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  • Drum recording Help!!

    I'm going to be recording an EP over the holidays (taking advantage of everyone being home from school for a few weeks), but I'm not sure what the best way to approach micing the drums will be. My drummer will be using a stripped down kit composed of kick,snare,high-hat, and maybe a floor tom. But I have at most 2 xlr inputs I can use. the mic's I have are a sm58, samson c01, and a samson Q8. I have it on good authority I'll have a Rode Nt1-a after xmas too... given those 4 mics, and only 2 inputs, what combination/placement would you guys suggest using?? I'll also be needing to mic an upright bass too, but im not sure what the best way to do that would be if anyone has any insight.
    http://www.youtube.com/laynegreenemusic
    http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/

  • #2
    If it makes any difference, I'm recording to a Boss BR-900, I do have an M-audio fast track too, so I could try getting another track that way if it would help?
    http://www.youtube.com/laynegreenemusic
    http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/

    Comment


    • #3
      If it makes any difference, I'm recording to a Boss BR-900, I do have an M-audio fast track too, so I could try getting another track that way if it would help?
      http://www.youtube.com/laynegreenemusic
      http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        There are many ways to skin this cat, and while there are good recordings done with 2 well placed mics, most people now a days close mic their kits and multi track it.



        I started to type something longer, but then realized there are probably good articles covering it all. Things to be sure you understand, positioning and phase, tuning, and compression/limiting,



        I skimmed this and agree with the advice here. In fact, dont know who this guy is, but i have half those mics he/she recommends.

        http://www.recordingmag.com/resource...etail/234.html

        Comment


        • #5
          There are many ways to skin this cat, and while there are good recordings done with 2 well placed mics, most people now a days close mic their kits and multi track it.



          I started to type something longer, but then realized there are probably good articles covering it all. Things to be sure you understand, positioning and phase, tuning, and compression/limiting,



          I skimmed this and agree with the advice here. In fact, dont know who this guy is, but i have half those mics he/she recommends.

          http://www.recordingmag.com/resource...etail/234.html

          Comment


          • #6
            How's the room you're going to be recording in?



            Secondly, are you planning on overdubbing everything one part at a time? I know that isn't always the funnest way to go, nor always the most musical from a real-time interaction standpoint, but with only two inputs, you're going to have to be very good, or very lucky to pull that off with multiple instruments tracking simultaneously.



            Here's an article I did on miking drums. It starts with one mic approaches and goes all the way up through two, three, four, etc. mic set-ups. Check out the suggestions in the article for placement ideas. I'd probably start with the NT1-A overhead, and experiment with the Q8 to see how it sounded on kick just inside the hole. I've never used one, so I have no idea what it sounds like, or if it can take the SPL - or if your mic preamps can. If it sucked for any reason, I'd try the SM58 there instead. You can make a '57 or '58 work on kick - it's not ideal, but it can "work."



            Alternatively, you can try the Samson condenser out in front of the kick drum a few feet. Yes, it's going to "catch" more than just the kick drum - that's part of the idea. Again, I'd use the Rode overhead. Do I need to mention that these are both mono mic configurations? Well, they are.



            My usual "go to" mic on upright bass is a Rode NTK. That's a tube mic with a somewhat different sound than the NT1-A, but that's what you'll hopefully have, and the one I would recommend you try first on upright bass. I normally place the mic somewhere mid-way between the bridge and the f hole on the treble (G string) side of the instrument, at a distance ranging between one to two feet from the bass.
            **********

            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

            - George Carlin

            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

            Comment


            • #7
              How's the room you're going to be recording in?



              Secondly, are you planning on overdubbing everything one part at a time? I know that isn't always the funnest way to go, nor always the most musical from a real-time interaction standpoint, but with only two inputs, you're going to have to be very good, or very lucky to pull that off with multiple instruments tracking simultaneously.



              Here's an article I did on miking drums. It starts with one mic approaches and goes all the way up through two, three, four, etc. mic set-ups. Check out the suggestions in the article for placement ideas. I'd probably start with the NT1-A overhead, and experiment with the Q8 to see how it sounded on kick just inside the hole. I've never used one, so I have no idea what it sounds like, or if it can take the SPL - or if your mic preamps can. If it sucked for any reason, I'd try the SM58 there instead. You can make a '57 or '58 work on kick - it's not ideal, but it can "work."



              Alternatively, you can try the Samson condenser out in front of the kick drum a few feet. Yes, it's going to "catch" more than just the kick drum - that's part of the idea. Again, I'd use the Rode overhead. Do I need to mention that these are both mono mic configurations? Well, they are.



              My usual "go to" mic on upright bass is a Rode NTK. That's a tube mic with a somewhat different sound than the NT1-A, but that's what you'll hopefully have, and the one I would recommend you try first on upright bass. I normally place the mic somewhere mid-way between the bridge and the f hole on the treble (G string) side of the instrument, at a distance ranging between one to two feet from the bass.
              **********

              "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

              - George Carlin

              "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

              - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

              "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

              - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

              Comment


              • #8
                Thank you both!

                Looks like I have some reading to do today..

                The room is... less than ideal, my girlfriend's parents newly remodelled basement, I'm hoping that by the time we record they'll have all the furniture and stuff in..



                We're definitely recording all the instruments separately, while I tend to be lucky, I'm not terribly skilled, but I don't mind multi-tracking.



