Yet another question..... drums!

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Your favorite rockstar
Member Since: Feb 03, 2003

Okay, I know this is my third question in the last 10 minutes, but I'm a recording addict. I read this forum all the time, and I'm amazed at the quality responses that you people give.

Honestly, I'm pretty happy with my recording quality. I have a 16 track digital recorder, and I have been using 5 of those tracks for drums.

Well, I just bought some equipment to let me easily transfer tracks from my recorder to my computer to mix there, which obviously now gives me unlimited tracks to work with. I plan on still using my recorder to record the tracks, because it's easier to have that working with my headphone system.

I can run 8 inputs at a time.

With the 5 tracks, I had kick, snare, right room (close to the kit, between the high hat and the first tom), left room (close to the kit, between the ride and the floor tom), and one condenser straight in front of the kick, back about a foot or a foot and a half to pick up the middle toms and the crash cymbals. I got pretty impressive results with that, but like I said, I'm an addict, and I am always looking for ways to do better.

It's a 7 peice kit... one kick, one snare, five toms.

My thought is with the extra tracks I could mic the snare and the kick like always, then mic the two high toms with one mic, the two mid toms with one mic, and the floor tom by itself. Then I thought I could use another mic as an overhead above the cymbals (maybe not the condenser... that picks up the bass drum too well even from higher up).

That leaves me two extra inputs that I could use if I wanted to. I know sometimes too many mics on the drums can make them hard to mix, but on the other hand, I could mic the high hat and the ride so I could pull them out a bit more in the mix, too.

What are your suggestions?

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Since: Apr 19, 2002

Feb 26, 2004 09:51 am

I would use a pair of condensors as overheads, and close mics on kick, snare, and 3 mics for the toms. I like stereo overheads. The overheads pick the cymbals and the hats pretty well and they give you to glue the kit and make it feel more tight.

Since: Jan 08, 2004

Feb 26, 2004 09:55 am

Experiment, try things that work for you or the music you're doing. That is the best advice anyone could give and it seems your well on the road. That's why I love recording cause there are no rules and sometimes you find things out by mistake....I know I have. Just think of all those people out there back 10-50 years ago that didn't have this kinda resource and the nutty things they would do are now some of the standard techniques Hahahahaha. I know I read a lot of Magazines to find out the latest techniques or to at least give me some ideas, it's a slow process for sure but worth the time.

Czar of Midi
Since: Apr 04, 2002

Feb 27, 2004 10:40 pm

Indeed Gregor has a point. I sure didnt have the means way back when I first started that I have now. I can actually do more with less these days.

But on the drum subject, I would do as you have stated with the kick, snare, Hi Hat, and toms micced as you described. One over head is good, but two is better. And I use condensors over head on drums frequantly. As long as you are sending the mics all to seperate tracks you will have suplreme control over the sound and the over heads give you much more control over how the mix will sound. If your mix allready has good drum sounds going with the on kit mics, then pull teh low end out of the over heads and use them to define the sound of the brass.

It is a lot of experimenting as every room that gets recorded in is a bit differant, so the rules can change in a heart beat.

Hopethis helps a bit.

Chief Cook and Bottle Washer
Since: May 10, 2002

Feb 27, 2004 10:55 pm

First I recommend a big room. Bass drum and low end toms fill a room with huge waves in a hurry. Drums need room to "breath". First question "what are you listening for?" One band I record has a drummer nick named "Foot". You can guess what he wants to hear in every recording. I use on spot mic right next to the kick strike to get the "hit" and another just inside the port hole at the front of the kick for the boom. Another band has a drummer that excells on the snare; Brushes, rim shots, rolls...; I use a supercardiod condenser on the snare for him. Yet another digs rolling down the toms. A clip on mic per tom there. The best results I have gotton have been by recording a test piece or two with a best guess set up and giving the recording to the members of the band. Make them stay away for two weeks. Then re-visit the group and see what they want to hear. Then obviously use my resources to get "that" sound.

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