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need tips on analog recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by riffermaniac, May 27, 2008.

  1. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    whats some tips on keeping analog recording tight?
    i read in my manual that essentially the drums shuld be recorded first and each track individually, but our drummer hasnt been playing that long and struggles with his timing a bit,
    so are there any techniques that drummers use to help get the track down with perfect timing and feel throughout the song? obviously metronomes help, but are there any other tricks of the trade pros use that would help him?
  2. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Practice, practice and yep you guessed it... Beat quantisation.
    Edit/ I just noticed you said analog recording... Practice...
  3. pmolsonmus

    pmolsonmus Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2003
    by metronomes do you mean click tracks? If not, that is how they've been done since the advent of multitrack recording.

    Record the click, have the drummer practice with it. Send it into his headphones at a level that he can't deviate from.

    Also, there is a unit that I've heard about called a "Russian Dragon" to prevent you from rushin' or draggin' with a series of led lights that meet at the strong beats of a measure. Can be set to quarters, eighths or???

    Try a google.
  4. BrianaW

    BrianaW Active Member

    Jan 10, 2008
    New York
    On the occasion that I was recording a shaky drummer with a hatred for metronomes, I used to record the drummer at a lower tape speed, not half, but maybe wind the pitch control as far down as it will go. Then crank the pitch control on playback and track the other instruments. It definitely makes the performance appear to be tighter, and sometimes it can actually make the kit sound even better... or sometimes worse, but experiment and see if you like what you hear. Just make sure that he plays the song a little slower and that you're at the presumed final speed when tracking the instruments, unless you want to drop tune the instruments before hitting the tape. I've also done that with guitars, but it was slowing them down to get a chunkier sound.

    Anyway, that was horrible advice but it's all I have because in the analog world there's no way to completely hide a drummer who can't play in time. As the others suggested, force him to rehearse each track with a click... at least 40 times over a period of a few days. I'd say 60 or even 80. And use 8th notes on the click, it's way easier to play along with every tick than it is to fill in the spaces in between clicks. If none of that works, record everyone else first (or a scratch track) and have them play to a click or a drum machine... I still do that sometimes.
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    Random useless info (that may pertain to tracking ultra fast metal drummers):
    A 1/64th note is known as a Hemidemisemiquaver.
  6. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    yeah hes got some practicing to do, we all do.
    using a drum synth sounds like a good idea, get it down basic with that and then he can play along with it, thanks for that.
  7. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Well now, drum synth you say, analog you say.
    Good luck I say.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    Here is a fine trick we used back in the late 1970s.... Get your drummer to play a solid snare drum, high hat, bass drum phrase. At least a couple of measures worth. Now we're talking analog here right? You mix that to a piece of two track 1/4" tape. You splice a continuous loop and tension the loop with a dangling reel. Then you roll that back on to the multitrack recorder for how ever many minutes you want. Then all you need to do is overdub tom's & cymbals. Definitely worked for disco! We did some reasonable stuff without ever using a drummer or a drum machine. So if your stuff is repetitive, it'll work.

    Conversely, I used to put KEPEX I gates on the drums (not overheads), upon mix down, along with limiting and compression, when I recorded real drummers. This took care of a lot of tape noise, unflattering ambient crap and definitely tightened up the drum kit. I loved the low end at 15 IPS but I definitely loved the transient clarity of 30 IPS while losing the lower octave to "head bump" on the old Ampex MM 1200's. The Studer's were flat to 30 hertz at 30 IPS as well as the MCI JH 110/114A's but not the B's nor C series. Now I'm feeling all sentimental. I think I'll have to go tweak one of my Scully's?

    Old analog girl
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  9. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    ok im not sure what your taliking about with alot of that, i just got my first multitrack, its just a yamaha MT 8XII cassete one, i assume your talking about a reel to reel right?
    were trying to write the songs as were recording, the reason i got it was because while were trying to come up with riffs just improvising, we'll do somthing that sounded awsome for a couple of bars but starts to change over time, and we loose the feel of the way we had it first time,
    what im thinking is take sample tracks of our improvising, then when we got a keeper, ill make a drum track with the computer with the recording as a guide thats it in basic, and locked in perfect time, so its a foundation that cant be lost, and can be repeated in other parts of the song, then i can perfect my guitar playing with locked in time drums from the synth. then start trying takes. because playing the same thing over and over again with the drums so many times starts to piss off the neighbours.
  10. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    remyrad, what did you mean by using KEPEX I gates instead of overheads on the drums, im guessing your talking about drum mics when u say overheads, but KEPEX I gates is new to me, at the moment ive just got a unidirectional, and 2 stick style condenser mics that i baught in a cheap kit, i was thinking about buying a drum mic kit, but are these KEPEX things the go for analog? and also are the drum mics u get in those cheap kits all condenser mics? cause my multitracks only got 2 phantom powered inputs, will i need to get another mixer just for the drums?
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    KEPEX I gates would appear to be a type of noise gate.

