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Thread: No More High Hat Please!!

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by second skin View Post
    but others may call them out of tune with bad overtones. i had a drummer in a while back who's set had incredibly ringy and just plain out of tune toms. not to mention that they were tuned way too high, even the floor tom. there was nothing that i could do and no way that i could convince him to tune them up right. and of course the heads were shot so even tuned they would not have sounded very good.

    a drum that is able to be tuned well without damping is a beautiful thing though. why is it that drummers seem to be so cheap when it comes to heads?
    It's not the engineers job to judge and dictate the sound of someones instrument. It's to capture an accurate performance.

    Serious players are serious about their sound and drummers are no different. The sound is part of the overall style and vibe; artistic expression.

    So why do engineers always try to get the drums to sound they the way they want them to sound? When I'm being recorded, I don't want to even hear how the engineer thinks my drums should sound. They're mine, the sound is mine, the style is mine....you just capture it all accurately because that's your job.

    Re: Played-in heads, Jeff Porcaro always said he wished he buy his heads already used. He never recorded with fresh heads. Most don't.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelveight View Post
    It's not the engineers job to judge and dictate the sound of someones instrument. It's to capture an accurate performance.

    Serious players are serious about their sound and drummers are no different. The sound is part of the overall style and vibe; artistic expression.

    So why do engineers always try to get the drums to sound they the way they want them to sound? When I'm being recorded, I don't want to even hear how the engineer thinks my drums should sound. They're mine, the sound is mine, the style is mine....you just capture it all accurately because that's your job.

    Re: Played-in heads, Jeff Porcaro always said he wished he buy his heads already used. He never recorded with fresh heads. Most don't.
    but when it sounds bad?...

    when the band wants to hear certain things in the mix later on and then they wonder why it sounds shitty. it's really a question of quality. if a drummer comes in and has a really crappy kit and there is a good one available for use i can offer it. if he insists that the shitty out of tune kit is his signature sound then so be it but i don't want to hear any complaints of why they sound like crap in the mix.

    that particular drummer insisted that his toms should sound that way and regrets it now because it's not possible to bring them up high enough in the mix due to the bad sounds that they bring with them.

    it's not an us vs them situation. we have to help each other get the job done.

    the same goes for guitars and basses. i'll gladly record your Peavey TNT115 bass amp if you want but i've got an SVT here that will sound a lot better and you will still sound like yourself because you played it

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelveight View Post
    Serious players are serious about their sound and drummers are no different. The sound is part of the overall style and vibe; artistic expression.

    and of course this is the key. engineers in big studios might have the luxury of working with players with top shelf gear all of the time but i'm doubting that anyone around here gets to do that.

    we all know what garbage in equals....

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelveight View Post
    John Bohnam, Mitch Mitchell, et al.
    Um, got any modern examples? Zep and Hendrix aren't exactly modern or loud.


    If you want to sound old fashioned, then use only overheads and room mics like they did in the 60's. You won't go wrong. If you want to sound modern and in your face, sprinkle in some close mics. Different strokes, but your opinion of "room mic only" is stupid.

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by twelveight View Post
    They're mine, the sound is mine, the style is mine....
    don't do a lot of session work, do we?
    Quote Originally Posted by twelveight View Post
    you just capture it all accurately because that's your job.
    right. nevermind that the engineer and producer might have more in the studio experience than you as to "what sounds good on tape" or what translates in front of a microphone.

    i agree that room mics/overheads get a more "natural" image of a kit. but while "when the levee breaks" is held up as the paragon of huge drum sounds, it was far more than just a pair of beyer m160s. it was the stone staircase in headley grange, a HELL of a drummer, a HELL of an engineer, and some really big drums getting the snot beat out of them. oh, and a WHOLE LOT of limiting.

    and sorry, but simply saying "zep" as an example of "only OH/RMs used" is less than accurate. anyone with an ear can tell there were close mics employed on MOST of their recordings. "levee" is the exception to the rule.

