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Where do i put a 414 to record a kit for demo?

Discussion in 'Microphones' started by kmetal, Aug 9, 2012.

  1. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I'm thinking figure 8 between kick snr? its Pre production w/ a decent metal (more galloping, than 32's on kick) I'm gonna just go to their spot and catch them on a portastudio, nothing more than pre work, but i'm still interested in opinions as to getting the overall drums. Its just to kinda 'hear' the stuff for the band members, which put on a decent show. I've worked w/ these people before.
    Just kinda working over a plan, to keep things audible.
    The (usual) whole point is to make the songs as good as possible before the studio version, so these are planned as some roughs, and open to anybodys thoughts.

    So far it's 57 micing vox,gtr,bass. I have to use phantom power on the 414, so i question just summing a kick mic thru my (2ch) ART mp1a w/ snare .

    I'd like to make 1 mic do the deed (drums), so i'm thinking where????

    i figure an untreated basement, and a loud band. jw what others would say
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Out in front of the kit at drummers head height. Move till you hear the 'sweet spot' and the focus come into being. Dont worry its not going to be a mysterious thing. Its really obvious when you hit it. Cardioid is the way to go for this. If its really good and loud you might want to put the pad on for this mic.
  3. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    yeah that sounds like a good idea i'm gonna try that. thanks.
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Dave's advice is a good standard choice. Another is as a single overhead - basically in the place you would put the overhead mic in recorderman or Glyn Johns. Of course, all this depends on the balance you want. You are really mixing with mic position rather than faders - a good lesson in itself. If you want to spend a few bucks, you can hear Fab Dupont's take on this in a Puremix tutorial. He talks a lot about position of the drum set in the room as well as position of the mic. (Of course, he uses a C12, which is cheating. But then he gets realistic and uses an SM81. Same principles apply.)
  5. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    lol i've spent a few more bucks than i have over the years, so i dunno about paying for a tutorial right now, but i'll keep the link. OH was my first inclination, but given the genre, i think i'd pick up way to much symbols/snare and not enough of the uber-important kick. i mean i could use drumagog back at the studio, but that's not the point of this pre-production. But it's worth a try, and i will try that too, cuz the drummer is pretty tom heavy, it just might work.

    As far as instrument position goes, if this was the final recording, i'd work a bunch w/ that, i read a chapter the other day that said they took 5 days to record korn, moving the set all around, till they settled. I just wanna capture 'what they sound like at practice' so we can work on arrangement stuff. But, as an obsessed person i'm sure a reasonable amount of mixing/editing will go into to too.

    I love OH's and even in mono a decent OH and kick mic could get me by alot.

    I used an 87 (at the studio i work out of, but don't own) as a spot mic about 3ft from the kit and like waist high, and found it very punchy. which spawned the thought of sticking my 414 between kick/snr.

    My boss doesn't even move his c-12 between his two studio locations, so it'd be pretty awkward for me to ask him to borrow it for this purpose. but hmmm maybe as a mono OH on the final product??? he hasn't heard that mic in the (new bedford location) yet, which is where we all generally track.

    I'd like to just try 3-5 different approaches for pre-prod, i've got 3, so maybe a couple more

    Aside note- i got into this right before digital was the norm, so i still [practice/use/learn] mic technique. when i went to digital, cpu's were still in the mhz's and were limited. i'm no minimalist per`say, but if it doesn't sound right dry, it doesn't sound right yet...ya know..... adjust the amp, the mic, the placement, the room baffles. save the post tracking stuff for enhancement, not correction. I think my generation are the last people who'll think this way generally, cuz there was a huge turning point in capability after the recording. W/ some decent hours in the live sound realm this stuff isn't going away if you ask me. (which nobody did LOL)

    Thanks dave and bob, much appreciated.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    One thing nobody here has mentioned is the simple combining of an overhead and a kick mic, on a XLR Y cord. You can still put a condenser microphone overtop and a dynamic in the bass drum. Loading of the two microphones together will not result to sounding awful. But you'll get a better blend and mix of the drum kit. Then it's just playing with the placement a little bit to obtain the right balance. Phantom power will cancel in the dynamic microphone and will continue to power the condenser microphone. In the worst case scenario, you may have to run the drum set track into a compressor either software or hardware. This will present a more refined sound than a single microphone. Want to get fancy? Use a phase inversion XLR to XLR adapter on the bass drum microphone. Amazing how tight you can get a drum kit to sound that way. And you won't damage anything in the process. There are so many wrong things you can do right. Why limit yourself if you have no limits? These are fun and inexpensive things to do. The only real control you'll need is to keep from laughing when it ends up sounding awesome. But you can giggle. Then you can walk outside and enjoying the " Doobie Brothers " and then go in and cut some more tracks. After you all stop coughing of course. LOL (cough, choke, gag, that was smooth)

