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Snare not centered in spaced pair drum overheads Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 28th July 2016
  #1
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Snare not centered in spaced pair drum overheads

I use a spaced pair of overheads on the kit plus kick/snare mics. The left mic is basically above the the snare while the other is directly above where the 2 floor toms come together. The capsules are the same make/model and are both the same distance from the impact point of the snare and face directly down. This means the right side mic is several inches lower but it is not in the way. This puts the mics on a line that splits the kit evenly between the mics.

With this setup I would expect the snare to sit in the middle of the stereo image being equidistant from each mic but it is not. It favors the mic directly above the snare. Any thoughts on why that would be?

X/Y would almost certainly correct it but parts of the kit end up pretty far away from the mics. ORTF is an option but being 6-7" apart I would expect the image to be off and if the pair is located "mid kit" the left mic would be closer and aimed right at the snare while the right would be further away and aimed away from the snare. I would expect a balance issue in that case.

What am I missing here?
Old 28th July 2016
  #2
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
With this setup I would expect the snare to sit in the middle of the stereo image being equidistant from each mic but it is not. It favors the mic directly above the snare. Any thoughts on why that would be?
Sit down at the kit and whack the snare while you hold your other hand a couple of feet directly over it. You'll feel a bit of air and "energy" hitting your hand. Now do the same thing, but move your hand a foot to the left and then a foot to the right. What do you feel? Probably not much. And that's why the mic over the snare is louder than the other one, even through they're the same distance from the snare.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 29th July 2016 at 04:45 PM..
Old 28th July 2016
  #3
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Flying_Dutchman's Avatar
 

you could try the "mixing with your mind" approach... i like it
place mic one above the lowest foor tom.
measure the distance from snare middle to floor tom middle and put the 2nd mic same distance opposite site
snare middle, bass drum middle
+ hh mic + ride + specials (china an so on) to belnd in...and of course some romm mics
try...
peace!
happy recording
Old 28th July 2016
  #4
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JonMiller's Avatar
Try place the microphones on a diagonal over the rack tom and floor striking a line between the kick drum and snare drum on an angel to center the image.

See the attached photo.
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Snare not centered in spaced pair drum overheads-tumblr_inline_nuiu8gnbag1trfn08_500.jpg  
Old 28th July 2016
  #5
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMiller View Post
Try place the microphones on a diagonal over the rack tom and floor striking a line between the kick drum and snare drum on an angel to center the image.

See the attached photo.
You'll still get a little more snare in one mic and a little more kick in the other with the method pictured. Google "George Massenberg drum miking". He has a wonderful solution for this problem on YouTube and it sounds fantastic.
Old 28th July 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Google "George Massenberg drum miking". He has a wonderful solution for this problem on YouTube and it sounds fantastic.


i get asked this all time by home recording enthusiasts. i just send 'em to this video. however, it all starts with a great drummer!

this works for a fair amount of music, but not everything. it's a good default starting point!
Old 28th July 2016
  #7
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuLio View Post


i get asked this all time by home recording enthusiasts. i just send 'em to this video. however, it all starts with a great drummer!

this works for a fair amount of music, but not everything. it's a good default starting point!

Interesting. I've had the same observation. I find it works fantastic when you are using a lot of close mics to augment the sound. Absolutely yes on the good drummer comment. Honestly, you can do anything with a good drummer and get good results. I switch between the Massenberg technique and a modified Glyn John's when I want a more "broad" picture of the kit from my overs. What styles have you found this not working on? Curious...
Old 28th July 2016
  #8
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Lumbergh's Avatar
 

That series is great, George is very generous with what he's learnt

The wider version of his OH micing is basically Glyn John's. I like the ribbon on the snare, thats a neat idea.
Old 28th July 2016
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mappee View Post
Easy solution. Use mono oh problem solved.
I find this approach gives an enjoyable view of entire kit when balanced with close mics. The cymbal bleed from close mics coupled with the single top mic yields a nice panoramic placement of cymbals.
The next step is to lose the sock mic which is another happy result.

If a spaced pair is must try using a closer spacing which will move the snare toward the center. Funny I have more problem with kik off-center.
The mics are equidistant from the snare. How is moving the mics closer together going to help?
Old 28th July 2016
  #10
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
The mics are equidistant from the snare. How is moving the mics closer together going to help?

