Lost trying to create a sound

Frost

Silver Member
Hey guys, sorry if I missed the mark on where this is supposed to be as I haven't been on in a while.

I thought drum heads, but my google-fu is weak and I don't know how much of the recording and shells come into this.

I have no idea how this sound is created,

https://youtu.be/4EjFjUW_xN8?t=1m50s

There appears to be a huge, full punch but I don't hear much ringing of wires and it doesn't sound like he's burying the stick either.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
I have no idea how this sound is created,
& nor do we, in fact, nor does anyone. There is such an infinite combination of everything that goes into a studio production, that separating out those contributing elements is impossible. As for the drum sound, it seems pretty standard stuff to me, & a bit flat TBH. A combo of basic EQ, compression, mic position, tuning, head choice, muffling, etc.

A most unfortunate band name given the current global climate :(
 

calan

Silver Member
Not my favorite Isis record soundwise, but I still think Aaron gets some great sounds.

Matt Bayles (the engineer on most, if not all of the Isis stuff) posts on the Gearslutz forums, and there's some stuff on both the Panopticon and Oceanic albums here.

In my own quest for that kind of sound, I've had luck using a larger brass snare (in my case, a Pearl Steve Ferrone) in a REALLY big room. Big as in 30+ feet in front of and behind the kit, and probably a little over 20 foot ceilings. Using ribbon mics at various distance and height elevation from the kit, I was really able to approximate that type of ambience you hear on that stuff. I used Cascade Fatheads for the room mics, nothing super expensive.

I specifically used an Evans Onyx over Hazy 300, but I imagine almost any regular 2 ply head would work. Just don't get any of those vented or pre muffled guys. Close miking on the snare was just a 57 top and Beta 58 bottom. Tune the top head medium tight (so specific, right), crank the reso. Standard 24 wire snares, I think. Set them really loose. I do loosen them to the point where you really don't get much sizzle at all if the drum is only lightly tapped. You have to get into it a bit to get them excited.

I think the lowest common denominator in going for those sound is head selection, tuning, loose snares, and room mics.
 

Frost

Silver Member
& nor do we, in fact, nor does anyone. There is such an infinite combination of everything that goes into a studio production, that separating out those contributing elements is impossible. As for the drum sound, it seems pretty standard stuff to me, & a bit flat TBH. A combo of basic EQ, compression, mic position, tuning, head choice, muffling, etc.

A most unfortunate band name given the current global climate :(
I get some odd looks walking down the street with their shirt on.

Good comment on the sound factors. A lot of it probably would be the recording.

I really like Panopticon, it's not as dense. Something from their earlier albums would be more emblematic,

https://youtu.be/PUAhfyMf59s?t=3m15s

Mostly it's that snare sound I admire.
 

Frost

Silver Member
Not my favorite Isis record soundwise, but I still think Aaron gets some great sounds.

Matt Bayles (the engineer on most, if not all of the Isis stuff) posts on the Gearslutz forums, and there's some stuff on both the Panopticon and Oceanic albums here.

In my own quest for that kind of sound, I've had luck using a larger brass snare (in my case, a Pearl Steve Ferrone) in a REALLY big room. Big as in 30+ feet in front of and behind the kit, and probably a little over 20 foot ceilings. Using ribbon mics at various distance and height elevation from the kit, I was really able to approximate that type of ambience you hear on that stuff. I used Cascade Fatheads for the room mics, nothing super expensive.

I specifically used an Evans Onyx over Hazy 300, but I imagine almost any regular 2 ply head would work. Just don't get any of those vented or pre muffled guys. Close miking on the snare was just a 57 top and Beta 58 bottom. Tune the top head medium tight (so specific, right), crank the reso. Standard 24 wire snares, I think. Set them really loose. I do loosen them to the point where you really don't get much sizzle at all if the drum is only lightly tapped. You have to get into it a bit to get them excited.

I think the lowest common denominator in going for those sound is head selection, tuning, loose snares, and room mics.
Hey, thanks man, that was really useful. If this forum had a like button I'd click it.
 

calan

Silver Member
Hey, thanks man, that was really useful. If this forum had a like button I'd click it.
No problem. I really like that band and sound, so I couldn't resist.

As a sort of useful aside, that same arrangement yielded similar results to the Deftones Digital Bath sound by playing with the mic levels and stereo field (panning ambient mics wide, bringing up the close mics more in the mix). Recording with a lot of mics can be a lot of fun in terms of experimentation and just stumbling on things that sound good but the option paralysis can be a little overwhelming.
 

Frost

Silver Member
No problem. I really like that band and sound, so I couldn't resist.

