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"Relish - drums" questions to William Wittman Condenser Microphones
Old 25th April 2005
  #121
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van Overhalen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
I've never had a drummer have a problem opening it and closing it with the towel.

But again, it's not something I ALWAYS do, just something I particularly did in that incredibly live room at Record Plant.

Are you finding you NEED to towel?
With a busy opening and closing hi-hat style, is he a drummer you really want to use much room mic on?
First of all I am the drummer in this case and I am NOT busy opening and closing the hat, but if I cut a track with a half open hi hat, that is when the hat tends to bury everything else and it is hard for the snare to cut through.
I am Not talking bout room mics but the bleed of the hat in pretty much everything else, which happens quite a lot when you record drums in a small room, so I thought the towel thing might work here, but maybe the towel was too heavy, it just didn`t sound like a half open hi hat anymore...?
See, when Ringo bashed his way through early to mid Beatle tracks, he never ever was that polite with his cymbals, neither hi-hat nor ride work and I always wondered how they balanced it when they only used one mic above the kit and compressed the whole thing like mad ?!
Old 25th April 2005
  #122
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Not to be a smart ass, but being a drummer to, bein able to control the volume of the hats while driving it half-open is one of the key aspects of balancing your own playing. The overheads should still be catching a workable overall balance, even when you're playing the hats half open or for example when riding a crash cymbal....

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 25th April 2005
  #123
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Didn`t want to leave the impression here that I am not able to keep balance...(-:
I just thought this towel trick might be a good idea for making life easier while mixing.
I mean it all depends on what kind of hi hat/cymbals you use, how reflective the walls are etc. etc.
Somebody said that guitars to sound heavy and loud should be played trough loud and heavy amplification... I guess that is true for rocking drums, too ?
See, when I want the hat to sound like Lars Ulrich is playing then I guess I just can not caress the thing, right ? And I don`t WANT to, either (-;
(Girls just wanna have fun...)

wwittman said in one of his posts that the hat sounds just the same with the towel, only quieter.
Didn`t work out for me so what did I wrong ?
This is the question...
Old 25th April 2005
  #124
Lives for gear
hmmm

It's worked for me with consistently slightly open (that 'rude' hi hat sound) HH as well.

When you play it live, does it sound okay to you?
Are you putting a mic under the towel or on the hat somewhere?

without actually seeing it and hearing it, it's a bit hard to know what to say

DID it help you contain the hat from the other mics?

I suppose I would tend to try to get the right positions for everything where the hat leakage sounded good...
and also, naturally, the right hat cymbals themselves help a lot.

I'm sure Lars has VERY nice cymbals that record really well.
Old 26th April 2005
  #125
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
hmmm

It's worked for me with consistently slightly open (that 'rude' hi hat sound) HH as well.

When you play it live, does it sound okay to you?
Are you putting a mic under the towel or on the hat somewhere?

without actually seeing it and hearing it, it's a bit hard to know what to say

DID it help you contain the hat from the other mics?

I suppose I would tend to try to get the right positions for everything where the hat leakage sounded good...
and also, naturally, the right hat cymbals themselves help a lot.

I'm sure Lars has VERY nice cymbals that record really well.
Even before messing around with mic positioning, just while playing live, the hat sounds more like a triangle than anything else...(-:
They way you described it I guess it can only work with the towel arranged like a sort of tent ABOVE the hat whereas in my case the towel is touching both cymbals at their edges and in doing so just prevents them from ringing. This is no problem while playing closed hat - the sound is short anyway, but I like a half open hi hat to ring a little longer than it does damped by a towel...
Quote:
3rd- For the high hat (which is the real bane of MY exisitence) my trick is to take a large bath towel and drape it over the hat.. so that the centre post of the stand punctures the centre of the towel and it falls evenly over the hats.
Now the drummer simply plays the HH THROUGH the towel... that is, he actually hits the towel.
Sounds perfectly fine (indestructible, damnable things that they are) and yet quieter.
I do Not think that I actually try to do something different here but maybe the towel has to be REALLY large, so that it touches the floor and therefore doesn`t damp the hat as extremely as mine does ?

Just wanted to point out that I get by even if this does not work for me...(-:
Would have been fine, though...
Old 6th May 2005
  #126
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Quote:



Originally Posted by wwittman

Well I don't actually get the idea there.
Unless you're looking for a distortion effect (like the nine inch nails distorted piano), I don't drive the preamps into distortion generally.

