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3 mic technique on drums?
Old 28th July 2005
  #31
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Larrchild's Avatar
 

Quote:
but i usually add a room mic further away, limited to death.
Protools may be the spawn of hell in many ways, but one thing I could not do with my studer was nudge the room mike up in time. That gets over the dreaded 1 ms/ft flam that room mikes far away can bring. So with a king-hell limiter suckin in the room, walking it up in time allows whatever amount of flam you want.
Old 28th July 2005
  #32
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrchild
Protools may be the spawn of hell in many ways, but one thing I could not do with my studer was nudge the room mike up in time. That gets over the dreaded 1 ms/ft flam that room mikes far away can bring. So with a king-hell limiter suckin in the room, walking it up in time allows whatever amount of flam you want.
I seem to remember Bob Ohlsson mentioning tht he would play the overheads off the sync head to a delay to 'line them up' with the OH...
Old 28th July 2005
  #33
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yeah i was gonna say, i would pick up the sync head and use a ddl but oof! lol
Old 28th July 2005
  #34
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by not_so_new
I am surprised that no one has mentioned that this was done to death here at Gearslutz a few years back. It is known as the "Recorderman Setup " (not that he started the idea but just that he brought it up on a message board back then).

I would only add one more thing to this. You should add a "D" and "E" to the photo....



"D" and "E" should be equidistant to the kick and the mics.

The best way to set this up (that I have found) is to take one long piece of string and tape one end to the middle of the snare and the other end to the point at which the kick beater hits the kick head.

Hold the string between your thumb and first finger and pull it to the highest point it will go over the snare. Put a piece of tape on the string at that point and place your over snare mic there. Now still holding on to the string at the same point (this is why you put the tape there.. heh ) move it back to the side of the drummer and put the 2nd mic at the string / tape mark.

Now both the snare and the kick will be in the center of your image. Well they will be close anyway, while someone is playing the kit you should (or someone should) move the "tom" overhead around a bit until the kick and snare show up in the center of your stereo image. If you use the string technique you should not have to move the tom overhead more than a few 1/4's of an inch to get the desired effect but you never know.

Anyway YMMV but centering the kick and the snare is always my goal when doing this technique and the string idea is a good way to get started in the right direction. Oh and I still use a bunch of mics around the kit even when I use this setup so checking phase becomes really important because this is not a "get the cymbals" set up this is a "get the whole kit" setup.
Michael,

Are you taping the string to the shell of the drum? I never though of that. Gotta try soon.
Old 28th July 2005
  #35
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Quote:
As long as you don't mind sounding retro. I love Zep and the Who, but modern drummers are (nit) picky. They want a very balanced combination of 'air' and tightness/close sounds with specific control of each drums with the capability to (generally) automate each one (no escaping the overheads, volumes are one thing, correct playing is another). I usually do top toms, top snare, one kick, spaced overheads, and ride. Not really a modern overkill technique, but not minimalist either.
John Bonham played with 2 other guys. Olympic's room did't hurt thumbsup So lots of space for a loose drum sound. Tempo and how much other **** you have goin on seems to dictate when you can do this. I always try anyway=)

My experience has sometimes been that I feel like Glynn Johns the day we track the drums, but later, 20 overdubs later, i wished the hell i'd miked more drums.
Old 28th July 2005
  #36
Motown legend
 
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Time-aligning the drums was something I always wanted to do. After I could, I found it had mixed results even for a different tune in the same session. Today I try to set up so I have a workable overall pickup but I record a variety of mikes and then use whatever combination sounds right for the track. To use the three mike method to full effect, you really need to carefully damp the sympathetic resonances in the kit which a lot of drummers have never liked the feel of playing.
Old 28th July 2005
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
Larrchild's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
Time-aligning the drums was something I always wanted to do. After I could, I found it had mixed results even for a different tune in the same session. Today I try to set up so I have a workable overall pickup but I record a variety of mikes and then use whatever combination sounds right for the track. To use the three mike method to full effect, you really need to carefully damp the sympathetic resonances in the kit which a lot of drummers have never liked the feel of playing.
Comb effects cause wierd phase nulls as you walk the room mike up in time. It's creepy, try it. but sometimes another earlier time wil be less flammy without cancelling. ymmv!
Old 28th July 2005
  #38
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Larr, if you are using tape and you want to move track the room forward, it's easy. Just use a delay like the SDE 3000 and record the track backwards onto another track. This is how we nudged tracks before PT.

