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  #1  
Old 01-16-2015, 11:15 PM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default A few recording questions

Hi all. My "band" or as I like to think of it, project, is starting to record our demo. We're both eager 17-year-olds and while I don't have much experience with recording at all, the other guy (bassist) is the sound guy at a church and has a bit of experience with recording. The issues we're having right now aren't super serious (Especially because this is a demo) but I still want them gone.
Note that we're using 2 overheads and a mic for each drum. I have two rack toms and one floor tom.
First, on the recording, the kick drum being hit causes the toms to resonate. I don't notice this a lot when playing, but it really makes the recording sound muddy. I just have a tama imperialstar kit so the toms are mounted on the kick drum. (Which is what's causing it) What's the best way to remedy this without buying a rack or stands with tom mounts?
Secondly, we're recording live. He plays through a DI and preamps and whatever else and also plays with a guitar amp, and mics it up, then blends the DI and amp in the recording. Because we're recording at the same time, though, the drums bleed into the amp mic and the bass bleeds into the drum mics. Are there any good ways to fix this? We'd very much prefer to record together, and we work much, much, better that way.

Sorry that I'm so very inexperienced with this. I'm super stoked to get this project going though! Once again, this doesn't need to sound perfect, but we want it to sound as good as possible. Thanks guys!
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  #2  
Old 01-16-2015, 11:40 PM
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No Way Jose No Way Jose is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by coopernichols View Post
drums bleed into the amp mic and the bass bleeds into the drum mics. Are there any good ways to fix this?
Noise gate will reduce background noise.
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  #3  
Old 01-16-2015, 11:44 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

Gate the tom tracks (and probably snare and kick)
Isolate the guitar mics and other ambient mics
Make certain your instruments are in-tune
Make certain to use directional mics.

Can you post a sample so we can hear what's going on?

Last edited by KamaK; 01-21-2015 at 07:22 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-17-2015, 01:11 AM
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Aeolian Aeolian is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by No Way Jose View Post
Noise gate will reduce background noise.
It will cut sound when nothing is happening, but if there is bleed you will still hear things on the track. You can't go back and punch in repairs very easily.

This is the way it was done for years. For a young band it's actually a good thing. It will force you to clean things up and balance yourselves. This made better musicians out of lots of folks when there was no other way. If you couldn't do it, you got replaced by the local wrecking crew.

Depending on the recording set up and what you have for plug-ins, you can gate the close mics on the drums. And eq so that each drum has a sonic space separate from other things. Especially taking things out of the overheads if you're close mic'ing all the drums.

Also, positioning in the room is key. The producers and engineers of all the classic rock albums learned by trial and error where to put things so they sounded their best and blended. That will give you more leverage than gear upgrades, and it's free. You can try hanging blankets over things to make gobos to separate amps somewhat. Look though pictures of classic recording sessions and see what they did. Then experiment.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:29 AM
New Tricks New Tricks is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

I would suggest that the drum resonance has nothing to do with the mounting configuration. Properly tuned drums will eliminate most if not all unwanted resonance.

Second, if you feel the need to record at the same time, use headphones and have him just use the DI box on a separate track.





Or, you just plug in your E kit and his DI box and push record :)
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2015, 06:55 PM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
Can you post a sample so we can hear what's going on?
I can't post one right now, as my dad's doing some work in the studio. Remember that we're amateurs to the extreme, and neither of us really knows what we're doing.

Thanks for the tips guys, I'll work on tuning the toms to resonate less, as well.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2015, 07:16 PM
ermghoti ermghoti is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

Use fewer mics, or, at least, only use the signal from the toms' close mics as effects sends. The recorderman setup will get a great stereo image of the whole kit with four mics, so as long as the drums actually sound good to begin with, you're in good shape.
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  #8  
Old 01-20-2015, 07:17 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by coopernichols View Post
I can't post one right now, as my dad's doing some work in the studio. Remember that we're amateurs to the extreme, and neither of us really knows what we're doing.

Thanks for the tips guys, I'll work on tuning the toms to resonate less, as well.
No worries.

There wasn't a single person here that was born with the knowledge and wisdom it takes to make high quality audio recording, and since the gear changes over time, we constantly have to keep re-learning. Couple this with several different recording and production philosophies and you'll find that there's no 'right' way to go about it, only several wrong ways.

Take your time, start simple, and have the individual band members learn to properly play, tune, mic, and isolate their instruments. Learn the process of recording and tracking. Learn to mix/master after you managed to capture something that's clean and doesn't require a lot of treatment so you're not constantly fighting with the tracks.

