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Drum overhead mix techniques Condenser Microphones
Old 25th October 2002
Lives for gear

define cheap

What I mean by cheap in reference to my take on the sound of the '69 pre's was alluded to in my post: "If you're used to higher end stuff, they probably won't impress you."

To me, they sound a little like the preamps in my Soundcraft Ghost would sound if they were capped off with Burr Browns (which can be done, but I don't find worth it). Where they fail me is where my outboard pre's pick up the slack - in capturing more body, tone, and extended high end. I know describing the sound of anything in words can be a crapshoot, but the '69 pre's sound thin like my board pre's.

"Cheap", in this context, would also (though less directly) reflect cost per channel. It's a matter of getting what you paid for, which I got with my outboard pre's and which I didn't care if I got from the 1969's pre's. I didn't buy it for it's preamps.
Old 25th October 2002
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
Fair enough.
Old 26th October 2002
Lives for gear
davemc's Avatar

Has anyone tried a royer against a pair of M160's.
I know they probably sound better, but how much better my wallet wants to know. I cannot get a SF12 to A/B in oz as it purely buy to try.(like a lot of things here).
Been wanting a stereo mic for a while.

Regarding the 1969, I like mine but yes I have a lot of other pres better, although they are not crap. Just silky and uncolored.
Old 27th October 2002
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DigitMus's Avatar

I haven't compared the SF-12 with a pair of M160s, but I have compared the top capsule of the SF-12 with an M130 (fig-8 Beyer). The Royer seemed more detailied (probably due to the thinner ribbon) and had a more extended frequency response. Overall it just seemed "cleaner", if that makes any sense.

Old 28th October 2002
Lives for gear
davemc's Avatar

Thanks, Just would like a simple stereo mic for OH's.
But $2,200 compare with $700 for the M160 pair is a jump.
Old 12th November 2002
Gear Maniac
Jim Roberts's Avatar
I use 2 x U87 and 2 x ISA 110 for overheads. Typically don't print any compression or EQ with this combination. Afterwards, I will buss the OH to mono and pump through the 1176 (either outboard or plug-in) and bring it back in to the middle to get some pumping breathing (for rock & pop).
Old 12th November 2002
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bassmac's Avatar


Why do you choose mono instead of stereo for your compressed OH's?

And since I have one - what type of settings do you like on your 1176 for this? ...I do rock too.

Old 12th November 2002
Gear Maniac
Jim Roberts's Avatar
Was an old trick a friend taught me (I know it is widely used). It just works better in mono....not really sure why. But for some reason adding the effect up the middle between the OH stereo tracks works the magic. Maybe originated because someone only had a single 1176 and had to sum to mono heh
Old 13th November 2002
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Knox's Avatar

That's a so called "New York City" thing. All of us in NYC used to do that. Lee DeCarlo and all those guys . . . . it's funny, as I still read about it being a NY thing, like if you are in California . . it's illegal to do it.
Old 13th November 2002
drum overhead techniques

I usually don't compress or eq the overheads to tape. The last few sessions I used a pair of earthworks mics with 9098 mic/eqs. On the mix I will compress the overheads individually usually with a fast compressor on 2:1 or so. Generally I pull some mids out and add just a little air. The first faders I bring up are the overheads. I tend to use a little bit of compression on just about
the whole kit rather than do the subgroup thing.
Old 13th November 2002
Gear Maniac
recorderman's Avatar

no compression, no eq. Palcement moves pretty much (but not always) on damn near every song. It ALL depends on the interraelationships of the followinf factors. Interrelated and not in any order:
a. Song/Arrangement. What's he hitting most and how.
b. Kit and room. Is the room/space overly bright/dull, ect. Do I need to goboe the kit to get rid of the wash, from the overambient room that the owner thought was cool but is too live, ect.
c. Tools...what mic's do I have to work with.
1. If the room is the one I mentioned in b. then a apir of ribbons are my answer. If the room is really lifeless...then give me a paairof c12a's and a c12 very high over the snare.

The coolest thing for me in recording, is running in and quickly makeing it up as I go, fresh everytime , juggling all the things (and more) that I mention. It helps in the hype department, that I do things in a way that appears to the musicians, to be ways they've never quite seen before. There hidden skeptiscim hats are on sometimes the first time...until they come in for a listen (or put the cues on....).

