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Levels on drum recording way hot...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by drumist69, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Well, its been a while! Anyway, here's the deal. Went to record a drum track today. Its a 4 mic, Glynn Johns type setup as far as micing. A pair of AT2020's overhead, an AT4040 on kick, and an MD421 on snare. These are running into a Mackie 1202 VLZ mixer for pre's only, and out the sends on the Mackie into a Delta 44. Here's the problem, which I've never encountered before, but some things have changed with my setup since I last recorded drums. The sends on the Mackie are pre fader and eq, as I understand it, so I'm relying on trim alone for any kind of gain control. So, with the trim all the way down, I'm still getting peaks at, like, 0db or slightly above. Not good. Everything sounds pretty great otherwise, so that's a good thing!
    I've done some tweaking with the Delta 44's controls, but will have to wait till tomorrow to hit them drums again. Anyone have any food for thought about why my levels are so hot??? Thanks! Andy

    PS Its good to be micing up some drums again!
  2. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    FYI, I found that the Delta 44 controls were set to +4db...I have changed them to the -10db setting, which is what the sends on the Mackie should be. I'll try it again tomorrow! Andy
  3. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I run into this when micing the bottom a snare.
    Whether I use a condenser or dynamic mic, I get HOT levels even w/ the gain on the preamp @ zero.
    In this instance I use a channel that has a pad, say -10dB or -15dB.
    Some percussion sources are difficult when it comes to levels and peaks, so some sort of pad in the signal chain is important.
    Not familiar w/ the Delta - does it have anything like that?

    Most important - WHAT has changed w/ your setup since you last recorded drums?
  4. drumist69

    drumist69 Active Member

    Thanks for the get back, Soap. First of all, what has changed...I sold another Delta 44, some mediocre pre's and an ART VLA compressor...I basically halved my inputs. Haven't recorded drums since doing so. HOWEVER, I have recorded drums strictly through the Mackie before and didn't encounter this issue.
    So, from the front, the AT2020's have no pad, nor does the MD-421. The AT4040 (on the kick) does have a -10db pad, which I have engaged. That helped. All these mic's are into the Mackie, which operates at -10db, into the Delta 44 which is NOW set to -10db. When I tried takes earlier, the Delta 44 was set at +4db. I have since changed that to -10db. I will have to wait until manana to test this, but maybe this was the problem all along? Thanks! Andy
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