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balancing drum recording...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by inLoco, Sep 24, 2004.

  1. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    ok... i have a subject i'd like to discuss...

    how do you guys balance and spread the drums on your recordings?
    i like to record having the panning give us a bit of the drummer perspective but...
    how do you usually balance the overheads?
    usually the snare is at center along with the kick but because of the placement of the snare on the drummer's kit it usually is more to the left than on the middle...
    so... how do you balance the overheads so they don't give us the snare panned a bit to the left?...

    when you start to check the sound what mic do you see first? overheads? kick?
    i'd like to discuss this topic, which i think is interesting...
  2. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    There are so many different ways to do drums...but what I tend to do is get everything closed miked and sounding good first. I'll usually gate but set the range to let in enough cymbal bleed to sound natural. I then add the overheads (again softly gated)simply to accentuate the cymbals more. Usually I will have the snare and kick center and hot enough where the bleed from the snare into the overheads is hardly ever a problem. Just one way of doing it. Sometimes it just works out that I don't have to use gates. If I put my overheads higher and the cymbals higher as well. Sometimes if there is enough bleed that the snare sounds somewhat off center it actually helps the snare stand out a bit more. Sometimes it can work in your favor and you wont even realize it.
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    I always look at the overheads first. Luckily I have a great sounding room (http://) so I can take advantage of the acoustics.

    If your overs sound balanced and the room sound is a cool one, you "could" use this picture to build the rest of your "spot" mics around.

    If you are recording in a small or not-so-good-sounding room, then the overs probably should be lowerewd a bit to capture the cymbals more.

    With this scenario, I would pan the kick and snare straight up the middle.

    Also try using an XY setup for your overs and you will get a less spread out sound but the overs won't cause so much left-right confusion.

    I'm more apt to set my drum pans to what sounds best for that particular song, as opposed to trying to re-create the drummer's perspective.

    Just my $.02

  4. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    hmmmmm .... I have never heard of gating the overheads ... :shock: oh well, to each his own.

    It's important to get the snare dum centered in the overhead mix .. so when you pan the ohs hard l/r .. the snare remains down the middle.

    As with all things recording, this requires a little inginuity on you the recording engineers part. Much of recording is problem solving in creative ways. You can ask the pros for techniques but the art happens when you are inventive. The one rule is to use common sense ...

    So how would you go about getting the snare (or any other element for that matter ) to be sitting in the middle when using a pair of mics?

    What causes a sound appear to be on one side or the other when miced with a stereo pair?

    I will give the answer in a follow up if no one comes up with the answer ...
  5. Randyman...

    Randyman... Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2003
    Houston, TX
    Distance/Time from each overhead to the Snare should be equal. Where is my gold star? :)

  6. Duardo

    Duardo Guest

    I usually do it the opposite way...I get the majority of my sound from the overheads (and room microphones, if I'm using them), and then add the close microphones to taste. It really only works that way if the kit is tuned properly and the drummer know how to balance his or her kit.

    To keep the snare in the center I just make sure that it's equidistant from each overhead microphone. I'll usually use a piece of twine to do that.

  7. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
  8. inLoco

    inLoco Active Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    i too think that the overheads are the most important miking on the kit!
    they capture the everything!
    it's like the sound of the kick! it only is good when balanced with the bass
  9. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    When micing drums I usually use a pair of LD condersors....and also mic other things as needed.....

    The HH always get's mic'd...and kick and snare ovbiously.....

    But if the drummer dosen't use the ride a lot I won't mic it.......and if I'm in a room where I'm getting plenty of tom's in the OH's..and it isn't "pop" or something where I'll need control over everything..then I won't mic the toms.......but I usually wind up mic'ing them anyway..
    Also..when mic'ing a kit...I try to cut out as much bleed as possible.......
    When I solo the snare or HH....I wanna hear the snare or HH....not everything else....you can mic a kit so it don't need gates if your carefull enough...
    I mic the OH's with a modified "ORTF" stereo technique.......sometimes I get the 110 degrees....but most of the time it's less.......

    In the mix I always pan drummers perspective...unless it's some kinda "pop" where the drums won't sound much like a real drummer anyway....then it's "anything goes".
    I pan the snare where it should be to match the OH's to.......a lot of guy's pan the snare center...but I pan it left...where it should be......unless it's "pop" of course......

    I gate when need be...but a lot of times gating isn't necessary......sometimes all that bleed is a good thing......sometimes it's not.

    I also don't pan the OH's hard left and right.......usually about 90/30 or so......maybe a little more....

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