Drummers Who Play Other Instruments And Record

MoreBeer

Silver Member
I'm about to attempt to do my own thing as in laying down guitar, bass, maybe some keys along with drums obviously. I've toyed around with only guitar and bass in the past on Garage Band and Amplitube although would like to hear something from those more advanced than myself and hear a few samples.

If you fit the bill and have some tracks up online, I'm all ears! Gotta be real however and only you playing everything....nothing canned such as generic loops or friends adding to the content.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
I'm getting into this myself and once I get the 2nd overhead mic I ordered for recording drums I'll have something ROUGH for people to listen to!
How are you going about recording everything?
I've got a Zoom R16 and I'm recording scratch guitar tracks to the metronome on the Zoom, then I put my drum tracks to the scratch track/click, then go back and redo the guitar tracks and add bass tracks and vocals.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
I'm getting into this myself and once I get the 2nd overhead mic I ordered for recording drums I'll have something ROUGH for people to listen to!
How are you going about recording everything?
I've got a Zoom R16 and I'm recording scratch guitar tracks to the metronome on the Zoom, then I put my drum tracks to the scratch track/click, then go back and redo the guitar tracks and add bass tracks and vocals.
I'm going to use Amplitube guitar amp modeling software to lay down bass and guitar. Probably do something like 30 - 60 second tracks then bring into Garage Band and loop them so I get about 2-3 minutes. I'll probably do a short intro track as well. If adding keys, I'll plug that right into Garage Band to record.

At that point I'll import the data into Studio One Artist along with this little PreSonus box that just arrived with the rest of my modest studio gear and track the drums using two Audio Technica 2020's. Hopefully I'll get a decent sounding mp3 after assembling it all.

Its going to be an interesting experiment and I'm sure it'll be a few months until I get to the point where I can get some decent results. At first, I'll just do my own music structured on bass lines I make up and go from there.

If all works out well, I'll probably get a larger interface so I can add a few more mics on the drums.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Just unboxed my minimal drum studio setup today. Hopefully this wont be a "long and winding road". LOL! It'll probably be more difficult than I anticipate playing bass guitar, guitar and occasional keys then adding drums. Guess I'll find out soon enough. Just hope the small setup with 2 mics will provide decent sounding drums. I'm sure a ton of mic placement tests will be on the agenda.

 

KamaK

Platinum Member
The tips that I can give:

1: Record a scratch to the click. Write down the BPM.
- I usually do this with acoustic guitar. On the scratch track, really telegraph the backbeat.
2: Think about Bass Guitar / Bass Drum sync before recording either.
3: When recording drums, I record the straight grooves first... No fills or cymbals.

- I'm perpetually dissatisfied with my on-the-fly fills and I always have regrets when I listen to cymbals on playback. Either I get the dynamic wrong, or would have preferred to hit a different crash, etc. Recording them later gives me more options, and I get to play fills against an 8 bar loop to experiment or play something above my grade.
 

Erberderber

Senior Member
It's great that you're doing this. I got frustrated last year as I started to get a bunch of ideas for songs, but weren't suitable for the band I was in. So I looked into going it alone. I got Reason installed on my computer and bought a home recording pack (condenser microphone, audio interface and studio headphones). Seeing as I don't have the space in my apartment, the only things I was able to do live were sing and play the guitar (I know the OP said that we should contribute to the thread only if we play everything). I did however, write and compose all the tracks totally from scratch. No imported loops, no ready made templates, no samples and no help from anyone. Everything was programmed manually.

I've created a Soundcloud page which pretends to be a record label that houses different artists. All of these 'artists' are in fact me. Ive had a lot of fun doing it and it has proved to be very rewarding creating something from nothing. I know the quality could be better but I don't think it's bad considering the limited resourses. One thing I can say is that vocals are particularly difficult to get right. I would like to move somewhere that has a space in which I can record live drums and other instruments, but I don't have that option right now.

