Snare Drum

jeglican 7/15/12

So I'm trying to do some home recording, and when micing my drum kit I'm gettin pissed at my drum sound. On American Goldwing you guys have a great meaty deep snare sound, when mine is way too high pitch and ringy. Besides dampening, which I'm guessing is a problem with my snare, what did you guys do to get such an awesome sound out of your snare? Did you mic both the top and bottom? How much compression and EQ? Thanks guys!

Band Member
Ross McLochness 7/30/12

Well, there's so many variables.  But let's see...what kind of snare drum are you using? How is it tuned?  Do you muffle it or let it sing?  All these things add up and radically effect the sound of the end result.  For a long time I was using an old wooden Slingerland snare from the mid to late 50's and as much as I liked the sound, it never really recorded very well.  It wasn't until I found an early 70's Roger's Dyna-sonic that I achieved (live) the sound I was looking for and it also records extremely well.  That being said, I've often been surprised at the vast difference between a drum's live sound and how it sounds recorded.  Also, we were recording in a studio with an engineer and tens of thousands of dollars in compression/eq and the like.  But with a good snare and some decent mic's, a well tuned snare should record pretty well.  In the end, you must experiement and see what works with what you got.  Below are the mics and basic posiitions we used for the kit on Goldwing. 

Glynn Johns' technique! Three Mic's for the kit:

Soundeluxe FET47 - in front of the kick

A pair of Beyer M160s - equidistant from the snare.  one overhead and one pointing across the toms toward the snare. 

Good luck! 


Band Member
michael.james 8/13/12

Here is the bass player's 2 cents: I've recorded a fair share of drums, and the best results have always been with the fewest mics, somewhat far from the drum set - say at least 6" to 2 or 3 feet, maybe even more for a room mic if you've got a flattering room and a nice condenser. Some people say 18" from the snare is the magic number. This "Glyn Johns" technique has many variations, but something about it just works: it's fast, you get a good stereo image and a natural sound - and you've heard it on hundreds of records. And like all the best recording techniques, it was discovered accident. Google it, then try it for yourself - you'll probably get a good tone.

jeglican 8/20/12

Thanks for the replies!  A studio I worked at a few years ago in Lansing used the Glyn Johns method. I've been too afraid of trying it on my own, but I'm thinking its time for me to just bunker down and practice for like a day straight.

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