Recording Death-Doom Drums...

Arkar

New member
Hello guys,i need some help from professionals on this.Im not a pro at recording by any means.
I am looking to record my bands drums for our upcoming album (We play Melodic Death/Doom Metal), in my own home studio which is in a nice quiet location. But its relatively small 7x3m with 2.5m ceiling. The drum room is about 3,5x3m. Not ideal i know but,this is what i have,and i will use. Its quite sound absorbing with bass traps and foam in critical areas,with the help of a friend who knows a lot about this stuff... Anyway, we plan not to use full samples,( we've already been there and we dont like the robotic,souless,unoriginal feel... ) except the kick maybe which i plan to trigger and blend it with mics for more low end... I have a budget of around 2000 euros...1000 of them i plan to spend on mics maybe more if needed... i want to spend them the best way possible. I know recording great live drums is the hard way,and im asking a lot for such a budget. Heres what i have already, and next what i plan to buy.

Drums: Pearl Vision birch concord fade, 10,12,16,22 , (black chromes on toms over G1),(powerstroke 3 on kick with Danmar metal pad, over eq3 with port hole ofc) (all new heads ofc)
Tama metalworks 13*6,5 snare (not sure about the batter head yet,p3 has always been good for me though )

Cymbals: 2 crashes,3 chinas,2 hi hats, 1 ride, 2 splashes.

Mics: Samson 7Kit (the overheads co2 are sounding fine, ,the rest is kinda mediocre at best)
Focusrite scarlett 18i20 3rd gen.
Presonus Eris 3.5.
MEE audio m6pro in ears.
Plus cables,stands and other stuff that i dont remember,all the basics covered)
I usually record with cubase.
------------------

Now, im willing to expand the 8 xlr inputs of the focusrite, to 16 via ADAT with the behringer ADA8200 . it costs only 170e ive read great reviews and its a bargain.
For the kit i have, it seems necessery to use multiple mics to get a good sound and have full control of the mix,even though i'll have to fight withmore phase issues,bleed etc. And as i have it my mind at least 2 or 3 room mics to get as much ambience as i can from the source for the sound im going.

As for mics after a lot of research, have it in my head like this:

Kick 1 - Roland TM1+ roland RT30k (240euros)
Kick 2 out - Sennheiser E 602 II (150e)
Snare top - Audix i5 (90e)
Snare bottom - tbone Mb75 (30e)
Tom 1 - (beyedynamic TG35 OR audix D2) (90e - 120e)
Tom 2 - (beyedynamic TG35 OR audix D2) (90e - 120e)
Floor Tom - TG35 OR audix D4 (90e - 170e)
OHs - Rode m5 MP (150e)
Hi-hat - Superlux HI10 OR Samson co2 (30e)
Ride - Samson co2
Room 1 - Audio technica AT2020 (90e)
Room 2 - Samson co2
Room 3 - sE electronics X1R ribbon mic ( A friend of mine has one so i can borrow it)
Plus 2 or 3 Behringer SL75C, if needed.

Is this a good approach? Or is it just a waste of money? Am i going too cheap on some mics?

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks very much guys.
 
Last edited:

johnjssmith

Junior Member
Short answer, this will be a waste unless you're interested in spending many hours learning about audio technology, how to place mics to get a certain sound over another, how to mix music...
If you want a professional result and you don't want to spend weeks/months/years in trial and error and what have you, renting a studio with a competent engineer will yield muuuuch better results.

Long answer, depends on the level of quality you want to reach.
Consider that your drum set is a low-mid end product, the 18i20 is no better, and the Eris 3.5 are much worse.
A 3,5x3m is a small room in any sense of the word, and a big drum set will hardly be able to sound at its best there, which I'm sure you know if you've ever played the same drum in two different rooms.
I'm not sure which cymbals you own, but given the rest I'm going to assume that they're not all Paiste sig or Zildjian A custom, and that you don't have a nicely treated listening room to mix in, but please, correct me if I'm wrong!
Now, it's not my intention at all to say that your setup sucks, what I mean is that, given your much-less-than-professional setup it will be extremely hard, or impossible, to get a professional sounding result.

I can't imagine why you'd want not to use samples for your project as the modern [anything] metal sound relies somewhat heavily on them.
Making samples sound good in context requires some experience and work, but especially if your drums and rooms are less than ideal you will want to gain that experience and put in that work to get your record to "sound like a record."

