Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Solution for small room drums

Last response: in Home Audio
Share
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 12:35:43 PM

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

There have been plenty of posts about recording drums and room sizes.
My question is this:
Is it possible at all to get closer to a nice room sound while still
recording in a small room? All the close mcs sound good when solo'd,
but I'd like to use them more for supporting the room and OH mics. The
close mics sound too artificial when used without anything else. Too
blunt

Here are the specifics

OH mics - u89's, Great River MP-2NV \
room mic - u87, Avalon M5 / Into a digi 002

room size - w/7ft ceiling

-----------------
| | drums |
| here |
| |
| 18ft |
| |
| 20ft |
-----------------


I have the floor carpeted and some studio absorbers attached to a
portable wall which I place in front of the drumset. Recordings are
done with guitar and vocal scratch tracks which are DI so we can get a
clean drum track without bleedover.

I have a Lexicon PCM80 which I can add to the OH and room, but can't
get it to sound really natural and a LA2A fo mono compression (would a
stereo unit make much difference?). I'm I trying too hard for nothing?
There has to be a way a create the sound I'm looking for by using what
I have. I'm just trying to get that really GREAT sound and am
convinced its the room thats killing me. If anyone has any suggestions
I'm willing to try something new! Thanks,

D
darrensax@hotmail.com
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 4:22:26 PM

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

--

Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.
"Studio-D" <darrensax@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 21d7f1b.0412030935.73df0052@posting.google.com...
> There have been plenty of posts about recording drums and room sizes.
> My question is this:
> Is it possible at all to get closer to a nice room sound while still
> recording in a small room? All the close mcs sound good when solo'd,
> but I'd like to use them more for supporting the room and OH mics. The
> close mics sound too artificial when used without anything else. Too
> blunt
>
> Here are the specifics
>
> OH mics - u89's, Great River MP-2NV \
> room mic - u87, Avalon M5 / Into a digi 002
>
> room size - w/7ft ceiling
>
> -----------------
> | | drums |
> | here |
> | |
> | 18ft |
> | |
> | 20ft |
> -----------------
>
>
> I have the floor carpeted and some studio absorbers attached to a
> portable wall which I place in front of the drumset. Recordings are
> done with guitar and vocal scratch tracks which are DI so we can get a
> clean drum track without bleedover.
>
> I have a Lexicon PCM80 which I can add to the OH and room, but can't
> get it to sound really natural and a LA2A fo mono compression (would a
> stereo unit make much difference?). I'm I trying too hard for nothing?
> There has to be a way a create the sound I'm looking for by using what
> I have. I'm just trying to get that really GREAT sound and am
> convinced its the room thats killing me. If anyone has any suggestions
> I'm willing to try something new! Thanks,
>
> D
> darrensax@hotmail.com

Well, I have to work with an 8 foot ceiling. The best thing I did was invest
in a bunch of the Ethan Weiner's (RealTraps) HF Microtraps that I attached
to the ceiling over the drum area. The sound tightened up significantly,
much less trouble with boxiness.
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 4:24:18 PM

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

"Studio-D" <darrensax@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 21d7f1b.0412030935.73df0052@posting.google.com...
> There have been plenty of posts about recording drums and room sizes.
> My question is this:
> Is it possible at all to get closer to a nice room sound while still
> recording in a small room? All the close mcs sound good when solo'd,
> but I'd like to use them more for supporting the room and OH mics. The
> close mics sound too artificial when used without anything else. Too
> blunt
>
> Here are the specifics
>
> OH mics - u89's, Great River MP-2NV \
> room mic - u87, Avalon M5 / Into a digi 002
>
> room size - w/7ft ceiling
>
> -----------------
> | | drums |
> | here |
> | |
> | 18ft |
> | |
> | 20ft |
> -----------------
>
>
> I have the floor carpeted and some studio absorbers attached to a
> portable wall which I place in front of the drumset. Recordings are
> done with guitar and vocal scratch tracks which are DI so we can get a
> clean drum track without bleedover.
>
> I have a Lexicon PCM80 which I can add to the OH and room, but can't
> get it to sound really natural and a LA2A fo mono compression (would a
> stereo unit make much difference?). I'm I trying too hard for nothing?
> There has to be a way a create the sound I'm looking for by using what
> I have. I'm just trying to get that really GREAT sound and am
> convinced its the room thats killing me. If anyone has any suggestions
> I'm willing to try something new! Thanks,
>
> D
> darrensax@hotmail.com

I'm cursed with a crummy small bad sounding room so I feel your pain.

