micing top and bottom of toms

Let's talk about kits and mics, new and old. What are you using? What do you want? What's the difference?

Moderators: ChrisW, rick, Mark Bassett

micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Fri May 27, 2011 6:00 pm

I used to do a thing where we used a 421 on the top and a 421 on the bottom of a tom and used a y cord with one mic being out of phase with the other and then just split into the one mic pre
we did it for years - everybody did it

then i started putting 47s and 67 on toms which to my ear was much cooler

anybody use the y phase split thing still ?
what do you use ?
have you ever even seen the bottom skin ?
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Chinagraf » Fri May 27, 2011 6:13 pm

87 on the tom with a 451 on the bottom, but separate leads and you use the the 451 to key a gate that is on the 87.
LDC have a lot of skin to their sound but the 451 have more of the fundamental tone to my ears. Blend to taste, lather, rinse and repeat. Always repeat.

Also sometimes a room mics just for toms, keyed off the close mic. I saw Nick Laundry do this once on an album.
User avatar
Chinagraf
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1599
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:09 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby ChrisW » Fri May 27, 2011 6:40 pm

87's on toms is a favourite of Ken Scott. Love the drum sounds on Spectrum (Cobham) and Young & Rich (The Tubes), both produced and engineered by Scott.
I've only had my toms miced from above and below once, by Neil Dorfsman. The top mics were 421's, can't remember what he used on bottom, maybe more 421's. This was the 80's! I think I counted about 32 mics for the drums on that session - some of them to be weeded out at final mixdown it has to be said. On the flipside i once did a session for Glyn Johns - and he used his famous 4 mic set-up.
Whitten
ChrisW
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Hunter

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby danander11 » Fri May 27, 2011 7:37 pm

Chinagraf wrote:Also sometimes a room mics just for toms, keyed off the close mic. I saw Nick Laundry do this once on an album.


Yep...me too.

As for micing top and bottom, I haven't yet, though I have plans.. I use 421's up top and would actually like to use the Shure beta 98's on bottom.. I think I saw Chuck Ainlay do that on a video.. it's only part of the equation but would be a relatively inexpensive way of getting into it..
Danny Anderson
danander11
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Fri May 27, 2011 9:08 pm

i could write a book about the things i dont know about drums but i am always surprised at peoples reaction to putting 47 and 67 on drums
they sound really good and they're sitting on stands in the studios i have worked in waiting to be used anyway , i dont subscribe to only using a highend mic on the vocals and leaving them sitting around watching everybody else work for the other 90% of the time
and now they are worth so much it doesnt make any sense to NOT get the most use you can out of them
gotta pay there way
i keep seeing c-12 as overheads now THAT is extravagant

that said i dont own any u67s anymore - dont think i ever will again on purpose
for what i use them for you could use a 87 any day of the week
i am stalking the idea of using neumann 147s as a substitute for drums but i dunno yet

chris (linear) did you get any love with the 147 on kick ?
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby obutcher » Fri May 27, 2011 11:28 pm

Chinagraf wrote:87 on the tom with a 451 on the bottom, but separate leads and you use the the 451 to key a gate that is on the 87.


Gotta gate those U87's on Toms. They do sound great but damn the spill!
Owen Butcher
obutcher
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Drumstruck » Sat May 28, 2011 2:03 pm

..... all those expensive acronyms.... not being so endowed with Neumanns etc I've been using a modified Glyn Johns 4 mic technique with a pair of NT-1 for o/heads, SM57 on snare and D11 on BD (you may be surprised how nice this cheaper mic sounds on BD and tenor sax).

I tried an NT-2a and NT-1a (MS) as bottom toms but was getting a bit too much spill and the toms were ringing until tomorrow. Sometimes using a cheapie D77S as bottom snare. All these bottoms I put through a tube pre with the phase switch hit (as the desk didn't have a phase reverse and I didn't have a cable....).

