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luck with drums in small rooms?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by planet red, Jan 17, 2002.

  1. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    Anyone have any sort of luck? I've read Julian's posts on other boards about the distressed mic outside the door. How big is your room and is it really dead? Is a somewhat triangular shaped room really bad? I'm just trying to get some sort of ideas, im sick of just having one big room for everything.
     
  2. Mike Simmons

    Mike Simmons Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2001
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    Home Page:
    I only have a small room (odd shaped but approx. 10'x11' w/7' ceilings). I've tried different mic set-ups but close micing is what works best for me. The room is fairly live with some markertek foam on the upper wall behind the drummer. I track analog and bring it into PT TDM to finish. My mic selections are the usual suspects... toms 421's, kick RE-20, sm57 on the snare and SR77's or mk012's overhead. I've put up pzms for ambience and squash 'em with an L1. It sounds good. I played around with Fletchers' 3 mic set-up but found that I broke all 3 of his caveats 1) crappy room 2) less than steller drummer 3) not so great/poorly tuned drums. This is a typical scenario so I don't fight it... just close mic and build a room sound with the eventide eclipse. I have a session coming up in a couple of weeks with a very good drummer with a great sounding kit and am looking forward to trying something fun. Maybe I'll set up the Valvet just outside the door?
     
  3. Rob Cathcart

    Rob Cathcart Guest

    I've got a 7x15 ft room with 8 ft ceiling. Great sounding drums. Great drummer, me!! I have one end of the room, the end with the drums in it, deader 'n a doornail. The other end has some bass trapping and diffusion along with same crappy absorbtion used to deaden the drum end. I'm using various mic methods. I get very little room sound, even in overheads. I take the tracks thru acoustic mirror and/or Cakewalk's FX3 room simulater dooda. More and more I go with the FX3. It simulates room size, shape, wall material, mic placement, mic polar pattern, and most significantly, the position of the "players". The program allows you to place two "players" at a time via a stereo track. I'll typically do a pass with the overhead tracks (players) "placed" a few feet back from the virtual mics set to cardoid and spaced at 5 feet and 90 degrees. Then another pass with bass and snare in mono up the middle with the same mic placement and the "players" a little closer to the mics. By moving the "players" (where do those quote marks keep coming from?) back into the room, away from the virtual mics, I can then get a large room sound and I use this to sqaush and bring up behind the tracks done with the virtual mics in close.

    Reading back that seems a bit of a convoluted description, but, hey.

    If I sound like I like this FX3 thing, well I do.

    I've never even tried to get a good live sound out of my room. Or into it.
     
  4. I have a one-room palace/studio with a loft and a high ceiling (20'). After repeated attempts to get a good drum sound under the loft in a corner, I finally just pulled the kit out to under the edge of the loft and put a couple nice figure 8 overheads (avoiding a lot of reverb) so they point at either side of the kit and the high ceiling. The difference is amazing. No matter what I did in the small room like corner (but without two walls, effectively) the kit sounded boxy and "small time". Now with the high ceiling it sounds so classy and open. Oh yeah!
    If I succeed in building another tracking space it will be barn-like and use many portable baffles.
    Ted
     
  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Barns are the best!

    My outside door mic wasnt so hot today....

    I was working with a non rim-hitting drummer - (just 'tap' in the middle) that freaks me out often....

    I prefer the ultra loud 'shpank!' of a rim hit!

    on a lot of rock at least..

    :)
     
  6. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    Well my room wont be TOOO small about 20x18x16x8x4 (its got 5 walls, a sort of weird shape with no parellel walls) and 11 ft ceilings. I just really love the sound of a huge room since i only record rock music. I hate small "tight" sounding drums.
     
  7. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2001
    Location:
    Little Rock, AR
    I have a very small room. My quick fix is one RE20 above the snare, aimed down at the snare just out of the drummers smashing range. Either a SM91 inside or M88 at the sound hole of the kick. Comp it all, keep the channels seperate. Get some stereo-ness out of a room setting from a verb box. I use a TCM2000. Not great, great, but very workable.
     
  8. drundall

    drundall Guest

    I sometimes have success with an 87 or similar on cardioid and high up pointing to the ceiling corner opposite the drums. The mic points away from the kit, kinda just micing the reflections from wall and ceiling. I run this through an 1176 with LOTS of compression, playing with the attack and release.

    I'm with Jules on the rimshot scenario. If you have a drummer who taps the drums and bashes the cymbals, this setup doesn't work.
     
