Snare drum mic

Let's talk about kits and mics, new and old. What are you using? What do you want? What's the difference?

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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby rick » Wed May 15, 2013 9:05 pm

Wiz wrote:
rick wrote:I dont have an open mind about shure 57s .. its close shut like a rabbit trap

not so sure I have an open mind about anything really



Assuming a similar price point , or there abouts, do you have another dynamic mic that you would use... Could you elaborate why you don't like the 57? Or is it that you just have better perhaps more esoteric mics for that role?




oh look its an age old bias based on the fact when i learnt how to record stuff , i rarely had a 57 available because for some reason bands use to think it was ok to steal our 57s ..but left all the good expensive stuff alone .. so we mostly didnt have any 57s.. well for very long .. and we would get in big trouble if they were stolen on our shift !


I did a shoot out on snares one night between a 57 a beta 57 a beyer 201 and a km 84 and a km 86 .. and the venerable akg 451 it was no contest for the condensers . .. complete smackdown in mighty tone ..

so I just stopped using dynamics and learn how to take the time to figure out where condensers belong on drums ..to get the sepration we all crave .. and when to use lighter hats and louder snares .. when to use foam and when to use tape and and when to use 5 mics and when to use none and when to use twenty and when to hire somebody else to do it better then you

.. well i am still F@#$ing learning ..
but not cause the 57 is the answer .. more because ..
well i dont know why .. because .

...57s are probably fine .. and they work .. and so do condoms .

and why do i think i want 8 e22 and i havent even built the damn room ... ?

madness ..
microphone madness :)
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby ChrisW » Wed May 22, 2013 12:35 pm

OK......
What about Senn 441?
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby rick » Wed May 22, 2013 10:38 pm

Just for the humility if it all
we did a jazzy jewish gypsy type drum kit recording on sat night at jim blackfoots ..
actually it was a serious gypsy type ensemble with about a zillion cuts to done in 3 hours .. !


while i was F@#$ing around with $25,000 dollars worth of german mics ( err thats 2 mic folks ) to use as room mics

Jim slipped a sm57 up close on the snare ..
I looked up and thought of f@#$ it ..
its his studio why not ..? dont be a dick Rick O'neil
if it sucks when we do a sound check
I will swap it for something else ..

I am still waiting for the actual sound check .. it never happened .

Steve just invited me up the stairs to hear the mix he is doing of those pieces for a play they are doing this week ..

.. ok you read it here first
the Sm57 sounds fine on the snare .. cough cough
actually it sounds great ... cough cough

oh .. f@#$ it !
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Drumstruck » Thu May 23, 2013 9:28 am

hmmm so can I interest you in a pair of SM57s? B-)
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby chapellanestudios » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:09 pm

Besides the usual SM57, I love using the Audix I5 with a Sennheisser M441 on the Bot. If Using 441on top then SM57 bot. I also had great results with an e906 on top or even e914 with the pad on.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby gregwalker » Wed Apr 02, 2014 10:34 am

At the moment I'm 451 all the way - I like to lift it up as far as I can before it gets in the drummers way to get some air into it. I use a -15dB XLR pad straight into a Neve 1272. Lovely.
Reckon condensers beat dynamics 9 times out of 10 on snare if you can deal with the spill factor.
My new secret weapon is Chinese cooking chopsticks instead of normal sticks. Totally changes the snare sound - higher, tighter, kookier, absolutely cooking!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Paul Maybury » Wed Apr 02, 2014 1:34 pm

Hi, I like the 451 on snare but have had it bite me in the bum with the capsule overloading and not noticing it until later. It isn't circuit overload, sounds like a capsule hitting the end stops or something. It may just have been one mic that had had a hard life, i don't know, but haven't tried it again. Beautiful sound with soft to medium playing intensity though.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby casey_rice » Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:41 pm

ah f@#$ it, not that it adds anything to the discussion but...

Altec 201B, AKG C451, Sony C-37P, Beyer M201, Earthworks TC30, all are good to have in the palette and use which of them sounds best in the current setup.

Will also agree strongly with fast mic amps. Slew rate is your friend here...think GML, not mush. That's a good starting point. And yes, sometimes you have to use a 57. I have one (1).
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Jul 01, 2014 3:09 pm

Anyone tried a Telefunken M82?

How about one of the new AKG D12VRs?


Here's another mic comparison clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJDrws3qY74
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby mylesgm » Tue Jul 01, 2014 9:34 pm

Another nice mic is the uher m534 for papery (not thumpy) sound or a 421 on bottom for crunch.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby JoshuaWhitehead » Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:32 pm

I had a student telling me their teacher was talking about stereo micing the snare bottom. Anyone have any thoughts/experiences of this? I'm keen to try it, would like to hear a successful example too.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby The Tasmanian » Thu Jul 10, 2014 11:27 am

What is it with some "teachers" ?
Stereo under snare mic? = maybe for a solo snare circular jazz brush pattern (mic over the snare)
otherwise its not far off idiotic .
"Teacher" should have worked in the real world first.

Next he will be telling students to record 2x bass Di's at the same time - get some nice stereo width?
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Chris H » Fri Jul 11, 2014 5:21 pm

.........it's this sort of thing that makes me feel the net is one day going to cave in on itself. It's definitely showing signs of starting to go in ever diminishing circles, yes?
( my grumpy old bastard post for the day ) :ar!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby icemac » Sat Jul 12, 2014 4:14 pm

The Tasmanian wrote:What is it with some "teachers" ?
Stereo under snare mic? = maybe for a solo snare circular jazz brush pattern (mic over the snare)
otherwise its not far off idiotic .
"Teacher" should have worked in the real world first.

