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Phase adjustment on drums
Old 27th July 2015
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
Phase adjustment on drums

Hi Ross

Huge fan of your work dude!

I have a couple of questions for you related to phase adjustment on drums.

Do you use Time adjuster delays on pro tools? or you just flip the phase polarity switch checking different elements against others (kick or snare to OH's for instance) until the whole thing works.

Do you delay your direct microphones using time adjuster until they are in the closest position to your OH? or you think that the delay between direct microphones and OH actually helps to a bigger sound?
In the first option the attack seems to be smeared but i know a couple of guys who defend that it's the best way.
It seems the traditional approach, without making that kind of things, worked like a charm for ages, without any kind of time adjuster plug... What do you think about it?

Any other consideration about the phase when you're recording drums? I think that a drum kit is one of the hardest things to record properly...

Thanks Ross
Old 29th July 2015
Ross Hogarth
BoogieMotel's Avatar
🎧 15 years
I am a get it right at the source and in the recording type of engineer
back when i started we never slid overheads or rooms
we placed mics correctly and got the phase right when we pushed record

understand a couple things
back when I started
often we only had one multitrack 24 or 16 track as our only number of track for the whole record
when I started making records my drum layout was
a stereo track of Overs/Hihat/Toms all on that stereo track
and the Rooms on their own track
6 tracks total for the drums with the Toms /Hat and Overheads all blended
maybe the hi hat on its own track too
the snare was a blend of whatever snare mic
the kik a blend ..

Phase is not an exact science when it comes to drums
just because you GUI says you lined it up
how do you really know unless it sounds right
that amount of time from the source is what makes in that differing distance on drums something that creates dimension
learn how to hear phase relationships between microphones and learn how to flop phase on the way in
or move a mic and GET IT RIGHT ON THE WAY IN
I must be honest here
EVER ...
I get it right
I have seen drums so poorly recorded in the last few years because there are more and more DIY engineers that do not understand phase
and how a good phase relationship sounds compare to an out of phase relationship
I must say
when you start to get it right
it will build a much more solid foundation for the rest of your tracks
out phase drums cause you to have to Eq way more and cause you many more problems down the road
Old 29th July 2015
Gear Nut
🎧 5 years
Yeah! Well said.

Thanks Ross!

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