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Recorderman + Close Tom Mics
Old 16th September 2011
  #1
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Recorderman + Close Tom Mics

Been experimenting w/ Recorderman technique (w/ close mic on snare and kick + room mics) and loving the sounds I am getting. The kit sounds really natural and is reminding me of my favorite recordings from the 60's/70's.

I am wondering as I begin to add elements to the recording, if I am going to lose the toms in the mix. Is it common to add close tom mics to this set-up?

I have enough channels so I can add 421s on the toms, however being that I am recording to 8 track tape; drums I have only 4 tracks for drums; one for kick, one for snare, one for Drum Image L and one for Drum Image R; any close tom mics and room mics, I have to set the balance of with the OHs while tracking, with no control of their balance in the mix.

Debating on adding tom mics, and curious to know other people's experience w/ adding toms to this kind of setup.
Old 16th September 2011
  #2
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hasbeen's Avatar
Depends on the band and especially the drummer.

I love using Glyn Johns method. If the drummer is solid the toms are fine. If needed, I ride the faders during automation. Parallel compression is nice too.

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Old 16th September 2011
  #3
Gear Nut
 

I add tom mics to this set up all the time, and blend to taste, sounds great, as long as the phase is right, I even add a bottom tom mic at times
Old 16th September 2011
  #4
Gear Head
 

For me it totally depends on the material. Rock, heavier folk/Americana, even some "indie" or "indie pop" (hipster psudo electric rock, dunno why they call it indie) where the toms are prevalent than for sure use close micing on the toms. On the other hand, if the drummer is all grove gor the song and only hits the toms once or twice per tune than keep doing what your doing. We can't hear what you are hearing so we don't know how they are sounding in the mix. Ive used K-S-OH micing a bunch over the years and I usually work with the drummer and OH mic placement to get the Toms above the cymbals. Could be as simple as asking him to lay into them a bit more if they arnt coming through like you want them.

Blending them with the OH and sending to tape on the same channels has worked for me in the past but I notice that I need to be more aggressive with the tones and volume levels to make sure they don't get lost in the mix. Scooping out the unnecessary freqs before some moderate compression works for me, but you should experiment whith the gear you have to find what's best for you.
Old 16th September 2011
  #5
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The music is heavier rock, but it's just one guitar, bass, vocals + drums. Never gets too cluttered. The drummer is really consistent and has a great overall balance. I guess the only thing to do is to put the tom mics up and see how it sounds. Any tips for getting the phase relationships of the tom mics worknig well the the OHs?
Old 16th September 2011
  #6
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
The music is heavier rock, but it's just one guitar, bass, vocals + drums. Never gets too cluttered. The drummer is really consistent and has a great overall balance. I guess the only thing to do is to put the tom mics up and see how it sounds. Any tips for getting the phase relationships of the tom mics worknig well the the OHs?
I've never felt that there was much of a phase problem between close miced toms and the overheads. As you add more mics, however, the chances for phase anomalies throughout the kit increase geometrically. But if you're getting a good soundfield with the overheads, kick and snare mics, I don't think adding a little bit of tom mics for added oomph will be a problem. You can always gate these mics if you wish.

-R
Old 16th September 2011
  #7
Gear Addict
 

Just sum the toms to one track rather than three, although I guess you will have probably already thought of this.
Old 16th September 2011
  #8
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikoo69 View Post
The music is heavier rock, but it's just one guitar, bass, vocals + drums. Never gets too cluttered. The drummer is really consistent and has a great overall balance. I guess the only thing to do is to put the tom mics up and see how it sounds. Any tips for getting the phase relationships of the tom mics worknig well the the OHs?
OH + Toms phasing:

Mic everything and have the drummer do a simple fill over and over again. Something simple like high,high,mid,mid,low,low... Mid tempo but not too fast. Bring the OH faders up keeping the Tom faders down and pan them appropriately. Slowly raise the high Tom fader up until you start hearing the added presence to the overheads. Now solo the high time from the overheads and switch back and forth a few times. You will probably notice there are several frequencies that are missing from the close mic when you add it to the overheads! Those are the ones being phased out. Ever ao slightly move/rotate the close mic and the overheads until you are happy with what you are hearing from the mix of the two but make sure you don't ruin the stereo imaging, snare sound, cymbal balance, etc, etc, in your overhead placement! Continue the soloing process for the other toms until you are happy or the drummer starts giving you the stink eye for wearing him out before he gets to do his takes!

The process gets easier the more you do it and you will learn tricks and good starting points as you go. Be weary of "fixing" the lacking frequencies with too much EQ on the toms to tape. If you EQ your overheads like I do in the mix, you can screw yourself by printing too much low presence EQ to the tom tracks rendering them near useless in the final mix. You an end yp with all ooomph and no stick sound pretty quikly. Ask yourself what the Toms are lacking in the overheads througout the process and stick to that. Is it the meat of the drum (low, low mids) or the sound of the stick hitting the head (mids and highs)? Get the content you are missing in phase and you will have less to do later.
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