One thing might be to try playing on a wood surface instead of carpet ( put
a piece of think plywood under the set ) and the put foam or diffusers or
traps over the set to kill any slap back. I think it's more important to
get as much of the early reflections from the floor happening ( since they
interact with the drums themselves ) more than the weaker late reflections
from the ceiling and walls.

Then you can try something I've been experimenting with that sometimes works
pretty well. Using a beat up old 23" machine tympani on the other side of
the room I close mic the head about a half inch away with an omni mic (
Audix TR-40 ). The sounds from the drumset resonate the timpani head and I
record that to a separate track.

So far I've been more impressed with the hand drum tracks I did ( one close
mic on the hand drum with my back to the mic'd timpani about 2 feet away but
sometimes the timpani track was useful in adding room like resonance to the
mix.

My next step is to internally mount the mic into the timpani so I get les
direct sound and also I want to lay the timpani on the floor ( or make a
stand ) so that I can aim the timpani head directly at the drum set instead
of the ceiling.

Best of luck!

John L Rice
Drummer@ImJohn.com
Related resources
Anonymous
December 3, 2004 11:36:47 PM

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

>darrensax@hotmail.com (Studio-D)
>Newsgroups: rec.audio.pro
>Date: 3 Dec 2004 09:35:43 -0800
>Organization: http://groups.google.com
>Lines: 40
>Message-ID: <d21d7f1b.0412030935.73df0052@posting.google.com>
>NNTP-Posting-Host: 12.145.48.251
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
>X-Trace: posting.google.com 1102095343 23711 127.0.0.1 (3 Dec 2004 17:35:43
>GMT)
>X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
>NNTP-Posting-Date: Fri, 3 Dec 2004 17:35:43 +0000 (UTC)
>
>
>
>There have been plenty of posts about recording drums and room sizes.
>My question is this:
>Is it possible at all to get closer to a nice room sound while still
>recording in a small room? All the close mcs sound good when solo'd,
>but I'd like to use them more for supporting the room and OH mics. The
>close mics sound too artificial when used without anything else. Too
>blunt
>
>Here are the specifics
>
>OH mics - u89's, Great River MP-2NV \
>room mic - u87, Avalon M5 / Into a digi 002
>
>room size - w/7ft ceiling
>
>-----------------
>| | drums |
>| here |
>| |
>| 18ft |
>| |
>| 20ft |
>-----------------
>
>
>I have the floor carpeted and some studio absorbers attached to a
>portable wall which I place in front of the drumset. Recordings are
>done with guitar and vocal scratch tracks which are DI so we can get a
>clean drum track without bleedover.
>
>I have a Lexicon PCM80 which I can add to the OH and room, but can't
>get it to sound really natural and a LA2A fo mono compression (would a
>stereo unit make much difference?). I'm I trying too hard for nothing?
>There has to be a way a create the sound I'm looking for by using what
>I have. I'm just trying to get that really GREAT sound and am
>convinced its the room thats killing me. If anyone has any suggestions
>I'm willing to try something new! Thanks,
>

Hey I have had the small room blues, and the medium sized room that sounds
bad for drums blues too. I'd move the kit 1/3rd of the way out into the room.
Then rather than starting trying to get individual snare/kick/toms sounds, only
to find when later when adding the overheads they combine in a manner that
degrades the overall ambient organic sound of the kit, I might start with the
overheads instead and get the kit to sound as good as possible with overheads
only. You could place your U89 cardiod pair one over the drummer's right
shoulder and one over the left front of the kit, equidistant from the snare.
Then I'd add in the kick drum mic medium close and move it gradually either way
( and I would try moving the gobo you have in front of the kit out quite a bit
too). Add in the snare and other spot mics for fill and/or to feed reverbs.

Conversely I have had success in a whisper room by using the close miced
kit sound you kinda like, but using omni mics for overheads, mostly micing the
cymbals left and right front of kit. Sounds more open and omnis have less
problems in how they interact with cardiods, in my experience anyway. Your U89
pair has 5 patterns so you have a lot of possibilities you can try, even M/S in
front of the kit (and the U89;s are easier to setup for that than say, a pair
of Beyerdynamic MC740's.)

Will Miho
NY Music & TV Audio Guy
Audioist / Fox News
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away..." Tom Waits
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 2:42:31 AM

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

I doubt that you'll get much of a good room tone from the small room you've
described. The fact that you've got it even sounding dry and good is an
achievement, probably due to the carpet and absorbers. Usually in a room
like yours the first question is "How do I get rid of the close closet
sound?" The fact that you're past that is a good sign.