As a sort of useful aside, that same arrangement yielded similar results to the Deftones Digital Bath sound by playing with the mic levels and stereo field (panning ambient mics wide, bringing up the close mics more in the mix). Recording with a lot of mics can be a lot of fun in terms of experimentation and just stumbling on things that sound good but the option paralysis can be a little overwhelming.
As a drummer, not a studio engineer, that sounds like the kind of thing I'd need to get someone more experienced on-board with. I'd be willing to learn but I'm thinking the expense as well haha. It's funny you mentioned Deftones because Aaron the drummer from Isis is playing in a band called Palms with their vocalist.

I love the Isis drum sound as well, I'm trying to take it away from post - rock though and apply it to something folkier, more of the doom side of that Neurosis influence. I'm basically trying to create something nice and punchy to cut through strumming drop d accoustics with overdrive, like walls of reverb and dissonant overtones ala early Katatonia.
 

calan

Silver Member
As a drummer, not a studio engineer, that sounds like the kind of thing I'd need to get someone more experienced on-board with. I'd be willing to learn but I'm thinking the expense as well haha. It's funny you mentioned Deftones because Aaron the drummer from Isis is playing in a band called Palms with their vocalist.

I love the Isis drum sound as well, I'm trying to take it away from post - rock though and apply it to something folkier, more of the doom side of that Neurosis influence. I'm basically trying to create something nice and punchy to cut through strumming drop d accoustics with overdrive, like walls of reverb and dissonant overtones ala early Katatonia.
I'm not really an engineer either, but I've managed to pick up a few things here and there, enough to establish a useful rapport at least. The bass player in the group I'm working with is going to school for audio engineering and does a lot of local work for the areas biggest production company, so I'm mostly leaning on him. However, I was able to secure the room myself, and between the two of us we had all the gear necessary. We didn't really have any constraints other than our gear had to be out of the way after three days.

Panopticon was actually one of our reference mixes in terms of sounds we were going for; so essentially that sound gives a starting point for mic placement and choice, and then just sort of adjust things from there for what actually works well for the room and the particular instruments. And for not having the same caliber of mics and outboard gear.

One of my old musical cohorts does something similar to what you're describing. He's really influenced by old Katatonia, Saturnus, Ulver, Lamented Souls, and has put that in a more stripped down context. I guess it's sometimes called neofolk, dark folk, or gothic folk. Most of the stuff doesn't really have any drums or percussion, but when it does creep in... yeah, room mics, man.
 

Frost

Silver Member
I'm not really an engineer either, but I've managed to pick up a few things here and there, enough to establish a useful rapport at least. The bass player in the group I'm working with is going to school for audio engineering and does a lot of local work for the areas biggest production company, so I'm mostly leaning on him. However, I was able to secure the room myself, and between the two of us we had all the gear necessary. We didn't really have any constraints other than our gear had to be out of the way after three days.

Panopticon was actually one of our reference mixes in terms of sounds we were going for; so essentially that sound gives a starting point for mic placement and choice, and then just sort of adjust things from there for what actually works well for the room and the particular instruments. And for not having the same caliber of mics and outboard gear.

One of my old musical cohorts does something similar to what you're describing. He's really influenced by old Katatonia, Saturnus, Ulver, Lamented Souls, and has put that in a more stripped down context. I guess it's sometimes called neofolk, dark folk, or gothic folk. Most of the stuff doesn't really have any drums or percussion, but when it does creep in... yeah, room mics, man.
I've heard of live recording being good for stuff like that, big rooms, ambiance, just playing as a band, getting a bit of bleed from the other instruments.

Katatonia, Ulver, Old Man's Child, Agalloch, that stuff all has a definite place in my heart. I'm real big on a lot of other stuff as well, like Emma Ruth Rundle, her solo stuff, Red Sparrowes, she got me thinking a bit when it comes to guitar. Before that I actually dug deep from Type O Negative with B standard lead guitar and letting the bass do rhythm guitar.
 

calan

Silver Member
I've heard of live recording being good for stuff like that, big rooms, ambiance, just playing as a band, getting a bit of bleed from the other instruments.
I've done some recording that way, with just some gobos between instruments in large room; so there's some isolation but everybody is playing at the same time. In this case, everything was mixed live and on the fly, directly to two track tape. The end result sounded great, but it took probably 7-10 takes for one song to get the proper combination of good collective band performance and the engineer happy with the mix.

For the project I have been referring to, we recorded everything minimally live in our rehearsal space first, and overdubbed everything later individually. The real hurdle with this one was that most of our songs have multiple tempos and time signatures, so we had to program a click to accommodate that and maybe do punch ins and piecing stuff together we wouldn't ordinarily do.

Katatonia, Ulver, Old Man's Child, Agalloch, that stuff all has a definite place in my heart. I'm real big on a lot of other stuff as well, like Emma Ruth Rundle, her solo stuff, Red Sparrowes, she got me thinking a bit when it comes to guitar. Before that I actually dug deep from Type O Negative with B standard lead guitar and letting the bass do rhythm guitar.
To this day I still really love the super squashed and almost sterile bass and guitar tones of Type O. They're not really practical or useful, but that's some gnarly stuff. I also have a story about NOT seeing Red Sparowes that is probably better kept to myself. Not because it's terrible, but mostly a you had to be there sort of thing.

