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Collective questions for Mr. Sneap -thread

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by ahjteam, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    I thought that many of us love what Mr. Sneap has done to many metal albums and I was thinking that should we make a thread that we compile a huge pile of questions.

    THE RULES AND RESTRICTIONS are simple:
    - I will list the answered questions in the first post about production techniques
    - First read this first post (and preferrably the full thread) to see if your question has been already answered or asked!
    - If you have a question that hasn't been answered, post your question and use +1:s for the unanswered questions already asked that you would like to know. Hopefully Mr. Sneap will answer atleast some of them :)
    - Preferrably no questions that are related only to a certain gear, band or people, but more general questions about production techniques as possible
    - No questions related to money. period.
    - ...and no begging for samples (edit: or presets) either. Andy has already posted the Chimaira samples, 5150 settings and POD patches, that can be found in the FAQ
    - No questions that do not DIRECTLY apply to Andy and/or could be just as well be answered by someone else! For example "should I use X or Y to record my guitars". Create their own thread for those questions
    - And remember to behave :)

    ANSWERS (updated May 30th 2009):
    Some of you who have actively followed this forum for a while already know things like the ones listed below, so those questions aren't really nessecary and if you read thru this thread, Andy answered some of these questions:

    Andy in general
    - Andy owns 'Backstage studios' and it is in England at a farm in the middle of nowhere in a place called Derbyshire. He also lives in the farm.
    - Andy plays guitar in band called Sabbat
    - No wife or family, but has a girlfriend
    - "3 fav albums sound wise. Black album has to be no 1 but after that Im not sure, I think Randy Staub has done some amazing stuff and I really liked some of Terry Dates work such as Prong and Pantera."
    - Pondered why he has become as popular as he is now
    - Usually works by himself in the studio, no assistants (except recently with Doug Cooke)
    - Andy is endorsed by D'Addarrio, ESP, EMG, Evans, In Tune, PreSonus, Metric Halo, Peavey, Planet Waves, Randall, Slate Digital, Toontrack, Solid State Logic and Waves

    Guitars
    - "I always say 80% of the tone is in the players hands"
    - Records guitars only with mics, doesn't use impulses
    - Mics the speaker away from the walls and the floor
    - Often mics guitar cabinets with a single SM57 in the center of the cone (followup why he always returns using one SM57). Post-processing usually only a touch of EQ and maybe multiband compressing if it needs it
    - Prefers dual or quadtracking for rhythm guitars depending on the band
    - Always uses a tubescreamer in front of an amp
    - Recording acoustic guitar depends on the guitar, see the reply
    - Doesn't blend different amps from the same DI for the rhythm guitars, but sometimes for lead guitars

    Bass
    - Usually tracks just a DI-bass with an amp simulator on and then reamp, sometimes using a multi band compression before the amp to help sit it in. Follow up 1 Follow up 2
    - General brooding about bass guitars

    Drums
    - Tunes the drums himself
    - Likes to mic a kick near the hole
    - Uses triggers in the drums, usually replaces kicks 100% and blends snare sample 50:50 with the original signal
    - Drumtuning: On toms batter head slightly tuned lower than resohead, kick tuned as low as possible and snare tuning depends on the snare
    - Doesn't usually use parallel compression, maybe on snare
    - Likes to use different mics for the kick drum, the week when he answered he liked Shure beta91 + subkick on the kick, sometimes he likes Audix D6 etc
    - Question about hihat bleed
    - For overheads prefers to use Neumann KM184's in spaced pairs, 2 cymbals per 1 mic. Also mics the china separately. Highpass filter at ~500hz
    - Doesn't bus drums, always treats all channels individually
    - Pans drums from audience perspective (hihat on the right)
    - Answer on question regarding using Deat Detective (follow up)
    - Loves Metric Halo channelstrip on snare
    - Usually uses Sennheiser MD421's and Shure SM57's for toms
    - "Room mics, whatevers around, even 57's sometimes, just really compressed and blended in a touch"
    - Uses room and reverb on the drums
    - Thinks it is import for a drummer to train to a click

    Vocals
    - Uses delay on the chorus/melodic vocals that gets fed into a reverb
    - Answer about vocal processing (follow up)
    - Doesn't usually use any inserts when tracking, except some compression with vocals
    - Has Autotune, Melodyne and Waves Tune that he uses if the vocals need it

    Mastering
    - Masterbus insert chain: Waves SSL compressor, Crane song Tape Simulator and TC Electronic Finalizer
    - Masterbus compressor with 2:1 ratio and 4-5dB attenuation at max
    - Aims to -10 dB RMS when mastering if its not damaging the sound, otherwise a bit lower

    Other gear related stuff
    - Uses Genelec 1031's + subwoofer for monitoring and Yamaha NS10's as reference. Varies listening volume.
    - Favourite preamp: Crane Song Spider (8 channels)
    - Usually uses digidesign and echofarm delay plugins
    - Uses Pro Tools for all stages (recording, mixing and mastering) and has gone almost completely ITB and uses 24bit/44.1khz samplerate
    - Uses controlsurface only for surround stuff, prefers to use a mouse
    - Uses Little Labs PIP di-box and Cunniberti Reamp-box
    - Likes Crane Song Phoenix for saturation
    - Doesn't like Royer ribbon mic on guitars

    Other
    - Thinks subdrops are GAY
    - Doesn't take notes of settings for hardware, but keeps the ProTools sessions
    - Doesn't ride preamps hard into distortion
    - Uses a lot of automation
    - Uses his earlier material as mixing reference
    - See his answer to how he deals the situation when you are sick and you have to work
    - Doesn't use analog summing
    - The most common mistakes new engineers make (follow up, number 15)
    - A post what Andy thinks about people using samples he posted for commercial releases
    - Random questions Andy already answered years ago
     
  2. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    This is not a bad idea. These are all questions I've asked at various points but for whatever reason were never answered (he's not on here that often and probably just didn't see them.)

