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Recording drums in a gym= awesome!
Old 21st June 2009
  #1
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Inca's Avatar
 

Recording drums in a gym= awesome!

Well, I just started a tracking session with a friends band, and we used the gym at our church to track his drums.

It was a truly amazing experience and challenging in the same right. We recorded 4 songs with a scratch guitar and did our best to capture the vibe of the space.


I must also disclose that I always advise them to record in a big studio, but these guys are stone cold broke, haha, so I'm doing it as a favor.

Here is a basic idea of what we did. You can please tell me what you like or might change, that would be cool. I will try to put up some samples once I get the bands permission.

MicsPre's:

Beta 52 inside the kick.......thru a A Designs P1

SM57 on snare thru A Designs EM Blue

2- Oktava MK12's as overheads,.....Thru Digi 003 pre's

Oktava MK-219 about 25 feet in front of the kit....about 7 feet up....thru GR500....used the GR with the Input cranked a bit and used output to add mojo...

AT 4033 behind drummer.....about 5 feet back just over his right shoulder...floor tom side.......thru Digi 003 pre


We set the kit up in the middle of the gym after walking around with his snare and hitting it to listen for reflections. The ceiling is completely treated with absorbent material and the floor is a rubber synthetic....no wood.

I think the middle was best because we were an equal distance from each wall. Maybe I was wrong to do this, but I really wanted to use my ears first and trust what they were telling me.

The drummer also changed all of his heads to a new set of Evans...which sounded incredible to me. Basically, I was trying to get everything right at the source and signal chain. I didn't want to try and fix crappy sounds (which they may be to your ears) inside of Pro Tools.

Okay, hopefully your still with me here. The hardest part was that I had no outboard compressors and it was a bitch controlling his hits on the snare and kick. I basically had the pad engaged all the time on the Blue and P1 pres.

I don't know if this was the wrong thing to do, but I used a Massey Limiter lightly to control some of the peaks on the snare hits. I listened with it and without it, and it didn't seem to affect the sound. I really don't know if using a compressor/limiter inside the box during tracking really does much. Does it? I know what my next 500 purchase will be.....a compressor, or maybe a pair of distressors. Damn, will I always be a slut like this? ha

I tracked everything into PT version 8 thru my RME ADI-8 via lightpipe using its clock. I don't know, but to me the Digi 003 pres didn't sound half bad. Anyone else notice this?

I have to admit the band and I were really happy with the tones we got. I know that I can hear a great bit of room on the room mics, duh, but a really wanted to go for vibe/performance first. At least I have the close miked snare and kick to emphasize attack. I will admit, even just using the overheads and room mics the sounds are pretty nice.

So, now that I have spouted off, any advice on what I did right/wrong. Am I right to think I should get a compressor as my next purchase? I really think it's something I need as an overall tool. For example, tracking vocals with someone that isn't great with mic control.

Mixing is going to be a lot of fun. I'm tracking guitars, bass, and vocals next weekend.


I brought my camera to include pics, but of course the dang thing was out of juice and I forgot my charger. haha.

I will try and post samples once I get their permission to do so.

Thanks peeps!
Old 21st June 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inca View Post
Well, I just started a tracking session with a friends band, and we used the gym at our church to track his drums.

I will try and post samples once I get their permission to do so.

Thanks peeps!
I'd love to hear em. I presume this was one of those giant megachurches? They let you guys do that?
Old 21st June 2009
  #3
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Inca's Avatar
 

No, not one of those mega churches, but they have a separate building with a gym. They let us use it for whatever we want.

The drummer I recorded is actually the youth pastor, so that helps. haha. I will defnitely get you some samples once they are ready.
Old 21st June 2009
  #4
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by-tor's Avatar
 

Samples AND Pics!
Old 21st June 2009
  #5
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Inca's Avatar
 

Okay, so I will be back there next week and will try and take some pics to give a better idea of what I' talking about. hha.

I knew I was gonna need those pics. I had good intentions though. ha
Old 21st June 2009
  #7
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Inca's Avatar
 

Quote:

Hell yeah, got the track playing in my AT cans right now. Sounds amazing. Listen to that decay, it really fits the song though. That is how you add natural vibe instantly. Thanks for the link.

It almost like you can hear the sound of the drums driving away. haha. Kind of fitting considering what was going on overhead. haha

Cool stuff.
Old 21st June 2009
  #8
Gear Addict
 
ZEBRAAA's Avatar
 

i wanne hear it please

greetz
Old 22nd June 2009
  #9
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MidasHatesGold's Avatar
 

thanx christian for the free merch

can´t wait to hear a snippet...I would like to close mic my drums in the tunnel too...keep the info cumming.

cheers
Old 22nd June 2009
  #10
Gear Nut
 
Dozerbabar's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inca View Post
Damn, will I always be a slut like this?
Yep, no way out, it only gets worse
Old 22nd June 2009
  #11
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
I really don't know if using a compressor/limiter inside the box during tracking really does much.
it affects what you hear at the time but not the actual printed recording. Was it peaking the pre or just in Pro Tools? If so just bring down the level going in. It doesn't matter too much if some of your hits are down at -30dBfs or even lower if recorded at 24 bit.
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