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Tip - How to fix a lame small rock snare sound
Old 25th November 2002
  #1
Tip - How to fix a lame small rock snare sound

I happened upon this and thought I would share it.

I had been struggling terribly with a poor snare signal, truth is it wasn't a stellar room and it was a below average snare itself. Problem was it was an amazing drummer (just young and poor) My bad for not renting him in a decent snare but that is history (lesson learned etc) now on the the present..

After trying several software & hardware compressors I settled on running the snare through

An Audio Design Research Vocal Stressor,
Followed by a Dbx 902 de-esser (er the rented New Beat hats were DEAFENING!)
And a Foucusrite 215 'blue' eq

Important for this tip is that the journey through the snare processing was made via a buss. In other words I sent the raw snare out via a buss, picked it up on a channel then tweaked outboard added to that 'snare master' channel.

Anyhoo I had been getting SORT OF happy with the signal, the snap of the compression in the ADR was cheering the snare up and the Foucusrite was surgically able to add f/ remove frequencies to my satisfaction...

I thought to create a copy track and run that through a SansAmp distortion unit and by accident sent THAT down THE SAME buss I had developed for the snare.

Awesome!!!!

I had already tried SansAmp versions of the snare joining the mix on it's own channel but it sounded crappy for some reason and I was depressed as I had been looking forward to this my usual cure all , however sending it down the custom tweaked snare 'fixer' outboard had a stellar effect!

I instantly got:

Grace notes (that were totally invisible prior)
The snare drums 'own internal reverberation' (teenage dirtbag stylee)
Contemporary radio snare sound minus any outboard reverb at all

(I think what helps makes this work is the already tailored release time on the compression....)

So give it a shot - use any distortion pedal if you dont have a SansAmp

Important reminder.

1) take the dry snare - (DONT eq its own - channel leave it flat) -
2) Feed / ROUTE the snare to a 2nd channel - EQ & process THAT ONE
3) Take a parallel / mult / copy of the snare and mash it with SansAmp or any other distorter -
4) Finally - feel the distorted version THROUGH to the THE main snare eq / compression channel.
5) see how it sounds

Old 25th November 2002
  #2
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
You could've done all that with a Spectrosonics 610 Tchad Blake stylee couldn't you?

Just kidding........
Old 25th November 2002
  #3
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
This is where the 'SPL Transient Designer' really shines. So simple and so amazing in it's results.

Benjy
Old 25th November 2002
  #4
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Benjy King
This is where the 'SPL Transient Designer' really shines. So simple and so amazing in it's results.

Benjy
It is a much overlooked piece of kit.
Old 25th November 2002
  #5
Lives for gear
 
adam_w's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Cool tip Jules...this is a common problem...especialy for those of us whose clients can't afford to hire ANYTHING. I've bought a few drums specifically for this reason. I was thinking of hiring a local hoodlum to point a 9MM at a certain drummers head in order to make them hit it harder and thus produce a better sound, but your ideas are perhaps more humane..
Old 26th November 2002
  #6
I godda get a Transient man, I godda get one....

Old 26th November 2002
  #7
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Transient Designer

I'm telling you.....it will blow your mind.
Benjy
Old 26th November 2002
  #8
Lives for gear
 
XHipHop's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hey Jules,
Ever since i saw MTV Cribs a few years ago and Rza said that his "secret" was to put his drums through the sansamp i've been experimenting with that.

It really can give you a huge, thick snare and i've used it on both rock and hip-hop tracks many times. The biggest problem though is making sure you get rid of all the cymbals in the snare track or else you get these nasty distorted and compressed cymbals/hihats.

The Sansamp also works as a super compressor and like jules says, you get some super internal snare ring that you didn't have before. Sometimes this is a good thing, sometimes a bad thing. You have to play around with it but in certain situations, it has saved me.

I really want a transient designer badly and feel that will really help bolster my productions. Too bad they are never on ebay or anything :(

Bob
Old 26th November 2002
  #9
Sheet!

godda get one!



