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Recording Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Bravegravity, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. Bravegravity

    Bravegravity Guest

    Hello all, i would love to record live drums, i just need advice on how best to approach this, although other than the obvious drum mics, i need some advice...

    I am running a windows xp media centre, i regularly use usb interfaces for recording, for recording drums though i am unsure what kind of mixer/interface to purchase

    Basically i want to be able to record 7 mics simultaneously on separate tracks through Nuendo 2...

    Im sorry if this sounds simplistic, would an 8 channel usb mixer/interface do the trick? Can anyone reccomend me any that work a treat?

  2. vdrummer

    vdrummer Active Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    I have the Phonic Helix MKII 24 fire wire mixer and it records great especially for the price, I paid around $ 600 new with 18 channels of simultaneous recording. Nice and quiet with lots of head room. That is will a 1.8 GHz PC with 512 ram using an external hard drive.
  3. Boswell

    Boswell Distinguished Moderator Resource Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    You don't need a mixer for the multitrack recording process. A digitizing interface with mic. preamps is the order of the day. You can mix "in the box" using Nuendo.

    However, where you will run into trouble is using XP Media Center. Very few manufacturers support their interfaces under XPMC. Start from there and see what is supported, then come back here for comments on your shortlist. For drum recordings, you need pre-amps with good headroom.

    I keep saying that 4 mics is quite sufficient for good drum recordings; more than that and phase problems become evident. Drummers always disagree.
  4. orbit

    orbit Guest

    any tips on how someone can go about "testing" or making a judgement on whether your preamp has good headroom?

    i recently bought my first real preamp, the presonus ADL 600...2 channel tube pre...it sounds amazing, but then again all i have to really compare to is my presonus tubePRE (100$)...
  5. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    Simple is often better. If you can get a good mix with less microphones it normally sounds better IMHO.

    The recorderman technique should be mentioned:
    (Dead Link Removed)

    and a good video of it

    That being said, I used to use as many mics as I could on drums, but have recently limited myself to just overheads and close micing the kick and snare. Sometimes so I can layer in a sample, sometimes just to make them a little bigger. Phase issues are real with lots of mics on drums! I know, I've been there! Aligning the phase of the close mics to the overhead can help, but it looses some of the apparent size.

    If you are recording on a desk top I would recommend the M-Audio Delta1010LT. That leaves the door open for Pro Tools if you ever chose that route, and it is a very nice PCI sound card.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Sep 26, 2005
    It all comes down to how much money you want to invest.

    With something like a Presonus or other units that have 8 balanced microphone inputs is all that's necessary. It'll have some decent bundled multitrack software Then all you need is a bag full of SM57's.

    Conversely, you could use multiple inexpensive USB audio interfaces that only accommodate 2 channels each. Plug-in up to 4 units and you'll have 8 inputs. You just direct the software accordingly. Then you could feed those USB units from a cheap mixer with multiple outputs. Perfectly adequate for making demos.

    Cheap broad
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. hackenslash

    hackenslash Active Member

    Jun 9, 2008
    People's Republic Of Mancunia
    You should also grab a copy of The Recording Engineers Handbook by Bobby Owsinski. It's basically a microphone manual with lots of good advice on how to get good results in different recording situations.
  8. SeanG

    SeanG Guest

    For those who don't have a bagful of SM57's (I have only one), could one not record each drum separately, one at time? I realise this may be tricky.

    otherwise can one rather opt for a less direct microphone, eg. a Samson, to record toms, snares & cymbals overhead, with the SM57 at the bass drum? This is what I plan to do when I'm completely up and running...
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Distinguished Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    You have a drummer who can play the same track *exactly* the same repeatedly and when asked?
  10. AwedOne

    AwedOne Guest

    SeanG wrote:

    I'm a drummer, and I tried that when I first started recording. Believe me, it doesn't work very well. The drum tracks sound contrived and stilted. It's close to impossible to impart any sense of dynamics within the song. it would be like asking a guitar player to play his Barre chords 1 note at a time, trying to get all his attacks lined up.
  11. Seedlings

    Seedlings Active Member

    Sep 13, 2005
    Kansas City, MO
    Very nice technique. I just tried this last night and wow. The imaging for the toms was better than I've ever had, and they sound great. I've decided, though that I need a new snare because it doesn't carry without it's own eq. I did add a kick mic (out of phase from the overhead setup) and then I could add a little snap to it. Overall it's an extremely simple and effective technique. I looked at the waveform of the two mics and they were spot on for phase with the kick and the snare both.

    Thanks for the heads up for those of us who missed it mentioned before!


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