I have been pulling my hair trying to get a good clap. It is going on a rockability/surfer/swing kind of tune so a good clap really helps the rythm. I have tried recording myself and a group of 3 claping with a condensor and dynamic mic and can't seem to get it to sound any good. I have also tried the claps in Yellow Tools Culture and it just doesnt sound right. Is there a sound library or can someone link me to a good clap sample? I can just copy and paste it into the project. Any help or tips appreciated!
I've had the best results regarding clap tracks where I'd have multiple people clapping into whatever mic (I've used mics like a D112 to a U87 - they're all pretty similar once everything is in the mix), then double tracking it (not just cut and paste a single track to another track then moving it over - it doesn't have the same character).
During the mix I'll compress them quite a bit and hard pan each track left/right. Sometimes not hard pan, but at least somewhere in the field that do them justice (to taste).
I might add a little dimensional room effect (slight delay/minimal verb) just so they sit in and around their own space. You could also try double mic'ing with one track being closer to the mic and a second track where everyone is further away then blend to taste.
stand further back! put a mic with a pleasing top end (ie not a 4033 or 451) 5 or 6 feet away. this way there's a little bit of space around the clap. sounds more natural to my ears that way. use just a smidge of verb in the mix, enough that the claps sit back just a bit, but not get drowned.
as the previous poster said, doubling is often a good thing.
Man, I've been trying for awhile to get a good clap sound...Like that old 60's motown type that hits right when the snare smacks...Cant get it...I'm going to try sampling this Leslie Gore song...Perfect handclaps in it
The most important things when recording claps is that you have to know how to clap. There are many sounds you can get with a clap but you need to be able of play that "smack" with your hands.
Once you know how to clap, you have to play in time and then, look for where the clap sounds best in the room ( avoid resonances ) and place the mic high ( it works for me ) and change pattern ( to omni ) and move the mic if you are doing several passes.
Last week I needed some claps and I was on my own and recorded 12 tracks and moved the mic, myself or changed the pattern for each pass. Sounded great and client loved it.
try a spring reverb. maybe a little slap-back as well. introduce a horrible mid-range eq spike or two. anything that makes them sound less like real hands and more like '60s' hands is good news. the best ever hand clap sound i ever got was 10 years ago, with a cheapo AT 58 copy going direct into a 12-watt marshall solid-state amp with loads of reverb and through the headphone out into a cassette 4-track, levels a bit too high as well. couldn't even get close to that sound in a real studio with fancy valve gear and plate reverbs despite many attempts. i should have realised then that if it sounds good, it IS good!
This is something I haven't tried for myself (might try tonight if I got some time) but an experienced engineer explained a little technique he used when recording claps.
As mentioned before, making a second track (layering) would definitely help, but he also mentioned that adding an additional track with you (or your group) sitting down slapping your thighs can help it out very much... Might help get you the sound you're looking for.
I have very good results with my thighs in a pinch with no one else around to help fill out the sound.
I usually prefer to have 3 to 5 people minimum, any mic any room, but have them clap for 2 bars (8 claps), then copy them to a different track, and stagger them by a bar, or repeat 2 more times staggering by a half bar each. then just trim in the beginning so all the tracks start at the same time.
I'll say, though, that I normally don't have access to all the people necessary to try double tracking and altering positions, so if I happen to have some traffic moving through the studio (girlfriend, family, friends, change over between clients) I just grab everyone and do it as quickly as I can, so one longer track layered and staggered gives me the full and random characteristics needed to sell the part.
I've got some mean claps using a TML103 through a 6176 with a little bit of compression, standing about 3-4 feet away. You need solid hand clappers too, no thin claps, but thick rich full sounds, it's really a skilled technique to clap correctly, lol...
I think it is in the clap itself, I had bad luck with "hard" claps near the mic and much better luck with "softer" clapping further away, recording a lot of them, layering them not to overleap perfectly, finetune add some reverb, eq and compression and it worked for me.