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The Heart/Crotch Mic
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drumsound
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 1:50 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
Gregg Juke wrote:
Track, please?

GJ


Here's a quick demo with the Phillips crotch mic and an E602 in the kick.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2tOcFs86fFyT09OYVE2SFR1MEU/view?usp=sharing

The toms are a little quiet and it's making me realize more and more how shitty my snare sounds. I like the way the hats and ride sit in the stereo mic though.


Is it the snare, or the response of the mic on the snare that's bothering you? Did you mic the snare?
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:35 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

I did mic the snare but didn't use it in the mix. There was more then enough in the heart mic.
The snare bugs me. It's the drum itself. It's a 60's Japanese something or other. Raven, Stewart, Pearl.....who knows. It's slightly out of round and pretty impossible to dial in to something I like. My biggest issue seems to be rattle-y, fizzy sounding snare wires. It doesn't seem to make much difference how I tune the drum. I can get something reasonable good sounding with the snares off but as soon as they're on it sounds like crap. Add to that that I'm not a drummer and am learning about all this stuff as I go along.
What I really need is a good sounding wood snare that's budgeted for someone who considers drums their 6th or 7th instrument.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:00 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

Well, that's pretty solid time-keeping, Mr. "6th or 7th Instrument."

It sounds a little muffle-y, but that might be the wurst mike/EQ combo.

Do you use the drum as a tom/timbale? (In other words, with the snare "off?")...
If not, and you just want tight buzz (and don't care if it still buzzes when you flick the snares off), here is a trick that has worked for me on some funky drums. First of all, change the snare wires to something you like; might be a super-wide fat multi-snare thing, or maybe you just want standard size (or you could even experiment with an old snare set and use wire-clippers to cut a few out!). In any event, when you settle on your snare set, tune the drum to your liking with the snare throw in the off position. Then, while it's still off/loose, add your snare set. Tighten one side. Then (and you might need someone to help because it gets a little cumbersome trying to go with only two hands, but it can be done), use some needle-nose pliers to really grip the plastic snare mounting strip, and pull it as tight as you can, while tightening the screws in the mount. Then, carefully (because it will likely be super tight at that point), turn the snare switch to the "on" position (it will require quite a bit more force if you've done it right). Now, you should have a super-tight, much less rattle-y snare, but also a buzz-y rattle when the throw switch is off.

The trick is tightening when the switch is loose, if that makes sense.

GJ
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A.David.MacKinnon
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 3:13 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

Gregg Juke wrote:
Well, that's pretty solid time-keeping, Mr. "6th or 7th Instrument."

It sounds a little muffle-y, but that might be the wurst mike/EQ combo.

Do you use the drum as a tom/timbale? (In other words, with the snare "off?")...
If not, and you just want tight buzz (and don't care if it still buzzes when you flick the snares off), here is a trick that has worked for me on some funky drums. First of all, change the snare wires to something you like; might be a super-wide fat multi-snare thing, or maybe you just want standard size (or you could even experiment with an old snare set and use wire-clippers to cut a few out!). In any event, when you settle on your snare set, tune the drum to your liking with the snare throw in the off position. Then, while it's still off/loose, add your snare set. Tighten one side. Then (and you might need someone to help because it gets a little cumbersome trying to go with only two hands, but it can be done), use some needle-nose pliers to really grip the plastic snare mounting strip, and pull it as tight as you can, while tightening the screws in the mount. Then, carefully (because it will likely be super tight at that point), turn the snare switch to the "on" position (it will require quite a bit more force if you've done it right). Now, you should have a super-tight, much less rattle-y snare, but also a buzz-y rattle when the throw switch is off.

The trick is tightening when the switch is loose, if that makes sense.

GJ


Thanks for that! Timing has always been one of my strengths although I totally hear myself speeding up every time I go to the ride.
The kit is pretty muffled and the wurst mic isn't particularly bright. It's pretty much all mids. I've got felt dampers on the toms and a few sheets of paper on the snare. Without the paper the snare sound truly awful.

I'm going to have to try your trick. I'm really looking for something much tighter than what's happening here. Since I posted this I've been playing around with a folded up kleenex taped over the snare wires. It helps a little but I don't know that it's better.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:51 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

I think the kick has a very nice definition and the snare sounds cool like something you'd hear on a south american psych record from the 60's. It's really the thing that sets it apart from just any old drumsound.

it sounds like a lot of snare bottom - more wires than drum

some mics will pick up the snare more balanced and some give more bottom head when you're doing heart mic and micing below the snare's top

if you wanna balance the drum overall use wires with less strands or mellower strands like the ones coiled into each other or coated wires, etc. id est less wires = more shell sound (also less buzz)

wires do wear out and prolonged uneven tension will make them not work as well as they should

different bottom head can make a huge difference as well

not to mention the bearing edges and snare beds in those edges ..those things can cause problems too

you say it's out of round so I'd maybe look into a new instrument if that's possible

why a wood drum?

some of the most familiar recording snares are metal
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:49 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

A.David.MacKinnon wrote:
I did mic the snare but didn't use it in the mix. There was more then enough in the heart mic.
The snare bugs me. It's the drum itself. It's a 60's Japanese something or other. Raven, Stewart, Pearl.....who knows. It's slightly out of round and pretty impossible to dial in to something I like. My biggest issue seems to be rattle-y, fizzy sounding snare wires. It doesn't seem to make much difference how I tune the drum. I can get something reasonable good sounding with the snares off but as soon as they're on it sounds like crap. Add to that that I'm not a drummer and am learning about all this stuff as I go along.
What I really need is a good sounding wood snare that's budgeted for someone who considers drums their 6th or 7th instrument.


