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  #11  
Old 07-12-2011, 03:44 PM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

... you really can't beat a real drummer (though once in a while they need a good flogging!

Yada yada yada...if you weren't just some 12-year old poser you'd know that't the only reason we take those million dollar Lady Gaga gigs is to pay for the mistresses who dress us up with the lash in a vain attempt to make us fit for civilized company...

As far as drum replacement goes...here's my thoughts...note that most of my "pro" recording was done back in the wax cylinder days (and you punk ass kids can Google "wax cylinders" since they don't teach actual history in the schools any more).

If you go back to the pre-Pro Tools days, one of the things that made a lot of the great records interesting were the slight, almost unnoticable, flaws in even the best recorded performances.

One of my favorite "mistakes" was in a record by a regionally-big band named the Uniques, from Springhill, LA and Magnolia, AR. All through their record "Not Too Long Ago" there is a hard "bell" hit where you would expect a full cymbal crash. I was talking to their drummer, a guy named Mike Love (not the Beach Boy), and he told me that the first bell hit was a mistake; he intended to do a crash and just hit the cymbal wrong. Mike just figured, "what the hell" and just kept doing it through the rest of the song. So a "mistake" actually added a lot of color to the song. BTW: I've "stolen" that lick on more than one occasion.

But now, everthing has to be perfect. So, if you want to pay me a couple of hundred grand for a three-hour session you can replace my drums with Bozo's floppy foot slaps for all I care (so long as you don't put my name on the record).

Were I to do a real session for you, and I had a weak snare hit while I was dealing with an itchy nose between licks, or an "off" bass drum hit 'cause my ass was itching, replace away. That's stuff I could play even if I missed a couple of licks on that track. If the drum "sound" ended up being not what you wanted, I don't have a problem with you using my licks to trigger some better sounding samples; it's still my playing.

But if you want to take my track and throw in a drum solo with a 300 BPM double bass (which there ain't no way I could get tweaked enough to play) we are gonna have some "difficulties"...make that a lot of difficulties.

There are some guys out there who aren't the best drummers in the world but who play in really good bands with people they like. If there's a nice fat record contract on the line they might be able to put their ego on hold for the sake of the band and allow their less-than-spectacular drumming to be replaced. After all, even Ringo Starr had to sit on the bench for a few early Beatles sessions where a session pro was used.

So there you have it...words of wisdom from some old geezer. If you feel them to be of some worth, feel free to send me a few bucks...Madame Jezebel has raised her rates again...
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Note that all opinions, observations, whatever, in this post are mine, unless I'm being mean or am wrong, in which case it's somebody else's fault. I do not work for Avid (their loss)...my only relationship with Avid is that of a customer (when I'm not too poor to buy stuff, like now)...and that hot administrative assistant...that's more of a "thing" than a "relationship" (that should keep them guessing for a while...)

Just rockin'...what more is there?

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Last edited by Bill Denton; 07-12-2011 at 03:48 PM. Reason: All of that and I missed an "f" and is missed a spell
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  #12  
Old 07-13-2011, 08:10 AM
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

real drums - everytime !!!
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  #13  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:41 AM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

@Bill - good thoughts all around. Thanks. When I say "drum replacement", I only mean sample replacement for a different sound, not replacing with some other loops or what have you. Like you said, its still the drummer's playing, which is what you want.

Oh, and just so you know, I do know what wax cylinders are. I knew Thomas Edison, Thomas Edison was a friend of mine, and you are no Thomas Edison. (sorry, got carried away there!).
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  #14  
Old 07-14-2011, 07:51 PM
Bill Denton Bill Denton is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

Oh, and just so you know, I do know what wax cylinders are. I knew Thomas Edison, Thomas Edison was a friend of mine, and you are no Thomas Edison. (sorry, got carried away there!).

(Wayne and Garth's wavy lines segueing to five years from now) Thomas Alva who?

First the wax cylinders got knocked out by the skinny-tie crowd with their vinyl fetish, now the US government is banning "real" light bulbs...couple that with the crappy schools and in five years nobody will even know who Thomas Edison was...

So who ya planning to name-drop then, huh?
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Note that all opinions, observations, whatever, in this post are mine, unless I'm being mean or am wrong, in which case it's somebody else's fault. I do not work for Avid (their loss)...my only relationship with Avid is that of a customer (when I'm not too poor to buy stuff, like now)...and that hot administrative assistant...that's more of a "thing" than a "relationship" (that should keep them guessing for a while...)

Just rockin'...what more is there?

Bill in Pittsburgh
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  #15  
Old 07-18-2011, 01:39 PM
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DonaldM DonaldM is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Denton View Post
Oh, and just so you know, I do know what wax cylinders are. I knew Thomas Edison, Thomas Edison was a friend of mine, and you are no Thomas Edison. (sorry, got carried away there!).

