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Overhead Phase

Discussion in 'Room & Overhead' started by Hack, Nov 1, 2001.

  1. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    i got it working finally. the image for the kick and the snare is centered, but you'll have to be careful with the levels regarding the snare. the first mic will pick up a lot more of the snare, thus shifting it's perception to the left. the way i set the gain on the mics was to have the drummer (who showed up unexpectedly) hit the snare in quarter notes. from there, i made sure the gain was such that the output of the two overheads were equal. i'm going to start downloading and uploading the pictures i took....hopefully there is something useful on them as my camera sucks. badly.
  2. ErikFlipside

    ErikFlipside Guest

    sorry about being such a post whore right now...

    these pictures are really rough. i think i had the camera on the wrong setting or something. anyways, here they are.

    the first two show how i achieved the "measurements" of the distances for the first mic. it was pretty simple, but it looks really odd and i don't know how many drummers are going to be please with you putting tape on their heads (or their drum heads, ha...sorry) i would suggest sending any clients out for a bite to eat while you set these up. i think this is a very accurate method, so long as you have a good feel for the tension on the lines and can replicate it in the proper direction.

    ...and these were shot after the second mic was put in place. again, i'm sorry about the quality - it's a logitech clicksmart 310, so that's about as good as it gets.

    the second mic ended up being rough 4" back and to the right of our drummer's head, but still had an unobstructed line to the snare.
    first impressions of the technique: i like it. it's certainly not as simple as setting up an X/Y pair, but it's so different and still achieves great results. over the weekend, i'll try to get some samples up if i have time. thanks to everybody that helped explain this oddity. one final question though: how popular is this technique in the business? is it just something home recording enthusiasts are doing so that the pros can sneak away with the real techniques?
  3. heinz

    heinz Guest

    If it sounds good, it is good. If not, then go to plan B.

    Cool rig Erik!

    I have the definite advantage of being my drummer, engineer, and locked-up studio. So I've worked months on dialing this in, and don't have to strike it or set up different kits. One drummer, one kit, for all time. MuhahaHAHAHAH!!!!!

    I'm fine now.

    I like the image, because it's not super-wide and it's not mono. Toms ring around the horn just fine and hat/snare pops in both channels. It's the sound I'm going for, but may not be for everyone.

  4. MemoGtr

    MemoGtr Guest

    recorderman, hi

    with this setup, you said you pointed both mics at the snare to get a better snare sound...

    i have an sm57 (snare), d112 (kickc) and a pair of mk012 (oh), i want to get a nice spread (but not exagerated) sound in toms and cymbals...if i already have a nice snare sound i point the OH to the toms right? the same tom? left rack and floor? am i making any sense here??
  5. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    Well, I finally got around to trying this out... and the imaging is really great... why did I wait so long...

    If you're interested I've posted three overhead micing techniques for comparison:

    * Modified Spaced Mics (Recorderman Method)
    * Spaced Mics
    * Coincident Mics

    The Clips are only the overheads which are a pair of Josephson e22S mics.

    The mics are 38 inches from the Snare strike point and 54 inches from the Kick mallet strike point.

    The kit is a five piece set of Pearl Exports and Sabian Cymbals.

    Here's pics of each setup...

    Modified Spaced Mics (Recorderman Method)

    Spaced Mics

    Coincident Mics

    [ March 05, 2004, 09:26 AM: Message edited by: Sonixx ]
  6. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
    Yes...I point them at the toms as well many times.

    Oh...and Sonixx, How are those Josephson's? I'm interested in getting a bunch of them for toms (top & bottom application).
  7. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    I wish my budget would allow these for Toms... I haven't applied them on Toms yet... so not much help there.

    I find them slightly dark (which I prefer) but with good detail. I have used them on several acoustic guitars and the e22S is going to be my go to mic. I don't think the e22S is a one trick pony.

    I bought them for overheads and so far I haven't been dissappointed and with your modified Spaced Micing technique, these definitely fit the bill.

    Hope this helped some...
  8. teleharmonic

    teleharmonic Guest

    Speaking of phase i thought i'd drop this note to add to the "if it sounds good it is good category "...

