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Room Mics on Drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by rumblefish, Jan 31, 2003.

  1. rumblefish

    rumblefish Guest

    Anybody have any good tips on how to mix room mics on rock drums (compression and eq)? I know a lot of people usually compress the hell out of them, but I cannot get any desirable results.

    I am limited to using onlyplug-ins and I am guessing the 1176 or the LA-2A plug in would be the way to go. Any tips on settings?
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    what mics? what distance? surfaces around the kit? kind of muzak? these would ALL make a big difference even before any devices are applied...
  3. rumblefish

    rumblefish Guest

    I'm using two omni Rode NT1's, about 10 feet in the air, about 15 feet apart.

    The room is about 30' by 30', with 25' high ceiling, and I would consider it to be a pretty "live" sounding room.

    I'm mainly recording rock drums.

    As far as overall sound, I've been fairly happy with the results I've gotton so far, but I feel I could still improve it with compression and/or EQ.

  4. captaininvisible

    captaininvisible Active Member

    Is the NT-1 an omni? I always thought it was a cardioid of some description. :confused:
  5. rumblefish

    rumblefish Guest

    Sorry....NT 2 - Omni
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    If you have been 'fairly happy' with the overall sound what is it you seek to improve?Room mikes will increase the 'size' feeling of your recorded space...it wont add specific clarity...have you tried your drum mixes ,as they are, in a mix?sometimes in order to make it better we cross the line into trouble and though the new 'improved' sound of the drums is 'better' soloed, it might not sit well with everything else.....just a thought...also if your room is square and tall, what are you doing in the corners to kil the square wave relections...perhaps this would bring about a 'larger sound simply by subtracting the first reflection from the corners.....again just a suggestion..
  7. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    I haven't posted here in about 6 months I think! I hardly go on the internet now that I quit my "real" job.

    Something cool I've been doing lately is putting my AKG 414EB up high in my tiny room about 10 feet from the kit and just turning up the pre all the way so it's basically compressing a fairly distorted drum sound. The sound on it's own obviously isn't what you want for most stuff but low in the mix, it really helps the snare and cymbals. I love the sound of drums on old 60's recordings where a lot of them are distorting. Led Zepplin I has that a bit even.
  8. Tore Nylund

    Tore Nylund Guest

    Room mics on drums...well here's a tip, if you want "big" drums but not too much room:
    Since you're working on a DAW(?) you can do this:
    Put the "Room mic-tracks" next to the "BD-track" , enlarge the view so that you can see the bd-attacks in the wav's. You will notice that in the "room-mic's wav's" these attacks comes later than on the BD-file (how much later depends on the distance. in your case about 10 feet )
    Then move the entire "Room mic-tracks" in time so that the BD-attacks comes closer in time. You've got to listen while you're doing this, with all of the drum-tracks turned on. I've done some great drums this way. You can get wonderful big drums without having the "room-delay" messing up the sound.
    And you can mix with quite much of the room-mics. I usually just add a limiter on that track, and use compressor on SD, BD and toms.
    If you haven't tried this before, then it's really a joyride. :)
    Sorry for my bad english, I hope that you understood what I meant.
  9. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    Good tip on moving the track to sync with the BD track. I've done that on some recordings to get the bass drum more snappy. I've also left it and added a really quick slap-back delay and everything sounds huge.
  10. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Drum Room Sounds:

    there are basically two differrent kind of "room" sounds associated with drums:
    1. Ambient - rather close. 3 to 5 feet usually from the kit. This of micing usually adds yo the ambience of a perticular part of the kit...to add air and depth. For example...another mic a couple feet out from the kick drum to add depth to the kit, or another mic high oevr the shoulder, aiming at the snare. These mics, will pick up the rest of the kit to certain amounts and are generally full range (i.e. cymbals and all). I mean by this, that one should tend to not radically eq them to remove excess cymbals , but should instead adress this by placement (find that spot where the kick, or floor tom or snare, ect sounds fullest).
    Ambient mics, ca n have a good deal of direct sound of the kit...ususally these mics face the kit, but can be omni, cardiod, figure-8...experiment.

