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Dirty "Dance Rock" Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by corydeshane, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. corydeshane

    corydeshane Active Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    Hello everyone,

    Though this is my first post at recording.org, I have searched the forums for a couple years now. I have been a Pro Tools user for 3 years, and have been certified since May.

    My question is as follows:
    I'm recording a song on Friday which a "dance rock" (as I call it) feel. Very straightforward quarter notes on the kick, sixteenths on the hat, and a snare on 2 and 4. very basic stuff. I want to achieve the drum sound that is on albums like The Killer's "Sam's Town" and Modest Mouse's "Good News..." and "We Were Dead..." Though it sounds so simple when I listen, I can't seem to quite grasp it.
    To me, it sounds like room mics in a small room, not too much close micing, except for the kick.

    Does anyone have any pointers on this? My mic options are fairly broad (with the exception of not owning any ribbons, which will hopefully change soon). Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

    RockME Studios
  2. Getting a good drum sound that breathes, has personality, and cuts through a mix is by no means simple. Don't forget that, despite any dwindling indie cred, both bands you mentioned are big names with big budgets.

    It's better to hear the drummer's kit in real life and try to capture and enhance it's qualities rather than make it sound like something it isn't. Move the kit to every spot in various rooms to find where it sounds the best, and use your ears to approximate a good distance to place mics: you're right that that the key to a good drumkit sound is its overheads--nice ribbons would be a great choice if you can get them--but make no mistake that at least the snare and kick are close-mic'd and tucked inside the mix in the recordings you mentioned.

    Eliminate every piece from the kit that the drummer won't use in his performance: see if you can talk to him down to hi-hats, a kick drum, a snare, one crash, and if necessary a tom or two.

    Please post clips when you're finished.
  3. drstudio

    drstudio Active Member

    Nov 16, 2007
    Home Page:
    Here's my opinion,

    The key to a really good drum sound is the room.
    I tend to close mic everything, 1 mic inside the kick, 1 outside, snare top and bottom, etc..
    Then I will use 2 large diaphram Condensors ie; C414, U87, etc.... I will then route those output through a stereo comp before hitting the DAW or Tape. The compressor you use can't be a cheapo drawmer or something. I would recomend a UREI 1178, or stereo linked distressors, or an old DBX162.
    I then "overcompress" the room mics. With the urei, I do the All Ratio buttons in technique, This will give you the nastiest compression you can possibly imagine.
    If you are unsure about doing this much compression while tracking, you can do it in the mix, or with one of those Pro Tools Urei Plug ins.
    Try it out :)

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