How were these drums recorded? All done.

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How were these drums recorded? All done.

Postby Drumstruck » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:11 pm

Hey guys,

If you have a spare 5 mins....... this is a song I played on last year for a guitarist in the U.S.A. - a bit proggy / a bit ambient - pretty appropriately called "Dreams". Wonder if you can pick the drum kit / recording techniques....

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/9910326/Dreams%202.mp3
Last edited by Drumstruck on Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Drumstruck » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:08 am

40 lookers and not a bite?

Ok, I understand that you listen to music all day and probably don't feel like listening to more for leisure .... and I understand if you don't like it and are being kind to my ego.....

So - for the winner I'll provide a new XL T-Shirt featuring the logo for my little studio :ymhug:


Rick - I think you have some inside knowledge - would you like to be the judge? If so I'll send you the answer ;-)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Wiz » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:55 am

I have a couple of theories.....8)

A. Someone gave Animal from the muppets speed...8)


B. You grabbed a heap of Hare Krishna's and threw em down a set of stairs ......8)

C. You let a bull mastiff off the chain in a copper art store ...... 8)




just kidding

its a frenetic piece and I was kind of "sensory overloaded" listening to it.

I listened a couple times and really couldn't pick out much recording technique wise that gave me any particular clues to micing techniques...

The cymbals and bells are very upfront, and the tom rolls quite subdued volume wise.. if recorded all at the same time I am thinking perhaps XY mixing and thats all we are hearing...
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Text_Edifice » Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:59 am

Based purely on that description (mp3 not loading for me) I'm going to guess

a) [EDIT never mind, should have read the original post - you played on it - I'm an idiot...]

b) mics on drummers hands
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Alistair » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:07 am

Drums are pretty quiet to make a guess but-

Bells recorded seperately, SDC up reasonably close?

Drums, I'm not sure. Like Peter, the cymbals sound to me like a XY setup, but the toms really throw me. I'm assuming some of the low end was also a double kick?
They sound quite distant, but still have a bit of attack like they are close miked. And a pair of overheads would make it harder to drop the volume of the toms and kick so much compared to the cymbals.
So I'm gonna split my vote and say either XY over the top and that's it, or V-drums, with the cymbals upfront and the other drums reverbed quite a bit.
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Drumstruck » Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:13 am

Anyone else having trouble loading the mp3? It's in a dropbox and takes a little while (incl. the fade in). I can email it to anyone to make it more fair.

It was recorded in 3 takes - 1 for bells / 1 for chimes / 1 for drums and cymbals.

You guys are good! But no winner yet ;-)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby GlennS » Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:42 pm

Loaded ok for me. Were the drums recorded at the same time as guitar, because it sounds like it's spill into the guitar mic to me?
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Kurt » Mon Mar 05, 2012 3:47 pm

A wild guess with no real rationale behind it... Video camera? Was going to suggest phone but it's got definite stereo imaging.

Is it actually played or is it assembled from a few loops?
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Chris H » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:08 pm

Well, mmmmm I will have a guess...........
Had a good listen on ordinary speakers in an average sounding room.The main guitar and bells collapse to mono in a very similar way but the drums and cymbals seem to be mainly mono. So It's layered; the bell tree was miced M/S and i think the tom rolls and crash cymballs where mono. The drums and crash dont have the same clarity as the bell tree and guitar but their sound isn't very ambient so i think that rules out a distant roomy mic, so i'm thinking one close mic but mixed dark and back in the mix volume wise. Or the kit was multy miced but mixed mono. Sounds like you only played the toms, rack 1, 2 and floor with two, maybe three cymbals.
That's my 2c.
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Drumstruck » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:16 pm

Hmm hard to answer without giving too much away ....

The guitars were recorded first - I wasn't there when that was done .....

Video cam or phone? No, but do I sound that bad? :((

No loops or assembly - I played all of the percussion and drums in 3 separate takes (take 1 chimes / take 2 bells / take 3 drums and cymbals).


Chris H - very impressive analysis techniques.


Hey Rick - if you're reading this - should we set a time limit? Say the end of this week and the closest answer wins?
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Kurt » Mon Mar 05, 2012 4:30 pm

Since you asked how it was recorded I am thinking a little outside the box. Certainly doesn't sound like a "traditional" studio recording.

