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  • Too Much Snare Bleed Into Overheads

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  • #2
    Originally posted by BigED
    cymbal hits that barely peak halfway on the meter.


    If they go to the top, do you win a prize?

    Seriously, just set your preamps so nothing is clipping, then listen to the overheads in isolation. If the balance of instruments within the kit is not to your liking, then move the mics until it sounds better (or tell the drummer to stop hitting the snare so hard).

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    • #3
      I hear the best way to record drums is to have two overhead condensers and a mic for the kick. Pan the overheads hard left and hard right and you get stereo drums sound. Also use a limiter on the overheads (which is what you're looking for in the first place).

      Here, read up more here:

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      • #4
        Originally posted by BigED
        1. Lower the trim on the mic enough so that the snare doesn't clip, resulting in cymbal hits that barely peak halfway on the meter.


        ****************ing hell... there is no law that says you have to have **************** all the way up the ****************ing meters... there is a modicum of common sense that will tell you that if you hear the snare drum clipping the mic pre to turn down the ****************ing mic pre.

        If you don't hear the snare drum clipping the pre [most clip lights actually come on around 6 db before actually running out of headroom] then go for it...

        The ONLY rule is: "If it sounds good it is good" anything else is just bull****************.
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        • #5
          Originally posted by Zooey


          If they go to the top, do you win a prize?


          Yeah, now my studio is filled with stuffed bears.

          Anyway, unfortunately, I am the drummer, so there is no one else to yell at. I assure you I'm not actually hitting the snare very hard. (If I wasn't telling the truth it wouldn't really benefit me at this point.)

          It's not an issue of having multiple condensors or not. The snare is just louder than the cymbals. Is there something I should be EQing out in the overheads?
          My band: www.embersremain.com

          Friend us: facebook.com/embersremain

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          Watch my Engl Blackmore clips: www.youtube.com/embersremain

          Engl Blackmore, Avatar G412 Vintage loaded w/ Hellatone 60Ls and G12T75s, Ibanez RG3120TW, 1981 Ibanez Blazer Custom, Ibanez GSR200, Yamaha Stage Custom

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          • #6
            Originally posted by BigED


            Yeah, now my studio is filled with stuffed bears.

            Anyway, unfortunately, I am the drummer, so there is no one else to yell at. I assure you I'm not actually hitting the snare very hard. (If I wasn't telling the truth it wouldn't really benefit me at this point.)

            It's not an issue of having multiple condensors or not. The snare is just louder than the cymbals. Is there something I should be EQing out in the overheads?


            To quote myself from earlier...

            "Also use a limiter on the overheads (which is what you're looking for in the first place)."

            A limiter should make the levels all much more even. Good luck.
            One Godin Artisan ST w/ AAA top in Cognac Burst
            + Godin LG Signature w/ AAA top in Translucent Black
            + Traynor Custom Valve 80 w/ 212 Ext.
            + Garrison G-30E
            -------------------------------------------
            = One Damn Fine Canadian Setup



            HC Forum Member #225 of 50,000+. Check out my new band, www.sleeptheseason.com.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Jelly_belly_83
              "Also use a limiter on the overheads (which is what you're looking for in the first place)."


              I have to assume that you have never actually tried this, because if you ever had, there's no way you would be recommending it now.

              Ed, I think you misunderstand the purpose of the overheads. They aren't there to serve as dedicated cymbal mics. You're supposed to have a good balance of instruments in there; that's where a big part of your snare sound will come from.

              If the snare is overwhelming, you're not going to be able to EQ it out later. You'll either have to change the balance of instruments coming from the kit, or you'll have to move the mics until the balance is more to your liking.

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              • #8
                I had a similiar problem. In my case the snare was too loud but the drummer liked it like that. Couldn't change his mind. Overheads should not be that high on the meters. Turn em down. I was able to apply some parametric eq post record and notch out the main body of the snare signal. I believe I boosted from 7-12K and then notched out I think sharply around 3-4K. If you have EQ try to isolate the symbols, high hat, ride, etc and tone down the snare.

                I also like to record overhead mics aimed slightly down and pointing left and right over the entire kit bout 16" over the symbols. Keep them off axis of the snare for sure.

