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Thread: Microphone For Room Recording Drum Kit?

  1. #11
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    Don't forget that 130+dB ons blisteringly loud and you wouldn't like being near that kind of level for long.
    Don't get hung up on the pads - engage the -20dB one and the output just drops meaning your input gain has a bit more range - then just make a quick recording.

    Things to watch.

    When you are in the room with a live loud band, your ears start to protect themselves, and one of the side effects is that distortion is often less easy to hear, and worst of all - so is out of tune guitars and voices. Sounded perfect, but the recording might suck - badly. I hate it when we play outdoor festivals and have a really good gig, and the sound is brilliant - then you hear what somebody stuck on facebook from the audience and you can't hear some things and you can hear perhaps the guitar mega loud compared to the singer. Just how it is, I guess.The sound of a mic, through a PA, then recorded on another mic always sounds rough!

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    But my question was. What type of mic do they use to record the room when recording a drum kit? or what type of mic should one use? because the mic we tried was not able to handle the sound level. Not on the 0db setting anyway. I have recorded in a studio twice and on both occasions when the drums were recorded one of the tracks was recording the room. Whatever they use for that would do the job here. Next Wednesday (13th) we're going to try it again on the -20db setting and I'll post about the results here afterwards. Thanks again for your help guys.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Williams View Post
    But my question was. What type of mic do they use to record the room when recording a drum kit? or what type of mic should one use? because the mic we tried was not able to handle the sound level. Not on the 0db setting anyway. I have recorded in a studio twice and on both occasions when the drums were recorded one of the tracks was recording the room. Whatever they use for that would do the job here. Next Wednesday (13th) we're going to try it again on the -20db setting and I'll post about the results here afterwards. Thanks again for your help guys.
    The answer is "they" don't use A mic on a drum kit! The minimum would I guess be 4 mics (never had the opportunity) but twice that number would be considered very normal, even minimalist!

    Such a gaggle of mics would go to a mixer and yes, some would run at very high SPLs and often fed to LINE inputs on a mixer because levels, kicks mostly, hit well over 0dBu.

    Dave.

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    As I've said ecc83, one of the mics (and therefor tracks) is THE ROOM! I will be better off asking about this on the drumming section I think.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Williams View Post
    As I've said ecc83, one of the mics (and therefor tracks) is THE ROOM! I will be better off asking about this on the drumming section I think.
    Fair enough. Drums section eh? I shall resist the jokes!

    All the best,

    Dave.

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    You've got the wrong end of the recording stick. Searching for a room mic produces few useful results because there's no such thing really. If you mic up a drum kit with close mics, then you're forced to add artificial reverb to try to recreate the sound of a drum kit in an ambient space, and most drums are recorded in spaces that absorb, not reflect, because uncontrolled reverb messes up the sound. You can the use one or two mics at a distance to add in something of the room, IF and only if, the room sounds good. Most don't hence why most drum reverb is simulated. You also got hung up on dB specs when a distant mic you use to capture room sound is much much less in level, so few mics used like this will distort. What you absolutely cannot do, in any less than wonderful space, is use a single mic to record an entire kit and get definition and realism apart from a Number of very limited musical styles. There have been tons of jazz recordings, for example, with a single overhead on the kit. No kick. No snare. This works because the drums are not providing four on the floor input to the song. They're much more intricate and detailed. If you are recording metal, the nothing other than a close miked kit works. For light jazz, miking up the whole kit is often unnecessary. I'm not lucky enough to ever record drums in a wonderful space, so for me a room mic is just pointless. I have the equipment, I just don't have a space to make a room mic sensible practice. You see amateurs, and students who have read about them slapping them up, and then either wrecking the drum mix by trying to make them blend, or using their ears, simply leaving the fader off!

    A room mic for me is simply a waste of a mic and track. I'm much happier using eq and reverbs to simulate the sound of a decent kit in a nice room. You'll find the active people in the drum section are pretty much the same. I think most members don't stick to sections here, but use the new posts button. Been recording for over 40 years. Recorded in a wonderful drum space maybe four or five times? Memory is a bit hazy, but I think that even then, I just used the mics a bit further away, rather than used a dedicated 'room' mic. The abbey rd reverb plugins let you play with rooms and mics, but is that sound actually wanted in contemporary recordings?

