who knows what drum mic technique was used in....

Discussion in 'Drums' started by KTek, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. KTek

    KTek Guest

    just curious if anyone knows what drum micing techniques were used by any of todays albums available in stores/heard on the radio. it seems to be the consensus with everyone i know personally(which isn't saying a whole lot where i'm at), to mic every top skin with a dynamic, a condensor over the hi hat, and a stereo pair of condensors over the cymbols. and i know about placement and all that. that's what i've been doing, and i get a good sound, but i'm really liking the sound of some minimal techniques too like kick/snare/stereo pair or 3 condensors in a triangle around the kit aimed and placed variously,,,, etc....
    the deal is, my band is self producing an album and we all want to decide on a dedicated mic(s)/placement/techniques for every instrument used, and the drums techniques are really the only thing with too many !@#$%^& choices!!!! sure you all can understand,, but this is precious,,,,

    if you have a chance to hear what we sound like and might could invision what you would do in recording this band,, go here http://www.broadjam.com/artistprofile/artistprofile.asp?artistID=14444 (please note,,, i am fully aware of how crappy this recording was,,, simply a demo, now we've got real hardware/pre's mic's etc.....) this will at least show the instrumental content of our stuff,, so all of you guys who've recorded/mixed this kind of rock, i'm looking for your 1st notions on mic'ing/placement.

    i know i seem to ask a lot of closely related questions over this board,,, but it's the details that really help me out here!!! thanx guys
  2. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    What mics will you be using? How big is your room? Mic placement can be different depending on the room. There are "tried and true" placements, but I wouldn't start putting up room mics and distant mic techniques in a small room. So...that being said....once you have specified the room dimensions and your mic list....you'll have a lot of ideas thrown your way.
  3. KTek

    KTek Guest

    the room is 14'x 45' basement, all brick walls, plaster ceiling, tile floor, with stuff on the other end,,, but we're ganna separate the 2 halves of the room with moveable screen-walls (cheap frame and carpet...) we have options whether or not to hang rugs all around the section the kit's at, or not to. when playing the kit,,, it sounds !@#$%^& great, from the drummer's ears, or just really close by, being the room is so loud and reflective, farther away it's questionable. we'd like to take advantage of this room loudness if it's worth it,,, i know that's how most british studios from back in the day did it with rock drums. we have 2 other rooms down there the same material for wall and ceiling,,, but odd shaped,,, we're ganna sound-treat it and make an isolation room, and a control room (besides the point)

    i'm wondering if it's still worth a damn, possible to get the same clarity and especially PUNCHINESS, and if any of todays bands used NON- dry, mic everypiece and mix techniques. is this whole concept completely unaccacceptable, or is it still alive and well??? i don't know...
  4. Kswiss

    Kswiss Guest

    I say if you have the inputs, record them all. You can always go to your minimal set up. This is what i tend to do with rock drums. If the drummer uses his toms constantly, i mic them up, otherwise i do what i can with overheads. One on snare, i usually don't bother with the hi hat, cuz i like a lot of room sound. One on kick, move it around until its a good balance between click and tone. Then i put OVH's on, pretty close, so i get a lot of cymbal without a whole ton of room sound. Then i put a stereo pair either in front or in back about 5 to 15 feet, and raise or lower them to get the right balance between cymabal and drums. Then i take a mic and put it very far back...or as far as the room allows. If the room isn't that big i'll take it out a door and leave it open a crack. This seems like a ton of tracks, but it allows me at mix time to use the room mics to bring the drums closer to the front or farther back in the mix, and the distant mic mixed in low can add a whole lot of length to the close mic'd snare sound. It depends a lot on your room though... if you have a super live room that doesn't sound too hot, bringing in the distant and room mics just brings in the bad sound of the room to your mix. I'd say close mic everything, put on some room mics, sit in your control room and have a buddy move stuff around, and you can move faders and listen until you get something you like.
  5. wwittman

    wwittman Active Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    there is no consensus as to how drums are recorded... it differs with the engineer the producer the room the drums and the project.

    But I suppose if you're doing it yourself, I might suggest that less may be more.
    I personally think trying to mic the crap out of everything and hoping to "fix it later" is always a mistake.
    I'd much rather see you buy 4 GOOD mics and recording drums like that, than 14 cheaper ones into 14 cheap pres and eq's and so on... and hoping it all comes together at some point to sound like a drum KIT.

    It's much more difficult to get yourself into any serious trouble with just a bass drum, snare, and Drums L and R set-up.
    And often it's the best sound anyway.
  6. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    I agree with Will on the 4 mic technique but with one caveat ... it really depends on if the drummer can really dig into the toms and lay back on the brass. If they can't then you're going to need to mic the toms and do a lot of surgery to tom tracks to clean up spill between tom hits, roll off the lows on the overheads and probably scoop out the mids to get a silky smooth cymbal sound.

    The best drum sound I have ever got was with a C24 overhead, a C12a on the snare hat and a D112 on the kicker (and a monster of a drummer!).

    I have a theory that more mics creates phase problems on the mix, smearing the sound and making it less defined. Definition is the whole ball of wax as far as I'm concerned. I don't like room mics on anything for that reason ... not to mention all the bleed/spill adding a lot of unneeded hash to the mix. Sometimes less is more.

    Nice room btw ... how high are the ceilings?
  7. therecordingart

    therecordingart Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2004
    Just to add....instead of gating toms I edit out everything expect for the tom hits in my tom tracks. When Soloing the track it sounds shitty until combined with the rest of the kit. To me the toms sound a little better defined this way.
  8. KTek

    KTek Guest

    the ceiling height is not perfectly the same all the way through,, but it is close about 102" in that part. and it's got about a 2 or 3 inch variance throughout the basement. i know what you mean on the phase issue, i've been pretty good about zooming way in and matching up the transients of kick/snare up to the relative hit in the room tracks,, although this is completely impossible when doing more than just one stereo pair of room/cymbol mics, but i'm still determined that i can get a good sound,,, (if i got phase issues, i don't mind sitting for 5 minutes scooting a track up and down till the phase sounds right. sux to have to do that, but seems to werk,,) also, i tend to sometimes even laten my kick track a little,,, this sticks it out more in the mix,,, any way, thanx for all the suggestions guys, keep it coming ,, when it comes crunch time,, (when we finally get that place cleaned up enough to put my recording gear in there) we plan to record our most "band-defining" song (if we can pick one) and try it every which way,, love all the shared experiences from you guys, that's how i'm listing what to try first-to-last. keep em coming! thanx!!!!!

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