I've also been experimenting using an NT-2a (fig 8) as a rear mic for a surround effect - drums L/R is usually well covered but front / rear is often forgotten - just trying to position the listener on the drum stool atm.
Ian Dare
Drumstruck
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1513
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Over the hills and far away

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sat May 28, 2011 3:13 pm

why the issue with spill? dont you guys run an automation pass for the toms only ?
ie- you find each tom hit ( what like ten in 1 song ? ) turn on the channels for that hit fade them out clean the track done just open the miced toms up when they are hit ?
i have never used the ambient tom sounds actively in a mix - never seen it either ?
so why is spill an issue ?
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby AnthonyMF » Sat May 28, 2011 3:34 pm

rick wrote:why the issue with spill? dont you guys run an automation pass for the toms only ?
ie- you find each tom hit ( what like ten in 1 song ? ) turn on the channels for that hit fade them out clean the track done just open the miced toms up when they are hit ?
i have never used the ambient tom sounds actively in a mix - never seen it either ?
so why is spill an issue ?


Sometimes when a tom is still ringing out and it's followed by a nearby cymbal hit, you either have to fade it out before the crash hit, which can sound abrupt, especially if it's not on a strong beat, (like quarters, or the one) or deal with a really harsh cymbal.
Anthony Manning-Franklin
www.MidasTouchStudios.com.au
AnthonyMF
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:07 pm
Location: Perth

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sat May 28, 2011 3:42 pm

cant see that myself - or maybe my version of correctly miked ldc on toms is different
your in cardiod right? close pointed at the skin
so any spill is dull and out of phase to the hit ?

i am thinking if there is a cymbal hit bleeding it
it should/would just blend in with the "faded tom track" which is probably feeding a room anyway

there is a fair bit of my imagination in this post though , i havent done it in a long while :)
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby danander11 » Sat May 28, 2011 4:00 pm

Being a novice at all of this..

When I record drums, I take individual hits on the toms at a few different velocities. When I'm cleaning the tom tracks I'll sometimes use the recorded hits to replace 'noisy' hits.. individual or the last in a series of hits.. everything not a tom hit get removed from the tom tracks.

Just me though.
Danny Anderson
danander11
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Chris H » Sat May 28, 2011 4:59 pm

I dont mic the toms top and bottom any more....just never convinced i adds what i want without getting the sounds with using less mics. For most of my recordings exept for a really compressed hard hitting drum sound, the major kit sound will come from my "overhead' mics in the Glyn Jones placement, one directly above the snare, the other off from the floor tom, both exactly the same distance from the snare. I close mic hats snare and toms and add to the OH's in the mix. I will vary the ratio of close to OH depending on the sound we are after and if i use compression as an effect on the close mics. Rather than gating the toms, i use strip silence in the DAW.
Adding the compressed till it distorts room mic under the kit sound is also part of my tom sound
for the times it giver the desired results.
Chris Hallam.
https://soundcloud.com/hallamsound
Whatever floats your boat.
User avatar
Chris H
Forum Veteran
Forum Veteran
 
Posts: 2261
Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 11:20 am
Location: Off The Planet

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby ChrisW » Sat May 28, 2011 6:07 pm

The tom mics can add general depth to the kit IME.
I'm not a fan of gates anywhere near recorded drums, although I have stripped silence a few times, but as I said, if everything is balanced and sounding good I try to keep everything up (not gated, not ducked or stripped).
I guess I gate my own toms somewhat, as I think drum resonance is slightly over-rated. I don't like long ringing bass drums, boingy snares or overly resonant toms...... unless the music calls for it, or I'm asked to make my drums sound that way by a client or producer.

On the 67's.....
Been using those as overheads when in commercial studios the last few years. Superb.
The reason 67's, 47's and even 87's don't get used on toms much is because drummers have a reputation for hitting them, in the midst of a wild fill.
Whitten
ChrisW
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Hunter

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sat May 28, 2011 7:41 pm

ChrisW wrote:The reason 67's, 47's and even 87's don't get used on toms much is because drummers have a reputation for hitting them, in the midst of a wild fill.



yeah well there is that
it has always amazed me when i hear about drummers hitting mics
the drum skin is such a big target the drumstick is so small ..

the mic is discretely placed out the way especially so you dont hit it
the drummer is told and aware it would not be cool ....

and yet third chorus you hear it ....thudda thudda clunk....

