Experimental Recording Techniques: How to Create a Huge Drum Sound Using a Rack Tom and Snare

Today, we're back for another installment of Experimental Recording Techniques at Rax Trax Recording in Chicago. In this episode, producer and engineer Noam Wallenberg is turning his attention to the drums, demonstrating how to get a big and full-sounding recorded snare drum sound using a snare and a rack tom.

In order to create the biggest recorded snare sound possible, Noam starts by trying to build the biggest physical snare drum possible. His snare is dampened with a Big Fat Snare Drum and then a Gretsch rack tom is placed on top of that. Noam places a snare weight on top of the tom, which has a deadening effect similar to what you get when you place a wallet on top of a drum.

The entire setup is then mic'd with a pair of AKG 414s on the top and bottom of the snare, a single mono mic (he uses a Bill Bradley microphone akin to a Neumann U 47) overhead, and an AEA Nuvo N22 off to the side. There are also a few compressed AEA 840s placed in the room.

Back behind the mixer, Noam explains the signal chain—from a Chandler LTD-1 Preamp to a Telefunken V76 preamp and into a blackface 1176—and explains how he processes and fills out the signal. Be sure to give the full video a watch above, and stay tuned for the next installment of Experimental Recording Techniques coming soon.


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