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"That" snare sound.

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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No one ever said anything to him?
I mean, ok you did add that he was deaf.
He was one of those "I like it when everybody blinks on each snare hits" kinda drummers. There wasn't a lot of arguing we could do at the time, he had a rather important alcohol problem and he was receptive to criticism as long as he was sober wich was never the case come showtime... And then band politics are never easy. Especially not when the guy had been a trooper at the beginnings when there was no money to be made. He paid his dues like the other guys and was a full fledged member of the band, not just a side-man you can easily replace.

But I don't miss playing with him even a tiny bit. And when I play drums now, I'm ALWAYS enquiring to my colleagues about my volume and dynamics. I want to make sure I'm not the guy who ruins the mix and have everybody crank up their amps and play un-necessarily louder.
 

Steech

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He was one of those "I like it when everybody blinks on each snare hits" kinda drummers. There wasn't a lot of arguing we could do at the time, he had a rather important alcohol problem and he was receptive to criticism as long as he was sober wich was never the case come showtime... And then band politics are never easy. Especially not when the guy had been a trooper at the beginnings when there was no money to be made. He paid his dues like the other guys and was a full fledged member of the band, not just a side-man you can easily replace.

But I don't miss playing with him even a tiny bit. And when I play drums now, I'm ALWAYS enquiring to my colleagues about my volume and dynamics. I want to make sure I'm not the guy who ruins the mix and have everybody crank up their amps and play un-necessarily louder.
Wow.

But good for you that you took him as an example for what not to do in a band situation.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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Here's an example of what I'm talking about. Until 10 seconds ago, I had never heard of this band, and I'm not offering an opinion on them, one way or the other (I'm not their target demographic, and yes, they can get off my lawn). This is purely about the type of snare sound that so many producers go for these days.


To be honest, I've recently had engineers mix MY snare drum like this, and none of my snares sound ANYTHING like that. With the best of intentions, they fall in love with their compressor plug-ins and suck all the life and dynamic range of a great sounding, well-tuned snare.

A good friend of mine mixed a live video shoot we did for a streaming benefit concert last fall. We were on a tight production timeline, so I wasn't able to be present for the mix. When I heard the mix, I told him that he owes me $1100 for making my $1200 snare sound like a $100 snare. He laughed, but I was only half joking.
It is true that a LOT of engineers are getting lazier and lazier. But then again budgets for productions are shrinking and time allotted for every stage of a recording (including mix) are getting ridiculously low.

The first 3 albums I did were in the pre digital days and each album was mixed over about 14 to 16 days windows plus maybe 2 or 3 days for corrections if need be. Remember, in the analog days, if you wanted to do a recall you had to keep everything patched or take a million pictures of EVERY DAMN KNOB and spend hours painstakingly re dialing back to where it was during the mix. And even if you did it would ALWAYS sound somewhat different.

Well that was the norm at the time in our market.

The first few days were allotted to only finding the drums general tone and editing if need be (cutting up that tape was intensively time consumming). It was customary to spend hours on end on a snare or a kick sound. Mixing boards had a lot of options right there on the strips so it was normal to have the first 10 or 15 tracks just used for drums and those wouldn't move much from song to song. In bigger studios, drums often had their own dedicated outboard processing chain so they could remain patched through the whole duration of the mixing period

And then the standard for mixing the rest, once the drums tone was set was about a 10 hour day per song!!! Some songs took more but some (like pretty bare acoustic number) might take less.

Nowadays whole albums can be mixed in 2-3 days, some cheaper alternatives can even make it in less (including the mastering). So yeah engineers will cram a sample in there if they can't EQ and/or process in a few minutes the existing track to fit the aesthetics needed for the song.

A lot more engineers are just followers rather than trail blazers... And think that they "have to sound a certain way" so they use tricks an sound from so and so. Very much like A LOT of drummers "borrow" a lot of things from the players they look up to.

And sometimes well the label wants it to sound a certain way and they'll pressure the engineer to match whatever reference they sent them.
 

lawsater

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Black album fans will recall that was the first mega metal album with digital samples. Everyone copped that after the success of that album.

Samples were not used on the Black album it was recorded on a Studer 800 then later dumped to a 3348 and mixed through a SSL4000G+, toms had mics top and bottom and cymbals had there own SDC's around 40 channels just on the drums, kick drum mic was run through a 36" Mitsubishi speaker which they put a mic on. The kit was a black Gretsch kit hired from the Drum Doctor, Bob Rock also had 40 Neve channel strips he used, his did comment that "we used a lot of EQ".
 

drummer5359

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It is true that a LOT of engineers are getting lazier and lazier. But then again budgets for productions are shrinking and time allotted for every stage of a recording (including mix) are getting ridiculously low.

The first 3 albums I did were in the pre digital days and each album was mixed over about 14 to 16 days windows plus maybe 2 or 3 days for corrections if need be. Remember, in the analog days, if you wanted to do a recall you had to keep everything patched or take a million pictures of EVERY DAMN KNOB and spend hours painstakingly re dialing back to where it was during the mix. And even if you did it would ALWAYS sound somewhat different.

Well that was the norm at the time in our market.

