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What's your favorite overhead technique

Member for

16 years 7 months
ORTF, XY, spaced pair, recorderman method..

I tried all of these last night.

1. ORTF gives the best clearest imaging. Everything seems to be placed well. Toms sounded the the best with it. And cymbals imaging seemed to pretty tight.

2. Recorderman method. Best for reinforcing the snare and kick, IMO. Places hi tom and fl tom far left and right redpectively. Sounds very full but cymbals tend to get a little phasey. For instacne the hi hat when played open will show up split on the left and right. Basically cymbal stereo imagining inst as wide but strangely the toms are. weird.

tied for last:
3. Spaced Pair: Sort of like ORTF but to my ears the cymbals dont retain stereo imaging as well and doesnt reinforce the rest of the kit. Not a fan.

3. XY : just kinda boring.

Last night, I recorded my buddy playing drums. He was using my kit which tuned to the best of my abilities.

Drum Specs:

1967 Ludwig Champagne Gold 4pc
kick 14x20 | snare 5x14 |
rack tom 8x12 | floor tom 14x14
Hi Hats: 1960s 14" Zildjian Avedis (On the thin side)
Ride: 1960s 20" Zildjian Avedis (On the medium side)
Crash: 16" A. Zildjian & Cie Vintage (thin)

Emad Kick beater side, felt style beater, Embassadors on toms, ambassador clear on bottom. Some sort Coated Aquarian like an Ambassador on snare, evans 300 hazel on bottom.


(I just got a pair of at4033 that I wanted to test out as overheads. I have been using nt5s. The nt5s are brighter. The 4033 seem more natural to my ears and more open.)

Kick= D6
Rack Tom=D2
Floor Tom=D2
Overheads= at4033

I am going to post three clips below each using three different overheads technique. spaced pair, ORTF, and Recordman method.

IM not going to tell you which is which since I want people to decide which they like best without being influenced by what they themselves use for overhead mic'ing technique.

Here's a pic of my drums:

click here to listen

here's a pic of the space used drums placed center stage):

THESE CLIPS ARE RAW. NO eq, compression or reverb and other such effects that manipulate audio signals.

pick your favorite. Ill post aftar a day or two and ill tell which overhead technique used.


Member for

15 years 10 months

mark_van_j Wed, 11/15/2006 - 12:18
I would've rather heard just the overhead tracks, but I guess adding the other mics makes it more realistic...

Drum Sample A is most pleasent. Natural... I would use this for jazz or any other acoustic type recording.

Drum Sample B is wiiide. Depending on what you are recording... If it was a rock or metal record, and I just needed wide cymbals, this would probably be the one. Otherwise it makes my head hurt... :D

Drum Sample C I feel is something in between. The cymbals seem further away, but it's wider than sample A but doesn't make my head hurt. I would probably use this for some alt-rock or indie thing. I do hear some sort of weird snare thing going on every now and then on the right channel. Do you guys hear this, or is it just me?

I can make pretty good guesses on which one's which, but I wouldn't want to spoil the fun for everyone else...