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Old 11-24-2012, 11:34 AM   #1
Tmusician
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Snare Sound Lacks Power

Personally I think the snare sound of a recording is one of the key elements, but I can't seem to get it right. Can someone please help me to get a great rock snare drum sound?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yi-...Ak&feature=plcp
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:02 PM   #2
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Have you tried double miking it? Using both a mic on the top and bottom skins is a good technique. Another thing to do is with your mixing. The snare sounds thin and quite. Try boosting a lot of mids. You don't really want it to produce anything much lower than 100Hz, or any higher than 10kHz (all subjective, different producers do different things of course) but what you should do is boost the frequencies round 250Hz. That'll add a lot of "oomph". Hope this helps
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:15 PM   #3
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Most snares are layered, meaning that other samples have been mixed in with the original.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:21 PM   #4
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Most snares are layered, meaning that other samples have been mixed in with the original.


This, it's not uncommon to hear 4 or 5 snares blended together to make a fat snare.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:39 PM   #5
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If you have a snare track try Lavations advice on the eq/mic. Layering would also help.

Listening to you and foo back to back, your snare sounds distant. It's also tuned lower, foo's has a higher tuned snare with more crack.
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Old 11-24-2012, 05:03 PM   #6
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That all said, it is perfectly doable to get a solid snare sound with one mic on one snare.

Does the snare sound powerful in the room?

Is the drummer hitting it hard?

What mic are you using and how are you miking it?

Beyond that, don't be afraid to compress and EQ the living sh!t out of it if necessary. Here's a tip, though... set the attack time on your compressor for fairly slow, like over 20ms. If you set it too fast, the compressor will clamp down on it before the transient fully develops and it will come off as completely lacking *any* kind of oomph.

Add some reverb, but don't go overboard. Too much reverb is one of the easiest way to lose anything in a mix.

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Old 11-24-2012, 05:27 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by axemanchris

Add some reverb, but don't go overboard. Too much reverb is one of the easiest way to lose anything in a mix.

CT
As well as, be sure to set some pre delay to the reverb around 10 ms. That means the transients slip through a bit before the reverb kicks in.

Last edited by Yax : 11-24-2012 at 05:33 PM.
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Old 11-24-2012, 06:01 PM   #8
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Guys, the most important part to a big snare sound is compression. Layering isn't normally done like that. Double micing wont give a fat sound, just make it snappier as the lower mic is looking straight at the snare itself.

What you need to do is compress it hard. ratio of 2:1 or higher, and lower the threshold, then change the attack until it sounds how you want it.

Adding reverb will help too. I like to put a plate reverb sound on snares.

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Old 11-28-2012, 12:29 PM   #9
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I keep listening back between a new recording of the snare I'm working on, and I'm confident in describing what I am mostly missing as "crack" in the snare.

I'm thinking that maybe it has something to do with how the snare was tuned. What does a raw, tuned snare even sound like anyway?
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Old 11-28-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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You can get the crack through better by mic'ing under the snare as well as on top (making sure to flip the phase of the bottom one!), and also by tuning the snare so its higher. in recording generally the drums are tuned to higher than they would be for live sound.
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Old 11-28-2012, 09:55 PM   #11
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Before hitting record, you have to get the sound in the room as absolutely close to what you want in the end.

`Fix it in the mix` is sort of like using wood filler to make ratched piece of wood into furniture.

CT
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Old 11-28-2012, 11:57 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Tmusician
I'm thinking that maybe it has something to do with how the snare was tuned. What does a raw, tuned snare even sound like anyway?

To use some stuff I put on here a while back for a tutorial, here's the relatively unprocessed snare sounds and one finished track, from my band's latest album as a reference point. The snare samples I'm linking to are all essentially the raw snare sound, with (I think, but don't fully remember) 4:1 FET-style compression on them and possibly a light EQ to bring out body in the top mic, and the actual 'snares'/rattle in the bottom mic, plus HPF'ing out unwanted low freq.s that muddy up things. Then there's the top and bottom mics combined and phase aligned. Finally, the track features that same snare set-up (though not the exact samples, as I didn't replace the raw tracks with those samples in the end) with whatever processing I used in the final mix. If I recall correctly, it is blended with the 'Paramore' snare, that is lying around on ultimatemetal.com's Sneap forum or something, and heavier compression than in the samples I uploaded, plus more EQ and a light plate reverb.

Top Mic

Bottom Mic

Top & Bottom Mics

Example in Finished Mix


Edit: Oh, and for what it's worth - the top of the snare was mic'd with an SM57 angled across the snare about 1.5-2" above the rim, facing the centre and the bottom mic was an AKG C451 (small-diaphragm condenser) angled up towards the centre of the snares about 1" away from them.
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Old 11-29-2012, 07:09 PM   #13
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Try something like Drumagog or other drum replacement software and layer the snare with several other samples or even sample the original snare again.

Also doubling the snare (copying to another track) and using drastic eq/compression/multiband compression/spectral enhancers to bring out the right properties on both should do the trick.

Paralel compression could also help jel things up a bit more:
http://audio.tutsplus.com/tutorials...el-compression/

I like to also use the Camel Phat plugin (overdrive and compression) on a copy of the original track, set to distort and compress the sound to sh*t then mix it in just a tad under the main sound.

This might help some:
http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/dec.../logicnotes.htm
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:36 AM   #14
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I would have tuned that up a fair bit to get more crack out of it.

Get a pitch shifter, tune the snare up a semitone or so (maybe more). Then double your snare track, and compress the second track pretty heavily. Maybe add a little bit of grit using a tube distortion plugin or saturator as well, and EQ you to get maximum 'crack'.

Then blend in the original, dry snare until you find a nice balance.


Solid recording, otherwise - nice guitar tones.
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Old 11-30-2012, 09:59 PM   #15
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Also consider adding an exciter to your snare track.

CT
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:17 PM   #16
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Anyone have any suggestions on how to get a somewhat layered snare sound live? Without effects. Like taping something to the bottom skin, tin foil, or a penny? If I had the money, I'd play with a marching snare to get that heavy oompf!
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Old 12-03-2012, 10:59 PM   #17
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1) More than one mic - if you do top/down miking make sure you have the polarity on one of the mics reversed
2) For more impact make sure your snare hits align with the overhead and room mics - you have to manually more the snare hits or overhead hits to match, zoom in as close as you can and make sure the peaks/valleys match up
3) Triggers - trigger the snare with a trigger/brain setup
4) Tuning/heads - can't help much there but we had a drum tuner that came in and worked on the drums in the studio and we had some wonderful results after he was done with the kits that the band's inexperienced drummers couldn't fix. I guess damping, head tension, type of heads should all play a role.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:32 PM   #18
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Take a page out of Led Zeppelin's handbook and record your drums in the stairwell of a giant poorhouse.

All this talk about extreme compression and whatnot is doing it the easy way, while paradoxically, doing it the hard way, imo.
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Old 12-03-2012, 11:37 PM   #19
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You could try exciting the aurals, or maximizing the sonics
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:09 PM   #20
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Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
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