The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Need overheads in a small room?
Old 24th April 2019
  #1
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Need overheads in a small room?

My studio has a small live room and 6-inputs. Lots of 6" absorbers to clean up the acoustics. I find that while overheads contribute a sound, the spot mics pickup plenty of cymbals. I am debating if those two inputs would be better used as second snare and kick mics? It's such a dry room I am not sure pulling then back as rooms would do much.
Old 24th April 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

In general you use SDC in XY in a small room. Something like Beyer MC930 are great. For cheapo mics you can't beat Shure ksm137. If you have the money you buy Schoeps with the cmc6 option or perhaps vintage KM84s?? An lesser known gem are KM85, they are about 50% .
Old 24th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrischoir View Post
In general you use SDC in XY in a small room. Something like Beyer MC930 are great. For cheapo mics you can't beat Shure ksm137. If you have the money you buy Schoeps with the cmc6 option or perhaps vintage KM84s?? An lesser known gem are KM85, they are about 50% .
I have mics to use. It's a question of if that is the best use in a room that small where the cymbals are plenty present in the other mics
Old 24th April 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I have mics to use. It's a question of if that is the best use in a room that small where the cymbals are plenty present in the other mics
oops sorry for the mic recommendations. Like I said SDC in XY is preferred for small rooms. If you use LDC spaced wide they will be less focused.

You really have to experiment. So much has to do with the kit and player. If the drummer hits the cymbals too aggressively it is not going to matter what mics you use or where you put them, it's going to be problematic. Cymbals are a unique challenge depending on the drummer and the cymbals. If you posted clips I could give you some better advice. Some things to consider with cymbal issues are the use of HPF on OHs also fast thinner crashes vs thicker crash cymbals. Without knowing more about your drummer and drum kit anything advice is pure speculation. If you post clips that would help. One thing I can say is if you put the mics in XY then you can move them easily to pickup more drums as opposed to more cymbals. Another option is to record the drums then overdub the cymbals if the cymbals are a problem.
Old 24th April 2019
  #5
Can you get a solid drum sound with 2 overheads and a kick?

Relying on cymbal bleed from other mics is a recipe for phase issues and will limit your options depending on the style of music/production you are going for,
Old 24th April 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Perra View Post
Can you get a solid drum sound with 2 overheads and a kick?

Relying on cymbal bleed from other mics is a recipe for phase issues and will limit your options depending on the style of music/production you are going for,
I am using kel hm-1's for overheads currently. They sound good, but a little distant even though they really are not, but they blend into the mix well. They don't have the punch I hear from other people's overheads though that would let me roll without the spot mics on the toms. It may be the eq curve of those mics contributing to that effect. Still experimenting.
Old 25th April 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
My studio has a small live room and 6-inputs. Lots of 6" absorbers to clean up the acoustics. I find that while overheads contribute a sound, the spot mics pickup plenty of cymbals..
by "spot mics", do you mean your tom and snare mics pick of plenty of cymbals or do you mean dedicated cymbal spot mics?

"plenty" of cymbals is not really what you want, if it is only "plenty" of off-axis cymbal bleed on tom mics that are pointed the other way. IMO, the overheads should give you a 'picture' of the drum set. I personally usually use split cardioids for my main drum sound, and use my close mics to fill in the picture. But there are many who use the overheads as "cymbal mics". But either way, I think just relying on the cymbals that pick up on the close mics will give you a very washy indistinct sound of the stick on the ride and high-hat rhythms which are very important for the pulse of the song.

I don't know maybe you will like that, but I certainly find it lacking.


Quote:
I am debating if those two inputs would be better used as second snare and kick mics?
I haven't put up a snare under mic in 10 years. Before that, I used to put one up but never use it. But a front of kick (outside kick) mic with an LDC can be very useful, either alone or in combination with the inside kick mic.

Quote:
It's such a dry room I am not sure pulling then back as rooms would do much
yeah, "room mics" in a very small room are often rather disappointing. Some people open the door and put the room mics in the adjacent room. This can be a cool sound.

Instead of Overheads, you might want to try the idea of a pair of Underheads as your 'whole picture' mics. Plenty of threads here on the technique.

