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getting more isolation in drum mics when recording

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  • getting more isolation in drum mics when recording

    it seems like when i record, my tom mics pic up sooo much other stuff, i have a hard time gating, and/ or compressing. useally i have SM57s on the toms, about an inch away from th ehead, close to the edge. what are some tips for micing toms?
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  • #2
    here's a trick i picked up. easier on a console, but will work with audio programs.

    just zoom in on the waveforms, and find the tom hits. for each one, cut the crap out in front of it...and do the same just past it. A volume fade could be a good idea here.

    Depending on your software, you can adjust the volume of the track without editing it. It will have a different name with each program...but essentially you'll have a line going through the track that you can add 'points' on, turning up the volume or taking it down.

    Either way will work...one's just faster. They both take time though... And yes, it is better than using a gate.
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    • #3
      Here's a short video clip on mic-ing drums:

      http://www.audioinstruction.com/page/page/1497433.htm
      -Chris Graff

      Russ Long's Guide to Nashville Recording

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      • #4
        Originally posted by freakk guitarist
        it seems like when i record, my tom mics pic up sooo much other stuff, i have a hard time gating, and/ or compressing. useally i have SM57s on the toms, about an inch away from th ehead, close to the edge. what are some tips for micing toms?


        1) play with mic positions.... try pointing the mics away from other sources as much as possible... make them point more downwards?

        2) toms open ended on the bottom? try micing INSIDE the toms... the overheads should pick up most the sound of the tom, the close mics are more for accent, so tone isn't quite as important as with other instruments/percussion.

        3) EQ - for me, the tom mics are to add more oomph to the tom hits, so i usually EQ the crap out of them. the overheads pick up most of the high-end sound of the tom, so I'll drop this in the tom mics and pump up the EQ in the body of the tom sound.

        4) total isolation in drum mics is impossible, and not really desirable anyway. Think of the drums more as a KIT rather than a kick/snare/cymbals/hi-hats/toms. Make sure the kit sounds good with just the overheads and kick mic before adding anything else. The other mics are just for accent, with snare being most important. Some of the biggest and best drum sound I ever got were just with a pair of room mics (though I had still miced everything else).
        "That's a matter of opinion. Like "a supermodel is less attractive than a sore-infested, poo-covered morbidly obese bald chick" is a matter of opinion."
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        "Ain't nobody ever walked down the street humming the sound of a microphone... it's all about 'the music'."
        -Fletcher

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        • #5
          Heres a novel thought... try thinking of the drum kit as one instrument rather than like 8 and get the sounds accordingly. Do little things like make sure all the mics/channels work together in a complimentary manner.

          Sometimes mic placement can be used for this... like when mic'ing toms there is no law that says you have to mic the top head... you can sometimes mic the shell of the drum and get the impact you're trying to achieve.

          First, make sure you have an accurate picture of the kit in the overheads... then add a mic or two [or seven or seventeen] to fill in the areas where you'd like better control... so, if you have the kit sounding good in the overheads but want the toms so you can bring them out a bit more... maybe exagerate the panning and add a bit of top and bottom... find a spot for the tom mics where they will work and play well with the overhead mics [and all the other mics you have on the kit].

          Figure that each mic you hang is going to need to be moved around a bit until it works and plays well with all the other mics [especially the overheads]. It's kind of a tedious pain in the arse but it will net you the results you're trying to achieve without having to do the rank amateur "band-aid on a head wound" / "technique of last resort" time consuming pain in the arse of erasing all the crap between tom hits [which we used to do from time to time back in the golden days of analog... it's really nothing new... the only difference was that we used to do it by hand winding the reels in reverse and spot erasing the stuff on the tom tracks between the tom hits instead of by looking at a TV screen and trying to do that **************** with a mouse].

          Good recording technique will triumph over technology every time.

          Best of luck with it.
          .
          CN Fletcher

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          • #6
            Originally posted by HulkBlood01
            Depending on your software, you can adjust the volume of the track without editing it. It will have a different name with each program...but essentially you'll have a line going through the track that you can add 'points' on, turning up the volume or taking it down.


            It's called "automation" in every program I've ever used, and it sounds a lot more natural than cutting audio between tom hits. Raise and lower the volume of the tom tracks as a group, and don't automate each individual tom track. It's a lot easier that way, and it doesn't throw the stereo image out of whack when the toms hit.

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            • #7
              what would you suggest to eliminate cymbal hiss?

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              • #8
                Cymbal Hiss Eliminator Pro ...

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