
The SM57 sounds like a joke in comparison. I think that the 57 sounds like **** in 9 out of 10 applications anyway....
Old 5th September 2003
  #18
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DirkB's Avatar
 

Just shows you YMMV :

The 441 is my favourite dynamic, in fact it's one of my favourite mic's period.

I never prefer it over an SM57 on snare or dist. guitar amp...

For me on snare: one well placed SM57 into any suitable preamp does the job. I do need a brand new coated ambassador to get the track crisp enough without going mad on the high eq.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 5th September 2003
  #19
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

You brought up a good point about heads.

I look for the highs I need for the snare (using a 57/414 combo) from judicious choice of heads and tuning rather than trying bunches of mics.

There's also the question of technique. Some drummers hit the snare in a way that generates more highs than others.

Heads and tuning and the player are the most critical elements to a great drum sound IMHO. You can have the best mics and pres and 2" ready to go, but if the heads aren't the right ones for the job or they're badly tuned, forget it.
Old 5th September 2003
  #20
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alphajerk's Avatar
 

to get more highs or crack, i will tune the snare up more rather than boost EQ or use a bright mic. getting the right snare in the first place makes all the difference.

that said, im loving my CM700>EMI right now. i like the condensor sound over dynamic, the CM700 can take LOTS of spl, has killer rear rejection for hihat. but thats not the only combo i use. just the starter one.
Old 5th September 2003
  #21
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DirkB's Avatar
 

Quote:
to get more highs or crack, i will tune the snare up more rather than boost EQ or use a bright mic. getting the right snare in the first place makes all the difference.

Well, for me, turning up the snare doesn't necessary deliver more crisp (10k etc.). I find there's always a delicate balance between tuning of the (new) coated ambassador and the tension of the correct mounted strings.

Jon, you're certainly right about the player. The right amount of rim vs. head in the stroke does alot. Also, don't overlook the importance of new, solid sticks, huge difference.

I would say, for a crisp snare sound:
1. new coated ambassador
2. right tuning
3. crisp, "springy, snappy" rimshot from the drummer
4. new sticks
5. precise placement (angle!) of the SM57
and you're in the ballpark

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 5th September 2003
  #22
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Dull Lifeless Drumsound

One sure fire way to get dull lifeless drum sounds is to use a kit with dampened ancient filthy heads on them.
Old 5th September 2003
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I use a REVOX 3500 with either an Auditronics/Hardy pre, or the Vintech 1272. Compression gives the leading edge snap I need without a ton of EQ.
Old 5th September 2003
  #24
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by DirkB
Jon, you're certainly right about the player. The right amount of rim vs. head in the stroke does alot.
Tone is in the hands (and in the case of drummers and pianist, feet!).

Very hard to get a 'fatback' snare from a guy with a piccolo doing rimshots. Equally difficult to get a 311 style 'ping' sound from an 8X14 maple, duct-taped pinstripe head, tuned down, and played lightly in the center with no rim contact!

BTW, the guys in the other control room at our studio do a 'drum camp' recording session every year for drummer/teacher extraordinaire PT Riddle. The students play along w/canned tracks and get their own personal CD. The tonal differences observed (from having 25-30 drummers on the exact same setup that day) are staggering...

And while we're at it, more shootout observations:

BTW Alpha, the CM700 was included in the shootout based on your rec. Other 'contestants' were (IIRC) Beyer 201, GT AM62, vintage C451... Anything anyone wanted to hear.

The results were (from most favored to least):

1. 57 (winner, good 'crack')
2. 201 (nice, but less snap, darker)
3. 700 (somewhat boxy, kind of dull, lifeless)
4. AM62 (sounded great until you played the rest of the kit!)
5. 451 (unusable n/a)

After choosing the 'top' mic, a 57 was applied to snare side and assigned its own track as well, and we moved on to preamp comparisons.

Usual qualifiers: That day, on that drum, in that room, etc...

YMMIndeedV. Happy Tracking!
Old 5th September 2003
  #25
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syra's Avatar
The best pre on snare for a 57 is the Avalon 2022. For all of you out there that haven't heard this combo I urge you try it asap. You will swear the 57 is not the same mic you thought it was...

peace, syra
Old 5th September 2003
  #26
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blackcatdigi's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by syra
The best pre on snare for a 57 is the Avalon 2022. For all of you out there that haven't heard this combo I urge you try it asap. You will swear the 57 is not the same mic you thought it was...
I've not heard it.

But you may want to 'suit up' after that "best" comment... I'm outta here!

Old 5th September 2003
  #27
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syra's Avatar
IMHO it goes without saying...geddit?
Old 5th September 2003
  #28
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by blackcatdigi


Every time I think I've finally found the magic combination, I always throw up a 57 just for a reality check before rolling tape. The other mics always come down...

I've had pretty much the same experience. A 57 into a decent preamp with a touch of 100, 5k and 10k can be very hard to beat.
Old 5th September 2003
  #29
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toledo3's Avatar
 

There are SO many different, good snare sounds.

I like to put a crystal element mic by the shell of the snare, in addition to a 57. It is not pretty on its own, but will give you that high end "crack". It really adds this realism, that is even more amazing when you listen to the mic on its own (lo-fi city).
Old 5th September 2003
  #30
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studjo's Avatar
 

A snare and a 57 are a magic combination for me The Daking pre gave me a new experience with my 57.

For jazz I like a KM184 a lot.

Jo
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