In fact, I often have the faders on the desk all the way up on single mic sources like guitars or bass, where I don't need the faders to balance several mics to one track.
That means I end up running the preamps a bit cleaner than if the fader was down a bit.




big fan of your work but this makes me think I am an idiot...how are you adjusting your levels to tape, or in my case pro tools, if your faders are all the way up...doen't that go in much to hot. I work on an API 2488 all the time and find I have to run the faders at around halfway and down to get into protools at a tolerable level..thats wit the mic trim pots all the way down in most cases as well....is something messed up on the board or am I doing something wrong...I think the calibration to protools is pretty solid there as well so(-18.0 = 0)..whats the trick...I would actually like to run the faders hotter if I could...hopefully not to lost of a question for your time

Dwight


*
Old 6th May 2005
  #127
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I highly doubt you're an idiot.

I quite usually run a lot of the faders all the way up and just use the trims... I did this on an API doing guitar overdubs last week.
And on a Neve desk with all 1073's a few weeks ago.

Sometimes I need to put the pads on, on the API, but that would be the case anyway on those channels.
You cannot do it on a snare track or bass drum, usually, but most things work.

but you don't NEED to do that... the real point is that sometimes I run the preamp a bit lower than 'as loud as possible'
Old 6th May 2005
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wwittman
I highly doubt you're an idiot.

I quite usually run a lot of the faders all the way up and just use the trims... I did this on an API doing guitar overdubs last week.
And on a Neve desk with all 1073's a few weeks ago.

Sometimes I need to put the pads on, on the API, but that would be the case anyway on those channels.
You cannot do it on a snare track or bass drum, usually, but most things work.

but you don't NEED to do that... the real point is that sometimes I run the preamp a bit lower than 'as loud as possible'
thanks for the quick response and no I don't think I am an idiot..Just had the uhh maybe theres a better way thought...you find that the sound from the console is what when the faders are all the way up? fatter? for lack of a better word...on the api I work on there is a mic trim above the faders but there is no way to turn it down. It can only go up so I guess I don't understand how you are cranking the fader and still getting an okay level to pro tools..How hot do you hit pro tools? or with the pad on and the fader all the way do you just take what you get level wise...I am trying to understand cause I would like to try it..Sorry for the meandering post just lots of thoughs as I type. 2 more questions.
first is do you blend different mics for guitar sounds to a buss to tape and if so are you using the mic trims for balance is that more when you are doing a one mic thing. second is you said earlier but that would be the case anyway on those channles..just trying to figure out what you mean...on the API channles cause they run so hot...I defintely find them easy to clip so I am assuming that is what you mean...anyway...Maybe you could try to explain it one more time for me.. thanks for your time. Just trying to get the most out of the console and like a lot of guys these days..I didn't come up under anyone or as an assistant(though I wish I had)so I have always learned by myself through alot of trial and error so its great to get advice from someone I respect....
Old 6th May 2005
  #129
Lives for gear
I suppose I mean that with the mic trim nturned all the way down, and the pad on, and the fader all the way up, I usually find I can still use MORE gain and can bring the trim up a bit until the level looks right.

You might try also inserting a compressor into the micpre out - EQ in insert and use that to help adjust the gain.

But what i find sometimes is that extra little bit of less gain at the pre is a bit cleaner.

There's a point where too LITTLE preamp gain starts to sound poopy, but that little bit of difference we're talking about here, and on a loud signal where the preamp trim is all the way down or nearly so anyway, isn;t a problem.
Old 6th May 2005
  #130
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gotcha...that helps alot thanks for the tidbits of wisdom there...one last thing..if you are bussing several guitar mics to one submaster before tape....is your submaster all the way up generally as well or sonically is it cool just to run those where the level to tape is solid...thanks in advance...like I said a very helpful post for me

dwight
Old 7th May 2005
  #131
Lives for gear
Subs are almost always all the way up... depending on the desk.

On an API, if it has subs, i always leave them all the way up unless my sub mix gets a bit loud and i might pull the subs down a hair rather than try to pull 6 faders or so down by the same proportion.
KNow what I mean?

On a Neve with the little rotary trim subs.. I usually see that they're all adjusted nearly all the way up but trimmed so that they are all the same level (whcih for some reaosn rarely IS all the same pot position on those desks)
Neves with linear fader subs; all the way up.

But the short answer is I keep the subs near the top because I don't like slamming the combiner amps too hard.
Old 8th May 2005
  #132
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Hi William.

I was wondering...Phase cancellation comes when one sound source hits two mics at different times...cancelling various frequencies...making it kind of thin and puny sounding..

