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Mics and placement

From doing this I learned that the mics you use and where you place them make as much difference as the drum itself. Seemingly subtle differences can have dramatic impact on the final result.

I use a three mic setup: A Shure SM57 placed about 10 or 12" from the batter head - outside the hoop pointing in towards the center. I large diphragm consendor about 2' away from the center of the head pointing in a similar fashion. I had read that 3' was the desired distance but found that to be too ambient for my tastes. 2' puts the mic at about the same distance from the drum as the drummer's ear, so what you hear should be what you get. The third mic is underneath the snare pointing at the strainers. I tried numerous mics in this position. Everything I've read says to use a small condensor here and that does work well, but the AKG D112 is fuller and more pleasant to my ears.

About the Drums
Some drums are just more versatile than others. I have made a number of samples of the DW and Gretsch snares because they sound good in a variety of tunings. Also the DW and Tama strainers sound good loose or tight, which is a claim not all drums can make. The Radio King is another that has a lot of variety and I hope to do another session with it to show some of that off. The Tama Starclassic sounded good so many different ways that it was hard to screw that one up even if you tried.
While not every snare is versatile, some get one incredible sound. If that's the sound that you want, then that should be the drum for you.