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  #1  
Old 07-15-2008, 12:13 AM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Snare not cutting through the mix

So my band is recording our e.p ourselves and its coming out pretty great...the drums sound excellent but after adding in the guitars bass and vocals the snare no longer cuts through...i get alot of bass and toms and the cymbals sound nice but the snare is lacking...and of u guys able to help me out on this one....i cant redo the tracks at this point and im using acid 6 to edit it so any tips on what i can do?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:05 AM
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Philippe Philippe is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

did you mike the snare separately?
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Old 07-15-2008, 10:06 AM
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Les Ismore Les Ismore is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

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Originally Posted by Tylerdrums109 View Post
So my band is recording our e.p ourselves and its coming out pretty great...the drums sound excellent but after adding in the guitars bass and vocals the snare no longer cuts through...i get alot of bass and toms and the cymbals sound nice but the snare is lacking...and of u guys able to help me out on this one....i cant redo the tracks at this point and im using acid 6 to edit it so any tips on what i can do?


... sounds like a 'bad trip'.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:31 PM
MascisMan MascisMan is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

Sounds to me like you have a "frequency fight" on your hands (assuming the levels are good).

The pitch of the snare drum and some other instrument in the mix are clashing. The other instrument (electric guitar/bass guitar perhaps?) is burying the snare.

Did you record the drums with multiple tracks? Can you raise the level on just the snare?

You may want to start by lowering all the tracks. Then bring the drums up to the desired level. Add the guitar first and see if the snare disappears, then try the bass (or vice versa). To try and identify the culprit.

If you are getting too much bass and toms then try EQ'ing out some lows from those two tracks or just lower their individual levels. When Im recording at home I tend to boost the bass guitar around 250-300 Hz then lower its overall level. This generally lets it surface in the mix when called for without being so dominant. Also by doing this I can lower the 30-60 Hz range a bit which allows more room for the kick and floor tom to step out. This mid-low bump is also very effective when playing live (for your bass player).

At the same time try adding some high-mids to the snare. Also, just FYI, if you have the guitar track 'scooped', then you may want to change it to reflect more mids and highs with little lows (yes this may make the guitar sound worse when solo, but it will sit better in the mix).

Treat the mix as a team of instruments that all play together using their own strengths. Let LOW pitched instruments (bass, kick, toms) handle the low end of the overall mix and MID-HIGH pitched instruments (snare, cymbals, guitar, vocals) handle the mid and treble frequencies. It is quite a juggling act!

Hope this helps!

Last edited by MascisMan; 07-15-2008 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:42 PM
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branflakes992 branflakes992 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

What kind of music is it? Make sure to use rimshots if the genre allows. You could try tuning you're snare higher and get a better crack out of it and tighten the snare a little. This might give you a brighter more clean sound.
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Old 07-16-2008, 09:57 PM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

Well the drums are all one track...i did separately mic the snare...the snare cuts through the rest of the drum set fine i think its a frequency clash like the poster below mentioned....ill try his idea and see what happens
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:30 PM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

and another issue...everytime i finish the mix and send it to a band memeber through the internet they say this or that is too loud or w.e....but yet on my speakers everything is perfect...can anyone explain why this happens?...like for example on my computer the vocals may seem just a tad bit low but on someone elses they down out the music...its getting frustrating cuz all im doing is trying to get it to sound through my speakers like any other song i hear through them and i think it sounds great...any help?
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:31 PM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

and another issue...everytime i finish the mix and send it to a band member through the internet they say this or that is too loud or w.e....but yet on my speakers everything is perfect...can anyone explain why this happens?...like for example on my computer the vocals may seem just a tad bit low but on someone elses they down out the music...its getting frustrating cuz all im doing is trying to get it to sound through my speakers like any other song i hear through them and i think it sounds great...any help?
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Old 07-17-2008, 03:28 AM
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hawk9290 hawk9290 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

Every separate instrument type should have its own predominant frequency (unless you are trying to get multiple instruments to coalesce into one unique timbre). As mentioned, the frequencies begin to overlap, and if they overlap too much, then they stack up, get muddy sounding, and make the whole mix sound poor. Play with the EQ's on each track and try to get them separated out. Often I've found the bass and bass drum overlay each other, and this also kills the bottom end of the snare, so I raise the upper end of the bass guitar, put a low frequency generator on an aux track and send the kick to that, and then pull up the high end on the snare a bit, and sometimes give it a low end raise as well. Also, reverb on the snare, no matter how slight, always helps it to gain some presence and lose the staccato crack to it.

