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Thread: Recorderman vs. Glyn Johns drum recording methods

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    Recorderman vs. Glyn Johns drum recording methods

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    Hi -

    I'm trying to grasp the theory of these two methods. They are different in 2 fundamental ways:

    Recordman has the following setup.
    Mic A straight above snare.
    Mic B near drummer's shoulder.
    Point C = bassdrum beater point
    Point D = snare drum center

    A->C = B->C
    A->D = B->D
    Both mics pointed at snare center.


    Glyn's Method
    Mic A straight above snare.
    Mic B approx 6" above low tom.
    Point C = Snare drum center.

    A->C = B->C
    OH mic pointed at bass drum pedal
    LT mic pointed at high-hats


    The Glyn version makes up for the tilted OH mic by having the snare mic more centered with a harsh angle on the drum.

    The recorderman, however, is set up to get perfect phase positioning on the bass drum. The Glyn version has been commonly modified to include a front mic a few feet away to boost the bass drum even more, to make up for the phasing.


    Both methods are fine, and I understand the differences. (I view the recorderman version as a rule of thumb where the Glyn version is a bit more intentional)

    Any one share similar experiences or tweaks that will compound the results? I think after the years I've putzed around with drums before finding this, I can up the 10 minute setup these offer to pull more sound in.

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    I haven't tried the Glyn Johns method but use the Recorderman setup for overheads all the time. However, I also use close mics and room mics on everything.

    I'm not really sure what kind of advice you're after, but I can try point out some potential weaknesses of a minimal drum micing setup.

    First of all, your kit and the room have to sound good. This is always an issue of course, but with a 2-3 mic setup your options are very limited if you get a subpar recording. You're kind of stuck with whatever you record.

    If you're looking to get a lot of low end out of the kick, you probably won't get it with the minimal mic setup. Even minimalists will often add a kick mic.

    Your options for mixing are limited with minimal mic setup. Riding (increasing the volume) a snare during certain section of a song is not uncommon, for example, but your only option with minimal mics is to boost the whole kit.

    Now the upside - the big advantage of a minimal mic setup is if you get the sound you want, you're pretty much done. Many of us spend lots of time mixing drums, so if you can get around all that screwing around then all the better.

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    RAMI Guest
    For those who don't know, this is the Glyn Johns method: http://www.blaxploitation.com/drums/

    I was using the Recordman method for about 2 years, until I read about and tried the Glyn Jojns method a few months ago. I've been using it ever since. I also have a 57 on the snare, and a D112 on the Kik.You have to try both and decide. I found they're very similar, but the Glyn Johns spread my toms out better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RAMI View Post
    For those who don't know, this is the Glyn Johns method: http://www.blaxploitation.com/drums/

    I was using the Recordman method for about 2 years, until I read about and tried the Glyn Jojns method a few months ago. I've been using it ever since. I also have a 57 on the snare, and a D112 on the Kik.You have to try both and decide. I found they're very similar, but the Glyn Johns spread my toms out better.
    This is the first time I've seen the Glyn Johns method placing the second O/H that far out and up.
    Looking at photos 2 and 3, it makes the two methods look pretty similar. Except for some height or spread variations that you might play with anyway on the O/Hs what is the difference?
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
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    RAMI Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by mixsit View Post
    This is the first time I've seen the Glyn Johns method placing the second O/H that far out and up.
    Looking at photos 2 and 3, it makes the two methods look pretty similar. Except for some height or spread variations that you might play with anyway on the O/Hs what is the difference?
    In the recorderman method, my second overhead was pretty much right over my shoulder. In the Glyn method, it's over the floor tom. That's really the only difference. Both ways work great, it's a small difference to me.

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    I noticed the tom spread as well.

    The johns method is a little less punchy on the bass drum since the recorderman has a better phase relationship with not just the snare but the BD as well. Johns is positioned to get the lowtom/ride sounding natural a bit wider. Of course the BD diff is barely noticable when you have a BD mic.

    The hihat sound on the johns method is far more into the foreground. The recorderman tends to capture hihats through the snare mic where the capsule of the johns is aimed directly at the hihat, with the other overhead aimed at the bd pedal more instead of straight down at the snare.

    Overall the recorderman sounds punchier and tightens up the drum sound, where the johns method basically requires a good sounding set, drummer and room to pull the dynamics out.




    Is there anything special to pay attention to when direct micing everything? or just close mic everything and mix to taste? I don't want to set this great phase relationship up then trample it with something I'm not aware of.

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    Quote Originally Posted by frott View Post
    I noticed the tom spread as well.

    The johns method is a little less punchy on the bass drum since the recorderman has a better phase relationship with not just the snare but the BD as well. Johns is positioned to get the lowtom/ride sounding natural a bit wider. Of course the BD diff is barely noticable when you have a BD mic.

    The hihat sound on the johns method is far more into the foreground. The recorderman tends to capture hihats through the snare mic where the capsule of the johns is aimed directly at the hihat, with the other overhead aimed at the bd pedal more instead of straight down at the snare.

    Overall the recorderman sounds punchier and tightens up the drum sound, where the johns method basically requires a good sounding set, drummer and room to pull the dynamics out.
    Thanks for the detail. That's interesting. I mic down low from the rear/sides (a room bleed/isolation compromise) aligned to the snare, and find that when the snare is center stage in the O/H's the kick easily follows, and the kick mic locks it in anyway.

    Is there anything special to pay attention to when direct micing everything? or just close mic everything and mix to taste? I don't want to set this great phase relationship up then trample it with something I'm not aware of.
    IMO, there has to be some time and phase tone changes when the close ones are added back in. We just have to find nice sounding combinations. And consider the play between the O/H's (pointing straight down, skin firing away from them) and snare polarity -aimed roughly 90 degrees relative' to them. Either way may be just as 'right, neither polarity 'in phase'... but lots of tone options.
    Placebo stomps 96k ....... Recent projects
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