As for the gear you plan on buying...
The ADA8200 is indeed a bargain, I can recommend that if you want to expand your i/o options.
That said you're choosing quantity over quality here, which makes me suspect you don't have very much experience at all, which again would mean that even if you had all the gear in the world it would be hard for you to produce a professional sounding record.
Do you really need a bottom snare mic if you're on a budget?
Do you really not want to replace, or double, the snare sound with samples?
I can understand a HH mic in a busy arrangement, but why in the world do you feel the need for a ride mic as well?
Why do you want three different room mics in a room that small on top of the overheads?

Forgive me for putting it bluntly, and please understand that I'm only doing it so that you understand how relevant this is: you look like you don't know what you're doing, and regardless of any gear you own you will need to know what you're doing to use it properly, and to mix your recordings properly.
Of course, you'll also need decent gear and a decent room to get a decent sound.

So my advice is to maybe invest in just a few, better microphones, maybe some professional advice for your room treatment (I think GiK offers that for free even if you don't buy their products), better speakers definitely, and possibly better drums/cymbals, to start experimenting with better gear and to get more mixing experience, and go record your music in a professional recording studio if you want your recordings to sound professional for the time being.
 

doggyd69b

Well-known member
Short answer, this will be a waste unless you're interested in spending many hours learning about audio technology, how to place mics to get a certain sound over another, how to mix music...
If you want a professional result and you don't want to spend weeks/months/years in trial and error and what have you, renting a studio with a competent engineer will yield muuuuch better results.

Long answer, depends on the level of quality you want to reach.
Consider that your drum set is a low-mid end product, the 18i20 is no better, and the Eris 3.5 are much worse.
A 3,5x3m is a small room in any sense of the word, and a big drum set will hardly be able to sound at its best there, which I'm sure you know if you've ever played the same drum in two different rooms.
I'm not sure which cymbals you own, but given the rest I'm going to assume that they're not all Paiste sig or Zildjian A custom, and that you don't have a nicely treated listening room to mix in, but please, correct me if I'm wrong!
Now, it's not my intention at all to say that your setup sucks, what I mean is that, given your much-less-than-professional setup it will be extremely hard, or impossible, to get a professional sounding result.

I can't imagine why you'd want not to use samples for your project as the modern [anything] metal sound relies somewhat heavily on them.
Making samples sound good in context requires some experience and work, but especially if your drums and rooms are less than ideal you will want to gain that experience and put in that work to get your record to "sound like a record."

As for the gear you plan on buying...
The ADA8200 is indeed a bargain, I can recommend that if you want to expand your i/o options.
That said you're choosing quantity over quality here, which makes me suspect you don't have very much experience at all, which again would mean that even if you had all the gear in the world it would be hard for you to produce a professional sounding record.
Do you really need a bottom snare mic if you're on a budget?
Do you really not want to replace, or double, the snare sound with samples?
I can understand a HH mic in a busy arrangement, but why in the world do you feel the need for a ride mic as well?
Why do you want three different room mics in a room that small on top of the overheads?

Forgive me for putting it bluntly, and please understand that I'm only doing it so that you understand how relevant this is: you look like you don't know what you're doing, and regardless of any gear you own you will need to know what you're doing to use it properly, and to mix your recordings properly.
Of course, you'll also need decent gear and a decent room to get a decent sound.

So my advice is to maybe invest in just a few, better microphones, maybe some professional advice for your room treatment (I think GiK offers that for free even if you don't buy their products), better speakers definitely, and possibly better drums/cymbals, to start experimenting with better gear and to get more mixing experience, and go record your music in a professional recording studio if you want your recordings to sound professional for the time being.
Maybe you need to watch some of those videos in YouTube where guys use super cheap setups and record very "Professional" sounding drums.... It can be done, actually it is part of the challenge, I hate it when people think you have to spend 10k on a console and 1k per mic to record professionally, or use the antiquated ProTools, you don't need that!... or let's back up a little... you don't need to spend all that $$ IF you know what you are doing.. I can guarantee you that you can give an ignorant guy the most expensive setup: 100k console on a purpose built drum recording room, with a 20k drum set with 10k worth of cymbals and 50k worth of mics and he will still create a shitty sounding recording...
Maybe what this guy has does not suit your taste, it's ok but don't dismiss his research as if he was a total idiot..
 

calan

Silver Member
You can also listen to some (classic) 90s death/doom records that were recorded professionally and still sound pretty lo fi.