As for the speakers- every pair of speakers is different. Unless all of you are using high quality studio monitors, its fairly common to have the sound be very different from test to test. They may have their own equalizer settings tuned on way, with yours completely different, the room acoustics are sure to be different, and speakers themselves vary in tuning. I always run two additional tests beyond using my studio monitors- 1 average stereo, and 1 car stereo test. If you can get it to sound decent on all 3, then you've hit the bullseye.
Speakers vary so much that once while mixing an album, we went to do the stereo test and found a whole track of just talking and chatter from the solo overdubbing that never came through on the mix in the studio (and somehow we never saw the track until we had to start looking for it...). And these are $500 each studio monitors!
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:19 AM
Tylerdrums109 Tylerdrums109 is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

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Originally Posted by hawk9290 View Post
Every separate instrument type should have its own predominant frequency (unless you are trying to get multiple instruments to coalesce into one unique timbre). As mentioned, the frequencies begin to overlap, and if they overlap too much, then they stack up, get muddy sounding, and make the whole mix sound poor. Play with the EQ's on each track and try to get them separated out. Often I've found the bass and bass drum overlay each other, and this also kills the bottom end of the snare, so I raise the upper end of the bass guitar, put a low frequency generator on an aux track and send the kick to that, and then pull up the high end on the snare a bit, and sometimes give it a low end raise as well. Also, reverb on the snare, no matter how slight, always helps it to gain some presence and lose the staccato crack to it.

As for the speakers- every pair of speakers is different. Unless all of you are using high quality studio monitors, its fairly common to have the sound be very different from test to test. They may have their own equalizer settings tuned on way, with yours completely different, the room acoustics are sure to be different, and speakers themselves vary in tuning. I always run two additional tests beyond using my studio monitors- 1 average stereo, and 1 car stereo test. If you can get it to sound decent on all 3, then you've hit the bullseye.
Speakers vary so much that once while mixing an album, we went to do the stereo test and found a whole track of just talking and chatter from the solo overdubbing that never came through on the mix in the studio (and somehow we never saw the track until we had to start looking for it...). And these are $500 each studio monitors!
I to do the stereo test then car test...and i figure ill just test my mixes on every set of speakers i have till i get the best mix i can...and ill try and play with the eq's of everything but its a little difficult to eq the drums since they are all on one track...and speaking of reverb could i possibly reverb the entire drum track? or is that unethical....
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:25 PM
MascisMan MascisMan is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

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Originally Posted by Tylerdrums109 View Post
I to do the stereo test then car test...and i figure ill just test my mixes on every set of speakers i have till i get the best mix i can...and ill try and play with the eq's of everything but its a little difficult to eq the drums since they are all on one track...and speaking of reverb could i possibly reverb the entire drum track? or is that unethical....
you could reverb the drum track just to see what happens. There is no harm in experimenting. However, be careful not to get 80's Def Leppard drums (unless thats what your going for).

Car stereo may be the best test bed of them all. Most people will listen to their copy of your CD in their cars. A cars acoustic environment and weak stock speakers are a sub par audio environment. Because of this, you really get a feel for what is strong and lacking in a mix.

On a pair of efficient, hi-fi studio monitors, every nuance is captured and revealed (good or bad) which sometimes gets lost when translated to a "poorer" musical environment.
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Old 07-21-2008, 04:18 PM
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westicle westicle is offline
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Default Re: Snare not cutting through the mix

We did the same - my band recorded everything ourselves. I mixed it and gave to to our pal who mastered it - he said he could get more snare during mixing using a multi band compressor which he did. I can't give you any tips on settings but he used the compressor not the eq to get more snare out. Have a google search for multi band compressors and how to use them - they confuse the hell out of me though!!

These guys make a free one if you can use VSTs - http://www.gvst.co.uk/gmulti.htm

Chris.
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