Overheads - small stages

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Overheads - small stages

Postby Lucas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:34 am

I know it's often thought that overheads aren't needed on small stages due to spill in (especially compressed) vocal mics, but I wonder if this is a product of laziness rather that best practise?

Next gig I'm planning on close micing cymbals as much as is possible and trying out some heavy handed eq to leave only the highs to add some light and sizzle. Hopefully I can find a curve that works sympathetically with the spill and what is heard accoustically.

What are other's feeling about overheads in this scenario?
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Ben M » Thu Aug 25, 2011 10:47 am

Small stages generally means small room which generally means smaller PA. Generally. :)
I'd watch out for taking over the frequency range (with OH mics) that the vocal needs to be clear and up front. You don't want punters wincing every time a cymbal is hit. Rather than being a product of laziness perhaps it's just a product of sensibleness.
What size stage/room and PA are you talking about?
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby ChrisW » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:07 am

Cymbals and snares cut through.
On small stages I'm happy with a kick mic, and maybe a snare mic to give the sn some presence/focus.
Otherwise you could go with a 3 mic, 1 x kick and two overheads that are more focussed on snare and toms, but give you a little hi-hat and cymbal.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Lucas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 11:22 am

For the particular room I'm thinking of capacity is about 200 hundered people. You guys are most likely right - with both of the answers given having been advice I've given myself.

Lazinesss was the wrong word to use.

Trying out the method I suggested earlier would be for a subtle effect and by no means would I destroy the balance of the mix just to satisfy my want to control cymbals..
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby gigpiglet » Thu Aug 25, 2011 12:43 pm

i hear you luke...
i dont mind a bit of overhead/ cymbal.
the thing i always miss is ride - so often close mic that if im in a small space and not using overheads, so my mic up would look like

1 - kik
2 - sn
3 - hat
4 - ride
5 - rack
6 - floor

by comparison - in a large room/ full mic up i would be something like
1 - kik in
2 - kik out
3 - sn top
4 - sn bottom
5 - sn 2 (i like to have a "live cracking" sound, and a "thud dead" sound for lots of bands as diff songs need diff things)
6 - hat
7 - ride
8 - rack
9 - floor
10 - OH mono (behind drummers head, compressed hard)
11 - OH cymbals L
12 - OH cymbals R
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Lucas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:35 pm

I've not seen a mono overhead used like that live before. Doesn't it capture too much spill?
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Drumstruck » Thu Aug 25, 2011 3:57 pm

gigpiglet wrote:
10 - OH mono (behind drummers head, compressed hard)



I like that Gareth!! Do you mean at head height?
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Chris H » Thu Aug 25, 2011 4:09 pm

More often than not,for a small venue I just mic kick, snr and two overhead mics, Glyn Johns method.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby gigpiglet » Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:45 pm

ian/ luke

yes a little above head height..
and of course depends on the band, if its a cranking loud rock band, it wont work, but i dont do much of that kind of stuff.

often times i get my whole drum sound from kick/sn and that overhead.
maybe a "sprinkle" of the stereo overheads
maybe a bit of toms if they need it. (and to put some verb on them)
but if i was short on channels or something, i could certainly work with the 3 - kick/snare/mono oh
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Lucas » Thu Aug 25, 2011 7:20 pm

I would have liked to try that on the Brewster Brothers recently... Will have to try soon.

It just occurred to me that you could place the tom verb on a prefade aux and just use the tom mics as a "trigger" for the verb. Probably a better way to do it with groups.... I'm limited to a little mixwix at the mo' - can't wait to get some groups again!
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Kurt » Sat Aug 27, 2011 4:39 am

I do mostly metal/rock bands in a 200 cap room, I fully mic the kit if I can. I have 8 channels on my desk dedicated to drums.

