View Full Version : Snare Mic besides SM57???
01-23-2002, 11:34 AM
I've been using a SM57 to record snare, sometimes one on top and another on bottom, but I want to know your experience with other mics...
Someone who's been doing this for a lot longer than I have once told me that one reason SM57's became so popular on snare drums was because the sound you got when setting your microphone up was very similar to the sound you got off of analog tape, not necessarily because it was a "better" sound. I'm not sure how much truth there is to that, but I know that my AKG C408 (a small-diaphragm microphone that's since been replaced by the C418) sounds great when I record digitally with it; the snare sounds much more "real", the crack is very crisp without being harsh, and the sound is very even and open. However, when I recorded to analog tape (2" at 30 IPS w/Dolby SR) much of that was lost; it was distorted and the character was very different. Even when I backed the level off, it still lacked the transient response and character that sounded so great when recorded digitally (or that the microphone produced in the control room). However, an SM57 recorded digitally sounded very similar to the way it sounded on analog tape or right off the board; it also lent itself much better to pushing the analog tape hard. The condenser became harsh and abrasive fairly quickly. I've had great results with other small-diaphragm condensers as well, but haven't done an A/B test like that one. Try one out (but be careful!), you might like it.
01-25-2002, 08:23 PM
i like the Stedman N-90 :) they sound very pretty.
01-26-2002, 09:29 AM
Thank you for your input, I called AKG dealer and they are going to send me a C418 for a test. IŽll post my results.
01-28-2002, 12:54 PM
I mean this puppy goes for 80 bucks most of the biggest studios in the world use them...they can't all be wrong.
01-29-2002, 02:37 PM
Originally posted by blacko3788
I mean this puppy goes for 80 bucks and the biggest studios in the world use them...they can't all be wrong.
I dont know, but I find it a little bit "too dark", I want to get some more of the high freq's with out using the eq too much...:confused:
Not all the biggest studios in the world use a '57 on snare...at least not all of the time. And we all know that just because "everyone" uses something doesn't mean it's necessarily the best choice. There's no doubt that it's a standard, and you always read about someone miking up $10K worth of drums with a $12K pair of vintage C12's overhead and an $89 SM57 on the snare in the various trade magazines. But you'll often also see people using various condensers in various positions, and often even using a condenser along with an SM57...I've read about people taping an SM57 and an AKG C451 together on several occasions.
Don't be afraid to try something new!
01-30-2002, 02:10 AM
I am a very big fan of small dia's condensors on the snare drum, I feel i hear more "drum" and not just the head. The other problem I had with 57's or senhieser 421's on the snare was when I wouldn't want to gate the snare to heavily because I wanted to hear the resonance of the drum, as it vibrated from the other drums, but then the Hi-hat bleed I was getting sound really raunchy and clangy, I tried some different positions with My 57 and couldn't get the sound I wanted. I then tried an AKG C1000s and the drum sounded great and the Hi-Hat bleed was totally musical. rememer not all Bleed is bad:D
01-30-2002, 10:34 AM
I use a 57 and also I use AtM 35condensor sometimes...matter of fact it's mounted to the snare. I like the 57 I guess becuase it is dark with a flat eq. I then add the sound of the under snare with yet another ATM 35 compressed...it sounds kick ***. Another thing to concider is that if you play around with the placement you might not need to eq the 57 it looses the darkness when pulled back...yes you loose attack but less of a need to eq....maybe even pull it back off to the side so it's picking up more of the side and bottoms.
Beyer M422, no doubt about it.
ATM35's are a great suggestion too. They are great on toms and snare.
Another one I really like is the Audix D1. It's a dynamic, but is quite a bit brighter than an SM57. If I'm looking for something not quite as crisp as a condenser but a little brighter than a '57 I would try for a D1.
One other one I just tried I'd read about in Tape Op magazine...a guy mentioned that he liked to mike up the shell of the snare with an Earthworks TC30K. I tried that just to hear how it sounded and was pretty impressed with the results. A nice thing about using an omni is the bleed is very musical (and I agree, not all bleed is bad...in fact, I don't like the way a kit sounds if there's no bleed. Too sterile) since there's almost no off-axis coloration.
03-01-2002, 09:56 AM
Have you tried the Beta57? It has quite a bit more "top," and it's hyper cardioid, so you get some good rejection. It is a little larger than the original, but given the option I wouldn't go back. I've also used the Sennheiser e604 on the top and bottom of the snare and was pleased with the detail. It didn't seem to have the "pop" of the 57, but I was recording a jazz player with a lighter touch. I recently used the Beyer 422 and was pleased with the result too. Granted the snare head was dead as can be, but there was quite a bit of detail and it is hyper (I believe, but maybe that's the 420).
If you really want to experiment, use an AT 4050 in omni (or bidirectional) sandwiched between the hat and tom1 pointing at the snare. Use placement for balance. Put up another 4050 in omni between tom 2 & 3. Sounds bizarre, but the results are incredible. It is a great balance of snare, hat, toms and cymbals, and the detail is incredible. Put another mic on the kick and you are ready to rock with just 3 mics. I've done entire recordings this way and the drums sound awesome. Now for the disclaimer: the guy's kit sounded unbelievable to begin with. That makes all the difference in the world.
I've spent hours trying to tweak drums sounds laboring in vain, because the kit sounded like crap to begin with. Sometimes its not your fault if the kit sounds bad!
12-02-2010, 06:24 PM
Someone else mentioned this mic and I have to agree but the biggest thing you can do is make sure your snare is tuned. That will make the biggest difference!! Other than that I'd have to say give the 451 a listen. You won't be disappointed!!
12-03-2010, 08:41 AM
I like the Audix D1 as well. That's a great little mic.
I currently use a Shure KSM137 gaff-taped to a 57 on top with the capsules lined up. I really don't find much use personally for the under-the-snare mic, it gets a lot of sizzle, but not the right kind, at least to my ears.
The 451 would be at least as good as the 137. I like the 137 because it's not too hype-y bright like some modern condensers. Basically, any decent cardioid condenser that can handle the transient SPL's and (importantly), which does not exhibit too much proximity effect, would be a good fit for this technique. Some folks use KM84's for this. I will personally not risk mine that close to a drummer. I used to use an AT4041 for this, but the corrective EQ I had to use to eliminate proximity effect kind of wrecked the advantages of the mic.
One mic goes straight in, the other one through a good compressor hit pretty hard. Instant snare goodness.
12-03-2010, 09:02 AM
Audix i5 made an "improvement" in my cousin's snare when he switched from the SM57 years ago. He wanted that "snap" n "crisp" sound. But I'm talking about live sound here. However, the snare sounded better in the cheap recordings we'd make too.
Another thing I remember is him spending ALOT of time adjusting/tuning the snare made all the difference in the world.
12-04-2010, 02:13 AM
Any Audix D series. Any SDC. Any MDC (which I prefer because they are so easy to sneak in closer to where the hoop gets whacked with crosstick).
12-05-2010, 02:52 PM
I like the i5. Kind of like a better 57. Good for electric guitars and snare.
12-06-2010, 01:26 PM
I like the AT-4051 for most mid to high range perc. and for many female vox. Small diaphram condenser mic with wonderful rollover at the 400k range.. I get all kinds of snare charactors from this mic. All-round versatile too.
12-11-2010, 02:38 AM
my fav is a KSM 32 on the bottom.
dont mind what the top mic is ...
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