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Need tips for getting a full, "big drums" sound

Discussion in 'Drums' started by NightOwl76, May 12, 2006.

  1. NightOwl76

    NightOwl76 Guest

    Hello. I'm new here and this is my first post. I'd like to know how to get the largest, fullest sound I can get out of my drum kit. Right now, my kit's in a finished basement and the ceiling is 6' 8" high and the room is 12' x 16'. My 4-track and my cheap Radio Shack mics make my drums sound like they're made of paper plates, but they're all I have. I understand that it will cost lots of money to get the sound I want and that there are many different factors for drum recording, such as mics, mic placement, the environment, the drums/heads, the console/mixer, the recorder, the media type, the effects processors, the monitors, the blah blah blah...., but I'd like to be able to capture the full sound of my drums, and it would help to know if it will cost as much as a new Lexus to do it. I'm not saying that I want to get an arena rock sound per se, but I would like to get as accurate a recording as possible without having to declare bankruptcy. I am sorry if this has already been discussed before and/or if I am posting this topic in the wrong thread, but I honestly do not know if this is a mastering issue, if it should be taken care of during the initial recording, or what. A little help, please?
  2. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Do some searches and you'll find lots of info. The long answer is that you need a much better room and lots of better mics and pres to get a great sound. However, you can get started pretty cheaply. Start by learning to get a good close-mic sound on the kick and snare. You can take the room out of the equation as much as possible for this. Get an SM57 for the snare. There are a lot of other choices for the kick, but if you are really short of money just use another 57. It will come in handy later. Play with tuning the drums, adjusting the snares, positioning the mics. It's a good start for very few bucks.
  3. NightOwl76

    NightOwl76 Guest

    Good God Almighty! What the hell kind of drums are those?! I've never seen anything like that! Who makes them?

    Bob, thank you for the info, but what is "pres", presence? Presets?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Pres=preamps....drums in picture = North Drums, Seattle Washington.

    If they arent North then they are a knckoff of the design and the molds.

    It wont cost you as much as a Lexus. The point is to be knowledgeable about your intent...Have a game plan to an end. Make decisions regarding the direction you want to go in a recording process within the boundarys of a particular place or environment. Making choices in the gear you purchase with the firm knowledge of what you can expect out of certain pieces in a recording chain ,will keep the overhead to at least a predictable level. Know what does what and why and then move forward to the place you perceive to be in your sights.
  5. tedcrop

    tedcrop Guest

    Add some kind of cheap Large diapragm condensor mic in the room. Through a compressor if you can. The RNC is a cheap alternative that might work for you.

    Close mics for a tight sound and bring the rooms in to make it sound bigger and fuller.
  6. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    One neat little trick to play with is to send the recorded drums through a PA system and record that...then blend the recording of the PA with your actual drum recording.

    There are tons of tricks, and lots of of them are in this forum.
  7. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    have you tried this? did it work? The only time i've ever heard of this was in the mixerman diaries, and it was talked about in a way that made it seem like a joke. just curious if this has ever actually worked for you. i've had success doing something similar with keyboard/synth parts, but when i tried doing this with drums it didn't really do anything for me.

    the best drum sounds i've got had everything to do with the room sound and decent mics. i use basically the same miking technique, but with a nice room it really rounds out the sound.

  8. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    The first time I tried it I was mic'ing my monitors in my control room. I compressed the hell out of the drums and put a thick but short reverb on them. I mic'd my control room with the MS technique and cranked my monitors. I tucked this recording behind my original drum tracks and ended up getting a a nice result once I took the compression and verb off of the original tracks.

    The other time I did it was with my buddies PA in my garage. That turned out even better for the grungy "indie" sound that they wanted.
  9. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    michael beinhorn did that on the red hot chili peppers' "mother's milk" and "blood, sugar, sex, magik". they've sent the drums through a big pa system.
    sounds cool to me!
  10. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    It's a great trick.

    I guess it is all in the context of the song. The more tricks and oddities done with the gear you have can make up for the lack of quality in that gear. BUT that only goes so far.

    I have a pretty small setup, but now it is all mid to higher end stuff. I actually like my older recordings that were done with low end consumer stuff. The reason being is that I tried new things and would do oddball stuff that added character as opposed to now I try to shoot for a solid/polished sound. I'm still not getting that, but I'm trying for it.
  11. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Electronic music contingent signing in...

    Sound replace the recorded drums with some great samples.
  12. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    i wouldn't replace them completely, but adding good samples to your actual drum sound can get you a great, contemporary punchy sound.

    listen to linkin park's "live in texas". though i don't know for sure, i'd bet there's a sample added to the snare. great live recording. especially the drums are cool.
  13. scotthc

    scotthc Guest

    Is there a particularly good VST instrument/sample group? I'm looking at BFD's package. Thanks
  14. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    bfd sounds good, check also ni's battery 2 and drumkit from hell.

    but if you're not replacing completely, you don't really need a big sample library with tons of multi samples.
    when you're adding a sound to your live recorded snare or bassdrum, even a non-multisample with good punch is enough to pump up your sound. you can even take a synthesized sound. but it depends on what sound you like and how much of your sample or actual recording you blend together.
    the best way would be to just take your recorded snare track and get it sounding as good as possible, then blend in the sample until you have the desired punch. this way you get the natural sound and dynamics of the real drums with the punch of the sample.

    works great for me.
  15. scotthc

    scotthc Guest

    Which replacement software would you recommend?
  16. ouzo77

    ouzo77 Active Member

    don't know. i use the one in logic.
  17. pantonality

    pantonality Active Member

    When I upgraded to Gigastudio 3 included was some of the Larry Seyer Acoustic Drums, enough to make a workable set. That's a beautiful sample set, very well done. I don't know how they compare to BFD or DFH, so if anyone's heard LSAD vs. those others I'd like know about it. I haven't bought the full LSAD because it is kinda pricey.
  18. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    Drumagog is nice handy and works well. It also comes with it's own sounds.
  19. alimoniack

    alimoniack Guest

    Triggering, replacing or adding stuff doesn't necessarily sound bigger to me. As has been suggested a well tuned kit and the right mics and placement are key, it doesn't have to be expensive but you will obviously have to experiment to "capture the fullness of the kit" in a small room. You could try hiring some condensers and a large-ish rehearsal space and do what I call a "S.W.A.T. Recording" hehe.

    Some ppl may have seen this, but as far as "re-amping" a kit thru a PA goes, if it was good enuff for the Stones...


    A good article, the interesting recording stuff is midway down. I like Kimsey's laid back approach, and it's fun to listen to "Start Me Up" and try to discern the effect of the PA bleed on the kit...

    Nerd Alert!
  20. NightOwl76

    NightOwl76 Guest

    I heard a guy say that a fellow he knew once rented out the lobby area of a two-story recording studio late one night when the studio was closed, and somehow positioned shotgun mics almost 20' in the air by using the metal stuff that was all over the ceiling and looked something like \/\/\/. Anyway, when the fellow was finished, the guy said that the drums sounded like cannons. Has anyone heard of a technique like this, using a large room with a high ceiling, but with shotgun mics on the drums? I heard the story years ago, so I could be missing some details or have some things backwards. Also, has anyone ever used boundary mics for overheads?

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