  9. rpowell

    rpowell Guest

    another thing you might want to try..

    after you get your tracks done, nice and tight in the small room...why not do some premixing, run em through a cranked p.a. speaker and start throwing mics around the place...wherever you can and create a big room...

    get creative...(burn it to cd, and crank that in a parking garage...that's a blast)
     
  10. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    I do a fair bit of pre mixing as well,

    I often take a day out after tracking to fix timing errors and set up nicely with gates & eq's for overdubbing.

    Top DAW Tip: Working in a DAW I've found copy track of the close miced drums, advanced by 200 samples - makes for good "ext" triggers on plug in gates... Helps work around the softened attack often caused by gating..

    But on drums I am most happy when I get to the mix's end with adding NO reverb!

    During tracking & overdubbing I usualy just have a vocal reverb available.

    :)
     
  11. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    Top DAW Tip: Working in a DAW I've found copy track of the close miced drums, advanced by 200 samples - makes for good "ext" triggers on plug in gates... Helps work around the softened attack often caused by gating..

    ooooo...good one. Thank you.

    But on drums I am most happy when I get to the mix's end with adding NO reverb!

    Yeah! I do my entire mixes with no verb. Until very last that is. Really just prefer EQ, delay and compression.

    planet red

    Perhaps some room treatment? Some diffusion in the right places would open up the room more, perhaps? I do a good deal of spot treating (mostly absorptive) all the time. Really helps IMHO.

    Dan-O
     
  12. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    Where/how do you use delay on drums without creating phasing?
     
  13. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    bassmac

    Sorry for the confusion. I was referring to the entire mix in general not just drums. The only delay I have ever used on drums alone is on snare. I'm a T-Rex, Beatles/Lennon fan!

    BTW, I believe you wanted feedback on the API's I ordered.
    Well there kicking my ass!! :eek: They have a sense of authority about them I can't describe. Deep maybe close.

    Dan-O
     
  14. planet red

    planet red Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2001
    The room isnt built yet, but im going to put a lot into treating it. im planning on a whole lot of diffusion so the sound really explodes, but a fair amount of absorbtion so it doesnt get 'boingy'. Since i cant have a huge rock drum sound, im thinking a nice short and thick reverb. I'm also going to have a hell of a lot of bass traps so i dont get any of that low end reverb mud you get in smaller rooms. I have two alton everest books sitting next to me that i read all the time.

    As far as no verb on drums...how do you do it? I never have a whole lot to where its actually audible, but to me it gives everything a little more depth, which to me is impossible to get in digital. I found some old tapes i made when i was 14 on a fostex r8 1/4" 8 track and although everything was recorded badly, it had some sort of magic that made the whole mix sound 'cool') Now however all my tracks sound good but without a little verb on everything with some short stereo delays, i get an incredibly boring stale sound. Not to say my mixes sound effexy.
     
  15. bassmac

    bassmac Guest

    Originally posted by Dan-O:
    They have a sense of authority about them I can't describe. Deep maybe close.Dan-O

    Yeah, deep is good, also thick, rich, etc. I think with with these API's they're be less need to double track things to make them sound fuller....it's already built in!!!

    We be diggin' it! :D
     
  16. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    planet red

    As far as no verb on drums...how do you do it?

    My apologies again for being vague here. I do indeed use reverb. It's just the very last thing I attend to while working the final mix. I have nice size rooms with high ceilings, so I take advantage of that when tracking. I STILL use reverb though, but find that I use far less these days.
    Of course if that's what is called for than slather it on.
    Many times it's automated in and out for effect only in my mixes. Really depends. I prefer delays (except on drums, barring snare) to thicken and create an ambiance. If you get it right it has somewhat of a verb effect in and of it's self.
    I STILL use reverb though.

    Sorry for the confusion

    but to me it gives everything a little more depth, which to me is impossible to get in digital

    I definitely don't find this true. :)

    Dan-O
     
  17. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    By the time I have compressed my 'behind the door SM57' further it will sound like a large hall way / industrial space..

    If I bring up the snare 2 further tracks and compress the hell out of one and SanAmp / distort the other, they will ad a huge size sound to the untreated mic's...

    Do the same to the kick drum and I will get Keith LaBlanc of the sugarhill gang in the NYC Hit Factory stairwell!!!!

    Reverb? Not often... and never a 'basis' for a drum sound.

    :)
     

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