    Noise gating works like this:
    If input signal less than threshold, output = zero
    If input signal above threshold, output = input
    And it fades smoothly for a given attack/release time when it changes from closed to open.

    As for the condenser mics, it depends. Are the mics included in the kit listed, as in brand names and types?
  12. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    ok ive got a noise gate pedal for my guitar so i get how that works, so she ment (not overheads) as in KEPEX I gates arnt overhead mics, or somthing, F**** i dont know,
    probably best ask the seller bout the mic kit, theyd just be cheapos im sure of that,
    but... if im gonna need a seperate mixer to mic up the drums is there dedicated drum mixers that have drum effects n compression and all that, built in?
  13. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    There are no " drum mixers" per se.

    When it comes to drum microphone kits, you really get what you pay for. Some are impressive sounding others are a waste of money. Generally, I don't mic a drum kit with a single brand of microphones. Although I wouldn't mind a nice selection of all Shure microphones since I use 57's as my drum staple microphones along with SM 81's for overheads (a frequent selection). However, I like to throw in a couple of Sennheiser MD421's, since those are really my favorites on drums. Yup, I love those on snare and kick. In fact, those are my favorite bass drum and snare microphones.

    Personally, I would rather have 3 decent microphones, i.e. kick & 2 overheads for a drum set instead of a box full of cheap sounding microphones, just to have one for every drum. Or a 421 on snare & kick & a cheap pair of Chinese condenser overheads, if you're on a tight budget. Sometimes I don't even bother with overheads. Sometimes it's kick & snare & one on rack & one on floor, panned left & right.

    The old KEPEX I gate is not utilized on the overheads but on the individual drum microphones (almost any gate will do). When the threshold is adjusted properly, the tom microphones, snare & kick are only on when the drum is hit. The overheads are on all the time without interruption. This can produce a phenomenally big & tight sounding drum recording since any phase shifts are not as readily apparent or noticeable since the gates only open for milliseconds. Rather makes the " Recorder Man" technique superfluous. Just not quite a setup for novices. It requires a thorough understanding & good technique. I've done some of the same with software but not quite with the same results as the old analog counterparts. Maybe it's because I don't necessarily use all of the top shelf software?

    The Glenlivet microphones sound great to me.
    Ms. Remy Ann Who?
  14. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    well at the moment im using my cheap condenser mics, and im geting a bit of a reverby sound through em, i read somwhere the condenser mics are the go for the cymbals, so im right with them.
    theres a kit on ebay made by bock, that the seller recons are good, i can get it for a bit over $200, its got 3 dedicated tom and snare mics, a kick, and 2 stick condensers, for cymbals, im planning to get it in a couple of weeks, but like i said ive got 2 stick condensers, so if getting individual better quality drum mics will cost about the same then ill do that, unless u think the bock ones will be good. are the 57s and MD421s condenser mics?
    also would hanging doonas around the kit get rid of that reverby kind of sound, or shuld i blame that on cheap mics?
  15. EricUndead

    EricUndead Guest

    Glenlivet "MICs" are the best.. MMMMM good
  16. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    ill look em up, but no good to me if their $300 each, ill buy an SM57 and 58, they seem to be the go for micing toms n snare, and more versatile so shuld work out more cost effective than a cheap drum mic kit, i still need stands and at least one real good XLR to XLR lead, decent heads n cymbals for my kit, list goes on, but if i werent buying this stuff id just be drinking, smoking, and gambleing it anyway, i havnt stayed this straight in ages.
  17. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "i havnt stayed this straight in ages."
    Keep it up man. There's a guy at our church, he comes and goes with drink, drugs, so far as I know. He's been back consistently for a few weeks and he's looking damn well. Even plays guitar like he used to.

    SM57/58 will do you good for near enough anything.
    Stands are fairly cheap, but the price will add up.
    In terms of good cable, you only need something that works. There are probably bigger problems than a lack of cable shielding.
  18. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    ok, one more question
    shuld i use my home stereo as a monitor amp?
    its got different equalizer settings, and an equalizer off setting, with the stereo equaizer off is it just the same as powered monitors?
    even proper powered monitors that ive seen have equalizers on em, wouldnt that defy the purpose of having proper monitors?
  19. riffermaniac

    riffermaniac Guest

    ive got one more question,
    shuld i be choking my chicken? i heard masturbation was normal and heathy, like practice for the big game, but theres always the moral delemour of getting myself off without the company of a woman,
    id appreciate any help on this
  20. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Lay off the crack...

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