Last edited by joeq; 25th April 2019 at 09:46 PM.. Reason: "not"
Old 25th April 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I have mics to use. It's a question of if that is the best use in a room that small where the cymbals are plenty present in the other mics
Off-axis cymbal bleed from close mics is usually not representative of the way cymbals sound to the drummer or audience. It's usually overridden by elevated overtones heard from specific parts of the cymbals at close range. But maybe you like that sound? Not my idea of a good cymbal sound, but opinions vary. I much prefer the mic(s) at least 18 inches or more from the cymbals (depends on the cymbal and mic). Overheads generally give a truer representation, but too far in small room can have its share of problems as well. It's always a compromise.
Old 26th April 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
You could try the Albini M/S pair in front on the drum in lieu of overheads. He places them around chest high and maybe 2-4 feet in front of the drums (by memory).
Old 4th May 2019
  #10
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Lots of 6" absorbers to clean up the acoustics. .
That could be your problem. I have heard a lot of guys mute their small rooms, which doesn't make sense to me. There is no reason to mute them unless they sound really bad. But people do it thinking that they will just add digital reverb later. But especially for drums, you need to let them breathe as much as possible, it adds depth that is lost when playing a totally muted room. One guy I knew had a room that was long, like 40 feet long, but only 12ft wide, and the ambience of the room was amazing, until he felt compelled to mute it, making all of his mixes sound artificial, and the drums sounding like they were played in a muted room with digital reverb added.

Another thing to consider is drummers who go completely overboard with the cymbals. Always play with headphones with an accurate monitor mix to get that feedback you need to get a nice sound. The (specific) playing of the drummer in that room with those mics is just as important as his chops, the equipment, mix, etc.
Old 4th May 2019
  #11
Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
That could be your problem. I have heard a lot of guys mute their small rooms, which doesn't make sense to me.
Most small rooms with box-like dimensions under 3000 cu ft or so typically have detrimental and overpowering early reflections that tend to muddy up the direct sound. Especially rooms with flat, low ceilings. The only way around it is to utilize heavy broadband absorption.
Quote:
There is no reason to mute them unless they sound really bad.
And most do.
Quote:
But people do it thinking that they will just add digital reverb later. But especially for drums, you need to let them breathe as much as possible, it adds depth that is lost when playing a totally muted room.
Only if it's not treated properly. Plenty of great drum sounds have been recorded in dead, small rooms.
Quote:
One guy I knew had a room that was long, like 40 feet long, but only 12ft wide, and the ambience of the room was amazing, until he felt compelled to mute it, making all of his mixes sound artificial, and the drums sounding like they were played in a muted room with digital reverb added.
That's not a "small" room. User error.
Old 4th May 2019
  #12
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aural Endeavors View Post
Most small rooms with box-like dimensions under 3000 cu ft or so typically have detrimental and overpowering early reflections that tend to muddy up the direct sound. Especially rooms with flat, low ceilings. The only way around it is to utilize heavy broadband absorption.

And most do.

Only if it's not treated properly. Plenty of great drum sounds have been recorded in dead, small rooms.

That's not a "small" room. User error.
They sound bad without reverb, but often, I have found most of the time actually, they sound worse with muting with reverb added. Totally unnatural. Yeah, and plenty of great drum sounds have been recorded with crappy drums, that's not really saying anything.

Half of a 40ft by 12ft room is small, the other half is relatively extra medium
Old 4th May 2019
  #13
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
They sound bad without reverb, but often, I have found most of the time actually, they sound worse with muting with reverb added. Totally unnatural. Yeah, and plenty of great drum sounds have been recorded with crappy drums, that's not really saying anything.

Half of a 40ft by 12ft room is small, the other half is relatively extra medium
The fact that they sound bad has nothing to do with how "muted" they are.
Old 5th May 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
The fact that they sound bad has nothing to do with how "muted" they are.
then why mute them? that's my point
Old 5th May 2019
  #15
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
then why mute them? that's my point
You have no point. If we need to explain to you why small rooms require broadband treatment you have no business commenting on any of this. I can only make an educated guess on what you mean by "mute"
Old 5th May 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
You have no point. If we need to explain to you why small rooms require broadband treatment you have no business commenting on any of this. I can only make an educated guess on what you mean by "mute"
If I need to explain to you that you should use your ears first before talking about what is "required" then you have no business in audio or music.
Old 5th May 2019
  #17
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unfiltered420 View Post
If I need to explain to you that you should use your ears first before talking about what is "required" then you have no business in audio or music.
I did. That's why the absorbers are there.
Old 5th May 2019
  #18
I have a small but not tiny studio space, carpeted, with an 8 ft ceiling. The only saving grace is that two of the corners are not 90 degrees square. It is well treated with bass traps, the kit is in a corner surrounded by treatment, with a tall gobo in front of the kit -- kind of a very leaky drum booth. I use two KSM-32 for OHs in a Glyn Johns type array, an in and out kick mic, snare mic and that's it. The drums sounded good to me, fat and present, but very dry and clean.

