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Drum mix... width
Old 8th June 2018
  #151
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by elegentdrum View Post
Panning in the digital world is much more accurate than panning in the analog world. This is best aspect of digital mixing....the stereo image is maintained.

For everything else (Compression, EQ, Reverb, etc) I prefer analog.

The perspective thing. I'm a drummer and a mixer. So I tend to mix from the drummers perspective. The listener could care less most of the time.
This is the crux of the biscuit. It only matters to engineers and some drummers. I'm a right handed drummer. I mix that perspective because it doesn't distract me from my task, which is making a great sounding record. Its the same reason I prefer to mix alone, less distractions.
Old 8th June 2018
  #152
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
This is the crux of the biscuit. It only matters to engineers and some drummers. I'm a right handed drummer. I mix that perspective because it doesn't distract me from my task, which is making a great sounding record. Its the same reason I prefer to mix alone, less distractions.
When it comes to distraction, do you get distracted when things in the drums and perc are inconsistently flammy? I do, especially when the kick is early. And I also do sometimes when the hat is more than a tiny bit to one side. To me, it can feel like the components are more distinct but as a whole, it's looser. And not in a good way.

I'd post an example but it would have to be a before-and-after of someone else's stuff, so I'd better not.
Old 8th June 2018
  #153
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
This is the crux of the biscuit. It only matters to engineers and some drummers. I'm a right handed drummer. I mix that perspective because it doesn't distract me from my task, which is making a great sounding record. Its the same reason I prefer to mix alone, less distractions.
In all seriousness, the perspective thing matters to me as well as a songwriter/arranger.
Old 8th June 2018
  #154
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toledo3's Avatar
 

The end result of an LCR style approach doesn’t have to sound insanely wide; it’s all about how much material is in the sides. Certain mic approaches work better with that mix approach than others.

Thinking about it as a bit analogous to mid/side, and constructing those middle and sides distinctly but also so that they work in combo - so that you can bring the sides up and down as desired, is what will make that approach click, IMO.

I think if that’s not how you look at that, and mic with a different approach that doesn’t set you up to have those two “worlds” work in combo, then things can seem wonky.

For example, having a center overhead and then a spaced pair along with close mics can lend itself to eventual LCR. Or mono overhead and stereo room.

When it comes to width, I think it’s generally helpful to have whatever is happening on the sides be a bit more bright or at least as bright and snappy as what’s going on in the middle. For example, if you had most of a kit panned center, but two ribbons panned L/R...and then compare with two SDC panned L/R, given average circumstance, the SDC scenario would tend to sound wider. Or as you add some high shelf to the ribbons, they will start seeming a bit wider. Something to keep in mind.
Old 8th June 2018
  #155
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
When it comes to distraction, do you get distracted when things in the drums and perc are inconsistently flammy? I do, especially when the kick is early. And I also do sometimes when the hat is more than a tiny bit to one side. To me, it can feel like the components are more distinct but as a whole, it's looser. And not in a good way.

I'd post an example but it would have to be a before-and-after of someone else's stuff, so I'd better not.
What is a drum-set drummer doing, but mimicking the contribution of several percussionists? The whole invention of the drum kit goes back to reducing the band payroll by having one person playing what were originally multiple separate parts. Also, the very best drummers intentionally push and pull parts early or late to create swing and groove. These micro-timings are often copied down and issued as MIDI groove templates.

As a trap set drummer and engineer who has also recorded percussion ensembles of various sizes, I would have to say this makes no sense to me at all. If people didn't want their parts to be "distinct", they would play everything on a floor tom. The ride, the backbeat, the kick. All on floor tom. I fail to see how a tonal cue - like playing a part on a cymbal - is "ok" but a directional cue - like panning - is not ok. The overhead and room mics provide more than enough 'glue' for the drum kit as a "voice".

With all the de rigueur lip service given to the drums being a "single instrument", there is a disconnect with the reality of drum parts and how each part individually fits in with the band as a whole. And where it comes from. It comes from the marching band not being able to fit all their separate players in the club when the gig went indoors.

Yes, one person is playing the drum set, but he has spent years working on his independence for a reason.

Do you get upset when you go see a band and the conga player is on the opposite side of the stage from the trap set? So why get upset if the trap set drummer played the conga figure on his tom and the engineer panned it? In any case, I don't hear having the hi-hat panned partially to one side as a "flam". Not even a little bit. If you prefer mono drums, go right ahead and keep on preferring them, but to me this justification is really "reaching".

