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Author Topic: Can we talk about snares.  (Read 9676 times)

Rick Carson

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Can we talk about snares.
« on: May 02, 2011, 03:18:04 am »

I was wondering how you typically go about mixing snares. I usually eq and then parallel compress it. I sometimes throw a 1176 after my uncompressed snare just for a db or two to level it out.


I have a problem getting that exploding snare sound. I have tried a ton of reverbs and have never found one that works for me.

I would love any insight on how you guys work.

Thanks a ton!
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rosshogarth

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2011, 11:57:31 am »

are you recording the snare too ?
or just mixing what's given ?
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Podgorny

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2011, 12:28:48 pm »

Valley Dyna-Mite in parallel. Sometimes transient designer. Sometimes a sample blended in. Sometimes all it needs is EQ.

There is no one way that always works. It depends on what you're working with and your intended destination.
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Bubba--Kron

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2011, 06:50:31 pm »

Compression and snare always drive me nuts. You cant compress a snare with out completely changing the sound, unless its mixed in on a drum buss IME.  I would say dont compress the snare and try to mic it better for pop, but thats just me!!

cheers
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Extreme Mixing

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #4 on: May 03, 2011, 12:42:39 am »

You cant compress a snare with out completely changing the sound,

Sometimes that's the idea.

Steve
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Michael Brauer

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2011, 09:11:29 pm »

give us an example of a song that has the exploding snare you are trying to recreate for your mixes.

michael

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Rick Carson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2011, 10:43:56 pm »

Oh my god I can't thank you guys enough for replying . @ Ross H I am recording the snare. I tend to record snares with shure 545s with a api pre. Usually around a 45 degree angle .

@Michael B, I love the snares from nirvanas never mind & inutero, at the drive in, relationship and command. Cursive's the ugly organ.
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rosshogarth

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2011, 02:48:58 am »

I do love the 545
its an unknown gem
fatter transient than a sm57
try for fun
a condenser taped to it for more crack
I also will on occasion only compress the condenser for more tone

also
pull the mics slightly back so they are close to the shell
it will give more ring and less thud

try
a center overhead compressed too
it adds a lot of smash to the snare
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The practice of forgiveness is our most important contribution to the healing of the world.

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Jeff Yurek

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2011, 05:22:14 pm »

try
a center overhead compressed too
it adds a lot of smash to the snare

This is an awesome way to open up a snare. Check your phase, IME its almost invariably out vs snare and/or kick mics.

Rick Carson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2011, 08:30:06 pm »

Thanks a ton guys. Yeah as soon as I heard the 545 I bought another 2 now I have 4 57's I don't use. I'm going to try all this out tomorrow.

What do you guys typically use for reverb?
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Blackwing13

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2011, 04:55:09 am »

Hi,

I usually blend samples to augment my snares. If the snare needs more low, I'll search heavy snare. If I need snap, the I'll go find a snappy snare sample. The dynamic is controlled in the Drumagog's dynamic option, so I rarely uses compressors.
The the real snare & the samples usually goes to snare bus with further treatment necessary. Then going to the drum master bus.

I usually go for my UAD2 EMT's for reverbs. But if its to much, a subtle slap-delay and chorus will do :D

Gabriel
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Rick Carson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2011, 09:58:06 am »

I started in my career using samples to blend but I would really like to learn how to get my snare there. If samples are the the only to get that sound then I guess I should start using them again.
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Fletcher

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2011, 01:59:27 pm »

Samples certainly aren't the only way to get "the" sound... but they are a way.  The thing about modern snares is that you have a presence element that is actually kind of unnatural to the drum [though in modern times its become way closer to natural than it was in the 80's!!]. 

The thing about samples is that they have a very distinct and marked transient front end... from 0 level to +20dbu in under 1.7Ás... which is indeed the drum, but the drum will have other "ambient" noise in front of it - its not coming out of "dead silence" [which is one of the aspects that makes samples sound like samples... along with the "absolute repetition" factor].

One thing I've found you can do to make a real drum sound more like a sample while still being a palpably real drum is to break it off into a parallel path - gate that parallel snare [triggered off the real snare if necessary] - then use that parallel path as the reverb feed [sometimes sneaking a little bit of it in with / under the actual recorded drum].

You can process the parallel path differently than the actual drum... you can compress it for a longer sustain of the drum note - you can hit it with a "transient designer" and really sharpen up the front end transient hit... you can run it though a couple of bands of EQ to pull out an exaggerated quality [or perhaps quantity] of the stick "bap" [that midrange note thing] and crack [the up around 6-9kHz "tippy top" thing]... etc.

If you have that feeding the reverb [and like I said earlier - if the desire hits you, you can sneak some of it in under the actual drum for a neat fattening tool at times] you can get all kinds of unnatural presence that doesn't turn into an 80's Phil Collins or Power Station record but still has a greater presence than you'd find on a Thin Lizzy record from the 70's.

Just a couple of thoughts... hope they're of some assistance.

Peace.
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Rick Carson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2011, 12:32:41 pm »

This is all awesome thanks some much Fletcher.
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Bryson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2011, 11:35:07 pm »

...but still has a greater presence than you'd find on a Thin Lizzy record from the 70's.


Ha!!!!
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JohnTravis

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2011, 10:12:22 pm »

I think, judging by the examples you chose, your answer is all in the room sound, and of course the drummer. Never underestimate the guy actually hitting the drums, but assuming your drummer is great, rather than focusing on what mic you have right up on the snare, what are you using to mic the room?

Some of the biggest drum sounds ever recorded involved no close mics on the kit and definitely in the case of  the recordings you mentioned the room sounds are in my opinion what is giving it the explosiveness. My suggestion is try turning the rooms up in the mix and see if that gets you closer.

