I could use some help with my drum tracks

lostcausestudio

New member
So here's the situation, I just bought a new drum kit for the studio, to replace my old electronic kit with a nice acoustic setup, Mapex mars pro birch, with meinl custom classic dark cymbals. The drums sound fantastic live, the cymbals have just the sound I was looking for, but when I track them the cymbals sound thin, brash, and harsh, right now my setup is as follows, I'm running a cad kbm412 for the kick drum mic, got it clamped to the hoop and inside the ported head, an audix f15 close mic'd on my snare, audio technica mb dk4's on my toms and 2 nady cm-88's for the overhead mics in a spaced pair, they are all running direct into my behringer x32 mixer and into the daw. I have corrected all the phase issues, I have spent a few hours tweaking the eq on the overheads, and can not get the tone I want out of the cymbals, after isolating each individual track what I have found is that I have a significant amount of cymbal bleed going to the snare and tom mics, all are cardioid pattern mics, the cymbals are set high as it is, I am at a loss as to how to get the cymbals to stop bleeding so much into my snare and tom mics, any help would be appreciated.
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
So this is something I've never gotten super sorted out myself but a few things to consider:

1) technique - if you're hitting your cymbals as hard as you're hitting the drums, you're likely to get a bad balance
2) cymbal choice - big, loud cymbals that sound great live, may not sound good in the studio.

Can you post some isolated clips? Live kits usually have a lot of bleed regardless, but maybe we can spot something?
 

assman

Member
how close is your cymbal to your snare? i would try putting the cymbal further away from those mics (i know you said that you set them high, but maybe you could try moving them away from the drum set) you could also reduce the high frequencies from your toms as they need it less than the snare.
 

lostcausestudio

New member
thanks guys, steve I don't know how to upload clips, kinda new to the whole forum thing, I would be happy to upload a clip of the track I am working on if you could give me some guidance as to how to do so. As to my cymbal positioning I will upload pics momentarily, I don't have everything super tight to the snare, I have it all backed off as far as it is comfortable for me to play the kit, right now I am just trying to get the mics and everything set properly, I am used to dealing with an electronic kit, less stuff to deal with, plug and play essentially, but a lot of drummers hate the electric kits, so I invested in this setup, And it sounds incredible live, but it doesn't translate well to the mics, if the mixer could receive the feed direct from my own ears, I wouldn't have to mix or eq anything. The cymbals sounded good in a recording I found by the cymbal manufacturer, a youtube video I can post a link to shows a demo in the overheads, I know some of my issue is cymbal bleed, the rest is just paper thin cymbals in my overheads, and I can't seem to wrap my head around what is wrong.
 

VomitHatSteve

Hat STYLE. Not contents.
I would be happy to upload a clip of the track I am working on if you could give me some guidance as to how to do so.

Sure. Click the "Go Advanced" button at the bottom this thread.
In the advanced editor, there should be an icon that looks like a paper clip. Click that; it will open a pop-up window
Click the Add files button. Upload your mp3 files.
Then click "Insert Inline"

If the forum won't let you do that, it's probably because your post count is too low. Comment on some other threads and come back.
 

lostcausestudio

New member
ok ill do that in a few, but I may have gotten at least some of my sound issues resolved, I came home and completely changed my mic placement, moved the overheads in closer, dropped the snare mic to the side of the shell and swapped from the audix to an sm57 (which seems to give me a better snare sound by itself), and rechecked phase, the track seems to have cleaned up by a lot. cymbals are crisp, clear, and full, and the snare mic is getting less interference from the hats and the crash, not sure if its because placement puts the snare mic further from the cymbals, or because the sm57 is a little less sensitive on the frequency response range than the audix condenser was, either way, I am gonna run a full track of the kit as a test and I will upload that, let me know if there is anything else I can do to minimize the cymbal overtones
 

grimtraveller

If only for a moment.....
When I first started recording the drums with multiple mics and multiple tracks as opposed to 3 mics going into a mixer then out to one track, I learned that the player of the drums wields an enormous influence on the sound of the drums. I'd record with 3 guys, one I'd been playing with for years and he tended to be very light on the snare and kick, one was nearly perfectly balanced across the whole kit and one was heavy handed everywhere and used to murder the kit till it screamed for mercy and it was with him in particular that I learned what that horrible digital clipping sounded like. It was good for me because I learned to record at lower levels and one thing I started doing many years ago that I still do is to put the overheads under the height of the cymbals rather than over. So even if my friend is battering the life out of the drums {more often than not we'd just do a retake}, the cymbals are balanced and they never wash over everything. A tiny piece of crumpled toilet paper taped to them in places doesn't hurt either.
 

lostcausestudio

New member
thanks for all the feedback everyone, I realized that was my issue was balance, and have gotten much closer to my desired sound. I did the drum track that I am working on, I am not a drummer in any sense of the word but I can keep a beat, I do try to play lighter and more balanced around the kit, but these particular cymbals while they sound fantastic they cut pretty well through the mix, tonight I am going to attempt another run through, but this time I am going to try to isolate the snare mic, I don't have any spare acoustic foam to put around the mic to block the cymbal wash, I am going to try using a styrofoam cup or 2, put the mic thru the cups, and use the cups to block the cymbals from the capsule, I don't know how well it will work to diffuse or absorb the sound but it will probably quiet the cymbals down a bit in the snare track.
 

dalton206

New member
If you have available tracks, try recording the drums without using the cymbals and then record the cymbals on a separate track. This allows you to EQ and mix the cymbals in with the drums with a better balance.
 
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