As I said earlier, I find the idea that the "listener in a club" hears no positional stereo cues, no 'width' to the drum set to be false. And in the second place, what something sounds like in a club is only very rarely my 'standard' for doing a mix of modern music anyway.
Old 8th June 2018
  #156
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
In all seriousness, the perspective thing matters to me as well as a songwriter/arranger.
In all seriousness, there is nothing dumber than a 'controversy' over drummer's perspective vs audience perspective. As my example of a lefty drummer was intended to illustrate.

I am a righty drummer and engineer who reflexively pans drummers perspective, but the opposite perspective has never bothered me in listening to thousands and thousands of other people's songs. In fact it almost never even registers with me.
Old 8th June 2018
  #157
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
When it comes to distraction, do you get distracted when things in the drums and perc are inconsistently flammy? I do, especially when the kick is early. And I also do sometimes when the hat is more than a tiny bit to one side. To me, it can feel like the components are more distinct but as a whole, it's looser. And not in a good way.

I'd post an example but it would have to be a before-and-after of someone else's stuff, so I'd better not.
I tend to agree that the more mics you mix together the more you are likely to hear unflattering flamming , etc. UNLESS you go the other old school of recording separate takes for say , kick+snare + oheads, hats + cymbals, toms, thus achieving enough isolation to mix together without much in the way of phase anomalies when panning. This is where the idea of drum kit being one instrument and several individual instruments meet and was used extensively in the 70s and 80s. It's just more work and is usually not appreciated by the mass market.
Old 8th June 2018
  #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In all seriousness, there is nothing dumber than a 'controversy' over drummer's perspective vs audience perspective. As my example of a lefty drummer was intended to illustrate.

I am a righty drummer and engineer who reflexively pans drummers perspective, but the opposite perspective has never bothered me in listening to thousands and thousands of other people's songs. In fact it almost never even registers with me.
I agree mostly, as a listener it doesn't bother me either. If I'm writing the music or producing, then I want to hear things a certain way.
Old 8th June 2018
  #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I agree mostly, as a listener it doesn't bother me either. If I'm writing the music or producing, then I want to hear things a certain way.
As do I. But if a client insists on the other way, it's fine with me. Although one time when I was asked to switch the L-R of the drum kit, it kind of 'recast' our thinking about the panning of the guitars etc. But that was a case where the mix was started already and was being switched in mid-stream.

To be honest, I have no idea what percentage of the songs on my iPod are panned this way or that way. I am going to pay attention for the next few days and report back, but I have to say, my not knowing may be some kind of "indicator" for just how little it bothers me.
Old 8th June 2018
  #160
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
When it comes to distraction, do you get distracted when things in the drums and perc are inconsistently flammy? I do, especially when the kick is early. And I also do sometimes when the hat is more than a tiny bit to one side. To me, it can feel like the components are more distinct but as a whole, it's looser. And not in a good way.

I'd post an example but it would have to be a before-and-after of someone else's stuff, so I'd better not.
If flamming is from poor playing, or poor Locking of two players it bothers me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
In all seriousness, the perspective thing matters to me as well as a songwriter/arranger.
I ask, in all seriousness, did it register before you started working on recording, or even sequencing as an arranger/songwriter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In all seriousness, there is nothing dumber than a 'controversy' over drummer's perspective vs audience perspective. As my example of a lefty drummer was intended to illustrate.

I am a righty drummer and engineer who reflexively pans drummers perspective, but the opposite perspective has never bothered me in listening to thousands and thousands of other people's songs. In fact it almost never even registers with me.
I notice it more if I listen in headphones, which I don't do much. I notice if the hats are really loud, and bright (like cats who record hats with 451s for instance).

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
As do I. But if a client insists on the other way, it's fine with me. Although one time when I was asked to switch the L-R of the drum kit, it kind of 'recast' our thinking about the panning of the guitars etc. But that was a case where the mix was started already and was being switched in mid-stream.

To be honest, I have no idea what percentage of the songs on my iPod are panned this way or that way. I am going to pay attention for the next few days and report back, but I have to say, my not knowing may be some kind of "indicator" for just how little it bothers me.
I think that would be frustrating mid stream. I know I tend to balance tonal things left and right, if there's a bright guitar, I'll probably pan it opposite of the hats. Shakers or tambourines are often panned opposite of the ride source at that time. Did you consider flipping the entire L/R when you got that request?
Old 9th June 2018
  #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
As do I. But if a client insists on the other way, it's fine with me. Although one time when I was asked to switch the L-R of the drum kit, it kind of 'recast' our thinking about the panning of the guitars etc. But that was a case where the mix was started already and was being switched in mid-stream.

