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drums in a small room
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cboggs
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Joined: 17/01/2011 07:26:22
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Hi gang,

We where discussing one of my recordings in another thread, ..
and it came around to mic techniques so I thought I'd post here.

I'm trying to record in a small room with a low ceiling and of course the overheads
sound like poop to me, ..

Over heads are AKG perception 220's, I keep them fairly close to the cymbals.

Problem is, I'm just not getting what I think is a good cymbal sound,..
and I'm getting more cymbal in the tom mics and snare mic then overheads!
Tom Mics are shure beta 98's, .. snare has a Audix I5, ..

here's a link,

http://youtu.be/X9vVmCHceSw

anyone have any ideas?

Curtis
gadget69
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Have you verified that all the mics are working in the same polarity? Note here also that when mics are used in close proximity they can cause cancellations and other anomalies.
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cboggs
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gadget69 wrote:Have you verified that all the mics are working in the same polarity? Note here also that when mics are used in close proximity they can cause cancellations and other anomalies.


I haven't, what would be the best way to do that?
roblof
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Looking at your video some things pop up.

Given the low ceiling you are likley to get big reflexions from the ceiling that possibly cancels in the back lobe of the mic. Perhaps you can put some sound absorbing above the drumkit.

Some of the many cymbals are covering others so in the close mic'ing they will 'hide' them from the mic's. I suggest try to put the overheads in front of the kit instead of above, using mid/side mic'ing. This will also help even out the balance due to the currently close mic'ing of the cymbals.

The small toms are mic'ed inside but not the others, despite being batter-only skins. Inside mic'ing will help a lot with the cymbal bleeds.. Given the many cymbals you come hard to find a good toms mic position that doesn't pickup the cymbals by large.

Try to put the snare mic between the hi-tom and mid/hi-tom so it points away from the cymbals.

Nice drumming by the way!


EDIT: What's the difference between roof and ceiling?

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 07/01/2013 11:06:50

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cboggs
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Thanks for the reply, .. and compliment.

All of the toms are miced from the top / batter side, .. I really don't like the sound
with the bottom head off and mic inside.
This video had dynamic mics on the toms, .. I now have Shure beta 98a's on two mounted
high toms ( not using the third tom now ) and the 14" floor tom, .. and a Audix D4 on the 16" floor.
I think I'm going to try a beta 98 on the 16" too as the Audix doesn't have enough attack.

Some studio foam on the ceiling is a great idea to try !!!! Thank you.
I didn't think of the reflections from the ceiling cancelling out those mics
or causing it to go muddy. Now I just have to figure out how to mount it without
messing up the ceiling or paint.

I wonder if with the number of cymbals if I just need more cymbal mics?
I see setups from guys like Simon Phillips, Gavin Harris, Neil Peart that have multi
cymbal mics.

I saw a show where the drummer had EACH cymbal miced with some very small
condensers on each cymbal stand from the under side. Not sure
what Mics they where but it sounded really amazing. I assume they where
Shure beta 98's, , , , looked like it. I think I saw the same thing at Rush show as well.

I'm not sure I need to get that sophisticated but I am doing this for
the learning and challenge. So, maybe a small 8 channel sub mixer
and some extra cymbal mics?

Bleed from the snare is a pain, .. I haven't tried between the toms pointing back because Im
afraid the bleed from the hihat will be too much, .. I'll try it and see what happens.

Cheers,

Curtis

Here's some photos of the setup and room,..



cboggs
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does anyone know how close to the head I can have the Beta 98's ??

I saw Neil Peart's kit up close and their tech had them what looked like
an inch or inch 1/2 from the skin?
Palaios
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some I´ve learned along years

on small room I try to mic room instead instrument/vocalist. adding sofas, bookshelves, garco pellets, groupies will tame room acoustics. As long they´ll keep quiet and stand still.

and less is more - select mics by tone, not by brand, or number or by internet videos - every setup is unique.

That wall/window behind set is, as my experince and opinion, no no. Big one.

Phasing is what You´ll get. Flip set 180degs, or less, but over 90.

Still decent sound You´ve got there already. Bleed is always present on acoustic sets threfore I´ll try to focus more on room than instrument.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 07/01/2013 16:24:32

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matthewgorman
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Small room, but higher ceiling than what I work with. I record our drums in a basement with 6.5-7' ceiling. The first tracks I ever did in there were extrewmely challenging. We just started drum tracking last weekend, and I made some changes.

On the overheads I used the perception 170 SD condenser. My drummer has less cymbals than you are showing, but relatively the same coverage area. What made the biggest difference was lighter playing on the cymbals. That may make more of a difference for you than different mics. You are always going to have bleed on an accoustic drum kit. The key is to manage it. Toms are easy enough to gate it out. The snare becomes a bit of an issue from hat bleed, since the snare is almost constantly being played.

I have always used a 57 on the snare. Not a fan of the Beta 56 or the beta 98. Just never sounded right to me. I did stumble on this:

http://www.granelliaudiolabs.com/

The GS5790 is a standard SM57, engineered with a 90 degree bend. I can't say enough how great this mic was. My drummer has his kit set up very tight. Was able to get the snare mic right under the hat, and almost zero bleed from the hats. Granelli takes a 100% authentic SM57, and mods it. Their mods are supported by Shure, and Granelli also give a 2 yr warranty on the equipment.

