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Author Topic: Condenser for snare drum  (Read 13796 times)

audiowonderland

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Condenser for snare drum
« on: February 08, 2010, 09:29:28 pm »

What would be a good choice in a condenser mic to use on a snare drum? I am looking for more bite/crack from the snare without having to do major EQ moves at mix time. I am using a 4 mic setup with 2 OH's in a modified Recorderman type of setup plus kick/snare mics.

pete andrews

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2010, 11:46:28 pm »

not a condenser - but the Heil PR-20 will give you plenty of snap on a snare.

-pete

hargerst

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2010, 02:15:13 am »

The Beyer M201 is a great snare mic.  A second, less familiar recommendation would be the MXL "Cube" mic.
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Harvey "Is that the right note?" Gerst
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compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2010, 08:27:58 am »

The classic snare pencil condenser microphone would be the KM-84, but that's not exactly budget.

Far less costly, you might give the NT-55 a try.
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audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2010, 08:59:16 am »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 07:27

The classic snare pencil condenser microphone would be the KM-84, but that's not exactly budget.

Far less costly, you might give the NT-55 a try.



Are those typically used on the batter side or the snare side? Boosting the highs on the OH's brings out what I want to hear. I am wondering if a bottom mic is really what I need. Most of the dymanics I have are boosted around 5k. Would something boosted around 10k be a better choice for a snare bottom mic?

compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2010, 09:25:12 am »

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.
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audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2010, 09:40:55 am »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 08:25

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.



Fair enough. I am using 4 mics for the entire kit and don't necessarily want to add more. I am currently using an sm57 an inch or so above the rim aimed across the batter head. It sounds good, not great, and rejects the hats really well. (They are very low, no more than 4-5" above the rim of the snare) Sounds like you are suggesting that I move that mic away from the drum a bit to capture more of the "drum" instead of just the batter head.

Do you use any type of augmentation/replacement/enhancement at the mix stage? Just trying to understand what makes up the final sound. I have listened to a few of the Widespread Panic albums and like the results I hear on those.(Angels On High in particular) My guess is you don't going with a minimal mic setup. I am a huge fan of capturing instruments/performances as naturally as possible. Not necessarily in vogue these days but I like the results

compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2010, 12:08:16 pm »

Audiowonderland wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 09:40

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 08:25

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.



Fair enough. I am using 4 mics for the entire kit and don't necessarily want to add more. I am currently using an sm57 an inch or so above the rim aimed across the batter head. It sounds good, not great, and rejects the hats really well. (They are very low, no more than 4-5" above the rim of the snare) Sounds like you are suggesting that I move that mic away from the drum a bit to capture more of the "drum" instead of just the batter head.

Do you use any type of augmentation/replacement/enhancement at the mix stage? Just trying to understand what makes up the final sound. I have listened to a few of the Widespread Panic albums and like the results I hear on those.(Angels On High in particular) My guess is you don't going with a minimal mic setup....



On that Panic album, I basically used two microphones for the whole kit, one in the bass drum (47fet) and one over the rest of the instrument (251).  There was also a C12 on the floor toms, just when need for clarity, and an SM7 near the snare used mostly for snare reverb send, but occasionally used if more bite or immediacy needed on snare.

Here is the session report, with photos:

    http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/17672/0/0/ 6490/
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audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2010, 01:10:25 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 11:08

Audiowonderland wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 09:40

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 08:25

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.



Fair enough. I am using 4 mics for the entire kit and don't necessarily want to add more. I am currently using an sm57 an inch or so above the rim aimed across the batter head. It sounds good, not great, and rejects the hats really well. (They are very low, no more than 4-5" above the rim of the snare) Sounds like you are suggesting that I move that mic away from the drum a bit to capture more of the "drum" instead of just the batter head.

Do you use any type of augmentation/replacement/enhancement at the mix stage? Just trying to understand what makes up the final sound. I have listened to a few of the Widespread Panic albums and like the results I hear on those.(Angels On High in particular) My guess is you don't going with a minimal mic setup....



On that Panic album, I basically used two microphones for the whole kit, one in the bass drum (47fet) and one over the rest of the instrument (251).  There was also a C12 on the floor toms, just when need for clarity, and an SM7 near the snare used mostly for snare reverb send, but occasionally used if more bite or immediacy needed on snare.

