EQ for brushes tapping on snare


Platinum Member
We recorded a demo yesterday. I have the raw wav files and we're doing the final mix next weekend.

In one song I tap the snare with brushes. The EQ isn't right - it sounds like a slow helicopter propeller (8-second sample attached). Does anyone know which frequencies need to be reduced to achieve a warmer, pleasing sound?

The sound is fine from the snare mic, but the overheads are messing with the snare sound. However, if the engineer reduces the tops on the overheads then the cymbals will lose their sparkle.

I expect we'll have to work out a compromise solution. I was thinking that, since I only play cymbal in a few spots, we could change the EQ in the overheads track, apart from the few spots where I hit cymbals.

All help appreciated!




I'm not hearing the problem on my inexpensive computer speakers, but if it sounds like a helicopter, it may be phasing problems between the snare mic and the overheads, especially if the snare sounds good being isolated. This is probably due to needing the gain higher than usual playing with brushes. If the engineer was multitracking, he could reverse phase on the snare microphone to see if you loose this effect, this can be done during mixing. Was the snare drum's mic in very close approximation to the batter head? Did he try to decrease the room mic's gain to see if it would alleviate the problem?

I'll try to take this file down to the studio tomaorrow and see if I can actually hear what's going on.



Platinum Member
Thanks Denis. I guess when I talk about sounding "like a helicopter", the tone strikes me as a somewhat harsh 'tak' sound.

I've attached the same part of the song recorded on a H2 Zoom at practice a week ago. The demo sound is more crisp, which I like, but I guess it's too crisp for my liking. The snare was close mic'd, I guess about an inch or so. The two overheads were set up in the standard way. Unfortunately I can't tell you what he did re: gain.

The track we did yesterday where I played with sticks seemed to work out. I'm guessing that the relatively rarity of drummers using brushes these days would mean it's not something the engineer would be exposed to much.