Help with roomy drums

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Kswiss, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    Hey i'm working on an album with my band, and we are currently checking drums in a room that we've treated for the drum sounds we want. I have two LDC's behind the kit about 5 feet back and a couple feet off the ground, and there is a couch immediately behind them (there was a little too much reflection off the back wall getting into the mics and this destroyed it perfectly). I used an overhead pair of pencil mics also, but found that the kit sounds better with just the back pair. I also close miced the drums with a 57 each on the snare and rack tom, a beta 52 on the floor tom, and a D6 on the kick. I also have another LDC about 25 ft. out in front of the kit. I fixed all phasing issues, and in the control room, the kit sounds awesome with just the stereo pair behind the drums and a little bit of the close mics in for more body. The problem is the cymbals are uber loud and kinda harsh sounding. If i drop the volume of the rear pair, the balance between drums and cymbals is better, but the sound of the drums, particularly the snare, suffers. I'm wondering if theres a way to configure a compressor or something to take the loud signals and make them louder, and take the weak signals and make them weaker... So pretty much the drums get through, and the cymbals get ducked.... Or is there a better way to solve this problem besides getting a drummer that doesn't hit cymbals as hard? Sorry this is so long but any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. killersoundz

    killersoundz Guest

    I'm not there to experience your drummer and how he plays, or how much louder the cymbals sound then the drums, but more then likely he plays his cymbals hard. So one solution to try is to have him back off of the cymbals a little bit, smashing on your cymbals isn't necessary for recording.

    EDIT - AH, haha, I wrote this before I even read the last couple sentences of your post, where you state "besides getting a drummer who doesn't hit his cymbals so hard." Well that makes me feel dumb.

    I don't know. Convince him if he ever wants to be admired in the studio as a drummer to not play his cymbals so hard. I know if you bring the drum mics up more in the mix it's probably just not the kind of sound you're looking for, but I don't really know of any other solution. You could throw a compressor on the overhead mics, but not too much, because then it just sounds nasty.

    If the drum mics don't sound good, it could just be simply because its not the kind of sound you want (the close up sound), or his drums could be tuned poorly and/or the mics may not be positioned the best they could be. There's really no reason the snare should sound WORSE when you drop the overhead mics though. It may sound deader because you're loosing the sound of the room, but shouldn't be worse. This kind of tells me his drums sound like crap.
  3. bounce

    bounce Guest

    try lowering the height of the LDC's. also you can angle them off axis (down) a bit. also you may want to mic the bottom AND top of the snare (may need to flip the phase on one mic) to mix in with the OH's. playing the cymbals hard for rock music sounds different from playing them softly. that's the point- timbre. he should not necessarily have to change his cymbal performance to accomodate mic placement. it IS, after all, about the PERFORMANCE (i studied percussion in college and toured forever yada yada). technique DOES matter but if we're talking about cymbal crashes here in what may be rock music, come on, let's be serious : ) !
    hitting soft ain't gonna have the same effect on some songs or sections of songs.

  4. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    The drummer is actually well schooled, he has an all maple gretsch kit with all brand new heads, that was tuned up every song. I have the LDC's about two feet off the the control room with just the drums they sound awesome.... its not the snare drum, the drum just sounds incredible, just for rock drums i usually get a lot more of the crack from the room mics.... the drum sound coming from the close mic is a usable sound, but the sound gets a lot sweeter when the room mics come in. I'll try to put up some samples. We did drum checks for hours and had it sounding great, but now as I'm mixing i'm finding that the cymbals are just too loud. The snare sound is to die for though.... i think i'm gonna try using a wide notch filter and finding where most of the HH beef is coming from and see how that affects the overall tone. Thanks for you help though....any other suggestions? Preferably mixing suggestions as its already tracked.... engineering suggestions are welcome too because we're re-recording the same parts in a couple weeks for our full length (this is just for a press pack that we need done early next week.)

  5. o2x

    o2x Active Member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Give him thinner sticks :wink:
  6. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    tried smaller sticks..... just like giving a guitar player a thinner pick, it just makes him hit harder. He has a good sound.....its hard to tell a drummer that actually sounds good to completely change up his style sit it can sit in a mix better......thats supposed to be my job as the engineer...... Thanks for the info dudes

  7. dudge

    dudge Active Member

    Jan 28, 2004
    Cymbals project more sound above the cymbal and below the cymbal.
    They project the least sound horizontal from the edge of the cymbal.
    Think of a figure eight mic with the edge of the cymbal being the null.
    If the overheads are high above or low below the cymbals that is where you will get the most cymbals in relation to drums in the overheads. If the overheads are in lower, pointing more at the drums and down closer to the level of the edge of the cymbals, you can get more drums in the overheads in relation to cymbals. That is one reason Recorderman's overhead setup gives a nice balance. I love it.

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