"err i think i may have possibily knicked the side of one of your mics in that last take " says the sheepish drumman

you look at the mic and i has 4 dings it right in the center of it ! ...

"ok guys we might try this next song just with ambient mics
glyn johns style !" says the producer man ....
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby wez » Sat May 28, 2011 9:45 pm

Too Many Options
Limit yourself to three mics
Find the voice inside
wez prictor
composure music
http://www.composuremusic.com.au/

Australian importer of Crumar Mojo keyboards & accessories. Vintage keyboard fetishist.
User avatar
wez
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1164
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 10:38 pm
Location: Slightly to the left.

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sun May 29, 2011 8:34 am

yeah i have tried over the years to go three
i always end up with 14 ! ( 4 being rooms)
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Chinagraf » Sun May 29, 2011 11:08 am

wez wrote:Too Many Options
Limit yourself to three mics
Find the voice inside


I think you're right Wes, 3 mics per tom should be enough. :-?
User avatar
Chinagraf
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1599
Joined: Wed Jun 22, 2005 1:09 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby danander11 » Sun May 29, 2011 1:48 pm

Chinagraf wrote:
wez wrote:Too Many Options
Limit yourself to three mics
Find the voice inside


I think you're right Wes, 3 mics per tom should be enough. :-?


Top, bottom and shell...
Danny Anderson
danander11
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sun May 29, 2011 2:31 pm

well i meant 14 tracks
god knows how many mics summed into channels i would/could use - i have never counted but it would not be three

so the y cord phase flip toms still lives on as does the 57 snare

hmm i might have to find some dynamics bugger!

btw how do you use different types mics in the y cord setup?
i would have thought that would cause more issues then it solved
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby ChrisW » Sun May 29, 2011 2:57 pm

:D
Drums usually get one or two microphones, and that's about double the number everything else gets. The RCA DX77 or the Shure 55 often goes on the floor next to the bass drum in such a way that it picks up the snare, as well. "From the drummer's point of view, if you looked down between the snare and the kick drum, you'd see it about a foot or two away from the snare," he explains. "The second microphone is often in the same spot as the first but adds different frequencies. Sometimes the one and only mic is over or behind the drummer's head. Sometimes the only mic is a Radio Shack dynamic."


http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/jun08/a ... aptone.htm
Whitten
ChrisW
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Hunter

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sun May 29, 2011 3:41 pm

less is always more
unless you want more from your less

err
more or less
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby ChrisW » Sun May 29, 2011 5:06 pm

What do you guys get from the bottom mic that you can't get from the top alone?
Toms never seem to be such a crucial sound, compared to BD and SN, and most engineers seem happy with a mic on top.
Whitten
ChrisW
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Hunter

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby rick » Sun May 29, 2011 5:16 pm

i am just asking questions that people want to know the answers to :)

but the reason i figured you must have the same mic is as you really summing them passively if the transformers in the mics are not exactly the same on is going to load on one or the other and that will change levels and freq response ...
Rick O'Neil
I think we went to different schools together
turtlerockmastering.com
we listen
User avatar
rick
Moderator
Moderator
 
Posts: 3431
Joined: Fri May 06, 2005 8:02 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Ben M » Sun May 29, 2011 6:05 pm

I do 421's top and bottom on occasions. I don't have Y leads. I just use 2 channels on the console and flip one. I like a little less bottom than top skin - about 3/4 cup of bottom skin to 1 cup of top skin.

