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Snare mic and hihat, drum room mics

Discussion in 'Drums' started by jasonwagner, Mar 2, 2010.

  1. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Hello all,

    When trying to gate a top snare mic in a song there are a few spots where the drummer was playing the hihat way too loud and I find it impossible to gate the snare mic in any fashion that does not either, ruin the snare sound or have the hihat bleeding through in only a few spots where he was playing the loudest. Is there any other option besides re-tracking and having him not beat the hell out of the hats?

    Also when using room mics that are not set up in stereo on either side of the drums, for example I found putting a mic in the fireplace really captures a great full drum sound, how do you all mix it in so it doesn't take away too much of the stereo image? Is it even possible? Right now I bring it up just under the other mics to add some fullness but I can't bring it up as much as I would like without it sounding odd with everything else panned out.

  2. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    First of all, consider why you need to gate the snare so much? Are you seeking some kind of really processed sound? If not, then your issue may be correct mic placement and phase. Phase will also be the issue with your fireplace mic, which you are basically using as an ambience mic imho. So consider the way you put digital effects in a 100% parallel mix, and use this mic similarly. The better quality your interface and mic, the better ambience this will give you. This assumes that you're not being conned by psychoacoustics and the fireplace is too tempting while not useful at all.....

    Take a look at 'g DPA microphone university' to ensure you have the science behind this down.

    Consider your fireplace mic a mono 'room mic' and ensure its far away enough, or correctly positioned, to get in phase. Get it in phase and blend to taste. Keep 2 seperate mics for stereo imaging, and position them correctly also.
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    If the HH bleed is only in a few places, why not just cut it out manually?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Kinda what I'm thinking.

    One thing to keep in mind.....when you are micing things up its good to have somewhat of an idea what your goal is going to be at the end. If you are looking to gate something, then mic placement around this source you are gating is going to be a critical decision. If I knew I was going to gate the snare either in the capture or as a mixing device, I would not place a mic on a hi-hat and would pay strict attention to the placement of that snare mic so its gating is restricted to it as best as possible. This is the hard part of using gates......the bleed from other sources will negate the effective use of such a device. If you are gating 'after-the-fact' as a repair, then you are going to have to decide on what to keep, what to replace, and what will work with the addition of this gate.

    I would look to the overheads for my hi-hat sound and completely turn that track off since its getting in the way of the snare gate. Perhaps when you do this, the snare will settle down and you'll find no need to gate.

    Perhaps the mic-in-the-fireplace is simply far enough away from the kit as to be out of time slightly. You may have to nudge this track up a smidge and get it in time with the initial hits to make it an effective piece of your puzzle.
  5. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Thanks for the replies all, the hihat bleed is on the snare mic. I removed the gate from the snare mic and overall it is better but he was just hitting the hats to hard as the bleed is still there on the snare mic. The original reason I was gating the snare mic was to try and get rid of the bleed but there are parts where he is hitting the hat as the same time as the snare and that screws up trying to gate it as it bleeds in when the snare opens the gate. I can't cut the hat out as he hits the hat and snare at the same time in places.

    The fireplace mic sounds great and is only about 8 feet from the kit, as far as I can tell it is not out of time but will look into that just to be sure. The issue is that if I bring the level of that mic up it brings all the drums to the center as it is only the one mic and is capturing a mono full kit sound. I am going to assume there is no trick to fix this issue and just keep it at the highest level I can without messing up the stereo image of the set too much.
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    You're going to have to use your room mic as a mono ambient mic like the others said.
    I do this all the time. Forget stereo image. Use this track to add a sense of space. Not too much though.

    Rely on your OHs for your stereo image, as well as any toms if close mic'd.
    Otherwise, you'll have to set up a separate set of stereo room mics, like the others also suggested.

    The best way to check phase is to monitor in mono and see if things start diminishing as you add tracks.
    If you like your OH sound and get a loss in either your snare, kick, or toms when you add the close mics, you've got phasing issues.
    The same holds true for any other mic recording the drums...
  7. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    I know that this doesn't help with the track you are working on, but of course the real key to getting the high hat rejection you want is placement of the snare mic. With some drum setups it's definitely a tight spot getting the hat in the null of the snare mic. You may need to get creative with clamps and stands. One of the mics on my shopping list is an Audix D-1. I've liked some of the samples and it is a small mic with a tight pattern. Should be good for an application like this.
  8. jasonwagner

    jasonwagner Active Member

    Thanks again guys, great info!

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