The first few days were allotted to only finding the drums general tone and editing if need be (cutting up that tape was intensively time consuming). It was customary to spend hours on end on a snare or a kick sound. Mixing boards had a lot of options right there on the strips so it was normal to have the first 10 or 15 tracks just used for drums and those wouldn't move much from song to song. In bigger studios, drums often had their own dedicated outboard processing chain so they could remain patched through the whole duration of the mixing period

And then the standard for mixing the rest, once the drums tone was set was about a 10 hour day per song!!! Some songs took more but some (like pretty bare acoustic number) might take less.

Nowadays whole albums can be mixed in 2-3 days, some cheaper alternatives can even make it in less (including the mastering). So yeah engineers will cram a sample in there if they can't EQ and/or process in a few minutes the existing track to fit the aesthetics needed for the song.

A lot more engineers are just followers rather than trail blazers... And think that they "have to sound a certain way" so they use tricks an sound from so and so. Very much like A LOT of drummers "borrow" a lot of things from the players they look up to.

And sometimes well the label wants it to sound a certain way and they'll pressure the engineer to match whatever reference they sent them.

A couple years ago a good friend was going into the studio to record his first album in a long time. I offered to lend him a Radio King, a Gretsch Bell Brass, a Black Beauty and a Dunnett titanium. He was excited about getting to try them out in the studio. The producer nixed it. He said that he had everything that he needed in samples, it wasn't worth his time.
 

DamnSingerAlsoDrums

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A couple years ago a good friend was going into the studio to record his first album in a long time. I offered to lend him a Radio King, a Gretsch Bell Brass, a Black Beauty and a Dunnett titanium. He was excited about getting to try them out in the studio. The producer nixed it. He said that he had everything that he needed in samples, it wasn't worth his time. My buddy was pretty disgusted.
Ouch!!! I would have been livid!!

I'm lucky I work in genres where and with people for whom "real tones" are still a point of pride. I have a few friends who delve more into pop, modern rock and/or country and yeah, I've heard such stories. Sad as it is, in those genres, the original snare sound is now more often than not just there as a trigger. All the engineer needs is a transient, doesn't matter at all how it sounds.

Some engineers will at least try to include the OG sound by only using samples to "augment" certain areas of the sound that may be lacking (more punch, more low end, clearer snares etc.) thus only half-cheating...
 

pwc1141

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I did a private recording for a buddy who had a studio with a wide variety of snare sounds including what was supposed to be a Brady sample. My snare drum is a Brady which sounded nothing like his sample and in the end he asked me to record some hits so he could have a real sample on his collection :)
 

TonyVazquez

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I like my snare tight, a little fat,
tuned high, and compressed.

Below are two audio clips,
two different CD albums with my band.
The same snare drum mic'ed in the
same live drum room for each album,
same Neve studio boards,
close-mic'ed with a Shure SM57...

Snare drum is a 14x5 Cannon
steel shell snare drum with a white
Remo Coated Ambassador batter...

You don't have to hear the entire songs,
just listen to the snare drum in
each clip...

Snare drum no muffling,
Audio 1...

Same studio drum room,
Same snare drum, this time with a
piece of drum head on the batter.
Audio 2...

That was 2 years ago, and I haven't
been back to that studio since then,
but I love that place, Don Fury Studio
in Troy NY.

Now that I'm currently using a
13x5 wood shell Sound Percussion
snare drum, with a Remo coated Emperor
I still need to fine-tune it to my liking.
Tomorrow after band rehearsal I will
spend a little time mic'ing and
recording my current snare drum
with a Shure SM57, in our jam space,
into my Fostex VF160EX with
just a bit if compression.
 

44Ronin

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YEAP.............it sucks.

Sounds like a baseball bat hitting a sack of bread dough....
The snare drum sound for people who hate snare drums.

 

TonyVazquez

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Comparing the snare sounds
between Metallica's "St. Anger" album,
and Silverchair's "Frog Stomp" album...
...if I were to chose the sound I like
between these two albums,
I'll go with Silverchair. That snare sound
has a nice "pang" for their debut album.
 

CherryClassic

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The overly compressed, thuddy, flat sounding, no crack, one dynamic snare drum sounds that have permeated metal, hard rock, and even pop and country, absolutely suck.
I'm aware that many of these are samples, but if you're going to use samples, why not use a snare drum that doesn't sound like a wet cardboard box?

Someone had to say it.
Someone had to say it and I say it again. !!! LOL

I will say it is the choice of the player and personal preference. My personal preference is tunning to have some tone/ring but almost dead in the center with a tight enough head for stick response. I feel this covers me for the variety of songs we play.

sherm
 

drummingbulldog

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Samples were not used on the Black album it was recorded on a Studer 800 then later dumped to a 3348 and mixed through a SSL4000G+, toms had mics top and bottom and cymbals had there own SDC's around 40 channels just on the drums, kick drum mic was run through a 36" Mitsubishi speaker which they put a mic on. The kit was a black Gretsch kit hired from the Drum Doctor, Bob Rock also had 40 Neve channel strips he used, his did comment that "we used a lot of EQ".
I stand corrected. I guess Lars just sounds like he is triggered. That's a lot of work to get that sound. Kudos to Bob Rock for spending the time l guess.
 


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