tracking drums comp/lim. etc.

Discussion in 'Drums' started by droid, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. droid

    droid Guest

    1.) I am tracking drums with a soundcraft ghost. I have two outboard pre's a DBX 576 and a nice Joe Meek (not sure what model borrowed) I was thinking of using the meek on the kick and the 576 on the snare? Any suggestions?

    2.) Also, I have never tracked drums, would compress and/or limit kick and/or snare at the recording and/or mixing stage?

    3.) I am using a d112 on kick, 57/441 on snare, 421's on toms and sm81's for OH's. I am having trouble getting enough snare and toms and not enough cymbals, hi-hat is too loud throughout the mic setup, any suggestions, or alt. mic suggestions?

    4.) last but not least, I am re-tracking these drums for a live album, what are some ways to blend in the drums into the already recorded material to make them sound live, ie reverb etc.?

    Thanks so much in advance, I am fairly new to recording, I am long time live guy and have a new respect for you studio peeps :)

    Andrew Burns
  2. Rider

    Rider Guest

    for a more live sound i always use this setup (in reason).

    room style delay. delay about 1s. room size about mid way. running the signal through pretty straight (no rolloff or verb EQ). gives major debth to the snares.
  3. cfaalm

    cfaalm Active Member

    Feb 21, 2005
    Home Page:
    Tracking drums

    I think you have a pretty good set of mics and gear to track drums.

    3) Rethink your mic placement. That's the first step.

    To give you an idea: my hihat mic cannot "see" the snare. The hihat itself actually shields the mic from the snare, toms and kick. If you do not use a separate hihat mic, the top mic of the snare might be a good candidate for miking the hihat. Consider the off-axis rejection of the snare mic when doing so.

    If you double mike your snare it is nearly impossible to not have enough snare. Be sure to check the phasing. In most cases the phase of the top or the bottom mic is reversed. On the overhead however you don't want that. Are both overhead mics in the same phase?

    There will always be some bleeding when recording drums and it is a matter of taste whether you (want to) use EQ or gating to reduce or eliminate the bleeding. I have quite OK results without gating, which is also very complicated. I do use a bit of shleving to keep the toms out of the overhead and the snare out of the hihat mic.

    Google away on "drum miking" and you'll find an amazing flood of hits. There is no fixed set of rules, just an infinite number of ways to do it.
  4. 1) I'm not familiar with that equipment. The Joe Meek probably has a broader sound, and will therefore probably work better for kick.

    2) If you are recording to computer, you would typically avoid compressing anything until you mix. Even then, a lot of mixes don't use compression on drums. It all depends on what you like. You might put a limiter in to avoid digital clipping, but I think it's better to just set the levels so that you don't clip.

    3) I'm not completely sure what you are saying. Do you have too much snare and kick? Are you recording separate tracks for each mike or are you premixing to a smaller number of tracks? If you have too much high hat, angle the snare mike away from the high hat and move the overhead microphone away from it as well. If the cymbals are weak, position the overhead microphones more directly over the cymbals and not as much over the drums.

    4) To give it more of a live feel, you might want to try using a lot of the sound from the overheads and less from the accent microphones (kick and snare mikes). You should also use shorter reverb times (less than one second), rather than the long reverb times that are typically used on snare, for example. Also, try adding the effects to the whole mix of drums, not to separate pieces like the snare.
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