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Recording drums in a bad room!
Old 1st September 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 
GMK's Avatar
 

Recording drums in a bad room!

Heading to start drum tracking with a band with the only studio available for them at the moment. It is also where I tracked their last recording and I know that it does not have great room. I'm particularly worried about the drums, what can I do mix wise or tracking wise to improve/negate the effects of a bad room sound? Unfortunately I also know they want a nice "roomy" sound, anyone know of any studio magic that can create artificial room mikes?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #2
Gear Addict
 

What kind of music is it? How much time do they have to dial in the sound? If I were producing the album, and the music lent itself to experimentation, I'd spend some time indulging the bad room - charging ahead instead of retreating back. I'd see if there was something really cool I could dial in.

I'd be sure to get good close mic-ing on all the elements so i could use the Massey DRT to grab midi information if I needed to do drum replacement later.

And for safety I'd get another version with a V-kit.

I wouldn't be surprised if in the end I had to use drum replacement, but the experimental track could be layered in for a great effect.

Who knows? you might find a secret weapon in that room to get an effect nobody knows how to get. Just protect yourself and make sure you are sure you'll at least be able to use drum replacement as needed.

except, if I producing the album we'd just record somewhere else.

my $0.02
Old 2nd September 2011
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Storyville's Avatar
In regards to drums, specifically, a really bad room can be really great. Embrace the trash!
Old 2nd September 2011
  #4
Gear Addict
 
musimedia's Avatar
I usually use room mics in odd places to get creative and past the bad room... and sometimes it works wonder and becomes a cool room for a day or two. mic the staircase, the bathroom, the attic, the box in the corner, the corner, use the reverb tank in an amp, any odd (preferably empty) room far away from the drum kit... try anything ! You might be suprised! I get an great rock drum ambiance from micing the bathroom (tile) and the bottom of my basement staircase! (studio is in the basement).

if not... track the drums, than playback the kit (very loud) in some other room with room mics to fake a room!

maybe that combined with drum replacement can help.

good luck and have fun!
M.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
dbluefield's Avatar
 

Room sounds aren't the only drum sounds - plenty of great recordings made with close mics - it helps if the room is dead, and add room verb after the fact. I like ribbon stereo for overhead or in front of kit - less spitty than condensers. There's the 3 mic technique too (google it). Tom mics can act as PZMs off the Toms - picking up plenty of cymbal bleed. Let me guess - super fast metal 64th machine gun kick patterns? Kidding
Old 2nd September 2011
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Storyville View Post
In regards to drums, specifically, a really bad room can be really great. Embrace the trash!
That is so not true... a bad room sounds bad...good trash comes from a good hallway or adjacent room with the door open...



Quote:
Originally Posted by dbluefield View Post
Room sounds aren't the only drum sounds - plenty of great recordings made with close mics - it helps if the room is dead, and add room verb after the fact. I like ribbon stereo for overhead or in front of kit - less spitty than condensers. There's the 3 mic technique too (google it). Tom mics can act as PZMs off the Toms - picking up plenty of cymbal bleed. Let me guess - super fast metal 64th machine gun kick patterns? Kidding
Yes close mics are important...but the sound of the room directly affects the sound of close mics as well!

If you can, Build gobos...good ones that sheild the mics from bad reflections...and hang a couple o fpanels from the ceiling above the kit
Old 2nd September 2011
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
dbluefield's Avatar
 

Yes close mics are important...but the sound of the room directly affects the sound of close mics as well!"

Yup- i.e. Critical distance
Old 3rd September 2011
  #8
Gear Addict
 

there are no bad rooms, just 'really difficult to find sweet spot' rooms. true story.


in difficult rooms I start with one room mic and walk the mic stand around the room with iso cans on while the drummer plays and find the sweet spot. from there add close miking to taste.

hope that helps.
Old 3rd September 2011
  #9
Here for the gear
 

For me, it starts with the overheads. While I prefer ORTF or spaced pairs in a good sounding room, I wouldn't use either setup in a bad sounding one. Set the mics up in an XY and bring them a little closer to the kit to focus the sound.

From there, experiment with the room mic positioning if they really do want some ambiance.
Old 5th September 2011
  #10
I'd try using 57s as overheads and keep all the clise mics as dynamic mics because will pick up less room and they really don't sound too bad at all. Also I'd you can try reamping a blend of the close mics in a nice room after with a nice omni condenser, a PA and someones pub/garage/warehouse.
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