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Recording multiple drum tracks

Discussion in 'Drums' started by tobacco_slammers, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. When recording multiple tracks for a drum kit, is it better to set up each individual track so that the full kit sounds good prior to recording or is it better to have each track at it's full potential then mix it to how you would like it to sound after recording?

    What I mean here is should the seperate drum tracks, i.e. kick, snare, hi hats, toms, symbals, overheads etc. sound out of proportion when recording then you mix them to how you would like the full kit to sound after recording?
  2. backinthelab

    backinthelab Guest

    Record first, mix later. The key is to obtain solid levels and a good sound for each individual track, regardless of what the rest of the kit is doing. Don't try to mix it off the take or you'll sacrifice both.
  3. any tips for this same question if you're recording into a mixer all the drum inputs, then into the input of your interface as one track? I am doing this because I only have 2 inputs on my interface, so I would guess I need to mix as good as I can before recording it...
  4. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    Make them sound as good as you can, minimalism works here when tracking to mono - a good room and good mic technique (lot's of listening and moving positions) will go a long way prior to pushing the record button!
  5. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    I look at it a bit different. I like to make sure the kit sounds good in the room first. Typically if I get each drum tunned up and and room right, I don't need to mic up every drum. I often get away with 3 or 4 mics on a kit. 2 Overheads, and a Kick and Snare. Sometime I put two on the kick and none on the snare. My goal is to get the sound right before I record. Sure its more tweaking up front, but much faster in the mix.
  6. Cucco

    Cucco Distinguished Member

    Great advice so far. I'd just like to echo the sentiment that less is more. Especially when working with drums in mono, the more mics you add, the worse the kit will sound. Perhaps a single overhead and a single kick would work fantastic. (Hey, it worked for Zeppelin)
  7. so I should track mono it all as a mono or stereo track? Since I have 2 inputs on my pre, I might put it all thorugh the mixer into the one input on the preamp, then either just the kick or just the snare through the other input...

  8. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    I assumed you might have a scratch track going to the other input.
    Sounds like you don't.
    Well, if not, the choice is yours. If you want to commit everything but the kick to one track, do it. If you want to commit all but the snare, same answer. These choices are entirely up to you and your vision of the completed mix.

    Going along with the minimalist approach, while shooting for a stereo image, you would follow the advice above - positioning, listening, etc.

    Once it's on tape, it's done. Only thing left to do if you run it stereo is eq, comp, maybe some fx - but everything will be affected, whereas running kick or snare to a separate track gives you some wiggle room...

    I'd like to see ya try for that old Bonham sound on 'Wearing And Tearing' - that's one of my favorites.
  9. nope on the scratch track. It will be pre-recorded in protools already to a click.

    What would be the difference between recording it to a stereo track or a mono track can you explain this? I know stereo has two wave sections per track, and mono has the one, but what would be the difference as far as my recording goes? does it only matter because i'd want a stereo EQ or compressor, or because it actually matter for the drum track?
  10. the_scort

    the_scort Guest

    if you recorded in mono, you will not be able to pan anything and create a stereo image.

    If you record in stereo, you will be able to pan things between the L and R channels of the bus. This allows you do determine what proportion of the signal goes to what speaker.

    Whether this is important depends on how you are planning on miking. For instance, if you have two overheads, snare and kick, it might be nice to be able to pan those overheads L and R... On the other hand, you might only have a single overhead and a couple close mics, in which case panning wont be as possible or important.
    I suppose its important to remember what everyone has been saying: in your situation All the levels, the panning and eqing on the individual tracks is UNDOABLE once you've recorded. A lot of modern rock mixes use stereo drum mixes based either on audience or player perspective (your choice!!!). That being said, there are some big guys who mix drums in mono, it is just a matter of doing it right! Of course, your choice will rest partially on the style of music you are mixing.

    Good luck, mixing like that isn't easy without a lot of experience!!! Kind of shooting in the dark. Just take your time and make sure you have a good source (well tuned drums, good drummer) and that you made smart mic choices (type and placement).
  11. I predict a few words from bent here soon...
  12. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Apparently Scort's DAW renders the pan function completely useless if you record in mono. Even on the master bus! Fortunately I have a solution for this and I will come over and fix it for you if you pay me a mere $1000 plus airfare. It's a great deal! Think of how great it would be to be able to pan a mono channel left or right! I know I love this feature. I do it all the time.
  13. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    the_scort is right, except he left out a critical bit of clarification: With a single mono track, you can't ever pan some parts of the drum set left while other parts are panned right. You <u>can</u> of course pan the whole set left or right.

    Perhaps stating the obvious here, but with two or more distinct tracks, you can choose to pan each track anywhere left-to-right you wish. So if one track has snare, you could pan that right, while the second track has the kick and overheads and you pan that left. Not saying you should, just that you could.
  14. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Of course, but it's all about the ribbing.
  15. the_scort

    the_scort Guest

    Sorry, I was unclear. Of course on a mono TRACK you can pan it within the stereo bus. I was referring to pfactionbrett, who was asking whether he should bus his drum mics from his mixer to mono or stereo.
  16. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    No need to appologize. Sometimes you can't make a typo without getting scourged. lol.
  17. the_scort

    the_scort Guest

    Haha no problemo!

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