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Drums: two mics, two tracks

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Anonymous
August 26, 2004 9:49:20 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
good.

Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

More about : drums mics tracks

Anonymous
August 27, 2004 5:45:13 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 17:49:20 -0700, NewYorkDave wrote:

> I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> good.
>
> Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

I've found that you can get a realistic recording of what the drum kit
sounds like in the room with a couple of mics.... but not many drum kits
actually sound very good. At least the ones I record anyway, I can do a
little remedial work on a kit, but I'm not a drum tech.

I have been doing some demos recently with a single omni over the kit, and
been very pleased with the results however. The kit was a lovely sounding
old ludwig. I kinda like working like that as when the kit is multi mic'd
I stress and fiddle about with the sound way too much. With one mic I
found myself removing eq and compression when it came to the mix, any
effects just took something from the recording (Though I did do a 15hz
high pass as the speakers were wobbling too much). With multi mics I keep
piling it on. :) 
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:07:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

in article b514d126.0408261649.60950cde@posting.google.com, NewYorkDave at
electronic_dave@hotmail.com wrote on 8/26/04 8:49 PM:

> I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> good.
>
> Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

It's really a no-brainer. The only thing you need (aside from a really
decent mic pair) is a well-tuned set with an excellent player in a good
room. right now I can thik of exactly ONE kit that sounds, as I stand in
front of it, like a RECORDED KIT should sound on the monitors. I could
probably get the other 2 prerequisites nailed down in a week and get you a
session done.
Yeah it'd cost.
Related resources
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 8:26:54 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

> I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> good.
>
> Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

Drums are not one instrument, they are an ensemble of very different
instruments configured for one person to play, which is why they're so
troublesome to record. Just because one person can play them doesn't mean
that every instrument projects ideally for a pair of mics to capture.

If there were a percussionist for each drum and cymbal, then they would be
positioned very differently, and perhaps the performers would bump elbows to
accommodate a more ideal acoustic presentation.

In the meantime, there's no way a stereo pair can capture a kick and snare
set up for one drummer with any fidelity to either drum, never mind the rest
of the kit.
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 10:19:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <b514d126.0408261649.60950cde@posting.google.com> electronic_dave@hotmail.com writes:

> most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics?

I've used a Studio Projects LSD-2 stereo mic on drums a few times and
it sounds just fine. It wouldn't please someone who builds a mix
around a hot, cracking snare, but for jazz, folky-with-drums, and
quick demos, it works. Of course the drums have to sound good and the
drummer has to balance himself. Otherwise it's like recording a guitar
where one or two strings are 20 dB louder than the other strings.


--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
August 27, 2004 2:57:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Out of curiosity, does your nickname ''Philicorda'' refer to the infamous
dutch Philips organ from the 60/70-s? We have two of 'm: niiiiice sounding
organs (although one is severely out of tune).

best regards,
Bob


"philicorda" <philicorda@azriel.tydrwg.org> schreef in bericht
news:p an.2004.08.26.11.08.02.986254@azriel.tydrwg.org...
> On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 17:49:20 -0700, NewYorkDave wrote:
>
August 27, 2004 4:49:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
>and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
>about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
>instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
>tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
>routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
>to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
>at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
>good.
>
>Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

Imho, two mics is a very good starting point. Yeah, you'll get no big
kicks and thunder snare.. but I've seen too many beginners that start
with 15 mics.." 'cause the Professional do it this way... ".

Ciao
Pietro
August 27, 2004 4:57:45 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Drums are not one instrument, they are an ensemble of very different
>instruments configured for one person to play,

and a Piano? a lot of separate instruments.. strings with different
pitch? ;-)
I really think that whe should speak of "one instrument" from the
listeners point of view...
An Orchestra is "one instrument" for the listeners.. and, often, for
the mics too..

Ciao,
Pietro
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 5:59:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Fri, 27 Aug 2004 10:57:09 +0200, Bob wrote:

> Out of curiosity, does your nickname ''Philicorda'' refer to the infamous
> dutch Philips organ from the 60/70-s? We have two of 'm: niiiiice sounding
> organs (although one is severely out of tune).
>
> best regards,
> Bob

I'm afraid it does. I have one, with the seperate amp and speakers box
that sits below the organ. The organ is a little quiet at the moment for
some reason. I changed the valves for cheap new ones (the original
mullards could be put to better use), but it made no difference.
Still gets used on some tracks though, when only mature cheese will do. :) 
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 6:30:24 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 26 Aug 2004 17:49:20 -0700, NewYorkDave <electronic_dave@hotmail.com> wrote:
> I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> good.
>
> Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

How about this?

