Show 110 – Totally Excessive Snare Drum Mic Shootout and more

This week Ryan teams up with Randy Coppinger and Jon Mattox to attack a snare drum with over 20 mics! In the Rapid Fire section we talk about MS Processing, Automation and what kind audio geek are we (listen and you’ll find out what this means).

Download Show #110

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Compare all the mics from the shootout in full quality DOWNLOAD
Randy Coppinger on Twitter
Randy Coppinger’s Snare Drum Wiki
Jon Mattox on Twitter
Jon Mattox – Bright Orange Studios
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23 thoughts on “Show 110 – Totally Excessive Snare Drum Mic Shootout and more

  1. d112’ing great presentation guys. 57 against everything else one at a time is exactly what I was going to create in my daw at home, but I didn’t have to!!

    So well done, thank you.

    Oh and I think I’m a tube/transformer guy. Anything I can saturate a bit (or a lot) gets me going.

    M/S not so much. I have been using ribbon mikes in blumlein pair a lot lately. Loving it. I also tried the ribbons in M/S configuration, it sounded the same as blumlein (which makes sense, if I’m thinking about the physics right; figure 8’s in mid side decodes to blumlein) but the decoding is a pain in the but during tracking… Can’t compress on input, as I sometimes want to do… Etc.

    Automation: constantly, since day one! I had deck II, then cubase, then I got protools 6 in 2003, always in the box. Are there really ways of doing this with out automation?! Haha! I guess if we have a jazz quartet I would be letting them automate themselves… Even the old ssl I used in audio school had vca automation.

  2. Great show guys; kudos to Ryan for putting together such a complete shootout. With the metering segment, the preamp shootout, and now the snare shootout (along with some stellar interview), I feel the show is REALLY cranking it up. Hopefully the donations will crank it up equally.

    The last part of the Rapid Fire section was really interesting: “What Type of Audio Guy are You?” I love all aspects of audio, but lately I’ve been feeling the Sydney Galbraith vibe of workflow enhancements. It would be great if he could put together some sort of Control Surface Shootout: comparing tools that make better workflow: emphasis on the FLOW not the WORK. Is Sydney allowed to do segments yet?

    You guys are awesome; the show is great. For the love of all things sacred, don’t stop. (that’s what she said)


  3. Hi guys
    Fantastic show, you are the real geeks. The shootout was brilliant. Besides hearing the differences of the mics it was a an awesome lesson in training my ears to hear the differences in sound.

    Greatest show on earth, guys! I´m craving for the next show!

  4. Great show interesting how the mics sound different yet in some ways all usable depending on the situation. Loved the SM7. Never look past Neiman although size and $$ might be an issue..
    Damn you never tried the Sony F98 how did you overlook that Ryan??

    LOL you needed a pad on some of those mics. Then why not use a TritonAudio FetHead Airhead 20dB attenuator.. LOL Ryan – Shame one got lost in the post between you and I..

    Keep up the great show guy’s.. Miss Jesse.. But hell everyone else is filling in nicely.


  5. This is great. I was just listening to the kick drum episode and you had said that you would do a snare drum shootout sometime. I was wondering when that was going to happen and, I was actually going to write in and ask about it. Question answered. Awesome work. Love it. I just got an md421 and couldn’t be happier with it.

  6. One more thing…I (like many others) love shootouts. Sometimes, they don’t help at all for many reasons (mp3 listening quality, varying opinions and other things…) but, sometimes they’re great. I would love some more of them like tom mic shootouts or even a room mic shootout. THAT would be something I haven’t heard anyone do before…

  7. I wonder how many of you guys noticed that the snare tracks in the download were polarity inverted except for the Oktava mics. The two snare tracks are in-phase with each with each other, but out-of-phase with the rest of the kit.

  8. Third comment, sorry guys. I just had to let you know how offended I was that you made light of Multiple Sclerosis in your show. Many members of my family have succombed to this disease, and to have you healthy young guys in your ivory tower making light of this terrible killer just because it happens to have the same acronym as Mid-Side technique or whatever geek idiocy you were talking about…I mean it just really shows your immaturity. Go squeeze some pimples and watch Anime, losers. I loved my Auntie Vera! How dare you sully her memory…and if you believe any of this…I’ve got a lossless summing mixer I could sell you dirt cheap. Hahaha…I amuse myself…back to the dungeon….carry on

  9. @Randy and @Jon. I noticed this too. I think Jon simply means that when you zoom up on the wave form really close, you’ll see that the first bump of the sound wave was, say, positive for the close mics and negative for the rest of the kit or vice versa. At least, that’s what I think he thinks. You think?

