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Thread: Phase Problems with Micing Drums

  1. #1
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    Phase Problems with Micing Drums

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    I am going to mic a drum kit for recording but I'm worried about phase problems.
    For example, if mic A is set next to cymbal A, and mic B is set next to cymbal B, how can you be sure that mic B doesn't pick up cymbal A 180 degrees out of phase.
    My Newbie suggestion is to start at one side of the setup. Monitor the first two mics closest to each other, and move one slightly to see if there is an improvement. Then work on the second and third mics, and so on. It wouldn't cover the interaction between all mics, but would cover the ones closest to each other.
    Is there a better way to cope with this potential problem, or am I just making a mountain out of a molehill? :-)

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    Methinks your instincts are sound, and you are wiser than you give yourself credit for!

  3. #3
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    These kind of phase issues show up as notch or comb filtering that, for a given mics/sources/distances, change with frequency. As you add mics, listen for changes in tone on the previous mics, and their combined effect.
    Using fewer mics, xy technique, keeping the mic closer to the source than the other mics, helps minimize phase problems.

  4. #4
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    It's been said before...

    Listen. - If it sound good, it is good.

    Don't cry over phase problems, you can't get away from them. Phase cancellation (comb filtering) always occurs in a normal recording situation.

    Experiment with mic placement and drumset placement until it sounds good.

    What was my point again??? Mm... Uh... Merry Christmas!


    /fim

  5. #5
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    Smile Who really bothers about phase??

    Seriously, there's no point in paying too much attention to these things. A friend of mine who has produced a number of commercial albums for the UK market didn't know about phase stuff for years. He had the mics on top & under the snare (virtually pointing at each other) and never bothered to reverse the phase of one of them. Record companies still pay him shit loads of money because he focuses on the things that matter - arranging & playing good music. He's worked with some big names but couldn't even tell me the names of some microphones he has. "...this one's a Sennheiser I think" (MD421) "..not sure about the switches at the back but it sounds great on tom toms."

    Last weekend I recorded some drums. I just threw the mics over the kit - didn't even bother changing the phase of anything - and still ended up with a great sound.

    If you do get problems with phase you just experiment with your mic placement. If you are close - miking there should be even less of problem.

  6. #6
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    Jeppo,

    Where are you from? Just wondering...


    /fim

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