    I just read an interesting article in the march 2004 electronic musician magazine where engineer Frank Filipetti (who i hadn't heard of but he's recorded many people, from Barbara Striesand to Korn... so he's got a pretty diverse skill set going on) talks about intentionally putting certain mics out of phase when micing drums, bass amps and guitar amps in order to use the comb filtering to eliminate frequencies that he doesn't want in the sound. He goes on to say that he finds it more effective than using EQ.

    A technique not for the feint of heart to be sure but i thought it was pretty interesting. While understanding phase is essential here's a guy who has taken it to the next level where he is not eliminating phase issues but bending them to his purpose... great stuff.

    Anyway, in the end it pretty much added up to "if it sounds good it is good... so just move the mics around until it sounds good."

  9. MemoGtr

    MemoGtr Guest

    isnt two drumsticks a klnda short distance? am afraid the drummer may hit the mic(s)...
  10. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    It depends on the player. two sticks is just a rule of thumb. I'm using 38 inches from the snare when I record my son... i setup around his playing style.
  11. MemoGtr

    MemoGtr Guest

    so as long as both mic have the same distance from kick/snare is ok, right?
  12. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    right... i believe Recorderman recommended two sticks because two sticks are available and easy to use. of course, increasing the distance will pick up a bit more of room.

    but yea, make the distance from the snare impact point to both mics the same and make the kick beater point to both mics the same.
  13. MemoGtr

    MemoGtr Guest

    ok...one more thing, is there something you recommend to get more toms a little less cymbals? im afraid that the toms wont be "heard"
  14. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    Sonixx..I just listened to your sample and I'd like to say thanks for posting them w/ pictures..that was very nice of you..

    I personally thought the spaced and modified spaced pair sounded out of phase, the coincident pair sounded in phase. It's strange that the spaced pair sounds out of phase because I use this technique and don't usually have that problem...
    Again thanks for posting the comparisons...I really enjoy things like that.
  15. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    Hey Randy, how about elaborating more on your out of phase comment. Are you referring to collapsing to Mono?

    I think I need to raise the back mic some because I have noticed that on some cymbals my son's movements (probably arms) interfere with the back mic... but surely not with the spaced mics.
  16. djui5

    djui5 Guest

    No collapsing to mono..just listening to the stereo speakers on my computer. It seemed slightly out of phase....about 150 degrees or so.

    No 50 degrees isn't accurate..my hearing isn't that good..just a guess. Out of phase stuff nag's at my ears...I can't explain it..but I do know it when I hear it. I'll take a listen again tomorrow and maybe switch to mono to see what happens..
  17. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    I don't think I'm interpreting your Out-of-Phase term correctly. Do you mean shift of image...
  18. bgavin

    bgavin Guest

    I worked out the RecorderMan geometry, and it translates easily into a simple jig.

    Make a tee from 1/2" pvc pipe. As an example, make the leg 5' long and the tee 4' wide.

    Place the leg at the kick beater. Imagine a mic at either end of the tee. No matter how you twist or rotate the tee, both mics are equidistant from the kick point.

    Next, attach one end of a string to each end of the tee. This gives you a loop that hangs from the tee ends.

    The center of the string loop is where the snare impact point is located.

    This admittedly awkward jig will drive home the concept of the RecorderMan technique. Once you see it done physically, it will make perfect sense to you.

    The distance between snare and kick is different, depending on the length of the string. However, both snare and kick are always equidistant from both overheads, and centered in the image field.
  19. deanp920

    deanp920 Guest


    "The center of the string loop is where the snare impact point is located."

    You lost me there.

    So, you pick an arbitrary length of string that is longer than the tee, and tie each end of the string to each end of the tee? Then the sting is pulled taught at its' centerpoint to form a triangle with the tee? Is that where the mic goes? I thought the mics went at each end of the tee?

    Please back up, slow down, and add some detail to your instuctions in terms of where to put the mics and exactly what to do with that string.

  20. sonixx

    sonixx Guest

    Am i missing something here... why not just take a tape measure and measure the distances. It take about a minute once you've done it once...
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