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Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic Condenser Microphones
Old 30th November 2006
  #1
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Question Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic

Steve Remote,

I've noticed in some of your drumset pics that you use a large diaphragm condenser in your setup. It's placed in front of the set, off the the left (looking at the drumset), about 45deg off the bass drum... in the general vicinity of the ride cymbal. Some pics it is at height of ride, some it is higher. Sometimes it's in closer (like the radiohead pic).

AvishaiCohen1378
ABCtssl252s
radiohead672F

How do you incorporate this into your mix? How does it work with the overheads phase-wise? How does it work with the rest of the musicians on stage (bleed, phase)?


Thanks!


Rob
Old 30th November 2006
  #2
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Remoteness's Avatar
I don't have a quick answer so, I will post a response very soon...

Hang in there Robobo1.
Old 1st December 2006
  #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
I don't have a quick answer so, I will post a response very soon...

Hang in there Robobo1.
Thanks Steve... something tells me it's from a similar philosophy as the three-mic technique.

I'm all ears when you've got the time.
Old 1st December 2006
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robobo1 View Post
Thanks Steve... something tells me it's from a similar philosophy as the three-mic technique.

I'm all ears when you've got the time.
Except he's certainly using more than 3 mics for the drums. Steve gets the most amazing isolation from everything he records live even on small stages like the Blue Note in NY. Steve has mixed tracks at my place and its one of the most striking things about his mic technique. Given the chaos of a live situation the tracks he cuts are wonderful.
Old 1st December 2006
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Except he's certainly using more than 3 mics for the drums.
Agreed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Musiclab View Post
Steve gets the most amazing isolation from everything he records live even on small stages like the Blue Note in NY. Steve has mixed tracks at my place and its one of the most striking things about his mic technique. Given the chaos of a live situation the tracks he cuts are wonderful.
I'm excited to learn more from him!
Old 9th December 2006
  #6
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Remoteness's Avatar
What about the one mic technique?

I like that concept the best, but rarely get a chance to use it because most folks want to use plenty of inputs for drums. I’ve found the ultimate single mic position for drums.

It’s placing a omni microphone right near the (righty) drummer’s right knee. This position captures everything you’re looking for. I have the drummer play while we move the mic a bit until we can hear every piece of the kit equally or at the proper balance we’re listening for.

I do place large diaphragm condensers in front of the kit but the Avishai Cohen picture is an optical illusion. The M149 that seems to be in front of the kit is actually the trumpet mic. If you look closer you will see a MD441 above the M149. The MD441 was used for the live sound feed. In that session I used five mics. An M88TG on the foot, a TLM103 for the snare, two M160s for overheads and another TLM103 over the drummer’s shoulder as the sweet spot “kit” mic.

In the ABC TSSL New Year’s Eve photo I did use a TLM103 in front of the drum set. I also had an SM57 on the snare and a MD421 on the foot. I used three mics for that situation, but my original notes stated that I had four mics, Foot, snare, toms and an overhead. I struck a mic and went with the setup you see in the photo.

The Radiohead gig was completely miked by their crew so; I really cannot answer any questions with absolute accuracy.

I’ve been known to use one to eight mics on a drum set. I’ve use even more mics when it’s applicable. It depends on what I’m going for, what the producer needs to hear, the amount of inputs and mic selection I have available. I try to keep the good old KISS concept on the top of my list when possible.

When I place a mic about 45 degrees off the bass drum I usually pan that with a similar positioned wide snare mic about 11:00 & 1:00. I like placing that mic near the ride to help obtain the best sound possible. The kit mic which usually is placed behind the drummer over the shoulder is panned somewhere in between the other two. I listen in mono for the right placement.

When it comes to the “bleed factor” I tend to position the mics so I get the best isolation possible. If that’s not promising I go for capturing the sound of “good leakage.” Choosing the right mics, polar patterns and proper mic positioning is my best defense against phase and leakage issues.
Old 9th December 2006
  #7
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Remoteness's Avatar
Here's a picture from a date we just did at the Tea lounge in Park Slope, Brooklyn with Digital Primitives featering Assif Tasahar, Cooper Moore and Chad Taylor.

Here you will find a five mic setup...
M88TG on the Foot.

TLM103 by the snare.

TLM103 over the drummer's right shoulder for the kit.

Two M160s pointing straight down right over the drum set.

.
Attached Thumbnails
Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic-chadtaylordrums.jpg  
Old 10th December 2006
  #8
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Killer technique, how about naming it?

Steve, not only is that a great approach, I think you should name the single LDC @ drummers right knee the "Remote Single (Mic) Kit Technique" or RSKT ( pronounced: 'Risk-It!") as this is a jump of faith from the norm of over miking drums, but it produces a pure, accurate sound, with ideal phase accuracy (the second hardest thing to do in drum recording.) Hey, it's your baby, you should name it. Just a suggestion.

I also love the fact that you also use the TLM103s in spite of the many people on the Gearslutz board who slam this mic. I love my pair in "monolith black" as Neumann calls them, and use them for drum OHs, inside piano, on strings, etc... love 'em.

Dude, Sorry-- I owe you a visit at the shop, have not forgotten...just been slammed as usual.
Old 11th December 2006
  #9
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Remoteness's Avatar
You’d be surprised on how awesome that single mic at the (righty) drummer’s right knee sounds. You hear everything even though it’s a leap of faith from the normal mic technique.

GS members love to rag on those TLM103s. I really don’t care what they think. IMO, mic placement is a lot more important than which microphone you use. TLM103s are not perfect for every situation, but they do work well on many things. My recordings speak for themselves.

I own four of those TLM103 Monolith mics. Painted like and polished black like a grand piano.

Just remember, Luger’s is only moments away from the field shop!
Old 25th December 2006
  #10
Gear Addict
 

Steve,

Finally got a chance to reply... thanks again for spending the time on this.

Re: your single mic technique... as a percussionist myself, I'm having a hard time imagining a way to get that omni over my right knee without it being in the way. Do you use a boom stand and come from straight behind the drummer? Or perhaps from the front of the kit, through the toms/ride cymbal?

Which omnis have you found useful in this situation? As a partial fan of the Senn MKH40s (card.) for OHs, my first instinct is to reach for a MKH20 (omni). But I think that would be wayyyy boomy. Do you go for LDCs or SDCs?

Do you use the "kit mic" (over the right shoulder of the drummer) in combination with the OHs? I can't tell from the Avishai Cohen picture or the Digital Primitives pic, but is the "kit mic" the same height as the OHs? Do you often have phase issues? If indeed you do combine them... which takes "presedence" when getting your sound... the OHs or the kit mic? For example: do you set up the OHs first, find a sound that you like, and then add in the kit mic and move it around to eliminate phase issues?

Looking forward to experimenting!
Old 26th December 2006
  #11
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Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post
..........IMO, mic placement is a lot more important than which microphone you use......

This needs repeating!

I just LOVE it when someone "looks" at a mic or mic position and decides it is wrong..

I will also second the comment about Steve's ability to get isolation and great sonics in a live enviornment.. and FAST. I know it sounds like ass-kissing, but believe me when I say that I have NEVER worked with someone who knew the strengths and characteristics of every piece of thier gear like he does. And if you look at the list of gear this guy owns you will understand that is no easy task. After the first gig I did with him I literally ( sorry Gearslutz...) STOPPED buying for about 3 months because I realized how little I knew about what I had on hand.
Old 27th December 2006
  #12
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zarembo's Avatar
 

Hey Steve, do you have any pix of your placement for putting mic by righty drummers right knee?

over the front of the kick and down?