BTW I know the tip isnt origional n stuff, I just figured it was a semi repeatable patcbay accident - hence the mention / worth trying... etc

Old 26th November 2002
  #10
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
RE: the SPL thingy.
I played with one for a while one day. I kind of got the impression it was a 'two trick pony' and I got a bit bored with it.
They do turn up secondhand and also on dealer closeouts and are extremely cheap for what they do.
In fact the two channel version is very affordable brand new. Somehow I've never got excited enough to buy one though.
The tightening effect is quite excellent.
Old 26th November 2002
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Bah! Here's another cool one. Rent, borrow or buy a nice snare. Take the snare on tape and send that out to a power amp (louder is better) and a small speaker like an Auratone or Minimus 7. Something with a 3 or 4" speaker that can take lots of juice is great. Take that speaker and mount it on the snare drum or suspend it over the drum. The plastic band that goes around a reel of 2" is great for this, but if you don't have 2" around, well... come up with something, maybe a coffee can or plastic bowl with the bottom cut out. The goal is to keep the speaker about 2-4" off the top head of the snare but keep it centered on the drum without choking the head. Then hit play on your transport and the snare on tape will play the new snare. Mic it up and whatever, record it to a new track so you have it in the future or just bring it back to the console. It totally works. I've even done it with brushes but you need a really really powerful amp for that.
Old 26th November 2002
  #12
s2n
Gear Nut
 
🎧 15 years
The trick to recording snare into a DAW is to slightly digitally clip it....and SoundReplacer augmentation.
Old 26th November 2002
  #13
Lives for gear
 
groundcontrol's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How about a FATSO for quality clipping...
Old 26th November 2002
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
On occasion I like to "reamp" the snare track through a Blues Junior, record that, and mix a little in with the original. Reamping works really well for kick also though I tend to use a 4x12 for the speaker. Lottsa' fun those reamp thingy's...
Old 26th November 2002
  #15
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
The 'Auratone' speaker on the snare is a VERY old, tried and true trick. Although, I've never heard of suspending it? Mmmm. I guess. But, when you lay it face down *on* the snare it actually 'wacks' the head. Grace notes come out as grace notes, etc. The real beauty of this is you can now (re)mic the snare from a distance....where it sounds best.
Benjy
Old 27th November 2002
  #16
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Bah! Here's another cool one. Rent, borrow or buy a nice snare. Take the snare on tape and send that out to a power amp (louder is better) and a small speaker like an Auratone or Minimus 7. Something with a 3 or 4" speaker that can take lots of juice is great. Take that speaker and mount it on the snare drum or suspend it over the drum. The plastic band that goes around a reel of 2" is great for this, but if you don't have 2" around, well... come up with something, maybe a coffee can or plastic bowl with the bottom cut out. The goal is to keep the speaker about 2-4" off the top head of the snare but keep it centered on the drum without choking the head. Then hit play on your transport and the snare on tape will play the new snare. Mic it up and whatever, record it to a new track so you have it in the future or just bring it back to the console. It totally works. I've even done it with brushes but you need a really really powerful amp for that.
I use two drum sticks, spaced apart from each other over the drum head. Gaffer's (or Duct) tape the sticks to the top rim of the snare drum before you place the speaker down onto the sticks. Works really well, especially if you need more snares. Blend additional distant mics to taste.

I never suspended the speaker or lay it face down onto the snare. I got to try that someday...
Old 27th November 2002
  #17
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A pair of drum sticks? Sweet idea!
Old 28th November 2002
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
in new zealand they use hotcake stomp boxes for this
in the usa they use an 1176 with the ratio buttons
clicked off .... take your pick
Old 29th November 2002
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 15 years
For those of you interested in the transient designer, you may want to check out the PSP Audio series of plug-ins. In their "mix pack" bundle, there is one plug called Mix-Trebile.

This bad boy is either manual or has about 25 presets that you can tweak. It does everything from work as a de-esser, a transient controller, a harmonic generator, and a spatial enhanacer...

It's very cool for drums more than anything, and sometime the harmonics
work nice on gtr's after compression...

no affiliation here with the PSP stuff, it just works ....

http://www.pspaudioware.com/
Old 3rd December 2002
  #20
Lives for gear
 
chap's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
or.

re amp the offending snare through the Little Labs PCP and send 1 channel to a clean guitar amp (I use a '64 Twin or GT Solo with sfx) with a decent snare leaning against the front, 1 channel through
the POD or SANS amp and 1 channel to a crunchy amp (I use a Dr. Z or an old Chieftan). You can combine the 3 in any variety of ways. Too much trouble? Get a good snare. It's cheaper,by far, than my solution.
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