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Drums 'R' Us
Old 18th July 2005
  #1
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Drums 'R' Us

Let's talk about drums. What gear/techniques does everyone employ around here? Samples? No samples? Mics? Pres? Compression? Reverb? Spaced pair, XY for overheads, ribbons, LDCs? What about that kick, good ol 421 and a 47 fet or do you put some kinda LDC in the hole? Snare. two mics? one on the bottom? Top and bottom of toms? Do tell all.
Old 18th July 2005
  #2
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doorknocker's Avatar
Not incredibly experienced here but I've gotten good results with the following in my small but beautiful drum room underneath my apartement (stone walls/maple floor)

Overheads:

KM 184s in 'Recorderman' , measured with an old mic cable stuck to the point where the kick beater hits the skin and the center of the snare respectively. These are my main drum sound and will be panned L/R in the mix, but never full L/R.

TG-2 for OHs, no compression while recording.


Kick: D-112 mostly, sometimes Telefunken MD-421. Never too far inside the drum, mostly near the cut out hole of the front skin. Sometimes I'll use a 'Sonotube'- type tunnel, which lets me increase the distance of the D112 even further.

Rather than moving closer in (which always sounds **** IMO) I sometimes mic the beater side of the kick with a 57, haven't done it in a while though.

Pre for kick: UA 2108, with maybe a hint of a dbx 160VU.


Snare: Beyer M201 mostly, sometimes 57, really wanna try the Beyer M160 on my next drum session.

Pre: UA 2108, again with maybe a dbx160 in there, but mostly no compression.

Toms: MD421s, they are 'there' in the mix (I never clean the tom tracks, it's more like an enhancement, usually in my room there's enough toms on the OH tracks.)

Pre: Whatever's left. Mostly ART PRO MPA (better than what people think, IMO)
No comp or sometimes a NTP 179-170 just because it's there (an incredibly transparent comp, but on toms it's more Gearsluttery than absolute necessity)

Hi-hat: Nothing.

Front of kick: Along with the OHs, this is my main drum sound. Helped by my small room size, the sound will violently bounce back from the nearby stone wall and create massive 'drive'. Mostly an AKG 414 B/ULS, about knee high and pointed towards the floor for additional bounce and to decrease cymbal harshness.
When the SonoTube's in use, then the FOK will be just outside the tunnel entrance. I got a Little Labs IBP to set the phase (mostly it will be on the D112) but I'm not so experienced with it yet and so far I rather put it in standby rather than to stretch the drummer's nerves with endless fiddling. (That I do anyway, so too much IBP-ing would cross the line I guess)
I need to work more with it, it's a great tool for sure (and also an amazing DI box, so it might anyway already be on the bass and not available for drums, so I need another one. Gearsluttery again!)

Pre: UA 6176 with the 1176 mostly set to all in. The FOK will often be even further compressed in the mix and put 'just under' the rest of the drum sound set to dead center. This really makes a difference, without it, the drums get very tame and polite.
More FOK for 'let all hell break loose' sounds obviously.


That's about it!

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 18th July 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
cfjis's Avatar
 

drum stuff

To me, the most important stuff is this:

- the drums are tuned well (duh... but hey, many drummers don't really do a good job of this... and nothing will dramatically change the sound of your drum tracks like how they are tuned). As an engineer, it really is a helpful thing to be able to tune drums... if you don't know how, ask a drummer who does a good job of it... they will more than likely be happy to point you in a good direction.

- not to place your mics too close to the drums (amazing how much more "real" or powerful it sounds when you just pull your snare and tom mics back a few inches... you get more of the sound of the whole drum, not just one tiny node on the top-head).

-really take in to consideration your center-imaging when placing overhead mics. make sure your snare isn't going to be pulling to the left or right of your overhead tracks. I do this by measuring the distance from the center of the snare to the OH mics (some do it from the kick... but, since I usually end up putting a HPF on my OH tracks, the kick is less pronounced than the snare... not to mention high-freq content is more indicative of directionality than Low-Freq content).

As for actual mics & pres, etc....
Kick: D112 is a good ole standby... never feel too let down by it. API 512c.
Snr: 57 or B57 (for a little more HF).... UNLESS you have a KM86 (but, trust your drummer first). API 512c. And, if you have the tracks/ inputs... try both.
Snr Bot: 441... something to get the sizzle of the snares. API 512c (sense a trend with the pres??).
Toms: 421's are always alright. MD409's are cool, too. API's if you've got 'em.
OH's: I dig the Earthworks TC30k's (spaced pair, unless you want to use a jecklin disc with them... won't really work in XY) very transparent. For a different flavor, go with the Royer 121 or 122's... or any of their stereo mics... "smooove".
HH: SDC or an SM7 (with the high-freq boost... nice).
Room: no real hard and fast rules... move around the room, and listen for good spots. I always like putting a LDC 5-10 ft. away from the kick, facing down toward the kick, about 2-3 ft. off the ground (nice mono kit thing). How many mics and where to place them depends on the size of the room.