Kick 1
Kick 2 (for second kick drum rather than second kick mic)
Snare
Rack 1
Rack 2
Floor
OH L
OH R

If the promoter cheaps out, my budget rig is K/S/OHs

My overheads tend to be directly above ride and hats if possible, at around head height.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby toddd » Wed Aug 31, 2011 3:46 pm

Kick 2 (for second kick drum rather than second kick mic)

BTW - I never put 1 mic between 2 toms - that is a pet peeve of mine.

for some reason i imagined using the 1 mic for 2 toms method for 1 mic for 2 kicks. haha. i'm just picturing a metal drummers face while telling her/him 'i do it all the time, sounds great!'. hah.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Kurt » Thu Sep 01, 2011 12:21 am

Quite a few drummers have told me about playing venues where they have had to choose which kick they want mic'ed up! With that in mind and the limitations of my desk/multicore/mic cabinet, sharing a mic between two toms seems pretty reasonable.

toddd wrote:Kick 2 (for second kick drum rather than second kick mic)

BTW - I never put 1 mic between 2 toms - that is a pet peeve of mine.

for some reason i imagined using the 1 mic for 2 toms method for 1 mic for 2 kicks. haha. i'm just picturing a metal drummers face while telling her/him 'i do it all the time, sounds great!'. hah.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Zack » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:02 pm

gigpiglet wrote:by comparison - in a large room/ full mic up i would be something like
1 - kik in
2 - kik out
3 - sn top
4 - sn bottom
5 - sn 2 (i like to have a "live cracking" sound, and a "thud dead" sound for lots of bands as diff songs need diff things)
6 - hat
7 - ride
8 - rack
9 - floor
10 - OH mono (behind drummers head, compressed hard)
11 - OH cymbals L
12 - OH cymbals R


Too many mics.

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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Ben M » Mon Sep 12, 2011 10:47 pm

...
Last edited by Ben M on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Ben M » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:05 pm

... :ar!
Last edited by Ben M on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby waitup » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:10 pm

Ben, I'm sure Zack meant well... He might have even been joking. If it's the zack I'm thinking of then he knows Gareth personally.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Ben M » Mon Sep 12, 2011 11:13 pm

...
Last edited by Ben M on Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby waitup » Tue Sep 13, 2011 12:01 am

Ben M wrote:That would leave me looking very foolish Nick. :-s
Your very very naughty Zack... or whoever you are. All the best to ya.


You weren't to know, Ben! Anyways, it might not be the Zack I'm thinking of. Regardless, listen to Ben and put yer name in yer signature Zack!
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby gigpiglet » Tue Sep 13, 2011 3:47 pm

hey zack... if you do put your details in your signature... we will figure out if you know me.
;-)

but to the point.
yes it is "too many" mics in a lot of ways
and i wouldn't do that as standard. but sometimes its only just enough to do whats needed!
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby Zack » Tue Sep 13, 2011 4:19 pm

Yes it's me mate. Just poking fun at your spec.

Back on topic in response the the OP, this is one of those questions that only you can answer. Put 'em up, push 'em up and decide if they are detrimental or beneficial to the mix. You may have a very soft drummer who is light on cymbals (there must be a couple of drummers like this, right?), and by asking a bunch of people what their thoughts are could be totally irrelevant if we have all been living with heavy-handed drummers for the past while. Then again, you're drum sound as a whole (not just cymbals) may come from your OH's mainly. So throw 'em up and be the judge.

Now, my opinion. So this shouldn't affect you at all as this is only what works for ME and the situations I find myself in. I haven't used OH's in months. Then again, I haven't been on BIG stages. I would only use OH's for cymbals and I have never really found myself in want of more of them once I'm out front. In 500 cap rooms I seem to find myself trying my best to control how much cymbal I get out front, in 1500-2000 cap rooms I often feel that just the right amount is bleeding through. I feel that my tom mics are probably putting a fair bit in the mix, and if you're careful with the EQ of those, you can balance the cymbals nicely.

But next time I do think I'll be needing some extra sizzle, I'll be throwing up under-heads instead - I find OH's capture a bit of everything but not super solid sounding (if that makes sense), whereas under-heads allow for more focus on the cymbals and now you have a drum kit you can really control...

Just my opinion though.
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Re: Overheads - small stages

Postby gigpiglet » Wed Sep 14, 2011 11:02 pm

totally agree on the overhead/ under head point.
my vocal miss nearly always (even on the 1000-2000 cap venues you mention) give me enough of that stuff
thats why i love a ride mic (from underneath) with hats and ride, i feel like i cover everything i need to 99% of the time.
a couple of crash hits come through the (everything else) mics

the mon overhead thing i do is for a "drum sound" not a cymbal overhead at all..
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