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recording drums with 4 mics - help!
Old 27th January 2009
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
recording drums with 4 mics - help!

hello

at the moment i'm finishing my home studio and need some gear to record drums. my room is pretty big (4,6m x 10,5m) with angled shorter walls, but the ceiling is pretty low (lower than 2,6m). the room is untreated already, but i'm going to build some panels (also mobile ones).

is it possible to get decent sounding drums in such a room with just 4 mics? the reason why i want to use just 4 mics is that my LynxTWO card has just 4 inputs and i don't want to purchase more converters at the moment.

my preamps are two channels of Neve 1272 clones made by IGS Audio <great, high quality preamps> and custom tube preamps of the same manufacturer. my only mic is a tube LDC (something betwenn U47 and C12 - incredible mic) made by IGS.

what mics should i purchase? i can get second IGS LDC for a matched pair. should i get it along with a snare and a bass drum mic? or maybe some other combination? maybe a pair of Josephson C42, a snare mic and my tube LDC as a front-kit mic?

and the most important thing - HOW to record the drums? where to place them? i've watched Recorderman technique on youtube and it looks great. however, i want nice, warm, full sound.

cheers!
Old 28th January 2009
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
i think it's the wrong place for that thread. may somebody move it where it'll fit better?
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Nutmeg II.'s Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Look up Recorderman and Glyn Johns mic setups.

Or mic all the drums but place the mics at more distance than you usualy would do.

Lets say 15-20cm.

This way you catch a great drum sound and the cymbals are more prominent in the mics because of the bigger mic distance to the drums.

You can very easiely dail in the cymbals with a highshelf on the drum channels.
A compressor is also fun to use in this setup.

Works surprisingly well.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Lives for gear
 
Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
A huge part of getting a good drum sound with few mics is how the drummer plays.

If he beats the **** out of the cymbals all the time and can't stop I'd close mic the drums and just let the cymbals bleed thru. Compression will bring the cymbals out a bit more. You'll use the least amount of aural space with close micing, so if there will be a lot going on in the mix this may be your best choice.

If he's got pretty good control and can lay off the cymbals, I'd try the 'glyn johns' technique. This sound varies a bunch based on how far away the mics are from the kit, so do some experimentation. If you have a lot of space in the mix for drums I'd back them off as far as I could. If you have less space I'd bring them in as close as you can.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A great pr. of overheads (omni's if your room is really nice sounding - otherwise cardioid) in stereo spaced pr., X/Y (or your choice how to space them), kick and snare mic.

Bob's yer uncle.

Many recordings done this way, or even with less. Your room is crucial for overheads, esp. if they are omni's, and less(er) for cardioids. My choices would be:

OH's: AKG 451EB's/Neumann KM84 or 184's/U87's/SM69
Kick: Senn.421/EV RE-20/AKG d-112
Snare: 57/Audix D5/Senn441 etc.

This leaves out a room mic, which most everyone likes, but is not crucial. You could also submix more channels down to 4 inputs, but - that means you'd have to make a decision - god help you...
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
The low ceiling of your room could be a problem with a minimal mic strategy. In my experience, low ceilings are the enemy of overhead mics, which can sound pretty boxy if too close to the ceiling. Anyway this is what seems to happen to me.

I hear what you're saying about not wanting to buy more converter channels, so my suggestion is to experiment and fine tune your 4 mic technique until it sounds as great as you can make it sound. Then decide whether 1) you like it; 2) you need a different room; or 3) you need to switch to close mics because your room isn't so great.

Hope this helps!
Old 28th January 2009
  #7
Lives for gear
 
AdamJay's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AveyTare ➑️
i've watched Recorderman technique on youtube and it looks great. however, i want nice, warm, full sound.
There's nothing about that technique that prohibits a warm, full sound.

If you want such a sound, Beyer M160's as OH, an M201 on snare, and your LDC on kick will do the job. I've used this set everywhere from beautiful auditoriums to dining rooms and got great results no matter where.