Here's the link to the page (the tracks sound better on a good pair of headphones).

https://soundcloud.com/videsse
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
Just unboxed my minimal drum studio setup today. Hopefully this wont be a "long and winding road". LOL! It'll probably be more difficult than I anticipate playing bass guitar, guitar and occasional keys then adding drums. Guess I'll find out soon enough. Just hope the small setup with 2 mics will provide decent sounding drums. I'm sure a ton of mic placement tests will be on the agenda.

Have you done much drum recording or is this your first time? Check out this YouTube video for different mic setups to record drums with two mics:
https://youtu.be/YV-N_gA6gDI?list=PLXqUJ-TLUZBqYdwfmqmoqLKi-Y2aFFvpj

There's a ton of other 2 mic drum recording videos on YouTube I just like that one because it's short and to the point.

I'm going to be using 2 MXL V57M Large Diaphragm Condenser mics for my overheads, a Shure SM57 on the snare and a Shure PG52 on the kick drum, hopefully I can get the sound I want with that setup because I'd rather not have to mic each tom individually.
 

PorkPieGuy

Platinum Member
I've done this, and it was a hot mess. I recorded an entire project:

8 songs total. All originals.

Parts included the following:

Drums
Bass
Congos/Bongos
Shakers
Tambourine
Acoustic guitar
Keys (which included piano, string parts, etc)
Electric guitar
Lead Vocals
Background vocals

I will never, ever do it again. I grew so weary in the middle of the process. What was most frustrating was that I worked so hard for such a subpar product. When it comes to full band stuff, I do such a better job when I'm part of a group. Also, whenever you record everything yourself, it tends to lose energy IMO (it did with my anyways). I mean, the notes are there, but the whole thing just sounded tired and pieced together...even though everything was dead on the beat. If I was do to it again, I'd probably just do one complete song at a time and not work on a handful of songs all at once. That project beat the crap out of me. I'm glad I did it because I'd always wanted to, but I'll never do it again (a full band CD by myself anyways...).

Then, I got into playing the hammered dulcimer. I did all of the instrumentation on those CDs (hammered dulcimer, guitar, and bass. That's all!). Those turned out well, and the music sold really well too.

Here are some samples:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/martinmoore5
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Have you done much drum recording or is this your first time? Check out this YouTube video for different mic setups to record drums with two mics:
https://youtu.be/YV-N_gA6gDI?list=PLXqUJ-TLUZBqYdwfmqmoqLKi-Y2aFFvpj
Thanks for the video link. And yes, I've done this before although a LONG time ago and crude, as in before the days of computer hardware-software. Way back I had one of those Tascam 4 track cassette mini studios and jerked around with that. This was probably early 80's through early 90's. It wasn't the best and was very limited although did work....to a certain extent.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
I've done this, and it was a hot mess. I recorded an entire project:

8 songs total. All originals.

Here are some samples:

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/martinmoore5
Thanks for the post, I'll check it out. I'm not looking into doing an entire project however. My concept is more about having some fun jerking around with recording as opposed to anything serious. Plus, I'm not good enough or have the patience to assemble a commercial product.
 

dwsabianguy

Senior Member
I have a project with a friend of mine where we take his songs, lay down a scratch guitar/bass track and have him lay down whatever vocals he has in his mind. Then I go back and take care of all the instrument tracks, usually guitar/bass/drums/keys in my own time.

It's fun, but it takes a lot of time.
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
Way back I had one of those Tascam 4 track cassette mini studios and jerked around with that. This was probably early 80's through early 90's. It wasn't the best and was very limited although did work....to a certain extent.
I started out recording drums with a Tascam 4 track cassette recorder and I actually really like the way drums sound on those things but maybe that's just because they're more forgiving than recording digitally. I used $9 Chinese SM57 ripoffs as overheads and I'd mic the kick and snare with other cheap mics and I could get a decent overall drum sound, when I started recording with my Zoom R16 I basically had to relearn how to mic the drums and how badly I needed better mics!
 