Real ambience is usually best, but since its not possible here, the next
question is which kind of reverb to use. The PCM 80 might be too polite for
drums. My suggestions are Early Reflection programs from the Yamaha SPX
series or the DVerb plug in in pro tools. Both are ratty and rude, and give
you body to the drums in the same way that room mics can, or say an AMS RMX
16.

Do you have a garage? Maybe tracking drums in there is an idea too?
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 4:10:02 AM

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

"Studio-D" <darrensax@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 21d7f1b.0412030935.73df0052@posting.google.com...
> There have been plenty of posts about recording drums and room sizes.
> My question is this:
> Is it possible at all to get closer to a nice room sound while still
> recording in a small room? All the close mcs sound good when solo'd,
> but I'd like to use them more for supporting the room and OH mics. The
> close mics sound too artificial when used without anything else. Too
> blunt
>
> Here are the specifics
>
> OH mics - u89's, Great River MP-2NV \
> room mic - u87, Avalon M5 / Into a digi 002
>
> room size - w/7ft ceiling
>
> -----------------
> | | drums |
> | here |
> | |
> | 18ft |
> | |
> | 20ft |
> -----------------

18'x20'? IMO, that is not really a *small* room; I think your biggest
problem might be the low ceiling. Have you tried:

1.) de-carpet the floor under the drums (if it's not "installed"
wall-to-wall carpeting) or place a couple sheets of plywood under the drums.
If you try this, watch out for standing waves from the ceiling, as they'll
become more apparent... you'll prolly have to futz with the overheads & room
mics a bit to get the right height that will minimize this.
2.) Again with the plywood? Yes, stick some plywood sheets behind the drums,
but lean them against the wall, so that you're not having to futz with
mounting them & also so that there's an angle between the back wall & the
front wall surface (now created by the plywood) - will help to minimize
standing waves. Depending on how close the drums are to the walls, you may
have to stick some towels or a piece of foam behind the point where the
plywood leans against the wall to eliminate it rattling (esp if he's a
heavy-hitter). ALSO, try this with the plywood against one wall, then the
adjacent one in the corner, then face the drums out from the corner instead
of directly out/squared with the back wall (as I assume your diagram shows
that as the current placement). This also helps to knock down the amount of
standing waves/flutter that the mics pick up, since the polar patterns
aren't pointed directly at one of the sources of said waves.
3.) Got a few gobos? Make a "corridor" out of them along the side of one
wall, a couple feet away from it & stick your "room" mic at the end of
that... kinda like a hallway that some studios use (one of the guys on this
NG has a studio with that feature, in fact... can't recall who offhand), for
adding additional ambience to a recorded track.

Anyway, I've recorded drums in plenty of rooms smaller than that with good
ambient results, and I'm sure other guys here have too - it's all a matter
of getting some reflective surfaces in there (sounds like you've got it
pretty deadened right now). If you have a few extra bucks to blow on some
plywood, it can't hurt to try. You can create reflective surfaces, you can
mimic higher volume level on guitar cabs by stuffing them in smaller
spaces - there's lots of things that you can do to create an illusion of
different space than what you've actually got to work with... maybe not be
acoustically perfect in terms of design, but improvisation can work in many
cases.

Good luck!

Neil Henderson
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 9:42:16 PM

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

>room size - w/7ft ceiling

If your highest cymbal is 4' off the ground, there's already only 3' to play
with for the overheads. Have you tried moving your overheads from "above" the
kit to "in front of" the kit? try pulling them 5 or 6 feet out and see what
you get. If nothing else, you'll get them farther away from the boundaries and
the kit. That might help add a sense of space.


Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
December 4, 2004 10:19:50 PM

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

EganMedia wrote:

> >room size - w/7ft ceiling

> If your highest cymbal is 4' off the ground, there's already only 3' to
> play with for the overheads. Have you tried moving your overheads from
> "above" the kit to "in front of" the kit? try pulling them 5 or 6 feet
> out and see what you get. If nothing else, you'll get them farther away
> from the boundaries and the kit. That might help add a sense of space.

When overhead space is that limited I've found minor salvation in PZM's
fastened to the ceiling for OH. That deals with the way-too-early
reflections and can help clean things up nicely, given the constraints.
One can then add a sense of space artificially, whereas with ordinary
mics crowded between the cymbals on the ceiling the reflections screw-up
whatever one tries after the fact with reverb.

--
ha
!