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Old 07-25-2013, 09:25 AM
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LimpyLoo LimpyLoo is offline
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Join Date: May 2013
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Default Re: Need Advice For Recording YouTube Covers

Here is my opinion, and it might be slightly controversial, but it's grounded in my having a fair amount of experience in the recording/production side of music, as well as having seen tens of thousands of drum videos on Youtube.

Why I think close-micing is a bad idea:

If you don't have any experience mixing (as in the thing that mixing engineers do), then I would honestly recommend just using one or two overhead condensers and just worrying about getting that to sound good. The reason I say this is because if you close-mic every piece of your kit then it will require more mixing chops to sound good than if you throw up, say, a stereo pair of condensers and capture the gestalt of the kit.

Close-micing is a very delicate technique. The whole point of close-micing is that it offers greater control for mixing. The problem is that it takes some work to make it sound natural. For instance close-micing introduces what's called Proximity Effect, whereby the lower frequencies (usually between 50-200hz) of a drum are exaggerated.

I see so many videos where someone has taken the effort to close mic their kit, but then they don't EQ (equalize) any of the mics, and so the kit sounds very muddy and flabby. [Generally speaking, every piece of the kit should get hi-pass filtered to reduce muddiness: the snare drum and the toms, for instance, at 80-120hz; the kick drum at perhaps 20-40hz, just to eliminate non-musical rumble that hinders clarity and eats up headroom] Also, close-micing generally doesn't capture any room ambiance and so often the kit will sound artificially dry if overheads aren't mixed in properly.

Also, do you know what Phase Alignment is? If you don't, it's a nightmare, and it is sorta the perfect example of why you should try to minimize the amount of audio engineering you have to learn and execute.

what I recommend instead:

I would recommend getting, like I said, one or two condenser mics (preferably a matched pair if you get two) a decent-ish 2-channel preamp/interface (maybe track down a used Duet), get Audacity or a cheap DAW that looks appealing to you. Actually, often when you buy a new interface it comes with a stripped-down DAW, which is perfect for your purposes.

From here I would recommend doing a healthy amount of research on overhead mic placement, followed by experimenting with your room to find a good balance of all the pieces of the kit, plus the amount of room ambiance. If you have only one mic, you could have the mic hovering about a foot over the kick drum positioned roughly near your right knee, pointing at the snare drum. This placement is capable of getting great balance.

Also, make sure you learn about clipping and gain-staging and everything that is entailed in a signal chain. [essentially, the signal that hits the mic is like a dump truck and all of the stages of the signal chain are like bridges and you have to make sure the dump truck has enough clearance so that it doesn't hit the bridges and cause damage].

And then if you decide to learn about stuff like EQ and Compression you can take your stuff up a notch, quality-wise.


Anyway, cheers and good luck!


P.S. let me know if you want specific advice about gear and software.
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