                Something to try ... but not a sure bet.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Zooey


                  I have to assume that you have never actually tried this, because if you ever had, there's no way you would be recommending it now.

                  Ed, I think you misunderstand the purpose of the overheads. They aren't there to serve as dedicated cymbal mics. You're supposed to have a good balance of instruments in there; that's where a big part of your snare sound will come from.

                  If the snare is overwhelming, you're not going to be able to EQ it out later. You'll either have to change the balance of instruments coming from the kit, or you'll have to move the mics until the balance is more to your liking.


                  Well if he's trying to get a louder signal without clipping a compressor/limiter is a good way to go. Doesn't help the snare balance thing, but you can't help that besides touch, and some EQ.
                  One Godin Artisan ST w/ AAA top in Cognac Burst
                  + Godin LG Signature w/ AAA top in Translucent Black
                  + Traynor Custom Valve 80 w/ 212 Ext.
                  + Garrison G-30E
                  -------------------------------------------
                  = One Damn Fine Canadian Setup



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                  • #10
                    1. How high is the ceiling in your recording space?

                    2. How high are you cymbals in relation to your drums?



                    If your ceiling is low you may have a tough time.

                    Compression and/or limiting may help, you are using some right?

                    Raise your cymbals up so they are closer to your overhead mics and your drums are further away in relation to them. Often drummers have the opposite problem, in other words cymbals too loud compared to the drums because they are too high. It usually pisses people off to be moving the cymbals to a spot they are not familiar but frequently that's the only solution in the studio to get a good and proper balance between the drums and the cymbals.

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                    • #11
                      When you listen back to the tracks you've recorded, how does it actually sound? If it sounds fine, and the snare doesn't sound too loud in relation to the cymbals, then don't worry about what you're seeing on the meters.

                      If the balance still seems off, but you know you're not hitting the snare too hard, maybe you need to hit the cymbals harder? Or maybe your microphone's frequency response has peaks that just happen to emphasize the snare, although that seems unlikely.

                      How are your cymbals set up? Maybe you can figure out a way to point the microphone so that it rejects as much of the snare as possible, while still picking up a good amount of the cymbals.

                      Unless you have a really good one, and really know how you use it, I'd guess that you'll probably do more harm than good using a limiter. Instead of just distorting a little on the snare hits...which may actually sound good...you're likely to distort the hell out of your snare and cymbals as well, which probably won't. But it never hurts to try.

                      I don't know...I typically try to get as much of a good overall sound as I can, including the snare drum, in my overheads before I even bother to bring up the close microphones...

                      -Duardo

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                      • #12
                        Try moving your microphone farther away from the drummer. Have somebody move the mic while you listen on headphones. In my opinion and experience, moving the mic to find what sounds best is not optional; it's crucial. Seriously. If you need more cymbals, try moving the mic so it "sees" more cymbals and less snare. Or try to get a balanced signal from that mic (cymbals, snare, and all) and add spot mics as necessary (kick, probably. Maybe room mics, too?

                        -Hoax
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                        • #13
                          record the overheads the way you already are, then put a mic on the snare and reverse the phase... that should help make the snare go away more. works for me all the time (though i've never done it on purpose )
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                          • #14
                            gate those mothers...
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Cruel Hoax
                              Try moving your microphone farther away from the drummer. Have somebody move the mic while you listen on headphones. In my opinion and experience, moving the mic to find what sounds best is not optional; it's crucial. Seriously. If you need more cymbals, try moving the mic so it "sees" more cymbals and less snare. Or try to get a balanced signal from that mic (cymbals, snare, and all) and add spot mics as necessary (kick, probably. Maybe room mics, too?

                              -Hoax


                              +1

                              You're recording with just one OH microphone so stereo image is not an issue for you. Then move the mic all around (of have someone doing it for you if possible) until you get what you want.
                              Try to place it a little bit behind you, sometimes you body acts as a damping surface for higher mics.

                              I'd never use a limiter o compressor while tracking OH. It'd make it to sound more like a room mic.

                              If you used two mics instead of one for OH, then It might be harder to solve.

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