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Studio Pass: Periphery

Lesson 4 of 40

Matt's Signature Snare

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

Studio Pass: Periphery

Adam "Nolly" Getgood, Matt Halpern

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Lesson Info

4. Matt's Signature Snare

Lesson Info

Matt's Signature Snare

So I'll briefly mention the snare here but then it might be actually cool to get into the tuning process. Yeah. So this snare drum in particular is a drum that I helped design and put together just based off a very specific sound that I was going for. Yeah, exactly. A good idea. So, let's bring it around this way. This drum's called the Wraith It's a mapex black panther snare drum and I really kind of in my process of playing drums as long as I have, I've always been a huge fan of brass snare drums. And I've always wanted a sound that specifically and peripherally that can cut through both in a live setting and then can cut through in the studio. And that's flexible. So just by playing a lot of different drums over time and experimenting with different drums, this was sort of the speck that really made sense for me. It's a six inch depth, 14 inch diameter. The reason it's six inches is just that I never really enjoyed snare drums that are just too deep. It feels a little bit funny ...

and the position of the stand.. You have to put it lower or higher, it's just depending on where you sit. But I really like this depth just from a field perspective. And then it has these vents around it here in three different spots. It's nine vents total. To help make a very dry, quick kind of sound. You still get the overtone of the brass and obviously brass is a beautiful sound that resonates but it's not as ringy, or it's not as I don't know.. Resonant? Yeah resonant, in certain ways. Which again is really nice because it's very controllable. You can make it a little bit more damp or depending on the room itself, it can really actually have quite a lot of echo in it almost when you hit it so that kind of adds to the resonance. But it really worked for our sound for recording Juggernaut. We ended up using it on like 14 out of the 16 songs total. Yeah. And it just translated great so one of the things that we're going to do and actually hop into in a second is Nally's going to go through and just actually walk you through and show you his tuning process for both the toms and the snare drum. So actually let me hand this to you now. And just to talk a little bit about snare drums and snare drum materials... Brass and metal snares in general are the favorites among engineers. The reason being that the metal drum just tends to be a lot louder. When you're recording drums, you have really loud pieces of metal that the drum is hitting. Creating a huge amount of noise in the room. And you're also trying to get a reasonably direct signal in the microphones on the shelves. Those two things really don't go together. So the louder the drums themselves can be, the more chance you have of getting a more direct sound in the microphone. The louder it is to get above the level of the cymbal. Especially the high had. The high had is always the nightmare of every recording engineer. It's so loud and positioned so close to the snare in general I will also say that it's very difficult to reduce the sound of a drum just to the material it's made out of. If you take an average snare drum that's made out of metal. Let's say any metal. Generally steel, adminium, brass, sometimes copper and compare that with your average wood drum... Maybe a maple drum, a birch drum.. You'll generally find that a metal snare drum is going to have more top-in information. It's going to be a more scooped sound. With more exaggerated lower than top end. Now there's exceptions. You can get really thick wood drums made out of very dense woods that are super loud, really bright. You can also get metal drums that are really quite round sounding. The rafe drum in particular is actually I would say it's quite dark for a metal drum. But it's got a lot of volume. And just to talk a little bit about drum terminology.. When you're saying a dry sound to a drummer that means not excessive ringing. And not too much in the way of overturns. Yeah you don't get that boing sound when you hit it. Yeah. And when you say open generally, I don't know if you said open. But drummers sometimes refer to a sound as open and that tends to mean it's much ringier. And that tends to be favored by more lighter-hitting drummers, I generally find. In the studio generally what you want is like a burst of information from the drum and then a reasonably clean sustain. So something like having a vented snare drum is really great Again, it means I use less muffling and we still get a tight sound that rule the character of the drum.

Class Description

Periphery is one of the most influential bands in the progressive rock/metal scene. They’re known not just for being great players with great songs, but also self-producing their most recent double album “Juggernaut.” In this class, you’ll get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at exactly how they did it, lead by Periphery bassist/producer Adam “Nolly” Getgood and drummer Matt Halpern.

First, they’ll track drums live in the studio, showcasing some of the techniques Nolly uses to capture Matt’s unique, nuanced performances. They’ll cover their approach to tuning, mic selection, mic positioning, and some of their own tricks for handling mic bleed and other common challenges.

Next, they’ll walk through a complete mix using an actual session from “Juggernaut” and the drum tracks they just recorded. They’ll cover their overall approach to mixing, then go into detail on approaches for compression, EQ, and effects for every instrument.

This class will also include all of the samples that Matt and Nolly record live on the air available to download along with a bonus video of Nolly showing how to mic a guitar cabinet using the technique that he used to get the guitar tones on the Juggernaut album.


Connor Smith

I haven't even finished the course and already my mixes have improved dramatically. Night and day difference. I haven't watched the portions with Matt as I'm using drum samples (GGD specifically), but I have no doubt it's great. Matt is always incredibly helpful and is a brilliant drummer. I thoroughly enjoy listening to Nolly, he's very articulate and his approach to audio engineering is flat out brilliant. I'm so happy I purchased this course. Before my mixes were good (balance and things of that nature) but lacked life and energy. I just wasn't getting the professional level sound I was searching for. Now, I am proud of my mixes and actually think they're getting to the point where they sound professional and don't sound like they were produced by a dude in his bedroom with about half of year of recording and audio engineering experience. The metal genre is difficult to mix as there's a lot going on and the "current metal sound" is very crisp and clear while still being very heavy and punchy. It isn't 80s dad metal where guitars are hissy and flubby. lol I am a huge Periphery fan and it's a privilege to watch Nolly share his knowledge. I really enjoy his approach as its very simple but very effective. He doesn't have insane mixing strategies, he just does what works and it's applicable to any DAW and is helpful for almost any genre of music. Brilliant course!

a Creativelive Student

This was an amazing course! I loved hearing from both Matt and Nolly on their thought process behind drums in general. I love the point they drove home about getting a great source tone. That seems to be forgotten in a lot of recordings and they try to fix it in the mix. Jolly did a fantastic job of making it look "easy" to take already great sounding source tones and making them really shine! Cant wait to put these concepts into practice in my own projects. What a great source of knowledge here. Thanks for this great class!

Adrian Gougov

Best course and overall learning experience I've had in a long long while. Nolly and Matt are superb. Nolly is an astonishing mixing and recording engineer and a great teacher. Not only does he explains his methods carefully and in detail, but also lays down key concepts in an understandable language. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to mix modern heavy music. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna learn how to track drums properly. Definitely worth the investment if you wanna see one of modern metal's best drummers track a whole song from start to finish. Props to Creative Live for bringing this material to us.