Of basement and drums...

Discussion in 'Drums' started by Torstein, Jul 19, 2005.

  1. Torstein

    Torstein Guest

    Our recording process has now began, and we'd like the drums to sound less "basement". We're doing a wieird kind of metal.

    If someone could give me essential tips to make it sound better and more pro, it would be great. How to eq, which reverb and other effects?
  2. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Honestly, and please don't take offense to this. I love to help out newbies as much as possible but what you are asking is kind of like asking the meaning of life. There is no formula to make something sound "pro". Even if there was we know nothing about your music except that it's "metal" of some sort. We would need to hear what it sounds like or get a better description of what it sounds like and also a description on what you want it to sound like in the end. We also need to know what equipment you have, what your knowledge base is for recording and many other factors. Please post an in-depth topic next time so someone can help you right away. Take the time to write a good question. Hope we can help you soon.
  3. jamiey

    jamiey Guest

    If you are recording the drums in a basement, thus resulting in that "basement" sound, then there are several things you can do to clean it up.

    First, make the room sound less like a basement! Simple enough, right? Well, it takes acoustic treatment, sometimes lots of it, to get the room sounding reasonable. How big is your space? The more space the better. Experiment by hanging heavy blankets a couple inches off the wall, stacking a bunch of absorbant material in the corners, ideally floor to ceiling!

    If you want to get more serious, you could find a good source to buy dense fiberglass insulation (there are some spacific types and densities that work best) and you can build some very effective absorbers, much better then blankets and couch cousions!

    If you are looking for someone else to make the room sound better, and have the money, call up Auralex, they are often advertised on this site. They sell acoustic treatement that you often see in pro studios.

    So, get the room sounding good by itself, that will improve the sound alot!

    Also, try to place instruments so they are away from walls and get those guitar amps off the floor with some chairs or something.

    I'm assuming your instruments sound the way you want them too now. Then there is mic selection, placement, preamp choices, and the media you are recording to (e.g. computer harddisk) and the interface involved in that (e.g. a/d converter) These choices all will influence the sound of the recording, and there's alot to consider here as well, but depending on what you already own we can give you good advice to take the most advantage out of it, or suggest things to improve on (e.g. buying more gear!)

    EQ, Reverb and effects are alot LESS important then everything I've stated so far, please understand that. The performers and their instruments are the most important. Well, actually the composition itself is top priority! OK, that may be obvious. Hope that helps, if anything just a little.
  4. Torstein

    Torstein Guest

    Well, I want the basics. Drum-mixing for dummies.
    We're using a pretty cheap mic-kit (Samson Q7-kit). It's difficult to show you any samples, since nothing is recorded. The genre is something inbetween progressive and extreme metal (I'm not saying I want this to sound typical for those genres).

    With the end product I'd like edge and impact, but not triggy. No "snapping" in the bass drums.
    What's the opinion on mic-placement? Got a slightly better result when we placed the mic farer from the snare, gonna try the same thing with the toms. But I still can't get a good impact in the snare.
  5. Torstein

    Torstein Guest

    Thanks for the reply. The room is pretty big. So you're saying we should try to cover up corners? What would you suggest as absorbant material?

    The recording is done with a computer.
  6. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    hi, i have some input. i record drums in our practice studio which is like 12x12x9. pretty crappy sounding room, lots of bass buildup.

    i decided when making this to post the info up on a website too.

    check out http://www.slantview.com/drums/ to see pictures of some of this stuff.

    a couple things that have helped us that i've learned.

    #1 rule: there is nothing better than good sounding drums well tuned.

    #2 rule: buy good heads; coated ambasdors on the front; clear abasadors on the resonant head usually sound really good and snappy.

    kick drum: akg d112 or similar inside the kick drum; 4-6 inches from the front head. move closer for more click, further for more boom.

    snare: sm57 about an inch or 2 away from the snare; sometimes i move it in as close as 2 inches to get more proximity effect.

    snare-bottom: 57 underneath exactly the same distance with phase flipped.

    toms: sennheiser 421 or 57 about 2-4 inches off the head pointing diagonally thru the drum.

    overheads: 414s or whatever ldc you can get about 3' above the snare making sure to capture a good stereo image of the drums.

    ROOM MICS: octava mc012's or whatever kind of sdc mic you have 451's, studio projects c4's work well in X-Y or near coincedence. find a good spot in the room about 8-12 feet away. make sure you keep track of your L-R perspective between room and overheads.

    i never realized how important room mics were. if the room is too "live" put up some packing blankets and keep the room pretty dead, but not TOO dead. it's a fine line.

    good luck.

  7. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    I will post a more in-depth response later today when I have more free time but if you want more attack from the snare here is a trick you can try if mic placement will not yield the results you want. First in your software copy the snare track and make a duplicate track of it. So now you have two snare tracks to mess with. Gate the hell out of one so that only the transient or initial burst of energy gets through. Then EQ the hell out it and blend it in underneath the full-range snare track. You can mix the two to get the amount of attack and the amount of body you desire. I do this whenever I find myself stuck with a bad track - usually handed to me or sent over the net from someone who recorded it themselves - and it works like magic most of the time.
  8. Torstein

    Torstein Guest

    Nice tips here. We recorded some tracks today, and it came out very good.
  9. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

    Apr 21, 2005
    You're room size isn't too bad, yeah the ceilings are low but I have a similar enviroment and we get very acceptable drum sounds. Something that may help is gettting rid of the samson mics, I'm betting they lack a lot to be desired. You really need to treat the room, bass traps in all the corners(check out Auralex) if your flooring is hard you'll wanna treat 90% of the ceiling and if you cover 60% or more of the rest of your walls you should improve your sound a bit. As a previous person said good heads are really important also, I prefer the evans genera g1's. Post some tracks when you get a chance.

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