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Doing drums with 4 mics, through mixer? Multi-Ef­fects Plugins
Old 5th September 2011
  #1
Gear Head
 

Doing drums with 4 mics, through mixer?

Hey guys, I'm gonna be recording my kit with 4 mics, behringer c2 stereo pair as overheads, cheap cad kick mic on the kick, and sm57 on the snare, for an EP my band is working on. My interface only has two inputs, So I'll have to run all the mics into my mixer, then as two stereo tracks into the interface.
This means no options after its recorded :/. I'll work with it. I've got a couple OLD pieces of outboard gear. I've got a yamaha reverb r-1000 or something, an old gate, and a pretty nice yamaha eq. I don't have any compression however. It's gonna take me a while to get used to this. Anybody have any recomendations??
Old 5th September 2011
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
duff mcshark's Avatar
 

You can compress ITB, but when dealing with just two drum tracks you're probably not going to want to use much. Same goes for EQ. So take your time setting up mics and EQing at the board. Record some quick tracks of you playing the whole kit and listen back to see what other adjustments need to be made. When it comes time to mix you might find that the drums are the easy part.
Old 5th September 2011
  #3
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Aaron Miller's Avatar
I see two approaches to this: one is the old school, get it right while tracking, minimalist approach. This means aiming for the best sound at the board and doing as little as necessary later. The other approach might be called the cheater method, and it is where you use some tricks to have more flexibility during mixing. For instance, it might include tracking certain elements seperately, creating your own samples, putting the kick and a mono overhead on the same track, then using EQ to adjust the relative balance (cut highs for more kick, cut lows for more overhead), etc.

I think the approach would totally depend on the song and the drummer's preference and ability.
Old 5th September 2011
  #4
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Hmmm, think I would prefer one overhead and one in the kick for this job.
Old 5th September 2011
  #5
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ScumBum's Avatar
 

Just do one mic front of kit , like 5-6 feet in front , 5-6 feet high pointing at the drums .
Old 5th September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

I'm with duff mcshark and Aaron's first point. Rather than planning for what you're going to do to process it afterward, spend that time in setting up, recording a bit and playing back, and making adjustments. Play with the kick mic's distance from the beater to get it to cut how you want, since you won't be able to boost that later to bring in more definition if you need it. It depends on the arrangement, but I've done a lot of tracks with two overheads, kick and snare, using the "recorderman setup" (one overhead straight up over the snare, one over the floor tom side by the drummer's right shoulder). It's one of the few overhead techniques where I feel it really gets a great present sound that almost sounds like close mics. Then you just put the kick and snare mics up as little as possible so they reenforce those sounds. Compress ITB afterward if it's the kind of song that needs it (I sometimes don't compress for softer stuff but most always do for anything that isn't very soft). I've got some outboard gear but I definitely don't consider it a necessity to get great drum sounds. You can get great results, just take your time and adjust as needed!
Old 5th September 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieculbert View Post
Hey guys, I'm gonna be recording my kit with 4 mics, behringer c2 stereo pair as overheads, cheap cad kick mic on the kick, and sm57 on the snare, for an EP my band is working on. My interface only has two inputs, So I'll have to run all the mics into my mixer, then as two stereo tracks into the interface.
This means no options after its recorded :/. I'll work with it. I've got a couple OLD pieces of outboard gear. I've got a yamaha reverb r-1000 or something, an old gate, and a pretty nice yamaha eq. I don't have any compression however. It's gonna take me a while to get used to this. Anybody have any recomendations??
If you are going to be "building" the songs starting with the drum tracks, you might want to record a min or so of guitars, bass, vocals, whatever else you will have ONLY as a scratch tracks to help you judge mixer level and eq going to the 2 tracks.
There have also been a few threads with surprisingly great results placing only1 mic near the drummers knee...you might get a better performance tying the mono drums track 1 and bass tracking on track 2...the minimalist approach would have to be fun to audition....adjust your playing a bit to suit what the tape is playing back...maybe it would work for you.

Good luck!
Old 6th September 2011
  #8
Registered User
 

Are you intent on recording this “live” or are you prepared to composite the final sound?

If the former, then there have been some good suggestions. If the later, then use your two inputs to record just the OHs. I’ve had success with positioning the mics as close to the drummers head as possible without getting in the way (pointing down and forwards towards the toms). Obviously though it is a case of positioning to taste.

Re-record to get the close up sound of the kick and snare if needed. This can either be the whole track or just a few samples which can then be looped. Any timing issues or adjustments can then be sorted in the box.
Old 6th September 2011
  #9
Gear Head
 

Hey guys! Thanks for all the replies, and all the ideas!

I like the idea of doing a lot of work before even hitting record to get a nice sound with positioning, and mixing beforehand and such, and I also am not totally against the idea of tracking two overheads, then tracking kick and snare seperately. Or even tracking An overhead and snare then overhead and kick. It might be difficult if I'm playing anything complex. Somebody mentioned sampling the kick or snare? How would I do something like that?

I should probably also mention that my interface is a tascam us-122 and my mixer is a behringer eurorack ub2222fx
Old 6th September 2011
  #10
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jitterybit's Avatar
That's a four input interface. 2XLR and 2 line level.
Assuming your can use all at once: Put your OH straight into the interface preamps.
Use your board as a pres for your kick and snare. Put the board outputs into the line level inputs. Hit the red button.
Old 6th September 2011
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jitterybit View Post
That's a four input interface. 2XLR and 2 line level.
Assuming your can use all at once: Put your OH straight into the interface preamps.
Use your board as a pres for your kick and snare. Put the board outputs into the line level inputs. Hit the red button.
That is correct. I'm pretty sure that you can only use one at a time. Its an option xlr or line. I'll look into this. But when you select the input for a track on the computer using the interface, it only offers left or right, meaning I'd still only have it in two tracks
Old 6th September 2011
  #12
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jitterybit's Avatar
Realistically, have any friends with a better interface?
Another option is to record the drums only, then overdub the brass.
Old 6th September 2011
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Yeah, right...'s Avatar
 

I suggest you give it a shot with 1 mic.

You don't mention the style, or room, but if you want a tight, focused sound, use an LDC (I'm assuming you have one?) beside the snare looking across at the hihat.

If you want a bigger sound, move the mic out in front of the kit say 5-7 feet and about shoulder height, looking down at the snare.

With both methods, experiment a lot with mic position before cutting tracks...

Good luck. Mike
Old 6th September 2011
  #14
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richgilb's Avatar
 

after you have watched this, you will believe me:

Drum Recording Tips. Great drum sounds with only 2 inputs. | Ronan's Recording Show
Old 7th September 2011
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richgilb View Post
Ronan's pretty cool...
The best drum sound he had was from the camera mic though. lol
Old 7th September 2011
  #16
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I love the video and think that's going to be your best bet (with 2 mics). But just throwing this out there. I have recorded before with kick and snare only, then going back and over dubbing crash cymbals. At the end of everything you could play back the drums through your monitors and record them thus making a "room" sound. Hope that gives you another option (not necessarily the best).
Old 7th September 2011
  #17
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Providence View Post
I love the video and think that's going to be your best bet (with 2 mics). But just throwing this out there. I have recorded before with kick and snare only, then going back and over dubbing crash cymbals. At the end of everything you could play back the drums through your monitors and record them thus making a "room" sound. Hope that gives you another option (not necessarily the best).

Hey y'all, thanks SO much for all the replies. You guys are awesome. I've asked around, nobody seems to have an interface that will work.

I've thought it out pretty well, and I'm positive I want to use all 4 mics. I've tried doing 2 or even 1 in the past, and it's been good, but not exactly the sound I'm looking for.

Is there any way, using my interface to get at least 3 tracks in? Does anybody know? It looks to me like it only have 2 mono outs, but I'm not 100% sure.
Old 7th September 2011
  #18
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieculbert View Post
Hey y'all, thanks SO much for all the replies. You guys are awesome. I've asked around, nobody seems to have an interface that will work.

I've thought it out pretty well, and I'm positive I want to use all 4 mics. I've tried doing 2 or even 1 in the past, and it's been good, but not exactly the sound I'm looking for.

Is there any way, using my interface to get at least 3 tracks in? Does anybody know? It looks to me like it only have 2 mono outs, but I'm not 100% sure.
I should probably also mention, that if It would help at all, I have access to a second laptop.
Old 7th September 2011
  #19
Here for the gear
 

You guys are awesome!

I have the same problem and now Im gonna have a lot of fun messing with two mics..And I was gonna spend the weekend in the pub

Thanks guys. I love this place..
Old 7th September 2011
  #20
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sleepwalker's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by altercor View Post
You guys are awesome!

I have the same problem and now Im gonna have a lot of fun messing with two mics..And I was gonna spend the weekend in the pub

Thanks guys. I love this place..

It's not going to help your 2 input limit, but I recommend the Glyn Johns method for minimalist drum micing:

Recording Drums: The Glyn Johns Method
--
These suggestions to overdub individual drum parts are insane for 99% of musicians and styles of music. Worked for queens of the stoneage, can't think of another example where it worked.
Old 7th September 2011
  #21
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richgilb's Avatar
 

Talking about recording separate parts unless you and the drummer are really experienced is a mistake. Even if you are really experienced, it is a waste of time in my opinion. Either go for the kick and mono overhead or go for the second option in the video where snare and kick go into one channel via a mixer and the overhead goes into the other. As someone said above you can mix the snare and kick channel with eq, so it is a bit like having 3 channels anyway. Otherwise get more preamps.
Old 8th September 2011
  #22
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jitterybit's Avatar
run kick and snare panned to middle. two OH panned hard LR. Once in the daw, find a free mid side plugin and isolate the M and S.
You now have a stereo OH and a kick+snare channel in your daw
Old 8th September 2011
  #23
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jitterybit's Avatar
It won't be perfect, but it can help. It may even be possible to do a lot of copy/paste and pull out some trigger point for your kick and snare
Old 8th September 2011
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieculbert View Post
Hey y'all, thanks SO much for all the replies. You guys are awesome. I've asked around, nobody seems to have an interface that will work.

I've thought it out pretty well, and I'm positive I want to use all 4 mics. I've tried doing 2 or even 1 in the past, and it's been good, but not exactly the sound I'm looking for.

Is there any way, using my interface to get at least 3 tracks in? Does anybody know? It looks to me like it only have 2 mono outs, but I'm not 100% sure.
Maybe you are best off just getting a little mixing board, allowing you to patch in your outboard effects, and just connect the L/R mixer outs to your intereface channels 1 and 2.

Soemthing like below is all you would need
Mackie 1202-VLZ3 | Sweetwater.com
Mackie 1402-VLZ3 | Sweetwater.com
It may workout for your drum tracking and possibly rehersal / giging needs too.
I used to have a Mackie 1402...They are good.

You are obligated to post results for us to hear whatever you decide.heh
Old 8th September 2011
  #25
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jitterybit's Avatar
thinking about my previous statement...
You might want to experiment with flipping the phase on one overhead before recording. Then, flip the phase on one side after decoding. It might work better at maintaining a proper stereo image without a hollow center. This would only really work(in theory) if your oh are perfectly phase aligned, like a XY pattern. Also, it might be worth mentioning what DAW you are using. Some will take multiple interfaces at once, so you might just be able to borrow a buddies.
Old 8th September 2011
  #26
Gear Head
 
recordingrev's Avatar
 

I agree with everyone who said go with a 2 mic setup. In fact you can get away with one well placed mic (not where you think). Did a video on it on the blog:

http://therecordingrevolution.com/20...one-mic-video/

Might give you some ideas. Can even add a kick drum mic to it if you want!

Cheers,
Graham
Old 8th September 2011
  #27
Gear Addict
 
Jonathawkes's Avatar
 

When I only had two channels to work with I used to use a snare mic, and then a strategically placed condenser in front of the kit as a "kick and overhead" mic. I would even copy the front mic on a separate channel afterwards, lo-pass it, and use it to trigger and 50 hz sine wav, or a drumagog sample. Quite effective if you ask me.
Old 14th September 2011
  #28
Gear Head
 

Hey guys! Sorry it took SO long. I'm all setup now, and I'm doing two overheads, and a snare mic, thru the mixer into one of the ins on my interface, then im doing the kick into the other interface in. Here's a sample of The sound im getting right now. Any tips/ideas?
Attached Files

SETTINGS.mp3 (1.53 MB, 159 views)

Old 14th September 2011
  #29
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jitterybit's Avatar
snare mic. OH closer.
Old 15th September 2011
  #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charlieculbert View Post
Hey guys! Sorry it took SO long. I'm all setup now, and I'm doing two overheads, and a snare mic, thru the mixer into one of the ins on my interface, then im doing the kick into the other interface in. Here's a sample of The sound im getting right now. Any tips/ideas?

First thing I noticed was how "unbalanced" everything is. You have a ton of cymbal and not a lot of drums. One thing that I really haven't heard anyone say about using fewer mics is about balancing you playing. I think you need to move your mics around more to get more of a balanced sound yes (ie more drums), but, most of the balanced sound comes in your playing. Lay off the cymbals less and find that balance for the mics.
And, remember that hitting drums harder is not always the best thing. Drums are like any other instrument, they have their own tone and resonance.

Sorry,not trying to criticize your playing (which sounds fine). It's mostly that balance thing. Hope that helps.

Oh yeah, and just so you know (not bragging at all here), I have a music education degree, I've been a music teacher for 8 years, played for 16 years, been a studio musician for 10 years and an engineer/producer for 8 years.
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