Seems like we have a fairly similar range of tastes, at least as far as more esoteric stuff goes. Not a lot of that here.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
I have no idea how this sound is created,

https://youtu.be/4EjFjUW_xN8?t=1m50s

There appears to be a huge, full punch but I don't hear much ringing of wires and it doesn't sound like he's burying the stick either.
Sounds like a drum with heavier hoops on it, die cast probably. Drummer is slugging rim shots every time. A reverse dot head would give lots of 'crack' and still be durable enough for this type of playing. A Tama bell brass snare might be a good choice here, but you won't' know for sure until you try a bunch of drums.

The drums are mic'd the usual way, plus one mic (or a stereo pair) pretty far out. Maybe 15-30 feet? The room is big and lively enough to create a nice 2 second reverb tail, which means fairly big. Sometimes you can fake this by placing a mic in the next room. It's possible to get a decent reverb sound with plug-ins and/or outboard reverb units, but real reverb from a real room is always more convincing.

The reason you don't hear much of the snare wires is probably because the bottom of the snare was not mic'd, or that signal wasn't brought up in the mix very much. Also, in a deeper shell drum, the snare wires will be a few inches further away from the top snare mic, further reducing the sound of the wires in that channel. In the second song you posted, the drummer didn't even have the snare wires engaged at all; they were just hanging off the bottom of the snare drum.
 

Frost

Silver Member
I've done some recording that way, with just some gobos between instruments in large room; so there's some isolation but everybody is playing at the same time. In this case, everything was mixed live and on the fly, directly to two track tape. The end result sounded great, but it took probably 7-10 takes for one song to get the proper combination of good collective band performance and the engineer happy with the mix.

For the project I have been referring to, we recorded everything minimally live in our rehearsal space first, and overdubbed everything later individually. The real hurdle with this one was that most of our songs have multiple tempos and time signatures, so we had to program a click to accommodate that and maybe do punch ins and piecing stuff together we wouldn't ordinarily do.

To this day I still really love the super squashed and almost sterile bass and guitar tones of Type O. They're not really practical or useful, but that's some gnarly stuff. I also have a story about NOT seeing Red Sparowes that is probably better kept to myself. Not because it's terrible, but mostly a you had to be there sort of thing.

Seems like we have a fairly similar range of tastes, at least as far as more esoteric stuff goes. Not a lot of that here.
There used to be some metalheads around, there was one guy in particular I talked progressive stuff with a lot. I haven't been here in a while though, music has taken a back seat to sport and work but I'm slowly getting back into it.

Type O's sound can best be described as trudging. It's like if you took black sabbath, that classic rock and just make it as heavy as possible without doing a thing with the structure. It works because of all the other stuff they add, the sustained notes, keyboard melodies, stuff that makes it instantly listenable. It's funny, because the heaviness is what makes it first stand out but it becomes secondary to more traditional songwriting once the whole thing gets gelled together.

Type O are still one of my favourite bands but over the years I've strayed from rock roots. Pain of Salvation are another big early influence on the kind of music I'm into but I don't think I'd ever emulate their style, mostly because I think doing so would be impossible as it changes not just record to record but song to song.

I'm happiest with simple music, as long as it's laden with heavy emotion and atmosphere.
 

Frost

Silver Member
Sounds like a drum with heavier hoops on it, die cast probably. Drummer is slugging rim shots every time. A reverse dot head would give lots of 'crack' and still be durable enough for this type of playing. A Tama bell brass snare might be a good choice here, but you won't' know for sure until you try a bunch of drums.

The drums are mic'd the usual way, plus one mic (or a stereo pair) pretty far out. Maybe 15-30 feet? The room is big and lively enough to create a nice 2 second reverb tail, which means fairly big. Sometimes you can fake this by placing a mic in the next room. It's possible to get a decent reverb sound with plug-ins and/or outboard reverb units, but real reverb from a real room is always more convincing.

The reason you don't hear much of the snare wires is probably because the bottom of the snare was not mic'd, or that signal wasn't brought up in the mix very much. Also, in a deeper shell drum, the snare wires will be a few inches further away from the top snare mic, further reducing the sound of the wires in that channel. In the second song you posted, the drummer didn't even have the snare wires engaged at all; they were just hanging off the bottom of the snare drum.
Cheers man, my mind was actually thinking Tama brass snare (deep) and Evans EC2 clear heads (the ones with the big white dot) as I was sifting through information. I think you might have hit it on the head.

I didn't hear disengaged wires on the second one, I don't know why I didn't hear that but it seemed to have a bit of reverb to it, usually when you take the wires off the sound you get it like banging on a trash can and I didn't hear that. It sounds fuller, not as hollow. That could be the way it's recorded, you could be right about the wires.
 
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