I'm intrigued but would love to see it to get it.

thanks for everything and here's hoping you have a grand 2007!
Old 28th December 2006
  #13
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Remoteness's Avatar
------------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robobo1 View Post
Steve,

Finally got a chance to reply... thanks again for spending the time on this.

Re: your single mic technique... as a percussionist myself, I'm having a hard time imagining a way to get that omni over my right knee without it being in the way. Do you use a boom stand and come from straight behind the drummer? Or perhaps from the front of the kit, through the toms/ride cymbal?

Which omnis have you found useful in this situation? As a partial fan of the Senn MKH40s (card.) for OHs, my first instinct is to reach for a MKH20 (omni). But I think that would be wayyyy boomy. Do you go for LDCs or SDCs?

Do you use the "kit mic" (over the right shoulder of the drummer) in combination with the OHs? I can't tell from the Avishai Cohen picture or the Digital Primitives pic, but is the "kit mic" the same height as the OHs? Do you often have phase issues? If indeed you do combine them... which takes "presedence" when getting your sound... the OHs or the kit mic? For example: do you set up the OHs first, find a sound that you like, and then add in the kit mic and move it around to eliminate phase issues?

Looking forward to experimenting!

Robobo1,

It’s quite simple really. Don’t think of it as getting the mic stand over your right knee. Consider placing a Claw or Rowi clamp on the top (beater side) of the bass drum, I have also positioned some foam on top of the bass drum and placed the mic right on top of foam. I like the clamp idea better because I can focus the mic better. I usually have the drummer play while my associate moves the mic until I hear each drum and cymbal just like I want it to. You can also use a boom stand coming in from the front of the kit when there’s a decent opening available. IE: No rack toms: one rack tom or widely spaced rack toms.

Man, believe it or not, back in the early 80s I used EX 635As as my single drum mic.
I have used a variety of LD and SD microphones for this task… Neumann TLM50 and KM86 come to mind. I have also used a Sennheiser MD211 for this job. As long as it sounds right, any omni mic will do.

I don’t know, the Sennheiser MKH20 can be an excellent choice. And, if it’s too boomy, pull out the offending frequencies with one of those fancy EQs everyone’s telling us to buy and use.

Yes, I use the "kit mic" or “sweet spot” mic in combination with the OHs. It’s an amalgamation of sorts. In the past I have taped a PZM on the drummer chest as my kit mic, but nowadays, the mic stand over the drummer’s right shoulder is a better sell for the obvious reasons.

No, I get the “kit mic” as close as I can to the drummer’s head. I rarely have phase issues. I tend to check for phase problems by listening in mono. I have a tendency to go back in forth from stereo and mono during the sound check and during the performance when applicable.

It’s really up to what I’m going for… At times the ‘kit mic’ takes precedence, but I usually let my M160 OHs take the lead. You hit it right on the head. As a rule I set up the “kit mic” and OHs at the same time. I listen to the OHs for the right sound, then I listen to the “kit mic” to make sure I’m getting the right blend from the entire drum kit. Once I know I got what I’m looking for I put up and balance the OHs and then add in the “kit mic” for the right balance between the mics. We sometimes need to play around with the spot mic for phase or balance issues.


----------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
This needs repeating!

I just LOVE it when someone "looks" at a mic or mic position and decides it is wrong..

I will also second the comment about Steve's ability to get isolation and great sonics in a live enviornment.. and FAST. I know it sounds like ass-kissing, but believe me when I say that I have NEVER worked with someone who knew the strengths and characteristics of every piece of thier gear like he does. And if you look at the list of gear this guy owns you will understand that is no easy task. After the first gig I did with him I literally ( sorry Gearslutz...) STOPPED buying for about 3 months because I realized how little I knew about what I had on hand.

Stevie Baby!!!

Man, I miss you dearly my man! How the ‘ell are you?

Thanks for the very cool words!

Yeah, you know it -- I eat “bad isolation” for breakfast.

