Many opinions needed – A very specific mixing situation

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by covenant66, May 1, 2007.

  1. covenant66

    covenant66 Guest


    I'm working on an independent project right now to create a sample set from several extremely rare drum kits, such as Ringo Starr's kit verified to have been used on the Beatles' White Album and the Ed Sullivan Show. I have already recorded all the samples and I am now in the mixing phase. Basically, I had a microphone locker of 25+ mics, and selected 8 that I thought would be best for each drum (combined with API, Avalon, and other pres & Apogee AD/DA into Sequoia). I really need the help of the audio community to help me figure out how to best approach a couple of issues I have come up on, so please give your opinion.


    PART 1 -- In your opinion, to get max. realism and usability, should different mic tracks for a single drum or cymbal be panned to taste, and then mixed down to a stereo .wav which will be triggered by the sampler, or, should there be a mono mixdown for each drum which could be panned after it's loaded into the sampler? If you do pan the channels differently and mixdown to a stereo track, you get more of a stereo separation, but you would seem to risk more frequency cancellation and possibly stepping on the user's mixes more by doing it that way. I was originally thinking about panning them according to how you would normally pan a drum set and mixing each drum and cymbal down to a mono track -- but just a little panning sounds so good. I have also considered leaving the toms, bass and snare as mostly mono tracks and doing a little more stereo panning on the cymbals to emulate the stereo micing of cymbals on a set. This is really an interesting issue to think about, with a lot of considerations.

    PART 2 -- 2 or 3 of the 8 recorded mic tracks are being used in the actual mixdown for each drum. Those 2 or 3 tracks are EQed to fit together, and there has usually been one dominant microphone, because that has seemed to sound best, as well as minimizing cancellation. In your opinion, is this approach best or should one mic out of the eight be selected and used to most accurately emulate the standard drum kit recording setup?

    PART 3 -- Are there any further special considerations you would take when doing this? If you have done an extensive sample set in the past, what learning experiences did you have with it? I have done one previous sample set which was featured on the cover of Keyboard Player Magazine and reviewed in Computer Music, but it was not nearly as extensive as this one.
  2. Mo Facta

    Mo Facta Active Member

    May 22, 2011
    JHB, RSA
    Home Page:

    Are they gonna have their own sampler (maybe a Kontakt instrument)? Will they be commercially available?

    I like how the Steven Slate Kontakt instruments do it. There's a sample set for the drum, say, a snare drum, with the overheads engaged, and a different sample set for the close mics. I can't really recall if the close mic samples are panned or not. For something like toms, I would also have a position matched sample with the overheads and then a different sample set for the drum's close mic(s) in mono. If you really wanted to be snazzy you could have a feature where you can have independent control of the close mic's panning. Is that even possible? It must be.

    I think having options to eliminate other tracks of the final sample (say, the overheads) is helpful. I also think that having samples of the given drum with all mics engaged might be cool as well. There are quite a few ways you could do this and I don't envy you for the task!

    Nope, sorry mate. I'm just an end user. However, I particularly like the feature in Superior Drummer where you can control how much bleed a particular drum's channel gets.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers :)

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