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ambient drum mics

Discussion in 'Drums' started by sammyg, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    Hey guys,

    just wondering, if you use close mics and room mics on a kit in a good room, is there any processing, eq'ing, etc, to be done to the ambient mic tracks or are they left as is? I recently watched a classic albums dvd, featured the "black" album from metallica and it had their engineer talking about recording the drums for that record. He mentioned they used a lot of room mics, immediately i had a billion questions pop into my head!! Damn, i wish i could have been a fly on the wall during that recording.


  2. EricK

    EricK Guest

    In a good room, I always close mic the drums as well as put up a pair of room mics. I generally lightly compress the room tracks to tape. Then in the mix, it typical to compress them more, sometimes only slightly, sometimes to extremes. Depends on what you need. Compresesing room tracks pulls more ambience out of the room. It can make the room sound larger than it really is. Occasionaly I will find I also need to high pass the rrom tracks to eliminate some of the kick ambience.

    It all just really depends on the song.
  3. johnwy

    johnwy Well-Known Member

    Jan 6, 2003
    Smithtown, NY
    Home Page:
    Going along with what Mr EricK said, I sometimes use only 3 or 4 mics on an entire drum kit a la Glyn Johns or as described by Fletch at mecenary audio (http://store.yahoo.com/mercenary-audio/3micdrumstuf.html) along with a couple of extra room mics.

    The caveat with these techniques is that the drummer must know how to balance himself with the drum kit (not bashing the hi hat or cymbals making it the loudest element of the drum kit) and having a good sounding kit to begin with. Works great for some stuff, but like my colleague said it really depends on the song.
  4. sammyg

    sammyg Active Member

    Dec 12, 2003
    thanks guys,

    Johnny, that link is handy, cheers,

  5. innerbooty

    innerbooty Guest

    Funny I stumbled upon this post. I was just about the post a new question re: How do you get a room mic sound that doesn't end up being all cymbals...? So, is it really just a question of the drummer knowing to not bash the $*^t out of the cymbals? The snare always seems to disappear completely from my room mics when drummers play the cymbals. Or is there any mic/recording technique involved to it...? Seems to me that John Bonham's sound wasn't inordinately full of overwhelming cymbals...

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