The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
What's your go-to for fixing harsh overheads or room mics? Condenser Microphones
Old 1 week ago
  #31
I just sweep through the frequencies to find the 'harsh' ones, make a tight Q and reduce the gain until they sound nice then run it through a 'tube' simulation plugin like Antares Warm or Antares Tube. Or if you have access to a tube preamp during recording but you don't have access to better mics, use the tube preamp during tracking as there will likely be less highs if you have darker sounding tubes.

The other thing I did was just buy some really nice cymbals and hi-hats and if the drummer brings in a kit with cymbals and hats that sound overly harsh and terrible, I say "Try these" and swap them out. As long as the drummer likes the sound of them, you can go with your cymbals. Usually I get a "wow, these cymbals are awesome" comment when swapping out crappy cymbals and hi-hats.
Old 1 week ago
  #32
Lives for gear
 
GreenNeedle's Avatar
 

Use a fast attack on the compressor.
Old 1 week ago
  #33
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
Lots of decent solutions mentioned for processing after the fact, and alternative mics.

More important, IMO, than the mic choice and processing is placement and setting up mechanical filters if needed. Some easy things that work for me:

-keep room mics close to the ground (more drum/less cymbal).

-keep them closer to drums as you'll get more low end, then you can delay/compress them to give the illusion of a bigger room.

-put room mics on the other side of a door, behind gobos, covered with blankets, etc.

-find spots in the room where the low end naturally blooms. Put the mics there.
Old 1 week ago
  #34
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paraudio View Post
...and also right around 44000 khz tighten your q a leetle and reduce and voila...
What are you?

I'm Batman.

Old 1 week ago
  #35
Here for the gear
 

How high is your ceiling and what kind of treatment? I put rockwool panels above the kit and a large diffusor behind and it helped a lot
Old 1 week ago
  #36
Gear Addict
 

Correction in my post from earlier i meant 2.2 k and usually 4.4k is where the harshness lies when using some condensors..those are usually the areas that the harshness lives
Old 1 week ago
  #37
Gear Maniac
 
din's Avatar
 

It's a basement. Ceiling is only about 7' high and there is a drop ceiling about 4" below that consisting of 2" Knauf absorbers except for about 1' around the perimeter. Also the entire room perimeter has alternating absorbtion and diffusion. Perhaps a pic is easier to explain. Generally, the room sounds great--even when live tracking a band. It just seems the cymbals often sound too loud or harsh in the room/overhead mics, which is quite surprising, considering the overall amount of absortion.

As far as ribbons go, I have the R88 and RM BIV (pair) and they do sound great-but they're just missing that excitement (sparkle) that I get from the 4050's (or sometimes M23 pair for lighter, jazzy stuff). I generally find that I need to either add top end to the ribbons or take out top end from the 4050's.

Old 1 week ago
  #38
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
It’s totally normal to add a fair amount of high shelf to ribbon overheads, but regardless, if you’re generally digging the tone of your usual mics I’d start by trying some different placement.

For your OH, make sure they aren’t pointed directly at any cymbals. Raise them a little too. I start my drum recordings with dialing the OH or front of kit mics, and then make other mic and processing choices once I’m happy with that - I think that approach helps these types of issues later on.

Also, the side you might have less control over: darker cymbals...telling drummers to not bash them...
Old 1 week ago
  #39
Gear Maniac
 
din's Avatar
 

Yea, I used to point the M160's directly down at the cymbals. That was my first mistake! I've gotten away from that. Now I try to point them at the floor to the left and right of the cymbal perimeter. Sometimes I put them on the inside span of the cymbals because I love the sound of the snare in the M160's but it can sometimes be too much or take the snare a little out of the center of the stereo field.
Old 1 week ago
  #40
Lives for gear
 
andersmv's Avatar
 



I use this same overhead setup sometimes on heavy hitters. I'v never been a huge fan of overheads, but I really like keeping them low and really spaced out like that sometimes.
Old 1 week ago
  #41
Gear Maniac
 
RUSCO's Avatar
Quote:
How high is your ceiling and what kind of treatment?
Without a doubt a high ceiling solves the problem.

