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  #1  
Old 01-15-2004, 06:30 AM
Bezo Bezo is offline
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Default Purpose of overheads?

I've noticed many members stressing the importance of overheads. Some have even said they're the key to a good sounding kit.

Right now I'm a one man band playing guitar, bass and keys. Without the space or skill to record a real drum kit, I've been programming them with pretty good results. I record hip hop, r&b, funk and rock. And with the hip hop tracks, I aim for a more organic sound than most, so it's imperative that my drums sound as real as possible.

I'm familiar with, and getting better at humanizing the programmed drums via timing, velocity, ect. My question is, what's the purpose of the overhead miking on a kit? Would it be worth trying to duplicate that? If so, do you have any suggestions?

To let you know how I currently treat my drums, I NY Compress them 95% of the time. Small or Medium Hall reverb on the snare, toms, hi hats and cymbals. Ocassionally, some white noise added to the snare, and/or sine to the kick via aux sends.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2004, 06:46 AM
mike001 mike001 is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

The purpose of overheads is to get the stereo image of the kit. Its not important to do it it really a prefrence. Some people use 2 mics kick,snare. 3 mics kick, snare and one overhead. so on....
I like using a A-B mic technique while close micing each piece individually. Hope this helps.

Peace

M
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2004, 08:05 AM
Bezo Bezo is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

I see.

I pan the drums as if it were a kit. Kick and snare down the middle, hi hats to the right, cymbal on the left and toms spread from left to right. Seems like I have the stereo field set already.

Ah well. I was hoping I could add something to make things a bit more realistic.

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 01-15-2004, 08:20 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

Typically a drumkit is played by one person, and IMHO should be treated as one big instrument. The overheads capture the entire sound fo the iunstrument, and, in combination with room mics, combine ot recreate the sound fo the kit in the room as it is being played.

You cannot recreate this with samples. You could try running your drum mix through a stereo playback system and recording some ambient room mics.
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Old 01-15-2004, 08:21 AM
col68 col68 is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

Most people recording drums on a budget would use a pair of overheads to capture the cymbals & only close mic the hi-hat/snare/kick/rack.
Big studios would close mike everything then use overheads to capture the sound of the kit as a whole as well as any natural ambience. In your case this is what you wan't to reproduce, if you have all your drums sharing one reverb plug-in on an aux channel it will help blend them together as well as save your cpu.
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Old 01-15-2004, 09:04 AM
Bezo Bezo is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

I should have been more clear. I do run the drums, minus the kick, through a reverb on an aux track. Reverb on the kick always sounds wierd to me.

A thought I have:
Keep the individual tracks relatively dry to emulate close miking. Maybe some compression on the kick and snare and minor EQing.
Send/Record all drum tracks to a single audio track and add effects to emulate the overheads. Reverb, EQ...

Thoughts? Would I run into phasing issues? Would the single track reflect my panning set-up of the individual tracks? Would this even help?
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2004, 09:42 AM
Munxcub Munxcub is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

one single track would not reflect your pan information because it is a mono track. you'd have to send them to a stereo track to keep the pan info.
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Old 01-15-2004, 10:31 AM
16yearsjeff 16yearsjeff is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

for what its worth this is what i do. i feel like a lot of people use overheads to add a little air to the kit. i close mic all the drums and i use room mics to get the ambience of the kit and for some natural reverb so since i use the room mics for this i use the overheads strictly for cymbals. i try to position them for more cymbals and less drums. this works well in part because i record drums in a really large, open, reverbarant room. so the room mics work well for the "air" and i have more control over the cybals -i dont know if you care but this is what i do. seems to work well for big rock music.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2004, 10:48 AM
Chris Coleman Chris Coleman is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

Quote:
The overheads capture the entire sound fo the iunstrument, and, in combination with room mics, combine ot recreate the sound fo the kit in the room as it is being played.

You cannot recreate this with samples.
Actually, you can recreate that cohesion with samples.

Sample sets like Drumkit From Hell and many others include overhead and/or room mic samples that were recorded at the same time as the close-mic'd sample. Since they're separate samples, you can mix in as much overhead and/or room as you want (or you can have it be just overhead/room if you want).

Quite convincing actually.
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2004, 10:56 AM
where02190 where02190 is offline
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Default Re: Purpose of overheads?

You can play that kick drum sample all day long, the floor tom sample is not going to resonante from it. It is the interaction of the drumset within itself that, properly tuned, creates overtones that set the real kit apart from the high end sample kit.

this is one of the intregal functions of overheads and room mics, to capture these overtones. Without them, the kit is lifeless.

This is also why a poorly tuned kit sounds so bad. while an indivula drum may sound good on it's onw, it does not integrate tot the tonality of the kit as a single instrument.
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