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drums in a small room
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Joined: 12/01/2013 19:54:50
Messages: 27

Why are your overheads pointed away from the kit and towards the room? I wouldn't suggest using large diaphram condensors like that unless that's the sound you're looking for. You're going to get a ton of room sound and interference from those mics. Using a spaced pair like that, you should have the capsules be equidistant away from the center of the snare drum, or really nothing will be in phase at all with the condensors. Even then, only the snare drum is going to be in phase with the overheads, you're going to have phase cancellation/boost from the tom mics.

The reason you're probably getting more cymbals in your direct mics than your overheads is because they're pointing towards where the wall and floor meet, and not the cymbals. If you want drums to sound like drums, you're getting almost all of your sound from the overheads, they aren't "cymbal mics". If you really want to mic cymbals and have a punch of fat and punchy direct sound, close mic everything, and I mean everything, with dynamic mics. They won't sound anything like natural drums without heavy amounts of processing though. I see a lot of engineers do this, and I myself used to do it. After learning how counter-intuitive that is, I haven't done it for years. Rolling off all the low end of your overheads and using them as cymbal mics is just wrong. Even with a horrible room, drums won't sound natural if they're boxed off with EQ and are heavily focused on direct sounds.

I always mix my drums my using the bass drum and overhead mics, then bring in the direct mics as needed to fatten up the sound. It's quite rare that my direct sounds are ever louder than the overhead signals, or are blasting at all.

What is the size of your room?

Joined: 22/02/2013 00:50:17
Messages: 5

Thelulz knows what he's talking about. This is what I was going to say. First of all your idea of close miking all of your cymbals sounds awful to me. I'm sure people do it, but you're going to have to work REALLY hard to get a realistic sound of an instrument from an inch away. In my experience the pictures you've seen of the pros being close miked were probably live situations. In the studio, your room mics are key, and as such your room sounds are key, and the placement of your drums is key. Is there any way you can get them away from that corner, and the window, and the wall? Put them in the middle of your room. I'd suggest trying both the John Glyns overhead method, or an XY setup, with a room mic or two further away. Always listen to the sound of your kit in the overheads/room mics alone, and try to make those sound the way you want your drums to sound. Then just add in your close mics to taste. And for the love of God get some room treatment. If you have to, sell some of your mics in order to afford it. Room treatment is always the best money you can spend on recording, but then you also need to learn how to use that!

Joined: 15/02/2013 16:01:23
Messages: 41
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Guess it all depends on what the drums, the drummer, the room, the mics sound like. But here are my famous 2 cents:

I might have tried 1) placing the overheads in front of the kit instead, pointing at the cymbals from the front at the same level. 2) using a XY-setup with small diagramme microphones above the drummers head. 3) two overhead mics aimed at the snare drum (measured so that the distance is exactly the same), one from the left, the other one from the right. 4) a mono overhead mic. 5) one REALLY good microphone placed in the room somewhere (nothing else). 6) No 5 but augmented with a kick and a snare mic (and percussion and other stereo stuff overdubbed, most people really don´t care if the drums are in mono). 7) all of the above. (No, really, just kidding).

Anyway, hope you find what you´re looking for!

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