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

Drum micing/mics.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by shox, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. shox

    shox Member

    I have to rent some mics to mic up a drum kit. I would like 2 room mics, 2 overheads, 2 snare, 2 bass drum, tom and hat mics. I have an AT 4050 some 57's and a d112 already. I would love some recommendations on some mics I can rent to fufill my needs. Hopefully nothing to esoteric or hard to get as I have to find these hopefully fairly cheap. Any opinions on Neumann km 184's or SM 81's? I might be able to borrow these. Where would you put them? Any help would be very appreciated, thanks.
     
  2. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Many scenarios and options:

    Do you know what kind of room/cymbals you'll have. And what kind of sound your after.
    Are you recording to Analog or digital.

    You're in LA...so rentals will be easy to find.

    Hre's a possibility:

    Kick: youre D112 on the inside and a 47fet on the outside.
    Snare: sm57, top and bottom
    Toms: 421's (rather inexpensive rental...and if you go for getting the attack & air from the OH's, and resistn the temptation to EQ these mics, they'll amke your toms fat and puchy). I'd recommend two mic's on your biggest tom (top and bottom) . Also a good trick is to isolate the floor-toms from the floor with a tiny bit of foam under the legs...they'll resonate better.
    OH's: My Favorite (for a while now) has been royer 121 ribbon's ($40 per mic rental)....using my overhead positioning. Other variations can obviously work. I know engineers who like a spaced pair of sm81's. That or the km184's (or km84's) can also work.
    Hat: km84....414 .

    Room mic's...Large Diaphram condensers...and/or whatever is left over.

    Search for the "OverHead Phase" thread too.
     
  3. shox

    shox Member

    Thanks RM. I know the "overhead phase" thread very well. I will be trying your OH trick for the first time. First off, any rental places other than S.I.R. and Hollywood Sound that you know of, would be a huge help. What mic configuration do you use for your room mics? Do you measure the distance from the snare or just "ear it"? Thanks for the advice, it really is a huge help.
     
  4. shox

    shox Member

    Oh yeah... Digital to DP3.
     
  5. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    I use whatever mics are available for the rooms...you want mostly Kick/Snare/Toms in them...and minimize cymbals by mic choice/location and compression/EQ. Large Diaphram condensers usually are there... ribbons even more...but anything can work. It's the placement that makes the biggest difference.

    As for the OH's...I first measure the distance. Then I put on a set of cans, and tweak one-or both-of the mics(usually for me the "right" [drummers perspective...floor tom side) in orientation, and in inch/centimeter amounts untill the the kick and the snare are "up the middle".

    There's lot's of rehearsal spaces....Music Connection is coming out soon with the issue on that...if you can't wait, get a recent issue for the ads or get last years issue of rehearsal studios...why the query for rehearsal studios? Are you planning on recording in one? Or is it for pre-production. If it's about recording in one and budget, then Personal Message me; as I live in the area and I may be able to help you out on a deal at some recording studios ( I have a connection or two....) :cool:
     
  6. shox

    shox Member

    I'm sorry, not rehearsal spaces, equipment rentals. Sorry if that was unclear. Mic's and possibly pre's.
     
  7. shox

    shox Member

    Also, do you start with the OH's then room then spots or room then OH's then spots. Are there any tried and true methods for minimizing phase issues between the OH's and the room mics? I have usually used widely spaced pairs for the room but have noticed some phase issues on past recordings.
    Do you have any thought on sliding drum tracks in a DAW to line up hits? I have done this in the past but it seems like I shouldn't have to if the setup is right.
    And lastly, I know you should flip the phase on top and bottom miced drums (snare, toms etc) what about on bass drum if you have one mic inside and another 1 to 3 feet outside?
    RM thank you for your time I can't tell you how helpful this is. Thanks.
     
  8. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    There are no rules...and ask me again two years from now or about two years ago and my answer will vary...but recently (last two years or so) AND depnding on the Drummer/Room/Gear/Budget I vary between starting on the OH's and / or the room first. If it's a great sounding room I find the best spot in the room with the floor tom (it's easy to move and is a good comprimise between the kick and snare). I set up the drums there. I mic the kit, but really focus on the OH's. Then I start to add Room and Ambience mic's to the OH sound I have. I look to reinforce the OH's , sticking mic's in locations to give me more of what I percieve as lacking in the OH's only sound....constantly flipping polarity on any new mic, and running out to re-position if it's not getting it on first try (pretty rare now...got it down to a fine art). For instance...an ambient kick mic (47fet) a few feet out and about 4/5 the hieght of the kick ands a nice note to the kick (done right it's nice for the snare and hat as well). Sometimes an ambient mic very low to the floor angling up to the bottom of the toms acouple of feet out, paired with anotherb mic equidistant of the kick on the hat side...just bleeding in a bit on the stereo room/abient comp- can add some NICE low end. I'm usually happiest at the mix if I had combined/EQ'D&compressed my (possibly) many room and ambient mics down to a stereo &/or mono track (or a combination of both). This insures fast awesome tracks from tracking on, minmizes later agony and frees tracks.

    Are there any tried and true methods for minimizing phase issues between the OH's and the room mics? I have usually used widely spaced pairs for the room but have noticed some phase issues on past recordings. [/QUOTE]
    Keep checking phase by flipping polarity and temporarily adjusting balance so that the mics you're comparing are close enough in level to each other to percieve the amount phase between them. I usually use a polarity checker to make sure that the primary mic(s) on the kick are firing foward (or firing the way they sound best) and then I reference mic's phase/polarity wise to this (the kick) from then on. I do this because phase is most noticible on low freq's (ie KICK).


