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Fake Stereo Overhead
Old 1st April 2009
  #1
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Fake Stereo Overhead

We were able to throw up one mic for the over head when recording the drums and I've been making this a fake stereo track, but I want to know how to do this properly without guessing.

I've been using short delay with a delay of around 13ms, but that's just a guess. Is there a way to dial that in properly and avoid phase issues without guessing?
Old 1st April 2009
  #2
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


With a 13ms delay between L and R, you will have phase issues if they are summed to mono. But that's exacty what you are after for a "fake stereo" effect.



-tINY

Old 1st April 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
lobsterinn's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I used to do that, and I think it created more problems than it solved.

If you want to make more stereo space in a mono-miced kit, I would recommend panning the room or close mics around until you find something cool rather than trying to fake a stereo spread.
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Here for the gear
 
m.vette's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Hello. Please forgive me for any "no-no's" as I'm relatively new to this.

When I've done this, I've gotten pretty good results varying the EQ & Compression on the fake L&R tracks, keeping the high frequencies for brightness the same, but accenting different parts of the mid-range.

Also, you might try adding a broad, but short decay reverb to one of the tracks and let that sits a little heavier in the mix than one of your 'fake' alternate tracks.

It's worth a shot if you can get it sounding right.
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
What is the benefit of a "fake" stereo overhead. It seems like the phasing issues would out weigh any possible benefit?
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I've heard of "mono overhead" but have never found a clear answer on how to use it. Is it where you just mix it to taste accept the mic is right in the middle? Doesn't it take up too much real estate in the center? Or are you supposed to pan the vocals around it?

The fake stereo was recommended to me by a guy I respect with some decent album credits, but he's not around now for me to ask anymore questions.
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Nothing wrong with just a mono overhead. Put it up the middle and pan the close tom mics or whatever to try for a little spread. Or just keep the kit mono in the mix, and add a little stereo room reverb if ya want a little more space.

Or pan the whole kit wherever you want....lots of great songs back in the day had the drums off to one side or the other. Not so fashionable now, but who knows, maybe it would work for your song.

Stereo-izing a mono overhead, to me, just makes it smeared and indistinct -- you're basically adding a chorus or modulation effect. The whole point of stereo overheads is to have distinct percussive elements across the field. Good mono is better than washed-out stereo....
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
...the beatles used a mono overhead..
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
chrisrnps's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Nothing wrong with keeping a mono overhead mono.

If you're desperate for 'stereo', put a little stereo room reverb on it, or play the track into an interesting-sounding room through a single speaker, and mic the room in stereo.

But I really like the 'mono or nearly so' drum sounds on some popular releases over the past couple years, like Outkast "Hey Ya" or the Interpol "Antics" album.

Old 1st April 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Beardhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Copy the overhead track two times, delay both by 1ms, pan one hard left and the other hard right. Phase invert one of the two. Keep them exactly the same (same EQ, same effects, same levels) and add them to your mono overhead track. It will greatly widen the sound and if put in mono it will cancel out => no phase issues.
I've done that before with mono overheads and it worked great.
Claus
Old 1st April 2009
  #11
Gear Guru
 
theblue1's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkSaunders ➑️
We were able to throw up one mic for the over head when recording the drums and I've been making this a fake stereo track, but I want to know how to do this properly without guessing.

I've been using short delay with a delay of around 13ms, but that's just a guess. Is there a way to dial that in properly and avoid phase issues without guessing?
I suspect that will cause more troubles than it solves.

You don't say in your OP what your miking was but if you've got a pair (or more) of tom mics, it's quite possible they will give you all the stereo info you need (assuming you're not gating them or such).

One of the best drum sounds I ever got was in a low mic count, 4 track recording situation. I had 4 mics I could use for drums, mixed down to two channels. IIRC, it was a 421 on the kick, a pair of SM57's out a little ways in front of the toms and snare, and a '58 (!) for an overhead. (Mind you, the treble didn't exactly sizzle. heh ) It was a good kit and a good drummer -- and, of course, that is 75% right there, by my take.
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #12
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Beardhead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 ➑️
One of the best drum sounds I ever got was in a low mic count
Perhaps if there aren't enough mics or tracks for the OP's recording a different approach would be in order? Like relying on room mics, recorderman etc.?
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #13
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andychamp's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Two methods I've used to "stereo-ize" mono tracks:

- split the signal to 2 identical graphic EQs. The more bands, the better. On the 1st EQ set every other slider to alternate extremes (i.e. 20Hz to full boost, 25Hz to full cut, 31Hz full boost, 40Hz full cut, and so on)
On the second unit, set the sliders the exact opposite.
Pan the two resulting tracks L & R respectively.

- reamp your mono signal in a good room and record in M/S stereo.
You could even simply record the S (side) signal alone and use your existing mono track as your M (middle) signal (I haven't tried this particular variation of M/S myself, but in theory it should work).
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
I will listen to those mentioned recordings later today. So, people don't find that cymbols up the middle fights with vocals too much?
Old 1st April 2009 | Show parent
  #15
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lobsterinn's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkSaunders ➑️
I will listen to those mentioned recordings later today. So, people don't find that cymbols up the middle fights with vocals too much?
Usually quite different frequency ranges...more often it would be the snare drum and vocals fighting for space. You can also try panning the drums and vocals just slightly away from each other.
Old 2nd April 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Tom H's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Feels weird discussing this without hearing it, hypothetically you can do anything with that mono track: pan left, pan right, autopan, automate the pan... double it, phase reverse it, reamp, re-record in stereo or ms, pan it's reverb, etc.

Just be aware that with all those tricks you will never get that "classic" stereo image of a drumkit, for wich you need to mike with two OH mics.

But you know, maybe the mono OH with a stereo verb is the most natural sounding option of all.
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