Anyone who has tried looking for the right snare sound for a song will know that you can go through hundreds of snares that might sound good on their own but which don’t work in the track. Sometimes the only thing that works is a mic on an actual snare and yet so few people do this. The best thing is the ability to record incredible dynamics and unique rolls. At La Playa Studio we mic up a snare with two sm57s top and bottom out of phase plus a stereo pair of condenser mics further away to mix in some stereo width. It is a matter of experimenting with the positioning of the microphones depending on how hard the drummer is playing. Sometimes only a top mic sounds better for certain styles, reducing the amount of rattling from the snare wires underneath. The distance away from the head also changes the way the sound is recorded. Further away gives a more real sound but the ambience of the room comes into play here so there is a trade between clarity and reality. Often the best way to start is to get a good sound on the overhead microphones then add in the spot microphones to add focus on the important elements.