There is only one angle and position which keeps both kick and snare in the very middle of spaced pair overs. It's in the Massenberg video posted by kungfulio. Check it out.
Old 28th July 2016
  #11
Gear Nut
Try the Weathervane recording setup...
Old 29th July 2016
  #12
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
There is only one angle and position which keeps both kick and snare in the very middle of spaced pair overs. It's in the Massenberg video posted by kungfulio. Check it out.
I didn't say anything about the kick. I am trying to understand why my current setup is doing this.
Old 29th July 2016
  #13
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I didn't say anything about the kick.
Not so antagonistic, please. People here, including me, are trying to help you.
Old 29th July 2016
  #14
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Not so antagonistic, please. People here, including me, are trying to help you.
Not antagonizing. Simple statement of fact. I haven't said anything about the kick because it hasn't been a problem. If I wanted to antagonize I would do a much better job than that. It's all good man.
Old 29th July 2016
  #15
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Not antagonizing. Simple statement of fact. I haven't said anything about the kick because it hasn't been a problem. If I wanted to antagonize I would do a much better job than that. It's all good man.

My comment wasn't really about the kick although I mentioned it In addition. Check the video and then give it a try. It contains the answer (and explanation) to your problem.
Old 29th July 2016
  #16
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonMiller View Post
Try place the microphones on a diagonal over the rack tom and floor striking a line between the kick drum and snare drum on an angel to center the image.

See the attached photo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
You'll still get a little more snare in one mic and a little more kick in the other with the method pictured. Google "George Massenberg drum miking". He has a wonderful solution for this problem on YouTube and it sounds fantastic.
These are actually pretty similar ideas. Its all about thinking of the center line of the snare and bass drum. I do this most of the time, most often with ORTF overheads.

Another trick I saw Nick Raskulinecz teach to students was to pan the overheads, close your eyes while adjusting the fader balance TO TAPE. When the the BD and SD sound centered, stop. It's similar to what Massenberg mentions about things looking odd, but sounding right.

I recently listened to the Recording Studio Rock Stars podcast with Steve Marcantonio who mentioned that he almost never hard pans the overheads, another thing to consider.
Old 29th July 2016
  #17
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Spede's Avatar
 

In the OP's original setup (one mic above hihat that's higher and another that's above ride cymbal and lower) the snare might arrive in the OH mics at the same time but the sound in the hihat side will be brighter since it's almost directly above the snare drum. The ride side OH mic's snare sound will be darker since it's not right above the snare drum.

Try to readjust the mics so both the mics would not only be equidistant from the snare but both would also "see" as much of the snare head. Hope you're using cardioid mics.

I'v noticed this phenomenon but it doesn't seem to bother me that much. Compressing the OH with 1176 using both fast attack and release and compressing only the skins might also help a bit. Sound gets focused towards the close mic.
Old 29th July 2016
  #18
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by KungFuLio View Post


i get asked this all time by home recording enthusiasts. i just send 'em to this video. however, it all starts with a great drummer!

this works for a fair amount of music, but not everything. it's a good default starting point!
I will watch it again in case I have missed something, but the gist seems to be having the drum equidistant from the mics which I have done. I will play with some more on the next session I do

I had to laugh, he referred to what he was doing as "minimal mics". I counted at least 7 for that 3pc kit.
Old 29th July 2016
  #19
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spede View Post
In the OP's original setup (one mic above hihat that's higher and another that's above ride cymbal and lower) the snare might arrive in the OH mics at the same time but the sound in the hihat side will be brighter since it's almost directly above the snare drum. The ride side OH mic's snare sound will be darker since it's not right above the snare drum.

Try to readjust the mics so both the mics would not only be equidistant from the snare but both would also "see" as much of the snare head. Hope you're using cardioid mics.

I'v noticed this phenomenon but it doesn't seem to bother me that much. Compressing the OH with 1176 using both fast attack and release and compressing only the skins might also help a bit. Sound gets focused towards the close mic.
Interesting thought. I didn't think of frequency as a factor in how we hear things in the stereo field. Worth a shot.
Old 29th July 2016
  #20
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Seb RIOU's Avatar
 

ORTF is great way to center kick/snare with a wide stereo image. I use it all the time.
Old 29th July 2016
  #21
Just pick a measuring tape and set both mics equidistant to the snare. The Bass drum sometimes is a problem and sometimes not, as is the OP's case...
Old 29th July 2016
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Interesting thought. I didn't think of frequency as a factor in how we hear things in the stereo field. Worth a shot.
Freq, could contribute and levels, and I'd assume you've eliminated that. But arrival time I've found is very potent in pulling the image over. I know you said equidistant', but curious, how about try delay the left. Less than 1ms (actually well less than a millisecond can be plenty.