In all the recording spaces that I have recorded drums in
the spaces or rooms that had high ceilings I got the best detail out of the cymbals.
Old 1 week ago
  #42
Lives for gear
 
bowzin's Avatar
+10 for oeksound Soothe. The "Delta" button allows you to hear only what the plugin is cutting (the difference/delta between the original signal and output signal). If that sounds shockingly bad then you're on the right track.

Like any dynamic EQ/de-esser, it only cuts frequencies when the energy on that freq passes a threshold, so it's not messing with the tone until there is excess energy. Unlike other dynamic EQ/de-esser's I've seen, it automatically moves the frequency points around in real-time reacting to the signal. Works great and saves a lot of time.
Old 1 week ago
  #43
Lives for gear
 
Xander's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bowzin View Post
+10 for oeksound Soothe. The "Delta" button allows you to hear only what the plugin is cutting (the difference/delta between the original signal and output signal). If that sounds shockingly bad then you're on the right track.

Like any dynamic EQ/de-esser, it only cuts frequencies when the energy on that freq passes a threshold, so it's not messing with the tone until there is excess energy. Unlike other dynamic EQ/de-esser's I've seen, it automatically moves the frequency points around in real-time reacting to the signal. Works great and saves a lot of time.
Another +10 for oeksound Soothe. If you haven't tried it yet, don't do it unless you're ready to pay for it. Unfortunately, they just had a sale that ended.

This has saved me on multiple tracks that I've mixed where I wasn't part of the recording process. I've been able to smooth out harsh overheads, room mics, poorly tracked harsh guitars, cymbal bleed in tom mics, and even bleed in guitar and vocal mics in a live recording situation. It has saved me a lot of stress over the past few months
Old 1 week ago
  #44
Lives for gear
 
valjean24601's Avatar
 

For me, using a de-esser is the best method of resolving this problem. Sometimes I'll just notch out a small frequency area a couple of dB and then other times i'm happy to get 5-6dB of reduction on a wideband setting and then dial in some top end EQ to restore a much more pleasant sounding top end. There's something satisfying about all but removing the top end fidelity with a de-esser and then restoring that top end in a manner that suits the production best.

Normally with stuff that I track myself i never run into problems with harshness, but when I get stuff to mix from clients sometimes it's a nightmare.


Cheers,
Mark.
Old 6 days ago
  #45
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by valjean24601 View Post
For me, using a de-esser is the best method of resolving this problem. Sometimes I'll just notch out a small frequency area a couple of dB and then other times i'm happy to get 5-6dB of reduction on a wideband setting and then dial in some top end EQ to restore a much more pleasant sounding top end. There's something satisfying about all but removing the top end fidelity with a de-esser and then restoring that top end in a manner that suits the production best.

Normally with stuff that I track myself i never run into problems with harshness, but when I get stuff to mix from clients sometimes it's a nightmare.


Cheers,
Mark.
What deesser do you like?
Old 6 days ago
  #46
Lives for gear
 
valjean24601's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravyface View Post
What deesser do you like?
I've been using the Eoisis one that comes with the Slate everything bundle and it's incredibly smooth with minimal negative artefacts.


Cheers,
Mark.
Old 6 days ago
  #47
Here for the gear
 

Some cymbals are just harsh, and changing a mic won't make any difference.

A nice ribbon mic will pick up whatever's going on in front of it, so if it's recording a harsh cymbal, it'll pick that up that harshness very well.

AT make nice mics, they can be a bit bright, but they're not exactly known for injecting harshness into a signal.

I have high ceilings in my studio, and that does make drums sound better, but I still have to deal with harsh cymbals being played more often than I would like.

The answer is Oeksound Soothe (which I see you've tried and liked). That's what it's designed for, and it does it well. Zooming in with something like DMG Equilibrium and making tiny little cuts at the ringing frequencies will also help a lot as some things will slip through Soothe's fingers.
Old 6 days ago
  #48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maggot Brain View Post
EDIT: for mics, the Coles 4038 is the best I've used, but they are expensive. On a budget, I'd suggest Shinybox, sE VR1, M160 or even the Fatheads.
hey just curious if you've used the VR1's? They are my short list of ribbons to buy/check out for OH's. I've read they retain a lot of higher end and it's actually a bit off setting for me as I want a pair of ribbons to actually be a bit darker. Not sure if this is a problem for hi-freq harshness at all?

Like the OP, I have low ceilings and am finding this thread pretty cool. The RM BIV's (as mentioned) are also on my radar. Seems they'ed be a bit darker/smoother?