I tried adding a room mic and after much experimentation ended up using a cheap Russian-made stereo ribbon mic thru my cleanest mic pre for that purpose, which works great. Something like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Prodipe...wAAOSwvRFb1MwM

I position the mics away from the drums, on the other side of the gobo, so they are picking up very little direct sound. In a Blumlein configuration, panned hard L & R I was amazed how much realism the room mics added -- even though my room isn't that great. I mix them to taste, according to the music, sometimes more room, sometimes less, sometimes compressed, EQ, etc and it's a great option to have, I always use the room mics now. If I were you I would experiment with moving your overheads further away from the kit and see what you can get.
Old 5th May 2019
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
My studio has a small live room and 6-inputs. Lots of 6" absorbers to clean up the acoustics. I find that while overheads contribute a sound, the spot mics pickup plenty of cymbals. I am debating if those two inputs would be better used as second snare and kick mics? It's such a dry room I am not sure pulling then back as rooms would do much.
If you get plenty of toms in the overs, I would feel compeled to lose them in favor of other options

I like the mono FOK approach but usually reach for XY small diaphragms over head

I’m not a fan of multiple mics on drums in a small room. I like using two mics on drums here
Old 5th May 2019
  #20
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by playon View Post
I have a small but not tiny studio space, carpeted, with an 8 ft ceiling. The only saving grace is that two of the corners are not 90 degrees square. It is well treated with bass traps, the kit is in a corner surrounded by treatment, with a tall gobo in front of the kit -- kind of a very leaky drum booth. I use two KSM-32 for OHs in a Glyn Johns type array, an in and out kick mic, snare mic and that's it. The drums sounded good to me, fat and present, but very dry and clean.

I tried adding a room mic and after much experimentation ended up using a cheap Russian-made stereo ribbon mic thru my cleanest mic pre for that purpose, which works great. Something like this one: https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Prodipe...wAAOSwvRFb1MwM

I position the mics away from the drums, on the other side of the gobo, so they are picking up very little direct sound. In a Blumlein configuration, panned hard L & R I was amazed how much realism the room mics added -- even though my room isn't that great. I mix them to taste, according to the music, sometimes more room, sometimes less, sometimes compressed, EQ, etc and it's a great option to have, I always use the room mics now. If I were you I would experiment with moving your overheads further away from the kit and see what you can get.
This is exactly what I was driving at. The reverb time would be negligible but are there enough spatial cues left after all of the absorbers are in place to make rooms worthwhile. In many cases they would.be just as close as overs in a bigger room, just in front or behind the kit vs above it
Old 5th May 2019
  #21
I also suspended a 4 x 2 ft piece of insulation as a "cloud" directly above the drum set, this helped a lot to get rid of reflections from the ceiling.
Old 5th May 2019
  #22
Lives for gear
 
AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by playon View Post
I also suspended a 4 x 2 ft piece of insulation as a "cloud" directly above the drum set, this helped a lot to get rid of reflections from the ceiling.
I did as well. I am also experimenting with pegboard fronting sections of a few of the absorbers to see what that might do. I am hoping to bring back a little life without impacting the benefits of cleaning up nulls and boosts in the room.
Old 5th May 2019
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
This is exactly what I was driving at. The reverb time would be negligible but are there enough spatial cues left after all of the absorbers are in place to make rooms worthwhile.
Absolutely.

I also suspended a 4" thick, 4 x 2 ft piece of insulation as a "cloud" directly above the drum set, this helped a lot to get rid of unwanted reflections from the ceiling. In my room two of the walls have windows with blinds, if I want a harder, more reflected edge to the sound I sometimes open the blinds a little. Even with a small, less than ideal room you can have a lot of options if you are creative in your use of the space.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump