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Old 30th July 2010
Q & A Guest
ev33's Avatar
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Hey Eric, have you ever combined that underhead technique with a mono overhead? I'm thinking about giving this a shot on a session soon but anticipate some phase issues. Do you find that the underhead ribbon mics tend to replace the need for an overhead, would my time be better spend combining them with a room mic rather than an overhead? Just wondering since it seems like this is an approach you have used fairly often.
I do think of the underheads as doing the job that overheads would normally do. When I have tried an equidistant mono OH with the underheads it has never added up in a particularly satisfying way. I think it is because the underheads are picking up the snr more from the node of the fig 8 pattern and that doesn't seem to add up well with a mic over the kit in card. The idea of the underhead approach is to reduce the total # of mics necessary which will reduce potential phase issues. The underhead on the left side of the kit, when placed properly will capture the left hand crash, hi-hat and rack tom in a very focused way. Eliminating the need for a hi hat mic and tom mic. Same goes for the right hand underhead. It gets the floor tom, ride cymbal and right hand crash. All of which sound quite close up. In my experience the mono rm mic has been the best compliment, unless you are trying to get a very dry drum sound. The obvious pitfall of the approach is that it doesn't offer a lot of isolation for for flexibility in mixing (gating, EQing, compressing.. etc). The drums need to be tuned and played in a way that pretty much sounds the way you want without a lot of processing.

There is an LCR overhead technique that is pretty cool. Three mics in Card placed around the kit. The trick is that the center mic is placed to be as equal a distance to all the various parts of the kit as possible (snr, toms, cymbals) and each of the LR mics are closer to their respective drum kit elements by at least a 3:1 ratio. So if the center mic is an average 3 ft from all the drum kit elements than the L mic would have to be 1 foot or closer to the Hi hat, crash (crash cymbals are typically at a lower ringo-esque height) and rack tom while sill being 3 feet from the snare. same goes for the R mic. When it works out you can get a very focused/natural snr sound and very natural stereo image of the kit without having close mics. This was used on the QOTSA Songs for The Def record. It was easy to pull off because of the overdubed cymbals.

Let me know if you find a combo that works for you.