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  #1  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:08 PM
My Preserver My Preserver is offline
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Location: London
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Default Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Hey guys. I have just joined here, so first off wanted to say hi. I have been showed this site time and time again by many of my drummer friends and only now have I finally signed up. Madness...But at least I'm on here now.

I am posting with regards drum skins and drum sound.

I am going into the studio to record within the next couple of weeks or so and want to experiment with some skins to get my ultimate sound. I am recording on my bands debut album and want this to be the very best piece of work I have done to date!

I would love to hear people opinions on how they think i can achieve my ultimate sound. Which is to me, as best as I can describe...

Fat, Rock, deep, controlled, not over sustaining, but not choked in an instant, clear not muffled.

It is to record Electro Rock music. If you would like to get an idea of the sounds I am recording, please visit my bands myspace at myspace.com/mypreserver. please note that these are just poor demos with me playing only on the first two tracks.

My equipment is as follows:

1996 Maple Drum Workshop. Rogers Dynasonic 14" by I think 5.5" metal tin snare.

Bass is 22", plus 10, 12, 14 and 16" toms.

I currently use clear Remo Pinstripes and a Remo controlled dot coated head on the snare. I have a power stroke 3 on the bass drum and would like to improve the resonant head which is a standard DW skin on the front. I also have an ambassador 2 ply on the bottom of the floor tom to get a slightly more controlled fatter floor tom sound.

Please give me your advice on things to try, opinions, tear my current set up apart, but please make it constructive as I really want to learn how i can improve my sound.

Thanks for your time

Ash
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2009, 11:17 PM
eddiehimself's Avatar
eddiehimself eddiehimself is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Okay well if you want a nice "rock" sound but without too much sustain then try some 2 ply heads as batters. Have the toms tuned quite low down so you get a nice fat sustain rather than a "ringing" sound. For a nice attack on the kick, use something like a PS3 and tune it down low. You'll probably want to stick a pillow or some foam in there to damp down the sound and maybe take the reso head off, or at least a ported head so you can easily stick a microphone in there and stick it next to the batter head, which is important for a tight sounding kick. I should imagine that's the sort of sound you're going for?
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  #3  
Old 07-30-2009, 09:05 PM
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witchcraftery witchcraftery is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Use E-rings for a really dead, controlled sound. then EQ it and make it sound fat.
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2009, 07:43 AM
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DrumEatDrum DrumEatDrum is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

I've always been a two-ply head guy.

But when I'm in a recording studio, I put on clear Ambassadors (single ply).

More attack, more sustain.

Of course, they don't last as long, but it helps get a great tone for recording.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2009, 05:05 AM
dankav dankav is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Hey,

Like the band. I'm endorsed by Aquarian and use Performance II for toms, High Energy on the snare and a Super Kick II. I really recommend this, barely more than finger tight on the toms and it still sounds bright, but with a nice thud.

Here's my advice. Use brand new ones for the session, and if time isn't a luxury (i.e. if you are rolling tape on the first day) make sure the drums are in tune the night before, obviously tweak it when you are set up. Pay attention to the bottom heads, this really makes all the difference.

Take some Moon Gel, this is amazing stuff, and Zero rings too, oh - and gaffa. Never leave without it!

Every room is different, so you have to adapt, and do what ever works on the day - you might leave the rack, and completely need to kill the floor tom with dampening. Listen to your producer, and remember what you hear in the room isn't what they're hearing at the desk, but say if you don't like the sound.

And before you start recording, remember what you're trying to achieve, think of your heroes and give it what you've got.

And when in doubt, ask yourself "what would Dave Grohl do?". I find this is usually the best course of action!

Good luck
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  #6  
Old 12-03-2010, 09:57 AM
My Preserver My Preserver is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Hi guys. My absolute apologies for no response for your most useful, very greatly appreciated responses.

I listend to all of your advice which prooved to be most useful!

And here was my overall out come..

I tried some standard ambasadors to see how much sustain I was dealing with... I found them personally to be too resonant, whilst delivering a rather thin/light sound.

I Then tried pinstripes. I found these to be a big improvement... Some say they choke the sound... True if you're a jazzer, but for Rock/Funk/Pop, they certainly hold a level of control over the overtones.

I then swapped my standard bottom heads for some pinstripes. This had a very nice compressed sound to it.

I then tried taking off the batter side clear pinstripes to try some Evans coated EC2's.

I decided to stick with them for the recording as I was very happy with them. I will endevor to keep trying skin combinations for my kit (which is a DW from 1996 made of maple), and Snare drum is a Rogers Dynasonic Tin snare drum and For some songs, a Premier 1960's Olympic snare drum - I used Remo Controlled sound coated for these.

And here is the out come...

WWW.MYPRESERVER.COM

Please let me know your thoughts. Unfortunately this wasn't recorded onto tape. It was recorded into Pro Tools, however, album number two is hopfully going to be recorded onto tape.

A special thanks to Dankav!-I imagined playing on stage at Wembley Stadium! :)

Incase anyone's interested, I'll be playing with My Preserver on Tuesday 7th Dec at the barfly in Camden....
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  #7  
Old 12-03-2010, 10:48 AM
ricc333 ricc333 is offline
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Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Hey man, congrats on getting your band in the studio. You're probably going to be fine because you give a damn. That's 50% of getting a good sound in the studio. You've already experimented with different kinds of heads, so you already know how they make your drums sound different. What you choose from there is really more about what you like than anything, so I'm not going to waste your time with that.

However, I don't know how much recording you've done or anything. I've done a hell of a lot. These days I feel like I know what I'm talking about, but between me being younger, working with people that didn't care and not having the right gear, I've learned from a face-full of failures. So in hopes that I can save you from some of my mistakes, I'll pass along some things I thought of after reading your post that hopefully will help you get at what your're after.

1. What works live probably sucks in the studio. Sad but true. That big huge open sound, flowing with overtones that is pornorific live, sounds like ass in the studio. It's because you're tuning for a different audience....really. Your audience in the studio is primarily a bunch of mics (think: ears) just 3-4" away from your drum heads. As such, you have to at least take into consideration what those mics "hear" even over your own ears. Once you like how you tuned your drums, record a minute or two of you playing and listen back. You'll be suprised the problems you can hear that way. In other words, listen to what your mics hear before you start laying tracks. What those mics hear is what your fans will hear.

2. Address the problems you find from the source. Any sound problem you have with your drums, check the drums first, then the mics, then the rest of the gear. Chances are the guy behind the mixer doesn't give a damn about your drums. If that's you, great, but more than likely it's not. Lesser engineers/producers might address problems by moving mics, EQ-ing things....yadda yadda yadda. You get the idea. Don't let them do anything like that until you've addressed your drums first. Tuning, random hardware noises, things like that....even that crack in your crash cymbal announcing its arrival...handle all of that first before you let anyone monkey with other stuff. People might throw in EQ, compression, and whatever to "fix" those problems, but you really want to handle as much as you can before those sounds ever get to the mics. This is what separates the pros from the......engineers.

3. Learn everything you can about recording. Get rid of the middleman. The more you know about recording, the better your part will be. I'm not dogging engineers, but one thing the studios I've worked like about me is that I can walk in with my own mics, set everything up, and explain "my sound" to everyone there that has to deal with it. They don't really have to figure anything out. It's not like I walk in and go "this is MY sound" and all that. I've just already done their work for them. They're willing to work hard for you after you already did their job for them.

4. Get over the "I want my drums to sound like drummer/album". Listen and enjoy those albums, but leave it on the street in front of your studio. It annoys engineers, and you're not gonna get that. Whatever it is you're after was recorded in a certain period, with certain drums with certain heads tuned a certain way with certain mics going to certain gear in a certain room with a certain drummer and a certain engineer. If you want to waste your time trying to redo all of that, I hope you have a lot of time. Instead, take your drums, your/the studio's gear, in your studio's room, and take everything all of that is giving you, and get your sound that way. If you take nothing else from this.....just don't walk in and say "I want my drums to sound like drummer/album". Any time I have my producer/engineer and a drummer starts with that, I shut it right down. Usually all I say is, "Why are you afraid of people hearing that drummer/this record?"

5. Just play your drums, man. The heart of any great drum track is great playing. A decent drum performance will trump a great drum sound every time. If you have your parts down, and can play them without feeling heat from the red light, it doesn't matter if your drums sound less than great. Mics capture emotions, dynamics, feel....they hear it all...good and bad. Make sure they hear all the good stuff.

Take that with a grain of salt, go make a good recording, and post a bit back here when you're all proud of it. If you want people to hear it, you probably did something you feel good about. Be honest with yourself and spend the time between now and then going over every aspect of it you can, and have fun with it.

I love recording drums. It's not easy, but it's not hard either. Be a professional. Cover all your bases, and if the engineer can't cover his, step your game up. You'll sound good, you'll play better being that prepared, people will admire your preparedness, and girls will flock all over you.

Ok...maybe the girl thing was a lie.....girls don't give a damn about recording.

