Recording old-school

Stroman

Platinum Member
Here's a thought, too. Are you wanting to sell this EP as-is, or use it to shop for jobs and/or a recording deal? Because, in reality, if this is just a demo, I think people worry too much about sound quality. You just want someone to hear your music. I've been through this, where you put a lot of time/effort/money into a demo, only to be told that it doesn't matter too much because it's all going to be re-recorded for release anyway.

If you plan to sell as-is, though, you need to work at getting the best sound you can. Just thinking into the keyboard, here...
 
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audiotech

Guest
There are always meeting of the minds where supposidly good music gets pitched because they are not listenable. If you're looking for work, you put you best foot forward, just like you would when you're after any other job.

Dennis
 

Stroman

Platinum Member
There are always meeting of the minds where supposidly good music gets pitched because they are not listenable. If you're looking for work, you put you best foot forward, just like you would when you're after any other job.

Dennis
Yeah, it's gotta be listenable, but don't break the bank, either. ;) I just meant that they should be able to get an acceptable sound with the equipment they've got.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
It's the low-mids that are the killer with spot micing. Too many inexperienced people forget to gate them and their mix order gets muddled up. I always mix my overheads first, then my bass drum, then the snare. Spot mics always come last because I see them as reinforcement mics rather than fundamental to the sound I'm getting. I hardly ever use them in reality. With that said, having spot mics certainly gives you more options, but with added complication comes added probability of getting the mix priority wrong and that's where beginners tend to make the most mistakes in my experience.
When I got into this sort of thing Led Zeppelin was my reference for everything, it was all about the overheads. As time's gone on, and the style of music I'm playing has changed, the order has reversed again and I start with the spot mics. Even my recent Zep video was mixed with that approach, although that's counting the mic out the front of the kit as a spot mic. Again, it's all about managing the low mids. I find I get the best sound with some fairly serious high-pass filtering on the overheads, or at least a substantial low shelf cut.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Good work, DED. It's the perfect article for this question.


Another thing that you can do, if your recording equipment is portable enough, is to record outdoors. I've done this many times and if you can find a nice quiet location, the acoustics are wide open and you can get a very accurate sound from your drums with fewer microphones and a little experimentation on microphone placement. Often recording indoors where the acoustics are rather harsh, you get a lot of slap echo where everything bounces off everything in the room. It's very difficult and most of the time very expensive to treat these locations. Record outdoors, the sound will be a bit drier but more manageable, but it's a lot easier to treat dry than it is indistinguishable.
Dennis, not sure if I'm being obtuse but where did you get the power? Were you recording near a farm house?
 
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mediocrefunkybeat

Guest
When I got into this sort of thing Led Zeppelin was my reference for everything, it was all about the overheads. As time's gone on, and the style of music I'm playing has changed, the order has reversed again and I start with the spot mics. Even my recent Zep video was mixed with that approach, although that's counting the mic out the front of the kit as a spot mic. Again, it's all about managing the low mids. I find I get the best sound with some fairly serious high-pass filtering on the overheads, or at least a substantial low shelf cut.
But you have a defined mix priority and order that suits your workflow. I was being specific to mine, but if it works for you the other way around, then that's fine. The same danger is still present with less experience though in that they may still very well not be able to prioritise their mix and instead work haphazardly.

If you are using spot mics like you are, then knowing to high-pass the overheads and substitute with the spot mics is from your fundamental knowledge developed from your experience. I think your mixes sound great - so no criticism there. I take a smaller-scale approach to recording because I've only ever really recorded in a time-pressurised environment. I still hold that fewer mics will yield better results for less experienced recordists, but spot mics have their place. I really do think you can do about 90% of your work with just overheads if you really know what you're doing - but having more mics does mean more options. More options mean more power and more responsibility though and that's why I always get frustrated when I see a beginner buying themselves a cheap set of seven microphones, when actually a pair of overheads for the same price will give them a better starting point.
 

PQleyR

Platinum Member
I take a smaller-scale approach to recording because I've only ever really recorded in a time-pressurised environment.
Heh, and I've only ever recorded with cheap mics in less than ideal rooms! Actually it's the room that makes the difference, I've spent ages trying to get drums to sound good with badly-positioned overheads in bad rooms. Spot mics are a lot harder to position wrong than overheads, that's an advantage for the novice user, but without overheads they will never sound very good.
 
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