It is also fun to try a PA in the room with the kit... add some K/Snr/toms back in to the room, so the room tracks aren't so washy with cymbals. My fave was the 30" (or was it 32"???... you read that right) woofers at One On One in North Hollywood... THAT was booming (and a big part of the Metallica Black Album sound). You could literally feel the air the speakers were pushing blow past you... good times.

Anyway... that was a lot of typing.
Cheers,
Charles
heh
Old 18th July 2005
  #4
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DeadPoet's Avatar
@ doorknocker: KM 184s in 'Recorderman' , measured with an old mic cable stuck to the point where the kick beater hits the skin.


I've always thought to get the OH's measured from the snare, not the kick. I mean, get the snare sounding great in the OH's and get kick sound from kick mic, or am I missing something here ???


Herwig
Old 18th July 2005
  #5
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet
@ doorknocker: KM 184s in 'Recorderman' , measured with an old mic cable stuck to the point where the kick beater hits the skin.
I've always thought to get the OH's measured from the snare, not the kick. I mean, get the snare sounding great in the OH's and get kick sound from kick mic, or am I missing something here ???Herwig
Sorry, I wasn't very precise in the post above, I forgot the snare! I got up too early today

The thing is, you put the 2 mics in such a way that both the snare and kick are equidistant from the mics.

Somebody will chime in and expain it in a better way

Andi

www.doorknocker.ch
Old 18th July 2005
  #6
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max cooper's Avatar
 

I used to struggle with drum sounds until one day when I was tearing a mix down to start over; all of a sudden the drums sounded fantastic! I looked up and realized I had taken every plugin off of the kit. So I now I only use 'em on vocals and guitars etc. and everything sounds much better.
Old 18th July 2005
  #7
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audioez's Avatar
 

here's a project I recorded earlier this year, scroll down to the bottom of the page to hear clips of the jam session
http://www.ronthaler.com/elimotion.html<link>
Old 18th July 2005
  #8
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5down1up's Avatar
 

just depends ... sometimes the snare sometimes the bd as reference .
basically snare isnt the center of the kit ... having the bd as the center point sounds cool , too ... [ just my opinion ]
actually , after trying a lot , i ended up liking the good ol spaced pairs for the ohs .
every side sounds different , makes a nice sounding kit .

everything else looks like my tastes real close to doorknockers

Old 18th July 2005
  #9
Gear Addict
 
simonv's Avatar
 

I recommend the Shure Beta 98D/S for Toms.
They sound great, and they don't take as much space as a 421.
Old 18th July 2005
  #10
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dim light's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
here's a project I recorded earlier this year, scroll down to the bottom of the page to hear clips of the jam session
http://www.ronthaler.com/elimotion.html<link>

also here's my set up sheet in pdf format, have fun
http://www.ezraudio.com/DJLOGIC.pdf
Love it!!!

Thanks for sharing... What happens around 00:42 on the jam mp3? Sounds like someone is turning up the volume.

Cool music.
Old 18th July 2005
  #11
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wallace's Avatar
 

Cool music. It sort of sounds like MMW.
Old 18th July 2005
  #12
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audioez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dim light
Love it!!!

Thanks for sharing... What happens around 00:42 on the jam mp3? Sounds like someone is turning up the volume.

Cool music.
ha! no that's my mix buss!!! I always print back into ProTools via a Studer converter when tracking, those clips are just my mix buss from the tracking sessions, so any changes in volume are me moving the faders. thanks for the kind words!
Old 18th July 2005
  #13
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
I try not to use the same gear and same methods on every session. If I did that I'd be plugging my clients into a formula and I'd fail in attempting to get the tones that they want to make their record unique. And since music is an art form, should we create new art or travel the same roads and regurgitate what has come before?

I have a bag of tricks that works for me and I'm constantly adding to it since no two sessions, kits or drummers are ever the same. Generally I'll have close mics on kick & snare and I don't use samples to replace drum sounds. If I trigger a sample it's usually during the mix and I'm using it to augment rather then replace a sound. Other then that, it always changes!