Notsonew, I wasn't disagreeing with your string technique. I too base my drum image around the three mics, however I prefer to focus the OHs on the snare and ensure kick centering through off axis rejection.

BTW, I'm not dismissing the string. I don't know what gave you that idea. I always use a measuring tape, personally. I'm sure your method works fine, but mine has been working fine for a long time, and I see no reason to change it. It's part of my sound.
Old 28th July 2005
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Larr, if you are using tape and you want to move track the room forward, it's easy. Just use a delay like the SDE 3000 and record the track backwards onto another track. This is how we nudged tracks before PT.
Well JJ, now ya got me thinkn maybe I should turn over the tape, play the room track off repro and use the machine's varispeed to time it as it's being re-recorded.

I love the quote " I don't like backwards ideas, it sounds like you have run out of forward ideas" ~trying to remember author.

anyway, back to 3 mics....sorry
Old 28th July 2005
  #40
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Actually not_so_new, this is kind of a hybrid Glyn Johns/recorderman method

Glyn Johns in respect to the LDC next to the floor tom facing the high hat. But different in the respect that Glyn used a snare mic and pushed the O/H between the snare and mounted tom. I say hybrid because like the recorderman method, N_S_N has his overhead centered over the snare.

Personally I love this method and have actually been enjoying a two mic lately (FOK & kick), just digging it man. I'm starting to take the position that not unlike any other instrument in the band (guitar, keys etc) why do the drums have to sound the same way every song on an album??? So I'll chose a mic set up (for drums) that match the vibe of the song.
Old 28th July 2005
  #41
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Larr, if you are using tape and you want to move track the room forward, it's easy. Just use a delay like the SDE 3000 and record the track backwards onto another track. This is how we nudged tracks before PT.

Notsonew, I wasn't disagreeing with your string technique. I too base my drum image around the three mics, however I prefer to focus the OHs on the snare and ensure kick centering through off axis rejection.

BTW, I'm not dismissing the string. I don't know what gave you that idea. I always use a measuring tape, personally. I'm sure your method works fine, but mine has been working fine for a long time, and I see no reason to change it. It's part of my sound.

thumbsup
Old 28th July 2005
  #42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound
Michael,

Are you taping the string to the shell of the drum? I never though of that. Gotta try soon.
I suppose you could as long as the shell is not causing the sting to be in any position other than a straight line (that could change the distance between the upper and lower/side overhead).

Me, I like to tape one end of the string to the middle of the snare and the other end to the point at which the beater hits the kick drum batter head. On most kits this means that I can get a straight line from both end of the string to each microphone.

Obviously the goal is just to have the same distance between the mics and the two main elements of the kit so whatever way you get there is fine. You could use a tape measure to do the same thing but it can be tricky to hold the tape measure on the same spot on the drum and move the mic, the string trick makes the process much much easier (for me anyway)

Good luck hope it works for ya....
Old 28th July 2005
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by kats
Actually not_so_new, this is kind of a hybrid Glyn Johns/recorderman method

Glyn Johns in respect to the LDC next to the floor tom facing the high hat. But different in the respect that Glyn used a snare mic and pushed the O/H between the snare and mounted tom. I say hybrid because like the recorderman method, N_S_N has his overhead centered over the snare.
Yep. I am a huge Zeppelin fan (actually I am a fan of every freak'n band the guy ever worked on it seems) and I read about this years ago. I didn't mention Glyn because it seemed easer to just gloss over it but I should have known some one would correct me on it huh??

heh
Quote:
Personally I love this method and have actually been enjoying a two mic lately (FOK & kick), just digging it man. I'm starting to take the position that not unlike any other instrument in the band (guitar, keys etc) why do the drums have to sound the same way every song on an album??? So I'll chose a mic set up (for drums) that match the vibe of the song.
You are correct, they do not need to be the same for each song, or at least to me they don't.

Actually I don't remember who it was (might have been Ben Harper??) but someone a while ago released a song that had something like 5 different kits and 6 or 7 snares (I am sure someone will correct me here as well fuuck heh).

