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4 mics, metal drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Sidhu, Mar 27, 2005.

  1. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    I am going to try and track drums day after in my small recording room (10x10 feet). fortunately, the band listens to me and is willing to spend time and experiment (at least till the neighbours start yelling!).

    the drummer set up the kit today and we tried a few micing situations.

    this is what I have :

    1 Oktava MC012 matched stereo pair (hypercardiod)
    1 SM57
    1 Beta 57A
    1 Beta 58A
    1 NT1A

    I am using the Beta57A inside the kick or lack of a better choice, ill mostly hire out the Sure Beta52 on the day of the session, or ill go for replacement surgery with the kick.

    4 inputs into my recording interface, can muster 3 cheap and 4 very cheap mic pres.

    I tried the following :

    Fletchers tutorial (almost i think) : Set up one 012 bout a foot and a half above the snare, looking almost at the snare, slightly facing the floor tom (this was cause i was getting too much hihat). One mic by the drummers right shoulder, almost facing the toms, a little towards the kick. Both mics equidistant from the kick.
    One Beta 57A into the kick.

    Kik and snare image in the center. (i did pan the two 012's, tried withought panning also) I got a lovely snare and hihat sound, though the hihat was not as focussed as i would like it to be. The Kik and the toms were weak. Will need to bring in the kick mic, but toms still remain too weak.

    I really liked the way the cymbals and the snare sounded Will try this again with a blues rock band im also recording.

    Second method : The 012's in XY configuration bout a foot and a half above the center of the two top toms, snare mic, kick mic.
    Good snare sound, happy with the cymbals and hihats coming of the OV's. good stereo image with the cymbals. snare gelling very well also. Bring in the kick, replace it. Everything ok. But toms still to tiny.


    the thing with metal drums is that the toms need to be solid and big. And one ususally needs to EQ substantially. I dont think much EQ is a good idea with the first method.

    I am thinking bout using one overhead, and bringing in one mic between the toms, not sure. Drummer dude willing to overdub tom rolls later (not many in this song, pretty straight). Whats my best alternative ?

    thanks a ton.

  2. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    I'd try pointing one condenser straight down over the hanger tom at about 1 foot above the tom (and preferably same height or lower than the cymbals on either side)
    Point the other mic outside the floor tom looking just over the edge at the snare drum and at a right angle (in that axis) to the mic over the hanger.

    sort of: –

    Pan them hard left and right and adjust them so that the snare appears to be in the middle.
    This should give you a nice full tom sound AND plenty of cymbals.
    Works better than you might think.
    EQ them for the tom sound primarily, just don't overdo it.
    A bit of 100 for bottom, a bit of 3k-5k for crack, and roll a bit in the 300-500 range if you need to for tubbiness... but ESPECIALLY don't overdo the mid-roll out.

    then use a snare mic and a bass drum mic and you should be there.

    For metal especially, you might want a heavy blanket or something over the bass drum (with the mic inside the drum) to try to keep the bass drum sound out of the other drum mics.
    Makes for a tighter, CLOSER, sounding bass drum.

    good luck.
  3. Sidhu

    Sidhu Active Member

    Mar 22, 2004
    New Delhi, India
    hey wittman.. thanks for the help here. I did my session yesterday, got satisfying results, though I wish I had the option of close micing the kit.

    I tried your tip, from what i understood. Kiindly clarify a little. By the hanger tom you are referring to the tom over the Bass drum. Which of these two ? I am not familier with this term. I placed one mic bout a foot above center of the two top toms, pointing straight down, vertically. The next, as you mentioned, I placed by the outer rim of the floor tom, peeping over and facing the snare. I am not too sure I id this right, cause all i got from the floor tom mic was a very good floor tom! But this dint really help enhance anything else. The floor tom mic was horizontal, and at a 90 degrees to the mic over the top toms.

    I also failed to get the snare in the center, unless I moved the floor tom mic substantially away. The vrtical mic was closer to the snare than the horizontal mic.

    Id like to try this technique more, so please elaborate. I also failed to understand the Diagram you made. Sorry bout that.

    What i did finally do was uwse a kick mic and a snare mic, one Beta 58A between the two toms (adjustwed a bit towards the small tom, angled a little towards the larger one) And one OV about 3/3.5 feet above the center of the two top toms. I got a nice balanced sound, but ill still have to work hard on the toms during the mixing. Rest sounds good.

    Thanks for the help.


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