Here is the session report, with photos:

      http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/17672/0/0/ 6490/




Very Cool. Having read through the first 8 pages or so it would seem you tend to not necessarily put mics right on top of the sources. The drums and horns in particular take advantage of the space they are being played in. I really like that approach. Is that just where things were sounding good that day or is that a preference from all of your experience? I like the idea a lot. My room is fairly dead after I added the necessary traps to deal with a very reverberant small box of a room. Should be fun to try some of this out.

compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2010, 01:25:49 pm »

Audiowonderland wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 13:10

...it would seem you tend to not necessarily put mics right on top of the sources. The drums and horns in particular take advantage of the space they are being played in. I really like that approach. Is that just where things were sounding good that day or is that a preference from all of your experience?



That is a major preference.

Walk into a studio room.

Listen to a good musician playing a nice instrument.

Do you like it?

Is your ear about 1" from the instrument?

A good room really helps of course.
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Geoff Emerick de Fake

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2010, 10:51:54 pm »

Audiowonderland wrote on Mon, 08 February 2010 20:29

What would be a good choice in a condenser mic to use on a snare drum? I am looking for more bite/crack from the snare without having to do major EQ moves at mix time. I am using a 4 mic setup with 2 OH's in a modified Recorderman type of setup plus kick/snare mics.
Audio Technica PRO37; my secret weapon...
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lysander

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 12:58:14 pm »

If you prefer the sound of the snare miced from a distance, another trick is to use the close mic as the trigger for a noise gate on a more distant mic.
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Galil

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 01:43:27 pm »

+ 1 on the PRO37.

Galil
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audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2010, 09:43:48 am »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 11:08

Audiowonderland wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 09:40

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 08:25

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.



Fair enough. I am using 4 mics for the entire kit and don't necessarily want to add more. I am currently using an sm57 an inch or so above the rim aimed across the batter head. It sounds good, not great, and rejects the hats really well. (They are very low, no more than 4-5" above the rim of the snare) Sounds like you are suggesting that I move that mic away from the drum a bit to capture more of the "drum" instead of just the batter head.

Do you use any type of augmentation/replacement/enhancement at the mix stage? Just trying to understand what makes up the final sound. I have listened to a few of the Widespread Panic albums and like the results I hear on those.(Angels On High in particular) My guess is you don't going with a minimal mic setup....



On that Panic album, I basically used two microphones for the whole kit, one in the bass drum (47fet) and one over the rest of the instrument (251).  There was also a C12 on the floor toms, just when need for clarity, and an SM7 near the snare used mostly for snare reverb send, but occasionally used if more bite or immediacy needed on snare.

Here is the session report, with photos:

     http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/mv/msg/17672/0/0/ 6490/




That picture of the drum kit micing in that thread is encouraging because its actually very similar to the best setup I have found so far for drums in my room. My OH's are a good bit tighter because of a low ceiling but it really sounds so much better than what I was able to get with close mics on everything.

A.J.

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2010, 01:47:01 pm »

Geoff Emerick de Fake wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 22:51

 Audio Technica PRO37; my secret weapon...



Interesting. These are pretty cheap. I'd like to check one out. Thanks for the tip.

Best,
A.J.

jonathan jetter

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 12:06:14 am »

i've had good luck with a UM70, a KM84, a 414, and a U87.

used a 4033 in a pinch once and it worked fine too.  not as nice as the others above but w/e.

used a Rode NT5 and enjoyed it but it's a little too hot for a loud drummer.  the newer one (NT55 i think?) has a pad built in.
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hargerst

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2010, 01:32:40 am »

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.
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MrJoshua

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2010, 12:16:53 pm »

hargerst wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 00:32

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.


If that's the case, and he's looking for more snap, try moving the mic to the shell instead of the top head.  About an inch back from the shell of the drum, midway down can give a good mix of top-head attack and bottom-head snare snap.  You have to be careful with the placement, though, as it's easy to get a lot of kick drum bleed with this placement (or at least it has been for me).
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Joshua Lovvorn

audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2010, 02:13:07 pm »

MrJoshua wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 11:16

hargerst wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 00:32

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.


If that's the case, and he's looking for more snap, try moving the mic to the shell instead of the top head.  About an inch back from the shell of the drum, midway down can give a good mix of top-head attack and bottom-head snare snap.  You have to be careful with the placement, though, as it's easy to get a lot of kick drum bleed with this placement (or at least it has been for me).


Interesting idea. I have a couple of Sennheiser mics (609/906) that are super cardoid that may work. Just an inc or so from the shell eh? Never tried that before.

Fibes

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2010, 09:56:15 am »

Audiowonderland wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 14:13

MrJoshua wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 11:16

hargerst wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 00:32

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.


If that's the case, and he's looking for more snap, try moving the mic to the shell instead of the top head.  About an inch back from the shell of the drum, midway down can give a good mix of top-head attack and bottom-head snare snap.  You have to be careful with the placement, though, as it's easy to get a lot of kick drum bleed with this placement (or at least it has been for me).


