Need Help Recording A Great Drummer

Discussion in 'Drums' started by DPAKid, Feb 12, 2002.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. DPAKid

    DPAKid Guest

    Ok guys, you've not steered me wrong yet! This is the first session I'll be doing where I've got a great drummer with a great kit. He's only 17 years old, but he's en fuego! (Hot) He's got a 5 piece Tama Star Classic with all new skins, great Zildians, and he even knows how to tune his drums! (Will wonders never cease?) I'd like to tell you what I'll be dealing with and ask for some configuration help. We'll be going for agressive, modern rock with a Butthole Surfers Edge.

    I've got:

    Delta 1010 (8 inputs TRS)
    Mackie 1202 VLZ
    Blue Tube
    Trident MTA Signature Two
    BlueMax Comp
    Behringer 4 channel Comp

    R0de NT2
    SM57 (3)
    ATM 25
    Behringer Omnis (2) CSM 8000
    EV 674

    I have no gates, but I've used them before (probably improperly), and don't really like them much: destroys the transients. I'll be tracking in a 14 X 16 room with no accoustic treatment and vaulted ceilings.

    I know that I don't have much to work with, but any help would be appreciated.

    Allen :confused:
  2. drumsound

    drumsound Active Member

    Feb 12, 2001
    Bloomington, IL
    In my experience recording a great drummer is a lot easier than recording a crappy one! I'd close mic the drums if you’re going for the modern type sound. I'd also use a room mic or two. You mention omni mic, try those for the room. I'd try the MTA on snare or bass drum. Try to mic the shell if he's using the Starclassic, it'll give you more tone and body. I'm of a mind to have matching mic on the toms, so it looks like the 57s. How does the EV sound on Snare? Don't worry about gates. If needed you can edit the tracks in your DAW. Keep in mind that a drum set is ONE instrument, not several. A little ring and ambience can be a good thing! Have fun and let it happen.
  3. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Great drummer and drums so much better than great gear and poor drummer and drums. So far so good!
    Since you are dealing with a real musician here you may be able to skip limiting or compression on the way to tape. With a little practice and feedback he should be able to guage how hard he can play before clipping Nuendo, and you can of course adjust the input level with the mic pre to the best level for the drummer.
    This way you can have the cleanest tracks you can manage, and if you want to compress the hell out of them later you can do so at your leisure and really tweak it right.
    Just an idea.
    Good luck!
  4. DPAKid

    DPAKid Guest

    DRumsound, do you mean a starclassic snare? If he has one of these, I should try micing the shell instead of the top skin? Which mic would you rec. for this app. Also, I was thinking about trying to use the c1000s on snare. I know it's a crappy mic, but I never get the crisp attack that I want out of an SM57. You think this would be a bad idea?

    Thanks, Allen :w:
  5. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    There are some gaps in the modal response of a 14 x 16 foot room in the area of 120-180 hZ - You didn't mention what the min/max height of the vaulted ceiling is, but the variable height should help even things out some - When you say "no acoustic treatment", do you also mean no furniture, people, rugs, drapes, instrument cases, coke bottles, etc.? After all the mics are in place, if you have the time try the sound with and without soft furniture in corners, maybe a quilted "moving blanket" hung above the kit - carpet kills more upper freq's than lows by far - these are just some ideas to try if there's time - Record first just the way the room is, sometimes wierd things happen -