Cheers
Old 6 days ago
  #49
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by szyam View Post
hey just curious if you've used the VR1's? They are my short list of ribbons to buy/check out for OH's. I've read they retain a lot of higher end and it's actually a bit off setting for me as I want a pair of ribbons to actually be a bit darker. Not sure if this is a problem for hi-freq harshness at all?

Like the OP, I have low ceilings and am finding this thread pretty cool. The RM BIV's (as mentioned) are also on my radar. Seems they'ed be a bit darker/smoother?

Cheers
I have a pair. I mostly use them on guitar amps. Loud guitar amps. They excel at that. I've only used them once as OH's and it was cool. I know dudes use them for that though, and I've heard the results. Good in front of a kit too. Will give your bass drum huge balls. They definitely have a bit more top end than other ribbons I've tried, which is why I love them so much on amps. The "need" for a supplemental dynamic mic or EQ to add that in is less necessary. I've never found them harsh though. Darker than any other dynamic or condenser I've used. Just not as much darker as other ribbons I suppose. Insane cost to quality ratio. They're built to last. Heavy little guys.

To be honest, I probably wouldn't reach for a figure 8 pattern in rooms with low ceilings, unless the ceilings are treated. M160 on the other hand, is perfect for that sorta thing. Very directional.
Old 6 days ago
  #50
Lives for gear
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
I like the MXL R40 on drum room (or the R80), those go on sale all the time, kind of bonhamy, saying this at risk of sounding too specific. That dark wide fat vibe, I like them in a spaced pair.

A good cheap mic to put on the floor is the Beyerdynamic MPC67 boundary mic, or some Oktava 12s like albini. The beyer requires custom XLR cables is the only drawback or speed bump on that purchase. EV 635A also work great and are never too bright. Also super cheap.

There are some cymbals that I just refuse to use very much because of the brightness like the New Beat hats or the A Ping Ride. I like the K Custom Hybrid hi hats.

Any of those MXL kind of SDC mics are going to be bright. Oeksound Soothe does work as an emergency fire extinguisher if this happens to you. You might also consider putting some gaff tape on the ride cymbal or taping a rag to it or something if it's that bad in the room.

Eventide Elevate Bundle has some EQ and transient stuff that might be super useful. I just got them so I haven't tried them on drums yet. The transient thingy is comparable to Spiff. I paid $59 for the whole bundle. The limiter is incredible and has a huge, almost unmanageable CPU hit.
Old 6 days ago
  #51
Lives for gear
 
Oldone's Avatar
Just some random comments:

That room has reflective services about every 8 to 12 inches which could be creating a build up of frequencies at the mic in the cymbal frequency range. I would drop some thing material or blankets on the wall around the drums to reduce that potential effect in the 4050 mics.

EQ up front even an inexpensive mixer could be your friend as others have pointed out.

If that doesn't solve it, I would go with either a better transient handling mic if you are sticking with full condensors or get an inexpensive pair of pencil condensors which is a more traditional approach.

What preamps are you using? They may be ultra sensitive in the problem range area especially if they are in the lower end in quality.
Old 6 days ago
  #52
Lives for gear
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
That reminds me... we treated my friend's basement with 703 panels and some foam... went from one of the harshest, nastiest rooms I've ever played in, to, "Wow, I wish I could live here forever."
Old 6 days ago
  #53
Here for the gear
 
CupcakeKitten's Avatar
 

Team Soothe ^^. Soothe is bae <3.

Not gonna lie, many tracks get some sort of soothe treatment, because to me harsh/overly bright highs are the audio equivalent of artificial vanilla candles. Just gives me a raging headache.
Even with a really good setup I’m pretty hissy with vocals and Soothe does a great job at sorting it out without a ‘lisp’ effect that can happen with some other de-essers I’ve tried (like the Slade one). Same deal with cymbals, synths, etc. Nearly anything can be game for some extra Soothe cuddles.
So yeah. For what it’s worth I’m really happy with Soothe, it’s my go-to bad-boii for dealing with anything too harsh or hissy!
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
justinf / So much gear, so little time
29
NikJennings / So much gear, so little time
21
thewurlitzerlife / So much gear, so little time
6
BlueRadio / High end
14

Forum Jump
Forum Jump