    Mr. Sneap,

    How do you go about setting up room mics for your drums? What sorts of mics do you tend to use?

    How do you typically record acoustic guitars? The guitars on This Godless Endeavor sound really nice and sit well.

    I've seen an audix D6 on your gear list, though it seems like in photos I've only seen an Sm91 or a Beta56. Does the D6 get much use?

    Do you ever use parallel compression?

    Do you prefer to record at high sampling rates ie 96k or 192k, or do you go for more in the 48k or 44.1k range?


    Sorry for the barrage, I love your work :kickass:
     
  3. Fox Mulder

    Fox Mulder The Truth Is Out There

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    +1
     
  4. -Noodles-

    -Noodles- 3 Initals Mixer

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    +1
     
  5. Jaymz

    Jaymz Stymphalian Productions

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    He told me on AIM he dosen't
     
  6. Lasse Lammert

    Lasse Lammert HCAF Blitzkrieg

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    all the above questions have already been answered.

    he uses 44.1k/24
    bass: check noise101
    he used to use rode roommics in front of the drums (like 1.5-2 m if I recall correctly).
     
  7. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    Noise 101 is confusing because the material comes from multiple engineers and its difficult to tell where each little bit of information comes from. For instance, I was under the impression that the x-y Rode mic info was from another engineer. Thanks for the sample rate info, but I still haven't seen the acoustic guitars question answered anywhere. Do you have a link? (but I do agree that redundancy should be kept to a minimum.)
     
  8. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    Thanks for the info.
     
  9. paladin shredder

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    what are your top 3 favorite album productions (done by yourself or someone else)?
     
  10. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    Great question!!! +1!!!

    And I think another good question is, which of your own productions do you think shows off your skills the best? (if your own productions don't end up in the top three.)


    I also want everyone to be aware that Andy used to frequent Gearslutz, and there's some really good information in the archives if you do a search for his posts. There are a lot of other really talented engineers handing out information on that forum as well, even though I think many of the members are rather pretentious. I've always loved that the most talented members of this profession are not shy in letting out their secrets, and tend to be all-around great guys.
    We should all be open participators in the evolution of this craft. The more information is available to everyone, the more records we will have with great sound quality!
     
  11. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    You can tell it's him on there when nothing is capitalized. :lol:
     
  12. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    haha. I actually went back over it and the Rode comment was definitely from Andy so I humbly eat my words.
     
  13. Andy Sneap

    Andy Sneap Metal Guru

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    Ok, I stick with 44.1khz 24 bit, I cant hear above 22k so I dont see why you should either.
    The audix gets used sometimes in the kick, but I'm prefering a 91 and a sub kick this week.
    Room mics, whatevers around, even 57's sometimes, just really compressed and blended in a touch.
    Bass is a good one, usually I'll track just a DI with an amp simulator on and then reamp, sometimes using a multi band compression before the amp to help sit it in.
    I'll sometimes blend in a really narrow 1k ish distortion in with the bass too to help it on smaller speakers.
    Parallel compression, nah, doesn't do much for me besides on snare sometimes where I'll blend a really compressed sample of the snare in with the original.
    Nothing special on acoustics either, just a mic, gtr and some talent oh and compression.
    3 fav albums sound wise. Black album has to be no 1 but after that Im not sure, I think Randy Staub has done some amazing stuff and I really liked some of Terry Dates work such as Prong and Pantera.
     
  14. NickL

    NickL I'm not here.

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    Thanks :)

    As my ears develop I become more and more aware of the ways in which the black album has influenced you. For my taste you've topped its quality more than once, although I'm sure you and some metal purists and various other folk won't entertain such suggestions. :lol: Loving the newest Testament by the way.
     
  15. Metaltastic

    Metaltastic Member

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    Ok, here's one - are you still a single-57 guy when it comes to distorted rhythm guitars?
     
  16. Andy Sneap

    Andy Sneap Metal Guru

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    yes, still one 57 in the right spot.
     
  17. GuitarHack

    GuitarHack Krank it UP!

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    What's your favorite Mic-Pre these days? Still the Spider?

    Is your Mesa Oversize Cab still a Slant? :)lol: Marcus)
    thanks
     
  18. Ermz

    Ermz ¯\(°_o)/¯

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    You mentioned reamping the bass DI. Do you still use the real amp mainly for grit, or the broadband bass tone? Cheers.
     
  19. ahjteam

    ahjteam Anssi Tenhunen

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    Thank you Andy for your answers, I compiled them to the first post. I would still like to ask from the acoustic guitar micing... Can you be a little more specific on the micing? Do you use a large or small diaphram mic and how far do you have it and where do you aim it?

    And then another questions: How much do you use delay and reverb, what kind and where do you apply it on (drums, snare, vocals...)? Do you rather mic up a room or do you use digital reverb instead?

    +1
     
  20. Jevil

    Jevil Pro Evolution Fucker

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    Who is the ghost dog of his avatar?
     

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