    and nevermind the interviews with andy johns where he talks about bonzo in the studio and how they did what the song needed (read: bonzo being flexible to trying new/different things).

    if bonzo went in with a "these are my drums, this is my sound" mentality, they NEVER would've put that kit in the stairway while the rest of the band was at the pub and "levee" would NOT be the example it is today.

    but if that's the way you want to operate, give Steve Albini a call, i'm sure he'll be glad to accomodate you.


    cheers,
    wade

  6. #36
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    Every musician that has 'their sound' is an egotistical piece of work. There are good sounds and there are bad sounds, and there are obstructive, ear shattering sounds, and there are sounds that fit in well with a mix and some that don't, but 'your sound' is an excuse that will oftentimes fuck a recording because you're not only recording that one instrument. That's why professional musicians make their sound the sound that they need to make to fit whatever situation they're in, not to suit their ego.

    So if your sound as a guitarist involves using thirty delays and a BOSS metal zone into a 10 watt practice amp cranked as loud as it will go because it 'sounds heavy and makes it deep!', if your sound as a drummer is tuning your kick really high and filling it with spaghetti and hitting your cymbals as hard as possible to make it 'rockin!' while you gingerly kiss your snare drum, if your bass sound has more of your fingers tapping the electronics than you actually playing the strings...Well...

    Good luck having that all fit together and fuck you if you try to peg the engineer slaving to make your terrible slop sound alright with anything except a medal.

  7. #37
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    Wow, I became unpopular awful fast.

    Please allow me to better articulate my view.

    The old drum sounds that most people love are based on tighter tunings and room recordings (in a broad sense). A drums true sound has to develop, it doesn't happen right by the head. Bonhams' (and a lot of others, for that matter) drums were tuned tighter than most people realize. The depth of the drums' sound is projected, not at the point of impact. Folks try close-micing drums with flappy heads and can't figure out why they sound like cardboard boxes.

    Obviously, what sounds good or bad is highly relative and subjective. A musician who is adamant about maintaining their sound is no more egocentric than an engineer who says "your instrument sounds like crap, here play a real instrument." Not to mention that kind of thing can put a real damper on the creative process. Maybe it does sound like total crap, record it the way it is. The other side is that a lot of drummers in particular don't really know how their drums nor their playing sound until they hear it recorded. So someone that doesn't have much recording experience may require a little more trial and error to come to terms with these things.

    There's a big difference between suggesting/trying treatments, etc to enhance a sound (like setting a tamboring on a hi-hat or playing by an indoor pool and recording the reflected sounds) and simply telling someone their instrument is shitty, it sounds shitty and that they need to play something else.

    You think any engineer ever said, "Excuse me, Mr. Collins, can you just play some double-headed drums, please? Those "concert toms" sound terrible. "

    Now, back to the original topic. A lot of drummers (that havn't recorded much, anyway) don't play with a "natural kit dynamic" because they only ever hear their playing from behind the kit. So one option is to simply close-mic everything and try to get a more natural kit dynamic at the board. (Bleh!) One big obstacle with this method is isolation between drums/mics, and some people get all anal about sympathetic vibrations, bleeding and whatnot and start throwing on gates and crap. This is the point at which I say, just use synth drums and save everyone a lot of time and headache.

    With room-micing, if the drummer has a heavy lead hand, the hats and ride and whatnot are going to come through more. One consideration here is obviously mic placement. The other is that the drummer can now actually hear what his playing sounds like to the rest of the world and make adjustments accordingly, i.e., lightening up on the hats or putting a little more into the kick, etc. Even experienced drummers will need a little time to "learn the room". Yes, it can be time-consuming, but no more than the tedium of close-micing everything, plus there's more artistic involvement than just "gate this", "compress that" etc.

    Both methods are often used together, however it seems that most often than not, the emphasis and time is all spent on close mics while a room mic or two is usually injudiciously thrown up mixed in just enough to add a little "room sound".

    Defensive bunch here.

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