Not bad, just very narrow.. (except the chimes feel like someone is poking me in the eye) The kit/cymbals is quite dark, the chimes seem very bright and weirdly dislocated (hence the loop question). Nice steady feet :)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Chinagraf » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:04 pm

Sounds real dry, recorded outside mebbe..
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE for the winner!!

Postby Drumstruck » Tue Mar 06, 2012 12:53 pm

All of you guys are really good! The things you are all picking out with just ears and an .mp3 are very impressive. ^:)^
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE! Closes Friday 5PM

Postby Drumstruck » Wed Mar 07, 2012 3:48 pm

Roll up - last chances to put in an entry - closes 5pm Friday and there will be a winner (perhaps more than 1....) :o)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE!! Closes Friday 5p

Postby rick » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:40 pm

you out on your own here ian
i am not even sure what an mp3 is :)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE!! Closes Friday 5p

Postby Drumstruck » Thu Mar 08, 2012 5:46 pm

Sorry if I inadvertently compromised you Rick - all at my instigation , just for some fun amongst friends and not for profit or gain. O:-)
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Re: How were these drums recorded? PRIZE!! Closes Friday 5p

Postby rick » Fri Mar 09, 2012 9:27 am

on with it then
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All done - answers below - and the winner is.......

Postby Drumstruck » Fri Mar 09, 2012 5:23 pm

Thankyou all for putting in your time and thoughts - everyone picked something close to the mark and, as I said earlier, very impressive listening skills - I hope you all had some fun.

The 2 closest answers came from Alistair and Chris H - very astute from just an mp3 ^:)^ - and it was really hard to pick.

The deciding word was Vdrums - so congratulations to Alistair!! If you'd like to PM me your address I'll put your T-Shirt in the post.

edited for ethical reasons - PM me if you're curious



Here is the answer (sorry it's a bit wordy):

Recording chain:
Venue All percussion tracks recorded in my little studio
Mics Rode NT-1 (pair)
Drum Modules Roland TD-20x and SPD-20
Mixer Mackie 24.8 (recording) + 24E (tape returns)
ADAC Delta 1010 (x 3)
DAW PT8 on Vista PC

Mixdown chain:
DAW PT8
ADAC Delta 1010 (x3)
Mixer Mackie 24.8 (8 bus) + 24E (tape returns)
FX TLA Fat1 Tube Compressor (toms and BDs only)
Fostex DE-1 for plate reverb (toms and BDs only)
No EQ

Methodology:
Customer provided a stereo mp3 of guitar tracks that I upsampled to PT as a 44.1KHz / 24bit stereo track (customer's requirement)
Three (3) percussion takes end to end (no loops or quantizing)
Recorded wet (EQ via the Mackie's parametric / no other FX during recording)
Drums mixed down into Mackie with stereo sends to Fat1 Tube Compressor and DE-1 reverb
Returns recorded as 2 additional stereo tracks in PT
Levels set in PT (no automation or EQ in the DAW)
Bounced to stereo .wav and Dropboxed back to customer
Customer then remixed the guitars and set the drums/percussion levels as you heard on the mp3

Reasoning:
The customer sent me this track and gave me free rein to put what I wanted on it.
It's a pretty song and is supposed to be a dream so I didn't want a regular beat or anything regular for the listener to lock into thus no snare or HH.
The chimes / bells were planned to create a swirling effect for a bit of disorientation, the cymbals to create the general flow and accents, the toms to lead the listener away and back into the guitar parts.

Take 1: Indian Brass Bells
Rode NT1 pair
XY orientation
Height 1.5m
Distance .2m
Reflective screen .5m behind mics
Shaken, not stirred

Take 2: Bar chimes (2 chime racks)
1 set chimes mid/low pitch solid brass (pitch descending L->R)
1 set chimes high/mid pitch hollow aluminium (pitch ascending L->R)
Played like a harp doing overlaying “scale” runs up and down to create the swirl effect
Same mics / screens as Indian bells in Take 1

Take 3: Electronic drums and cymbals
2 x BDs
4 x toms
5 x cymbals
No snare drum or HHats
Roland TD-20x kit (my config – modelled off Gene Krupa's sound)
Roland SPD-20 padset for one octave of china cymbals (my config.)


Track plan:
1/ BD (double bass drums on 1 track)
2/ Sn
3/ HH
4/ Ride
5/ Cymbals Left
6/ Cymbals Right
7/ Toms Left
8/ Toms Right
9/ China cymbals Left
10/ China cymbals Right
11/ Indian Bells (stereo)
12/ Bar chimes (stereo)
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