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Drum Recording Standards for late 50's early 60's
Old 28th January 2009
  #1
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Drum Recording Standards for late 50's early 60's

Hi GS,

I've been recording to tape these days. It's a real trip not knowing how something is going to sound before it's recorded. I'm getting pretty used to UV levels.

I've been learning a lot about drums and was wondering what the standard approach was back then?

Like, did people close mic and run through a tube mixer before printing, or did they just hang a big ribbon mic mono in front of the kit? If so, what mics were popular for the application?

I imagine this is a question based a bit on region as well, but any feedback is helpful.

Thanks!
-soup
Old 29th January 2009
  #2
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I'd like to know too




My guess is a LDC Overhead and sometimes one in front . There is usually not much low end on the drums , so probably mainly overhead .
Old 29th January 2009 | Show parent
  #3
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
I'd like to know too




My guess is a LDC Overhead and sometimes one in front . There is usually not much low end on the drums , so probably mainly overhead .
word, bump.
Old 29th January 2009
  #4
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Jay Dee's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking ➑️
Hi GS,

I'm getting pretty used to UV levels.
Might want to consider SPF-40 if the UV levels are high.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #5
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking ➑️
word, bump.
Theres no love for the old school on Gearslutz ,
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #6
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Looks like not too many mics were used . . .








'
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #7
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dave gross's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
old school drums

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
I'd like to know too




My guess is a LDC Overhead and sometimes one in front . There is usually not much low end on the drums , so probably mainly overhead .
I'd think that would be a good approach, maybe a big ribbon overhead. More prominence of drums versus sizzle from cymbals. Depends on the record/genre. One of my favorite Sonny Rollins records "Way Out West" has just tenor hard left, and on the right channel is just upright bass (Ray Brown) and drums. Sounds like 1 mic on the tenor, 1 on the bass, an OH and FOK on the drums. There is of course bleed, and it sounds soooo good.

A lot of those records don't even have a mic on the drums, and it's just in the room. I'm not trying to plug my own record, but my new album does have a "50's drum sound". We rarely used any close mics on the drums, in fact some tunes don't even utilize any of the drum mics except for a subtle blend of an FOK mic. We recorded everything "live" in the room with no overdubs.

Most of the old school drum sound on this came from the horn mics (a couple of ribbons, and a couple of LDC's at times).

If you go to Dave Gross the record will start streaming automatically (stereo mp3 @ 112kbps, but you'll get the point). You might have to click through the tune list as a few songs don't have drums and list in random order.

Again, please don't take this as a plug, just an example for you to hear for this approach.

Good luck,
Dave
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #8
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave gross ➑️
I'd think that would be a good approach, maybe a big ribbon overhead. More prominence of drums versus sizzle from cymbals. Depends on the record/genre. One of my favorite Sonny Rollins records "Way Out West" has just tenor hard left, and on the right channel is just upright bass (Ray Brown) and drums. Sounds like 1 mic on the tenor, 1 on the bass, an OH and FOK on the drums. There is of course bleed, and it sounds soooo good.

A lot of those records don't even have a mic on the drums, and it's just in the room. I'm not trying to plug my own record, but my new album does have a "50's drum sound". We rarely used any close mics on the drums, in fact some tunes don't even utilize any of the drum mics except for a subtle blend of an FOK mic. We recorded everything "live" in the room with no overdubs.

Most of the old school drum sound on this came from the horn mics (a couple of ribbons, and a couple of LDC's at times).

If you go to Dave Gross the record will start streaming automatically (stereo mp3 @ 112kbps, but you'll get the point). You might have to click through the tune list as a few songs don't have drums and list in random order.

Again, please don't take this as a plug, just an example for you to hear for this approach.

Good luck,
Dave
Damn Dave your stuff sounds good !heh
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #9
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Dee ➑️
Might want to consider SPF-40 if the UV levels are high.
Heh, Durr!! Right, VU levels. Learnding.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #10
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave gross ➑️
I'd think that would be a good approach, maybe a big ribbon overhead. More prominence of drums versus sizzle from cymbals. Depends on the record/genre. One of my favorite Sonny Rollins records "Way Out West" has just tenor hard left, and on the right channel is just upright bass (Ray Brown) and drums. Sounds like 1 mic on the tenor, 1 on the bass, an OH and FOK on the drums. There is of course bleed, and it sounds soooo good.

