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Drums aren't stereo enough! Help me make it more stereo? =)

So I'm recording a band I've recorded before, but this time he added another tom, another crash, and another china. I just wanted to get someone else's opinion on the drum sound. I'm not using my preferred mics, I used oktavas 012s before which I borrowed... But I am now sure 2 CAD GXL 1200s as overheads, SM57 under the snare, and a CAD KBM 412, not the greatest, but it does the job decently.

Please keep in mind, I'm not a drummer, I am a bassist and I did the testing, I did it to purely test out the sound and see if the stereo image was where I liked it (this is also a left handed set up!). Also keep in mind this is a metal band, and I would've liked to used triggers for the kicks but this is the best I can do.

Also, I'm running the kick and snare through a Bluemax compressor, everything is going into my little firebox =)

ANY suggestions is appreciated, but I just want to make sure I get a good stereo sound, in comparison to other metal drums, the other recordings seem to be more extreme. You can tell that the floor tom is dead on the right and the hihat is dead on the left. To me it makes a big difference in metal. Because if you have head phones on you like to hear drum rolls go right through your head :-p

We're starting tomorrow to record... But I still want to see if I can get suggestions before we start recording (we're only doing 2 demo tracks but I still want to make it good)


hxckid88 Sun, 02/11/2007 - 22:21
thanks! ive had a problem with the cymbals in a past recording, a mastering engineer tried to do a quick master and told me the cymbals were WAY too loud. The overheads are about 6' to 6'5" tall, a good 2 feet above the crashes. The further I move them UP, the worse the toms sound (so it seems). I'm recording this in my living room with average house ceilings, carpet too. So its not the best environment to record a drumset, but I think its good enough to have a good recording. (not a GREAT one =P)

bobbo Thu, 02/15/2007 - 11:27
i think the kick is too eqed at this point, the snare isn't bright enough, I record alot of metal/hardcore/grindcore bands in my studio, and i honestly don't like compressing the hell out of everything, the kick i think needs it so its not all bouncy, i tend to get the perfect "metal, hardcore" kick sound out of using my aduix d6, i tend to use only the amount of eq that i need, mostly because i use the eq on my daw and its just not very "musical" imo. in metalish genre the cymbals need to be mixed low and i cut all the low end out about 200-400 hz. scoop the mids to see if i can get rid of any overpowering bad frequencies. then mix it low, i have the kick drum loud and "tight" with about 4-8db of 4k boost, then for the snare i make sure it's snappy to cut through the gtrs but not too snappy, you need a good overall sound, i'd be carefull of over compressing the snare due to the dullness it can cause, it needs to be more open, i rarely compress the snare, i A B both with and with out compression and i almost always like it without compression. one thing too, if you have too much cymbal bleed through the snare mic, and then put lots of compression on it, then it will give you this really bad cymbal sound coming through the snare track. for the toms i usually delete all unused audio on the tom tracks so there are no weird phasing issues, and so that i can eq the toms as needed and won't affect the cymbal's sound.

are you only using 4 mics for recording the drumset?

hxckid88 Thu, 02/15/2007 - 12:07
thanks for the advice. yes I am only using 4 mics, I am limited on equipment and inputs so its the way it has to be. My problem was always having really loud cymbals but I think, hopefully, this turned out better. I notice in most metal the cymbals sound really light and its all about the kick drum (obviously). Its hard to tell because to me the drums sound good, but once the guitar comes in I Will do further mixing and EQing because then thats when it makes a difference. I did further editing though. and we just finished all drum tracks the other day. Today we are supposed to lay down all the rhythm guitar tracks and I will post more clips when we got something and it can be critiqued further =) They're good friends of mine and they're only paying me what they can (like $150) so I know it's hard for them to come by money so I want to make it the best I can even with limited equipment. I think having limits really pushes your creativity =P

RemyRAD Thu, 02/15/2007 - 12:47
hxckid88, having really limited equipment makes for a very unlimited engineer. I grew up with my own crappy stuff but got to cut my teeth on the Rolls-Royce and Bentley of consoles, early on. So I knew what I wanted my crappy stuff to sound like. Learning how to work around your equipment limitations makes for a much more creative and versatile engineer/producer.

Ingenuity combines with creativity and the results are delivery Chinese!
Ms. Remy Ann David

"The great fault with all women is their desire to be like men."
WTF! I'm a female engineer not a man!!!

RemyRAD Fri, 02/09/2007 - 00:35
I think your overall drum sound is decent? I'm not really wild about the bass drum however. It sounds puny small, dead, thuddymuddy, without resonance or overhang. Your reverb program is too long. You need a shorter and tighter, bigger sounding so you'll be adding more. You'll want to add some to the bass drum also. Also go ahead and try this, reverse the phase on the bass drum. It will give you a more solid sounding hit if you reverse the phase. You may also want to add a bunch of compression to the overheads and/or overall kit? I think you get closer to that Bad Company sound that way, with the reverb thrown in?

Take some of the padding out of the bass drum?

Concussion is good
Ms. Remy Ann David

hxckid88 Fri, 02/09/2007 - 01:03
The way I have it set up now... is a pretty heavy compression on the overheads without getting the wishy washy pump sound. And then individual compression on the snare and kick... I'm using Cubase SX, so those are being grouped together for another lighter compression to make the set as a whole sound tighter. I only have reverb (using glaceverb) on the set as a whole, do you suggest doing the reverb on each part differently? I think the snare is what made it sound too ringy and long. I would think no reverb on the kick drum would be best for metal, and I'm talking lots of kick drum metal and chugga chugga guitar riffs. So I really want that to be a big part of the drum sound, though its rather hard to achieve with this mic... I did reverse the phase on the kick though.

I find it hard trying to get the sound i want out of glaceverb though it is very versatile and I like what it can do. I tried to make it less dense and I raise the absorption, it sounds a little better now.

im off to bed but I shall update tomorrow and see what other suggestions await =) thanks

Davedog Fri, 02/09/2007 - 08:46
If its a metal band then you're only 3/4's of the way there. You're gonna want that massive click to all the drums and the kick has to get deeper while keeping that upper-end impact. Add some 4k to the EQ on each drum and if you have a parametric EQ narrow it down quite a bit.

The tuning sounds okay. The snare needs more snap without losing the thud you have now.

Like I said....3/4's there. The 'thud' is in place you need to find the snap and the METAL part of the sound.

hxckid88 Fri, 02/09/2007 - 12:10
Yeah, I loaded up around 4800, pretty steep but I wasn't getting enough of the click. I'll move it around some more and see where its sounding best. Hes using a remo weatherking powerstroke 3 batter head with a kick pad, he has some sort of padding that is made for kick drums inside, the drumset is a starclassic... I think it's sounding pretty decent, the drumset is awesome, but I've always had trouble getting the metal click, since most people I know use triggers. I'll try and get a better example up pretty soon, I'll attempt some metalish triplet beats.

RemyRAD Sat, 02/10/2007 - 21:22
OK now you're talkin'! Sounding much better. The cymbals sound very clean a little too intimate, microphones too close? A little too crashy, splashy, making the drums take a back seat to the cymbals. It's going to get compressed even more and when it is, you'll lose the punch and snap to the drums because the cymbals will be hitting the limiter/compressor too much.

I like what you've done to the kick drum. I think it's ambience is coming from the floor tom, however? And it sounds like you flipped its phase? Good. Now let's hear it with some other instruments included?

Crash bang boom!
Ms. Remy Ann David