                Thanks for the suggestions! Can't wait to try this stuff out.
                http://www.youtube.com/laynegreenemusic
                http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thank you both!

                  Looks like I have some reading to do today..

                  The room is... less than ideal, my girlfriend's parents newly remodelled basement, I'm hoping that by the time we record they'll have all the furniture and stuff in..



                  We're definitely recording all the instruments separately, while I tend to be lucky, I'm not terribly skilled, but I don't mind multi-tracking.



                  Thanks for the suggestions! Can't wait to try this stuff out.
                  http://www.youtube.com/laynegreenemusic
                  http://laynegreene.bandcamp.com/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would add that it's a good idea to pay close attention to what Phil has to say in his article about keeping overheads in phase. And google the Recorderman technique for a neat way to achieve perfect phase alignment on both kick and snare in your overheads.



                    All other things being equal, if you're only using 2 or 3 mics on a kit, getting your overheads properly phase aligned is the most important part of getting a good drum sound down on disk.
                    flip the phase

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I would add that it's a good idea to pay close attention to what Phil has to say in his article about keeping overheads in phase. And google the Recorderman technique for a neat way to achieve perfect phase alignment on both kick and snare in your overheads.



                      All other things being equal, if you're only using 2 or 3 mics on a kit, getting your overheads properly phase aligned is the most important part of getting a good drum sound down on disk.
                      flip the phase

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Just thought I'd offer a different perspective on approach. If you're limited to exactly 2 inputs I wouldn't start with an overhead. For me, overheads are useful in context with other mics, but on their own do not sound like a drum kit (despite the conventional wisdom that overheads are the ideal full kit sound). A drum kit sounds like a drum kit when you are out in front of it - in particular the kick, snare and toms all have much more body and depth listening from in front than they do listening from above. If you start with the overhead, you'll need to put the other mic in front of the kick, and then you have roomy everything with very direct kick, which is not my preferred sound. Also, it makes no sense for the kit you described (no cymbals or rack toms).



                        So my recommendation would also be to start with one mic (I'd pick the Rode) that picks up the whole kit, but not an overhead. It should be at about the height of the top of the kick drum, out in front of the kit, pointing at an area in the middle of the hat, kick, and snare. Move it closer to or further away from the kit as needed to balance the room and direct sound of the kit. Move it more towards the hat or more towards the kick to get the proper balance of the different elements. You can experiment with height, too, which will affect balance and the tone of the drums. With this simple of a kit your drummer should easily be able to balance himself.



                        Now the only element that may be missing with this approach is the floor tom. For that, maybe a mic (is one of those Samson's a condensor?) looking across the floor tom towards the snare. Mix in as much of that as needed or sounds good in context with the other mic.
                        Latest Blog: Rules for Recording on a Budget, Part 1 of 2

                        mattwrightsound.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just thought I'd offer a different perspective on approach. If you're limited to exactly 2 inputs I wouldn't start with an overhead. For me, overheads are useful in context with other mics, but on their own do not sound like a drum kit (despite the conventional wisdom that overheads are the ideal full kit sound). A drum kit sounds like a drum kit when you are out in front of it - in particular the kick, snare and toms all have much more body and depth listening from in front than they do listening from above. If you start with the overhead, you'll need to put the other mic in front of the kick, and then you have roomy everything with very direct kick, which is not my preferred sound. Also, it makes no sense for the kit you described (no cymbals or rack toms).



                          So my recommendation would also be to start with one mic (I'd pick the Rode) that picks up the whole kit, but not an overhead. It should be at about the height of the top of the kick drum, out in front of the kit, pointing at an area in the middle of the hat, kick, and snare. Move it closer to or further away from the kit as needed to balance the room and direct sound of the kit. Move it more towards the hat or more towards the kick to get the proper balance of the different elements. You can experiment with height, too, which will affect balance and the tone of the drums. With this simple of a kit your drummer should easily be able to balance himself.



                          Now the only element that may be missing with this approach is the floor tom. For that, maybe a mic (is one of those Samson's a condensor?) looking across the floor tom towards the snare. Mix in as much of that as needed or sounds good in context with the other mic.
                          Latest Blog: Rules for Recording on a Budget, Part 1 of 2

                          mattwrightsound.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Easiest way to a great drum sound. Rehead them all. Use Remo Ambassador Coated or if he's a light hitter, the thinner Diplomats. Diplomats will sound great no matter what but you'll have to replace them real quick if he hits normal to heavy. Then use the dial to get them there. Ignore all this if he really knows how to tune but most guys don't. The drum dial is WAY BETTER that most drummers tuning skills. (clear Diplomats as resonant heads, oh and change the strainer as well.)



                            __________
                            Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Easiest way to a great drum sound. Rehead them all. Use Remo Ambassador Coated or if he's a light hitter, the thinner Diplomats. Diplomats will sound great no matter what but you'll have to replace them real quick if he hits normal to heavy. Then use the dial to get them there. Ignore all this if he really knows how to tune but most guys don't. The drum dial is WAY BETTER that most drummers tuning skills. (clear Diplomats as resonant heads, oh and change the strainer as well.)



                              __________
                              Your god doesn't exist but my god does and he is all loving. If you disagree with me I'll kill you. - Prince Ea

                              Comment



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