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Overheads, cymbals and spatial image
Old 10th November 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
combfilter's Avatar
 

Overheads, cymbals and spatial image

Hi everyone!
Maybe this belongs more to the drums! forum, If so I apologize.

Anyway: I'm mixing a track, and I'm a bit stuck with the drum sound.

I need to keep the overheads pretty loud in order to get a proper spatial image and I like how the kit sounds this way, it really works for the song... only problem is the cymbals, that are, well, way too loud (and they're also a bit bright).
If I push the OHs down, I get a proper cymbal level but I obviously begin losing depth as the close mics become more predominant. Everything sounds less lively as well, especially the snare.
I found a mono room track but it is not really useable.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this?
Old 10th November 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
AmongstTheLiving's Avatar
 

I generally use the OHS as a starting point for my drums (duh.) Cymbals are loud? Check. Snare is loud? Check. Toms are present with good imaging? Check.

If cymbals are too "loud" I would first try to EQ any and all "harsh" frequencies down a bit without bringing down the volume of the actual track. Maybe "harsh" isn't the correct term. Maybe overpowering frequencies? Just don't overdue it. A little bit will go a long way.

If that didn't work, I would try to use that unusable room mic. Why is it unusable? Too far away? Bump it up a few samples. Not enough room? That's what reverb plugs are for.

I would also check my mic technique on the next session. From what you're describing it sounds like you're micing your OHS from the front of the drum kit. Try up and over the shoulders of the drummer behind him/her. Not so high that all you have is room, but high enough so the drummer won't hit them. You will tend to get more drums in the OHS along with more room.

Good luck!
Old 10th November 2009
  #3
Gear Addict
 
rolo95's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by combfilter View Post
Hi everyone!
Maybe this belongs more to the drums! forum, If so I apologize.

Anyway: I'm mixing a track, and I'm a bit stuck with the drum sound.

I need to keep the overheads pretty loud in order to get a proper spatial image and I like how the kit sounds this way, it really works for the song... only problem is the cymbals, that are, well, way too loud (and they're also a bit bright).
If I push the OHs down, I get a proper cymbal level but I obviously begin losing depth as the close mics become more predominant. Everything sounds less lively as well, especially the snare.
I found a mono room track but it is not really useable.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Yeah....
sounds like a OH's mic position problem..
try to move as the fellow slut before me posted...


but try 2 or 3 positions... and make takes...
then decide what fits best

There is no One recipe for any given situation
too many variables.... Room, Mics , pres... but
over all is the KIt itself and the player...

R.
Old 10th November 2009
  #4
Try a de-esser. I mean, it's pretty much a high frequency compressor so try to key in just the cymbals. The Massey plug in is great if you have Pro Tools, Waves is nice too, or a DBX 902 or DBX 263X will work for outboard on the cheap.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
combfilter's Avatar
 

The de-esser thing was a nice suggestion! Didn't think about that.
Combined with some EQing, it pretty much did the trick.

The cymbals are still a bit louder than usual, but they are no longer annoying. In fact, I think they sound good that loud.

I didn't record the tracks, btw, anyway they sound pretty ok on other songs which are a harder type of rock. This one was a more laid back song and it needed a more "open" drum sound somehow.

Thanks!
Old 22nd November 2009
  #6
Vum
Lives for gear
 
Vum's Avatar
 

You could also create a drum "ducker" by side chaining the overheads with the snare and kick. Also, automating the overheads can begin to clean things up. Combine these with de-essing and you'll probably salvage your recording.

The side chain thing is pretty useful if the high hat is the main offender.

Also, there was some mention of mic technique, don't forget headphone mix technique too! it's not against the rules to run the overheads hot in the cans to help the drummer lay of them a bit.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #7
Glad something I suggested was actually helpful for someone
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