bonerpizza

Silver Member
2: Think about Bass Guitar / Bass Drum sync before recording either.
3: When recording drums, I record the straight grooves first... No fills or cymbals.
- I'm perpetually dissatisfied with my on-the-fly fills and I always have regrets when I listen to cymbals on playback. Either I get the dynamic wrong, or would have preferred to hit a different crash, etc. Recording them later gives me more options, and I get to play fills against an 8 bar loop to experiment or play something above my grade.
I didn't think about the Bass Guitar and Bass Drum not syncing up and I'm also never happy with how my drum takes come out, it's hard to tell what's going to sound "good" when I'm only playing along to a scratch guitar track. I'm going to put your advice to use the next time I record anything, THANK YOU!
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Today I finally did some tests of the drums miked up along with several placements of the mics. Although I'll need to experiment further, at least for today, setting up the two condensers about 5' in front of the drums about 6' apart, 40" or so above the floor provided the best results. Your mileage may vary in a different room.

In fact, when playing back my tests, I was astonished at the quality of the sound. If I didn't know better, I'd think there were a half dozen mics on the drums. The sound quality, clarity and dynamics was amazing picked up by these two Audio Technica low cost mics along with the PreSonus box. Even the kick sounded great.

Next week when I get the time I'll record a few drum tracks and put them up online. It'll be a month or so until I get something decent done along with guitar, bass, etc.

Anyhow, here's some pics of my high-end (LMAO) drum studio and the mic placement that worked well.

"PRO" studio set up on two old wicker stools next to my hats:



Microphone placement:



Another shot of mics, the front mic isn't actually behind the pole:

 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Anyhow, here's some pics of my high-end (LMAO) drum studio and the mic placement that worked well.
Don't forget to test some of the asymmetric positions, like TCHAD+Room, or One above and one out front and low. Can't wait to hear some audio.
 

MoreBeer

Silver Member
Don't forget to test some of the asymmetric positions, like TCHAD+Room, or One above and one out front and low. Can't wait to hear some audio.
Absolutely! I'm by no means done with finding the most desirable sound. I'll be mixing it up next week and try to nail it. Although I must say, I'm beyond impressed with what these 2 mics can do. The gear available today is just outstanding, including the lower cost stuff. Its a great time to be young again, unfortunately, I'm going in the opposite direction.

And oh yeah, my cymbals aren't super high....its mostly the camera angle. They might be a bit higher than your setup although I'm 6'5" with a long torso so there ya go. LOL!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I didn't think about the Bass Guitar and Bass Drum not syncing up and I'm also never happy with how my drum takes come out, it's hard to tell what's going to sound "good" when I'm only playing along to a scratch guitar track. I'm going to put your advice to use the next time I record anything, THANK YOU!
Even the simplest parts will drive you nuts. A lot of time, you will get done a take, and listen to it a dozen times. You'll hear things that aren't right, and you'll have to play the game "who is off time?". Is it me playing drums or me playing bass?

Here's an example of me obsessing over stupid time sync issues...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC9ULWsDfZw

Sounds like a bunch of teenagers playing together for the first time. Bass and drums are perfectly aligned to the click, but don't seem to sync up properly with each other at times. I can only blame myself.


Note: The entire reason I began to learn to play drums was so that I could bang out simple stuff like this without having to call a drummer.
 
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BacteriumFendYoke

Platinum Member
Even the simplest parts will drive you nuts. A lot of time, you will get done a take, and listen to it a dozen times. You'll hear things that aren't right, and you'll have to play the game "who is off time?". Is it me playing drums or me playing bass?

Here's an example of me obsessing over stupid time sync issues...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC9ULWsDfZw

Sounds like a bunch of teenagers playing together for the first time. Bass and drums are perfectly aligned to the click, but don't seem to sync up properly at times. I can only blame myself.


Note: The entire reason I began to learn to play drums was so that I could bang out simple stuff like this without having to call a drummer.
Not bad at all. I've heard much worse out of my own project studio...

It is a real rabbit hole. Chasing perfection is a very, very difficult thing. Sometimes you just need to work quickly and push it out there.
 
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