Now Andy Wallace was the mixer on the At the Drive in record and Nevermind (two of the recordings you mentioned) and Andy is a big fan of using a snare sample to feed a reverb. It's a cool trick that might just give you the 'size' and explosiveness you are missing from your snare. Try it and let us know how you get along.

If you are a little unsure how to trigger a sample I highly recommend SPL's sample replacer, I think it's called something like Drum Exchange. It's really well designed and allows you to blend the sample with the recorded snare, it also is quite dynamic in the way it triggers and it is extremely intuitive and easy to figure out.
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fossiltooth

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 12:26:00 pm »

I love the snares from nirvanas nevermind & in utero, at the drive-in, relationship of command.

Parallel snare compression is a factor on some of these sounds, but don't forget the importance of brutal, crushed room mics.

These records also feature really incredible, hard-hitting drummers who wouldn't be caught dead recording a snare if it didn't sound huge and bombastic in the room first. If you're tracking, I recommend experimenting as much as you can with tuning, heads and sizes until you develop a 6th sense for snare sounds.

If you're stuck with other people's tracks, and they're holding you back, samples may be in order. Also: try multing and/or just squashing room mics.

Podgorny

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #17 on: May 19, 2011, 01:41:37 pm »

The funny thing is, there isn't a whole lot in common between the examples he cited, except that they all sound good!
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Rick Carson

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 08:11:01 pm »

I know this is exactly how I feel! I guess we should talk about the room more. I always use room mics. Sometimes mono. Usually stereo. I have experimented alot with them and have found a few different positions in my room and most of the tone of my snares comes from these mics. But i am missing that last something. That adds that what I would describe as "solidity" to my sound. That's one thing that I feel my examples have in common is that they are solid sounds.

The funny thing is, there isn't a whole lot in common between the examples he cited, except that they all sound good!
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musiclab

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #19 on: May 24, 2011, 09:48:11 am »

I will typically use a compressor on the snare, one I really like lately is the Amek Channel In The Box compressor. It has a button called  MM [much more] it sounds to me like it's adding a limiter to the chain but what ever it is is really nice on the snare. I also routinely do one of the things Fletcher mentioned, which is gate a mult of snare and use that to send to the reverb. Also keep in mind your overheads usually are a huge part of the tone of the kit. When I get drums sounds I usually start with the overheads, and then go on to the individual mics. I use the same approach when recording drums
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Schimpf

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 10:04:55 am »

give us an example of a song that has the exploding snare you are trying to recreate for your mixes.

michael

Hi Michael,

Since you asked, I am wondering if you can talk about the snare sound, and drum sound in general on the song "Yellow". That track seems to be different from the rest of the songs on the album. Just curious how you approached that song, how did those drum tracks sound when you first listened?

Big fan BTW, thanks for the great work!

John
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musiclab

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2011, 01:57:07 pm »

what works for me when mixing the snare is an Amek Channel in the Box with the compressor's
MM button depressed. Besides that the overheads and the room are key to making the drums sound like they're exploding. Like Fletcher spoke of I will usually send my processed snare to a bus or send [I mix on a console] gate that and send that to a reverb. I will also do all of the usual tricks to the room mics. One thing tho, sometimes if the drummers got a lot of ride cymbal or cymbal bell, the room can get tough to smash, in which case if I recorded the drums
I will usually have a file of hits I took from the drummer when we tracked. I'll take the stereo room of those single hits and retrigger that off the snare. It has the added plus of that you're not using someone else's samples and enables you to get that huge room without the cymbals
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Cass Anawaty

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2011, 08:39:27 pm »

I will usually have a file of hits I took from the drummer when we tracked. I'll take the stereo room of those single hits and retrigger that off the snare. It has the added plus of that you're not using someone else's samples and enables you to get that huge room without the cymbals
Thanks--I like that idea.
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KyleG

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2011, 01:07:26 am »

I will usually have a file of hits I took from the drummer when we tracked. I'll take the stereo room of those single hits and retrigger that off the snare. It has the added plus of that you're not using someone else's samples and enables you to get that huge room without the cymbals

I've done this to augment/replace the close mics but never thought of using them to trigger the room like this. I'll definitely have to try this out next time I encounter this problem.
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bgrotto

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2011, 10:57:46 pm »

For me, the snare drum sound comes almost entirely from the OHs and/or room mics.  Even when I'm using samples, I typically lean towards samples with some (or lots of) ambience; usually a blend of a close mic with OHs or room.  A lotta top end, a lotta depth, and a lotta nuance comes from the more ambient mics.

I like the close top mic to fill in the bottom and low mids, and maybe add a bit of "point" to the attack.  I also like to manipulate it with compression to affect the attack, sustain, and ring of the drum.  For harder rock stuff, I find myself typically boosting the extremes (top and bottom) into a compressor.  The 1176 works well for adding some chunk, if the snare needs it.  Distressors are good for bringing out the midrange, maybe some ring.  LA2As can be great for giving you a nice "smack" and a nice, pillowy soft sustain (this works super well into a plate reverb, though now we're getting away from the "exploding" sound mentioned in the OP).

As for adding reverb, kinda tough to beat "Tiled Room" from a PCM70.  "Small Room" works well, too.  I lean on those two (particularly the former) pretty heavily.  If I'm recording the drums myself, I'll make a full set of samples, and trigger a sample of the room mics.  Makes the drummer sound big n' mean.
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musiclab

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Re: Can we talk about snares.
« Reply #25 on: June 19, 2011, 11:44:23 am »

I also like #112 Reverb/Compress on the KSP8 for rock drums. And on the inexpensive side, the SRV 330 has some nice rooms for drums
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