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Miking a standard trap set for jazz

Discussion in 'Recording' started by patjazz, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. patjazz

    patjazz Guest

    Hi all...I'm looking for some conventional wisdom that could help me get a decent sound (1st time miking drums), using the following:
    1 Audix OM/2
    1 Hi quality stereo binaural Mic
    1 SM58
    I will be recording to a Kork D12 (can record 4 tracks at once).
    Any help with placement (especially), and EQ etc would really be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Patjazz
     
  2. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Originally posted by patjazz:
    1 Audix OM/2
    1 Hi quality stereo binaural Mic
    1 SM58


    Pat,

    Move around the room in front and behind the drum kit while the drummer is playing, and put the binaural head where you hear the balanced sweet spot. I would put the Audix inside the kick drum if the drummer has a hole on his kick drum head, if not maybe a few inches away from the front (again experiment). Put the SM58 on the side of the snare by the small hole (some pro drums have huge sound holes in the snare like the orange county). Make sure you check for mono compatibility by listening to the lows (lows will dissapear when out of phase). If it's not awefully obvious and it doesn't sound thin then go for it.

    The extra two dynamic mics you have are there for purposes of presence in the mix, there is no rule that says you even have to use them while mixing at all. You or the drummer may feel that the kick or snare may need an additional boost at times, so they are good to have. Good Luck, let us know how it goes.
     
  3. patjazz

    patjazz Guest

    Thank you Nathan! I'm going to give it a try next week.
    I forgot to mention that the style is mainly very traditional jazz, so there'll be lots of brush and quiet cymbal work...if that makes a difference. I like the idea of having the option to boost the kick on occasion.
    I'll only have one good opportunity at this recording, so thanks again for the help.
    I'll let you know how it works out.
    Pat
     
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Traditional Jazz recording rarely requires more than the overheads.
     
  5. FifthCircle

    FifthCircle Well-Known Member

    Originally posted by patjazz:
    Hi all...I'm looking for some conventional wisdom that could help me get a decent sound (1st time miking drums), using the following:
    1 Audix OM/2
    1 Hi quality stereo binaural Mic
    1 SM58
    I will be recording to a Kork D12 (can record 4 tracks at once).
    Any help with placement (especially), and EQ etc would really be appreciated.
    Thanks!
    Patjazz


    My approach to micing jazz drums is definitely "less is more." I rarely use more than a single-point stereo microphone in front of the kit. If positioned right, you can end up with a really stellar drum sound that is open, yet present. The drummer is forced to control their own sound...

    With your setup, I would go one of a couple ways. Use your ears and decide what you like most. I assume that you are playing with an ensemble of some sort for this recording...

    First: A single MONO microphone (let's say your Audix... or if you can get a single condenser) positioned about a foot in front of the rack toms, under the cymbals, looking at the snare. Perhaps the 58 on the kick if you need a touch-up there. Chances are, (being jazz) your drummer won't have a hole in the kick so place the mic an inch or so away from the head.

    Second: use your Binaural mic a couple feet in front of the kit for an overall sound. Check your imaging on speakers, though, because Binaurals can be weird with the imaging (unless you have a Neumann KU-100). If you use the Binaural, you may need to put your 58 on the snare, but if you do, keep the level very low.

    Treat the drum kit as a single instrument that you are micing, not as a collection of instruments. Whenever I've done this, I've had some very happy jazz drummers.

    --Ben
     
  6. patjazz

    patjazz Guest

    Wow, you bring up a really good point Ben. Never having attempted miking drums before, I was afraid that I'd get too "live" a sound without enough control, with just the binaural placement.
    But, now you've made me rethink my goal. I would like a slightly live sound but not as "live" as say, the old Ramsey Lewis trio recordings. (The In Crowd, et al...)
    Great advice. No substitute for trying out different mic placements, I guess. I'm just trying to get a line on what to expect so I can be ready.
    All of you have given me some great ideas....Made my job harder??(!)
    Keep the ideas rolling in, and THANX!
    Pat
     
  7. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Let me expound on my point a bit more.
    first...I learned what traditional jazz tips I know working for Bones Howe and Al Schmitt...among others.

    to do Jazz Trio( Drums, UpRightBass,Piano)
    1. Set-Up all the players in the same space,very close together actually, Up against one wall of the studio...like they would be live. From drummers perspective, you'd have the drummer, to his right would be the UpRight Bass, and to His right would be the Piano with the lid open so, that the lid provides just a bit of "baffle" for the piano mics. You can plce a short baffle( waist height) between the drums and Bass.
    2. spaced overheads (although I'd mod this know with a newer positioning I've been doin' recently...One Mic exactly 2 drumsticks high over the snare, the other one being two drumsticks away from center of snare (45 degrees) over right sholuder. Fine tune position so that kick appears in center of "imag"). kick mic and snare mic. You really won't need the snare mic.
    3. Large Diaphram condenser and D.I. on upright bass (if He/She has a pickup).
    4. Small and Large Diaphram condensers on the Piano. Small Diaphram pointing into
    hole of frame on "Hi" side. Large Diaphram nic doing the same on "Lo" side.

    what will this do?

    1. They won't need headphoneds as they'll be like they are live. They'll ballance themselves and play better. The cross leakage is good. The mics on the piano pick up the "woody" sound of the soundboard and get enough isolation from the lid and their placement next to the sound holes. The piano is alos close because at the other end of a room,etc., pre-delay becomes apparent in the leakage.

    Want to add live horns at the same time?

    No Problem. Set them up in a semi-circle facing the ryhtm section we just made. Use Ribbons if you can get them on the trumpets, condensers (pref. w/tubes) on the bones and saxe's. All the bleed is great. Add a little chamber to the horns and you got a killer Jazz sound. No headphones needed and you can co staright to two track.

    Oh...so you got a guy plain' a hollow body electric gtr too? stick his amp under the piano facin out towards the horns. He can sit in front of the Drums & Bass.
    The conductor can be facing the whole ansemble with the horns on his right and the ryhtm section on his left.

    leakage is your friend

    -have fun....
     

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