Ain't Nothin' Like The Real Thing

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by maintiger, Feb 21, 2004.

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  1. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    When I sold my commercial studio and set up a little studio at home I got a set of Yamaha electric drums an acoustic set I though might be too loud for my home studio (well, neighbors, you know who and how they are)

    So far we've been rehearsing with our band here with no complaints from everyone and everything thing has been like groovy man, until...

    ...I got the bright idea to start recording our new songs.... yeah man, I'll record the drums in midi and I'll just pick the sounds later- like the best kick, snare etc- It won't be like a drum machine, my drummer will be playing on this thing...!

    Not so fast- After trying all kind of sample drum sounds I am unhappy to report that it won't do- IMHO the sound is not cohesive enough- ok for rehearsal and demos but not for an album- So, we are going to look for a place to record our acoustic drums and bring back the tracks- We have several stand alone hard drive recorders mics and preamps, so it won't be a problem- (then we'll bring the tracks back, import them into DP for overdubs) its just that another bubble has been burst- Sorry, but there is nothin' like real instruments in rock'n'roll!
  2. Midlandmorgan

    Midlandmorgan Active Member

    Jul 21, 2002
    Have you tried multing the sampled sounds? Processing sampled sounds just like natural sounds (dual tracked kicks, one natural one hypercompressed snare, etc) can give some VERY impressinve results...

  3. tonio

    tonio Guest

    IMO, it depends on what you want. MIDI is cool go get things rollin', but you said yourself that it ain't cutting it.
    If you want the .. well you know good chit, go for it. So pay some extra dough(have co members pitch in) for studio time if you can't handle the drum kit at home/sutdio.
    Its miles better, unless you can find a drummer that has the room/setup.
    Your decision.

  4. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    The cymbals are usually the hardest to get right in midi. There's nothing like a hi-hat coming from three seperate tracks, each slightly out of phase with each other, two of which are hard-panned, that creates that ambient feel of real drums.

    Of course, nothing beats real drums, but if one absolutely has to, midify everything; then rerecord the cymbals later.
  5. moles

    moles Active Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Winnipeg, MB
    So here's a good one:
    I'm getting ready to record my bands first CD, only my second full-on-no-supervision project. My drummer informs me tonight he wants to overdub his parts; ie do kick and snare first, then toms, hihat, cymbals - maybe as a second take, maybe all split up.

    He's a very competent drummer, so I trust him, but this seems a little like trying for that drum-machine level of separation (plus I don't get how he's gonna groove playing his kick and hihat at different times, but that's a whole 'nother story).
    Is this kinda thing standard procedure anywhere? I was really looking forward to getting a nice, unified kit sound.....
  6. heinz

    heinz Guest

    For rock, a live kit properly miked is hard to artifically duplicate. The sympathetic vibrations between the drums, the hundreds of different tones and timbres created by striking the drum/cymbal differently, the air movement... all combine to give that 'push' and slam only real drums (played well) can provide. You can mult & midi yourself blue in the face and still not get the impact of a live kit (IMO).

    On the Q above regarding recording live drums separately, I would ask your drummer 'what is the goal'? Is it separation? Because unless he's a robot I'd be hard pressed to imagine him keeping a tight groove when splitting drums/cymbals takes.

    Naturally this all goes to what kind of sound you want.
  7. falkon2

    falkon2 Well-Known Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    You COULD get an electronic drum and add in cymbals with two overhead tracks to catch the cymbals. That's as perfect a seperation as you can get between kick and snare.

    Not standard procedure by a long shot, though.
  8. dymaxian

    dymaxian Guest

    Moles- Give it a shot! What's the worst that could happen?

    I don't think you'll like the results as much as if you just let him play like he's playing a show, get the feeling super-solid and don't fret over a little bit of bleed.

    With what he's proposing, you might as well have him just hit each drum and cymbal once, individually, and then use a DAW to splice together the drum hits wherever you want them. It'll sound like a keyboard's drums, tho. That's one of the things that makes live drums sound the way they do... and it certainly gives them size.

    "to hell with the CD sales- download the MP3s and come to the shows!"
  9. Chance

    Chance Guest

    Many times I will record real drums live (close mic'd, indiv tracks for kick, fl-tom,each tront-tom, snare, H-H, and L & R overheads usually, depending on the kit, it's around 8 tracks. Then ( after the project has been recorded ) I will take the OUTPUT of 6 of those tracks ( not the overheads tracks, those are for ambience) and patch those 6 tracks into the trigger-in of a cheap alesis D-4 drum module and find the right sounds ( you have 99 each of kick, toms, snare,etc ) and when I have the right sound I will record those onto another 6 tracks. When it comes time to mix I combine the D-4 drums with the origanal overhead mics ( for ambience ), and sometimes even mix some of the origanal drum mics in. The first time I did this, the drummer hit 2 of the drum mics. The quality of sound was gone BUT the impact of when he would strike the drum head was still there. so I used the D-4 to trigger off of that impact. The producer liked it so much, that he had me change the sound of his toms and kick too
    with this set-up, you have the best of both worlds
  10. moles

    moles Active Member

    Jan 5, 2004
    Winnipeg, MB
    I think that may be it, maybe he's worried about the new crash cymbals he just picked up. They are a little loud, but putting the overhead behind the kit worked out very well the other day.

    As far as what the harm would be trying it this way....I guess none. I'd rather we did it and then both decided it wasn't working (which I have a funny feeling is gonna be my opinion) instead of me just nixing the idea. The goal here is results, Not letting me have control over my bandmates!
  11. missilanious

    missilanious Guest

    this is a good drum tracking technique, if the drummer is worried he plays a certain instrument to loud like a crash or china cymbal, give him some of the overhead back to his headphone mix, not enough to make him/her deaf, but to be aware of how loud the cymbals are compard to the rest of the kit, usaully (from experience) that player would feel uncomfortable when playing the cymbals loud and usaully tone it down so they would be hearing a more balanced kit. Most drummers aren't aware how loud cymbals can get on the overheads while tracking, this makes them aware. And about bleed, bleed isn't bad its what gives a kit its live sound, as long as your mics are set properlly/ and you have a drummer that has balance.
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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