XY at Rehearsal

Discussion in 'Location Recording' started by Codemonkey, Jan 14, 2009.

  1. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    XY mics on a drum kit - roughly above the toms pointing at cymbals. Placement give or take.
    The kit and in fact, the band, isn't very loud and this is while the band is singing at a rehearsal.

    Good thing? Not the best thing? Terrible idea?

    I've tried something vaguely in an XY pattern using cheap mics and got something roughly acceptable but is there a better idea (with 2 mics)?
  2. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I've done a lot of live recordings (clubs/gigs & rehearsals), primarily with various XY and some other stereo techniques

    First are you mixing/recording the whole band, or just the kit?
    Using close mics?

    My general "rules":
    A coincident XY (capsules perpendicular and nearly touching) will give you a smaller stereo spread, but limit issues w/ phasing and bass.
    A setup w/ the mics pointed away from each other (90-140 deg), 6-18in gives a wider spread, but introduces the above issues.

    To do the coincident, you have to go a good distance above the kit to ensure a good balance of the kit's pieces. You can get in a bit tighter w/ a spread XY, but will lose some of the snare and kick.

    The higher you go, the more you introduce the rest of the room into the mics. Depends what you're doing exactly, how isolated you want the kit.

    I've also gotten some great kit sounds with two smaller pencil condensers at each side of the kit, a few feet above, pointed at the opposite side of the kit itself (L @ hihat/snare, R @ ride/floor tom.) Take note of phasing issues in this case especially.

    Depending on your specific needs, you can also try an M/S setup in front of the kit. That gets a little tricky if it's just for live sound reinforcement, however.

    Just a few thoughts based on what's worked for me.
    Of course, if it's a relatively small space and you're not recording, I wouldn't mic/run anything but vocals and keys.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Is this for PA or, for recording purposes?

    I would tight mike the drums and not put anything on the overheads. Unless all you want is splishy splashy throughout the entire recording? I like to hear the meat of the drums. The punch. The concussion. Your choir microphones will do a fine job picking up the cymbals. You'll have more than enough in ambient pick up.

    Yolanda Adams Live 95
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. GeckoMusic

    GeckoMusic Guest

    If recording only drums with two microphones, recorder man setup, or XY in front of the kit works for me. Like Remy said, over the kit is good if you just want cymbals.

    If you have other ambient microphones, then you probably are not going to need overheads on the drums. The last recording I did with a choir and drums, I set up an XY over the set for the cymbals, but the choir microphones picked up enough. I had just a little of the XY in there to center the drums in the mix. (The kit was on stage right, so I mixed some both the X and Y into the left channel to balance it.)

    I think we need more information. What else do you have microphones on?
  5. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Soapfloats, thanks. Got a bit of a model in my head now of angle/height and it's effects.

    This is for recording while the band is at a rehearsal. Meaning I don't have to run a main mix, but still provide monitor mixes.

    The mic situation while I had tried this was:
    3 close mic'd singers (--> vocal wedge)
    1 singing keyboardist (picking up a lot of keyboard)
    Keyboard direct feed (works well with the above)
    Lead guitar feed (--> drum monitor)
    Other guitar feed
    1 mic on the kick
    2 XY'd above the kit at maybe 110° (now I know to make this 90°) - panned 75% each way.

    Note that the keyboard has *large* speakers and line outs, and that there is no choir.

    From the recording I got, I figure that more accurate placement, and a mic on the snare panned centre would fix it up nicely.

    I had previously tried Recorderman, but the snare was too far off centre. Nice cymbals though. This XY experiment though, had nice cymbals too. Still needs better placement really...

    Going on what Remy has said, I think a cardoid mic on the mid/hi toms (9" up) may go down well with some HF rolloff. Mix in XY taken from higher up (3') above the kit and a snare mic, comp'ed heavily and blended in. Add a kick mic and boom, sorted (hopefully no boomyness though).

    So far I've learned that XY is a viable option for overhead micing and that it works well enough with £25 mics. And it's better to make them coincident.
    Thank you all.
  6. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    That's actually my initial mic setup for most kits while recording - kick, snare, OHs, and a tom mic (usually a 421).
    I like using my 414s on either side of the kit, focused on catching the cymbals/hihat & some tom/snare.
    But if you don't want to break out your LDCs for overheads, the coincident works really nice for me. I've even gotten good sounds with MXL 603s that way.
    If I have the channels to spare for more mics, I might go to the bottom snare, kick beater side, kit front, all toms, and/or room mic - it all depends on what's called for.
  7. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "to break out your LDCs for overheads"
    I don't have any. I used dynamics.
  8. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind me asking, which ones?

    The notion of using dynamics as OHs is new to me - I'm interested how those cheap dynamics work.

    Sometimes cheap works great (my best vox combo to date is an MXL 3000 + Presonus BlueTube; total cost to me around $200). Beats AKG 414, Bluebird, and others run through my good pres!!
  9. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    I believe I was using 2 AT Brand-X's. Maybe $60 overall for 2?

    I live with only the highest quality setups...
  10. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Based on the quality of your input in these forums, I'd say you do just fine w/ those "Brand-X" dynamics.
    Which only encourages me all the more to try something like that when I've got the chance!
  11. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Most of my input is repeating what others have said.

    Although that does get it into MY brain as much as anyone elses...

  12. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    I know as well as anyone it's pretty hard these days to get a "pro" to study under.

    Luckily there's these forums w/ a veritable host of crotchety old know-it-alls willing to tell us how they used to record a 12-piece band w/ one mic plugged into a cassette player! :wink:

    Seriously though, I've gotten SO MUCH great advice here from people who have amazing stuff, but have made things happen w/ much less.
    If the advice has proven true for you, then pass it on, please.
    All we can do is say: "This works for me - it might work for you"

    It reminds me of the jazz community - there's people like Miles that would play with his back to the audience so no one could see his fingerings, and those that realize they are mothers and fathers of a dying *art* & are willing to pass on some knowledge to ensure its survival.

    Hopefully we can do right by them!
  13. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "Seriously though, I've gotten SO MUCH great advice here from people who have amazing stuff, but have made things happen w/ much less."

    Much the same.
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