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Fat, warm, 70's sounding snare Condenser Microphones
Old 5th March 2014
  #1
Fat, warm, 70's sounding snare

how would go on about getting a fat, warm 70's sounding snare? tuning the snare low and getting the right player is obvious ;-) damping the snare, maybe with a towel. using a sm57 rather flat/plane over the snare, better i guess would be having the luxury of an neumann u67.

but what about mixing such a snare? dry, all right. cutting at 500-700Hz? enhancing at 200Hz? heavy compression? fast attack? fast release? i can get quiete near how i want it to sound, but i miss the last 10%.

i am loving the snare on this single right now: Metronomy "Love Letters":
Old 5th March 2014
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Try aiming an SM57 at the shell of the snare instead of the head. That's how Bruce Swedien says he did it when recording the Chi-Lites in his book.

David
Old 5th March 2014
  #3
Gear Maniac
A vintage snare helps.. My 64 Rogers powertone sounds like nothing I've heard lately (I'm not a drummer and haven't spent that much time listening to new snares and no time listening to high end boutique ones so really I'm prolly out to lunch)
Old 5th March 2014
  #4
Lives for gear
 

try out a pair of sm7's as overheads in decca. then another sm7 on a stand with the snare.
Old 5th March 2014
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
try out a pair of sm7's as overheads in decca. then another sm7 on a stand with the snare.
where would you point that sm7 on a stand? how close to the snare and in conjunctions with another snare mic? or do you mean miking the kit with just those 3 mics?
Old 5th March 2014
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by northern_dirt View Post
A vintage snare helps.. My 64 Rogers powertone sounds like nothing I've heard lately (I'm not a drummer and haven't spent that much time listening to new snares and no time listening to high end boutique ones so really I'm prolly out to lunch)
+1

Start with a good Snare.

A strip of gaffers tape and a bit of folded paper towel on the top head can help get rid of rings/overtones.

Mic the top and bottom of the snare and reverse the phase of the bottom head.
Some people like using different mics, I've had good luck with a pair of 57s.
Get the top head sounding good. Use a gate/expander. Start with somewhere around 8.00:1. The release time on your gate/expander is critical. An analog parametric (think Orban) can help. (Pultecs also work great.)
Blend in bottom mic for more snare.

Add a Coles as a more distant mic and experiment with placement.

Add the compression last. shouldn't need much. Try varimu.

Also Experiment with plate and gated reverbs.
Old 6th March 2014
  #7
Gear Addict
Here's another good example:

Here We Go Magic - "Make Up Your Mind" (Official video) - YouTube

Produced/engineer by one of my favs, Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney).

If I recall correctly, there was another thread around here where someone at the session chimed in. Obviously low tuned snare, I think they said shirt INSIDE the snare?

Apparently, SM57 on top and bottom. Probably a Coles or two for overhead knowing Nigel's normal approach, although I'm not sure that's even in the mix too heavy here. Seems like mostly close mics.

Huge Nigel fan, so I figured I'd share.
Old 6th March 2014
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
Here's another good example:

Here We Go Magic - "Make Up Your Mind" (Official video) - YouTube

Produced/engineer by one of my favs, Nigel Godrich (Radiohead, Beck, Paul McCartney).

If I recall correctly, there was another thread around here where someone at the session chimed in. Obviously low tuned snare, I think they said shirt INSIDE the snare?

Apparently, SM57 on top and bottom. Probably a Coles or two for overhead knowing Nigel's normal approach, although I'm not sure that's even in the mix too heavy here. Seems like mostly close mics.

Huge Nigel fan, so I figured I'd share.
That reminded me a lot of some of the Dire Straits snare sounds... A lot different than the "vintage" sound of the snare in the video by the OP though... I think printing to 2" tape probably had a lot to do with the vintage sound in the first video...

FWIW; this is a sample of a snare that I recorded/mixed using the method that I mentioned above >>>click<<<

Adjusting the release on the gate, and using different ratios of top to bottom mic can change the sound a lot.
Old 6th March 2014
  #9
Gear Addict
Also mix wise, in my own experience, I've found that experimenting 900-2000hZ area cuts yield some interesting results. Boost upper mids to re-balance. It seems to be another way, sometimes, to get that detailed but not crispy sound.
Old 6th March 2014
  #10
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooter Trash View Post
That reminded me a lot of some of the Dire Straits snare sounds... A lot different than the "vintage" sound of the snare in the video by the OP though... I think printing to 2" tape probably had a lot to do with the vintage sound in the first video...

FWIW; this is a sample of a snare that I recorded/mixed using the method that I mentioned above >>>click<<<

Adjusting the release on the gate, and using different ratios of top to bottom mic can change the sound a lot.
Nice!

Yeah, the Dire Straits is definitely older sounding, although I would be surprised if there wasn't tape in the path for a Nigel Godrich production. Has that modern yet "spongey" sound.