Anyway I think the story went that they used that song to try out a bunch of different kits in the studio for the project. They had good takes from each kit for different parts of the song and someone thought it might be interesting to see if they could get one track out of it. Sure enough they could edit it all down. The producer and band thought it was funny that everyone spends all this time getting one kit to sound good and then they mashed a bunch of kits together on one song and no one ever noticed.

I think that is the story... I read it 6 or 7 years ago when I was waiting for a session to show up (damn unreliable musician types... heh)
Old 28th July 2005
  #44
My fav technique is to use 2 transformerless 414B's over the set. One is over the snare/hat/tom triangle about 2 1/2 feet up and the other is over the floor tom/ride cymbal/rack tom triangle. The mics are set so they point flat to the floor. This gets more of the "blast" off the heads as the wave hits the mic capsule straight on and also gets reflected blast off the floor. Much more punch this way than tilting the mics will get. Add an RE-20 on the kick and I'm done.

It works well for jazz, blues, or any roots music. With a great player it will work for rock too. I will filter the reverb sends to keep some of the cymbals out of the reverb returns. I may add a couple of db at 3 k for stick attack.

The imaging is excellent as is the realism factor. It makes multi miced sets sound like drum machines in comparison. I don't worry about the snare being centered or sounding the same on each side. It's all about the stereo illusion of hearing a real player a few feet away.

I'm sooooooo bored with the snare/hat/kick in mono thing anyway. Check out some old British rock mixes like Jethro Tull or Cream and you will hear drums on one channel.
Really.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 28th July 2005
  #45
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There's three mics in there somwhere....


Old 28th July 2005
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Parsons
There's three mics in there somwhere....
Don't be so conservative.
You could fit a few more mics in there, you minimalist, you. heh heh
Old 28th July 2005
  #47
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Hey Chris,
If I remember correctly, weren't you opening different combos for given tunes?

Andrew
Old 28th July 2005
  #48
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You know, Glynn didn't always use the isoscles as a three mic technique. If you watch the Stones' Rock and Roll Circus, there's a single U67 overhead {which gets beaten by Keith Moon), a mic I have't identified on the kick and another one I haven't identified on the tom. One of these days, I'll post a pic in Klaus Heyne's forum to get somebody to identify the things.
Old 28th July 2005
  #49
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For what its worth a friend of mine was assisting on the Ray Lamontagne{sp} record that Ethan Johns produced and engineered and he recorded the drums with the 3 mic technique using 2 u-67's and I don't know what kick mic but he mentioned that he did not have the mics equadistant. He mentioned that the left mic was sort of behind the tom cymbal a fair distance and much further than the over snare mic. Then they were compressed a fair amount. Doesn't hurt that they were recorded in the great room at Sunset Sound either......

FWIW,
Michael Greene
Old 29th July 2005
  #50
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anyone use two different mics as the overhead pair ?
Ive got a r84 - U195 - sm7 - 4033
I do have two RE16s but doubt they would be the best .
Old 29th July 2005
  #51
Gear Maniac
 

I'd say that one of the keys to minimal micing of a drum kit is to think of the microphones as "kit" not "overhead" mics. They should go where ever they're going to capture the best picture. Sometimes this is over head, sometimes not.

Steven
Old 29th July 2005
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson
Time-aligning the drums was something I always wanted to do. After I could, I found it had mixed results even for a different tune in the same session. Today I try to set up so I have a workable overall pickup but I record a variety of mikes and then use whatever combination sounds right for the track. To use the three mike method to full effect, you really need to carefully damp the sympathetic resonances in the kit which a lot of drummers have never liked the feel of playing.
One thing that I'm struggling to get my drummer's brain around is this: by time-aligning the distant mics to the close mics, aren't we reducing the small amount of delay that, should we be in the drum room, contributes to our perception of a "larger" drum sound????

PS: Before you ask, YES - I am dribbling from both sides of my mouth
Old 29th July 2005
  #53
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Delay causes dips in the response that make everything sound choked and smaller. You can still add a delay uniformly to get that big room effect.