To be honest, I have no idea what percentage of the songs on my iPod are panned this way or that way. I am going to pay attention for the next few days and report back, but I have to say, my not knowing may be some kind of "indicator" for just how little it bothers me.
I agree with you, if I'm working with a client and they have a preference then I'll do what they ask. At most,*I might give them a quick disclaimer about why I prefer certain things, but I won't spend more than 30 seconds to a minute on it, then it's their call and I'm happy to oblige. I also don't pay attention to things like panning too much when I'm listening to music, I'm only bothered by it - or even notice it - when it's my own music or a project I'm close to, like producing or maybe even mixing.
Old 9th June 2018
  #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I ask, in all seriousness, did it register before you started working on recording, or even sequencing as an arranger/songwriter?
I tried making recordings before I ever played in a real band, but I didn't get serious about recording until after I had played with serious bands. Most of my recording preferences come from my time playing with good musicians, and in a band context performing in front of an audience.

So, to answer your question: yes and no.
Old 9th June 2018
  #163
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
If flamming is from poor playing, or poor Locking of two players it bothers me.
but then it's just flamming, not flamming "because" it's panned.
Quote:
I notice it more if I listen in headphones, which I don't do much. I notice if the hats are really loud, and bright (like cats who record hats with 451s for instance).
I am going to start my 'survey' today, and if I can manage to remember to stick to it, I will let people know what percentages I find.

Quote:
I think that would be frustrating mid stream. I know I tend to balance tonal things left and right, if there's a bright guitar, I'll probably pan it opposite of the hats. Shakers or tambourines are often panned opposite of the ride source at that time. Did you consider flipping the entire L/R when you got that request?
Would have been simpler, for sure. By the time we were done, most of it was flipped, and for the same kinds of reasons as you stated.
Old 9th June 2018
  #164
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Regarding 155 on, I was mainly talking about iffy playing. To me it sounds less iffy panned center.
Old 9th June 2018
  #165
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I generally pan the drums from a drummers POV (aside from the snare). Kick dead-centre, snare dead-centre (as I don't like it when it's a bit to the left. Loses some energy and is also off-putting in headphones), tom 1 to the left of the snare, tom 2 to the right of the snare, floor tom to the right of tom 2, ride on the right, main crash on the left... etc.

I've always done it this way as I can play drums and this is how I hear drums. It's weird to me when I hear a track (especially in headphones) that has the drums in reverse to this (e.g., the toms going from right>left) as I'd rather hear the drums in mono (apart from the cymbals) than have it that way. Why? Because if you stand in front of a kit you really can't hear any panning of the drums (aside from the cymbals) but if you sit behind the kit you can clearly hear how they are panned.

So... for me it would be: If you're going to pan the drums, do it from the drummer's POV, otherwise don't pan the drums as the only people that are going to care about this are drummers!
Old 9th June 2018
  #166
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toledo3's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
In all seriousness, there is nothing dumber than a 'controversy' over drummer's perspective vs audience perspective. As my example of a lefty drummer was intended to illustrate.

I am a righty drummer and engineer who reflexively pans drummers perspective, but the opposite perspective has never bothered me in listening to thousands and thousands of other people's songs. In fact it almost never even registers with me.
I think the argument is analogous to film directors arguing that you only should use wide shots. That would be kind of hard to justify.

One might feel that a certain perspective works really well, but it could conceivably not work as well as some other perspective for a given musical arrangement.

It can be helpful to be kind of familiar with a lot of different genres and periods of music, and what was done...to keep from trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. And just from the pragmatic perspective of making the people you’re working with happy and having everything go smoothly.
Old 9th June 2018
  #167
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nyandres's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
I think the argument is analogous to film directors arguing that you only should use wide shots. That would be kind of hard to justify.

One might feel that a certain perspective works really well, but it could conceivably not work as well as some other perspective for a given musical arrangement.