I'd be interested to know how it turns out.
Old 29th July 2016
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prabha View Post
Just pick a measuring tape and set both mics equidistant to the snare. The Bass drum sometimes is a problem and sometimes not, as is the OP's case...
Thats what I already do...
Old 29th July 2016
  #24
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AudioWonderland's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
Freq, could contribute and levels, and I'd assume you've eliminated that. But arrival time I've found is very potent in pulling the image over. I know you said equidistant', but curious, how about try delay the left. Less than 1ms (actually well less than a millisecond can be plenty.

I'd be interested to know how it turns out.
Interesting idea. Reaper will let me nudge down to the sample so I should be able to get finite enough to make that test work
Old 29th July 2016
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
Interesting idea. Reaper will let me nudge down to the sample so I should be able to get finite enough to make that test work
Cool. yeah 'half a MS as I understand it can be worth 'several db' of pan pot for example. Strong stuff :>)
Old 29th July 2016
  #26
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Instruments, just like microphones have polar patterns, just in how they project different frequencies rather than capture them. Just like a trumpet or guitar cab does not sound the same dead-on vs off-axis, a snare drum does not throw out the same sound up as it does to the side. The setup which you described in your OP has each overhead mic listening to the snare at bery different angles. Equal distance will ensure they are in phase, but do not account for the directionality of the snare.

So you could switch to the George Massenberg, or you could try point the mic above the snare in your setup more off-axis, either by angling it to the hihat side or moving it.
Old 29th July 2016
  #27
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I get this too sometimes, I just cheat a little with the L-R balance. To me, the snare centering is more important than the 'side' pickup, which has a lot of leeway.
Old 29th July 2016
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioWonderland View Post
I use a spaced pair of overheads on the kit plus kick/snare mics. The left mic is basically above the the snare while the other is directly above where the 2 floor toms come together. The capsules are the same make/model and are both the same distance from the impact point of the snare and face directly down. This means the right side mic is several inches lower but it is not in the way. This puts the mics on a line that splits the kit evenly between the mics.

With this setup I would expect the snare to sit in the middle of the stereo image being equidistant from each mic but it is not. It favors the mic directly above the snare. Any thoughts on why that would be?

X/Y would almost certainly correct it but parts of the kit end up pretty far away from the mics. ORTF is an option but being 6-7" apart I would expect the image to be off and if the pair is located "mid kit" the left mic would be closer and aimed right at the snare while the right would be further away and aimed away from the snare. I would expect a balance issue in that case.

What am I missing here?
angle the mic over the tom so it faces the snare. Mics are less sensitive to sound as it moves out from in front of the mic. so a sound at a 45º angle to the mic will be slightly quieter and have a different frequency response than the same sound at 0º.

Secondly...

The snare drum is a cylinder. That directs the sound. Sound from a snare drum, while expanded as a sphere, is impaired and focused by the shell... so the sound to the sides of the shell are different than the sound directly above and below it.

If you also keep this in mind you will find perfect symmetry. Keep the mics equidistant to the snare... but they also have to be at the same "angle" to the snare. If your mics are 4' apart and 4' from the snare... then one mic has to be 2' to the left of the snare and the other 2' to the right... and both microphones either need to point directly at the snare or point directly down (so the snare is off axis by the same amount to both mics).

Think of the snare drum kind of like a trumpet... the bell of the trumpet is where the sound comes out and the bell directs the sound in a certain direction. You can hear the trumpet from the side, but the timbre and is different. Imagine i you put one mic 3ft directly in front of a trumpet bell and then one mic 3ft off to the side of the trumpet bell at maybe a 45º or 90º angle. Will they sound the same? The timbre difference will pull the stereo image to one side (usually whichever side is brighter...which will be the one directly in front). Now imagine if you did the same thing, but you had one mic 1.5ft to the left of the bell and 3ft out and the other mic 1.5ft to the right of the bell and 3ft out... this will give you a property centered image.

While a snare drum isn't as directional as a trumpet, it does have some directionality because the shell is a tube. Try putting a mic 6" from the middle of the side of the drum shell and then 6" away from dead center on the head... you will notice a huge timbre difference in the snare sound.
Old 29th July 2016
  #29
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DirkB's Avatar
 

I have experienced the same issue with AB recently, which is why I stick to ORTF most of the times; much easier to position right also.

Then I listen in the CR and adjust the gains of the OH mics until they the snare sounds in the centre. I don't worry about the two mics not getting the same amount of gain from the preamps...

Regards,
Dirk
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