A lot of those records don't even have a mic on the drums, and it's just in the room. I'm not trying to plug my own record, but my new album does have a "50's drum sound". We rarely used any close mics on the drums, in fact some tunes don't even utilize any of the drum mics except for a subtle blend of an FOK mic. We recorded everything "live" in the room with no overdubs.

Most of the old school drum sound on this came from the horn mics (a couple of ribbons, and a couple of LDC's at times).

If you go to Dave Gross the record will start streaming automatically (stereo mp3 @ 112kbps, but you'll get the point). You might have to click through the tune list as a few songs don't have drums and list in random order.

Again, please don't take this as a plug, just an example for you to hear for this approach.

Good luck,
Dave
That's great info Dave. Thanks!

I have an RCA 74b which we just adore on toms. I'd like to tandem that with my e47c for a full room effect. But my room is...well...Not bad, but not exactly flattering either. I wish there was a way I could buffer my LDC so it didn't pick up so much.

Maybe I should just rent another 44 or something. ?

I do have horns, bass through a b-18, and reggae guitar going through a big Dual Showman cab etc to be in the mix so it could turn out pretty good that way.

I just don't want everything to get too crowded.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #11
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china jam's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave gross ➑️
I'd think that would be a good approach, maybe a big ribbon overhead. More prominence of drums versus sizzle from cymbals. Depends on the record/genre. One of my favorite Sonny Rollins records "Way Out West" has just tenor hard left, and on the right channel is just upright bass (Ray Brown) and drums. Sounds like 1 mic on the tenor, 1 on the bass, an OH and FOK on the drums. There is of course bleed, and it sounds soooo good.

A lot of those records don't even have a mic on the drums, and it's just in the room. I'm not trying to plug my own record, but my new album does have a "50's drum sound". We rarely used any close mics on the drums, in fact some tunes don't even utilize any of the drum mics except for a subtle blend of an FOK mic. We recorded everything "live" in the room with no overdubs.

Most of the old school drum sound on this came from the horn mics (a couple of ribbons, and a couple of LDC's at times).

If you go to Dave Gross the record will start streaming automatically (stereo mp3 @ 112kbps, but you'll get the point). You might have to click through the tune list as a few songs don't have drums and list in random order.

Again, please don't take this as a plug, just an example for you to hear for this approach.

Good luck,
Dave
Your band sounds fantastic.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes, in every pic I have seen of pre-Ringo drummers there is one mic a couple of feet above the kit, and MAYBE one in front. I think just the overhead mic was the standard until rock and roll music happened, at which point somebody realized that more bass drum would help. Also, early drums were cranked up tight - much tighter than most drummers run their drums today. Certainly the tuning, drum sizes, very skinny drum sticks, and heads effected the sound as much as the style of the player and the micing techniques. You have to remember that the sound of the kit itself has changed dramatically since the late 60s. Everything now is thicker - sticks, heads, cymbals - so the sound has changed substantially. The only thing that has gotten smaller are the drums, and that is largely because of the Gadd influence in the 70s which was based on super thick and muffled drum heads.

Incidentally, as far as I can tell, Ringo was one of the first to really play stylistically modern rock drums, and appropriately he was one of the first to have his drums close miced. Toward the end they miced his hats, toms, bd, and snare bottom, and then had an overhead for cymbals and the top of the snare.

The pics I've seen always show ribbon or condenser mics, and I'd say that compression could have been a factor but that hot tape levels were often just as much of a component of the sound. I'd say one of the big problems with digital recording is the loss of a slightly overdriven drum sound coming off of a tape. Sure, there are plugins, I know, I use them, but there is something elegant about just turning up the drums till they distort a little.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
Damn Dave your stuff sounds good !heh
Agreed...

This stuff is Great! Nice work man....

Hmm... I've only been using 6 mics on drums recently....
now I'm thinking even fewer might be the ticket!!!?? heh
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #14
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo ➑️
Yes, in every pic I have seen of pre-Ringo drummers there is one mic a couple of feet above the kit, and MAYBE one in front. I think just the overhead mic was the standard until rock and roll music happened, at which point somebody realized that more bass drum would help. Also, early drums were cranked up tight - much tighter than most drummers run their drums today. Certainly the tuning, drum sizes, very skinny drum sticks, and heads effected the sound as much as the style of the player and the micing techniques. You have to remember that the sound of the kit itself has changed dramatically since the late 60s. Everything now is thicker - sticks, heads, cymbals - so the sound has changed substantially. The only thing that has gotten smaller are the drums, and that is largely because of the Gadd influence in the 70s which was based on super thick and muffled drum heads.

