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Where to record these drums?

Discussion in 'Drums' started by ThirdBird, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Here is the space, a large classroom:

    20' x 40' long, 12' high.
    Tile Floors, Brick Walls, Drop Ceiling, Sound Panels up high

    Here are some pictures:
    Pictures by centralregional - Photobucket

    Any thoughts on where to place them (and any room mics) in this location for optimal results?

    Normally I think that the building materials would be a problem, but that space is so large and there is so many objects in it, it helps reduce many of the unwanted reflections. Being in a school, I am going to use some giant hard foam gym mats as baffles.

    Thanks for any input! I am going to be getting sounds and starting recording tomorrow.
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    well here's my two cents, i'd START by puttin 'em w/ the drummers back roughly facing one of the corners to try to cut down on the downsides of parallel walls, although this room is a decent size. not in the middle, but maybe like 8ft. from the back wall, just not close to the 'closest' frontal wall boundry. nice set of xy overheads along w/ some in close mics, all in phase. then i'd leave the entry door somewhat open, and put the mics facing (yes, point at) the nearest left and right walls a foot or two outside, about 6 inches away from wall( 414's, or 421's, or 57's) they all work. This will sound HUGE. If too huge, use the same room micing technique, and move them inside the room, the natural reverb will tighten/shorten as they move closer to the kit. do it right, and you won't even think about using a reverb pluggin. The how 'open' the door the door is will help determine the decay time.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    I'd stick him smack dab in the middle-of-the-road. You tight mic the drums and stick your overheads nearly 10 feet above the drum kit. That's the way we used to do it over at Media Sound, NYC. It was done that way in the big studio A which was the main sanctuary of the former 58th St., Baptist Church. Nothing was placed around the drummer and the studio was still virtually identical to the original sanctuary. So there were perpendicular walls but they were a good distance away. The overheads generally sounded glorious that way. So I wouldn't worry about sticking any foam mats around until you've heard it and worked with it to get it to its best. And the extra fun is sticking a couple of extra microphones on either side of the room to be mixed in for a totally unique acoustic soundscape. And don't worry about bleed between guitars and drum sets in a large space like that. It's all usable. Baby, if you want ambience, you've got it coming.

    I love the sound of drums in big spaces
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  4. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Another thing to try is the usual role of thumb for the "sweet spot" for mixing: center of the short dimension, golden ratio (2/(1+Sqrt(5))=61.8 %(approx.)) along the long dimension. This tutorial from Fab Dupont has some advice on placement of drums and gobos.
  5. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    I used the setup from Kmetal. What made life very difficult was that from the time I started setting up and getting sounds the temperature rose about 15 degrees, ruining the tuning of the drums. Unfortunately, I don't have control over the heat in this space.

    These tracks are pretty raw, some panning, no compression and a little eq.

    Here is some examples of the sounds I've gotten with the room mic on, off, and in the mix:

  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Yeah but that room sounds cool. That's the sound of real drums. Now invert the phase on your bass drum. Add some compression and downward expansion on snare and bass drum. Gate the tom-toms. And mostly rely upon the beautiful ambient overheads. Your other stuff sounds cool also but some of those synthesizer blurts weren't pretty. Your vocals are awesome sounding. You're doing most everything correctly and quite nicely.

    Okay... next...
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. ThirdBird

    ThirdBird Active Member

    Thanks for all of the kind words! Apparently, you guys are working your mojo on my skills!

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