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Help with Drum Sound?

Hi All- I was hoping for some constructive criticism regarding compression and eq on this basic rock drum track. I notice the Rhythm forum is gone so hopefully this is the right place to post.

Recorded in 17' x 9' x 8' home studio (very dead) through Soundcraft Spirit Studio board w/slight subtractive eq and dbx 1066 over easy compression and RNC 1773 overall. DW kit with Zildjian K cymbals. 57's on toms and snare, D112 on bass halfway through front head. Octava MK319's as overheads. Direct from board into computer not using any software except Audacity to export to mp3.

I think little less compression and wee bit more time on levels but hey what do I know, I'm just a drummer! Bent, would love to hear what you think about this... sorry it took so long... got busy.

Here's the link to the track. Thanks to everyone in advance for your comments!


RemyRAD Sun, 03/02/2008 - 18:54
I thought your tracks sounded like a good solid recording. Certainly from here you can start to manipulate them to taste. I'm curious to know where and how you use your 1066 compressor? Across the entire mix? Or on individual drum tracks?

I would venture to say that you utilized it across the entire stereo mix? But there is so much more you could do with that compressor and each individual track. Adding some limiting and/or gating to your drums can do lots to tighten them up. Then you may not want to touch the overheads? You could also had some digital room ambience to make your room larger.

My only complaint is that the guitar, keyboards, bass player & Singer were rather weak. I wouldn't pay them much if I were you.

I'm just not a big fan of the D112. It just lacks balls even though it looks like one.

Lady likes balls
Ms. Remy Ann David

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 03/02/2008 - 21:04
Remy, thanks for the feedback. Each channel except snare and overhead sent varying levels to the 1066, and I think I just didn't have the overhead volume level high enough in the mix to be useful anyway. For the 1066, I think I sent 100% bass and 50% on toms, maybe HH and overheads had 25% at most from what I recall. But then everything went thru the RNC to the computer, which may explain a lot.

Yup, I really need to learn to maximize use of the 1066 for sure and add a bit of reverb in OH for ambience. On the bass... I've heard of people miking 3-5ft in front of bass drum to get the sub frequency and mix to taste with bass mic... do you think this is a reasonable solution or do I need better placement? I tried D112 halfway in drum with mic toward beater but it lacked depth, so I pulled it all the way out instead. Wasn't much better.

cfaalm Mon, 03/03/2008 - 15:18
The trick with the mic 3-5ft in front of the kick:

Take a LD condenser and set it 3-5ft in front of the kick. This may also be an old speaker where you soldered the + to hot and the - to cold on a XLR male chassis part. This picks up a lot of LF. It depends on the style of music whether this works or not. In a jazz combo you end up with far too much lows. In the mix you can gate the distant mic while using the signal from the close mic in the side chain. This will be perfectly accurate. Some people trigger a 30Hz sine wave and add that for extra lows. That however is a bit more R'n'B stuff.

The lows from the mic in the kick come from the proximity effect mostly. There is a certain point right before the beater where it is strongest. Taking the mic from the beater reduces the proximity effect and thus you lose LF.

What also makes an excellent kick mic is a PZM (doesn't even have to be a Crown) that you simply put in there on a small pillow. It will pick up surrounding noises because it is a kind of omni. You can gate that baby in the same fashion with a mic pointing at the beater on the drummers' side of the kick. That one can be any cardioid you have handy. Adding that signal in the mix can add a nice tick.

RemyRAD Tue, 03/04/2008 - 21:30
Groovemonster911, from what you described, you're obviously using the 1066 on an effects send. Now you can do that but that's really for effects like reverb, delays, etc.. Compressors should be patched for individual instruments. So if you only have a single compressor with 2 channels, one channel would be patched for bass drum. One channel would be patched for snare drum. Or both would be patched for overhead compression, for example. Not placed on to the effects send as you are doing. So you really aren't getting any compression. You're getting your original signal with some compression included perhaps, but not from what it sounds like to me? This technique can be useful in certain situations but you're not getting anything out of this. It's generally not how professionals process audio on drum kits. So effects belong on effects sends. Compressors should be patched into individual tracks and/or used across the stereo mix bus for overall compression and/or limiting of the entire stereo mix. So close but no cigar.

I'll occasionally enjoy a Monte Christo
Ms. Remy Ann David