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Snare - best way to avoid leakage Dynamic Microphones
Old 4th September 2011
  #1
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theBackwardsman's Avatar
 

Snare - best way to avoid leakage

Throw your tips at me!
Old 4th September 2011
  #2
Gear Nut
 

Track with a Telefunken M-80?
Old 4th September 2011
  #3
Registered User
Track it seperately ...

What is your goal here? Many people consider that the real sound of the snare is the sound from the overheads, just supplemented by the dry snare mics.

A lot of people are using sample replacement or supplementation too ...

You can keep the snare fairly damped, so it doesn't ring on too much.

Lighter sticks - benefits the cymbals and tames the snare ...

Keeping distance between cymbals and drums can help - but some drummers don't like that.
Old 4th September 2011
  #4
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
Track it seperately ...
or stop bashing the crap out of the cymbals heh

Quote:
What is your goal here? Many people consider that the real sound of the snare is the sound from the overheads, just supplemented by the dry snare mics.

that describes me

I have no tips to add, because the way I mic a drum kit is looking to work with, and take advantage of, "good leakage"


not even sure which interpretation of leakage the OP means...

keeping the snare out of the other drum mics
or
keeping the other drums out of the snare mic

but in either case, there are so many 'modern' ways of 'faking' drums, that if you don't like leakage, you have plenty of alternatives.
Old 4th September 2011
  #5
Most of the time the high hat is the worst offender of bleed. Using a Hypercardiod cardiod and placing its null toward the high hat can be effective. Then you can use gate/expander to get the more of the high hat or toms out of the signal. Drummers and drums sets have lots of variables so you have to be flexible and use your ears.
Old 4th September 2011
  #6
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duckoff's Avatar
 

I was gonna say - it's supposed to 'leak'!

I approach the kit as one entity not as a bunch of individual drums - get the whole kit tuned nicely & concentrate on the overall sounds (overheads & room).

If the balance is off then get the drummer to hit things differently (commonly to hit the hats softer).
Old 4th September 2011
  #7
new head, nicely tuned
Skilled drummer hitting high quality cymbals lightly and the snare nice and hard
Room that favours the snare
Old 4th September 2011
  #8
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cdog's Avatar
what the new guy said and...

dont obsess over bleed

all your favorites albums are bloody heh
Old 4th September 2011
  #9
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Outlaw Hans's Avatar
 

The beyer m201 is a great snare mic and has very good rejection as it´s hypercardioid.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
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666666's Avatar
Whether or not you want bleed in your snare mic is TOTALLY dependent on the genre of music you're dealing with and how you want the drums to sound / goal.

For modern, loud, rock / metal type stuff, the snare is typically very loud and very predominant in the mix. It's usually adjusted quite bright and compressed / limited VERY hard. In this case you really can't have a lot of bleed or it just ain't gonna work. This is why most modern rock / metal situations will use triggered SAMPLE snare sounds for ZERO bleed... because it pretty much needs to be that way for that type of goal.

But for most other types of music where the goal is to get a more accurate, natural picture of the kit, then some degree of bleed in the snare mic can be fine.

The point here, the issue of bleed into close mics is LARGELY a function of the end goal, which is likely going to be a function of genre / style. This is important to point out because the OP asking the original question may be recording modern metal (and thus can't really work with bleed) and the people responding may be dealing mostly with acoustic jazz or something (where a lot of bleed may be acceptable and even helpful).... and the OP will just get super confused... as an example.

I see these types of "confusing" situations often on the forum. Everyone is providing accurate and helpful info, but it's all genre specific and thus the right answer for one situation may be a totally wrong answer for another situation.

Anyway... to the OP... if you can't have bleed, consider triggering samples, even if just as an extra signal to blend in with your actual recorded snare track.

Otherwise:

-Make sure your snare is LOUD and that you play it LOUD (this may mean using a good, high-quality, loud snare, with a brand new head on it, tuned properly, and we have to assume that you know how to play)

-Adjust your cymbals HIGH so they are as far away from the snare as possible. Move your hi-hats as far away as you can. Even just an extra inch or two can help.

-Use a hypercardioid or supercardioid snare close mic and keep it as close to the top snare head as possible while still achieving a desirable sound of course

-Make sure the mic is positioned "strategically" so that the rejection areas of the mic pick-up pattern face the most offending bleed sources

-Indeed make sure to have your overheads and rooms adjusted so that you are getting a nice, loud snare "crack" coming into those mics. If the snare sounds good and loud naturally in the room, then you should be set automatically. Blended into the mix, the overheads and rooms can indeed provide a lot of snare definition and tone etc, as mentioned by some of the above posters, thus you need not rely as much on the close mics.

-If your room is small or low ceiling, make sure you have appropriate diffusion / absorption to kill excessive, harmful close reflections etc that will make bleed much worse than otherwise

-You may even want to put up more than one snare "close mic", experiment, try different things... and a snare bottom or snare side mic can potentially be very helpful too if you adjust them right

-Do a forum search, there have been volumes written about this subject, every trick and tip known to mankind is on the forum in one place or another

-Finally, just experiment and learn via trial and error... this is the bottom line and is where you will get the EXACT info that will help most in YOUR specific situation

Old 5th September 2011
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Also, select the mic and the gear for what you are recording..

If it's a rock/pop thing, a 57 is likely fine.. if you are doing something with brushes and it's a light natural woody sound you are going for, (for instance), I will select a LDC or ribbon that sounds nice for that snare and then run it through a comp.. be VERY careful with placement and make sure that the drummer can lay off the cymbals.. A well-known drummer I was chatting with once told me that he likes about 80, 70, 20-30. Those are percentages of volume for the snare, toms and cymbals. Most guys only can do 90-95 on everything..