    I'd like the Doobie Brothers to play with my Steely Dan
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    Love the idea, i am terrible at soldering.
    i'm like 0 for 12. gtrs,1/4"/xlr. I need to get better. Super interesting approach. I don't wanna get fancy here. I really don't mind the summed kick/oh approach, given my 166xl/mp1a/cassette machine could deal w/ it. It's a personal goal of mine to stay sparse (recording wise). i could just use my low end 18ch interface instead. I really wanna hear what these guys sound like in their spot, cuz we got a bit too sterile, last time around. Satisfactory for cd, but eh, not live-ish.

    OK so far. kick/OH or FRNT. This should be rippin. And i figure pretty heavy kick compression, modest on OH/FRNT (166xl).

    still thinkin.

    thanks guys, kyle
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I believe it was Switchcraft, that actually offered Y XLR adapter cords with one female and two males or one male and two females. I have nearly a dozen of those. Some are actually modified with a ground lift on one of the XLR's when the need has required a quick and dirty split and when all of my transformer microphone splitters are in use. So these particular XLR "Y" cables/adapters have come in pretty handy including one that was also modified with a single XLR wired for inverted phase. With pins two and three reversed when I need it for a quick differential microphone, which actually worked quite well with a pair of AKG 414's which was with one of the non-ground lifted XLR Y adapters. So you purchase them intact and make minor modifications to a single XLR to either be ground lifted or phase inverted with all of the grounds attached. You may not use them a lot but when you need one, you'll have what you need when you need it. Of course those pre-made adapters are a little more expensive than just building up your own and I've done both and have both.

    The nice thing about honing your soldering capabilities on a XLR connector will prevent the chance of overheating and burning up active electronic components such as transistors and capacitors, IC chips, etc.. Remember to heat the metal and not the wires until the solder flows smoothly. Don't worry about that brown junkie goober rosin core flux as it is there to make the solder flow smoothly and is not conductive. If you don't like the nasty appearance of the flux, it's easily cleaned off with denatured alcohol and an old tooth brush which will make it look much prettier when you finish. And this is all done with a simple inexpensive 25-30 Watt pencil style soldering iron. Soldering guns are high temperature overkill and should only be used for industrial soldering and not soldering of small electronic components, not even for XLR connectors. Once you get the hang of a fine soldering technique, you'll then want to try your hand at building up some kits. And then you'll start loving what you can create with DIY projects. Talk about feeling good about your accomplishments... you'll feel the best when you switch on something you have actually built. The amount of confidence it can instill in one's self takes you way beyond the feeling of just being a good recording engineer. You then start thinking in circuitry laden terms. You'll become more intimate and one with your equipment (I know that sounds a bit kinky). But it's oh so true. Your understandings of gain staging and circuit topography will take you to the next professional level. Then there won't be anything you can't do or can't understand. For instance, being able to change the impedance loading on the microphone is a big deal today. It can be a real game changer with something that simple. While most microphones are specified at 150 ohms, they can be loaded into 30/50/150/300/600/1500 ohm loads and that microphone will sound and respond differently at those different load values. Most of the time I really don't care about that since I typically load my microphones into API & Neve preamps and like those just the way they are. But that is an option we are finding on many newer boutique oriented microphone preamps. And the difference in their tonality with those variable load preamps can be quite astounding sounding. You won't quite believe your ears. Or so to speak. Because hearing is believing.

    That DBX 166 is a fine unit. I know I love mine. And the noise gate in the 166 also works fairly well on bass drum and snare drum, even though I like my gating after the compression rather than before. C'est la vie, one has no choice on the DBX 166. And it still works quite well. I just don't get as much meat or body when I gate before the compression but I can still live with that. So you takes what you can get.

    There is always a way to get what you want
    Mx. Remy Ann David

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