(Wayne and Garth's wavy lines segueing to five years from now) Thomas Alva who?

First the wax cylinders got knocked out by the skinny-tie crowd with their vinyl fetish, now the US government is banning "real" light bulbs...couple that with the crappy schools and in five years nobody will even know who Thomas Edison was...

So who ya planning to name-drop then, huh?
Why, Bill Denton, of course!!!
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  #16  
Old 08-20-2011, 04:11 PM
Shanegrla Shanegrla is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Denton View Post
...one of the things that made a lot of the great records interesting were the slight, almost unnoticable, flaws in even the best recorded performances.
How about The Cars' "My Best Friend's Girl"? On that first pre-chorus, the drummer TOTALLY MISSES the first snare hit! Sounds to me like a screw-up that they decided they liked the character of and decided to keep.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2011, 02:05 AM
kevinth kevinth is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

The phase/polarity switch is often of little use when checking drums as it is rare that two signals are 180 degrees out of phase. The time alignment of the spill of each voice of the drum kit in multiple microphones is not absolute. Therefore, you must use your ears and check each voice of the kit against all other voices listening for tonal integrity across the kit, particularly in mono.
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  #18  
Old 08-26-2011, 08:37 AM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

I just consider it another creative choice that's available (electronic drums instead of acoustic).

If you are talking about a record that people are going to buy, rather than a demo you are going to play to your friends. And additionally whether you are the artist, with perhaps the final creative say, or you are serving as an engineer for an artist - there are so many variables that make the choice between making your own recording of a "real" kit, and just reaching for a plugin/drum machine:

The genre of the music, the artists preference, the budget, and numerous other circumstances.

Personally, for the type of music I enjoy, I'd rather hear a mediocre recording of drummer playing a real kit in a real space, interacting with the other musicians, than hear a meticulous yet inappropriate programmed drum part.

It would sound utterly ridiculous if a Sebadoh record had all the drum parts programmed with BFD or even replaced with Drumagog.

Conversely, you wouldn't want to listen to a Nine Inch Nails or Metallica record with just a crappy pair of room mics, thrown up on a kit recorded in an old basement on a 4-track.

Yes, you can make programmed drums sound convincing, but it's an awful lot of work - it can be long winded and time consuming, though so can getting trapped in to micro editing audio or anything else in PT if you go down that path, so you need to weigh up the pros and cons of both.

With a "real" recording, you just get so much expression and articulation completely free - yes you can have the drummer play a virtual kit and capture some of the small "mistakes" that you wouldn't think to program, and you also have the benefit of recording a performance in real time that way. But as has been mentioned previously, none of the sound sets can be reasonably expected to reproduce every nuance of a drum head, and it's inevitable that you will spend a lot of time adjusting things because you can, and spend forever trying out every possible drum sound in your library - it can undermine your confidence to just commit.

With a real kit and mics in a room, you have to commit, and you end up with something that is uniquely yours, that sonically carries the same "DNA" as your other acoustic recording within the song.

How do you think most of the drum sounds found their way in to your drum machine/plugin - they were a real kit recorded in a real space. And now you, and everyone else who is using those devices has the exact same sound set.

Like I said, I'd rather hear a mediocre recording of something unique, than the same old "perfect" cookie cutter approach - but that's just my personal taste.

The choice is entirely yours.
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  #19  
Old 10-30-2011, 07:11 PM
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God_made_me_do_it God_made_me_do_it is offline
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

I've got the Alesis Dm10 Studio myself and have to say it's fantastic once you mod it with mesh heads and trigger VST/RTAS with it - I'd agree with the argument about 'mechanical' vs 'natural' sounding drums, but I put this bad boy through Superior 2 and triggered it with a live drummer - you get all of those imperfections if you still want them there, yet you get amazing editing skills into the bargain along with a truly realistic drum sound.

I'm currently recording an album where the drummer has some serious back problems, so eventually I persuaded him to have a go on the DM10 and so far he's really enjoying it! We can fix up any slightly-off takes quickly which takes the strain off his bad back and makes us work a LOT faster. The band were really concerned about sounding 'natural' but after sending them a quick edit of a song section with some backing guitars they were amazed at how natural they came out. I even sent it to a producer friend who often spots things like Superior and Steven Slate in commercial mixes and said he wouldn't have known otherwise.
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2011, 01:44 AM
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Default Re: Why do you silly folks mic drums?

I know there's some tongue-in-cheek in the header of this thread...but I'll add this:
Most folks that would question "why" someone would mic a drumkit, most likely don't have:
A./ a drum kit and good microphones
B./ a space to record drums

That is to say, a guy with a drum room using electronic percussion once in a while is experimenting.
Someone recording in a spare bedroom saying "you don't need real drums, and this or that program is just as good as real drums" is a fool.
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