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Where to place the Drums in the room?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by WLoveday, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. WLoveday

    WLoveday Guest

    Any opinions on this?

    The room is a drywalled basement with a low ceiling (prob about 8'.) Cement floor covered with carpet. The room is probably 20 x 30. The kit is against the back wall, standard stage setup. Any suggestions for better placement of the kit?

    Right now I have crisply smeared mud if that makes any sense.

    I do not have any portable traps or diffusers, so as an attempt to control some reflections I hung thick packing blankets over the kit off the rafters (the ceiling is just rafters with insulation) and down the sides of the kit acting as pseudo gobos. Basically it's now a "packing blanket booth." I realize this is far from good treatment, but it seems to help.

    The kit is decent but, not top of the line.

    I thought about moving the kit, since this room is big enough that I can try a few places.

    SO here's the question: Is there any general consensous on how kit placement in the room affects tone?

    ie: more reflections close to wall, better to be off center in the room, a lot of bass in the corner, or not a good idea?

    It's a fairly big kit and is a lot of work to move, which I'm sure will be met with some resistance, so generally speaking where is a good place to start? In a rooms like these, where have you guys had the best results?

    Of course I know it "all depends", and "just go try it" is the first response, but please TRY to give some insight.

    This is a project where I'm the Engineer AND the band mate so moving the kit around =

    -Fun for me/learning experience.

    -PITA/ Moaning and Groaning for them.

    Trying to avoid the latter as much as possible.

  2. A couple of suggestions (although I am not a pro):

    1. Sounds like some of the problem may be with the actual micing. Check out the "2 questions regarding recording drums" string for some suggestions. Mic placement can do a lot.

    2. I'd stay away from the corners of the room. You want this as dead/dry as possible. Also, what is behind the drums, as well as under them (cememt floors suck in basements)?

    3. I know the drummer does not want to hear this, but how loud is he playing? The louder he is, the tougher it is to cope with all the reflected waves. A big drum sound does not necessarily come from pounding the @!#%&^$^ out of the drums.
  3. jonyoung

    jonyoung Well-Known Member

    Dec 31, 2003
    Wes, I don't know if you'd be moving the blanket booth with the kit, but if so, I don't think there'll be much change in tone at all regardless of where you place the kit. If you had the kit without blankets in the middle of the room, you'll wind up with a more live sound because the mics will hear the space between the kit and the walls. Personally, I'm having good luck setting drums up in a corner,in a room about 16x30, but I do have diffusers running all the way around the room as well as a cathedral ceiling, so no parallel surfaces between floor and ceiling. All the mics I'm using are cardioid or supercardioid, and the kick and toms are far enough away from the corner with the drummer on his throne that excessive bass has not been a problem. buldog's right about paying attention to mic placement, an inch one way or the other can make all the difference in the world, as well as mic choice. The tuning of the kit matters too! Try as many variations as you can, it's the best learning method out there. Good luck.
  4. tripnek

    tripnek Active Member

    Jun 9, 2003
    Here is a few good resources for drum recording.




  5. Ozzlander

    Ozzlander Guest

    Sounds like the first thing you need to do is try and get rid of those high end frequencies. I m a drummer and i can almost hear the sound your getting from that room by the way you have described it YUK!. The actual room size you have is a bonus its just all the hard surfaces which are giving you the problems. Try hanging blankets in the corners, get some old matresses and put them up against the wall for a quick fix to your problem. As far as the kit position is concerned what i would do is setup your snare on its stand with your stool and move to different places around the room and give it a hit, normally if you find a sweet spot in the room where your snare sounds nice :c: so will the rest of your drumkit, also if you setup with your back to a hard wall try using a big square piece of ply wood or timber sheeting as a baffle behind you. Cheers, Mick.

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