Not being a drummer, I put quite a bit of effort into making my drum
machine sound like a decent kit in a decent room. Not being able to
emulate a "decent player" I settle for "at least he plays more or less
in time."

:) 
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 6:30:25 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

peace,
as a drummer, let me join the great elvin jones and tell you that
drumset is one instrument.
some of the highest fidelity, most natural recording are done with a
single stero pair as most of you know.
of course if we're talking rock or pop drumming....
....i would put one overhead on the snare/hi-hat side and one in front
of the bass drum: it would definetly grove more than a front stereo
pair.
experiment and enjoy: some of the greatest records of all times (in
all genres) were made with heavily limited equipment.
immagination and taste on a portastudio can do better than a jerk on a
neve...
enjoy.
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:02:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< In the meantime, there's no way a stereo pair can capture a kick and snare
set up for one drummer with any fidelity to either drum, never mind the rest
of the kit. >>

Of course a stereo pair can do this & it is done all the time, however the
result is not the familiar (and obviously very unrealistic) sound of pop music.
Some of the most realistic drum sounds I have heard were coming through Ben
Maas's stereo AKG placed in front of the kit on big band gigs.



Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:07:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Still gets used on some tracks though, when only mature cheese will do. :) 
>>

Speaking of organ cheese, I was very pleased to find a place for my very ripe
Farfisa MiniCompact on recent Kronos sessions. It sounds glorious, in a pungent
moldy kinda way.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:10:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Of course the drums have to sound good and the
drummer has to balance himself. >>

That's crucial. A lot of drummers think the balance lies in somebody else's
hands. The better drummers balance their instrument themselves.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:33:48 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"ScotFraser" <scotfraser@aol.com> wrote in message ...
> << In the meantime, there's no way a stereo pair can capture a kick and
snare
> set up for one drummer with any fidelity to either drum, never mind the
rest
> of the kit. >>
>
> Of course a stereo pair can do this & it is done all the time, however the
> result is not the familiar (and obviously very unrealistic) sound of pop
music.
> Some of the most realistic drum sounds I have heard were coming through
Ben
> Maas's stereo AKG placed in front of the kit on big band gigs.
>
>
>
> Scott Fraser

Thanks Scott!

A stereo microphne placed in front of the kit (relatively closely) and in
the right place can get you a great drum sound. Position is critical, but
you can get tons of snare and kick if it is in the right place.

-Ben

--
Benjamin Maas
Fifth Circle Audio
Los Angeles, CA
http://www.fifthcircle.com

Please remove "Nospam" from address for replies
Anonymous
August 27, 2004 7:51:33 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<< Thanks Scott!
A stereo microphne placed in front of the kit (relatively closely) and in
the right place can get you a great drum sound.>>

Provided, of course, that the kit & drummer are up to the task. Additionally it
helps that you have those Steve Barker designed preamps in the chain.


Scott Fraser
Anonymous
August 29, 2004 12:14:55 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

<464ui0lepb0mbng5i06vgs5q5dof7qq1qg@4ax.com>...
> >I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> >and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> >about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> >instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> >tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> >routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> >to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> >at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> >good.
> >
> >Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 
>
I was doing preproduction with a band and the first night was set up
to deconstruct an arrangment. They had worked on it independently as
well, so we needed a way to compare the two versions as well as permit
me to be in the live room communicating diretly. So I set up one mic,
balanced the players positionally and ran a DAT. As each night
progressed, we added one mic until we got up to 4.

I had never done anything like that in close to 10 years of recording
and it was a great experience.


I think it's a totaly worth while expereince to try that with drums.
I've heard a lot of people talk about using their overheads as the
foundation of their drum mix, then adding in close mics as necessary.
If you were only using two mics, is overhead where you'd put them? As
soon as I started thinking that way and expereiment it totally changed
how I approached micing a set. Also, fewer mics will help develop your
ability to hear phase problems on a mulit-miked kit.
Anonymous
September 1, 2004 10:13:37 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>
>I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
>and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
>about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
>instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
>tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
>routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
>to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
>at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
>good.
>
>Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 
>
>

I believe that the Sheffield labs Drum record was recorded using three
micropones on th Jim Keltner session. Basically two overheads and a third
microphone on the floor in front of the kick.


The right drums, the right room and the right drummer can make this possible.

As to using only two microphones, I've gotten decent results doing that , but
i can't get the punch from the bass without miking it seperately.

I really prefer four--T wo overheads plus Kick and snare as I like to add
effects on the snare only at thime.

