Drums

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Drums

Postby scott » Fri Aug 26, 2005 11:32 am

Just wondering what peoples methods are regarding getting drum sounds becuase I think maybe im going about it the wrong way. And writing these things down can sometimes carify your thinking too.
Generall recording session:

Set up kit
Set up room mic
Listen through monitoors ,
Adjust wich ever drums sound bad
move room mic if kit balance is unnice
Add mics/compressors were necesarry
apply tape/damping to drum that ring to much
move on to next instrument

A couple of things that seem wrong about this approuch;
Most of the time I just tune the jit so it sounds good by itself with out regard to the other instruments coming along later. should I be chucking the Guitarist on to hear if its gelling? I only have eight inputs (digital)
Often these are all taken up but I could just listen through the room mic or run a mic from the desk.
Also when applying any damping to the kit im not taking into account the full song. If a kit sounds too ringy do these sounds get 'soaked up' by the band? I guess a certain amount depends on the space/fullnes of the song itself
Any drum has a certain pitch right? Does adding tape alter that pitch, or only dampen the fundamentals? Has anybody got a semi technical explaination of what goes on harmonicaly when you hit a drum?

All a bit long winded I know but hey.
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Postby Henry » Fri Aug 26, 2005 2:16 pm

Don't be afraid to make mistakes, that's how we all learn really unless we have someone there to teach us.

Just put the mics up and record a song.

After awhile you will know about the kit, the room, how to tune for different tempos, what the best mic, position is etc. It's not something that can be answered properly without first hand knowledge. Just experiment.

If you stuff it up, which I do all the time, you can use sound replacer in Protools to fix it(or find someone who does), which doesn't change timing etc just the actual sounds.

I saw Diahorama being recorded at 301 and they had about 15 mics on that Kit no joke, and they still used sound replacer on the drums! I saw it with my own eyes! Sometimes there are no rules just principles to guide you.
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Re: Drums

Postby Linear » Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:52 pm

Here's my 2c worth.

The best people to ask about tuning drum kits are drummers themselves. Some drummers are surprisingly smart, ask them lots of questions. Too many variables to quantify, so experience is paramount. Some things you just have to learn, there is no book that explains it (like eating beaver - you just have to do it).

Get good front end happening, the pre on the kick and snare is the most important thing when recording drums. Mics are important, but not as important as the pre.

Record lots and lots, and make sure that you learn (and retain) something from every session. Eventually, you will accumulate enough knowledge and experience to make good and repeatable decisions on how to go about recording a drum kit.

There are no short cuts!

Chris

ps don't use sound replacer.
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Postby Mark Bassett » Fri Aug 26, 2005 5:57 pm

Mics shmikes, kit shmit, here's what you need

Image

No seriously, check out what they used to track the kit (link below)

http://www.fxpansion.com/product-bfd-meetTheMics.php
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Postby Henry » Fri Aug 26, 2005 6:15 pm

Or you sack your drummer and his considered input and feel and use midi drums!

ps.I was playing drums in an orchestra when Chris was still shitting yellow(probably)!
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Postby PeterR » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:25 am

If I had the money I'd ddrum trigger BFD 1.5 for snare, kick and toms.

and I'd use real cymbals and mic em up.

Best of both worlds: live drumming with feel, perfect drum separation (BFD has actual room and OH mics - add to taste), real cymbals.
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Postby Kurt » Sat Aug 27, 2005 12:52 am

You'd get the real drum sound coming in through the cymbal mic's anyway unless you used a vdrum style kit.

One problem with relying on drummers to tune their kit is that they hear a different sound to what the mic's get. For example, many drummers I've dealt with overtighten their bottom tom skin, you get a strange quasi echo a split seond after the top skin strike sound. The drummer often doesn't seem to hear it but the mic's do!

PeterR wrote:If I had the money I'd ddrum trigger BFD 1.5 for snare, kick and toms.

and I'd use real cymbals and mic em up.

Best of both worlds: live drumming with feel, perfect drum separation (BFD has actual room and OH mics - add to taste), real cymbals.
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Postby Chris H » Sat Aug 27, 2005 1:09 pm

A lot depends on the style of music you are going for.
Re drum tuning nothing beats an educated drummer with experience. I have one on call so if i'm working with an inexperienced band i call him in to tune the drums, etc. ( i work up to this by building a good working relationship with the band) As a rule the bottom skin on the toms should be tuned the same as the top.....( yes, there are acceptions to the rule....search and destroy....search and discover). I mic with a bit of distance between the mic and skin different to what i would do live.
Try omni's on tom 1 and floor tom with a dynamic on tom 2. Try pointing the omni's accross the top skin rather than at it. Be aware of phase issues and the results can be great or crap depending on a multitude of variables. I have seen & heard the 15 mic approach and my opinion is
it is a flawed approach to micing a kit......just too many mics. Having just 8 digital inputs can be a blessing in disguise.
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Postby PeterR » Sat Aug 27, 2005 8:18 pm

You'd get the real drum sound coming in through the cymbal mic's anyway unless you used a vdrum style kit.


thats what I meant - Clavia make ddrum, Roland make vdrum. No real snare, tom or kick sounds in the cymbal mics except for the lame sounding taps of sticks on ddrum pads.
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Postby Martinez » Sun Aug 28, 2005 10:13 am

The thing I have found working with virtual drums, midi drums etc, is
they sound unatural.

its in the way they ring out, especialy the toms.
when you program in a tom roll or the drummer does a tom roll it sounds
very very wrong, same goes for the hi hats!
does anyone know a way around this?

also the drums don't have bugger all attack.

another thing, does anyone know when your EQing the top end on the toms, whats the general rule there frequency wise?
I've heard some terrible top end on toms and have been responsible for it too.
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Postby Peter Knight » Sun Aug 28, 2005 8:03 pm

Martinez wrote:another thing, does anyone know when your EQing the top end on the toms, whats the general rule there frequency wise?
I've heard some terrible top end on toms and have been responsible for it too.


