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Snare me !! :-) Dynamics Plugins
Old 31st October 2012
  #1
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lionheart's Avatar
Snare me !! :-)

What is your "go to" snare chain.. Plugs and or hardware ?
I mostly do hardrock and Metal and snare is the most interesting/hard instrument to place or make sound right in the mix, i think .. i know room, good drummer, kit is KEY. But still, please do tell
Old 31st October 2012
  #2
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_Mark's Avatar
Waves SSL E Channel and Waves L1 limiter is simple, and does quite well, for me. Especially on deep snares that you want a real deep smack on!
Old 31st October 2012
  #3
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Protools Guy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by _Mark View Post
Waves SSL E Channel and Waves L1 limiter is simple, and does quite well, for me. Especially on deep snares that you want a real deep smack on!
+1
I'll add that Waves CLA 76 is also one of my favorite ingredients...
Old 1st November 2012
  #4
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_Mark's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Protools Guy View Post
+1
I'll add that Waves CLA 76 is also one of my favorite ingredients...
CLA 76 never quite could do it for me. Waves API 2500 does okay, sometimes.
For my pres, it's just a Focusrite Saffire pre.
Old 1st November 2012
  #5
Gear addict
 

My favorite trick on snare: mic the bottom head in stereo.

Disclaimer: I stole the idea from my band's producer/engineer, who learned it from another producer/engineer, who... you get the idea.

I use two 57s, pointed at the bottom head on either side of the snare wires. They can be anywhere from perpendicular to the floor (both pointing straight up to a kind of weird ORTF-ish setup... experiment to see what fits the song, blah, blah, blah. Whatever pre you have is probably the one to use! Two similar or identical channels is probably preferable.

For processing, I'll pan the tracks L/R, usually all the way, but perhaps a bit less. By mixing in a little of the bottom signal with the top, you'll get a nice wide spread without resorting to crazy 'verbs or phase-shifting delays. Of course, it helps if you make sure your bottom and top mics and OH mics are all in phase with one another BEFORE the first take. EQ and compression can help, too... I'll usually filter out some of the top on the sides to sink them back a little bit, and compress just to keep control of peaks.

It's kinda like M/S for snares.

If I only have one snare bottom mic (which is always, unless I tracked it), sometimes adding a super short stereo delay with a little feedback on each side (say, 18-15ms on one side, 35-50ms on the other, 30% feedback, unit/plug dependent, obviously) can "fake" the effect. It's usually not as good, but it can work.
Old 1st November 2012
  #6
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_Mark's Avatar
That reminds me of another trick that I don't think a lot of people know of... The tilting of the mic. If you tilt the mic more upwards (not pointing directly toward the head, but more straight out), you get less over tone/ring. This really will help out when you're doing a deep snare that produces some extra junk you don't want.
Old 1st November 2012
  #7
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Nerine's Avatar
 

The more pressing question is, how do you find room for two bottom snare mics in the sea of hardware that's often present!?!
Old 1st November 2012
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerine View Post
The more pressing question is, how do you find room for two bottom snare mics in the sea of hardware that's often present!?!
Good question! It's often a PITA, but a (very) short boom stand and a stereo bar usually does the trick.

When I first read the question, I had a mental image of a drum kit set up in a sea of glowing compressors, mic pres, etc...
Old 1st November 2012
  #9
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Mostly — after drummer, performance, tuning — it's about mic choice and placement. Interesting idea about stereo undersnare mics... but do you *really* need to do that?! It's not like you can't get a decent snare sound from a single mic, never mind two. If you can get away with more spill, I like the C414 BULS firing in from the side at 1-2feet, no top or bottom mic.

Dynamics varies from track to track. In a loud track, deliberate clipping can do something useful to the transient - keeps the impact, while shaving off a lot from the peak, so it can go louder without wrecking things on the bus. Compression - again it varies. Can't abide Waves CLA76. It's one of the worst 1176 models out there IMO. The newer UA ones aren't bad, the IK one not bad either — but *none* of the plug-ins come close to hardware. Even an £800 clone I AB'd the other day was like lifting a veil when dropping it in in place of my best efforts with plug-ins. Limiting — yeah, the Waves limiters sound terrible for normal use, but they can do something nice to a snare. Distortion - I like a parallel distortion effect when you reach a song section where the snare needs to peep through a bit more. SPL Twin Tube, maybe, or an amp sim. Noveltech Character. BBE Harmonics Maximiser plug is a secret weapon here. Just use sparingly, and not right the way through the track.

Reverb treatment is a tricky one. Sometimes don't bother - dry upfront sound can be great. Room mics can usually do what you need. But I quite like the old Andy Wallace (yeah, I'm sure someone else did it first, but...) trick of triggering a fuller-sounding sample which you feed into a 100% wet reverb (ie send to the verb but shut off the sample's channel output. So I like to catch a good, clean trigger signal somehow. If it's a lower number, no matter how unobtrusive your reverb, you can get it to work better by adjusting manually to fit the groove.
Old 1st November 2012
  #10
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mixedup View Post
Mostly — after drummer, performance, tuning — it's about mic choice and placement. Interesting idea about stereo undersnare mics... but do you *really* need to do that?! It's not like you can't get a decent snare sound from a single mic, never mind two.
Depending on the song, I need to do it in the same way that GearSlutz NEED the best pres, comps, cables, converters, magic dust (Sound Pure sells the best I've found, but Greg Scott's new plug will come close, I'm sure), etc., etc. If you can't get a great snare sound with NO snare mic (OH's and an FOK), something's wrong. But if you want that little extra something without resorting to "fixing it later," or triggering Slate samples, or whatever else floats your boat, then it's a great trick!

YMMV.
Old 1st November 2012
  #11
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Fair enough. I'm not entirely comfortable with my own sluttishness. But I'll be giving this a try, just out of curiosity.
Old 1st November 2012
  #12
Gear addict
 

I think you'll like it.

It works particularly well when the snares are a bit loose, and that snare sound fits the song. I wouldn't use it on a jazz recording, but on the right folk or rock or pop record, it can sound really nice.

Shameless plug: Listen to my band's full length record Pilot Machines--the songs "The Company We Keep" and "Only Echoes" in particular--to hear some stereo bottom mics. You can preview them on iTunes, or stream on Spotify. The third verse of the former and the outro of the latter are spare enough that you can really zero in on the snare.
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