Brad Minoff

Brad Minoff

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Hey guys and girls, here are some tips and techniques I have learned over the years for getting good snare drum sound in the studio. To delve in the topic visit, enjoy!

Top Snare Drum Mic

In the words of a fellow recording engineer, I find myself pulling this mic back further as I get older. If you want more tone, try pulling the mic back a couple of inches off the top of the head vertically and horizontally.

Point the mic at the snare drum head if you want more attack.

Point the mic at the shell if you want more tone, some people even mic the side of the snare drum to get more of the natural snare drum tone out of top mic. Experiment with dynamics AND condenser mics.

I like to use a Shure Beta 57 myself on the top but also I will throw an AKG 451b at a snare once and a while too. I prefer API preamps for the top of snare drums for their excellent transient response. Try a tube preamp if you want a rounder top tone.

Bottom Snare Drum Mic

For the bottom snare mic, I usually use a Shure Sm7b with the phase flipped into either a Daking, Vintech or my consoles preamps.

I try to get the mic pretty close to the snares themselves and angle the back of the mic away from the kick drum to minimize bleed. A high pass filter also helps with kick drum leakage. With a high threshold gate on the channel routed to a plate style reverb, you can get that big snare sound.

Other popular mics for the bottom of snares are AKG 451 and Sennheiser 441.

Overheads & Room Mics.

My personal preference is to use the close mics to support the overhead and room mics on a drum kit to make a more natural sound.

Try a ribbon mic through a tube preamp with a compressor and squash it for that Zep style sound on the room mic. For overheads try something like a transparent small diaphragm condenser mic. Experiment but be sure to check for any phase issues, if you have a mono switch on your monitor control it is very helpful just for this.

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