Define "terrible"?
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Postby mfdu » Mon Aug 29, 2005 10:41 am

i've been trying to learn the "tape op" method (http://www.tapeop.com/).

swing up a large diaphragm fig.8 as the overhead. or a ribbon :). make sure through that mic the kit is in the right space, and the mic is in the right space.

slide in a mic on the kik (i generally use a B52) and a mic on the snare. that should be a genuine acoustic sound, right there baby.

from there, if i need big toms, i'll close-mic them (listening always to the overhead to ensure phase align), eq and pan on the console and print the toms as a stereo track.

i'm currently saving up for a v-drum set - all i reckon i would need to start would be kik, snare, tom and h/hat. like someone else said, main cymbals might be best acousticly.
main reason? not control of the sound, but rather set-up time. i'm a small small home studio, and my clients dont want to spend even half a day setting up drums. a v-drum kit would mean just sit the drummer down and away we go. . .

$0.02

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Postby Martinez » Mon Aug 29, 2005 11:44 am

terrible as in to high on the frequency spectrum.
I want the toms to be enhanced and cut through the mix but not sound unatural though.


same goes for the kick aswell.
I've not heard any info anywhere on these subjects, its alway on the bottom end.
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Postby Kurt » Mon Aug 29, 2005 12:04 pm

Well, from a live point of view, I always start with flat eq on toms, unless they sound bad they pretty much stay that way. I'll sometimes roll off the bottom of the rack toms and boost the bottom of the floors. For recording I'd do the same, if they sound bad re-tune or replace them, why bother recording a bad sounding tom?

"Your toms sound like arse, do you want to tune them, or should I gate the bejesus out of them and turn them down?" over the talkback can work wonders.
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Postby mfdu » Mon Aug 29, 2005 2:14 pm

Kurt wrote:"Your toms sound like arse, do you want to tune them, or should I gate the bejesus out of them and turn them down?" over the talkback can work wonders.


i like the cut of your jib!!!

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Postby Mark Bassett » Tue Aug 30, 2005 4:54 pm

Don't forget to tune your cymbals too.
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Postby Henry » Wed Aug 31, 2005 12:51 am

SOUND REPLACER
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Postby scott » Wed Aug 31, 2005 8:23 pm

I would use sound replacer/bfd but im more into this recording thing just for fun :!:
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Postby mfdu » Thu Sep 01, 2005 10:25 am

scott

i was delaying replying, because i didn't want to be the only one to say it.

bfd is fine, sound replacer is fine. hell, even my idea of a roland TD3 is acceptable. but when it all comes down to it, recording drums is fun, and there's is so much that can be done with them to bed them into the track.

i know i would miss it if i didn't have to do acoustic drums any more.

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Postby Adam Dempsey » Thu Sep 01, 2005 11:04 am

mark wrote:Don't forget to tune your cymbals too.


Not as silly as it sounds, although achievable with mic angles to capture different harmonic overtones. Experiment - does the music call for bright or dark?
The drums - generally the bottom head should be lighter than the top (Ambassador top, Diplomat bottom, just for a common example) as the bottom will control the 'life" of the top head. I also see so many bass drums "choked" with too heavy a front head. Worth trying a lighter front... if you want to hear the drum breathe more.

Want to hear the toms sustain "bend" down? After tuning, tune down one lug half a turn.

Having the bearing edges (where the head contacts the shell) checked & sanded back by a pro can make a huge difference to tunability.

Yeah, I'm also a drummer (old Maxwin 4 piece kit with bearing edges modified - still an impossible kit to tune for recording but fine for gigs). And I like Zildjian A Customs...
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Postby smash » Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:19 pm

Well you could use sound replacer....

But isn't half the fun of recording actually discovering the right sound yourself?

Still good for emergencies though.
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Postby mark rachelle » Wed Sep 07, 2005 9:31 pm

try this
1. great kit
2. well tuned
3. right choice of mikes
4. the right mic placement /space
5. good use of pre/comp/eq if needed
6. A great drummer
7. playing the best drum parts for the track
8. the right parts and sounds on the other instruments (this is so crucial)
9. good mix
10. that bit of magic

if its a positive on all of the above you should be in the right place
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Postby mfdu » Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:42 pm

pffft. easy. dont see where the problem could be.

:)

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Postby Martinez » Wed Sep 07, 2005 10:52 pm

I freak'n reckon eh!
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Postby Henry » Thu Sep 08, 2005 10:54 pm

11. Anylyzed Drum Room
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Postby mark rachelle » Fri Sep 09, 2005 5:50 pm

yep

11. a great drum room , which actually should be #1
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