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    This is a classic example of not understanding the purpose of the thread. These threads are really helpful in general but occasionally you get a question where you end up using up incredible amounts of time answering the posts but still don’t get any useful information. This has been one of those occasions unfortunately. As you’re in Essex and not America, and therefor I won’t get your reply in the middle of the bloody night. I thought it might be worth spending a bit more time replying to your post.

    First thanks for your input and for trying to help … However, I’m not trying to record a drum kit. I am trying to record a band practice, drummer, bass player, guitars and vocals. The microphone we are using can’t handle the sound levels of the drum kit even when the rest of the band is not playing. That’s not surprising as really this is designed as a vocal mic for studio recording. I was (in my opinion idiotically) advised to buy this mic for recording band practices by PMT. It was 350 and I’m not best pleased with them for it!

    Anyway, the reason I want to know what type of mic they use to record the room when recording a drum kit is because obviously this kind of mic WILL be able to handle the sound levels of a drum kit, and therefor probably the whole band. Then I would buy that kind of mic and record our band practices with that. That was the idea anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gareth Williams View Post
    Obviously the volume was too loud for the mic and it distorted badly.
    I don't think I own one microphone that wouldn't happily sit a few inches from a snare skin, or in front of a kick drum.
    Are you sure the preamp/converters weren't just overloaded? That seems more likely.

    To directly answer the question, 'what would be a good microphone for recording the room when a drum kit is playing'; It should be pretty much any mic you like - The one that sounds the best.
    I've seen people use capacitors, ribbons, and dynamics.

    You may need to engage that pad (that's what it's for) but, that aside, I'd expect pretty much any studio microphone to be happy as a room mic for live performance/rehearsal.
    ---------- Steenaudio Website ----------

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    I suggest you re-evaluate what is happening here. If the 350 microphone you bought is mega sensitive and cannot cope with the SPL in the space, then probably your ears cannot either.

    Your microphone has (you said in post one) -10 and -20dB cut facilities - so it IS the kind of mic that can record a drum kit. What exactly is the mic? The Aston Spirit you mentioned? It's quite capable of doing this recording. The mic has a capability for recording loud sound - 138dB. You are nowhere near this in the room, recording (or trying to record) everyone. Whatever problem you have is something else. You haven't given us any real information on what it's plugged into and what the problem with the recording is? Distortion, I assume - but what does it sound like? Maybe a sample. We did read your post, but I think most people just figured that one mic of ANY price really is never going to produce a good result. You bought a very expensive mic to do something flawed from the outset. I don't know your expertise level, but you say it cannot cope with the drums alone, let alone the whole band. This signifies a few things. If it is distorting, with the pad engaged, then it could be faulty. I've got condensers with a lower maximum SPL capability that do not distort in these circumstances. Over Christmas because of the trouble at the Royal Opera House, I spent too much time monitoring sound levels, and one location I found it was loud enough for me to feel really uncomfortable thereto the extent that bass guitar and kick drum made me feel ill, and it topped out at 110dB on the meter. I could not stand getting any closer. I cannot imagine being in a room approaching the capability of your mic, hence why I feel something else is happening. it's more probably that the mic is handling it, but your preamp/interface is not. even with the pad, it's perfectly possible the distortion, if that's what you're getting, is coming from this part of the chain. What gain setting are you having to use, I'm assuming turned right down? Maybe an in-line pad would cure the problem, but make sure if you buy one you get one that passes phantom power. Many don't.

    Let us have some specifics and we can maybe advise further.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rob aylestone View Post
    Let us have some specifics and we can maybe advise further.
    I think Rob has made the right statement here. We need to know the specifics here, particularly the mic and interface/preamp being used.

    Its unlikely that you are overloading a mic at anything approaching realistic levels. 140dB is considered the threshold of pain. Shure has measured the human voice at 134dB at 1 inch. 130dB is jet engine territory! SPL drops by 6dB every time you double the distance. For a room mic, which is going to be some distance from the source, to be anywhere in that range, you are suffering permanent hearing damage.

    Much more likely is that you are simply overloading the input of the preamp. Without knowing what preamp you are using, its impossible to give you a idea on how to resolve the problem. I did similar recordings years ago by just tossing a couple of microphones in the room while we practiced. It didn't sound at all professional, but it did let me hear what we were playing, and to let us know where to improve. The only time I got distortion was when I didn't properly lower the input level. Never was it an issue with the mic itself distorting.

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