Good luck and post back periodically with your progress.
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2015, 07:38 PM
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eclipseownzu eclipseownzu is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by coopernichols View Post
Remember that we're amateurs to the extreme, and neither of us really knows what we're doing.
Dude, it doesn't have to be perfect. If you are expecting a professional sound out of this you are going to be disappointed. Let the toms ring, let the instruments bleed over into each other, make some mistakes, its all OK. Go in, record some songs, have fun and don't sweat the small stuff. Each time you record you will get a little better to the point where you can start working on iso tracks and gates and hit replacement. But remember, none of those things have anything to do with making music. Make sure you know the songs cold so you can be loose and get the best take possible and go make music.

Good luck man. Remember to have fun.
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  #10  
Old 01-20-2015, 09:53 PM
Retrovertigo Retrovertigo is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
Dude, it doesn't have to be perfect. If you are expecting a professional sound out of this you are going to be disappointed. Let the toms ring, let the instruments bleed over into each other, make some mistakes, its all OK. Go in, record some songs, have fun and don't sweat the small stuff. Each time you record you will get a little better to the point where you can start working on iso tracks and gates and hit replacement. But remember, none of those things have anything to do with making music. Make sure you know the songs cold so you can be loose and get the best take possible and go make music.

Good luck man. Remember to have fun.
absolutely perfect advice.

also, i don't like to use gates on a recording. i go in and manually edit the tom tracks. check out this video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RMJjPqobclo but I dont think you should be concerned with it. just sink your teeth into writing and playing.
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  #11  
Old 01-20-2015, 11:12 PM
SmoothOperator SmoothOperator is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by eclipseownzu View Post
Dude, it doesn't have to be perfect. If you are expecting a professional sound out of this you are going to be disappointed. Let the toms ring, let the instruments bleed over into each other, make some mistakes, its all OK. Go in, record some songs, have fun and don't sweat the small stuff. Each time you record you will get a little better to the point where you can start working on iso tracks and gates and hit replacement. But remember, none of those things have anything to do with making music. Make sure you know the songs cold so you can be loose and get the best take possible and go make music.

Good luck man. Remember to have fun.
I'm going to have to disagree. You can get professional grade or better tracks out of simple recording schemes(as long as the mics and recording hardware are good), the reason pro recording studios go to end of the earth isolating things is so they don't have to spend hours upon hours grooming tracks, it's a business they don't have time to play around, they would be just as happy using a prerecorded bass drum at uniform volume, synced to the actual bass drum, because it makes getting that maximum head room sound easier. It's my personal opinion though, that this leads to a sterile sound, and much of the beauty of the drums are eliminated.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2015, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: A few recording questions

Don't use a gate. You will hear it open and close. If you set it high it will click, if you set it low it will just be open all the time any way. Compression in front of the recorded tracks and some kind of eq. When you mix you can gate the tom tracks and eliminate the noise until the toms are played. For the bass tracks have him play a scratch track. He will play live with you but only DI so that it will only be heard in your headphones. This will give your drum tracks a "live feel". When your done mic him up and he will play along with the very "live" feeling drums that will now be in his headphones. If this is the part where you tell us you don't have a PA or headphones then good luck. If you get something usable let me know how you did it.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2015, 06:44 AM
Retrovertigo Retrovertigo is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by SmoothOperator View Post
I'm going to have to disagree. You can get professional grade or better tracks out of simple recording schemes(as long as the mics and recording hardware are good), the reason pro recording studios go to end of the earth isolating things is so they don't have to spend hours upon hours grooming tracks, it's a business they don't have time to play around, they would be just as happy using a prerecorded bass drum at uniform volume, synced to the actual bass drum, because it makes getting that maximum head room sound easier. It's my personal opinion though, that this leads to a sterile sound, and much of the beauty of the drums are eliminated.
a professional can definitely make great records with modest gear and setups. but they do it for a living. we're talking about two guys who are very green when it comes to recording. it's their first effort. its gonna sound pretty rough. focus on writing and playing. the more they record the better they will get at it. also, your concept of what goes on in a studio and the type of people that work there seems a bit off. sound engineers want to get awesome sounds regardless of the work necessary to get there.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2015, 06:59 AM
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BillRayDrums BillRayDrums is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

A set of drums, great or not but with decent heads and tuned well will sound amazing on even a cheap set of mics.

It's all about the skill of delivery and capture. If the player's great they will get the sounds that are required. If the engineer is competent a cheap set of mics will be just fine.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2015, 01:30 PM
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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You can get professional grade or better tracks out of simple recording schemes(as long as the mics and recording hardware are good).
I will definitely disagree with you. There are people who can get professional sounds out of two cans and a string, these kids are not them. My advice is not to worry so much about the mechanics of recording but to focus on the performance aspect.

