Recorded Drum Replacement

steverok

Silver Member
Hi All,

I hope I can find some good help here. I am deep into recording drum tracks for my forthcoming CD. After mixing / bouncing drum tracks for the first 6 songs I laid down, I concluded that I had a rather unfortunate placement of the bass drum mic ... too close to the beater and too wimpy, overall. I also recorded a Sub-Kick track in front of the resonant head.

I put a lot of work into those performances and do not think I could replicate that initial enthusiasm, so my preference would be to trigger a different bass drum sound, using the bass drum mic "beater" track as the trigger signal. The goal would be to replace or augment my recorded bass drum sound. I do not have Pro Tools, and am practically an analog guy in that sense, using a stand-alone hard-disk recorder / mixer. I am wondering if there is a simple drum triggering device, with good bass drum sounds, that would accept a recorded bass drum as a trigger signal. Would prefer to spend less than $200.

Thank you in advance !

Steve-O
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Assuming the kick is on its own track, and you've got even a simple audio editor, it's pretty simple to replace or replicate the parts with a new sound if you can export the tracks from the recorder. In ProTools it's easiest with sound replacement, and it will track the dynamics as well... might be a good investment! :)

Bermuda
 

steverok

Silver Member
Yes it is on its own track, and well isolated, as the mic was inside the drum, through a 4" port hole. And yes, I have exported all of the tracks as WAV onto my PC, for back-up. I do have Adobe Audition. Perhaps I could use that to replace the sound. I certainly don't want to do it manually.
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
Hm, from your description it seems like you shouldn't need to sample-replace, given that you used two rather nice mics on the kick.

Probably it's not the kick signals at all but the mixing of other low end content, like bass, guitars, and synths, that is throwing off your kick sound. Any idiot with a computer can mix above 150 Hz; it's the low end that is really challenging. We usually don't have a great mixing environment at home, complete with a tuned room, big speakers, and a subwoofer. Those items make it possible to accurately hear what's going on in the lower ranges of your mix.

Also, regarding the high-end content of your kick signal (the "thwack" or "attack"), if you don't have a fully parametric EQ, with a low-pass filter, it's pretty difficult to get a sweet mix of the kick signal. The Beta 52 is a pretty bright mic in the high end, so you'll most likely need to compensate for this using EQ. Since your using a hardware unit, and not software, you are more limited in terms of EQ choices and flexibility (but maybe not -- what unit are you working with?).

Even a sampled kick sound will require extensive processing and mixing. It won't be a simple "plug and play" type of solution.

What sort of EQ and processing do you have on the internal mic signal at present? What is the other instrumentation in the mixes? Heavy distorted guitars? Growling bass?
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
I concluded that I had a rather unfortunate placement of the bass drum mic ... too close to the beater and too wimpy, overall. I also recorded a Sub-Kick track in front of the resonant head.
This may be a dumb question, but have you checked for phase coherency between the two kick mics? That could be the source of the poop-a-nanny.

In your DAW, zoom into the waveforms, and if one goes up while the other goes down, then they're out of phase. Here's an example that shows that the kick is out of phase with my two overheads. Since I'm dealing with bleed through, it's barely noticeable, but the fundamentals are pretty clear.
 

bermuda

Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
I have Audition as well, but I'm not well-versed with it. I know it's a very capable program, hopefully the replacement is a simple procedure.

Barring that, you may just have to create an open track under the kick track, and line up new samples underneath. That actually won't take very long, but creating dynamics will! :O

Bermuda
 

steverok

Silver Member
Also, regarding the high-end content of your kick signal (the "thwack" or "attack"), if you don't have a fully parametric EQ, with a low-pass filter, it's pretty difficult to get a sweet mix of the kick signal. The Beta 52 is a pretty bright mic in the high end, so you'll most likely need to compensate for this using EQ. Since your using a hardware unit, and not software, you are more limited in terms of EQ choices and flexibility (but maybe not -- what unit are you working with?).


What sort of EQ and processing do you have on the internal mic signal at present? What is the other instrumentation in the mixes? Heavy distorted guitars? Growling bass?
I use a Sennheiser 602 bass mic inside the kick drum and a Yahama Sub-Kick outside. I don't use the processing inside my recorder. I go out into a dBx compressor and dBx 16-band equalizer, and re-record the sounds. Does the job if the source is good. The songs are actually more acoustic based with lots of vocals, but still rock.
 

steverok

Silver Member
This may be a dumb question, but have you checked for phase coherency between the two kick mics? That could be the source of the poop-a-nanny.

In your DAW, zoom into the waveforms, and if one goes up while the other goes down, then they're out of phase. Here's an example that shows that the kick is out of phase with my two overheads. Since I'm dealing with bleed through, it's barely noticeable, but the fundamentals are pretty clear.
A good point. I figure since the Sub-Kick is low in frequency, and the mic is so focused on the attack, there can't be too much frequency over-lap between the two, so phase cancellation should not be excessive, however, I should check for that. According to my calculations, 2 feet of differential distance between the mics corresponds to 1.8 msec of differential delay, so anything from about 250 Hz and above is prone to phase cancellation. I am an electrical engineer, so I do understand these things. Now I need to practice them. I will definitely be checking for that ... thanks !
 

brentcn

Platinum Member
The phase of the kick mics will probably affect the low end of the kick's sound, but it's just as likely to reduce the low end "thump" as it is to increase it. If there isn't much low end content in the close mic signal to begin with, then you might not hear any appreciable change at all.

You mentioned the kick sound is "wimpy". You can probably use the kick signals without using a sample, but even with ideal mic placement, lots of processing is the norm in rock music. It's quite common to have a noise gate, EQ, and compressor on each kick signal. One dbx compressor and a graphic EQ is just not enough! Shoot, even a single instance of a channel-strip plug-in has more processing power, and you could be mixing with one of those on every channel.

You don't need Pro Tools for a DAW -- you can use Reaper, which is free and fully functional (not a "lite" version that has track count limits, etc.). The stock plug-ins are quite good. Also, you can master the tracks yourself if you wish, export to mp3 format, and so on.

Re-recording signals must take forever -- what a pain! And even worse, each time the signal converts from digital to analog to get to the compressor or EQ, you're losing precious signal quality. Unless you have a great console and a lovingly maintained 2-inch tape machine, don't get hung up on being "analog".

You will need a computer with a decent processor though. What do you have presently?
 

steverok

Silver Member
It's a 2-channel EQ and compressor, so I process both kick signals simultaneously. Agree it is a pain to re-record ... I have seemingly infinite patience. I have a new desktop that is quite fast, running Windows 7 from a solid-state drive. I will check out Reaper ... thanks for the tip !
 
Top