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Urgent(ish) help needed for total newbie.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EdPlaysDrums, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. EdPlaysDrums

    EdPlaysDrums Guest

    Hi there everyone, please persevere with what might be a very long post :)

    Also, I'll preface this by saying I have done a fair bit of research into this before I came begging for help here, but the information I found was mostly conflicting, so I thought I'd ask you lovely people instead!

    Anyway, in a nutshell I'm a music student shortly going into my final year and for my major project I'll be attempting to record a percussion concerto by myself in the studio, multitracking each part (of which there are four). I was trying to get it all done before the new semester (and inevitable) pandemonium starts, and so I've been booked into the studio on the 14th for a week.

    Unfortunately I've realised I actually know very little about recording techniques, what few skills I've picked up in that area are firmly based in post-production... so basically I'm here to try and get some advice on mic choice/placement so I can make this recording sound as good as possible, this contributes 25% of my final degree mark so I want it to be good!

    So enough backstory, here's the instrumentation of the 4 parts:

    Part 1:

    5-octave marimba

    Part 2:

    5 mounted toms, mounted tambourine, snare drum, bongoes and vibraphone (which will be recorded by itself)

    Part 3:

    Assorted cymbals, concert bass drum, snare drum, temple blocks

    Part 4:

    5 roto-toms, concert bass drum, mounted tambourine, snare drum, brake drum.

    So basically I'm just wondering how the hell do I go about micing each setup, and what mics should I use? The marimba part is definitely the most important, but for all the parts I want to get the right balance between definition of each note and overall sound. Ideally I don't want to have to faff about with eq-ing and all that too much during editing, so I'm looking for the best initial sound from each set-up.

    I think that's everything, thanks for reading to the end, and sorry for being cheeky and asking such a large question, but after all the conflicting information I've read, I thought I'd just come straight to the experts :p

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Mics? Generic answer:
    As many SM58s as you can plug in. Unless they have something REALLY shiny or ancient looking.

    You might wish to use different mics on each, actually. The variation in tone should mean less faffing with EQ.

    BTW - the answers here will conflict. Opinions are opinions but here we mostly offer the same advice: technique above gear.
     
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    It depends what the arrangement will be like.

    Are you recording each part as an ensemble? ie: each section of percussion to be played as a single instrumental part?


    If so, then you will want to use overheads as your basic micing of each section of percussion instruments.

    Any solo or melody instruments that you want to record alone will require close micing.

    Small diaphram condensers will give you the best control of the percussion, but again, it is dependant on the arrangement.
     
  4. EdPlaysDrums

    EdPlaysDrums Guest

    Hi guys, thanks for your replies, I've just noticed I didn't explain how I was going to arrange things...

    You've got it exactly right Davedog, each part will be recorded as one, so the only two instruments that'll be recorded by themselves are the marimba and vibraphone.

    When it comes down to mixing them I'm intending to position the parts as if they were live so:

    Code:
                          
                                   Part 3
                  
            Part 2                                         Part 4
    
                              Marimba (Part 1)
    
    Now am I right in thinking that even though they'll be panned in the mix to achieve that positioning, I'll still want to retain some stereo separation (if that's the right term) within each part itself? And if so, how do I get a good stereo shape from the mic positions? Is this where I have to use a Blumlein pair or something?

    In terms of mics, I'm pretty sure we have a ton of sm58s, but I'm not sure about any of the others. Can you throw some names my way and I'll ask the technician if we have them?

    In terms of positioning am I right in thinking that dynamic mics should go closer whereas the condensers should be a little further back?

    Thanks again for your help :)
     

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