analyzing sound

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by SPQR, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. SPQR

    SPQR Guest

    Hi all,
    newbie here wondering how to best utilize a spectrum analyzer while recording drums. What should I look for? I can't find any helpful reference on google on the topic.
    While tracking drums should I check each tom/mic by hitting and recording one hit or meassure the whole kit?
    Are there any topics on range of bass drum vs. snare in relation to hi hat and ride?
    How do the big boys use it and why would one use it if the sound coming out of the monitors actually sounds decent.

  2. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2005
    Exactly...why? I think there were some techies who used to watch a spectrum analyzer while recording in the 80s, but, WHY? Use your ears to record...keep experimenting until you get the results you are looking for. BTW, for the price of a decent RTA, you could buy another mic or preamp to add to the recipe. The RTA can help setting up your monitors, but after that...
  3. SPQR

    SPQR Guest


    that didn't do me any good.
    I would like to know how I can implement the device and what to look for when I see the graph.
    Again, do I meassure each drum component and adjust the mics accordingly, or give the kit a good whack then read the graph.
    Is the db graph a reference to the actual volume that reflects the volume going to tape or is it a reference to what happens in the room while playing?
    Basically I'd rather watch the peak and set the levels accordingly. :roll:
  4. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Sorry SPQR..but moon baby's advice was spot on...if you want to progress. These devises may have a use for a seasoned engineer working in an unknown, and bad acoustical situation..say doing a mix in a poorly made and unfamiliar room to check that there's is not too much or not enough bottom end in the mix because his monitors are lying to him.

    Other that that is next to completely useless to apply it in the way you are attempting.

    The very best thing you could do, would be to fined an older experienced engineer in your area (try at the local studio's) and pay them to come over and record drums with you once. Pick their brain. See how they get a sound and emulate that. Then practice yourself. There are few shortcuts, if any, other than practicing and using your ears.
  5. SPQR

    SPQR Guest


    that's good advice. Thanks mate!
    I didn't want to diss moonbaby or anything, just looking for simple hints in order to understand what's going on with the device and if it can help me improve or study the sound as it is at the moment.
    Unfortunatley there's not too many seasoned fellas or felonies out there in my neighborhood, but I'll put a post up on craigslist.
    Say is there a way to post pictures here on RO?[/img]
  6. SPQR

    SPQR Guest



  7. SPQR

    SPQR Guest


    sorry without the [ ] lol
  8. Reggie

    Reggie Well-Known Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Looks perfect! :cool:
  9. Thomaster

    Thomaster Guest

    i dont see why you would wanna 'see' anything when recording drums.. maybe if you're hearing excessive rumble or something it might come in handy..

    but its about your ears mate, and you're right, if it sounds decent, then let it sound perfect, by using your ears, not graphs.

    anyway, the graph you posted would be more useful if you'd analyze it in logarhitmic scal rather than the lineair one u just posted.
    there isnt much interesting about seeing 3/4 of the graph filled with high freq's.
    the most interesting frequencies are between 60-18.000hz on a drumkit, so get a scale that shows the details, especially in the mudrange (roughly at about 200-450hz)

    anyway, just use your ears man

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