snare drums, sounds and production

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I am working on the next song and I find myself really wanting the “right” snare sound. It is a bit strange – since I am often flying fast and furious while recording, and will use various mics and placements – just to execute the idea…but not this time. The last time I really spent a lot of time trying to get the right sound was at Paisley Park, Princes studio – and I had about 15 snare drums, and Tom Tucker had me work through them ad nauseum. Nothing against Tom, I had em, he wanted to hear em. at the time I was a bit in awe of Paisley, and found things a bit over thought. Gordy Knutson (amazing drummer) happened to be doing a session at the same time and wrote on my drum set (which was a single head Tama Mahogony) “GET BOTTOM HEADS”…which is like saying ADD SALT TO YOUR SOUP… he might want more salt – but not me…it is truly a taste bud issue.
The more I learn about music and recording, the more I learn that there are a lot of ways of doing things, many I find disagreeable as far as the final sound, but not necessarily wrong. One of my favorite snare sounds is actually from a sample CD Brian Eno did, with Neil Conti, Dark Side Of the Groove…but there again, sometimes the ” Salvation Army Snare” sound of Bonham is the cats meow…FYI I will be using a SM57 on the snare – which is probably the most used snare drum microphone in recording studios worldwide…and I will play with an AKG C414 under and around a Noble and Cooley 14″ maple…additionally I am going to use a cheap condenser ambient mic – with lots o’ compression stay tuned…

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