1. Register NOW and become part of this fantastic knowledge base forum! This message will go away once you have registered.

Cheap, yet effective, way for recording Acoustic Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Homey-G-Funk, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Homey-G-Funk

    Homey-G-Funk Active Member

    Hello Everyone! I've been looking for a forum like this for a while now, and its funny to find out that all along there was a Recording.org! Nice!

    Anyways...

    I've been playing Drums for about a Year and a half now and I would love to do some recording. Right now the only way I record my drums is in my room with a PC Microphone thats mainly used for talking thats about 8 years old! Oh and I throw 2 beanies over it to try to filter out the cymbals!

    So here is what I know so far...

    I was talking to a buddy of a while back who knows a bit about recording music, from Guitars to Drums and Vocals and what not. Anyways, he was telling me (and unfortunately I don't remember the names of the device he was talking about) that probably the most cheap and effective way to record my drums would be to buy some sort of device that can have 2 "Ok Quality" mics plugged into it and have one kinda low and the other hanging in the air...or uhh...something like that.

    Anyways I kinda don't have a budget but im not to sure what im doing so I don't wanna spend to much money to do this. Just something simple thats sounds "ok" and is better than a 10$ PC mic.

    So, could anyone help me out?
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    You want an interface with 2 preamps, and 2 Shure SM57s (mics).
    The reason you want SM57s is they're cheap and can be made to sound good with anything.

    Search here for "2 channel interface preamp". That'll give you more info.
    Something like the Lexicon Lambda or Omega, or a Presonus Firebox comes to mind.
     
  3. Homey-G-Funk

    Homey-G-Funk Active Member

    Alrighty then, thank you sir! I'll look into it.
     
  4. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Really what you want is 4 microphones. Certainly all of which can/should be SM57's. You don't need no stinkin' bass drum microphone. You don't need no stinkin' Chinese overhead condenser microphones.

    If you want to get fancy and have extra $$? I'd tell you to get a couple of Dr. Sennheiser's MD421's. I like these much better on my drums instead of SM57's. Either way, I'll use either/both and do, all of the time. It'll sound bitchin' no matter what your combination!

    Oh? You don't need no sinkin' overheads either.

    Bitch loves big drums
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  5. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Are those the ones you get when you put heavy mics on cheap boom mic stands?
     
  6. Homey-G-Funk

    Homey-G-Funk Active Member

    So does it matter what kind of Preamp? Or just get one that has at least 2 or 4 channels ( Plug ins for the Microphones right?) built into it?
     
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    What you are looking for is called an "interface." It contains preamps for the mics (to get them up to the same voltage (line level) as, say, a synth), A/D converters to change the signals to digital, and a connection to the computer (either USB or firewire). It will also usually have line inputs for synths and outboard preamps, D/A converters to take the computer from the signal and convert it to analog, and monitor outputs so you can listen to what you have recorded.

    At the budget level I'd worry about features and reliability. Most preamps on cheap equipment will produce a pretty good sound if you don't push them too hard. Search the budget gear forum on interface questions and you should get some good ideas.
     
  8. Debrofski

    Debrofski Guest

    Drummmmmmmmmmms

    Hey dude

    The interface part of the discussion is true. What would be ideal is an Mbox (http://www.digidesign.com) but that means you'll need pro tools which is quite pricey.

    What I'd recommend is buying a Firebox (i think it was mentioned earlier). Now this is your interface, you can throw two mics in here (and as mentioned earlier also, SM57's are probably the best for price. Your friend was kinda right by saying you want one up high an one down low. Ideally you DO want one overhead if you only have 2 mics. Chuck one of em about one an a half meters (I'm from New Zealand, we use metric) above your snare and direct it mostly towards the snare (the higher you put it, the more it'll pick up. the lower you put it, the more it will isolate what it's directed at). put the other one on the kick, just inside the hole (if you have one) directed at where the beater hits the drum.

    Also download Cubase to record onto, i'm pretty sure it's free.

    I could go on about what you could do if you hade more in puts and what mics to use, but that's if you've got the money to do it.

    -good luck
     
  9. Homey-G-Funk

    Homey-G-Funk Active Member

    Alright! Thank you all very much.
     
  10. recordjoe

    recordjoe Guest

    Hi

    Here is a clip of a cover song I recorded at home using Sonar and some of those long Labtech mics that clip on top of a pc monitor. They actually have good sound. But the trick is to bring down the volume on each mic well low enough to avoid distortion. It doesnt matter if the level is too low. It can be brought up later using Sonar and effects can really juice them back up. I ran two of the labtechs into my soundcard and recorded the drums. Then recorded one instrument at a time until finally using a labtech for vocal dubs.

    Compatable with PT HD/LE/MP V7.3 or higher
     
  11. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    That is such an excellent recording made with $.98 each Taiwanese microphones! With six, you get egg roll. But a beautiful example of when you set your levels properly, even joke toy microphones can yield reasonable results. And one must not forget, the microphones that you used were omni-directional which means no overbloated proximity effect. Which is probably another reason why your recording sounds reasonable. Excellent work!

    You don't need no sinkin' Neumann's
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  12. Would it not be more ideal to use a small diaphragm condensor as an overhead? You can get the MXL 990/991 set for $99, and I've had excellent luck with the 991 as an overhead, as well as using it to mic acoustic guitars. Then throw an SM57 on the kick, and you're solid.

    If you eventually look into upgrading to a "real" kick mic, I've gotten a great sound out of an Audix D6. :)
     
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I hope you've gotten a great kick drum recording with a D-6. But my favorite is the Sennheiser MD421 on every drum on the kit. Too bad I don't own enough to cover an entire kit. So I combine those with SM57, 414's, Crown PZM, Neumann's etc.. That's not to say you can't make great recordings with a handful of $.98 Taiwanese capsules from Radio Shaft. Obviously it's been accomplished by competent engineers as heard here. That's a great recording utilizing $.98 capsules. Not much different than the capsule in my $375 Crown PZM, which happens to be a Taiwanese capsule that Radio Shaft sells for $.98. It's just that you feel better when paying that extra money for a major brand-name and their quality in manufacturing even if they didn't make the capsule. You're getting a known quantity of quality. Obviously the quality isn't as important as the technique.

    Quality & technique that's me.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
     
  14. recordjoe

    recordjoe Guest

    My bro is a drummer and we found the best way to get a great kick sound using a cheapo mic is to tune the heads complete loose. I dont remember if we threw a pillow in there but you dont need any high pitches. This will give you plenty of sub quality without bad overtones. And most of those cheap mics do a good job of picking up low frequencies anyway. This is what you hear on that demo.

    I hope someone will benefit from this idea.
     

Share This Page