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Old 05-29-2017, 09:09 PM
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Default No crack on recorded snare drum?

So lately, I've noticed that when recording my snare drum, I can't seem to capture the "crack" sound often associated with a snare drum. I have an SM57 pointed at the center of the snare drum, about an inch above the rim (i can post pictures if needed but I don't have one rn on the comp I'm posting from)

I can't seem to get the crack, it sounds a bit like a tom in the raw audio. I can fix that in post-processing but I can't seem to get that crack - could this be in the tuning? I've tried tightening the snares on the drum and I still can't figure it out - could it be a tuning issue? A mic placement issue?

Thanks for any insight anyone might have.... For the record I can hear the "crack" when playing the snare usually but after I noticed how it sounded recorded I couldn't un-hear a tom with a "crack" on top so idk if hearing it recorded affected how I hear my snare drum....I can't tell anymore
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Old 05-29-2017, 09:45 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

SM57 up top...

~3 fingers off the head (2 for brushes, 4 for ridiculously hard hitters), ~<45 degree angle, with a range of ~1.5 inches on either side of the rim depending on the tone/overtone ratio.

Post a recording, so we can hear what you're dealing with. When I hear a snare, I hear the snap of the stick, and I hear the sizzle of the wires, and the peak/decay of the stroke is the crack. From your description, it sounds like the top mic isn't the issue.


Oh, and watch this.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWBPxDVlK_g
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by w3r1_drums View Post
So lately, I've noticed that when recording my snare drum, I can't seem to capture the "crack" sound often associated with a snare drum. I have an SM57 pointed at the center of the snare drum, about an inch above the rim (i can post pictures if needed but I don't have one rn on the comp I'm posting from)

I can't seem to get the crack, it sounds a bit like a tom in the raw audio. I can fix that in post-processing but I can't seem to get that crack - could this be in the tuning? I've tried tightening the snares on the drum and I still can't figure it out - could it be a tuning issue? A mic placement issue?

Thanks for any insight anyone might have.... For the record I can hear the "crack" when playing the snare usually but after I noticed how it sounded recorded I couldn't un-hear a tom with a "crack" on top so idk if hearing it recorded affected how I hear my snare drum....I can't tell anymore
'Crack' is best captured with the mic hovering a couple of inches above the head. I like to aim the capsule at the rim on the opposite side (might sound counterintuitive, but I find it works). You want to defeat 'honk' and 'bonk' in order to get a clean 'crack'.

Also, my advice would be to tune the a bit snare higher than your preferred sound from the throne. Rock snares are often tuned higher than you think! Bottom end 'oomph' is easily added in the mix.

Thirdly, the addition of a snare side mic will help "dry out" the final snare tone.
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Old 05-29-2017, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I would say tuning. Tighten both heads is my method for crack. Loosen for ballad sounding snares.
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Old 05-30-2017, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

See my signature.
I bet the snare side is tuned somewhere around the batter.
This is wrong.
Tune the snare side head way, way higher. WAY higher. Go in half turns at a time and go slow. But it needs to be tight.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:18 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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See my signature.
I bet the snare side is tuned somewhere around the batter.
This is wrong.
Tune the snare side head way, way higher. WAY higher. Go in half turns at a time and go slow. But it needs to be tight.
Yup, that's my suggestion too. And don't be afraid to crank the top either!

If you're using a light hoop like a 1.6mm or 2.3mm standard triple flange, a switch to something heavier like a die-cast or something more rigid like an S-Hoop might help further, but you should get plenty with rimshots anyways.

On the processing side of things, a thick snare sound is often quite compressed, which often helps impart a good 'crack'. Usually, if you want to boost this (not too much!), it's around 540-560 Hz.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:51 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I always mic the top and the bottom and find that really helps..

If your missing some snare sound what is your overhead situation. That pics up a good amount of the snare sound in them also. Then you can use the 57 to fatten up the overhead sound.

All the advice given here was good. Try bringing it up about 3 fingers above the rim and aim it at the rim on the other side. or a 45 degree angle slightly toward the middle. don't be afraid to start recording. talk in to the mics mentioning what your doing and move stuff and do it again.. that way you can listen back to it.

also when it comes to overheads or using top and bottom snare mics sometimes reversing the phase 180 can make a HUGE difference, but if your 90 degrees out of phase flipping it 180 doesn't make much difference.. That is a whole different discussion if your putting mics on the snare reso though.
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:01 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Is there such a thing as snare drum crack without a rimshot?

Is crack dependent on the rimshot?
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:53 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Is there such a thing as snare drum crack without a rimshot?