  10. I’m not saying you did anything wrong Randy. Just saying we all need to listen.
    What I mean is to get the drum mix working, the snare track has to be polarity inverted.

    I didn’t zoom in. just clicked the polarity button in the DAW when I was comparing mics. Snare A and B for each example had matching phase/polarity but was opposite of the kick and overhead tracks.

  11. I am sure this has been covered before, but can you guys discuss your control room size, construction and monitor placements?

  12. Jon, I’m still investigating polarity. I think there’s a difference between the download and the raw tracks, neither of which I have had much time to scrutinize. But… (next comment)

  13. We’ve got to admit mistake. Or at least I will. I suspected that the amazing sound of the u87 was too good to be true and it was. The built-in pad was not sufficient to prevent the mic electronics from distorting. I examined the first half-waveform and EVERY time it squared off. Not that the lack of transient there is terribly noticeable (and you might choose to do this on purpose!) but it isn’t squeaky clean. If I had been more diligent we might have discovered this error and told you up front. But for those who read this far down, now you know the truth. Not a big deal but I want full disclosure here and to warn again about how loud drums are and how easy it is to distort them when recording. Thanks.

  14. Also, let’s be sure we keep this in perspective. As much as I like to dive into details like this, Al Schmitt once said:

    “No one ever buys a record because the snare drum sounds great. They buy a record because the music emotionally moves them.”

  15. Hey Guys,
    I’ve got a real newbie question here, and I ask just cuz it’s recently topical.
    A little while ago I mentioned to a musical guy I know that I had just been down to the music store to get one more 57 to almost complete my kit. He quickly piped up that he could get a 57 for 30 bucks. I looked at him with great skepticism. Then, out of sheer curiosity, I said I’d take one. I figured it would have to be fake, but still I thought it would be worth the entertainment. (This is what happens when you listen to this damn podcast.)
    Well, long story short, yup, it’s a fake. There’s lots of pics and vids out there showing you how to spot them, and it’s not hard, especially if you have the real McCoy beside it. My first tip was how light it was and that the top did not spin freely like a real 57.
    So I did a quick test by taping it to my real 57 on my snare and right away, it was obvious. The fake is much hotter, and picks up the harsh top end stuff. It actually picks up the snares rattling through the top skin and misses some of the meat of the body of the shell.
    As I had tracked both, I instinctively did a quick pan of about 9 and 3 o’clock, and the stereo sound was quite amusing.
    Sooo, the final question is, could it be advantageous to set up a couple of proper mics on a snare and get a larger, maybe fatter sound by panning them? Have you covered this already?
    I suspect it might cause problems with the stereo imaging of the overheads possibly, or maybe sound like some bad 1980’s D112, but just wondered.
    Thanks much, always a newbie,

    Oh, and I was going to do a shoot out for you, and then record the sound of the fake getting thrown into a steel garbage can at the end, maybe with some big explosion sound fx, but then thought that since I might need it for my kids to play with one day, I would instead use the real 57 as a stunt double and throw it in the garbage can, since it would easily survive the task. In the end, I don’t even know where the fake is anymore, and I’m back to trying to get good sound. If I find it before my kids need it, I’ve got another paint stir stick.

  16. Hiya Fellas!
    I’m new to these podcasts of yours and am thrilled to have found them (thanks to Ronan’s vids for finding yours) … anyhow this is wonderful stuff and I’m glad you’re doing them – its like Christmas with all of this listening ahead of me.

    I had a question regarding the comments of ProTools vs Cubase on show 109 (i think it was). How about Sonar (by Cakewalk)? Is this the redheaded stepchild of the DAW world? Is it seen as mere toy or does it have a good reputation? I recently upgraded my version, well not too recently but am getting more serious now, and when I heard mention of the ‘learning curve’ of ProTools I thought, Hmmm … yes, learning curve!

    If I’m going to spend time learning a prog I’m hoping that it will be worth the work and all the precious time. Was this a wise upgrade or should I be focusing on a different prog – i’m a home studio enthusiast and songwriter. Thanks again!

  17. About the U87 snare “mistake”. Really crushing and distorting a snare sounds awesome! I’ll have to try recording hot enough to clip on stuff like that.

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