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I generally outsource my drum tracks; I found a drummer on Soundbetter.com that does a great job on my songs and he plays and tracks his kit very well for my needs. But mixing drums can be challenging.

Looking for opinions on the best way to pan a real drum kit when mixing drums. where do you pan the overheads and the room mics when mixing drums?

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Posted (edited)

1st decision: Drummers' perspective or audience perspective? I prefer Audience, myself.

 

Kick & Snare: up the middle.

HH: 45-50% to the right

Toms: spread right to left from about 20-25% right to about 60-75% left.

Overheads: Stereo

Room mics: Stereo (or up the middle for a mono room mic)

 

Make certain that the L-R orientation of the Overheads and Room mics matches your chosen perspective.

 

For that matter, when I mix drums I will bring up the OH and Room to find as precisely as I can where the toms show up in the stereo image, and then place my direct tom mics to match. Hi-hat as well.

Edited by Red Ant
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If you have a lot of wide panning with other instruments like stereo guitars for example sometimes mono drums can sound huge.

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As much as I love real drummers, Addictive Drums etc. doesn`t argue and you don`t have to ask for re-dos.

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1st decision: Drummers' perspective or audience perspective? I prefer Audience' date=' myself.[/b']

 

Kick & Snare: up the middle.

HH: 45-50% to the right

Toms: spread right to left from about 20-25% right to about 60-75% left.

Overheads: Stereo

Room mics: Stereo (or up the middle for a mono room mic)

 

Make certain that the L-R orientation of the Overheads and Room mics matches your chosen perspective.

 

For that matter, when I mix drums I will bring up the OH and Room to find as precisely as I can where the toms show up in the stereo image, and then place my direct tom mics to match. Hi-hat as well.

 

Do you reverse this for left handed drummers? :D

 

I only think of this because I’ve played with a leftie drummer for years, so whenever I hear “audience” panned toms on recording, they usually sound backwards to me.

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As much as I love real drummers' date=' Addictive Drums etc. doesn`t argue and you don`t have to ask for re-dos.[/quote']

 

That only works if

a) you can think and hear like a drummer and

b) you have the time and patience to put in to make it sound right.

 

I can do both quite well, if i do say so myself, but I'll take a great drummer over VST every time. Fortunately Austin is home to a number of ridiculously great drummers.

 

I use AD for my demos which I then hand to .my drummer(s) of choice. Then they make it better :D

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That only works if

a) you can think and hear like a drummer and

b) you have the time and patience to put in to make it sound right.

 

I can do both quite well, if i do say so myself, but I'll take a great drummer over VST every time. Fortunately Austin is home to a number of ridiculously great drummers.

 

I use AD for my demos which I then hand to .my drummer(s) of choice. Then they make it better :D

 

I have done some insane over-drumming that took me forever. I find manipulated loops and programming, along with separating each drum per track, sounds pretty damn real.

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The real trick with drum programming or midi instruments is to be stylistic. Don't program stuff a human couldn't pull off.

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The real trick with drum programming or midi instruments is to be stylistic. Don't program stuff a human couldn't pull off.

 

Isn't that just what I said in post #6? ;)

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Isn't that just what I said in post #6? ;)

 

If that's what you meant I'm okay with it, because I agree.

 

you're talking about think like a drummer I assume?

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If that's what you meant I'm okay with it, because I agree.

 

you're talking about think like a drummer I assume?

 

Yeah, "think and hear like a drummer".

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Yeah, "think and hear like a drummer".

 

Ok.

 

but if a guy programs a drum part that requires three arms and four legs maybe he's thinking like several drummers.

😁

 

 

but I know what you mean and you know what I mean.

 

don't program a flute to play chords.

 

don't make a trumpet part 3 octaves below middle C.

 

Be stylistic.

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Don't program stuff a human couldn't pull off.

Reminds me of a keyboard part I played in a song my band did. I was using a tenor sax sample but I played it totally legato with no rests. When I listened back to the recording I realized that there's no way a sax player could play 16 bars straight without taking a breath.

 

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Ok.

 

but if a guy programs a drum part that requires three arms and four legs maybe he's thinking like several drummers.

😁

 

 

but I know what you mean and you know what I mean.

 

don't program a flute to play chords.

 

don't make a trumpet part 3 octaves below middle C.

 

Be stylistic.

 

I think it just depends on the song and what you’re going for. Unless you’re trying to fool people into thinking you had a real drummer on the track, what does it really matter if the hi hat doesn’t stop for the tom fill or whatever? Who’s going to notice or care? Other musicians?

 

As long as it sounds good? :idk:

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Posted (edited)

Reminds me of a keyboard part I played in a song my band did. I was using a tenor sax sample but I played it totally legato with no rests. When I listened back to the recording I realized that there's no way a sax player could play 16 bars straight without taking a breath.

