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drum tracking - low ceilings

Discussion in 'Drums' started by nodell, Apr 6, 2001.

  1. nodell

    nodell Guest

    Hi all,

    My first post here and was looking for some advice...
    I'm going to start tracking this weekend on some new songs with my band. I just spent the last 8 months building a small project studio in my basement. I had limited space to work with so I have two rooms roughly 12x13 - one serving as a control room and the other as a drum room. the ceilings are real low in both (about 6 ft.) Although I haven't necessarily been unhappy with the sound from the drum overheads (matched pair of crown CM700s) I was wondering if anyone had any tips when recording in such a "confined" space?
     
  2. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Offhand suggestion without hearing the kit in the space, avoid high overhead placement. The big problems with low ceilings are often reflections off the ceiling in the overheads causing problems. If you're having problems, try grabbing sounds from either about the drummer's ear level (I like right over the shoulder with an omni or wide cardioid) or out in front of the kit (mono or most of the usual variety stereo arrays can work fine). Also, I wouldn't bother getting seperation between toms and cymbals, as you're likely not going to be able to get the mics far enough away to seperate the sounds without massive filtering, especially with the ceiling reflection issue. But you really just need to figure out how the kit works in the space, and all that costs is time and patience.

    da Bear
     
  3. RNorman

    RNorman Active Member

    Originally posted by nodell:
    Hi all,

    My first post here and was looking for some advice...
    I'm going to start tracking this weekend on some new songs with my band. I just spent the last 8 months building a small project studio in my basement. I had limited space to work with so I have two rooms roughly 12x13 - one serving as a control room and the other as a drum room. the ceilings are real low in both (about 6 ft.) Although I haven't necessarily been unhappy with the sound from the drum overheads (matched pair of crown CM700s) I was wondering if anyone had any tips when recording in such a "confined" space?


    Geez, reminds me of the office space in "Being John Malklavich(sp?)".

    I'd seriously take Bear's advice and use a nice large diaphragm condenser just in front and slightly higher than the top rims of the mounted toms. Anything more is going to be very troublesome. Other than that, Glenn Meadows suggested to me that in these short spaces a 3/8" thick piece of plywood with the drums on it and a pair of PZM mics on the plywood might just give a better representation of the drums than trying to use any space above the kit. I still haven't tried it, but the construct seems like a good idea.
     
  4. GZsound

    GZsound Active Member

    I have low ceilings in my studio (7 foot) and I use an overhead mic on the drums. I placed acoustic tile over the ceiling above the drums and then glued egg crate foam over that to stop reflections. I have a single small condenser mic hung about a foot from the ceiling and I mic every drum. I use AKG D112 on the bass drum and AKG C418 clip on condensers on the three toms, an SM57 on the snare and an AT Pro 4H on the high hat.

    I record to two tracks with the mics panned according to drum placement and use compression on the kick and snare. Our music is blues/rock and the drums translate quite nicely. I have also used a large condenser placed at drummer head high and in front of the kit about three feet with a PZM on the floor under the drum throne facing the kick. It gives a nice "organic" sound to the drums although I like the stereo spread mix better.

    We have found the most important point is to have a good sounding kit. Listen carefully to each drum for excessive ringing and for tuning issues. Lubricate hardware to avoid noises and have good heads on all the drums.
     
  5. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    I built a small drum / overdub booth for my studio The Library. It is tiny!

    Hardwood floor on R10 rubber matting - shredded car tires I think) concrete block walls, Sheetrock (plasterboard UK) ceiling, about 7/8 foot high. NO WALL OR CEILING SURFACE IS PARRALLEL. So it has a 'wierd' square shap.

    Oposite the CR window I have a total of 4 RPG bass traps 2 in each corner. http://www.customaudio.freeserve.co.uk/productsfrmset.htm

    For vocals I attach glass fiber pannels coverd in colored canvas cloth. Sometimes I only put half of them up. For drums I take em all out.

    I have a ceiling mount for my overhead mic (a stereo Royer) to cut down on stands...

    As it is once the stands are in there it is a very tight squeze for the drummer to get round them to get to his kit.

    I did think about clip on's but scratched that idea after extensive net research..

    With a good drummer it sounds awsome, with a bad one it sounds $*^t.

    We get an 'ambience'or room mic sound 2 ways..

    1) dropping 2 x mic' s behind the bass traps and compressing these with DBX 160's
    2) hanging a mic on the OTHER side of the drum booth door (just above where it opens so it picks up sound through the crack) and compressing the living $*^t out of it with a distressor.

    :)

    Jules

    So... I would look at corner bass trapping, RPG stuf is cool if you aren't a handyman, which I aint. They can do them at 40 / 60 / 100 hz. Try borrow a 'studio test CD and see what frequency HOWLS or gets v loud in there by blasting the CD out through a monitor speaker in there... Then get the appropriate RPG bass Traps... My RPG dealer was v helpfull here in the UK.
    http://www.customaudio.freeserve.co.uk/

    Please describe exactly what is pising you off with the overhead signal... To boxy? Low mid trash? Describe it !!!!!!!
     
  6. hathabr

    hathabr Guest

    1)New drumheads - top and bottom! For any size room!
    2)The plywood/pressboard works great - mine is 1" thick - does wonders for everything - *especially* in a small room.
     
  7. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    Where sould the plywood goes? On the ceiling?
     
  8. hathabr

    hathabr Guest

    on the floor - underneath the drums. Staple small scraps of carpet for the bass drum spurs and anywhere else needed.
     
  9. jeronimo

    jeronimo Guest

    My room will be around 8 feet high. Should I put some of those foam (kinda like sonex) on the ceilings? And I'll have concrete floors... wht you guys think?
     

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