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Paramore Self-Titled Snare

Discussion in 'Ask Justin Meldal-Johnsen' started by BKotsh24, Jan 8, 2021.

  1. BKotsh24


    Jan 8, 2021
    Ok, this is my first post and I did it wrong like three times, so third try’s the charm. Thanks for being patient.

    My question is about the snare sound on Paramore’s Self-Titled record. It’s a the best snare sound I’ve ever heard on a record and that record is largely what inspired me to record my own.

    I know the room and Ilan’s playing has a massive impact on it, but I was wondering if you could tell us about the snare setup itself. There’s no discernible ring to it, it’s just a perfect deep crack/caw and I’ve been chasing my tail trying to get as close to a similar sound as I can.

    Thanks so much! Love what you do here!
    GregC likes this.
  2. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Well thanks very much indeed. The sound of Sunset Sound Studio 3, with drums oriented so they point down the long way of the room, is very special. It yields a very exciting, bold "short room" that is great when blended in with the close mics and the chambers which I also send different parts of the kit through. It's very difficult for me to attribute one thing to the reason the drums sound how they do. A lot of it is just happenstance, it's not a precise science with me. I had a massive selection of excellent drums, and my engineer Carlos is incredible at helping me get what I hear in my head. One very important component I can point to is a pair of 67's, maybe a dozen feet off the kit, oriented on stands that place the mics only about a foot off the ground. They are about another 12 feet apart from eachother, so it's a fairly wide stereo picture. Pattern is set to omni. Those are then "blocked" by half-height gobo's. Huge part of the snare and room sound for sure. Otherwise, I dunno. I'll put it to you this way: if someone said "go recreate that room sound right now, here's some drums and mics", it just would never sound the same. It's always just a chase that hopefully yields a good result.
    Murch, letsgethandsome, GregC and 3 others like this.
  3. BKotsh24


    Jan 8, 2021
    Well in that case the chase yielded an iconic result, at least to me. I guess that’s just kinda the irony of hoping to recreate moments from iconic records at all, is that the thing that makes them so affecting is authenticity of the moment they were made. It’s hard not to fall into that trap as a producer, wanting to recreate moments that moved me instead of staying curious in the present. It’s a good reminder just to throw poopie up and listen to it.
    One last question if you don’t mind though from a technical aspect, do you have any techniques for controlling snare ring that you recommend? I think that’s what’s so appealing to me about that snare is the weight of it and the very controlled decay.
  4. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Rings, gaff tape and tissue, isolating the snare with small bespoke partitions so other close mics pick it up less, wallet, moongel, and just getting the right head/drum combo. Some modern drums just don't want to clean up, so I may just rely on drums with different materials and/or softer bearing edges at times.
    GregC likes this.
  5. Robal

    Robal Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 26, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Vintage drums, like old Gretsch, Ludwig, Rogers, Slingerland kits?
  6. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    yep. And snares starting as early as the 20's or 30's, on up through the '70's. Rounded bearing edges, old-ass heads, etc.
    Robal likes this.
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Mar 7, 2021

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