As a drummer it took me awhile to see the actual benefit of laying back on the cymbals.. It may not be as much fun as laying into a cymb.. but the results are so much better.

And, as Jules said, the room plays a huge role in the sound. For all drums.
Old 5th September 2011
  #12
bleed is your friend.
Old 5th September 2011
  #13
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by lawsonmixing View Post
Track with a Telefunken M-80?
The M-80 rocks on snare. Less bleed than a 57 and SM7B. Absolutely useable up close where the 57 gets too boxy and boomy. Also, cut a hole in some foam, and put it around the mic or stand between the mic and hat (if it doesn't bother the drummer). This will only take a little bit of the top end of the cymbals out the snare mic but it can help.

Besides that, play the cymbals softer and use softer sounding cymbals. Transient Designer kicks a$$ for getting room out of snare mic too. You can use it before a gate (set very conservatively) and get a natural sound that does not sound gated. Oh, and the room my or may not bring out cymbals.

One thing that really surprised me is how good a ribbon mic can sound with the hihat in the null. If you want to work with the bleed this is a good choice. Just be careful.
Old 5th September 2011
  #14
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Unless you're going to compress the crap out of your snare track, embrace the hihat bleed and use a mic with little to no off-axis bleed. Many SDC's work great for this, and the snare sound is so much more crisp than that of a 57 to begin with. There's nothing more atrocious to me than the off-axis hihat bleed of a 57. Yuck!
Old 5th September 2011
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
or stop bashing the crap out of the cymbals heh
amen...

Good lord it's great to hear people say this.

Why do so few drummers understand this?

Hit the drums...I mean HIT them if it's a hard rock song with half open hi hat.

try and almost baby the cymbals and hat...at least to digital, and ESPECIALLY in a smallish room.

This works...always. IMHE.

However convincing some drummers that this will work, or making them understand WHY it works, can be an uphill battle.

It's a simple concept. Cymbals hit the same level as a drum are louder in the range of human hearing (I think?). Don't quote me, I am no scientist.

So, if you hit the cymbals as hard as you hit the drums...your drums will have to "poke through" all that cymbal wash. In the OH's, the room...your snare mic...whatever.

Nevermind leakage. When people hit the cymbals as loud as the drums, good luck gating this...even with a freq dependent gate.

Get the drummer to NOT do this, and you'll find you don't have issues with "leakage" anymore.

The best drummers just "get it". They know that cymbals have a different timbre than drums, and hit them accordingly.

Just like on a guitar you have some notes that play louder than others. A good player compensates for this, and evens out their own "mix" of themselves.

This sense of "mixing" seems to escape a lot of drummers for whatever reason.

It's all the player.
john
Old 5th September 2011
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Outlaw Hans View Post
The beyer m201 is a great snare mic and has very good rejection as it´s hypercardioid.

It is a good mic. I like it on gtr cabs too lately.

Great on snare, but I don't use it so much on heavy rock stuff.

john
Old 5th September 2011
  #17
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RedTuxedo's Avatar
Bleed from what? The high-hat I'm assuming?

The bigger room you have, the better isolation.

In a small room, if you can deaden the area around the high-hat, you'll be able to increase the separation between these 2 VERY important aspects of the drum kit (what else is there? Oh yeah, the kick...).

The more you can reduce the strength of pre delay signals (first reflections), as opposed to ambience/verb, the more separation.

Suck the ambience from that high hat and you'll get better isolation with the snare.

Now let's talk about the high hat signal........
Old 6th September 2011
  #18
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theBackwardsman's Avatar
 

Yes I do loud rock and I am not new to this.
I don't expect zero bleed, but was just curious for any tricks to lessen the bleed.
Foam, paper shielding, I think I even read about some guy using a paper cup etc.

I've been considering the m80, seems like a great mic.
Old 6th September 2011
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBackwardsman View Post
Yes I do loud rock and I am not new to this.
I don't expect zero bleed, but was just curious for any tricks to lessen the bleed.
Foam, paper shielding, I think I even read about some guy using a paper cup etc.

I've been considering the m80, seems like a great mic.

I have tried a lot of different things. One of them being those styrofoam faucet / spigot covers that is supposed to prevent freezing in the winter time. This thing, lined with auralex, hole cut in back for mic to go through.

They now make the same type deal, better looking of course the primacoustic crash--- whatever.

It helps a little, but I found it's just better to get the drummer to play it like actual music. Works everytime. Unless said drummer is a hard head, or dim wit. Sorry...

Plus, when you start effing with the polar pattern like that, by deadening it up so closely, it doesn't sound the same to me. Helps the bleed, but at a cost.

You could try a reflexion filter type thingy, cardboard with foam or rockwool glued to it? Like the old Steely Dan trick?

Sorry I don't have any magic success stories of using a physical contraption that saved the day.

IMHE, it just doesn't work that way.

The mic may help some, but I don't think it's a "perfect solution" for a drummer with lack of control over his dynamics.

You can also just not gate the snare, don't put verb, and let the bleed through. This helps you none though if you want to do those things.

Good luck man,
john
Old 6th September 2011
  #20
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edvdr76's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by theBackwardsman View Post
Throw your tips at me!
Get a piece of foam and cut a hole through it. Put your mic through the hole and Bam!! Minimal leakage!
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