I will also admit I am a fan of the old recordings where things were far less sterile. If I could get a recording today that sounds as good as the old MC5 or Stooges records I would take that over any "modern" sounding record out there.
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  #16  
Old 01-21-2015, 07:51 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

All parts of a recording, from the performance all the way through to the playback device, can make or break the experience. All are of equal importance.

I've always bee of the philosophy that a musician should know all of the facets of their instrument. This would include how to play it, tuning, maintenance, how to mic it, how to isolate it, how to play to a metronome, how to clean it, how to transport it, how to break it down and set it up in 5 mins, etc.

I agree that these young'ins should focus on the performance, and do their best to learn the recording related facets of their instrument. Mic'ing, isolating, tracking, etc. Mainly, they will need to learn how to play together while recording and not want to kill one another.

After the performance is captured, one can retire to the mixing console and begin experimenting with some of the production and engineering disciplines, or hand it off to someone more capable with a sympathetic ear.

Focusing on one aspect being more important than the other is a chicken/egg debate.
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  #17  
Old 01-21-2015, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: A few recording questions

I didn't read every reply in detail, but yes, properly tuned and killer sounding toms may "ring" when you play around the kit and the tom close mics will pick that up. It's quite annoying.

Don't use the mic clips that mount to the toms for starters. Also experiment with different tunings on all of the drums and maybe a little moon gel here and there.

Lastly, use a gate on the tom mics in the recording software after you record, so you can dial them in perfectly. All of this works like a charm for me.
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  #18  
Old 01-26-2015, 11:01 PM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

I discovered that the weird ringing from the toms is actually almost entirely the floor tom ringing when I hit the kick. *facepalm* So now I need to just tune it right. I'll post a demo ASAP! :)
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Old 01-26-2015, 11:06 PM
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Default Re: A few recording questions

I get that with the floor tom all the time. Doesn't really bother me, it just makes the kick boom more :)
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Old 02-03-2015, 01:54 AM
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by The SunDog View Post
Don't use a gate. You will hear it open and close. If you set it high it will click, if you set it low it will just be open all the time any way. Compression in front of the recorded tracks and some kind of eq.
Tracking with compression will suck up the level of other things. Typically cymbals, which tend to be played too loudly and take up all the sonic space, will get even louder in the balance. Also, if you have excessive ringing in toms, that will get more exposure. You can use one as a sort of peak limiter but if you're banging into it all the time, you'll just get a strong pumping sound as it kicks in and out. I have a few compressors and sometimes use an old DBX 160X on the kick. But I actually get a deeper sound when it's barely on than squeezing with it.

Agree 10X with everyone who says just roll the tape (or turn on the computer) and go. You can only get so much from brain food. You have to put it into practice to understand what people were talking about. Your first recordings will probably horrify you. Don't worry about it. It's the greatest learning experience possible. Decide what you want to change, try it and listen back again. As you find things that you're not sure why they happen, go on recording forums and ask specific questions. Ignore the gearheads who tell you to buy this or that and look for folks who talk about moving the mics, moving the drums in the room. Things like with the Recorderman technique making sure both mics are exactly the same distance from the center of the snare.

Most importantly, have fun and remember it's about the music. The learning curve is steep. Stick with it and you'll be nailing them out in no time.
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Old 02-03-2015, 02:31 AM
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Anon La Ply Anon La Ply is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

A few thoughts:

Focus on performance. If the spirit, vibe and sound of the music being played is good then it will shine through as per Billy Ray's comment.

This site has helped me with EQ and sound quality. Beware of 300-400Hz if you dislike muddiness: http://www.recordingeq.com/EQ/req0400/OctaveEQ.htm

Use directional mics for close micing. Use omnis for overheads.

Agree with Smoothoperator that punch-ins sound sterile. Just play the damn music :)

Snare buzz and tom ring are facts of life. Many engineers like very dampened drums, separated so they can bring the life back in with reverb. It's easier than tuning the drums well and adjusting tuning to reduce sympathetic ring.