Anyway, enough derailing.
Old 6th March 2014
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReckNC00 View Post
Also mix wise, in my own experience, I've found that experimenting 900-2000hZ area cuts yield some interesting results. Boost upper mids to re-balance. It seems to be another way, sometimes, to get that detailed but not crispy sound.
that's what i do. i normally cut around 500-700 Hz like written in my opening post. gets me almost there in combination with the bottom snare which yes, is very important for this sound. hmmm ... i think that i should pay more attention to my overhead mics then.
and i do in fact print to tape sometimes but that does not make that much of a change.
Old 6th March 2014
  #12
Your overheads will definitely affect the way your snare sounds in the drum mix. Personally, I like a lot of isolation in drum mics and try to get mostly the cymbals with the overhead mics. If you feel like your overheads are negatively impacting your snare sound, you could try side-chaining a bit of multi-band compression from the snare to the overheads. I always bus the overheads independent of the other drum mics.

These videos might be helpful:





YMMV
Old 6th March 2014
  #13
the number one trick to this is how dead you make the snare, then make the room very small either in a booth or some gobos, past that you don't really need to mic the drum differently, personally I use 2 mics, one for the top that rather than pointing it down on the head I place it so the capsule just pokes over the top of the rim across the drum rather than down, BUT that technique came out of recording people with wide open or close to it snare drums with little to no muffling. It works really well for avoiding ring from the top head of the snare. In this case since the snare is fairly dead you can point it down on the drum, since you won't really get much ring from the top head. For a second mic I mic the shell, I hate the under the snare sound I think it's one of the ugliest things recorded, micing the shell has same benefits as under the drum, it's bright and you get lots of snares, but it's not that ratty thing you get from underneath and there is way less kick bleed into that mic. When you critically listen to drums from that period you hear no room and no ring. It's more about the drums and room than the mic technique.
Old 7th March 2014
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
For a second mic I mic the shell, I hate the under the snare sound I think it's one of the ugliest things recorded, micing the shell has same benefits as under the drum, it's bright and you get lots of snares, but it's not that ratty thing you get from underneath and there is way less kick bleed into that mic.
that's a good point. it's so routine to mic the snare from the bottom ... but if you think about it, it really sounds ugly ;-)
Old 14th March 2014
  #15
Lives for gear
 
lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

Love the sound of the metronomy snare, not so much the here we go magic. Very different.

I can very easily get that here we go magic snare sound. I don't see the big challenge there. The snare is damped and there's not a lot of air in the sound, just close mic it. Case closed.

The metronomy is an amazing sound on the snare there. It sounds clear and distinct from the rest of the kit but has loads of air around it.

I am guessing something like a KM84 placed just right around 6" from the head and the bleed is obviously constructive and works well. The room is probably pretty dead so a bit of distance to the drum is not causing any funky bounces from the walls. It sounds like it has some distance, but only direct sound. You need dampened walls and ceiling for that kind of thing. You don't want to hear reflections but you can't mic so close as to box in the snare sound.

You could probably hang a "tent" over the drums. I have seen this kind of thing in radiohead studio pictures. You would just set up some mic stands and drape a thicker sheet over and put the drums inside the tent. Allows you to have a bit of distance to the snare without worrying about room reflections.

Single best way to do this is to overdub the snare. Cheating I know, but putting a bit of distance in the sound is hard without worrying about things like hi hat bleed.

There is also some nice smacky compression on there with a slow attack. perhaps an opto or a slower setting on a fet. Just crunching it up a hair. Sounds lovely. Not too much compression though or it will just pffft out without that nice punch. Low ratio and slow attack kind of stuff.

Listen to the first sample in this album I worked on:



That was actually a brush on the snare. It would have hit even smackier with a stick. I think it was a U87 across the snare mostly giving that sound mixed with a bit of R44 at a good distance in my dry dry room. There was a kick mic as well but there was no snare picked up in it. Drums in mono on that track.

I use the U87 sometimes on snare because in fig 8 you get almost no hi hat bleed when its placed with its nulls to the hi hat. Sounds pretty good too. KM84 is perhaps a bit sweeter but its harder to isolate the snare with it I find.

Have fun with it.