On my last session I stuck a U-47 4 or 5 feet in front of the kit up maybe 5 feet in the air. It sounded stupid good all alone.
Old 29th July 2005
  #54
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Cheers Bob, thanks for chiming in.
Old 29th July 2005
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audioez
Click the pic for KICK, SNARE, ROOM L and R.
KICK Beta52
SNARE SM57
ROOM L AKG535
ROOM R AKG535

<p><a href="http://ezraudio.com/EZRADRUMSII.mp3"target=blank"><img src="http://www.ezraudio.com/A998III.jpg"align="middle"/></a>

what i would love to hear on those tracks is some compression heh .

i'm hearing distressors, yeah? or is that ssl?

and as for the original question in this thread, i am a BIG fan of 3 mics on every drum.


gregoire
del ubik
Old 29th July 2005
  #56
One with big hooves
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gevermil
anyone use two different mics as the overhead pair ?
Ive got a r84 - U195 - sm7 - 4033
I've used two different mics on occasion. Once I even used two 451's that were different!

One of my favorite three mic set-ups is a front of kit mic, one overhead to just behind and above the drummers head, and an omni mic just over the bassdrum where the drummers knee is. That omni is about 60-70% of the sound when I run that setup.
Old 29th July 2005
  #57
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I finally tried the Recorderman OH technique last night during a session setup...

I was not blown away, and felt that my "standard" spaced pair technique sounds as good or better.

I do understand the need to get the timing (distance) relationships sorted out with the snare and kick, but other than than, I wasn't getting a nice ride cymbal sound and ended up miking the ride, which I never do.

I think today I am going to call the drummer and have him come in an hour early and move the OHs back to my "standard" locations...

Obviously, others have had success with this technique, and I respect Recorderman greatly, which is why I tried it, but maybe with my room, this kit, drummers style, etc., it just didn't work...

OHs = KM184's through Telefunken v672s...
Old 29th July 2005
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doublehelix
I finally tried the Recorderman OH technique last night during a session setup...

I was not blown away, and felt that my "standard" spaced pair technique sounds as good or better.

I do understand the need to get the timing (distance) relationships sorted out with the snare and kick, but other than than, I wasn't getting a nice ride cymbal sound and ended up miking the ride, which I never do.

I think today I am going to call the drummer and have him come in an hour early and move the OHs back to my "standard" locations...

Obviously, others have had success with this technique, and I respect Recorderman greatly, which is why I tried it, but maybe with my room, this kit, drummers style, etc., it just didn't work...

OHs = KM184's through Telefunken v672s...
An essential part of the Recorderman method is to not used hyped sounding mics. While I love my KM184, I would never select one for this purpose as its more on what I would call the bright side. If you have a pair or ribbons or any other "dark" condensers, give it another shot with those.
Old 29th July 2005
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by dokushoka
An essential part of the Recorderman method is to not used hyped sounding mics. While I love my KM184, I would never select one for this purpose as its more on what I would call the bright side. If you have a pair or ribbons or any other "dark" condensers, give it another shot with those.

Took the words out of my mouth....

thumbsup

I just sold a pair of 184's because they never worked for me in my room (or any room but that is just my taste). For me bright source + bright mic = too much bright.

They are a bit top heavy and this is not what you are going for with the 3 mic thing.

As doushoak said I would try some ribbons or some condensers maybe even a nice dynamic before the 184's on this setup but YMMV and this style may just not work for you. I would say that before you ditch it altogether you should try some different mics first to see if it fits your taste. A different technique requires different thinking and different tools right??

Good luck.
Old 29th July 2005
  #60
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A couple years ago I did a live-to-8-track living room session: 3 tracks of drums, bass, three guitars, lead vocal.

I mic'd the drums as follows: A pair of AKG 451 were placed in an X/Y about 16" over the drummers head. The guy had a nice small and well-tuned kit--a 4 piece. I worked on this OH positioning painstakingly for a couple hours. Phase and stereo image were perfect, so there was a full center-image. Snare and toms were big. It was a whole kit sound.

In front of the kick I used a U87, about 6" back. I got lucky right off the bat because the phase was golden. So all 3 mics were in perfect phase.

The sound was so full and three dimensional, with a very very solid center image, that very little compression or EQ was used. I sliced a couple harsh frequencies out of the overheads, and I think I high-pass-filtered them at 100Hz with a gentle slope.

Kick wise, I think I low-passed and probably scooped out some mud-range, and then moderately compressed.

Listening to the finished mix, NOBODY can believe the kit is not fully close mic'd. Only it's better than close-miced because its really airy and 3D. You can sense the acoustic space that the kit is occupying.

I only do that technique about once a decade, but I always love the way it comes out. heh

(BTW, I have tried the triangle and didn't get it to work well).
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