Oct 15, 2010

Trying to tame excessive hi-hat or cymbal bleed from snare and tom tracks is a source of frustration for many engineers. Gating your snare track can take the life and air out the performance, and using EQ can kill the tone. Rather than modifying the track or using drum replacement software to swap out your sound, Primacoustic has a new tool designed to help reduce cymbal bleed during tracking. The CrashGuard ($39.99) is a lightweight ABS plastic shield that blocks high frequencies from reaching your drum mics, while also protecting them from the impact of stray drumstick hits.

The shield attaches between the microphone clip and stand, and it’s large enough to successfully fit over your trusty SM57, 421, or 414. Thankfully, the extremely lightweight construction means that you won’t be constantly readjusting sagging mic stand booms. The underbelly of the CrashGuard is covered with a high density open-cell foam, which reduces reflections from the source you are miking and helps prevent phase cancellation issues. A cable cutout at the back allows you to adjust the angle of the mic: the further from the guard you get, the less it affects the polar pattern and tone of the mic.

By placing a little acoustic treatment right above the microphone, the CrashGuard helps you keep the drum sounds that you put so much effort into getting, and can save some more effort further down the road. It’s also nice to have a barrier that prevents any more of those familiar stick-shaped dents in the grill of your favorite snare mic. –Mike Bauer

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