There's really too much to cover in terms of the vagaries of the myriad pieces of gear, but I'd say on its face, you shouldn't have an issue getting good source material with that menagerie.

A good sounding room, performance, and all the post production work are also all factors of varying import.
 

Xstr8edgtnrdrmrX

Well-known member
or maybe rent a studio just ot get the bigger room, and do drum tracks there, and everything else at home...you could even just do the tracking at the studio, and then do mixing and mastering all at home if you have the equipment

for doom/ you are going to want wide open drum sounds as the foundation no matter what you layer on top...a small room is not going to give you any chance of that...esp a small room with bass traps and other muffling agents

If I had money to spend on a project like this, given the parameters, I would spend it on the studio time for the drums, and then on smaller amounts of nicer gear for everything else at home...
 

johnjssmith

Junior Member
Maybe you need to watch some of those videos in YouTube where guys use super cheap setups and record very "Professional" sounding drums....
Can't say I've heard people using super cheap setups getting professional sounding results, most of the "home recorded" stuff I hear on youtube doesn't sound professional even when expensive setups are involved, though by all means, if you have some in mind drop a few links so I can learn something.
I hate it when people think you have to spend 10k on a console and 1k per mic to record professionally, or use the antiquated ProTools, you don't need that!... or let's back up a little... you don't need to spend all that $$ IF you know what you are doing..
I'm not sure what part of my post gave you the impression that I was suggesting OP should spend $1k per mic or start using pro tools, though at any rate, that's not what I meant to suggest and I'm sorry that it seemed that way.
I can guarantee you that you can give an ignorant guy the most expensive setup: 100k console on a purpose built drum recording room, with a 20k drum set with 10k worth of cymbals and 50k worth of mics and he will still create a shitty sounding recording...
I worded it a bit differently in my own post, but I too wrote just that.
Have you read my post?
Maybe what this guy has does not suit your taste, it's ok but don't dismiss his research as if he was a total idiot..
I mean, do you believe that the Eris 3.5 aren't low end monitors, that the pearl vision isn't a low-mid end set, that a 3,5x3m room is a small room, especially for a bigger kit, that 3 room mics on top of 2 overheads, a HH mic and a ride mic are uncommon to say the least, especially in a death metal context?

Again, I'm sorry for sounding harsh, but those aren't my very own, uncommon opinions, those are facts that WILL hinder OP's effort of getting a professional sounding result from his recordings, and while gear is only important up to a point it's my opinion that OP still hasn't reached that point, so there's no use in pretending anybody, regardless of their low end gear, less than ideal spaces and relative lack of experience can cut a professional sounding record with passion alone, and as soon as OP understands it he can start working on the things that will, with time and experience yada yada..., allow him to produce a professional sounding record by himself.
 

sabres7th

Member
I've been using Pro Tools TDM since I was 17 and i had protools Le at home digi101 and mtrackpro audio interfaces for laptops while I was in the military and now I have a 18i20. All your equipment is plenty good enough I personally would never buy Beringer I tried to stay away from it but maybe it's worth a shot maybe it's gotten better through the years I would want to test one though before I bought one. Getting the acoustics of your room is half the battle your equipment is more than capable enough. Also with the drums you might come across unusual tunings tape all sorts of tricks to just get the right sound keep in mind that this isn't how you're going to Gig out but this is what it takes to get the sound you're looking for being a little more creative and using what you have is what I suggest you have more than enough tools.
 

sabres7th

Member
I've been using Pro Tools TDM since I was 17 and i had protools Le at home digi101 and mtrackpro audio interfaces for laptops while I was in the military and now I have a 18i20. All your equipment is plenty good enough I personally would never buy Beringer I tried to stay away from it but maybe it's worth a shot maybe it's gotten better through the years I would want to test one though before I bought one. Getting the acoustics of your room is half the battle your equipment is more than capable enough. Also with the drums you might come across unusual tunings tape all sorts of tricks to just get the right sound keep in mind that this isn't how you're going to Gig out but this is what it takes to get the sound you're looking for being a little more creative and using what you have is what I suggest you have more than enough tools.
Also if you ran a little short on money one of the tricks I used to use with the digi 101 is if you take mixing board with the multiple outputs and you subgroup your Tom's all together with Gates and stuff it still works and then you could take those groups of three from the mixer and put them into one input on one of the eight
 
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