kits facing the wall when recording?

Nick G.

Senior Member
why dont people do this (or a least often)?

is it because of the sound reflections of the wall into the mic ?

if there is sufficient sound proofing could it counter act this ?

cheers
 
M

mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
You don't mean sound proofing, you mean sound treating.

The reflections are exactly the reason. There's no point in treating a room if it can be easily solved by just turning the kit around.
 

Spectron

Silver Member
yes, early reflections do nasty things to drum sounds when recording

You'll notice a substancial difference in the fullness
of tone when your kit is in a nice room (somewhere in the middle is usually best)

typically the bigger the room the better.

Moving my drums from 12x12 ft room into a
14x20 made the drums sound SO much better
much more depth and warmth.

in the bedroom I had trouble noticing any difference
using a kickport - but in the garage you could instantly tell
the kick port adds a ton of low end

If you're stuck in a small room definately point the kick towards
the center of the room and not up against a wall
 

Brundlefly

Senior Member
why dont people do this (or a least often)?

is it because of the sound reflections of the wall into the mic ?

if there is sufficient sound proofing could it counter act this ?

cheers
Similar to what the earlier posts mention, the general issue with pointing your kit at a wall and why it's usually a bad idea is that drums produce long waves. The subs coming from your bass are long enough that they literally don't get completed until several feet after they leave the drum. Pushing a bass up a against a wall forces these waves to start bouncing around (or reshaped) before they have a chance completely form. It's also why lots of people with bass drums in small rooms complain about not getting a deep sound from them.


(Tip: got a bass in small room? Tune it up, not down to make it sound deeper. Counterintuitive? Yes, but also perfectly logical since you are shortening the waves your bass makes.)

Making matters worse, most people who are in the position of having to point their drums against a wall tend to be the same people who can't afford to close mike their entire kit, leaving them to rely mostly on overheads, or "room sound." So, we're combining a grossly stunted room sound with an increased reliance on that very same room sound. Result: boxy, dull sounding drums.

Having said all that, sometimes there is a good reason to place sound absorbing baffles close to the kit, which looks suspiciously like an expensive version of pointing your kit at a wall. Sometimes these are half height walls intended to block more bass than anything else. But in these cases, the bass (along with the remaining kit) is usually being captured by multiple mikes. The strategy here is to try to get the right range of frequencies into each mike while capturing the kit with a wide variety of them. With this approach, there is usually an intention to want to roll off the lows bleeding into the overheads, whose job is now more about capturing cymbals than room sound. This is often coupled with the re-introduction of reverb (room sound) later in the mix process.

That might all seem like a long way around the block, but what I just described is pretty close to the recording set up that Gavin Harrison uses, for example. He has a mic inside the bass for tone, one off the front head for response and one in a home made sub-bass device for subs. With all of those bass sources to play with there isn't really a need to capture the bass in the overhead. Rather, it tends to be a bad thing and those lows will probably get purposely filtered out from the overheads to maintain precise control over the bass in the mix.
 
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