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drum recording question

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tonybran, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. tonybran

    tonybran Guest

    when recording drums and using overheads, you're supposed to create a stereo image with panning one left and one rght, right?...how come with almost every song i hear, hi-hats always sound centered and they'll be one crash panned left, and one panned rght in the mix, but when i record, the hats are always more apparent on the left side because of the panning....whats the right way to do it
  2. MilesAway

    MilesAway Guest

    two ways of handling this:

    1 - set up your overheads as you normally would, mic the hats and pan that mic to compensate for the 'drift' in the overheads.

    2 - set-up the overheads on either side of a line drawn from the 2nd tom to the snare/hats, pointed at the snare/hats (pictured below). This keeps the snare/hats centred and swings the toms & cymbals to the outside.
  3. tonybran

    tonybran Guest

    sweet, thanks so much
  4. Angstaroo

    Angstaroo Active Member

    Jul 1, 2005
    DeKalb, IL
    Home Page:
    Another reason is that a lot of times the snare mic picks up the bleed from the hats. Usually that mic is in the center, and causes the hats to sound a little closer to center. Also, sometimes they'll throw a separate mic on the hats, and pan that closer to center. I've been listening to a lot of recordings lately where the hats were loud and only about 10-20% to the side, but the overheads were real quiet, which is kind of odd to me.. I love cymbals, and burying them in the background just doesn't do anything for me.

    How the drummer sets up his kit makes a big difference too.. if he's a double bass drummer with a real wide stance, the hats may be physically located pretty far to one side, so that's where the overheads naturally pick them up.

    Although it hasn't been mentioned, I personally prefer panning my drums with the hats on the left, and the ride on the right, so it sound like a right-handed drummer's perspective, and not the audience's perspective of a right-handed drummer. Of course, when you start dealing with left-handed drummers, that all changes.. but since I play drums too, it just feels right to hear the hats off to the left, and the ride off to the right, and the toms panned hi to low from left to right as well. I don't like things panned -too- far, because it just doesn't sound natural enough to me.

    As usual, your mileage may vary.

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