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How to achieve this tight, vintage but clear drum sound (Daft Punk, Steely Dan)
Old 21st March 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
 

How to achieve this tight, vintage but clear drum sound (Daft Punk, Steely Dan)

I'm gonna do a recording session soon where I have to record this disco-y and tight drum sound. Here are some examples (sorry for YouTube quality, but it's easier to share )

Daft Punk - Give Live Back To Music:
YouTube

Pretty much everything by Steely Dan, but stuff from Aja is a nice example:
YouTube


They both have tight and punchy drum sound, with a nice round punchy kick and snare and clear cymbals. Is has a vintage character as well, but that's probably because of the use of tape mainly.

One thing I'm not certain of is the type of room I should record in. In the studio we're gonna record in are two separate rooms: one very small one and a bigger one. Both treated, so there is not a very roomy sound anyway, but the bigger one has still got some ambience.
I guess for tight drums like in my examples, a small dead room should fit it better, but I'm not sure. In the Daft Punk example, as with a lot of other disco records, the drums seem to have some reverb, but I think this is artificial.

I'm also curious on how to setup the mics, especially the overheads. For me it's kinda hard to determine how the overheads are set up, especially because of the tight sound. I'm in doubt between a Glyn Johns/recorderman setup or a spaced pair setup, but maybe it's even something else. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

I do notice that close miking is very important in this case, so I'll make sure to properly close mic the kick, snare and hi-hat. I guess I'll just mic the snare top, as I don't hear much of the bottom side. I guess a mic on the hi-hat facing away from the snare is also a good idea.

That kick could be a bit challenging though. I am especially going for that Daft Punk style kick drum, which has much more bottom end than the Steely Dan sound, but it's still very tight. Any tips on how to achieve that? I guess a muffled kick is essential, but I'm not sure whether or not to use a resonant head. And how should I record the kick? Just one mic, or maybe with an additional sub kick mic (just a Yamaha speaker) to get some extra low-end?

Any help would be appreciated.


EDIT: Oh, almost forgot. Any tips on what type of kit to use. Or whether to use a big or a small kick drum? Any tips on tuning the drums are also appreciated.
Old 22nd March 2019
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
The Daft Punk track is much brighter than the Steely Dan stuff, and believe the reasons include being a modern recording, and just using the overheads as a bigger part of the sound. The room might be more lively as well.

Start with making the drum sound fairly dry and punchy. Thick heads with muffling are important. To go super hardcore Evans Hydraulic heads on the toms, for more lively sound, but still controlled Remo Pinstripes on toms. Snare, a wallet or deadening ring is a good idea. You'll want padding in the bass drum. For the more modern low end, keep the resonant head on and use an inside and outside mic. For more classic, take the front head off and use just one mic. Tenting the BD with a packing blanket will help for isolation.

I wouldn't use Glyn Johns OH, recorderman might work, but in the 70s spaced pairs were generally the thing. Hat mics are often used. I like dynamic mics (on hat), as they tent to keep the hat sound from ripping your head off. Consider high passing the OH and hat mics. Close mic all the drums.

Gobos will help tighten the sound.

Check out the record in my signature, that sound can be had in a modern environment.
Old 28th March 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
The Daft Punk track is much brighter than the Steely Dan stuff, and believe the reasons include being a modern recording, and just using the overheads as a bigger part of the sound. The room might be more lively as well.

Start with making the drum sound fairly dry and punchy. Thick heads with muffling are important. To go super hardcore Evans Hydraulic heads on the toms, for more lively sound, but still controlled Remo Pinstripes on toms. Snare, a wallet or deadening ring is a good idea. You'll want padding in the bass drum. For the more modern low end, keep the resonant head on and use an inside and outside mic. For more classic, take the front head off and use just one mic. Tenting the BD with a packing blanket will help for isolation.

I wouldn't use Glyn Johns OH, recorderman might work, but in the 70s spaced pairs were generally the thing. Hat mics are often used. I like dynamic mics (on hat), as they tent to keep the hat sound from ripping your head off. Consider high passing the OH and hat mics. Close mic all the drums.

Gobos will help tighten the sound.

Check out the record in my signature, that sound can be had in a modern environment.

Thanks a lot for this. There are some really great tips in here that I will definitely look into.
Old 28th March 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
badmark's Avatar
Black Cow Drums Compressor? - MusicPlayer Forums

No compression on the Black Cow drums. Maybe some tape compression, but no on purpose. Black Cow was before digital (do I have to say analog in front of all these people?)

If I remember correctly, 421s on the toms. We would switch between 421 and SM56 on snare depending on which snare was being used. I don't remember which one on the actual take we used. 414 on overheads and some Sony Electret condenser on the hat. Oh yeah, and an EV 666 on the kick drum.

If you get the drums sounding good, (full bodied yet crispy & just the right amount of ring) you don't need to compress them.

Roger
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