Suggestions For Recording Drums With A Tascam DP-008

TheBob

Member
I bought a Tascam DP-008 to record my drums, but am looking for ways to get the best sound. I currently have Cad Pro 4 Drum mic set, but the tascam can only record 2 tracks at once. I was thinking of getting a mixer like this, but I am not sure if this is what I would need to get a good recording of a drum set.

I am new to recording, so I am looking for any advice or information you can provide.

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-MG102C-Input-Stereo-Mixer/dp/B000Z7C9T8/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=3B0NN5PQA3R0B&coliid=I2VP4303U9SI65
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
What you need is to be able to record separate tracks into your computer. For instance, on my Mac with GarageBand, that application will allow input of up to 8 microphones, granted that you have an interface that will allow that many mics to be plugged in. Being able to EQ each separate track after the recording is much easier than trying to get a good stereo mix, pre-eq'd prior to recording. You'll be experimenting for a long time before you get anything acceptable.

Instead of getting the little mixer, get a bigger interface (I had the PreSonus Firepod at one point) and some additional mics for coverage.

You can make do with just two mics, though. In this case I would put one mic on the bass drum and one mic overhead to pick up the rest of the kit. EQ the overhead to pick up mostly highs (cut the bass a little bit), and on the bass drum mic, pull a little bit of the highs out as a starting point.
 

TheBob

Member
What you need is to be able to record separate tracks into your computer. For instance, on my Mac with GarageBand, that application will allow input of up to 8 microphones, granted that you have an interface that will allow that many mics to be plugged in. Being able to EQ each separate track after the recording is much easier than trying to get a good stereo mix, pre-eq'd prior to recording. You'll be experimenting for a long time before you get anything acceptable.

Instead of getting the little mixer, get a bigger interface (I had the PreSonus Firepod at one point) and some additional mics for coverage.

You can make do with just two mics, though. In this case I would put one mic on the bass drum and one mic overhead to pick up the rest of the kit. EQ the overhead to pick up mostly highs (cut the bass a little bit), and on the bass drum mic, pull a little bit of the highs out as a starting point.
Thanks Bo, I downloaded Reaper but I am not sure what type of interface I would need to hook up to my laptop. I am running windows 7 if you have any suggestions. Maybe it would be best to send the DP-008 back and get some type of interface instead?
 

x_25

Member
You can record drums with one mic, or 40. Depending on the style and sound you are after and if you are using it for songs or for just archiving. What kind of recordings are you looking to do? What styles? Do you want to actually get good at recording drums or do you want to just get sound onto the computer quick? All these will change the type of answeres you get.

That said, that pack is lacking any sort of overhead mics. You could feasably get ok sound using one of the dynamics from it for an overhead, but there are better choices.

Also, using a micer to pre mix the drums down to two channels is perfectly viable, but will take even more practice and learning to get a good result. (I actually mixed all the drums down to a mono track during tracking on the last project I worked on, I made some mistakes, but it was still useable.)

Answer some of those questions for me and I will try my best to help you come up with a good solution. Recording is actually my main hobby.
 

TheBob

Member
You can record drums with one mic, or 40. Depending on the style and sound you are after and if you are using it for songs or for just archiving. What kind of recordings are you looking to do? What styles? Do you want to actually get good at recording drums or do you want to just get sound onto the computer quick? All these will change the type of answeres you get.

That said, that pack is lacking any sort of overhead mics. You could feasably get ok sound using one of the dynamics from it for an overhead, but there are better choices.

Also, using a micer to pre mix the drums down to two channels is perfectly viable, but will take even more practice and learning to get a good result. (I actually mixed all the drums down to a mono track during tracking on the last project I worked on, I made some mistakes, but it was still useable.)

Answer some of those questions for me and I will try my best to help you come up with a good solution. Recording is actually my main hobby.

I would like to eventually get good at recording drums, but right now I am after decent quality so that I can listen to myself play and hear where I need to make improvements. I play many different styles, but my current main focus is funk and metal. I picked up the DP-008 on an impulse buy as it was extremely cheap at over 50% off the normal price, so I figured I would grab it just to see what I could do with it.

I am not looking for extremely high quality, just something that doesn't sound like it was recorded in a garage.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to reply.
 
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x_25

Member
I would like to eventually get good at recording drums, but right now I am after decent quality so that I can listen to myself play and hear where I need to make improvements. I play many different styles, but my current main focus is funk and metal. I piked up the DP-008 on an impulse buy as it was extremely cheap at over 50% off the normal price, so I figured I would grab it just to see what I could do with it.

I am not looking for extremely high quality, just something that doesn't sound like it was recorded in a garage.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to reply.
In this case, I would start with one mic to pick up the whole kit. You can get a surprisingly balanced sound (assuming you are a balanced player! this will make you work on that if you are not) and try all the different standard placements, as well as experimenting and finding spots that sound good on your kit as well. If you just have the CAD 4 mic kit, then take one of the smaller mics and try that for now.

For the single microphone techniques, I recommend trying the right knee placement, over the right shoulder (reverse these if you are lefty!), directly over the kit and out in front of the kit as starting points. Once you learn how to pick up the whole kit with a nice balanced sound, you can move on to two mics, of which their are many methods to try. Micing up a drum kit is as much an art as playing them, and requires nearly as much learning, practice and ear training.

Have you read up on the differences between different types of mics and their pickup patterns? If not this looks like a good explanation (I only read snippets of it but it has all the right diagrams). http://artsites.ucsc.edu/ems/music/tech_background/te-20/teces_20.html

If you need more basic information I will see what else I can dig up.
 

TheBob

Member
Thank you, I really appreciate the information and feedback. I am going to give that a try and heading over to read the link you posted now.
 

Chromium

Senior Member
I've used the same Tascam recorder and had pretty good results with an acoustic kit by setting up two mics (Akai C1000s) one overhead about 3 foot above the highest cymbal (pointing towards my hi-hat) and one on a stand at waist height about 5 feet from the kit and directly in front of it. I them listened on headphones and set up the levels of the two mics to what sounded good before recording on two channels at the same time. It's a good recorder and my band use it to record our practice sessions.
 

TheBob

Member
I've used the same Tascam recorder and had pretty good results with an acoustic kit by setting up two mics (Akai C1000s) one overhead about 3 foot above the highest cymbal (pointing towards my hi-hat) and one on a stand at waist height about 5 feet from the kit and directly in front of it. I them listened on headphones and set up the levels of the two mics to what sounded good before recording on two channels at the same time. It's a good recorder and my band use it to record our practice sessions.
Thanks for the info, this gives me an excellent starting point.
 
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