    Do you have any thought on sliding drum tracks in a DAW to line up hits? I have done this in the past but it seems like I shouldn't have to if the setup is right.
    [/QUOTE]

    Pretty rare. I guess i should experiment more on this. Definetly on mixing someone elses tracks.....not necessary if I'm cutting (at least I like to believe...ask MixerMan if he thinks my drum tracking needs this in general)

    And lastly, I know you should flip the phase on top and bottom miced drums (snare, toms etc) what about on bass drum if you have one mic inside and another 1 to 3 feet outside?
    RM thank you for your time I can't tell you how helpful this is. Thanks.
    [/QUOTE]

    Flipping polarity may/may not be needed....check them all and adjust to taste.

    My favorite rental place:
    Classic Equipment Rental...ask for Jason or Ernie....
     
  9. shox

    shox Member

    RM, you're a God!! Thanks for your considerable time. I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again.
     
  10. heylow

    heylow Member

    RM,

    This is a great thread! You say you usually like to compress or EQ your room/ambient mics. How much compression (and/or EQ) are you usually using for the average room mic?

    While we're at it, what are your thoughts on compression, in general, during the tracking of drums?

    Also, while we're at it...kick drums: When you first throw them up...where, generally, do you like your inside mic and how far out do you like to put your outside mic? Which do you feel gets used most in a finished mix? Do you cover your outside mic with a blanket to minimize bleed or is bleed your friend here? Dumb bonus question: Do you usually need to flip phase on the batter head mic regardless of whether it's facing to or away from the drummer?

    Ok...one more...OH's: What is your initial set up? Meaning, where are you mics when you first throw them up? Are they straight across the kit or more at that Albini angle thing? How far apart? How high?

    I realize these ar a lot of questions and the answers can only be general at best (which is why I specified "when you first throw them up") but I'd really appreciate your perspective on this stuff.

    Thanks in advance,

    heylow
     
  11. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    It depends...you play around a little. You might be in a room with an old Gates compressor or a bunch of dbx160x's. You might squeeze the living hell out of a pair of ambient mics, suck out some top (cymbals) and some low mids...then start to back off othe compression just till it tickels the compressor....or let it squash. The point is to maximize the good and minimize the bad. Making this shell, and making it fit with the OH's will get ALOT of your drum sound. You'll be able to put up your direct mics after this and do less EQ, because your OH's and room/ambient mic's are giveing yo the "air" and attack that you might susually be trying to EQ out of the directs. Done this way, your toms get the sound of the "stick", the "air" and the lo "note" from the OH's and room/amb.s'; the direct mic's now serve the purpose of adding immediate punch so that the tom jump out. Most of the time people add way to much top and suck out way too much mid on there tom mics....which means they have to do all these crazy rides when they mix, because they've EQ'd all of this top end onto there tons to get the "stick" and inadvertantly brought out too much cymbal in their tom mics. Get the cymbal's, stick attack and "air" with your OH & room/amb mic's. Also...we don't have to get Bonham here. These mic's can be close ambient mic's....getting the bottom end note off of the toms and kit....the note you can't get with only direct mics.

    To degress just a hair. What I've been doing, if I have a good sounding room and enough mics, is to have the drummer play for a while. Along with the steps I mentioned earlier, I really dive into creating a "shell" of ambient/room mics into a stereo combined pair. It could damn near stand as the drum tracks themselves, the kit should sound like drums in a room, sitting in this "shell" of room ambience. Compression and EQ are not mandatory, but since I'm combining mics here and because this (in the end) is really going to be a "shell" around the more direct mics, I tend to speed things up and EQ and compress these guys to carve the mud, ect.

    I usually also have a mono room track that I print. This is usually just one mic (like an M49) that's in a prime spot that could be by itself and/or work with everything.

    While we're at it, what are your thoughts on compression, in general, during the tracking of drums?[/QUOTE]

    I've only been compressing the rooms. It depends...a bad drummer makes me compress to even out his dynamics (even the direcet mics in this situation). A great drummer does that himself; therefore little or no compression/EQ needed.

    Also, while we're at it...kick drums: When you first throw them up...where, generally, do you like your inside mic and how far out do you like to put your outside mic? Which do you feel gets used most in a finished mix? Do you cover your outside mic with a blanket to minimize bleed or is bleed your friend here? Dumb bonus question: Do you usually need to flip phase on the batter head mic regardless of whether it's facing to or away from the drummer?[/QUOTE]

    First...after placement in room, tuning, ect, to get the drums to sound like they should/can, I find which mic is to be my primary kick mic. this can invove check every one that the studio has of a particular model to see which mone sounds best (or between various models). The mic chosen is dictated by the kick in question. After I have my mic(s) kind of decided on I work on placement. The "inside" mic (if I end up using two...I use jsut one alot) can go anywhere you can imagine. I usually ahve the drummer lightly kick, while on headphones I move the mic around to find the sweet spot. I haven't had the luck to ever find an assistant that can do this for me as well as i can do this for myself...so i continue this wierd ritual. I generally do not use or like a blanket...I use the bleed (I love bleed). But there are exceptions....ususally to,fix a bad drummer/kit/room. In the best world...no blanket.
    I very, very, very,very,very rarely (if ever) use a mic on the kick beater side if that's what you mean. Check phase by flipping polarity. You need to do this on each and every mic that you add...as you bring it up and listen to it.

    Also...when working on mics, for the most part, listen to them together more than "solo" they have to work synergistically togther.

    Ok...one more...OH's: What is your initial set up? Meaning, where are you mics when you first throw them up? Are they straight across the kit or more at that Albini angle thing? How far apart? How high?[/QUOTE]

    search for the "OverHead Phase" thread...it's how I have been & usually do OH's.
     

Share This Page