To me, recorderman is more a theory than a technique. Because honestly you can put those two overhead mics anywhere you want as long as they are equidistant to the kick as well as the snare. This really opens up possibilities for different sounds and vibes. I've seen guys use recorderman with gobos isolating hats from the OH mics and the OH mics were off to the side, no higher than 4ft from the ground. So the point is, look at it as a theory and apply the theory to your situation. Low ceiling? don't use the mics so high. Drummer too crazy on the high hat and ride ? bring the mics in tighter and point the mics more towards the toms but keep the measurements accurate.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh ➑️
The low ceiling of your room could be a problem with a minimal mic strategy. In my experience, low ceilings are the enemy of overhead mics, which can sound pretty boxy if too close to the ceiling. Anyway this is what seems to happen to me.

I hear what you're saying about not wanting to buy more converter channels, so my suggestion is to experiment and fine tune your 4 mic technique until it sounds as great as you can make it sound. Then decide whether 1) you like it; 2) you need a different room; or 3) you need to switch to close mics because your room isn't so great.

Hope this helps!
is 2,6m really THAT low for recording drums? if so, i might try to find some other room for recording them.
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamJay ➑️
There's nothing about that technique that prohibits a warm, full sound.

If you want such a sound, Beyer M160's as OH, an M201 on snare, and your LDC on kick will do the job. I've used this set everywhere from beautiful auditoriums to dining rooms and got great results no matter where.

To me, recorderman is more a theory than a technique. Because honestly you can put those two overhead mics anywhere you want as long as they are equidistant to the kick as well as the snare. This really opens up possibilities for different sounds and vibes. I've seen guys use recorderman with gobos isolating hats from the OH mics and the OH mics were off to the side, no higher than 4ft from the ground. So the point is, look at it as a theory and apply the theory to your situation. Low ceiling? don't use the mics so high. Drummer too crazy on the high hat and ride ? bring the mics in tighter and point the mics more towards the toms but keep the measurements accurate.
+1 AdamJay advice is exactly what I would have written myself! Spooky! Lol. Ribbon mics tend to bring out the tone and projection of the toms helping you with that warnth you're after. I use 2 M160's myself but I also love the Royer SF12 which is a stere ribbon mic.

Also to add that you can set up some speaker and play the kit back into the room for a room sound. If you do this then you can test for preferences. So you might like a mono overhead sound and a mono room or stereo room and mono overhead etc.

Peace,
cortisol
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
gwailoh's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AveyTare ➑️
is 2,6m really THAT low for recording drums? if so, i might try to find some other room for recording them.
I think that's about 8 1/2 feet, for us metric-impaired types. Which seems pretty low to me. My instinct would probably be to close mic in a room that low, if the option were available.

But, you never know until you try. Maybe work with your four mic technique, get it sounding as good as you can. Maybe the room will turn out to be exactly what you want!
Old 28th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwailoh ➑️
I think that's about 8 1/2 feet, for us metric-impaired types. Which seems pretty low to me. My instinct would probably be to close mic in a room that low, if the option were available.

But, you never know until you try. Maybe work with your four mic technique, get it sounding as good as you can. Maybe the room will turn out to be exactly what you want!
yep, it's even a bit lower than 8,5 feet - i believe it's 8,44 feet to be precise. no good news :(
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
I spent years working with micing the whole kit and never was happy with the results. When I finally started using 4 mics {2 OH and kink and snare} it all seemed so easy. Your room specs seem less than optimal and will probably sound boxy because it is like a box. I have the same problem. I surrounded the area around the drums with thick old comforters hanging from the ceiling to keep reflections to a minimum. The area above the drums has an old comforter tacked to the ceiling. I also have lots of other clutter in the room like guitar amps, boxes etc.

I use a modified recorderman set up at the moment but I have used other set ups. I like this set up the best. The right OH is over my right shoulder pointed at the snare and the left is above the small rack tom also pointed at the snare. They are about 2 drumstick length from the snare, measured from the front of the capsule. Contrary to popular thought, I pan hard right ....left. I EQ out a moderate amount of 400K to get rid of the boxy tone and boost the low bass to beef up the bottom end. This may or may not work for you but I liker the sound and it is natural, open, ambient and warm. By the way even with the comforters absorbing the sound, the results are not dead sounding drums. OH....2 Rode NTV's.... Snare Senn E 904.... BD AT25

Drum tuning and playing technique is important. I do not muffle or deaden the drums themselves. Good luck and be sure and experiment with mic placement. The one set up I did not like myself was the X/Y technique. Maybe I did not have it set up right>
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