If i have my kick padded up inside a tunnel so the other mics virutally cannot 'hear' it...or the kick hear them....phase problems should be less of a concern right?
Old 8th May 2005
  #133
Lives for gear
Yes, phase issues between mics are lessened if the mics 'hear' less of the other signals.

But there is still ANOTHER issue with bass drum...
as someone once wisely pointed out to me, most drums are recorded with the mic looking at the strike point from above, so, with the hit, the drum moves away from the mic.

The bass drum is recorded the opposite way... moving TOWARD the mic with the strike.
So it often wants to be reversed polarity for that reason.
But really it always pays to listen both ways and decide.
Old 9th May 2005
  #134
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On the project that i'm just finishing now...i've recorded the kick padded up with a d112(which i don't think i'll use again) on the inside...and a large condensor in front...i'm not so much concerned with the phase involving the rest of the kit as much as the phase between these two mics...they seem....half in phase......reversed there isn't total cancellation...and in...there isn't total 'thud'...
The kick sounds good...but not as 'good' as i want it to....
I'm thinking of sliding the condensor into the d112 with computer editing to see if i can retrieve more thump...

Is this a feasible way to fix 'some' phase issues? What do you think?
Old 9th May 2005
  #135
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For that matter, maybe try the littlelabs IBPs, you wont have to worry about "half-phase" pbs...

William, thanks so much for all the advices!
cheers
Old 9th May 2005
  #136
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Well yes, you CAN use the IBP or you can shift time on tracks..
but while you're still getting sounds, why not just move the outer mic until it sounds right?

perfect math isn't important.. sounding right is.

I PERSONALLY find I can position a distant bass drum mic b y ear with no probs...

but the phase between the bass drum and the rest of the kit and the bass guitar, that always takes some fiddling and usually a reversal.

and it's a subtle area that adds enourmously to the clarity of the low end.

it WORKS with the bass drum in either phase relationship, but one way usually sounds much BETTER.
Old 9th May 2005
  #137
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All solid advice hear and thanks again William for sharing all your experiences so generously here.

I do want to emphasis the usefulness of the IBP here. I use it exactly for that purpose: to get the best match between inner and outer kick mic. You could try this: try finding the best spot for the outside kick mic in relation to the overheads and then position the inner kick mic where it sounds best. Now use the IBP to "phase allign" the inner with the outside kick mic which then also sounds good with the overheads!

Regarding phase and drummicing: it's virtually impossible to record a kit without phase problems, so the ear should always be the judge. However, something like the IBP makes phase stuff a lot easier. I also use it on bass guitar when I'm recording DI and mic together thumbsup .

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 9th May 2005
  #138
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[QUOTE=wwittman]Well yes, you CAN use the IBP or you can shift time on tracks..
but while you're still getting sounds, why not just move the outer mic until it sounds right? ]

100 percent agreed. What i need is someone moving mics for me while the drummers playing...it seems when i'm running back and forth moving...checking...moving checking...it's easy to loose my viewpoint on what i had and what i have now....my objectivity i guess. I could just strap a set of headphones to my mover so i can tell em when to stop.
Old 10th May 2005
  #139
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I have to agree with DirkB on the fact that positionning the individual mics where they sound the best + use the IBP has its advantages compared to moving mics. Especially when one is working alone (like me) in the studio!

William, one question I have to ask you is about the placement of the ambiance and OH mics. I see lots of fellow engineers placing the OH and Amb mics very distant from each others. I always find the result to sound phasy and unrealistic (washed out cymbals, unstable stereo image), so I always mics my amb (schoeps) and OH either in XY or ORTF. When placing those mics, do you take time to experiment with different options or do you always proceed with the same "pattern"?

Cheers
Old 10th May 2005
  #140
If I'm not mistaken, I think William isn't using OHs in this arrangement at all, just room and close mics.
Old 30th January 2006
  #141
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I really love the bass sound on that album, that would be the bass sound of my dreams, every note can be heard and the bass is always present at or high volume, really nice thumbsup
I've read some of your post's and I found that you prefer ampeg b 15 amps with 15" speakers, re 20 or sm7 mics and dbx 160 vu Compressed lightly at about 2:1.

I was wondering what pre you used and what you did during the mix on the bass for relish ?
Was there any compression at the mix stage ?
Do you e.q a lot at mix or mainly get the sound at the recording stage ?
Are there any perticulare frequency that you like to cut or boost ?

Thanks in advance .....
Old 21st February 2009
  #142
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4 years later and still a thumbsup post!!!!!
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