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Old 16th November 2006 | Show parent
Louder Than Liftoff
BradM's Avatar
Two important points have been made that I totally agree with:

1. Phase cancellation due to early reflections and crappy room tone will kill your drum sound. I recently got my live room acoustics straightened out (more bass trapping and strategic placement of diffusors) and did some tests recording drums in various areas of the room. I found that placing the drums in the livlier half of my room on top of a hard reflective drum riser gave me the most natural and punchiest drum sound for my room. I actually picked up less room ambience in the overheads in this half of the room too. It seems counterintuitive, but the diffuse room reflections were being absorbed by the more absorptive half of the room and not bouncing back into the close mics. Other positions in the room sounded phased out in comparison. Placing the drums on carpet sounded like absolute crap by the way.

2. A good snare sound is a combination of overhead mics, close mics and various distant/room mics. Jamming a mic 2" from the top head does not give you a huge popping snare sound. It gives you a "donk" sound with too much low mids IMO. On a recent session I found that the snare "magic" came largely from an SM57 I had pointed at the drummer's ass from a couple feet away. That coupled with a distant room mic that was squashed with a Distressor really filled out the snare sound and gave it some size.

Create your own unique snare magic. The bottom line is that the sound of the room and the tuning of the drums is going to color things much more than you can EQ or compress the sound.