Skip to main content

designing a room that will make drums larger than life

Member for

21 years 2 months
Does anyone know what makes a good drum room? High ceilings? Cedar panelling? Any tips are info you guys have gathered along the way would be great.

Thanks,
Blake

Comments

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Sun, 06/10/2001 - 03:10
Good drum rooms seem to just 'happen' rather than being designed. The one exception I can think of to this rule is the "A" room at Avatar in NY [formerly the Power Station].

The one thing that most great drum rooms have in common are high ceilings, and very non-parallel walls.

With "smaller" rooms, you can often get away with a pretty dead ceiling [like a full foot of fiberglass insulation, cloth covered], one side wall angled out, the front wall also angled out, with the rear wall can be live or dead or a little of both.

The other side wall pretty dead. The "live" walls, either drywall or glass [or a combination of the two], the "dead" wall a whole lot of cloth covered fiberglass insulation, studs, and a good foot of airspace behind the insulation.

If you need something to mount the insulation, try 1/4' plywood [phonetically called Loo-on, I'm not sure of the actual spelling], hung from wire from an "eye hook", with no attachment on the bottom. Try to make each piece slightly different in size [one an inch longer than the other, another 3 inches shorter, etc.]

By 'angled out' I mean like the top of the wall is a foot farther away from the drummer than the bottom, and the front part of the wall (where it meets the front wall) is a foot farther away than the rear of that wall...

There is a saying, "in randomness, there is order". This seems to especially apply to recording environments. From my experience, everytime I've recorded in an environment that was designed by "math"...it's very neutral and boring sounding. I prefer rooms that just sort of happen with the space left over. Perhaps one side is dead, the other live, the ceiling high at one end, low at the other...one wall is made of brick, because that wall was made of brick when the studio was built. Those sorts of things. Having the availability to randomly deaden some walls while leaving others live can be pretty cool too...like "hanging dead things" that can be hung at random around the room.

For me, I prefer rooms with signatures, that have a sound that create an atmosphere. Now, you want to avoid a room that sounds 'boxy' , but vibe and personality are [in my twisted world] more important than anything else.

As always...YMMV.

Member for

20 years 9 months

alphajerk Sun, 06/10/2001 - 19:42
Originally posted by Fletcher:
...like "hanging dead things" that can be hung at random around the room.

a bunch of corpses [previous bad drummers ;)] were working great for a while, amamzing how the body is a great bass trap/sound absorber but after a while the stink and maggots just got to be too much.

i dont really have an answer for this question however. depends on the drummer and the room and the kit and the micing technique and then what you do with all that later on... room mics about 20' back work well for me sometimes, other times its only 10' back, sometimes they dont make a damn bit of difference.

Member for

20 years 8 months

Jon Best Thu, 06/14/2001 - 18:48
Originally posted by alphajerk:


i dont really have an answer for this question however. depends on the drummer and the room and the kit and the micing technique and then what you do with all that later on... room mics about 20' back work well for me sometimes, other times its only 10' back, sometimes they dont make a damn bit of difference.


See, there's a bit of answer right there- you generally don't have the option for room mics 20' away in an 8'x11' room. Hence, try for big!

Member for

20 years 9 months

alphajerk Thu, 06/14/2001 - 19:27
get a PA system and a nice big room. crank the drum tracks through it and mic the other end.

man, an 8x11 room... that room is going to get excited REAL quick. i would probably put a mic out in front somewhere and just catch the excitement of the room. then you can delay that track however far back you think the mic should be to get room size... its just finding the spot for that mic but it isnt brain sugery... move it around until you hear the "Gspot" of the room. hell, just walking around the room when the drummer is setting/warming up i can find it most of the time.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 06/14/2001 - 22:11
I had the good fortune to have been the contractor that refurbished the third floor at Skyline Studios in NYC about five years before it closed down. It was a pretty good size room with a 14 foot ceiling and we rebuilt the original design which had a zig zag pattern to the walls to eliminate any parallel surfaces. We ripped out the original framing at the time and reframed it because there was some resonating going on which we eliminated by stuffing the air space with fiberglass and adding a layer of marine plywood inside the final cedar finish wall. It turned out to be a nice sounding room and I was lucky enough to be able to record my band there a few times. There was also a theatrical curtain on a track if you wanted to deaden the room but I don't think it was used much since the unfinished Cedar planks had a warm sound that people generally liked. A large room is certainly a plus for rock drums in my opinion.
x