Steve Lagudi Blog Series: Miking Snare Drums, Part II

This is the fifth installment in guest blogger Steve Lagudi’s series on miking drums – today, Part 2 of a two-part post about snares. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

Steve Lagudi filming at A-T’s NAMM Booth.

Channel processing: First thing is a gate. For the snare I like to have these ring out a little bit, except the snare bottom. When I use my outboard gates, I will link the snares so that they react the same and I only need to adjust one instead of all the channels. Next is the filter and EQ. I roll off the lows to about 90Hz on all three mics. The EQ, for the most part, I run totally flat. I find with this mic combination, I don’t need to treat it any more. From time to time, I might have to pull out a little 160-180Hz, or some 500-700Hz depending upon the drum itself. I might even add some EQ here and there to help bring certain frequencies out more. Compression, as with the kicks, I use very little. I like to route all the snares to a group then just insert one compressor across all the mics. This makes things easier. On digital consoles, I will start with the first snare mic, compress 2:1-3:1 and fast attack with a fast/medium release to help give it a little sustain. Once I get that right, I just copy and paste that setting to all the channels. I know I am repeating myself here, but I like natural drums, so I don’t like to squash the hell out of it. I don’t like that “popcorn” sound on snares.

Reverb: I will use both the room and plate verbs. I tend to add in a little more on the room than the plate. These levels will vary from song to song now and again, but I generally adjust my reverb on a song-by-song basis from adjusting decay times instead of altering the balance that is being fed to the reverbs.

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Image 1: Snare Top 1 Gate – shows the gate settings, as well as the side chain filter set to only react to the fundamental frequencies of the snare to prevent mistriggers. 

Image 2: Snare Top 1 EQ – shows the EQ, high & low pass filters applied to the snare

Image 3: Snare Bottom EQ – shows the EQ, high & low pass filters applied to the snare.

Image 4: Snare Top 1 Compression – this is the same compression added to the 2nd Snare Top & Snare Bottom channels. Shows the settings, and the use of the filter to react to the low mid frequencies of the snare to be compressed.

Next up in Steve’s series: toms! Look for the new post, next Wednesday!


 

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