Incidentally, as far as I can tell, Ringo was one of the first to really play stylistically modern rock drums, and appropriately he was one of the first to have his drums close miced. Toward the end they miced his hats, toms, bd, and snare bottom, and then had an overhead for cymbals and the top of the snare.

The pics I've seen always show ribbon or condenser mics, and I'd say that compression could have been a factor but that hot tape levels were often just as much of a component of the sound. I'd say one of the big problems with digital recording is the loss of a slightly overdriven drum sound coming off of a tape. Sure, there are plugins, I know, I use them, but there is something elegant about just turning up the drums till they distort a little.
That's good to know that thickness and size of the drums and heads help play a roll in the sound as well as the actually mic setup.

It almost sounds like if one only had two mics to work with they'd set-up one near the drums and but more bass sounding objects to pick-up that space and then a seperate mic for more treble sounding instruments.

Maybe an extra drum mic or mid-range mic to compliment it. But that would be my next guess.

Thanks Dr. Mordo!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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Dr. Mordo's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
Damn Dave your stuff sounds good !heh
Wow, I skipped over it initially, but you're getting great sounds there. I love the ambiance. It just sounds like y'all are in the same room.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Maniac
 
David Robinson's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
hi,
my experience in the sixties in Sydney, Australia?
one or two overheads, LDC. one snr, dynamic. one kik, dynamic.
sometimes, an extra mic under the snr. generally SD dyn.
hihats were O/D'd a lot on pop records. SD dyn.
electric gtr? loud. LDC way out, 3meters or so, and close to the floor.
acoustic gtr SDC, at any number of positions.
big rooms....... at least 20'x30'x40'.
valve consoles and recorders, mainly 4trk.
DR9.
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #17
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vernier's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Janiva Magness has great drums -captured the good ole fashioned way. Her "Bury Him At The Crossroads" CD comes to mind.
'
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #18
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A LaMere's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. Mordo ➑️
Wow, I skipped over it initially, but you're getting great sounds there. I love the ambiance. It just sounds like y'all are in the same room.
Music purchased... Nuff said!!
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #19
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupking ➑️
That's good to know that thickness and size of the drums and heads help play a roll in the sound as well as the actually mic setup.

It almost sounds like if one only had two mics to work with they'd set-up one near the drums and but more bass sounding objects to pick-up that space and then a seperate mic for more treble sounding instruments.

Maybe an extra drum mic or mid-range mic to compliment it. But that would be my next guess.

Thanks Dr. Mordo!

You just described the Glyn Johns setup heh

I really like the Glyn Johns setup , if your after classic old school drum sound this is it .
Old 30th January 2009 | Show parent
  #20
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ScumBum's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Another thing I read some where was before Ringo , engineers approached the drum set as a single instrument , not individual drums .

The drummer wasn't considered as important as he is today , he was just another instrument that they'd stick a mic in front of , like a guitarist or horn .

All the drums were viewed as a whole , one instrument .
Old 30th January 2009
  #21
Gear Addict
 
dave gross's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Thanks guys, wasn't looking for praise, just posting an example.

Thanks to d. gauss for engineering the session, he's a bad bad boy heh
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #22
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️

All the drums were viewed as a whole , one instrument .
This is a good concept
Old 31st January 2009 | Show parent
  #23
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soupking's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by ScumBum ➑️
Another thing I read some where was before Ringo , engineers approached the drum set as a single instrument , not individual drums .

The drummer wasn't considered as important as he is today , he was just another instrument that they'd stick a mic in front of , like a guitarist or horn.

All the drums were viewed as a whole , one instrument .

Cool, awesome notes ScumBum!

I'm stoked to by approaching a classic set-up like a "Glyn Johns" set-up.

I'm most likely going to have to rent a 44 mic. My e47c picks the lint up of the carpet which is great if my room weren't 14x18.

I'm probably going to use an RCA 74 and 44. One for drum and bass. The other for saxophones and guitars. Not sure which one would be better for which. I'll probably have to ask around. Then print to vocals on another track. That's old school 2-track reporter style recording.

I like that mindset of one instrument though. It's almost deeper than that. Like part of one instrument...Bass Cleft.
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