It can be helpful to be kind of familiar with a lot of different genres and periods of music, and what was done...to keep from trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. And just from the pragmatic perspective of making the people you’re working with happy and having everything go smoothly.
Its different though... widescreen literally changes the crop and thus the content.... panning though
..well is simetrically the same but left to right vs right to left...
Old 9th June 2018
  #168
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GeneHall's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgood View Post
Tony... French hooker I’m mixing just not full left/right... tom fill action... the toms spread out

I guess what I’m asking is this... is there anything inherently “wrong” about a more or less mono drum buss? I mean, will it sound awkward to s normal listener?
Since we're talking French Hookers, I prefer my audience perspective drum kit percussion to be very mono sounding, often I'll collapse the drum crush bus to mono at 500 cycles, my snare just slightly off centre and my rack ( 1 and only) tom near centre. I'm so bored over hyped up super wide drums from a drummer perspective. My ( 1 and only ) floortom goes out to left just wide enough to reinforce the audience perspective decision I am committed to. Depending on whats going on with my overheads, I may only use one of them and 1 room for dimension and cymbal placement .
Check out a for film band called The Unloved and his work on Killing Eve soundtrack, I love that sound so much, unapologetically I'd would love to know and boost his moves to get drums to sound that bigly awesome!!
Prendre plaisir man

Last edited by GeneHall; 9th June 2018 at 11:32 PM..
Old 9th June 2018
  #169
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I tried making recordings before I ever played in a real band, but I didn't get serious about recording until after I had played with serious bands. Most of my recording preferences come from my time playing with good musicians, and in a band context performing in front of an audience.

So, to answer your question: yes and no.
Sounds like a typical evoloution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
but then it's just flamming, not flamming "because" it's panned.

I am going to start my 'survey' today, and if I can manage to remember to stick to it, I will let people know what percentages I find.



Would have been simpler, for sure. By the time we were done, most of it was flipped, and for the same kinds of reasons as you stated.
I'm guessing your survey will be more audience than drummer's perspective. I know I own a couple records with both, depending on the song and mixer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Regarding 155 on, I was mainly talking about iffy playing. To me it sounds less iffy panned center.
The panning would probably make each of the non locked elements stick out more.
Old 9th June 2018
  #170
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
The panning would probably make each of the non locked elements stick out more.
It does. And the longer you sit in front of anything, not just drums, the more nits you'll find to pick. Mixes, in my experience, get better on their own if you go out for a beer and come back. Playing doesn't.

I'm sure some of this has come about because we've become so accustomed to machine-generated music. Also, we can do critical analysis that now that wasn't possible before, and zoom in on one bar and not only play it in rapid succession 100 times in a row, but also see a visual representation of why it sounds messed up.
Old 10th June 2018
  #171
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
I suspect your room is playing a MUCH bigger part in that "scooped" sound you are hearing at your place than the wood of those drums are to be honest. Speaking as someone who recently moved my drums from a small well treated area into a very large and open room and also have a dead ISO booth now I can tell you my drums sound COMPLETELY different in each of those locations.

It's so drastic that I can hardly attribute any distinct qualities to the wood in the drums. I'm not saying the wood does not contribute to the sound, it certainly does but the heads and tuning BEHIND the room have a far bigger impact on the sound.

I have 3 kits by the way, one is a Yamaha Stage Custom, One is a made in Asia Poplar kit (which actually sounds really good with the right heads) and the other is a "Franken-kit" with a PDP bass drum and some assorted toms and whatnot. Again, they all sound COMPLETELY different in each location!
It's the way the head and tone wood interact really, the room is a factor, but I've had a tiny "fishtank" drum recording room as well as a large room with cathedral ceilings, and cardioid overheads placed fairly close pick up about the same tone if the room is treated properly for its size.

Totally agreed about tuning and room interaction, THAT can change tone drastically. The tuning that sounds a certain way in one room, might sound quite different or opposite in a different sized room. But I'm taking that into account here.

The most drastically noticeable tone wood is oak. I was on the fence about the differences in tone woods vs the quality of shell construction until I heard two high-end oak kits; a Yamaha Oak Custom and I think it was an Ayotte Oak kit. They had such a distinct tonal variety that was not attainable with Birch or Maple kits in the same space (a music store showroom). I have a feeling that if you had the same experience and opportunity to compare Oak to other tone woods, you would change your "tune".

Tone woods mostly differ in the dynamic range potential in the attack (how different the drums respond to hard vs soft strikes), the prevalence of a certain overtone structure, and the ability of the drummer to control the overtones by technique.

Beech is great for metal because the attack has almost the same timbre no matter the strength of a hit, much the same effect as heavy compression has. Another great aspect of Beech is that the overtones are strongest in the fundamental (lowest tone), and not so much in the mid-bass like maple. This allows nice resonant sounds without having to mid-scoop away that "beach ball" sound you get with maple, or over-compress Birch shells to get the overtones loud enough to be significant in the mix.

Anyways this post is already too long, sorry about that hahah I could keep going for sure hahahaha
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