Next he will be telling students to record 2x bass Di's at the same time - get some nice stereo width?


nah man, keep an open mind..
i was comparing a 57 with transformer removed with stock 57 under snare, taped together, under the snap.
i was surprised on playback how good this sounded panned to stereo!
stereo OH, top snare,bottom pair.
you know how close mic on snare always sounds not like being there, pulling up the under pair it suddenly sounds like a snare!

More than once I've been told to "duplicate the track and pan them for more width"...!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby The Tasmanian » Sat Jul 12, 2014 6:58 pm

Then - in essence, its 2 different sounding mics together under the snare, and panning /blending them.
IMO - panned dual mono recording, not stereo miced.

If it was my session running, I would ask the assistant to place 2 mics up under the snare taped together, I would not confuse assistant by asking him to stereo mic the under snare.

There are many situations where mono 2 different sounding mics are put together and then panned L+R, bass cabinets, guitar cabs, vocals, horns etc.
Ive never heard/witnessed it described as recorded in stereo.

As far as the: copy 2 (of the same) mono track and pan them L+R for more width.... is a crazy internet myth.
All it is is a level change - try turning the fader up, its a quicker way of getting there.

But, copying 2 tracks, panning them L+R and having different FX etc on each side is a different idea/approach/outcome - but that's not what has been suggested here.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby icemac » Sun Jul 13, 2014 2:38 pm

transformerless 57 sounds pretty much the same as stock to call them the same mic.
i do mean stereo under snare. panned hard L R, balanced position snap centre image..

it's obvious to us that duplicating a track is silly, but there clearly is stereo information when close to a snare drum.
i wonder if this is part of the lively sound of a real drum in front of me, the stereo recording certainly makes it sound more 'real'
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby mylesgm » Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Hey icemac, welcome to the forum, general T-rock practice is to put your real name in your signature helps us all know who we are.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby JoshuaWhitehead » Mon Jul 14, 2014 9:56 pm

Did a quick search for an example of this stereo micing. At the bottom of this link to a thread is an album on spotify done this way. (Two of our beloved 57's spaced pair). I think it sounds decent, the stereo info is more noticeable when the music is sparse though.
http://www.gearslutz.com/board/so-much-gear-so-little-time/781435-snare-me.html
The 2 tunes he recommended for hearing the snare are pretty nice too!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby The Tasmanian » Wed Jul 16, 2014 8:49 am

Exactly - you have to be in a situation where there is enough space to even hear it ?
Snare under, lasts for about 1/2 second, its nearly always blended balanced below the top snare, the level way underneath most of the other drumkit mics in any final balance - so why use up valuable stereo information for such a task..?

However its framed, it still seems to me to be a fun experiment, but pointless at the end of the day for such a low level balance in the mix.
Unless you are doing snare solo's?

Its like double micing the hi hats and panning the sounds wide .. sounds real good in solo, or when nothing else is playing, and your wearing headphones - or are standing in the center between both speakers!
Then go to balance the hats in the mix....

Personally, I'm very fussy and careful of planning (before recording) what is panned wide in any mix, overheads, drum space, certain instruments and their room information, reverbs , fx, melody lines, backing vocals, stereo keyboards, solo's etc, but snare under? Never.
Each to there own.

Icemac - do us all a full music mix with stereo vs mono snare under to demonstrate ?
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby ChrisW » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:15 am

Call me old and crusty, but stereo snare under……….why?
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby andygriffiths » Wed Jul 16, 2014 9:30 am

As a drummer I don't even want my snare drum recorded stereo. I work on the policy less in more anyway. Anyways I'm loving the audio technica 650 on snare top at the moment
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby icemac » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:33 am

Nah man, I'm no proponent of under snare stereo! Never done it in session. When I saw comment on stereo snare I just added my expereince and some observations on possible benefits.. we already know the reasons why not, that's why no one does it!
Personally I hate mono drums I rely a lot on stereo oh, very close spacing, with spots to end up with strong centre image. I also hate wide drums..! Some times close mic sound suits the recording, and there I imagined stereo under to create a little width.. strong centre image from top snare with the decay widening out.. where I might use very short reverbs to create sense of space etc
It's not like "2 u47's under snare", you kids can try this at home! Adding an extra mic into your next session won't hurt anyone and you get to hear for your self what a stupid idea that was! You can rubbish the thought with authority!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby mylesgm » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:57 am

Hi Icemac… don't want o be the party pooper but name in signature?
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby icemac » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:49 am

Don't worry Myles, there's no party around here...
the tone seems rather serious.. I came here to have some fun!
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Gian » Thu Jul 17, 2014 9:48 am

Really? I thought it was quite light-hearted.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby mylesgm » Thu Jul 17, 2014 10:24 am

Party on the inside...
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Alastair Reynolds » Thu Jul 17, 2014 7:18 pm

Transformerless SM57 is basically the capsule at about 30-50 ohm, The transformer takes you up to 200 ohm. Much will depend on how you load it. A 2K load from the average SS mic pre will not bring the best out of either incarnation.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby Senad » Tue Aug 26, 2014 11:47 pm

Great thread on the snare mics...

ChrisW wrote:OK......
What about Senn 441?


^:)^ for me anyway... Last few recordings it's only been the 441 on the snare.
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Re: Snare drum mic

Postby number1son » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:33 am

For the top I do the 57 (or knock-off) thing, but for secret sauce goodness, I stick a little AKG clip on mic (meant for trumpet/sax etc) in the "hole" (attached of on top of the kick, facing the side of the snare). Great for adding detail and boof, also for getting a retro rack tom sound AND for the beater head of the kick. All from just one mic!). Much more effective than micing under the snare, imho.
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