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recording drums..CONFUSION!

Discussion in 'Drums' started by the_gid, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. the_gid

    the_gid Guest


    i want to record an entire drum kit onto my computer so that each drum has its own track in Logic Express.

    now here's where the confusion lies..

    i'll be needing about 8 inputs..one for each drum mic.

    do they need to have pre-amps or can they be un-amped.

    i've been told that using un-amped inputs gives pretty similar results to that of using amped inputs and is much cheaper.

    i'm looking to buy a firewire audio interface and had been looking at the pre-sonus firepod. but have now been told i won't need 8 mic pre-ampd chanels to accomplish what i want to do.

  2. EricK

    EricK Guest

    You really should have mic preamps. Afterall, you are using mics. On drums, some mics may be putting out a near line level signal. However, your impedance is going to be mismatched and may affect your frequency response. Something like the Firepod is really what you should be getting.
  3. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Well, well, well.
    IMO you should use a good or great pre-amp on any and ALL of your mic's. In addition, as someone (me) who used to record with anywhere from 8-12 mic's on a drum kit. I would also like to voice that you should really only need 4 or 5 good mic's to get an awesome sound. I recently bought 10 brand new mic's for miking up the kit. But after reading lots and lots of post from guy's who I respect, or at least I can tell that they know what they are talking about. I have found that I can get an AWESOME sound from just 3 mic's. Yes, I know what you are thinking.....
    Use 15 mic's if you must. But the BIG difference in sound is the pre-amp's that are driving the signal. What I am talking about is "outboard gear". The are lots of them to choose from. Depending what you want to spend.
    Think of mic-pre's as you would a Marshall power amp.
    If you just used any old amp on even a Gibson Les Paul you are going to get "toy like" results.
    But if you use a 200W Marshall power head then what you are doing is driving the signal REAL hard and the result is the "WOW factor".
    Same thing with even a $200 mic, if you run it though the pre-amp's in your mixer or whatever. The sound is "cheap" at best, and the signal is not being drivin REAL hard at all. Good pre-amps are not cheap. But much like a pretty woman, sometimes she's expensive cause it cost $$$$ to look and sound that good. :D
  4. surefire99

    surefire99 Guest

    i pretty much had a similar question but now with some answers out there i'm going to go a little further....

    are the preamps on something like the firepod good enough?

    i think i want to get a Mark of the Unicorn 828MKII but that only has 2 preamps and the rest are TRS inputs....
    but i also want to get some compressors...so suppose i get the ART TCS compressor... it doesn't seem to have an input gain so does that mean i'll have to use a seperate preamp? i know i should though...

    annd finally cheap tube preamp vs higher quality solidstate preamp?
  5. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    You will be set with a Presonus Firepod. Get that baby and you're in business. :D
  6. the_gid

    the_gid Guest

    cheers guys!! thanks for sorting that out for me!
  7. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    In all seriousness though. I'm new to recording and everything, and I just cant picture myself recording drums any other way then with something like a firepod or MOTU device. I've recorded my friends band on a 4 track hard disk recorder, well, we did drums on that and then layed everything else out on my computer.

    I put the bass drum on one track, and the snare on one track, and all the toms and overheads were mixed down on a 16 channel mixer to one track. And this track had to be stereo, so I had to use 2 tracks for that, so it was:

    Track 1 - toms overheads left channel
    Track 2 - toms overheads right channel
    track 3 - snare
    track 4 - bass drum

    and even that was pretty hideous to try and mix. I could never imagine mixing drums down to one track and then trying to mix a final product together just from that one track. I am a drummer myself so the idea of just being able to mic up your drums and just check the levels and then record and go and do all your mixing and eqing later is amazing. I wouldn't have it any other way.

    One thing about recording drums though. Make sure they are tuned good, most people can't tune drums wroth ass. Find someone who can tune the kit. Also, the room you're recording them in is very important. My personal preference would be a huge room with wood floors and a high ceiling, lots of good natural reverb. But it really depends on the band. You might want dead sounding drums.
  8. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    No disrespect to killer sounds. But I was a little curious since I saw you only have 12 prior post on recording.org
    Me on the other hand, I have been recording for 10 (ish) years or so. And this is my 5th studio.
    I'm suggesting that you should go with out board pre-amps. That's the good stuff. :cool:
    Just do a search on recording.org under...
    pre amps
  9. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    I'm not disagreeing with you for suggesting better pre-amps, but if you want to get into it, then a firepod will cut the cake for sure. It's nothing to add better pre-amps to your rack in the future.
  10. surefire99

    surefire99 Guest

    any thoughts on using compressors with no preamps?
  11. EricK

    EricK Guest

    Mics need mic preamps. You really shouldn't stray from that. You can plug the output of your preamp into the compressor. But really, you need to plug your mic into a preamp. A compressor is a "line level" device. A mic preamp brings a mic's signal up to line level.
  12. THeBLueROom

    THeBLueROom Guest

    you need an awesome drummer with a nice tuned kit to get awesome results from 3 mics ;)
    most drummers that don't know how to play in the studio, ghost a lot of hits an they are barely audible with just using the overheads no matter how hard you crush the signal with the compressor. Not that boosting a crappy hit will get you all that much better sounds, but I think you know what I mean. It's better to have more options; like if you wanted to sound replace or trigger other good hits.

    The firepod will work for you for now and is a pretty easy and cheap solution to your issue. trust me, later you will "discover" the need for nice outboard pres and then you will fall into the G.A.S. trap. Life will never be the same after that point. ;)
  13. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    Yeah I highly doubt you got a good drum sound with 3 mics. 4 maybe. 3, I assume, bass drum, and 2 overheads right? When you go to the put the overheads in stereo, the snare is going to be stereo seperated and yuck.....you dont want that.


    ^me and my kit^ :D it's just a 5 peice now though
  14. THeBLueROom

    THeBLueROom Guest

    as far as the snare being panned, you just have to align the OHs properly to getthe snare and kick down the middle.

    how do you get out from behind that kit? lol :)
  15. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    Haha yeah, thats a common question. That room is so tiny. Eh, I'd just have to move the Hi hats and the one cymbal stand over, no biggie. It's at my friends house now and it's just a 5 peice so it's more compact.
  16. overlookfran

    overlookfran Guest

    ive recorded killer drum tracks with:

    1. snare top mic
    2. kick
    3. OH condenser mic...something large diaphrahm

    the Jeff Glynn, or whatever his name is i forget (excuse me), "Drum Method" involved 3 mics and optional 4th, 5th, and 6th mics...supposedly some of the greatest drum recording were done this way. and there's only one true OH mic in this setup i think. one mic comes in from the side underneath the crash.
    id like to try this with that Earthworks drum mic kit (someday).
  17. THeBLueROom

    THeBLueROom Guest

    for a lot of music this setup simply won't do the job unless you have an outstanding drummer that understands how to play in the studio, a great room, a great, well tuned drum kit, and a lot of nice gear with a good engineer.
  18. overlookfran

    overlookfran Guest

    well, no, perhaps not for Dream Theatre or something, but you can get away with it for a lot of indie rock, or some pop. but yes: you need a tight drummer, good mics, and either a HUGE or small dead room. i guess...

    who the hell knows!!!
  19. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Search for Recorderman drum technique here on RO. You CAN get a GREAT drum sound with 3 mics.You need three great pres, a very 'controlled' room and a drummer who knows how to really tune his drums and how to play in context.The last part is the real trick.A lot think they do...and dont.
  20. THeBLueROom

    THeBLueROom Guest

    Davedog said:
    I think we've all agreed on that already ;)

    BlueRoom said:
    overlookfran said:
    :) :D

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