Phase aligning wave form on drums

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Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby Dave77 » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:27 pm

Hope this hasn't been covered previously
What are people's thoughts on moving drum waveforms to be more in phase.

I've moved rooms before, but I've been hearing of folks doing the whole kit.

Are there pros and cons to this?
Or is it a no brainer to go ahead and do it to benefit the drums on a record?

Has anyone felt it loses the natural feel of the original recording of the drum kit in the room by doing it?

Very interested in people's ideas around this

Cheers,

Dave
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby Chris H » Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:55 pm

My thoughts are generally not to do it. A big part of spatial information is early reflections and delay times so you are removing this info when time aligning your room mics. If bottom end smearing is a problem in room mics I have put a high pass filter on them rather than time align but at the level i add my room mics it's never a problem. I do use mics and positioning such that i like the sound of the bleed. For example the sennheiser 421 is a nice sounding tom mic but the bleed can be nasty so another mic is often a better option for me. Also i go on the assumption that as a rule, a big drum sound is facilitated by using fewer mics, leaving mics open rather than gating, using bleed to advantage by avoiding excessive harsh highs and wolly mids. I never need to mic under the snare as that information is in the bleed of the overheads and other mics.
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby rowmat » Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:56 pm

I align the close mics with the overheads but leave the room mics in order to retain the sense of size.
I will however nudge the rooms mic if required to minimise any low end cancellation (mainly the kick) and usually compress the room mics a little or sometimes a lot with a Valley Dynamite. ;)
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby Wiz » Thu Jun 15, 2017 9:06 am

Whens setting up mics on the kit.. .I record individual drum hits, say a few hits on the snare in a row (1/2 notes ish) and then have a look at how they align compared to the overhead mics, and then with fine adjustments of the height of the overheads, say even a few millimetres at a time, till I get the best in phase result I can, then I do the toms, by moving the tom mic a touch, again millimetres...

(This is where seeing the waveforms in the DAW is great.... especially when you are drummer engineer coffee boy all in one.)


This comes after putting the mics in the best spot to start with for the source (individual drum) and kit (whole picture).

Doing this only takes an extra few minutes and then things are as good as they can be.

cheers

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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby wez » Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:40 am

Turn off the scope, Luke.
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby Dave77 » Fri Jun 16, 2017 2:53 pm

Thank you all for the replies, I just did a project with a huge drum track count and it really got me thinking about all this deeper, it's certainly tempting to go down the rabbit hole with it but I've visited a couple of the obvious ones and decided to just move on, the drums sound really amazing over all...
I become romantically attached to all my natty little room mics I create and maybe sometimes not to the benefit of the mix. Ha..

But it does really interest me how others approach it at mix.

Cheers again.
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby rick » Wed Jun 21, 2017 3:51 pm

I have certainly done it enough know that the rabbit hole is soo deep i have to go in with a clear head and a torch and a new set of batteries .

i certainly look at kick mics though because i generally end up with three mics .
once open i time i bussed to one trackon tape , but now days i burn three kick tracks then see they are out of phase and it shits me then move them after the fact and they sound better then i wonder about every thing else ,

and then we are you i am we and we are all the same on that thought i reckon .

obviously bass guitar and dis benefit hugely from this technic
so sure it gets me thinking about moving all the drums arounda bit , but i generally don't .
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby waitup » Thu Jun 22, 2017 10:01 am

I've never had much luck with this. Initially the drums sound a bit more solid but then in the mix they seem to loose their depth. I do often DELAY room mics a little though, I like that sound.
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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby rowmat » Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:00 pm

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Re: Phase aligning wave form on drums

Postby dave01.cooper » Fri Jul 28, 2017 3:36 pm

Depends on the project and if I was the one who tracked it or someone else! I've been given some god awful drum tracks before where nothing is in phase and they were wondering why it sounded thin. In that circumstance, shifting is king.

I certainly nudge my kicks so they're in line to fatten it up as much as possible but have been known to nudge room mics so the low end carries thru the whole kit with no phase nasties. A fat, thick room sound is paramount to a good snare thwack in my opinion.

Happy shifting.
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