Recording A Snare Drum – Drum Recording Tips By Exact Recordings Studio


Recording a snare drum (Drum recording tips)

Submitted by Mike Ulloa.

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Country: United States
Name of Recording Studio: Exact Recordings
Studio Location: Temple, Texas

Tell us about your recording studio and the services you offer:

Exact Recordings is a home recording studio owned and operated by Mike Ulloa. The current vision for Exact Recordings is to bring a high quality recording and mix to the musician/band on a budget. Exact Recordings is a small studio with the same quality of gear and dedication as a larger recording facility. We offer recording, editing, mixing, and producing services.

Exact recording is not a mastering facility, but can preform demo mastering. If you need to put your music on a cd, then contact me today at ExactRecordings AT

Recording Tip or Tutorial (250 – 600 words):

Recording a snare drum – A nice and big snare sound.

After many sessions and experiments, I have come really close to my ideal snare sound for moderate alternative rock music.

First of all, I like to mic the snare with an sm57 in a normal every day fashion, about 1in from the head and angled in about 1in from the rim. You might have to do some duck tape engineering if you hear ringing in the snare.

What you want is a nice clean pop when he/she hit’s the snare. Secondly, I like to use the cleanest mic pre that I can get my hands on. My research has lead me to believe a high end solid state preamp is best for this job.

Now on gain settings, I like to keep the signal around -5 through both the preamp and going into the D.A.W. This headroom allows for equalization, compression and reverb.

Recording a snare drum (Drum recording tips)

Now on to the fun part. Once you have a nice consistent snare track in your recording program the first thing you want to do is listen to the snare from beginning to end. Listen for any editing or re-recording you might need to do, also listen to the sound of the snare and ask your self “what does it need to sound perfect”. In most cases you might have to add a little hi’s to give it that crispy pop sound. Then some compression to keep the sound consistently upfront and powerful.

Once the snare sounds close to your liking, duplicate the snare track. Take the duplicated snare track and add a hallway type reverb and saturate it so that the sound is 100% wet and 0% dry. Send the reverb snare track about 25% to the left and the original snare about 5% to the right. Now understand the reverb snare track will be very low in the mix, give it just enough volume to accent the original snare. You will have to play with the mixing of the two tracks to get that fat spacious echoing snare sound.

Well, I hope this has helped you, and remember there are no right or wrong ways in audio engineering, just use these tips to get you to a starting point, them come up with your own ideas.

Recording a snare drum – Drum recording tips submitted by Mike Ulloa of Exact Recordings

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