How to Mic a Snare Drum 101

Too pong-y?  Not snappy enough?  Too thin?

Drum sounds are some of the hardest things to get right while recording.  Too often engineers think “I’m going to replace them with samples in the mix, so it really doesn’t matter” and that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even if you DO replace the snare with a sample in the mix, you have to remember that the snare sound (as crappy or amazing as it sounds in the room) will be recorded by the overheads, room mics, and any other microphones it bleeds into… and good luck replacing THAT.  So, let’s get that snare sounding phenomenal from the downbeat.

Getting the best snare sound possible actually begins before you put a mic anywhere near the drum.  I cover THOSE points (and more) in this video I made with professional drummer Stephen Taylor: