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Keep overhead preamp gain equal?
Old 18th April 2019
  #1
Gear Head
 

Keep overhead preamp gain equal?

When you’re recording a stereo pair of overheads, do you adjust the preamp gain to be equal or do you adjust so that the snare is at equal volume in each channel to keep it centered?

I typically keep it equal, but do get the snare pulling to one side a bit. Is there a standard practice or is this just a preference thing?
Old 18th April 2019
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Equal arrival time to the mic pair -i.e. equal distance, is actually much more significant to the image being naturally 'center than, than 'gain/level.

(In other words if the arrival time is matched, it falls into place. If not, it takes abnormal amounts of gain to overcome the precedence first arrival pan effect..
Old 18th April 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lm183902 View Post
When you’re recording a stereo pair of overheads, do you adjust the preamp gain to be equal or do you adjust so that the snare is at equal volume in each channel to keep it centered?

I typically keep it equal, but do get the snare pulling to one side a bit. Is there a standard practice or is this just a preference thing?
You need to make sure your mic pres are calibrated by using a test tone. If they are the same make/model preamp they should be virtually identical. Even if they are 2 different brands, the levels should be pretty much the same. Since 80db is 80 db or whatever.. So assuming your channels are virtually identical in level, you need to make sure the mics are spaced properly and then move them so the snare is in both in phase and centered in the stereo image. In general if you are new to micing drums you should use X/Y placement. XY is much easier to center the kit using that method. All you have to do is center the 2 mics directly above the snare and kick. Just look at some pictures to get an idea what that looks like. Then move the mics accordingly. It may help to use headphones (not too loud) or have someone move the mics while you are in the control room in front of the near fields. Have a 2nd person hit the snare and kick if needed. It's not overly difficult. It takes only a couple minutes. There are probably loads of vids on YT for reference.
Old 19th April 2019
  #4
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Equal arrival time to the mic pair -i.e. equal distance, is actually much more significant to the image being naturally 'center than, than 'gain/level.

(In other words if the arrival time is matched, it falls into place. If not, it takes abnormal amounts of gain to overcome the precedence first arrival pan effect..

this.

Experiments have shown that the volume difference has to be huge before it can overwhelm arrival time as the brain's primary means of determining 'center' position.

This is why so many engineers place their overhead mics using a string to measure the distance to the snare drum. If both mics are the same distance to the snare, the snare will appear center unless the gains are way off.
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