    2.Room (in the strict sense). These mic positions are generally what people are thinking of when they metion room. They tend to be on the far side. Also...they should predominate in Snare, Kick & toms...lesss with cymbals. Emphasis, generally is on the room not direct dound of the kit (your already getting the direct sound from your close mics).
    So, anything that emphasises the drums, and minimzes the cymbals will help. 8-10 feet out , tom hieight pointing at the floor (45 degree angle down), facing the kit to catch tom slap is cool. Facing away fro the kit...cool. Mics in the corner...cool. Big goboes (baffles) on either side of the kit...and then two large diaphram mics(U87's) facing up against the baffles (prefferably a wood surface for this) on the outside, so that the baffles are between the mics and the kit...really compressed...is cool; it emphasises the snare, and being close, minimizes the pre-delay. Mics in a room adjacent. Bottom line...it's the Snare, kick toms you want hear with these mics.
    In the mix...you can do things like mult the room tracks. Gate one set , key'd by the snare, the other set key'd by the kick,ect. Compress and eq these to emphasise the instrument that is keing them. That way there only on for as long as you like...phat and punchy...

    .....gota go...late to track some drums myself...more later
  11. e-cue

    e-cue Active Member

    Currently, a behringer B2 (for this app, I used to use a U87 but the B2 picks up more room sound... It's direct is less focused and much wider) as a mono mic and 2 Royer 122's (or the Coles).

    For me, I should be able to pull these faders up and go "I could use that by itself". Phase is a big issue, not only between these 3 room mics, but between them and the rest of the kit.

    If I'm going for a trashy lo fi sound, I'll plug the B2 into a level loc and go into an LA2A... Each kit, room, drummer, temprature of the room, etc changes the way I do any of this, but it's a good starting point.
  12. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Try tracking "sans" room mics and then running a mix of the kit out to (a) speaker(s) in the live room and micing that with (an) 87(s) or some other LD condenser(s) and running that back to a track or two on the recorder. This way you can experiment with level of cymbals and other elements in the drum kit. Lots more control but you still get the "room" sound. I never compress drums myself unless it’s a mult to feed back in with the uncompressed tracks. Compression on drums takes all the life out of them IMO. (Different strokes).... Fats
    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.
  13. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    I wasn't for a long time compressing (after a long time compressing)...now, for recording to digital, I'm back to compressing and eq'ing to the daw. very small amount's, to maximize my signals to tape. 1-2 db (max) of gain reduction can really help squeeze that extra bity to the DAW...greatly improves the drums for that format. imo (this month).
  14. BattleAngel

    BattleAngel Guest


    You're definitely right on with that 'micing the mix' idea. I've been doing that and things similar to it for a few months now and love the results. Great, unique sounds can come from ideas like this.
  15. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    I'll keep that in mind. I haven't had the oprotunity to track drums in my DAW yet. In order to do this I have "give up" my office. (I love my office). But it will happen soon as I grow weary of futzing with my drum computer. (I hate drum computers). As you can see I have a love / hate thing happining here! The deciding factor is if I can get hooked up with a good drummer (oxymoron) in my area. Once I find one that is willing to take my abuse (direction) I will probably clear out my internet computer and set up my drum set in here. I have some decent comps, an 1178 , blackface LA4's and a Manley EL OP so I'll give your sugestion a try. ......... Fats
  16. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    MixerMan does that alot
  17. BattleAngel

    BattleAngel Guest

    He's the Bitchslap guy, right? lol. He sounds like an interesting engineer! I wonder what he's done that I might have heard
  18. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Originally posted by BattleAngel:
    Yeah, this is really just a variation on a theme of live echo chamber technique. It is very cool. It seems to add air to a mix. I have had clients bring in ADATS that were recorded in very dead rooms that had no "sparkle" to them at all. By simply using this technique it brought the tracks to life. Clients were amazed! I have found that a U87 works best for this (one of the only really good uses for this mic IMO). I have been doing this for years, perhaps before that "other guy" was born ??! Fats

    Tannoy, Dynaudio, Blue Sky, JBL, Earthworks, Westlake, NS 10's :D , Genelec, Hafler, KRK, and PMC
    Those are good. …………………….. Pick one.

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