You definately have more headroom than I deal with. Because of that, I would say that control playing the cymbals would give you the best result from cymbal bleed. If you are micing toms with a Beta 98, that alone should have a tighter pattern to help reject. The fact that its not leads me to believe that maybe the drummer is too aggressive on the cymbals.
Matt

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Gizzmo0815
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Cymbals are really tricky to get right in a small room. They almost rely on space to truly sound right. An option that hasn't been brought up yet might be to not use cymbals at all, but instead use triggers (pads) for the cymbals and use samples from a VSTi for those. It certainly changes the play style but you're a good enough drummer that it shouldn't hamper you too much. This way you can focus the mic placement on the toms/kick/snare and maybe the hat (depending on how you set it up) and work with triggered samples for cymbals. I know this is probably totally outside of the path you were thinking but it's just another option.

I've seen it done in small studios. That way you can get cleaner, less muddy cymbal sounds and less bleedover from the rest of the kit. One drawback is that you have to sort of "fake" the overhead mic sound but it can be done with creative routing. The tracks I heard as a result were seamless, no way you could tell it wasn't just a kit miked in a room.
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mwright137
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Here's my suggestion. I can't remember what the technique is called but try it.

Snare overhead: 2 1/2 sticks above snare facing directly at the snare.

Floor Tom overhead: 2 1/2 sticks above the floor tom, but - this is important - pointed directly at the snare overhead *mic*.

Try it. You'll be surprised at how it opens up your sound in a small room...
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Gizzmo0815
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mwright137 wrote:Here's my suggestion. I can't remember what the technique is called but try it.

Snare overhead: 2 1/2 sticks above snare facing directly at the snare.

Floor Tom overhead: 2 1/2 sticks above the floor tom, but - this is important - pointed directly at the snare overhead *mic*.

Try it. You'll be surprised at how it opens up your sound in a small room...


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Palaios
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Tested on low concrete room with aggressive acoustic drummer

Works. Just takes some time to finetune but again: simplier solutions do work
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cboggs
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Thanks for the ideas guys, .. .. really helped me, I now have 20 things I wanna try

I got the granelliaudiolabs SM57 mic mod kit, . GREAT service, got here in a day !!
and I haven't finished it yet but it's a VERY nice Kit, .. .. thank you for that TIP !!!!!!!

I'm going to put up more foam to start, .. get a bass trap in the corner, .
something to break up the ceiling, .. .. then go from there.
I've seen allot of kits with 3-4 over heads, or I should say cymbal mics.
I might try, .. no I will try adding a ride mic to get definition, .. and work the current
setup more to see if I can tweak it.

It was suggested to me to try the beta 98's a little closer to the heads, ..
I was staying about four finger widths but I was told I could and maybe should go closer.

Cheers,

Curtis
Bbd
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Hi cboggs,

I was a studio drummer in Los Angeles for many years. Back in my day, I played in many "drum booths". They were in essence small rooms.

http://www.vocalbooth.com/images/applications/drum-isolation-booth.jpg

I appreciate what you are working on. Many times, an XY stereo overhead micing technique was used above my kit to capture the cymbals - no matter how many I had. I never had as many as you do though. Did you every try that technique?

http://cdn.avsforum.com/1/14/1424f289_oh_xy.jpeg

http://cdn.recordinghacks.com/images/blog/2011/drumkit.jpg


All the best,

Bbd

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 09/01/2013 09:25:01

Bbd

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matthewgorman
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cboggs wrote:Thanks for the ideas guys, .. .. really helped me, I now have 20 things I wanna try

I got the granelliaudiolabs SM57 mic mod kit, . GREAT service, got here in a day !!
and I haven't finished it yet but it's a VERY nice Kit, .. .. thank you for that TIP !!!!!!!

I'm going to put up more foam to start, .. get a bass trap in the corner, .
something to break up the ceiling, .. .. then go from there.
I've seen allot of kits with 3-4 over heads, or I should say cymbal mics.
I might try, .. no I will try adding a ride mic to get definition, .. and work the current
setup more to see if I can tweak it.

It was suggested to me to try the beta 98's a little closer to the heads, ..
I was staying about four finger widths but I was told I could and maybe should go closer.

Cheers,

Curtis


You are going to LOVE that modded 57. If I can remember to grab some pics Friday, I'll post what I had to deal with kit-wise. I bought the Granelli complete (my soldering skills are non-existant), and have seen it retail around the $150.00 range. Considering the kit costs $50, it was worth it to get the warranty.

Another thing to try that may work for you also. Sometimes we will hang moving blankets around the drum to "create" a drum room, and add ambiance in processing. They theory we had was to totally deaden everything to get a clean sound, instead of trying to deal with crappy reflections and such.
Matt

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S1Pro V2 (Special Dog Balls Edition), Melodyne Editor, Nomad Factory Studio Bundle, Waves Renaissance Bundle, Firestudio Tube, Faderport, Monitor Station, HP4 Headphone Amp Yamaha HS50 Monitors.
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