I'd think...(i've only ever used the same mics top and bott) that there would be minute difference in rate when using different mics which may effect the overall combination of the mics on the sound.... but hey... we are pointing 2 mics at each other and flipping one... so it's edgy anyway.
User avatar
Ben M
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1896
Joined: Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:54 am
Location: Sydney and Kangaroo Valley, NSW

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby obutcher » Mon May 30, 2011 1:38 am

rick wrote:why the issue with spill? dont you guys run an automation pass for the toms only ?
ie- you find each tom hit ( what like ten in 1 song ? ) turn on the channels for that hit fade them out clean the track done just open the miced toms up when they are hit ?
i have never used the ambient tom sounds actively in a mix - never seen it either ?
so why is spill an issue ?


Usually I'd just go through the tracks in Protools and edit out all the spill, but other times a gate just seems to sit nicer for some reason. I'm ashamed that I don't get to use tape, otherwise I'd be all over your technique!
Owen Butcher
obutcher
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 212
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 4:35 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby The Tasmanian » Mon May 30, 2011 6:42 am

Floortom's love a bottom mic.
The bottom mic gives it a fat ass - I always think of it as top mic for attack - bottom mic for note.
The bottom mic stops me from adding EQing to the low end.
IME Racktoms (if they sound good) rarely need a bottom mic - unless the track has toms for the main beat as opposed to a passing fill.
C h r i z t o w n o
The Tasmanian
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1877
Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:04 am
Location: Deep in the woods....

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Kurt » Mon May 30, 2011 11:26 am

I actually quite like the sound of bottom tom mics on their own, and will happily use them if getting top mics on is problematic.
Kurt Neist
Chief cook and bottle washer - Metalworx
User avatar
Kurt
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1224
Joined: Sat May 07, 2005 1:02 am
Location: Canberra

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby Drumstruck » Mon May 30, 2011 11:46 am

.... no Y leads - dedicated channels - you never run out of channels for drums, just for those other instruments....

I tend to like my drums to ring out - no damping on any drum, but I mostly play prog. which tends to be fairly busy with a lot of tom notes happening - and that ringy sound is not suitable for most other forms of music.... B-)
Ian Dare
Drumstruck
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1513
Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 12:37 pm
Location: Over the hills and far away

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby danander11 » Mon May 30, 2011 12:03 pm

Drumstruck wrote:I tend to like my drums to ring out - no damping on any drum, but I mostly play prog. which tends to be fairly busy with a lot of tom notes happening - and that ringy sound is not suitable for most other forms of music.... B-)



That being said, it brings to mind something else I'm curious about.. When you have an 'open' drumkit, ie: toms with long sustain.. What do you do for song that ask for a shorter tom sound? Chop and fade?, replace?, automate volume, gate?, or just damp the toms before you record?

Damping the toms ahead of recording would be best but sometimes people change their mind mid-stream. I've used all of these, chop and fade being my favorite when I can't re-record.. What do you do?
Danny Anderson
danander11
Registered User
Registered User
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2010 8:16 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: micing top and bottom of toms

Postby ChrisW » Mon May 30, 2011 12:15 pm

There is the transient designer, one of which I own.
I guess the very experienced engineer I usually work with would very lightly gate.
When I've done those drum sample products we've found that the sympathetic ring of toms adds depth to the snare and bass drum. It's a holistic approach, but it's best when the kit sings intune with itself. But when you cut out the toms except where they are playing, some body seems to disappear from the rest of the kit.

I always try to go with the right drum sound for song from the get go.
When I used to session on a regular basis I carried about 20 snare drums and at least 3 bags of cymbals.
I've always enjoyed exploring sound, and never been a "this is my sound, deal with it" kinda drummer.
I love guys like Steve Jordan who plays twangy resonant snares one minute, and cardboard boxes the next.
As I said in this thread or another, I find super resonant drums don't always record that well, unless the music is open, like Zeppelin, where Bonham's drums filled the space left by the lack of a wall of keyboards and 24 tracks of thick guitar.
The beauty of very resonant drum designs, is that the tone is fuller, often warmer. I then routinely back off the long sustain with a tad of gaffa.
Whitten
ChrisW
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
 
Posts: 1285
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 12:01 pm
Location: Hunter

Next

Return to Recording Drums?

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


cron