Richard H. Kuschel
"I canna change the law of physics."-----Scotty
Anonymous
September 2, 2004 3:39:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On 01 Sep 2004 18:13:37 GMT, rickpv8945@aol.com (Richard Kuschel)
wrote:

>>
>>I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
>>and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
>>about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
>>instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
>>tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
>>routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
>>to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
>>at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
>>good.
>>
>>Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 
>>
>>
>
>I believe that the Sheffield labs Drum record was recorded using three
>micropones on th Jim Keltner session. Basically two overheads and a third
>microphone on the floor in front of the kick.

Jim Keltner once mentioned in an interview that the best rock n roll
drum sound he ever got was in England at Olympic Studios, with three
mics, 2 overhead and a third one several feet out in front of the kit
at about chest height. He didn't say which mics were used.

Al
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 12:57:25 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

NewYorkDave wrote:

> I know there's been a few "how to record drums using X number of mics
> and X number of tracks" threads. But here's something I was thinking
> about tonight: most of us would not hesitate to record an acoustic
> instrument (e.g., a piano) in stereo using only two mics routed to two
> tracks. A drum kit is an acoustic instrument. Does anyone reading this
> routinely record drum kits using a single stereo pair of mics? I used
> to do this a long time ago, but I had shitty mics and zero experience
> at the time--and was recording in lousy rooms--so the results were not
> good.

I used a pair of MD 441's on a low stand (tom height) some 4 feet from a
drumkit once upon a time. Not at all bad, punchy and convincing with
full cymbal impact, as you would hear the kit in a bar.

> Just trying to get another stimulating RAP discussion going... :) 

Thanks!


Kind regards

Peter Larsen


--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
Anonymous
September 3, 2004 12:57:34 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Sugarite wrote:

> Drums are not one instrument, they are an ensemble of very
> different instruments configured for one person to play, which
> is why they're so troublesome to record. Just because one person
> can play them doesn't mean that every instrument projects ideally
> for a pair of mics to capture.

Ah, I read you to suggest that any recording of n sonic objects needs at
least n + 2 mics .... O;-) ... I would then have needed 122 mics for
Elija rather than just 2. The conductor was very pleased with the
balance and with the audibility of everything. Horns, piano, violin,
viola, clarinet are all examples of instruments with an "unsuitable"
radiation characteristic, and yet also all excellently recordable with a
single pair in a real room.

> If there were a percussionist for each drum and cymbal, then they would be
> positioned very differently, and perhaps the performers would bump elbows to
> accommodate a more ideal acoustic presentation.

> In the meantime, there's no way a stereo pair can capture a kick and snare
> set up for one drummer with any fidelity to either drum, never mind the rest
> of the kit.

I recently recorded a brass band with a single pair of mics and received
special praise for the drum sound, it was "just right" according to
drummer and conductor.

Use an "unreal" room and all bets are off. It should also be noted that
different recording styles sound differently and fit different musical
genres. In case of a drumkit the cymbals can - imo - be way too noisy
and bright for rock if the kit is recorded naturally.


Kind regards

Peter Larsen

--
*******************************************
* My site is at: http://www.muyiovatki.dk *
*******************************************
March 23, 2009 2:07:18 AM

I have two singing microphone. One of these is a Cobalt. And I doesn't even have an extern sound card that allows me to play with the gain. I do have a mixing console in which I try to balance things up. In fact I try to have a good sound but I don't know where to put them. One overhead one bassdrum? I doesn't even have microphones stand. So I took a crash stand and I taped one microphone there. The other one is lying on towels in my bass drum.

How do I mix them to have a good sound? More low on that one, more high on that one. I'm using Live to record on my computer. If you have any tips, you know it's the first time I do that and I start with only that material, I won't buy anything more for the moment. Maybe I should change my microphones positions?

Vincent
July 25, 2011 4:39:19 PM

:sol:  Tell that to John Bonham. If he were with us today he would be able to relate to you that the Led Zeppelin recordings were done with 2 microphones placed on either side at the end of a V shaped room. I tend to think his drums sound fairly massive and tonally present, challenging any recording today for personality and ambience. This concept of every drum being a different instrument is incorrect. They all combine like the strings on a guitar to make up one instrument and that instrument can be captured quite effectively with 2 microphones placed properly. For best results starting out, try one over the drums and one in front of the kick a few feet back. Move them to taste, but you should be able to capture all you require from this simple configuration. Use the best mics you can get your hands on and the best drummer too. If you can't nail it with that, 100 mics won't help you. :sol: 
!