Interesting idea. I have a couple of Sennheiser mics (609/906) that are super cardoid that may work. Just an inc or so from the shell eh? Never tried that before.





Sometimes it can be just the ticket, other times it sounds like a poorly executed rim shot.
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MrJoshua

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #20 on: February 26, 2010, 08:41:57 am »

True - it certainly isn't something that works every time.  But what is?  Smile
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Joshua Lovvorn

hargerst

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #21 on: February 26, 2010, 02:02:43 pm »

MrJoshua wrote on Fri, 26 February 2010 07:41

True - it certainly isn't something that works every time.  But what is?  Smile

So much of the snare "sound" is really dependent on what the song needs.  We have about 12 or more different snares available to help get us close to the "right sound" before we even start to put up mics.  Usually, the SM57, the Beyer M201, or the MXL Cube will turn out to be best for a given track.
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wwittman

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #22 on: February 26, 2010, 08:24:07 pm »

hargerst wrote on Fri, 26 February 2010 14:02


So much of the snare "sound" is really dependent on what the song needs.  We have about 12 or more different snares available to help get us close to the "right sound" before we even start to put up mics.  




I completely agree with that...
and with tuning or head choices for additional variety beyond even drum choice

but it all goes in front of the 84 after that Twisted Evil
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jonathan jetter

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2010, 10:18:07 pm »

hargerst wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 01:32

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.


i have to apologize-  i completely forgot this was the "budget" forum.

in that case i think a Beyer 201 or shure SM7, while both more expensive than the 57, will sound a lot better but without breaking the bank.
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martthie_08

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2010, 08:09:10 am »

I like the M201 on snare bottom, you might wanna look out for a Revox M3500, which is a very similar mic, but can be found much cheaper.

cheers, Marten

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #25 on: March 04, 2010, 10:14:13 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Tue, 09 February 2010 06:25

If you want information regarding "bottom" snare mics, it should come from someone else, because I do not like them.

The best snare mic is one backed away from the snare...the farther back you get, the better the snare can sound.  But of course, then the more the other drums will blend into that one mic.

Many, including me, like to use one (or maybe two) mics on *the drum kit*...this includes the snare of course.  But the drummer will have to be good enough to balance the kit.

I was referring to using the pencil condenser as a (fairly at least) close snare mic on the top side, in the oft-used individual drum mic'ing technique.



You know, I recall a session I assisted on once...  Bud of mine was the drummer.  Got his kit all set up, the engineer miked it all up, and then put a Beta58 on a boom for him to have a talkback mic.  It was positioned such that it pointed at him and if he wanted to talk, he could lean over to it.  We started tracking, and I was like, "Man, that's a badass snare sound!  ...Why is it louder than other stuff?  Oh, the talkback mic is on."  So we muted it (wasn't going to tape or anything).  Badass snare sound?  Gone.  I forget what we had up close on the snare, but had we not been suffering rectal-cranial integration, we'd have put that talkback mic to tape!  

I really oughta try that again...
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #26 on: March 04, 2010, 10:20:09 pm »

MrJoshua wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 09:16

hargerst wrote on Mon, 15 February 2010 00:32

I think Bill's on a pretty tight budget and is looking for a low cost alternative to his SM57 for snare.


If that's the case, and he's looking for more snap, try moving the mic to the shell instead of the top head.  About an inch back from the shell of the drum, midway down can give a good mix of top-head attack and bottom-head snare snap.  You have to be careful with the placement, though, as it's easy to get a lot of kick drum bleed with this placement (or at least it has been for me).


Could work...  With a steel snare it might get you a lot of ring, though.  
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compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #27 on: March 04, 2010, 10:38:32 pm »

Wow, I just used what was my favourite microphone ever on snare today/tonight.

Unfortunately, I can't say at this time what it is, for a couple of reasons.

But I am really excited, and will divulge the "secret" sometime pretty soon.
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KB_S1

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #28 on: March 05, 2010, 06:39:59 am »

Is it possible for anyone else to stumble upon this 'secret' just now or, is it a New 'secret'?
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compasspnt

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #29 on: March 05, 2010, 08:11:06 am »

In most ways, this is a new "secret."

Not a now-well-known LDC situation.

Sorry for the secrecy, but I can't say for the moment.

Probably shouldn't have posted it, just got excited yesterday.
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C.Cash

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #30 on: March 05, 2010, 10:58:18 am »

Hmm, perhaps you can be bribed with 2 bags of Irie Nuts?
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audiowonderland

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #31 on: March 05, 2010, 12:23:17 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 04 March 2010 21:38

Wow, I just used what was my favourite microphone ever on snare today/tonight.

