drum help needed

Discussion in 'Drums' started by ric619, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. ric619

    ric619 Guest

    ok before i start, im new, so if theres a big long thread somewhere that answers my questions, feel free to just link me and il read.

    ok so im in a metal band, looking to record a low budget demo at home, ive got a few bits of equipment and software, enough for what we want. im recording using around 7 microphones going into a mixer, then from the stereo output into the input of my mac. this means mixing live before i record and im having a few problems and have a few questions.

    first of whats the difference between recording the kick drum with the resonant head on and recording with it off?

    my toms and snares ring a bit too much, ive had my drum skins quite a while and they are a different make from the resonant heads underneath. i know this isnt good but are the different skins the reason for most of the ringing? because they seem to be in tune and have a nice sound, just ring a bit much, plus they are quite small drums

    and lastly, is there a main difference between recording with the microphone facing the batter head of the drums or facing the resonant heads. i cant stand playing with the microphones placed over the batter heads because they get in the way, so if theres not much difference in sound then i would prefer to record with them underneath the drums.

    anyway i think thats all for now, any help would be appreciated, thank you.
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I think it's been mentioned that tom mics go near the edge of the tom. Keeps them more out the way.
    Changing the mic position will likely give you more ring when underneath (the resonant skin being predominantly in the mic sound).

    If you ask me, taking the resonant head off will reduce the resonance. Probably make your kick sound like a single 'buh' and not the full bodied thing.
  3. Sheehan-J

    Sheehan-J Guest

    I have trouble answering this question because I really only track my drums with the reso head on. Some engineers have been known to remove the resonant head and build a 'tunnel' with a blanket, placing a mic at the end. It is a viable option, just google search and read up on the effects of such a technique.

    The difference in head brands is not causing your drums to have a long sustain, however the quality of the heads will affect the tone. It sounds like you're not doing a big production, so this really won't apply, but it's important to have new heads before tracking to get the best tone possible. It also has a bit to do with the wood that your kit is made of. Maple tends to have a longer sustain than birch, for example, so the only way to really combat that without buying new drums OR new heads is to dampen the batter or resonant head with something. Moon gels are a commercial product used to dampen drum heads, but a piece of duct tape will do if you're in a low budget position. You can even cut old drum heads into rings to place around the perimeter of the drum to dampen the ringing a bit. One thing I'd like to say though, is that you really should tune your drums so that they have the sustain or decay you're looking for. A new head and a little tweaking goes a long way.

    Yes there is a difference. All of the attack of the drum comes from the bead of the stick striking the batter head. Especially in metal, this aspect would be important as the kick and the toms seem to be much more oriented towards a strong attack and not much else in terms of tone.

    Hope that helps, good luck.
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