I've run close mics through guitar amps (in the same room with the drums) and miked the amp. I've used a mono overhead with a stereo pair for the room, stereo overheads with a mono room mic, stereo overheads with mismatched room mics and other combinationse. Sometimes I'll mic the top heads of the toms, sometimes the bottom only, sometimes a combination and the last time I tracked drums I didn't need to mic the rack tom (it was loud enough in the overheads) and I placed a mic on the bottom of the floor tom to give it more weight. So yeah...experimentation is king.

Besides, it keeps me from getting bored!
Old 18th July 2005
  #14
Guest
Guest
This weekend I cut some drums.

M300's -> 312 on OH.
57 -> 312 on snr top.
D12 -> 312 on kik.

The OH's were started in a "recorderman" style but, as always were moved abit to get it just right.
The kick ended up with front head on, D12 back a few inches from the hole, and a tunnel built over the whole thing.
The snare mic was between the hats and hi-tom back and up at least 4 inches. I like the sound when the mic is back a ways from the drum.

No dynamics were used tracking as it was just me and me alone doing it all.

I was testing out my new room sans any acoustic treatments.
Had to see what I had prior to screwing it up.
It was quite a pleasant "Gonzo" type sound.
In fact, I am going to leave them on the track I was testing with.
heh



D
Old 18th July 2005
  #15
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I like to use close mics on the drum, but don't always use them. Mostly dynamics. I've done all kinds of different things with OH. I just got some of the cheap ribbons and they seem to sound better as spaced OH, I had been on a big "recorderman" OH for a while and will probably use it for mics other than the ribbons...or not. I have to have at least one room mic. I've done all kinds of things including SDC taped to the floor, mics very high, a couple different mono mics, stereo room etc. I tend to go back to stereo omni LDC on a straight stand at its lowest height. It’s a really good sound in my room. I like a speaker, or LDC outside the BD, but I blend it to tape, often changing the blend on each song, usually tempo dependant. I haven’t miced a HH in years. Sometimes I mic the SD shell. I've been meaning to try top and bottom tom mics, though I don't like bottom SD.

I use my console (Neotek Elan) pres for drums. I like the whole set to sound like one instrument and using the same pre helps that IMNSHO. I decide on compression usually after I add the bass and guitars during tracking. Those settings might change from tune to tune as well. Tracking EQ is usually to get rid of un-wanted things that mic placement/swapping isn’t doing the way I like

I usually mix with a drum-bus parallel. I vary which elements of the drums go into it for different attitudes and character.
Old 18th July 2005
  #16
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
here's a project I recorded earlier this year, scroll down to the bottom of the page to hear clips of the jam session
http://www.ronthaler.com/elimotion.html<link>

also here's my set up sheet in pdf format, have fun
http://www.ezraudio.com/DJLOGIC.pdf

Those examples are very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Where's the pumping in the drums coming from on the first one esp? Is it the 525 on the BD or the 33609 on 'ear? It's definitely driven by the BD
Old 19th July 2005
  #17
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audioez's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Those examples are very cool. Thanks for sharing.

Where's the pumping in the drums coming from on the first one esp? Is it the 525 on the BD or the 33609 on 'ear? It's definitely driven by the BD
Thanks for the kind words thumbsup

My drums sound comes from the "ears" pair that you mentioned, or "snake eyes" as my friend ron calls it. That is actually a great example of what a 33609J sounds like when your signal path is this.

(2)B&K 4011 or 4006 which ever is the omni version, I forget-->Neve3415-->Neve33609J-->DAW

These mics are placed behind the drum kit, about ears lentgth apart, then compressed to all hell, and then some!

I love omni mics; You're hearing the way an omni reproduces the lowend! OMNI FOR EVER, but don't take my word for it.
Old 19th July 2005
  #18
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dim light's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
ha! no that's my mix buss!!! I always print back into ProTools via a Studer converter when tracking, those clips are just my mix buss from the tracking sessions, so any changes in volume are me moving the faders. thanks for the kind words!
Ha ha ha, cool!
Old 19th July 2005
  #19
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
Thanks for the kind words thumbsup

My drums sound comes from the "ears" pair that you mentioned, or "snake eyes" as my friend ron calls it. That is actually a great example of what a 33609J sounds like when your signal path is this.

(2)B&K 4011 or 4006 which ever is the omni version, I forget-->Neve3415-->Neve33609J-->DAW

These mics are placed behind the drum kit, about ears lentgth apart, then compressed to all hell, and then some!

I love omni mics; You're hearing the way an omni reproduces the lowend! OMNI FOR EVER, but don't take my word for it.

I love OMNI room (and OH and gtr and vox) mics myself.

Now it's time to add a 33609 to the ever expanding "slut list."
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