mic overhead positions

nacdrummer3

Member
Well im getting ready to record really soon and i was wondering where to place the overhead mics. I am currently rocking about 13 cymbals and please no one lecture me on how 13 is to much. I play thrash metal and do alot of ride work along with various complicated splash and Chinese patterns while playing. I am triggering the toms and bass drums and i am miking the snare in two places which i already have got figured out. I was just wondering for such a huge package of cymbals where should i place the mics considering i do alot of ride splash and Chinese work? The picture that i have hopefully uploaded is my current setup minus all the toms on the right. It is missing two cymbals and everything is generally in the same place. So where would you place the mics?
 

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jimmyakaspanky

Senior Member
I'm no recording technician, but if you only had 2 overheads, I'd place them where it the cut's the cymbals into 3rd's.
you know what I'm saying?

-----mic------mic------
Something like that

Or if you can afford an extra one...or maybe two with that many cymbals haha it would be good.
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
I'm no studio engineer but from the looks of the room, you are going to pick up a ton of bleed over from those bare walls. If it were me, I would use 3 mics.

Kick, snare/hats

then drop one mike overhead directly above the floor tom about 3ft or so.


I have heard drum recordings using just 1 mic !

Believe it or not, the acoustics of the room were such that only 1 mic produced an awesome recording. You would have to hear it to believe it.
 

pdp 9091

Gold Member
be careful about phase problems too. each mic picking up the same sound should be 3x higher than the one below it.
 

nate

Pioneer Member
I'm no studio engineer but from the looks of the room, you are going to pick up a ton of bleed over from those bare walls. If it were me, I would use 3 mics.

Kick, snare/hats

then drop one mike overhead directly above the floor tom about 3ft or so.


I have heard drum recordings using just 1 mic !

Believe it or not, the acoustics of the room were such that only 1 mic produced an awesome recording. You would have to hear it to believe it.

you heard the intro for When the Levee Breaks by Led Zep?
 

Nodiggie

Gold Member
Yes, just did again for the countless time. I never knew it was done with one mic. There is a track from one of their albums that has a cut or splice on the hats. Our producer was telling me about it. Can't remember which track it is but will check it out and get back to you for a listen. lol
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
X/Y, definitely.

I've tried several different positions with my overheads, and it's the most realistic. It picks up sound from the side rather than the top, and it's more like the sound that you hear.

The easiest way to do this is to pick up a stereo bar (an inexpensive one is about 9 dollars, and I use one) and put both mics on it, and then the bar on one mic stand. Then put the mics directly above your head, a good bit up. Then point one mic a little bit inward from your farthest left cymbal, directly at that point, and the same for the right.

Also, stick a pencil condenser on the ride and hats. It helps when mixing, since you can bring them forward in the mix.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
A good drum sound is all about a good room sound. In your case, it depends how many mics you have to play with. If it's not a great sounding room, then more close mics will help a lot. X/Y sounds like a good idea, although I've had some trouble with that setup before in less good sounding rooms. Experiment, and see what works best.
 

dkerwood

Silver Member
No matter what you do, make sure that the two overheads are equally far away from your snare.
 

Rezn8

Member
I'd really like to help but first you gotta tell us what kind of mics are we talking here? Dynamics? Condensers? SDCs? What pattern? Omni? Hpercardioid? Are the two mics a matched pair?

Regardless of how big your kit is, I suggest turning the kit around if you can. The drums look too close to the wall in that picture. The ROOM and where the drums are in that room will also play a huge role in the placement of mics.
 

nacdrummer3

Member
Hey well where i am recording is not in that room it is just the most recent picture of my drum set. And i am usuing two condensor mics and one dynamic mic. The toms and bass are triggered so i was just wondering about the best over all mic positions that people have experienced. And yes i know that where the drums are in the room play a big factor. The acoustics in the room are very good and the drums have a tight sound to them which i like its just we arent getting the best pick up for the cymbals. The snare seems to be good its just the cymbals i am having trouble with.
 

Rezn8

Member
Still need to know the mic pick up pattern and size of the condenser mics. Large Diaphragm mics will sound different from pencil condensers. Omni will pick up much more of everything than hyper-cardioid.

Cymbals tend to live in the higher registers so maybe boosting the hi-frequencies with an eq will get you closer to what you're looking for.

That said: for more cymbal detail, I suggest you try either spaced pair or ORTF. For spaced pair, place them about 2-3 feet above the cymbals. A good idea is to try and center each mic so it picks up the majority of the cymbals you have. How wide apart depends on how large of a footprint all those cymbals take up but ALWAYS check for phase between the two mics.

I've had great success with ORTF positioned behind me about 6 feet up facing diagonally down toward the cymbals. The XY pattern suggested earlier is good for phase coherence but it never gives me enough stereo spread during mixdown.

Even though you're triggering I would still use the dynamic mic for the front of the kick, then blend it in with the triggered sound. OR you can close mic the hi-hat. Or even use that as a front of kit or room mic and compress the hell out of it.

Check my Youtube stereo tracks for examples.

http://www.youtube.com/evinger

Good luck - be patient and keep experimenting 'til you get a sound you like, Rez
 
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