An out of round drum is always going to be bitchy. A good drum will make life much easier.

Having the snares too tight will sound chocked and terrible. its a delicate balance of head balances AND snare tension. That and technique...

Is that your only snare? If so, spend some time on Creagslist, or Reverb... Wink
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:20 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

For clarity's sake:

^^^^Like I said, depends on the drum and what you want. It's a trick that works for _some_ drums and situations. Also, snare-side head does make a huge difference. If you are using a batter head verses a snare-side, for instance, the drum will usually sound awful.

I was responding to A. David's stated plight, i.e., "must use that drum." Obviously, it would be better to have a better sounding drum that is in-round if possible. Sometimes metal shells are great (but I understand the desire for the "wood-y" sound).

Depending on the wurst mike position, you may be getting too much bottom head, so maybe try moving it, or adding-in that unused snare mike. If you are not ideologically opposed to it, you could also trigger another snare sound in-software, and either replace entirely, or use in parallel and blend to taste. It might sound out of place with the rest of the kit, so will require some patience, balance, and maybe more studio trickery to make things sound right.

Finally, Tony mentioned technique. I was going to suggest that you try playing the snare a little less deliquetely (so I will do so now!); in other words, smack it with some rimshots instead of playing the center lightly and see how that sounds...

GJ
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:12 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

Thanks all. This one is my only snare at the moment. Not sure I really want to invest in it. Ultimately I'd like a decent wood and metal to cover all my bases. I've been haunting Craigslist and the like but haven't found anything yet.

Any suggestions for decent recording snares (wood and/or metal) that won't break the bank?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

you know how with the same model guitars - especially from batches with bad QC - can sound like different instruments ?

Same with snares

some things to consider ..

learn what a good snare properly set up sounds like / should be - this is partially subjective

snare can sound great but still have terrible action

the best and most versatile is when it sounds great and has good action at low medium and high tunings

features

some throw offs and butts are much more precision and have multiple settings

number of lugs / type of lug and even lug washers and how/if the lugs are lubricated make a difference

angle degree of the bearing edge / roundness / size of snare bed / type of rims

type(s) wood & metal

snare wires - puresound / grover / German offer so many options - adding more sets and using a quick change mounting system is pretty cool in a session

the wires themselves AND types of clips (metal ends the wires are soldered to) there are features in those too !! lipped edges and channels for string or ribbon mounting / quick change systems for example

believe it or not the way you tie the dang wire assembly to the throwoff and the butt and what material you use is important too

supraphonic and acrolite ludwigs and black beauty types are common metal drums on many records
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:22 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

another thing is make sure the snare is the right volume (somewhat style dependent) for balancing with your drums and cymbals in your room

a lot of drum instruments are geared toward projecting out into an audience not for the ears right up on them


out of balance volumes you're facing challenges off the bat

loud bright and heavy drums and cymbals in a small room and you're nearly beat

bright modern drums in a big bright aggressive room with only bright mics to use into digital you're gonna work much harder that day

etc etc

It's a balancing act of cosmic proportion and after a decade of messing with drums on a daily basis i still find I'm learning new things

so don't stop listening experimenting and practicing on your own outside of any actual sessions ..
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:28 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

Thanks for that.
The kit is a 60s Rogers Holiday. I'm looking for snares in keeping with that vintage of sound. I've got a mix of Dream and Zilgian cymbals. Mostly light/quiet and/or dark sounding. I love the kit and am happy with the cymbals. Just gotta get the snare happening.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

14x5 to 6.5 drum - maple primary - 5-8 ply

medium round (between sharp and round) bearing edges with reinforcement rings

14-16 wire snares and snare bed for that size wire (maybe 20 even) depends if you like to hear more drum or wire

would be my guess to match a Holiday kit with something like the snare that would have come with it


all the metal drums I mentioned were used throughout the 60's iirc
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

A lot of the drums on track 3 of my new record were recorded with a binaural head situated in the center of my contraption ("traps") kit:



https://paulrubenstein.bandcamp.com/track/one-eye-awake-part-3
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

^^^^Trilok Gurtu on steroids!

GJ
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2017 2:27 am    Post subject: Re: The Heart/Crotch Mic Reply with quote

Check out the Ludwig pioneer. It's a real gem of woody goodness.
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