OH's and near ambient mics are the soul....close mics the muscle.
Damn I love recording rythm tracks
Old 13th November 2002
Lives for gear


With a little searching at, I found the posts on containing the overheads technique you use. Awesome technique overall, very quick and painless! I tried it last night and I have a few comments:

- one of the 184's (obviously bright mics) managed to make the snare sound dull, which it isn't when close mic'ed... I think the mic is too far away from the snap of the snares underneath the drum (easily fixed w/ close mic'ing)

- the stereo imaging of the kit was very lifelike, sounding very much the way it sounds to sit behind the kit; except the ride went way out to the side (which I like anyway)

- centering the kick and snare will take a little more work for me (they were close but not quite), and I'm gonna try some headphones next time

- the cymbals aren't as bright as they are in a standard OH technique, but their body and tone was captured far better this way

- one of my toms BARKS and stands out with your OH technique... must be a resonance thing in that area

Also, I thought about maintaining the equal distance thing with mics on the "outer wings" of the kit. With a huge kit that has 7 toms (I added my roto's yesterday so I could compose songs on the toms), the 2 mic method works very well, but for more definition and body from those areas, I think two more mics would do it. I'll try keeping them equidistant with the OH mics to keep the phase in check. Can I maintain a good phase relationship by adding mics on the outer wings this way, or am I asking for trouble? If it works, I expect the sound of the kit to get even huger, because even more of the body can be captured from a little further out.

I'm also going to go a little more distant next time, so I can place a mic a little farther out in front of the kick while keeping equidistant to the 2 OH's.

Anyway, I can definitely see how the majority of a kit's sound can be caught with your method. I expect to mix in much less of the close mics than I was before. Excellent technique! It makes sense in terms of physics, too. Where did you come up with it?
Old 14th November 2002
Gear Maniac

depending on the kit, room, drums, and sound I need - I usually go with one a few constant things...

schoeps cmc6 w/ mk4v capsules > API 3124

or AKG 480s w/ hypercard caps (75hz highpass) > tele v-276 or something clean...

the record that I just finished mixing had a drummer that was a mix between breakbeat jazz and rock. He had a 2nd smaller snare, and at time used everything from a bell to put a tamborine on his floor tom. For this record/mix - I didnt need mick fleetwood sounds, so I went with something flexible with the hope of using less tracks than more...

First off this jazz/rock trio was set up live in a room, with very minimal baffles between the amps and the kit (couches), so bleed was of some concern.

I used the AKG 483 pair as OHs - one over the snare/hat/2nd snare about 3' up pointing straight down, and the other above the floor top area pointing straight down - these gave a nice upper spread of the kit drummer's perspective.

For the rest of the kit, I had the drummer take the head off of his kick - and I placed my Schoeps pair in ORTF about 3' from the kit - even with snare/tom level - this pair picked up both the punch of the kick, and the "attack" or the kit - a 421 in the kick and a beyer 501 (small mic w/ silver grille) did the snare, and a EV n/d 408 on the floor tom for a few tunes...

I was once an ORTF up-top guy, yet it often good too much room - I now find a proper spread and aim cardiods or hypercardiods straight down. Unless you are using really accuarate smaller diaphram mics....the off axis response in the higher freq's can be harsh, esp if you are going to digital as they say...

never compress OHs either - definatly at mix when I have the chance to audition a few things...

really want to pick up a pair if Beyer 160s down the road as another option...
Old 14th November 2002
Gear Maniac
recorderman's Avatar

Hey Jax,
Yes to all..experiment. Believe me, I don't do this technique all the time, it's just one tool in the bag. I also tend to use lots of mics, rather than eq. The general, jsut check and adjust for phase. Also, I don't know how many of you out there do or worry about this, but I generally place my monitor faders in a straight line (usually -5 or -10) with theexception of the kick mics being 5 to 10 over the aformentioned. I then balance mic levels "to tape" so as the balance I hear "through" the "straight line monitor faders" gives me a proper balance. Suprisingly, your levels "to tape" will be about right. More importantly, that relationship that you create at tracking will be easy to get to on every OD and as a godd starting point when you begin to mix. Works for Flecther says' "your mileage may vary".
Sorry for taking this off topic....I know this is more tarcking gthan mixing.

For a drum trck slightly oout's some glue for you (best done with a real analog two track...but digital can simulate)....send with an aux just a little sparkle of 15ips delay (around 122ms) and return...just a hint. If your using a digital delay, roll the top of on the return a bit. Sometimes a little longer or shorter...this slap can help and some "air" to the kit.

long live rock 'n' roll!!!!
Old 14th November 2002
Lives for gear
groundcontrol's Avatar

I like the faders in line technique too. It's kinda an old school way to do drums levels but it works great. I also like having all the faders around 0 when mixing. yuktyy
Old 16th November 2002
Gear Maniac
recorderman's Avatar

Originally posted by Sofa King
I like the 414 TLIIs,
LOVE these on OH's (when they're right for the call...)
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