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  #1  
Old 12-06-2004, 08:22 PM
keithl keithl is offline
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Default does anybody record drums with no compression in?

I am recording a pop/rock album. My first with Pro Tools. I have done a ton of drum recording research (which my sessions start this weekend...very excited!)

anyway...I just tested recording some drums into PT without any compression and then would take my sessions to a friend to mix..(he has waves compressors...I just have T-racks!)

Well, messing around with T-racks compression, I was not really able to get the snare and bass drum to sit well....

does anybody do this when they record? (no compression in...compress in PT).

I would be curious to see if I am just going down the wrong path. I really would like to do this, because in the past..I have been known to squash too much and would love to just have the pure drum sound for me to "murder!" later....

Thanks in advance to the fellow DUCers!

Keith
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:34 PM
Chris Cavell Chris Cavell is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

Quote:
does anybody record drums with no compression in?
sometimes yes, sometimes no...depends on a lot of things...
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:41 PM
pk_hat pk_hat is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

No rules, really, though I think it's much more rewarding to get a great drum sound purely based on (in order) talent-->gear/drumkit-->room sound-->mic choice-->mic placement. As you said, you can murder it later, smoothen it out, fatten things up, etc., but as you can't undo compression from the tracking stage, you're better off without it, or very sparingly if needed, barely taming peaks. The better the captured signal at the source, the more enjoyable the mixing process, but as Chris mentioned above, different needs for different situations.
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:48 PM
Ruben_B Ruben_B is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

Quote:
The better the captured signal at the source, the more enjoyable the mixing process, but as Chris mentioned above, different needs for different situations.
A really good point here!

Ive saved a lot of time in the mixing process by just making sure that ive captured the sound i want while tracking.
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:07 PM
Chris Cavell Chris Cavell is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

Bingo!

When I'm both tracking and mixing engineer for a project, I kind of approach it like a sculptor approaches a giant slab of granite. Tracking is like the roughing in...getting the basic shape and knocking off big obvious chunks, mixing is like the detail work...adding in the subtlety that makes it a true work of art, mastering should then be just a final dusting and polishing to an otherwise already completed masterpiece.

When I'm the tracking engineer but not doing the mixing, I'll do whatever it takes to get sounds that provide as much versatility to the mixing engineer as possible. Sometimes a really versatile sound requires the flavor of a particular compressor, but more often than not I'll not reach for one immediately when tracking for someone else to mix. I will do some eq on the way in...but nothing that really colors or shapes the sound...just the typical stuff to compensate for HVAC rumble, proximity effect, etc...
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:09 PM
Ruben_B Ruben_B is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

Well said Chris
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Old 12-06-2004, 09:22 PM
Matt Whritenour Matt Whritenour is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

i don't use any compression on drums on the way in.

take note,
if you use compressors on the way in and you want to gate the drum later
on in pro-tools it will be harder to gate the compressed drum then an
uncompressed drum, but the only thing's i ever gate are toms
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:11 PM
Third Eye Studios Third Eye Studios is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

I don’t have complete isolation from the drums that I’m recording so I feel that I can’t really hear the drums well enough to use compression efficiently while tracking yet (acoustic treatments and isolation are improving). So I record usually with no compression on drums. Bass, guitar, and vocals are pretty easy to hear the effects of the compression, so I have no problem compressing those before tracking. I think using light compression during tracking enables some dynamics plugins to perform better during mixing and not have to make drastic adjustments to the sound.
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Old 12-07-2004, 04:25 AM
macr0w macr0w is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression in?

I only use compression on my tom mics. I leave everything else alone. Like you said "murder it in the box".
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Old 12-07-2004, 05:09 AM
gonzo99 gonzo99 is offline
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Default Re: does anybody record drums with no compression

So, to add a question to this thread (sorry 'bout that ):

I know it's one thing to add a compressor for flavour when tracking, however sparingly ... but what about limiting? I'm extremely inexperienced as an engineer, but it seems to me that applying limiting sparingly would not affect the sound quite as much as compression (ie, higher vs lower ratio). What I'm getting at is this:

If I don't want to affect the sound too much am I better off limiting sparingly (for more clip control) and tracking as hot as I can rather than using compression (where I will be squashing more of the signal to get the same level)?

I ask because this applies to all signals, but especially drums. And then I can really "murder them in the box"

cheers,
gonzo ;o)
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