Unfortunately, I can't say at this time what it is, for a couple of reasons.

But I am really excited, and will divulge the "secret" sometime pretty soon.



As long as its something that fits the budget....It would be unpleasant to be teased...Smile LOL

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2010, 04:51:35 pm »

Terry is such a tease.
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #33 on: March 08, 2010, 03:10:52 pm »

With that said, I haven't found a budget condenser to outperform a similar priced dynamic on snare.

There's nothing wrong with adding 5k and rolling out some 1k.


Sometimes it's what the mic doesn't hear that makes it work out best.


The E22s is something I'm enjoying putting through the paces.
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2010, 03:08:00 pm »

I did notice that the first budget suggestions were mostly dynamics.  The OP really seemed to want a condenser on the snare, so I played my best budget condenser.  Still, in agreement with Fibes and several others, I would not have a problem putting a good dynamic on the snare like the previously mentioned Beyer, Shure SM-53, or an EV RE-15.  

Sometimes the peaky frequency response from the null side of the cardoid pattern is such that one could be better off with an omni, a budget example being an EV 635a (dynamic) or a more expensive example being a B & K (condenser).

Galil
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tom eaton

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #35 on: March 25, 2010, 01:55:53 pm »

I have really fallen for the KSM32 as a snare mic.  Very rarely a Sennheiser 431 instead, but that KSM32 is pretty much what I think it should sound like 90% of the time. 1% of the time the ATM23 is cool.  I've never liked my Beyer 201 on snare, strangely enough.  

tom

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #36 on: March 28, 2010, 02:28:30 am »

Fibes wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 15:10



Sometimes it's what the mic doesn't hear that makes it work out best.





FWIW I never think that
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William Wittman
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #37 on: March 28, 2010, 12:48:56 pm »

ATM450. Not a replacement for a KM84, but a great alternative for $220. I bought one and immediately bought three more. index.php/fa/14531/0/
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #38 on: March 28, 2010, 07:54:59 pm »

Hey Benjy-

I bought a pair of those right when they came out and ended up selling them... was using them in normal SDC places: ac gtrs, overheads, etc. and never really found them better than other choices I had.  I never thought of them for drums (ala Josephson E22)... what do you particularly like about them?

Thanks!

tom

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #39 on: March 28, 2010, 09:17:27 pm »

Hi Tom,

I like them on snare drum. I got a very 'woody', which I like, sound on acoustic guitar. I love the side-address. They look good!! Ha! Nice mic for $220. E22 is $1350. Different league to be sure.

What didn't you like about them?
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Benjy King

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Phil Ramone quote: "If you can't get a good sound with a 57 and a Portastudio you're not going to get a good sound with a C-12 and a 3324."

meverylame

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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #40 on: March 29, 2010, 01:08:41 am »

Fibes wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 15:10



The E22s is something I'm enjoying putting through the paces.

Don't know what you think about it... I thought it sounded fine but you're paying for the rejection it offers which is GREAT! Try it on toms?
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2010, 09:10:56 pm »

wwittman wrote on Sun, 28 March 2010 02:28

Fibes wrote on Mon, 08 March 2010 15:10



Sometimes it's what the mic doesn't hear that makes it work out best.





FWIW I never think that


That was poorly worded, what I intended to say is off axis bleed and it's pleasantness or not so pleasantness. Having spent the last 2.5 weeks recording over 40 live shows I've found the E22 to be a great upright bass mic when coupled with an iFet7 or D12/25. It really was all about having a jazz band on a small stage and not having the bass mic be the additional overhead.
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #42 on: April 06, 2010, 04:13:43 pm »

fair enough, put it THAT way and I'm with you

I guess I was heading off the internets idea that sometimes an actually 'bad sounding' mic is a good thing


has anyone tried the Joe Meek jm27 on snare?
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #43 on: April 06, 2010, 08:11:13 pm »

wwittman wrote on Tue, 06 April 2010 16:13

fair enough, put it THAT way and I'm with you

I guess I was heading off the internets idea that sometimes an actually 'bad sounding' mic is a good thing


has anyone tried the Joe Meek jm27 on snare?


Not on the Snare, but i try it on hi-hat, and hate it, it was so harsh.......
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #44 on: April 07, 2010, 06:39:19 pm »

Has anyone tried a KM64 on snare?  It is a tube version of the KM84.

-Andres
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Re: Condenser for snare drum
« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2010, 01:31:07 am »

I used to use 54's on snare, way back when.

but the lack of a pad makes it problematic with a hard hitting drummer

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William Wittman
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