You might like to check out Bob Gatzen videos on tuning - he discusses adjusting tuning of a drum to reduce snare buzz. I imagine the principle would be much the same with ringing toms - some frequencies will make a nearby drum head vibrate more than others.
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Old 04-22-2015, 04:35 AM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

It's been a while since I started this thread, but we have a quick demo from a jam we did a while ago. We haven't done too much post-processing on anything with the drums, and I'm not quite happy with how the snare or kick sound. Let me know what you guys think.
https://soundcloud.com/aesh-5/rough-jam-demo
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  #23  
Old 04-22-2015, 05:46 AM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by coopernichols View Post
It's been a while since I started this thread, but we have a quick demo from a jam we did a while ago. We haven't done too much post-processing on anything with the drums, and I'm not quite happy with how the snare or kick sound. Let me know what you guys think.
https://soundcloud.com/aesh-5/rough-jam-demo
Very cool stuff. Really enjoyed it.

Curious to hear what it will sound like when you touch up the mix/EQ.
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Old 06-21-2015, 05:32 AM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Very cool stuff. Really enjoyed it.

Curious to hear what it will sound like when you touch up the mix/EQ.
It's been a while. (Again) Buuut, we did touch up the mix a bit on this new demo. (it's just from a jam)

https://aesh.bandcamp.com/track/jam-...ion-better-mix

It's still nothing great, but I'm very happy with how the kick sounds, and basically every cymbal except for the hats sounds good enough for me. The only thing I'm really not satisfied with is the snare. It's a 13x7 Pork Pie Hip Pig, and I love the way it sounds in person (very loud and crack-y) but for some reason(s) we can't seem to get the right mic'd sound from it. Any tips on that, maybe relating to mic placement?
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Old 06-21-2015, 01:23 PM
drum4fun27302 drum4fun27302 is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

The snare sounds like there is no snare on it.

Usually an sm57 pointed to the center of the batter head does the trick
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Old 06-21-2015, 02:45 PM
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Galadrm Galadrm is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

One of my favourite snare placements is with the snare mic parallel to the head surface, about an inch above the head and 1/2 an inch over the rim. The snare sounds very dry as well. When a snare is too dry and muffled it can also stop the sounds of the snare coming through. You could try some eq on the snare mic between 4-6kHz to also bring out the 'snares' a bit more.
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Old 06-21-2015, 07:03 PM
KamaK KamaK is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by coopernichols View Post
It's been a while. (Again) Buuut, we did touch up the mix a bit on this new demo. (it's just from a jam)

https://aesh.bandcamp.com/track/jam-...ion-better-mix
Great stuff. The music and performance is good enough that it warrants some real consideration in order to get the recording right.

As others have pointed out, the snare needs work. You want to capture the crack of the top head, you want to capture the sizzle of the bottom. This is often resolved with two mics, or the placement of the left overhead condenser directly over the snare and a dynamic under the snare pointing at the wires. When I record, I tend to run the wires a touch looser than I do when I play.

Sound stage needs a little work so that it doesn't sound so much like a bunch of disparate tracks. This is easy to resolve with a room mic, and harder to resolve with actual studio/mixing/engineering talent and experience.

Aside from that, you're on the right track (pun). Keep it up. Looking forward to hearing more.
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Old 06-21-2015, 09:07 PM
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gdmoore28 gdmoore28 is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

I actually liked the way the toms sounded in the first clip. They were more alive and resonant. The bass drum is much improved, as is the snare, but the snare sound is just so dry and uninspiring. You can add body and vibrance to the snare by simply adding reverb to it. But a deeper, 14" snare tuned tight (but not choked!) would be even better - and don't forget the reverb. (Snare only) I'm enjoying hearing your work. Keep it coming.

GeeDeeEmm
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:02 AM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by KamaK View Post
As others have pointed out, the snare needs work. You want to capture the crack of the top head, you want to capture the sizzle of the bottom. This is often resolved with two mics, or the placement of the left overhead condenser directly over the snare and a dynamic under the snare pointing at the wires. When I record, I tend to run the wires a touch looser than I do when I play.
Yep. The snare's really the only thing I really don't like right now. We have our first show coming up in not too long, so I won't be able to record much until after that (we're scrambling to make and practice a setlist, etc.) but I'll definitely try all that when I have time. Thanks for the tips :)
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:04 AM
coopernichols coopernichols is offline
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Default Re: A few recording questions

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Originally Posted by gdmoore28 View Post
I actually liked the way the toms sounded in the first clip. They were more alive and resonant. The bass drum is much improved, as is the snare, but the snare sound is just so dry and uninspiring. You can add body and vibrance to the snare by simply adding reverb to it. But a deeper, 14" snare tuned tight (but not choked!) would be even better - and don't forget the reverb. (Snare only) I'm enjoying hearing your work. Keep it coming.
Thanks for the feedback. I agree about the toms. We were trying another way of recording them in the new demo, but I think I'll go back to the first way next time we record.
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