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Q: Tuning / preparing drums for recording

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Anonymous
October 30, 2004 7:35:17 PM

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

Hi. I'm trying to mic a 5-piece Rogers jazz set from the late 70s or
early 80s. One 14" metal snare. The rest wood: a 12" tom, a 13" tom,
a 16" floor tom and a 22" bass drum. Two crashes, one ride, one
hihat, and one splash. The heads are all Remos except for Aquarian on
the bass drum.

The room is a little bright and echoey. Hardwood floors, 10' ceiling,
about 15'x24' length and width. To my ears, the drums sound great in
the room.

However, the recorded product isn't so great. Bad tuning, probably
masked by the room, sounds horrible on playback. Also, the drums
sound distant even though I believe I have the mic preamps (on a
Mackie VLZ mixer) and levels in their optimum ranges, and after
experimenting with different levels with the rest of the band.
Perhaps I'm getting phase cancelation due to room reflectivity.

I have budget concerns and, for practice anyway, want to see how far I
can push a minimal technique. Few mics, end result mono, little or no
compression / EQ, etc.

I have two Audio Technica ProLine condensers and one SM57. Willing to
invest in something better if heavily encouraged, but I think it's my
technique that can make the most difference at this point.

To get the best balance of volume across all the drums, I wound up
using only one of the condensers as an overhead and the SM57 in the
bass drum hole. Alternatives seem to exaggerate something over the
rest (like too much snare, etc.) But I'm guessing that not doing
close micing in very live room is causing the `distant' sound. Any
recommendations on micing? Room adjustments are possible (foam,
etc.), but less desirable.

Assuming that tuning and head replacement can help... Can someone
recommend a good guide for drum tuning? Scanning the online offerings
place this more of an art passed on from one to another, with little
detail. If there're recommended books or indepth guides, I'd greatly
appreciate pointers. If there are heads that tend to hold tunings
better or have better characteristics recorded, I'd appreciate
recommendations as well.

If I can provide more information to help you help me, please let me
know.

Thank you very much,
david

P.S.: For what it's worth, I'm getting a great guitar sound in this
room with an SM57 up to the cabinet. I'll save questions for
recording bass and voice for another post. :) 
Anonymous
October 30, 2004 9:48:12 PM

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

>David Petrou wrote
>However, the recorded product isn't so great

What's bad about it? Distorted? Or what? You can try moving the mics and the
drum kit around the room (that's the best thing to do). I have heard that some
Mackie mixers don't like the SM57 but I'm not up on exactly why.
October 31, 2004 8:50:52 PM

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

David Petrou <dpetrou@ece.cmu.edu> wrote in message news:<cm0cbl$7g0$1@nntp.ece.cmu.edu>...
> Hi. I'm trying to mic a 5-piece Rogers jazz set from the late 70s or
> early 80s. One 14" metal snare. The rest wood: a 12" tom, a 13" tom,
> a 16" floor tom and a 22" bass drum. Two crashes, one ride, one
> hihat, and one splash. The heads are all Remos except for Aquarian on
> the bass drum.
>
> The room is a little bright and echoey. Hardwood floors, 10' ceiling,
> about 15'x24' length and width. To my ears, the drums sound great in
> the room.
>
> However, the recorded product isn't so great. Bad tuning, probably
> masked by the room, sounds horrible on playback. Also, the drums
> sound distant even though I believe I have the mic preamps (on a
> Mackie VLZ mixer) and levels in their optimum ranges, and after
> experimenting with different levels with the rest of the band.
> Perhaps I'm getting phase cancelation due to room reflectivity.
>
> I have budget concerns and, for practice anyway, want to see how far I
> can push a minimal technique. Few mics, end result mono, little or no
> compression / EQ, etc.
>
> I have two Audio Technica ProLine condensers and one SM57. Willing to
> invest in something better if heavily encouraged, but I think it's my
> technique that can make the most difference at this point.
>
> To get the best balance of volume across all the drums, I wound up
> using only one of the condensers as an overhead and the SM57 in the
> bass drum hole. Alternatives seem to exaggerate something over the
> rest (like too much snare, etc.) But I'm guessing that not doing
> close micing in very live room is causing the `distant' sound. Any
> recommendations on micing? Room adjustments are possible (foam,
> etc.), but less desirable.
>
snip....

I'd try using both condensers closer in, one on each side of the kit,
as opposed to one farther back. Keep moving them around until you get
a good balance of the kit (except for kick). The 57 on the kick may
work, but the sound hole is not necessarily the best spot for it.

Also try moving the kit within the room. Middle of room is one spot, a
corner or wall is another.

There was an article in EQ (I think) a few months ago on recording
Tommy Lee's kit. It may have some tips for you as well. YMMV.

best wishes,

Mikey Wozniak
Nova music Productions
This sig is haiku
Anonymous
November 1, 2004 10:13:53 AM

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

Hi:
The cheap way out is to get the drums tuned to perfection. There is a
"Drum tuning bible" on line that will help. A recent copy of Tape Op
magazine covered this subject very well. Once your in tune, I suggest
a $7 investment in little gel squares called moongels. Try placing
them on any drum hit surface to control the ring. As suggested before,
move the drums around the room. there is likely a sweetest spot. In
your setup, your drummer will be "mixing" the drums with his touch.
Steve Gadd would be a good choice, hopefully he's your drummer (Hee).
Good sounding drums, good drummer control, and the best microphone
placement will yield the best results and always will, even if you get
better microphones and outboard gear. You're gettiing to know the
important stuff now.

see12mic
!