 

There's nothing quite like playing a "tenor sax" solo on a Korg M-1, then having an actor with a saxello (curved soprano sax) mime being blind and mime one's playing in the music video :lol:

 

[video=youtube_share;wfolwI2BJw4]

Edited by Red Ant

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Posted (edited)

I love this recording...drums and bass to the left... vocals both sides....everything else to the right!

 

Edited by Hoddy

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I mic my set with two overheads positioned about 5' off the ground pointed at right angles to each other. The line of sight along the line directly in the middle of these two mics is pointed pretty much at the drummer's crotch. I find these two mics do a really good job of capturing both the cymbals and the toms so I frequently don't use the tom mics in the final mix, but if I do it's overheads panned 9:00 and 3:00, kick center, snare slightly right of center, hat further right of center, 1st tom right of center between snare and hat, tom 2 slightly left of center, tom 3 further left. But like I said, I frequently don't use the tom signals because the overheads pick them up quite well.

If no tom mics, then overheads as before, kick center, snare 1:30, hat 10:30

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I mic my set with two overheads positioned about 5' off the ground pointed at right angles to each other. The line of sight along the line directly in the middle of these two mics is pointed pretty much at the drummer's crotch. I find these two mics do a really good job of capturing both the cymbals and the toms so I frequently don't use the tom mics in the final mix, but if I do it's overheads panned 9:00 and 3:00, kick center, snare slightly right of center, hat further right of center, 1st tom right of center between snare and hat, tom 2 slightly left of center, tom 3 further left. But like I said, I frequently don't use the tom signals because the overheads pick them up quite well.

If no tom mics, then overheads as before, kick center, snare 1:30, hat 10:30

 

I have a largely irrational dislike of the snare anywhere but dead center :lol:

 

Unless the whole kit is being treated as a point source and is panned somewhere other than up the middle.

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As a bass player it took me some time to understand that a drum kit is one instrument, not a bunch of separate instruments. Bonham educated me. Start with a mono overhead. If you have a second mic put it on the kick. If you have a third put it on the snare. And so on. When I record drums these days I put stupid amounts of mics up. I love a ribbon in the center. PZMs on the wall depending on the room. And then I simplify.

 

When I mix all these tracks I start with overheads mixed to mono. I bring in kick and snare for clarity and any possible isolated effects. Depending on the track I might edit the tom tracks to cut out everything except where they hit. I used to do this with tape, including putting the reel on backwards to get a tight in. Hate analog gates!

 

I'll go for mono-ish if it makes sense. For stereo I put the hat on the left. That's just the way I hear it.

 

Mono drums or partly mono mixes of drums can really focus what's going on. I put the direct snare mic in the center but the overheads have a left bias on the hat and snare if panned.

 

 

I love compression on the overheads so the cymbals sound like freight trains going backwards ;-)

 

Zip

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Drummers are the first to be replaced with software. They`ve pretty much perfected that anglothrim. Coming for guitar players next. I`ve seen them but haven`t tried them. Perfection for that is still several years down. Too many options to program.

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Drummers are the first to be replaced with software. They`ve pretty much perfected that anglothri.

 

Been said since the early 80s... and yet there is still an abundance of drummers :lol:

 

 

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I put up a hi hat mic for the drummer's sake, but don't often use it. I pan the overheads from the player's perspective. I mean, you wouldn't put the low notes of a piano on the right, would you?

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I'll do player's perspective or audience perspective - whichever one the producer wants. If it's up to me, I usually go with something very similar to what Anton described. I will usually measure distance from the center of the snare and the kick beater when placing my overheads to insure both are in the center of the stereo soundfield, and then pan the close mics to work with that.

 

My overheads are usually in a modified Glyn Johns arrangement. Room mics are a stereo spaced pair, and out front and above the kit if I have a nice sounding large room, although sometimes I'll go with a Blumlein pair directly behind and just above the drummer's head, facing forward towards the center of the kit.

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I put up a hi hat mic for the drummer's sake' date=' but don't often use it. [/quote']

 

I'd rather have it and not need it than need it and not have it, so I'll usually put one up... but I often don't need it.

 

 

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I'll do player's perspective or audience perspective - whichever one the producer wants. If it's up to me, I usually go with something very similar to what Anton described. I will usually measure distance from the center of the snare and the kick beater when placing my overheads to insure both are in the center of the stereo soundfield, and then pan the close mics to work with that.

 

My overheads are usually in a modified Glyn Johns arrangement. Room mics are a stereo spaced pair, and out front and above the kit if I have a nice sounding large room, although sometimes I'll go with a Blumlein pair directly behind and just above the drummer's head, facing forward towards the center of the kit.

 

1 overhead above the snare and the other equidistant but placed just over the floor tom pointed at the snare?

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