micing drums and eq

sparky123

Member
getting ready to record my first drum kit in my dining room at home. no room treatment and using ev nd868 on kick, sm 57 on snare and 2 monoprice small condenser mics on overheads. a little nervous , any tips on how to get a good pop rock sound?
 

jimmys69

MOODerator
No treatment in a kitchen? Ugh.. Ok.

Keep the overhead condensers as close to ceiling as possible to avoid the reflections. Put a heavy blanket or whatever up there if possible.

There is a sweet or less sensitive position at the back side of a 57 around 15 degrees that you might attempt to get the HH in. This is so that you get less of the HH in the snare.

If I visualize this recording environment correctly, you are going to have issues with the room and a lack of definition between individual mics as the room is going to be a big bitch.

Or...it could be friggen really cool depending on what you are going for.

:)
 

Tadpui

Well-known member
Keep the overhead condensers as close to ceiling as possible to avoid the reflections. Put a heavy blanket or whatever up there if possible.

Just curious...why distance the overheads farther from the kit? Won't that just provide for more room sound relative to direct sound? Seems like that would make for an even roomier sound than getting them as close as possible while still covering the kit.

I've only mic'd a kit a few times so I'll defer to your experience. In theory, it seems backwards to me. I'm supposed to mic a kit for some dudes in the near future, so I'm trying to soak up all of the tips possible!
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
Just curious...why distance the overheads farther from the kit? Won't that just provide for more room sound relative to direct sound? Seems like that would make for an even roomier sound than getting them as close as possible while still covering the kit.

I've only mic'd a kit a few times so I'll defer to your experience. In theory, it seems backwards to me. I'm supposed to mic a kit for some dudes in the near future, so I'm trying to soak up all of the tips possible!

The first reflection is the worst reflection because it's the loudest thing at the mic after the direct sound. For the overheads that would be the reflection off the ceiling. Your best bet may be to tape them right to the ceiling. No, it's not how it's usually done, but with your acoustic space it may be the least bad sounding option.
 

Tadpui

Well-known member
The first reflection is the worst reflection because it's the loudest thing at the mic after the direct sound. For the overheads that would be the reflection off the ceiling. Your best bet may be to tape them right to the ceiling. No, it's not how it's usually done, but with your acoustic space it may be the least bad sounding option.

Let's say that I'm using a spaced pair of cardioid SDCs , facing generally downwards towards the kit. Since they reject most of what's behind them, wouldn't that take a lot of the ceiling first reflection out of it?
 

bouldersoundguy

<div><p>&nbsp;</p></div>
Let's say that I'm using a spaced pair of cardioid SDCs , facing generally downwards towards the kit. Since they reject most of what's behind them, wouldn't that take a lot of the ceiling first reflection out of it?

That will help some, but cardioid only rejects really well right at exactly 180° off axis, and the pattern isn't pure cardioid at all frequencies. For example, an SM81 has a moderate rear lobe at 5kHz and a significant one at 10kHz. You could easily be picking up bounce from the ceiling, and right in some pretty important frequencies for overheads.
 

Jake_JW

New member
Just as important is having a good quality kit, tuned properly. Good sounding drums in the room is key to any drum recording, so investing a couple of hours into tuning/damping the kit and getting everything sounding how you want to start with (no flabby toms, loose kicks and ringing snares etc) is going to get you as much benefit as spending those hours messing with mic placement.

If you want a pop-rock drum sound at the end of recording, you'd better get your kit sounding that way to start with.
 

sparky123

Member
interesting , but there are a lot of deflective surfaces ( kitchen cabinets ,rugs). would this not help to tame the room?
 

Massive Master

www.massivemastering.com
They might interrupt comb filtering at certain frequencies (as opposed to straight-up parallel surfaces), but it isn't going to flatter anything...
 

sheboygandrums

New member
Sparky,

A little late, but could you try the condensers on the toms instead of overheads? You'll get plenty of cymbals in the other mics. For a good pop sound, I'd prefer close-miked drums over the uncontrolled room sound. Should be able to get a good tom sound and reduce the room sound this way. The cardoid pattern will give you the proximity effect you want for the toms.

Might be able to copy the tom tracks and use them as OH tracks with a high pass and EQ to bring out the cymbals. If you position the condensers carefully, one can pickup the HH and the other the ride (usually something we try to avoid with tom mics). Cut highs on the tom channels to compensate for any highs you boost on the cyms.

Toms can be panned mid, and OHs wide. Maybe delay one or both OH 30ms to create distinction from the tom tracks. Maybe pitch shift toms a few cents down for the same reason. Maybe gate the tom channels and get all the cyms from the OH (copied tom) channels. You might need to edit or use a fast compressor on the OH (copied tom) tracks to prevent the tom hits from being too loud compared to the cymbals. This should work since toms are rarely played simultaneously as cymbals. They are often played before crashes (as opposed to after), so they shouldn't cause ducking on the sustaining cymbal. If it does, grab a crash from somewhere else in the drum track and replace the one where the tom hit causes ducking. After eliminating any too-loud tom hits, you can compress the OH track as desired.

Before the drummer takes down his kit, setup the condensers as overheads and get 2 or 3 nice crashes from each cymbal in case you end up with junk from the tom tracks. You can use those crashes if needed in the mix. Also do this close-miked with the 3rd tom, since you only have condensers for 2 toms. Then you can paste the tom hits for tom 3 where needed on it's own track. If you cut highs on tom tracks 1 and 2, do it here too.

Might not even need the OH (copied tom) tracks if you leave the other mics ungated. Copying the tom tracks is just an option in case you don't get enough cyms from mixing the 4 drum mics. I would try mixing the song with just the drum mics first. If the OH seem to be missing, try the tom-track-copy I described.

I want to try this to see how it works. Can I use your kitchen?
 
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