    I have the ATM 25, try it on kick (inside, about 2" off center from the beater and maybe 6-8" away from the beater head) it'll give you good bottom and not lose the "slap". 57's probably 2 on toms, 1 split between snare and hat, play with positioning for best balance. If you want overheads in stereo, sounds like you're stuck with the omni's - try either placing them on separate stands 3-4 feet apart above the cymbals, or possibly "dyn-aural" 8" apart with a piece of plywood between the two ? Never tried that, but don't think "coincident pair" would work without directionals. Drums should be a fun experiment with the "true tape" in Nuendo. If you've got polarity reversal available (maybe in Nuendo afterward) try the 1000s UNDER the snare, then switch polarity so it doesn't subtract from the top mic - this will add some of the "sizzle" you're missing from the 57 - you can blend to taste afterward. Also, if you haven't already done so, take the next $40 you get and buy the ANALOG version of Radio Shack's Sound Level Meter - Set it up on your console, set the response to "slow", adjust playback volume to around 80-90 db (pick a level, marry it, don't cheat on it) In other words, always mix at the SAME level. If you bump up the kick and the meter average goes up a dB, lower the playback volume to compensate. Fletcher-Munson curves on human hearing response show you why a stereo salesman will always play the speakers/anything that HE wants to sell you just a little louder than the others. Unfortunately, the human ear cannot tell how loud a sound is after hearing it for a while - you get used to whatever level of sound you're hearing. Not using a sound level meter can cause you to keep getting the mix louder, which contributes to hearing loss and neighbor rage - neither of which is a good thing - The only "silly" experiment is one you don't try, or one that involves burning buildings and "pre-owned" parachutes... Steve
  6. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    "Drums should be a fun experiment with the "true tape" in Nuendo."

    I don't belive Nuendo has "True Tape" :)

  7. Punchmo

    Punchmo Member

    Feb 14, 2001
    Try the omnis in OH 3 to 6 feet high about 4 to 6,8 feet apart, 2 57's on the mounted toms, the NT2 on the floor tom, a 57 at the side of the snare, this will take some adjustment as well...3 to 4 inches away aimed at the middle or the top half of the snare and place it under the hihat at the null of the will get plenty of hihat from all the mics. Put the AT in the kick. Sorry, don't know the EV 674 and, I would leave the C1000 in it's case. Run the snare and kick through the Trident (it's 2 channels right?) and all others thru the Mackie.

    Be sure to tell the guitar and bass players to put on new strings. Good luck:)
  8. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Dan-o, you are probably a lot closer to being right on Nuendo than I - Being a Samplitude user, I made an ass-u-me (just me, actually) that because Nuendo seems to be Cubase's big bro that they would probably have thrown it in - Either way I'll have to take your word for it, since Steinberg's general mistrust of its customers apparently requires you to attach a "dung-beetle" to a port I don't like to even enable in a DAW - So unless they change their mind, I'll "just say no" and live happily ever after... Steve
  9. DPAKid

    DPAKid Guest

    Thanks to both Steves for their input. I appreciate the help. I like the idea of the NT2 on floor tom. I've never mic'ed the side of a snare before, so I'll have to try that.
    The room that I'm using has very little sound absorbtion material. The only thing in there is a couple of small pieces of wooden furniture and a bed. The ceiling slopes from 8' to approx. 18', and I'll set the drums up in the 18' area facing the 8' slope, the two long parallel walls on left/right. In this config, where would you recommend I place a room mic?

    Also, is true tape a plug in I can get? I like cheezy "warmth" gimmicks.

  10. Dan-O

    Dan-O Guest

    True Tape (analog tape saturation emulation)is only available to Cubase VST32. The closest thing would be Magneto.(That is if you only want a Steinberg plug in)

  11. knightfly

    knightfly Active Member

    Jan 18, 2002
    Man, that's a pretty steep roof pitch to get a 10' rise in 16' - That room is going to have some interesting peaks and nulls in it, since the 16' part of the ceiling will support the 16' length - one of the most noticeable will probably be flutter echoes between the parallel walls. You should at least try to find some heavy blankets or something to break up those parallel surfaces if you can. Try and stagger any hangings or other treatments so you don't have similar surfaces looking at each other across the room.

    As far as room mic(s), it's really hard (beyond basic theory) to scope a room out by remote - best I can offer is tape the mic to your head, walk around while the drummer is playing, and when it sounds good, rip off the tape and put the mic on a stand. Your ears will always be the best authority on decisions like that. (You don't actually need to tape the mic to your head, just kidding on that...) Beyond that, just wade in, get your feet wet, and see which toes you lose to the Crawdads... Steve

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