Russell
Old 14th March 2014
  #16
Moderator
 
Blast9's Avatar
Don't forget the wallet trick for damping.
Old 14th March 2014
  #17
Lives for gear
 
lakeshorephatty's Avatar
 

Love the wallet but I like "moon gel" more for its flexibility... Its very good at what it does and worth the price of admission:

Moongel

Russell
Old 27th March 2014
  #18
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinzin View Post
where would you point that sm7 on a stand? how close to the snare and in conjunctions with another snare mic? or do you mean miking the kit with just those 3 mics?
there are no rules to the game.. expirament. some drum kits I would do two in the front about 3 ft apart 2 ft away then the snare either as a overhead or even down by the hi hat.

also you can try two behind the drummer, 2ft behind about his/her head height 2ft away pointing toward the snare and the other the floor tom. another in front 2ft away at the same height as the back two, pointing towards the rack toms.


also any of these combos with just a single overhead pointing down with like a pg52 or some other large dynamic. even try a 57's everywhere. they do get a nice bassy roomie sound if there compressed so-so

oh yea for dampening.... throw a handfull of cotton balls in each of the drums.... too much you're in the 80's , not enough is in the 60's

have fun....
Old 27th March 2014
  #19
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by drtechno View Post
there are no rules to the game.. expirament. some drum kits I would do two in the front about 3 ft apart 2 ft away then the snare either as a overhead or even down by the hi hat.

also you can try two behind the drummer, 2ft behind about his/her head height 2ft away pointing toward the snare and the other the floor tom. another in front 2ft away at the same height as the back two, pointing towards the rack toms.


also any of these combos with just a single overhead pointing down with like a pg52 or some other large dynamic. even try a 57's everywhere. they do get a nice bassy roomie sound if there compressed so-so

oh yea for dampening.... throw a handfull of cotton balls in each of the drums.... too much you're in the 80's , not enough is in the 60's

have fun....
Unbeknownst to many, the cotton ball futures market had a critical impact on audio engineering throughout most of the 20th century.
Old 27th March 2014
  #20
Lives for gear
 

I think it had to do with poeple more interested into partying than soundchecking and setting gates.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by lakeshorephatty View Post
Love the sound of the metronomy snare, not so much the here we go magic. Very different.

I can very easily get that here we go magic snare sound. I don't see the big challenge there. The snare is damped and there's not a lot of air in the sound, just close mic it. Case closed.

The metronomy is an amazing sound on the snare there. It sounds clear and distinct from the rest of the kit but has loads of air around it.

I am guessing something like a KM84 placed just right around 6" from the head and the bleed is obviously constructive and works well. The room is probably pretty dead so a bit of distance to the drum is not causing any funky bounces from the walls. It sounds like it has some distance, but only direct sound. You need dampened walls and ceiling for that kind of thing. You don't want to hear reflections but you can't mic so close as to box in the snare sound.

You could probably hang a "tent" over the drums. I have seen this kind of thing in radiohead studio pictures. You would just set up some mic stands and drape a thicker sheet over and put the drums inside the tent. Allows you to have a bit of distance to the snare without worrying about room reflections.

Single best way to do this is to overdub the snare. Cheating I know, but putting a bit of distance in the sound is hard without worrying about things like hi hat bleed.

There is also some nice smacky compression on there with a slow attack. perhaps an opto or a slower setting on a fet. Just crunching it up a hair. Sounds lovely. Not too much compression though or it will just pffft out without that nice punch. Low ratio and slow attack kind of stuff.

Listen to the first sample in this album I worked on:



That was actually a brush on the snare. It would have hit even smackier with a stick. I think it was a U87 across the snare mostly giving that sound mixed with a bit of R44 at a good distance in my dry dry room. There was a kick mic as well but there was no snare picked up in it. Drums in mono on that track.

I use the U87 sometimes on snare because in fig 8 you get almost no hi hat bleed when its placed with its nulls to the hi hat. Sounds pretty good too. KM84 is perhaps a bit sweeter but its harder to isolate the snare with it I find.

Have fun with it.

Russell
very nice recording and singer. i can hear the brushes. i'd prefer it a bit heavier, meatier, lower. but a very nice recording.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #22
Lives for gear
 

Warm like this? http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fsfod891J0 Especially the break starting at 1:27. Lots of 150-200Hz energy there.
Old 2nd April 2014
  #23
Lives for gear
 
gear is cool's Avatar
Dampen / wallet or my fav it putting a t shirt on the whole snare and loosen the drum head. Dark hats/ brass and dead kick. A Coles over head and snare kick mic you are there. Good luck !
Old 3rd April 2014
  #24
Lives for gear
 

Check this out. Haven't used it myself but know a few drummers who have. Samples sound great.

Big Fat Snare Drum
Old 3rd April 2014
  #25
Lives for gear
 
wisdom's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast9 View Post
Don't forget the wallet trick for damping.
Beat me to it!

Gearslutz was the first place I heard of that tip...(maybe it was even yourself who posted about it) and the first time I used the results were great in comparison to letting everything ring out.

The drummer and other engineers thought it was a cool tip too!
Old 3rd April 2014
  #26
Lives for gear
 
wisdom's Avatar
And yeah, like mentioned...through a Coles up in the room, those babies are DARK!
Old 4th April 2014
  #27
Gear Maniac
 
peterscherr's Avatar
 

beyer 260 as a snare mic gives a lot of nice body for this sort of thing...

and they take eq really well...
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