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overhead suggestions...

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by jordy, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    ok so i finally got everything i need (atleast the basics) to tackle the challenge of recording drums from my basement.- i have alot of furniture, so the room doesn't sound too shabby for a baement.
    i have an interface that can record 6 simult. ins and i just bought another large diaphram condenser mic.- now i know the preffered method for overheads would be using small diaphrams, but my budget could only handle buying another chinese $100 large diaphram condenser. so i now have 2 large diaphrams (different brands- an AKG Peception 100 and a Sterling Audio ST51) that i'm using as over heads, a peavey bass drum mic, a sure beta 58 on the snare and peavey drum mics on the top tom and fl. tom. the set is my dad's old Ludwig from the 70's.
    anyways, for my question,- while purchasing my new condenser at guitar center, i told the sales dude my situation and he informed me that he swears by using only large condensors for his overheads at his local studio he engineers at. he then proceeded to give me advice on how to place them- telling me to have them parallel about 3 or so feet apart and facing straight down at the set (parallel to the floor)...umm is this a common practice?
    would the xy config. yeild more pleasing or standard results?
    i'm definitely going to mess around with the placement until i get something i like. i got alot of work cut out for me in this area. -live drums are all new to me.
    i guess i'm just lookin for pointers to get me goin in the right direction. i know that there are no clear cut answers esp. in recording, but i'm looking for typical setups, if you will

    thanks a whole bunch!
  2. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    oh.....and what are you guys' ..and gals' thoughts on Large diaphrams for overheads???
  3. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Depending on your setup I would look into trying to get your overheads equal distance from you, that's if you sit with the snare between your legs.

    It's important to get the snare central to stop phasing issues.

    I like to sit square on to my snare then point both my sticks up at the mics and use this as a guide for position. You can use a length of string or tape to measure. The RecorderMan technique sets this principal out clearly.

    Good luck and do share your results. I worship the massive Ludwig kits from the 70's, nothing on earth compares to a Bonham era Ludwig.
  4. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    thanks green- i'll try it out. and i'll look into the recorderman thing.-i can google that right? i'm sure i'll find it
  5. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    The recorderman drum micing technique is all over the internet. There is a link 5 posts down here: (Dead Link Removed)

    (This thread is also worth looking at)

    As for the AB on drum overheads. It gives you a more even response across the cymbals, but introduces some phasing issues. Because of the high frequency nature of cymbals it takes out a fair amount of brilliance. But you may like the sound. Lower budget condensers (nothing against them, they have their place) tend to be harsh. So AB and low budget LDC may be a good match. If you like your toms, then you might want to put them out in front of the kit a little more.
  6. steppingonmars

    steppingonmars Active Member

    Large capsule condensors will pick up more of the room and will not respond as smoothly to quick transients (aka snare drum and cymbals) If your looking for a cheap solution, get 2 AT2020/21 packages. They're pretty good bang for the buck. The polar pattern is usally wider on LDC's as well so you are going to pick up more of the room which will be a bad thing if you have nasty comb filtering and early reflections

    As for recording drum OH's, there are 3 things to consider.

    1) Bad sounding early reflections from walls
    2) Comb filtering from walls
    3) phase issues with microphones

    Ways to help

    1) Keep the mics equal distance from drums, especially the snare and kick drum as these are the most crutial parts of your drum sound. This is why the recorderman method works well in small rooms

    2) Keep the kit as far away as possible from walls, use absorption on the walls if the room sounds bad, and keep the mics as far away from the walls as possible as well. If you have a bad sounding room, your better off getting those OH's as close to the kit as possible and pick up as little of the room as possible.

    I've found that most of the time you can't blame the mics for your bad sound, most of the time it's bad mic placement, a bad room and bad gain structure so don't go out and buy a bunch of expensive equipment thinking it's going to make a world of difference. You're better off going out and buying some acoustic treatment. Buy a pair of drummers headphones and spend most of your time trying to get a good sound with mic placement.

    I personally don't use the recorderman method, I do a sort of ORTF mic placement right over the drummer's head.

    Just remember if you have a bad room, the closer you get the mics and the less you use of them, the better off you'll be

    Hope this helps
  7. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    I agree with Mars. Also new drum heads might help your sound.
  8. steppingonmars

    steppingonmars Active Member

    One more thing

    Even the cheapest chinese condensers can sound good in the right situation. People use that excuse far to often for their bad sound.
  9. jordy

    jordy Active Member

    thanks for the responses guys.- i checked out the recorderman technique- def. a cool idea.- i tried it and it does help my sound alot. i'll have to post some stuff soon and see what ya'll think.
  10. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    also check out Glyn Johns methods....


    I have had great results with both. However I like the sound of the Glyn johns better in my room.

    I have added plywood panels to my walls to get more off angle reflections, and a plywood floor. On my ceiling I have added four 4" semi rigid fiberglass panels in cloud formation to "erase the ceiling reflections". Well attempt to anyway.

    http://www.steller-studios.com/main/photos_big.php?bigphotoname=drum ROOM.jpg

    The picture shows panels on the plywood, but I often remove them to more reflections. But its nice to have choice.

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