Author Topic: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap  (Read 653 times)

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Offline zappafrank2112

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Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« on: March 14, 2019, 02:44:23 PM »
Yeah, another post kvetching about the drum sound, but I think for me it's that I've just never been a fan of the wet blanket drum sound when used in modern times.  It seems to fit in perfectly with a lot of stuff from the 70's and even 80's which by nature had a lower fidelity in terms of what the average consumer heard, but in today's climate, it always just seems out of place to me.

"Snap" is the best way I can describe the sound I'm hoping for.  I do think MM's drums sound better than they have before, this time around, but I think if they had more snap, to my ears they wouldn't sound so mechanical (or dulled down), which I know is a widespread criticism that's been levied against him for years now. Maybe if the snare was less muffled, the slight intricacies from hit to hit could shine through and give a better sense that there's a real person on the other end making those sounds.

All IMO, of course.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 02:54:45 PM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.
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Offline NunoTenniscourt

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 04:19:38 PM »

I'm on the opposite side of the fence on this. This is the first Mangini era DT album where I'm hearing just the snare snap I was hoping for.

Offline Volante99

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 11:49:22 PM »
Well, D/T was certainly an improvement over DT12 and TA, which both give I&W a run for its money for worst drum sounds in DT history. The cymbals are indeed more of an issue here for me, as well.

Offline Fritzinger

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 12:16:04 AM »
Volante, I definitely agree on DT12. TA was a slight improvement though.

While I am fine with the drum sound on Distance Over Time, I REALLY hope that Rich Henshall and the boys from Haken introduce John Petrucci to Adam Getgood. That drum sound on Vector is just out of this world and one of the best drum sounds I have ever heard on a record.

Adam would really just bring the whole drum sound discussion of the last 8 years to an end in a matter of seconds :D
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Offline Volante99

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 12:59:10 AM »
Devilís advocate; Iíd really like someone to just mic his drums up and let him go to town; stop f-ing around with his sound and for god sake leave the triggers out of it. Donít try to over-produce or make the MOST EPIC drum sound ever. Thatís when you run into problems. I just want a dry, natural, Mangini drum sound.

Case in point, the improv jam at his audition, recorded live, is probably the best drum sounds theyíve gotten out of him.

Offline nikatapi

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 01:50:35 AM »
Devilís advocate; Iíd really like someone to just mic his drums up and let him go to town; stop f-ing around with his sound and for god sake leave the triggers out of it. Donít try to over-produce or make the MOST EPIC drum sound ever. Thatís when you run into problems. I just want a dry, natural, Mangini drum sound.

Case in point, the improv jam at his audition, recorded live, is probably the best drum sounds theyíve gotten out of him.

Agreed about that. But, i think the cymbals and drumkit were not the usual equipment that Mangini uses.
Can't agree more about overprocessed sound. I've listened to Mike playing in a clinic, and his sound was amazing and very dynamic. I can understand his comments like "if you could hear me in a room", there's definitely a difference.

Offline Architeuthis

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2019, 02:05:43 AM »
Dang, I think the drums and cymbals sound stellar on this new album. Am I missing something?   ???
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2019, 02:24:10 AM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.

I listened to the instrumental mix, and I was surprised by how clear the cymbals were. I think the frequencies of the vocals and effects were mixing with the frequencies of the cymbals. It's specially noticeable in S2n.

Offline efx

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 06:05:49 AM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.

I listened to the instrumental mix, and I was surprised by how clear the cymbals were. I think the frequencies of the vocals and effects were mixing with the frequencies of the cymbals. It's specially noticeable in S2n.

It's a hard thing to get right. Basically, getting the balance between cymbals and vox is really hard as the main frequencies of those instruments tend to overlap. It's common that you'd give that preference to the latter which is why I suppose the instrumental mix makes the former more prominent.

Offline bosk1

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 09:10:45 AM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.

I listened to the instrumental mix, and I was surprised by how clear the cymbals were. I think the frequencies of the vocals and effects were mixing with the frequencies of the cymbals. It's specially noticeable in S2n.

Oh, that's really interesting.  Yeah, that can be one of the challenges in mixing an album when you try to get all the parts in.  I think that's one of the reasons why the drums on a LOT of '70s and '80s albums sound so plain and so far in the background.  But it's interesting to me that one thing I NEVER had a complaint about since the time DT started self-producing was MP's drum/cymbal sound.  He knew how to record his drums and he knew how to give the right input to whoever was mixing to always get a great drum sound, and that continues in all the other projects he is in.
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Offline Freko

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 10:52:49 AM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.

I listened to the instrumental mix, and I was surprised by how clear the cymbals were. I think the frequencies of the vocals and effects were mixing with the frequencies of the cymbals. It's specially noticeable in S2n.

