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Author Topic: Snare mic collar to block HH?  (Read 7019 times)

tenaciousJay

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Snare mic collar to block HH?
« on: May 19, 2004, 02:31:47 pm »

Hi-hat in the snare mic is often a problem for me, as drummers always position the hat so that it's impossible to put it in the null spot of the mic. To try to lessen this, I've tried making a little "collar" for my snare mic to try to cut out some of the hi-hat that always bleeds through there. I remember one dude (a punk rock engineer guy) that my band recorded with years ago did it but that's the only time I've seen or heard of this.

So what do you think? Anyone else do this? Am I screwing with the sound of the snare too much? Asking for phase problems? I've never noticed a detriment to the snare sound but I am generally in the same room as the band and so can't hear the immediate difference. Still things sound OK on playback to me, and the snare needs much less work at mix time (I hate trying to gate that thing).

So if you do do it, do you DIY? Cardboard? Foam? Got a sketch or photo? Does someone make something like this commercially?

Thanks

Jay
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Vertigo

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2004, 02:51:22 pm »

Well first off, how are you placing the mic? Most of the mics that you would use on a snare these days offer the most rejection at the rear of the capsule, so check the angle of the mic and make sure you're pointing it at the head of the snare (and not at the drummer's dick). I usually place a 57 or an SM7 over the top head and angle it so that the mic is pointing as downward as possible without interfering with the drummer's sticking. Thus far I've had zero problems with hi-hat bleedthrough.

-Lance


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Fibes

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2004, 04:09:47 pm »

tenaciousJay wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 14:31

 To try to lessen this, I've tried making a little "collar" for my snare mic to try to cut out some of the hi-hat that always bleeds through there. I remember one dude (a punk rock engineer guy) that my band recorded with years ago did it but that's the only time I've seen or heard of this.

Jay


That dog don't hunt, in fact, it might just take a bite outta your leg.

Take the time to place the highhat mic listening to both the snare and hat, if that doesn't work you got one of two things: Hats that are too loud or a basher. Guess which one has a solution? Both, but changing hats is usually cleaner than changing drummers. If ya got a basher, dare i say, use a gated channel in addition to an unprocessed clean snare channel. ....or use a highhat mic filtered to the offensive frequencies and set out of polarity.

That's a start, if all else fails call the drummer a dumbass and break his right arm with a 2x4.
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Fibes
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Family Hoof

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2004, 04:21:48 pm »

Hyper (or super) cardioid mics, such as the Beta 57A, have the most rejection from the sides and towards the rear (about 120 degrees). This might make for more rejection than a regular cardioid when aimed in the position I'm thinking of (at the snare center with the hihat to the side). Honestly though, I agree with the above two posts in that it's probably the drummer = not hitting the snare hard enough, bashing the open hihats, or a combination of both. Punk drummers will do this. If the baffle works for you, fine. I hear that was not uncommon to do 2 or 3 decades ago.

Keep fucking around with that mic position first. If you're in them same room as the band I'd hope you have good isolation headphones and so you could wear these while positioning the mic to help find the best spot. It may not be where you think it is.
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Fibes

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2004, 05:31:13 pm »

Utilizing a mic that handles the bleed in a pleasing fashion can sometimes help too. 57s are are sometimes a bit weird off axis...
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Fibes
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Bill Park

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2004, 06:35:16 pm »

First, it doesn't work, anymore than the same material used for the collar could be used as a sound barier.  The longer sound waves will go right around it, the shorter ones mostly right through it.

Second, it will change the pattern and response of the mic a bit, usually to your detriment.

Do you really need the isolation?  I find the drum recordings that I enjoy most tend to be less mucked around with.  Many of them are also using fewer mics, and more distance micing.  Not appropriate in all situations, but perhaps something to try.

 Bill
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tenaciousJay

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2004, 06:45:47 pm »

Fibes wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 13:09

if that doesn't work you got one of two things: Hats that are too loud or a basher.


yes and yes (talking about my drummer here who I've done most of my work with lately).

Quote:

Guess which one has a solution? Both, but changing hats is usually cleaner than changing drummers. If ya got a basher, dare i say, use a gated channel in addition to an unprocessed clean snare channel. ....or use a highhat mic filtered to the offensive frequencies and set out of polarity.

That's a start, if all else fails call the drummer a dumbass and break his right arm with a 2x4.


Except that he's about 6'6" so physical intimidation is right out. He's the nicest guy in the world but I can't get him to stop cymbal bashing and sometimes his snare hits are inconsistant - when cymbal bashing the snare gets quieter and then at least once a song there's a super loud one - WHACK!

He has the hat hanging over about 1/3 of the drum; to point towards the center and get the hat in the null I'm directly underneath it and in his way. I also get nervous when too close to the under cymbal. I've had some luck with side micing at an angle away from the hat, but even then I get lots of hat.

He has a family and a hard time coming up with dough for equipment, and I also know he likes those heavy cymbals anyway. Sounds good live I must admit; they never mic them at our shows but they always come through. And we practice in a warehouse so I don't have them bashing right in my ears in a small enclosed space.

But I'm in the process of buying a house and building a studio so after it's built I'd like my own set (his is tough to play on it's set up so high). But anyway I'll go with some lighter cymbals and a wood snare to contrast his metal one and maybe I can get him to switch out for recording.

So this technique is totally out of the question then? I get lots of snare from the overheads so a slightly deadened dedicated snare mic doesn't seem too out of line to me. I don't really want a 70s dry drums sound, I just want a snare track that I can work with.

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tenaciousJay

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2004, 06:59:15 pm »

Bill Park wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 15:35

First, it doesn't work, anymore than the same material used for the collar could be used as a sound barier.  The longer sound waves will go right around it, the shorter ones mostly right through it.

Second, it will change the pattern and response of the mic a bit, usually to your detriment.

Do you really need the isolation?  I find the drum recordings that I enjoy most tend to be less mucked around with.  Many of them are also using fewer mics, and more distance micing.  Not appropriate in all situations, but perhaps something to try.

 Bill


But I do notice a significant decrease in the hat when I do this, using either cardboard or foam. It's not perfect, but it's been enough. I try not to wrap it around the capsule, just enough to be in between the two.

I also like open natural sounding drums but I absolutely can't stand it when the hat is too loud and you get that nasty under cymbal through a 57 sound. And gating never sounds natural to me without tons of work. I do want to try to work with a room mic, though.
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archtop

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2004, 07:04:11 pm »

You KNOW we feel your pain

There is the lighter stick option a 7A or somethin' like that

but getting a good  balance  in the FAR mic would be nice
but he would actually have to not bash the cymbals, and mix himself

(really the best plan)


there is also the freaky wild slipperman technique of MICING the offensivelly loud hat, to key a compressed drum group for a slight ducker action.
(have never tried, but it works on paper)

come by when you can
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tenaciousJay

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2004, 07:25:56 pm »

archtop wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 16:04

You KNOW we feel your pain

There is the lighter stick option a 7A or somethin' like that

but getting a good  balance  in the FAR mic would be nice
but he would actually have to not bash the cymbals, and mix himself

(really the best plan)

there is also the freaky wild slipperman technique of MICING the offensivelly loud hat, to key a compressed drum group for a slight ducker action.
(have never tried, but it works on paper)

come by when you can


Thanks dude, I guess it's an age old problem with drummers.

Ducking the whole group? Oh I guess it's a compressed mult. I'm going to have to wait to get a console to try all of the great multing techinques I've read about around here (I think I have a Soundcraft 6000 lined up) - nudging those things around in the box is far too much work for me and I always imagine I'm making things worse. The filtered and reversed polarity trick that Fibes mentioned might be workable ITB though. But I'm running out of tracks - I've been using 2 kick mics lately and I'm not going back to 1.

I'll see what I can do, archtop, my dad is moving over there this fall so I'll probably be making more trips to the west side soon. But until then it's all about selling our current house and fixing up our new place (including studio construction).
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raw-tracks

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2004, 12:26:38 am »

Auralex makes these:



http://www.auralex.com/gallery/images/xp_3lr.jpg

I have never used them so I cannot attest to their effectiveness. I guess they would help your situation.
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Fibes

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2004, 09:57:10 am »

Quote:

The filtered and reversed polarity trick that Fibes mentioned might be workable ITB though.


Or with a patchbay mult and a patch cable wired to flip the second track. No extra channels needed.

Sorry the 2x4 won't work...
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Fibes
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tenaciousJay

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2004, 11:25:38 am »

raw-tracks wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 21:26

Auralex makes these:

http://www.auralex.com/gallery/images/xp_3lr.jpg

I have never used them so I cannot attest to their effectiveness. I guess they would help your situation.


Well good, I guess I'm not the only one at least. That's a lot bigger than the ones I make but it looks pretty easy to imitate compared to my duct taped wonders.


Fibes wrote

Or with a patchbay mult and a patch cable wired to flip the second track. No extra channels needed.

Sorry the 2x4 won't work...


But I am thinking of adding an electric cattle prod to my needed equipment list.
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alanthomas

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2004, 10:59:05 am »

archtop wrote on Wed, 19 May 2004 17:04

...there is also the freaky wild slipperman technique of MICING the offensivelly loud hat, to key a compressed drum group for a slight ducker action...


You could also feed this HH mic back into the drummer's headphone mix in an effort to get him to back off them a little...

I've tried the baffle thing with a little success. I mounted the baffle on a seperate mic stand so I could position the snare mic and the baffle independently.
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hargerst

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Re: Snare mic collar to block HH?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2004, 01:11:21 pm »

Zildijen also offers a set of 12" "Recording Hi-Hats" that can often curb an overly enthusiastic drummer.
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