Hey for get that kind of thinking and let’s go GEAR shopping! Don’t worry, you’ll be with me and “Everything will be Everything.”


----------------------
Quote:
Originally Posted by zarembo View Post
Hey Steve, do you have any pix of your placement for putting mic by righty drummers right knee?

over the front of the kick and down?

I'm intrigued but would love to see it to get it.

thanks for everything and here's hoping you have a grand 2007!

Zarembo,

Sorry, I don’t have any pictures of my single mic by the righty drummer’s right knee, but I hope my explanation above has helped a bit.

Here’s a recap of what I suggested above:

Clamp a mic to the top of the bass drum on the beater side.

Position a piece of foam on top of the bass drum and place an omni mic on top of the foam.

Angle a boom stand coming from the front of the kit with the mic positioned at the drummer’s right knee.


------------------------------------------

Here's a picture of Guy's drum set during the Bob Belden Animation gig we did for Somethin' Else Productions with aired on BBC - Jazz on 3.

Disregard the SM57 on the boom stand by the hi-hats. Guy had the SM57 going through an FX pedal plugged into a Roland JC120. He moved the mic around over the drum heads when he wanted to add his effect to the tune.
Attached Thumbnails
Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic-remotenessdrummicage.jpg  
Old 28th December 2006
  #14
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Remoteness's Avatar
So, I took a photo of Chad Taylor's drum kit and placed a dot where I would position a single omni microphone.

Don't pay attention to the other mics just look at the dot and image "the Single Mic Theory." in action! heh

Whatever it takes...
Clamp it -- Boom it -- Foam it -- It's all good!

Yeah, but blah, blah blah...


.
Attached Thumbnails
Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic-singlemictheory.jpg  
Old 28th December 2006
  #15
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zarembo's Avatar
 

thank you Remoteness!

(pushes thank you button)

I see it now and soon I'll hear it.
Old 28th December 2006
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Steve,

You are a wealth of information!

Thanks again for all of this... really looking forward to giving both the "kit mic" and the knee-omni a try.

And I agree... "Looking" at a setup and saying it's wrong means you are making a lot of assumptions!
Old 28th December 2006
  #17
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Remoteness's Avatar
If you're not sure about something -- Look at it this way...

Trust, but make sure you varify the situation as soon as possible!
Old 8th November 2007
  #18
Registered User
 

Hey Steve


You are my idol now !

Great thread man !!!

I was always using 4 mics on the set 2x ohs bd and sd mics and really was trying to get one owerall mic for the set to get more of the toms and hi hat . This is really a great idea with the sweet spot or kit mic , i did it yesterday and it sounds great . If you get the right spot for that one mic you can haer even a bass drum , it its really great .
Thanks for posting this wonderful ideas about mic positioning .

All the best
Old 8th November 2007
  #19
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Remoteness's Avatar
Thanks a lot.

I'm glad to hear you liked my mic placement idea(s).

Hey, if you folks like (or dislike) the threads you read, rate them by voting.
You have one to five stars to choose from!
Old 8th November 2007
  #20
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robobo1 View Post
Steve,

You are a wealth of information!

Thanks again for all of this... really looking forward to giving both the "kit mic" and the knee-omni a try.

And I agree... "Looking" at a setup and saying it's wrong means you are making a lot of assumptions!

Thanks!

How did the kit and knee mic techniques work out for you?

I trust they sounded awesome!

Let us know what you thought about the placements.
Old 9th November 2007
  #21
Registered User
 

Hi Steve

i am about to try one mic technique in omni these days lets see ....

What i did yesterday was :

I am using 2 km`s 184 for overheads and d112 on the kick sm 57 on the snare .

I had tlm 103 as a kit mic and also had one take with another km 184 instead of tlm 103 .It was really good with both mics . It was kind of "i am beginning to see the light" thing heh !!! I could almost live without the snare mic kind of , it didnt do much IMO .
The sound with two overs, bass and snare is great but one more kit mic and thats is a billion $ spot for the drums - i heard the drums man !!!