Oh, that's really interesting.  Yeah, that can be one of the challenges in mixing an album when you try to get all the parts in.  I think that's one of the reasons why the drums on a LOT of '70s and '80s albums sound so plain and so far in the background.  But it's interesting to me that one thing I NEVER had a complaint about since the time DT started self-producing was MP's drum/cymbal sound.  He knew how to record his drums and he knew how to give the right input to whoever was mixing to always get a great drum sound, and that continues in all the other projects he is in.

I donīt get this at all. I did a quick A/B. Barstool Warrior vs Shattred Fortress. I think Distance Over Time sounds very modern and clear. and Black Clouds are a bit plastic and forced.

Offline 1neeto

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2019, 01:30:01 PM »
Devilís advocate; Iíd really like someone to just mic his drums up and let him go to town; stop f-ing around with his sound and for god sake leave the triggers out of it. Donít try to over-produce or make the MOST EPIC drum sound ever. Thatís when you run into problems. I just want a dry, natural, Mangini drum sound.

Case in point, the improv jam at his audition, recorded live, is probably the best drum sounds theyíve gotten out of him.

This right here. It was over compression what ruined DT12. Iím not sure what triggered the decision to destroy all drum dynamics, and make him sound like a cheap drum machine.

Offline Anxiety35

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2019, 04:07:59 PM »
MM's snare is deep with a lot of crack. Part of it is due to how it was tuned, part of it is due to the mixing & engineering. When you tune a snare for depth, power, & crack, you will lose the high "snap" that the OP is desiring in a snare sound.

I think the d/t snare sound is the best snare sound of the MM era, but it's definitely not my favorite snare sound ever. It's all preference. I really dig the powerful, boomy snare as opposed to a snare that's tuned too high or has overring (think "boing"). My preference is a happy medium. Something that has a lot of power and crack but has some resonance to it.

Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 07:17:14 PM »
Doesn't Mangini's snare resonate? Mynreference is always that intro to FitL and boy does that snare sound powerful and far from artificial.

Offline Herrick

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 11:44:24 PM »
I thought the drums themselves, including the snare, sounded fine.  But to me, the cymbals really sounded subpar in a lot of places.

I bought the digital version and I agree about the cymbal sounds. They don't sound good. They sound brittle if that makes sense. Maybe the CD version is better butt then again, cymbals sound fine on other digital albums I have.

The snare sounds much better than on the self titled album. I guess Mangini likes these sounds. Would be interesting to hear an interview about his tonal preferences.
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Offline erwinrafael

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2019, 11:56:27 PM »
Mangini has said before in interviews that how he hears the drums is captured best by his sound in Mullmuzzler 2 and Elements of Persuasion. That could be your reference.

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #17 on: March 18, 2019, 03:50:12 PM »
I still don't think that any of the snare sounds from any album are as crisp and clear as Awake.  Love the snare on that album.  :hefdaddy
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Offline darkshade

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #18 on: March 18, 2019, 03:54:42 PM »
I think Awake and Train of Thought are the best examples of that snap OP mentions.

I feel like MM has that snap on ADTOE and for some reason it doesn't after, and I just don't like the drum sounds on the last 3 albums.

Offline Dublagent66

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #19 on: March 18, 2019, 04:07:03 PM »
BTFW actually has a really good live snare sound.   :tup
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Offline gzarruk

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2019, 10:33:59 PM »
leave the triggers out of it.

Mangini is on record saying they've never used triggers on his DT albums. They might sound a bit "robotic" to some people, but that's not because of triggers (as many people seem to believe), as he's never used them.
It sounds like, "ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk." Instead of the more pleasing kick drum sound of, "gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk, gzarruk."

Offline zappafrank2112

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2019, 02:51:28 PM »
OP here, and something that just struck me while reading the responses that seems extremely obvious in hindsight is that the mixing (and this applies to all instruments) really should be done on a song by song basis, time/budget permitting.  What works in one song might not work in another.

Someone mentioned the snap that's present on Awake, and my mind immediately jumped to the beginning of 6:00.  I realized that while yeah, that's a great snap (albeit a touch echo-y), it's a great snap *for that song*, which made me realize that I wouldn't necessarily want that snap all the time.

I guess what prompted my post originally is that I guess I don't hear that snap *enough* anymore.  I think that MM's drums sound great during the fills in the intro of Pale Blue Dot (and granted, that's more than snare), so it's not like it never "feels right" to me, but rather that maybe they could stand to work within the dynamics of the song, and not just a blanket "MM's drums are to be mixed for depth, not snap."

Offline bosk1

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Re: Really wish MM's snare drum had more snap
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2019, 02:54:53 PM »
Mixing is done on a song-by-song basis.  Mastering generally is not.  But mixing sort of has to be.  I mean, once the person doing the mixing develops good baseline levels for each instrument in a song, he might use those baseline levels for other songs as well.  But they are still generally adjusted somewhat for each song, and for various parts of songs, and various post-production effects are applied for all or parts of songs, depending on what is called for in a particular section. 
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