Cymbals too loud/overpowering


If all else fails i've heard another good way to help this problem is by moving the cymbals further from the source, this would be better when using the recorderman method as the OH mics are relatively low, so you could move the cymbals up a bit. This may have the opposite effect if the cymbals are moved in another direction as the drummer may feel uncomfortable & really swing to ensure he makes contact. The best therapy is to wait until your drummer aquires the skills needed to strike each of the drum's instruments with the correct force. This may take time however & actually may never happen, some drummers actually refuse to not strike the shit out of things. I've seen plenty examples when reading through this forum when I was looking for drumming advice myself. If your drummer is a meat-head don't expect too much :rolleyes:.


New member
Cool thread.

We've dealt with this in our recordings. We're dealing with a budget setup, a mixture of mic's all recorded to a stereo mix. Initially I used to use an old mixer, and would stereo place all drums in the mix, and then record to two tracks. That worked OK, but was a pain in the final mix, if for example the left track somehow got too bassy. Tweaking was a nightmare.

What I do now, is mic the same way and record to a single track. I get a good mid-range mix of everything. I then dup that track. I then take both tracks and EQ one to be bright, and one to be more low end. Together they create a nice tight mix. If I need a bit of seperation I'll pan each 12-16db in either direction, or I will take one track and add some reverb only to it.


New member
One of the biggest differences between inexperienced and experienced drummers (talking recording experience here) is the matter of "internal balance". An often recorded drummer will play each part of the kit sympathetically, where a less experienced drummer will play each component with equal velocity.

Selection of cymbals is another very big part of overall balance, as is stick selection. In the long term, encouraging drummers to record themselves with a single microphone and listen carefully to those recordings will end up with a much better balance. The microphone and the position really doesn't matter, a ghetto blaster is fine for this sort of training.

A great drummer will sound great into just one mic, in fact legend has it that Bonham was inspired by some of Gene Krupa's early recordings which were done with a single mic.

Try to track down the live recording from Carnegie Hall in 1938 with Benny Goodman for an example of seriously great balance (as a part of really seriously great playing!!). That's the key. Tweaking thing after the recording session is really not going to reverse engineer the problem that successfully.

Decades of plugin development won't substitute for great playing, and that's gospel!