What do you think about two spot mics (left drummers ear and one more on the right side) for more hi hat and snare ? It would be 2 ohs 2 spot plus kick mic ... What do you think ? i am going to try that tomorrow .

Nice day
Old 9th November 2007
  #22
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MichaelPatrick's Avatar
 

Steve, how much of the beater head should the omni capsule see? Should the capsule sit right over the hoop, or sit back more from the drummer over the shell?
Old 9th November 2007
  #23
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Remoteness's Avatar
Thumbs up Go for it!!!

Bass man,

I feel the more important question should be, "What do you think about two spot mics?" What does your ears tell you?

I heard folks talk about that concept. I haven't tried that since I like the two overheads and rear (over the shoulder) mic situation best, but that doesn't mean experimentation should not be done.

In other words --Go for it and report back what you found.
Old 9th November 2007
  #24
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Remoteness's Avatar
Lightbulb Positioning is everything, but anything goes...

Michael,

IMO, it really depends on the drummer and the sound you're looking for.

Remember, you're balancing all the drums by using one mic.
Placement of that mic and its positioning is everything...

I usually have the (omni) mic sit back more from the drummer over the shell, but that question really should be addressed while listening to the drummer play.
I've noticed that you get plenty of "everything" when the mic lives by the drummer's right knee.
...And, of course a lefty drummer's left knee would apply. heh

I've also used a cardioid mic for this task.
Old 9th November 2007
  #25
Lives for gear
I tried Steve's technique and I really dig it. Here is an MP3 of an Earthworks TC20 in that spot. The file is not EQ'd or compressed in any way. I used a short stand that came in from the front and put the mic tip right around the edge of the bass drum, pointed toward the snare a bit. Thanks Steve.
Attached Files

Drums Rt Knee Mic.mp3 (480.1 KB, 5957 views)

Old 9th November 2007
  #26
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Tom Hakala's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness View Post

I've also used a cardioid mic for this task.
pointing where?

Man I just can't wait to try this in my next session.
Old 9th November 2007
  #27
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Remoteness's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hakala View Post
pointing where?

Man I just can't wait to try this in my next session.
You can start with the drummer's knee and go from there.
An omni works best. Cardioids can work very well in the right situation.
Old 9th November 2007
  #28
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
Cool Six mic technique...

Here's a picture from the Francisco Mela live date we did at the Blue note Jazz club.

Six mics and the only close mic was by the bass drum.

M88TG on the foot
TLM103 by the snare
TLM103 near the knee
M149 over the shoulder
Two M160 pointing straight down over the drum kit.

Any questions?
Attached Thumbnails
Question for Steve (Remoteness) re: drum mic-meladrummics.jpg  
Old 11th November 2007
  #29
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Remoteness's Avatar
Question Mic Placement

Quote:
Originally Posted by leddy View Post
I tried Steve's technique and I really dig it. Here is an MP3 of an Earthworks TC20 in that spot. The file is not EQ'd or compressed in any way. I used a short stand that came in from the front and put the mic tip right around the edge of the bass drum, pointed toward the snare a bit. Thanks Steve.
...And, that's one mic --Pretty crazy stuff; Right?

Nice job!

Did you play around with the mic positioning or did you place it and go with it?
Old 11th November 2007
  #30
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noamraz's Avatar
 

Thumbs up Wicked! Truly usfull thread

Was just going through this thread now, that's 2 hours after i got a phone call from a band that want's to record tommorow several songs @ rehersal room with 8 preamps - which should capture Drummer,3 Vocals,Bass,2 Electric Guitars and Keyboard, This is for some kind of Internet-Broadcast review for their new Album.

Will try the "OVER KNEE" tommorow for sure!

I'll probably test Cardiod vs. Omni due noise control/Limited Isolation..

Good day ya All, Noam.
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