Is crack dependent on the rimshot?
I would say that crack is not dependent on the rimshot.

Crack is greatly enhanced by a rimshot, however.

In Homer speak - a rimshot embiggens the crack of the snare.
Also enloudens it.
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  #10  
Old 05-30-2017, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I think it's much easier to find that crack when you hit a rimshot though.

Hit steady rim shots and you're halfway there
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

1. Definitely play those rimshots!

2. I actually started positioning my Audix i5 a smidgen behind the rim and about an inch high, still pointed at the centre of the drum. This seems to have made a difference in capturing the crack from the rim as well as the tone from the drum.
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Old 05-30-2017, 12:00 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

What heads are you using and what snare are you using?

Might be worth letting the drum breathe a bit see if that helps from a mic perspective.

Tune your reso head a lot higher than your batter and rimshot.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:38 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

here's a recording of it, and a picture of how it was mic'ed (i didn't have any pictures directly of the drum, I was taking pictures for other purposes and didn't think to take one)

For the person who asked, the heads are a coated remo powerstroke 77 for the batter head and a stock ludwig head for the reso head
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:45 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by w3r1_drums View Post
here's a recording of it, and a picture of how it was mic'ed (i didn't have any pictures directly of the drum, I was taking pictures for other purposes and didn't think to take one)

For the person who asked, the heads are a coated remo powerstroke 77 for the batter head and a stock ludwig head for the reso head
That snare drum needs to be tuned muuuch higher, IMO.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

If I wanted a cracky snare, duct tape would not even be on my list of things to do.

If I was going for crack, I think of a tightly tuned, non muffled drum, played with a rimshot...or at the very least, a very snappy hit.
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Take the damn tape off--- are you seriously trying to get a crack from a drum with duct tape on it---Hahahahaha!
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  #17  
Old 05-30-2017, 08:48 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

To get the crack you desire you need to tune your batter head higher, my guess based on the recording you posted would be at least a fullturn on all batter head lugs. In addition you may need to tune up the snare side head so that top an bottom work together.Because you are close miking the recorded sound will have a slight boost of lower frequencies compared to what you hear from the throne (the proximity effect). So you can tune up from the recording you posted.

Tune the drum first and then apply tape/ moongels etc to remove some overtones, but don't remove all of these at source as this helps give the sound a little flavour when other instruments are added. Trying to emulate processing by over dampening at sound source will lead to a lifeless drum sound.

Larry is right you can also get more crack by adjusting your stroke and processing such as pre-amp can enhance the crack. Having said that most snares can be set up to deliver this sort of sound.

Keep the snare wires tension somewhat loose this keeps the drum sounding too dry at higher tunings. You don't need to rim shot to get a lot of crack/bite but you do need to set the drum up ( heads, tension/ tuning ) to deliver this sound correctly.

Good luck, post you efforts we want to help.

Last edited by Captain Bash; 05-30-2017 at 09:01 PM.
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Old 05-30-2017, 08:56 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Notes on possible issues:

You have a control top (dot) head.
You have tape on the (already control top) head.
From the audio recordings, it almost sounds like you're using dynamic mics for overheads.
From the audio recording, it does not sound like you have a bottom snare mic.

In this situation, you're almost better off mic'ing the bottom of the snare than the top. Tightening the top head any more will change nothing other than the note.
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:19 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Notes on possible issues:

You have a control top (dot) head.
You have tape on the (already control top) head.
From the audio recordings, it almost sounds like you're using dynamic mics for overheads.
From the audio recording, it does not sound like you have a bottom snare mic.

In this situation, you're almost better off mic'ing the bottom of the snare than the top. Tightening the top head any more will change nothing other than the note.
Actually the overhead is one condenser mic (a Scarlett CM25) - It's only 3 microphones, kick/snare/overheads.
I guess since the head/tape might be the problem maybe I should consider going for a different snare sound since replacing heads on a whim isn't really something I can do (like I said before it's a powerstroke 77)

also the tape was on back when I tuned this thing and couldn't get a good sound out of it at all - now I'm a lot better at that so perhaps I should try again without the tape. I'll post another recording when I record again and post my findings!

