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Need help mic'ing snare from underneath

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As the title suggests, I'm confused about this.  I know the bottom mic needs to be 90 degrees from the top mic, (I think), but I've never had any luck doing this.  Every time I try to record with two snare mics, I'm supposed to phase invert one of them, (which one?)  When I do that, it always sounds hollow and just not good. I probably did something wrong.  Am I supposed to record them with the invert switched?  Or wait until after to switch it?  I have a Focusrite Clarett 8pre and I don't see any phase switch on the unit or in the Focusrite software that controls the unit.

Could somebody ELI5 this for me?

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If the bottom mic as 90 degrees, it's not going to be completely out of phase, so you'll need to use your ears to tell whether inverting the phase works for you or not.

Alternatively,  zoom in on the waveforms of the top/bottom snare, and see how the peaks and troughs of the waveform align between the two tracks.

If they're mirror images of each other (i.e. when one has a peak, the other has a trough), then the phase needs to be flipped (usually on the bottom mic - you don't want the top mic to be out of phase with any bleed from the overheads).

If they waveforms aren't mirror images of each other (i.e. if one has a peak, the other one also has a peak), then don't flip the phase.

You can try various mic positions until you get the right sound, or alternatively just use the one mic pointing towards the snare shell.

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If the mics are too far away from the drum heads, or are the wrong kind of mics, that can result in that hollow sound even if their polarities are correct. The idea is to have each of them pick up as little as possible of what the other one hears. It's that overlap that causes comb filtering. It's one of the reasons the Shure SM-57 is popular for snares - they're pretty dead off-axis, which is good. They are also small enough to get pretty close to the drum heads, and durable enough that they won't be damaged by a wild drumstick.

As for which one to invert, most will invert the bottom mic. That's because the top mic will pick up more of the other drums and you don't want phase cancellation between it and your tom-toms, so it needs to have the same polarity as the tom mics. But if you're careful where you place them, you won't need to worry about it because the tom (and hat) mics will be behind the snare mic, in its dead zone.

 

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Lots of great recordings made with just a kick mic and a single overhead, for that matter. Listen to Hendrix's first album, e.g. Manic Depression. The kick is a little subdued by modern standards, but the snare is snappy and the rides are crisp. Gotta have a good room for such an approach, though.

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I've only dbl miked snare on a couple of occasions, but I've found that the bottom mike only needed a little bit mixed in to emphasis the " snares". I wasn't able to run them at near equal levels.  - could be I wasn't miking them just right. - but that's been my experience. 

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