Best of luck man. Go show all them how we drummers handle our business.
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  #8  
Old 12-03-2010, 04:19 PM
My Preserver My Preserver is offline
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: London
Posts: 6
Default Re: Studio recording drum sound advice wanted pretty please! :)

Thanks very much. Some very wise information there. I think you're absolutely right. If you have got your sh*t together, so to speak including your sound, your playing and your attitude, then that will be evident in the end result... The recording.

I always find mic placement an interesting thing, and trying out different mics too.

I really want to record to tape next time though and see the difference in sound. After comparing the two from a recording I heard in a studio one time, there is just no comparrison... Tape anytime.

Ash

Quote:
Originally Posted by ricc333 View Post
Hey man, congrats on getting your band in the studio. You're probably going to be fine because you give a damn. That's 50% of getting a good sound in the studio. You've already experimented with different kinds of heads, so you already know how they make your drums sound different. What you choose from there is really more about what you like than anything, so I'm not going to waste your time with that.

However, I don't know how much recording you've done or anything. I've done a hell of a lot. These days I feel like I know what I'm talking about, but between me being younger, working with people that didn't care and not having the right gear, I've learned from a face-full of failures. So in hopes that I can save you from some of my mistakes, I'll pass along some things I thought of after reading your post that hopefully will help you get at what your're after.

1. What works live probably sucks in the studio. Sad but true. That big huge open sound, flowing with overtones that is pornorific live, sounds like ass in the studio. It's because you're tuning for a different audience....really. Your audience in the studio is primarily a bunch of mics (think: ears) just 3-4" away from your drum heads. As such, you have to at least take into consideration what those mics "hear" even over your own ears. Once you like how you tuned your drums, record a minute or two of you playing and listen back. You'll be suprised the problems you can hear that way. In other words, listen to what your mics hear before you start laying tracks. What those mics hear is what your fans will hear.

2. Address the problems you find from the source. Any sound problem you have with your drums, check the drums first, then the mics, then the rest of the gear. Chances are the guy behind the mixer doesn't give a damn about your drums. If that's you, great, but more than likely it's not. Lesser engineers/producers might address problems by moving mics, EQ-ing things....yadda yadda yadda. You get the idea. Don't let them do anything like that until you've addressed your drums first. Tuning, random hardware noises, things like that....even that crack in your crash cymbal announcing its arrival...handle all of that first before you let anyone monkey with other stuff. People might throw in EQ, compression, and whatever to "fix" those problems, but you really want to handle as much as you can before those sounds ever get to the mics. This is what separates the pros from the......engineers.

3. Learn everything you can about recording. Get rid of the middleman. The more you know about recording, the better your part will be. I'm not dogging engineers, but one thing the studios I've worked like about me is that I can walk in with my own mics, set everything up, and explain "my sound" to everyone there that has to deal with it. They don't really have to figure anything out. It's not like I walk in and go "this is MY sound" and all that. I've just already done their work for them. They're willing to work hard for you after you already did their job for them.

4. Get over the "I want my drums to sound like drummer/album". Listen and enjoy those albums, but leave it on the street in front of your studio. It annoys engineers, and you're not gonna get that. Whatever it is you're after was recorded in a certain period, with certain drums with certain heads tuned a certain way with certain mics going to certain gear in a certain room with a certain drummer and a certain engineer. If you want to waste your time trying to redo all of that, I hope you have a lot of time. Instead, take your drums, your/the studio's gear, in your studio's room, and take everything all of that is giving you, and get your sound that way. If you take nothing else from this.....just don't walk in and say "I want my drums to sound like drummer/album". Any time I have my producer/engineer and a drummer starts with that, I shut it right down. Usually all I say is, "Why are you afraid of people hearing that drummer/this record?"

5. Just play your drums, man. The heart of any great drum track is great playing. A decent drum performance will trump a great drum sound every time. If you have your parts down, and can play them without feeling heat from the red light, it doesn't matter if your drums sound less than great. Mics capture emotions, dynamics, feel....they hear it all...good and bad. Make sure they hear all the good stuff.

Take that with a grain of salt, go make a good recording, and post a bit back here when you're all proud of it. If you want people to hear it, you probably did something you feel good about. Be honest with yourself and spend the time between now and then going over every aspect of it you can, and have fun with it.

I love recording drums. It's not easy, but it's not hard either. Be a professional. Cover all your bases, and if the engineer can't cover his, step your game up. You'll sound good, you'll play better being that prepared, people will admire your preparedness, and girls will flock all over you.

Ok...maybe the girl thing was a lie.....girls don't give a damn about recording.

Best of luck man. Go show all them how we drummers handle our business.
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_ www.mypreserver.com _
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