(Another note, the snare is tuned/muffled that way because I usually have gone for that kind of sound - but as of late I've found myself wanting to get more of a crack out of the snare)
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:58 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

PS77 is a highly muffled head. It definitely doesn't need additional muffling.
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
If I was going for crack...
Surely you can't be that far of a drive to Pittsburgh?
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Old 05-30-2017, 11:14 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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Surely you can't be that far of a drive to Pittsburgh?
Probably a good 6 hours. I can just go to Camden for crack. I'm wondering if you've even heard of Camden all the way out there.
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Old 05-31-2017, 12:29 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I still reckon you need to move the mic further back, preferably over or slightly behind the rim. Still keep it pointing at the centre of the drum but right now you're not capturing all the fundamental sounds of the drum with it in that position.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:10 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I would say tuning. Tighten both heads is my method for crack. Loosen for ballad sounding snares.
I will add to my post with the following. Get an Evans Dry head or equivalent and I would not depend on rimshots. If every hit is a rim shot, when you really need a good loud crack you will have nothing to go to. It is also too easy to miss a rimshot (some will argue, not it's not) but they are missed and then where are you. This is also a good way to get sore hands. I'll go back to say tuning.
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Old 05-31-2017, 01:11 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

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Originally Posted by larryace View Post
Probably a good 6 hours. I can just go to Camden for crack. I'm wondering if you've even heard of Camden all the way out there.
Oh god, Camden. lol I grew up in the mid-Atlantic, lived in Baltimore, worked for a NYC company, and Camden was someplace I'd avoid.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:35 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRUNTERSDAD View Post
I will add to my post with the following. Get an Evans Dry head or equivalent and I would not depend on rimshots. If every hit is a rim shot, when you really need a good loud crack you will have nothing to go to. It is also too easy to miss a rimshot (some will argue, not it's not) but they are missed and then where are you. This is also a good way to get sore hands. I'll go back to say tuning.
Sorry, I don't want to be argumentative... but really? I've been playing and recording rock and metal (and started off with punk as a teenager) for a couple of decades now, and whilst I do miss the very occasional rimshot, I nail them 99.999% of the time and they never leave me with sore hands.

I would suggest that if you're missing rimshots and/or getting sore hands, it comes down to your snare not being in an optimal position to play them consistently and safely.

In fact, depending on the style of music you're playing, your backbeats should always been rimshots UNLESS you are using the sound of a regular hit on the snare for musical purposes. This is true for rock, metal, and some funk, and any derivatives thereof.

Of course, now I'm obligated by my views on music to say do whatever the hell you like though ;)
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:53 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I hear a med-lowish tuned snare trying to do the job of a high-pitched firecracker. The tuning you have could work for some things, but probably not what you're looking for. Rimshots, while helpful for crack, are not necessary for the sound you are looking for. Still though, I would crank it up a bit and rimshot.
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Old 05-31-2017, 02:56 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

I rimshot every backbeat and I always have. Complete second nature to me. I'm not sure I could NOT do it. lol
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Old 05-31-2017, 03:58 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Crank those heads! No need to get new ones at the moment, IMO.
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Old 05-31-2017, 05:06 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Exactly. The snare sounds better than everything in the mix, but it's not what you want. Crank those babies down and beat them.
Don't beat babies, unless you have to.
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Old 05-31-2017, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Tape off, heads tighter, as everyone has said.
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  #32  
Old 06-07-2017, 09:07 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

In case anyone was curious, here's what the final product of that drum mix (with the rest of the instrumental recorded on top) sounded like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBGJr4Re5-U

didn't think anyone was curious but you never know
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Old 06-08-2017, 02:45 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by w3r1_drums View Post
In case anyone was curious, here's what the final product of that drum mix (with the rest of the instrumental recorded on top) sounded like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBGJr4Re5-U

didn't think anyone was curious but you never know
Sounds awesome!!!!!

Yup, I'd take off the muffling and crank the heads a little more.

But you know, for what you done here, it works pretty darn well.

Good work!
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Old 06-08-2017, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Thanks PorkPieGuy!
Actually, after getting the final product there, I'm reconsidering even changing the tuning of the snare - I liked the final mix (it was slightly rushed tho as I did that recording in a short amount of time)
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Old 06-08-2017, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

Quote:
Originally Posted by w3r1_drums View Post
In case anyone was curious, here's what the final product of that drum mix (with the rest of the instrumental recorded on top) sounded like: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cBGJr4Re5-U

didn't think anyone was curious but you never know
A lot of modern metal seems to use a cranked snare, but this reminds me of old Metallica, with a fat beefy snare sound. Completely viable if that's what you're shooting for.
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Old 06-09-2017, 12:04 AM
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Default Re: No crack on recorded snare drum?

From listening to that mix, all that's missing to get the 'crack' in the snare are rimshots.

It's metal, be liberal with rimshots!
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