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  #1  
Old 12-11-2006, 10:05 AM
MidnightEffect MidnightEffect is offline
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Default Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Hey everyone,

I've been frequenting these forums often as you can tell I'm a newbie. SPK has referred me to his two mic method for drums. The sound of the drums in the video is actually pretty decent! I'm wondering though, if I have access to a full set of drum mics and a sub mixer...

would I be better off going that route? Or would the 2 mic setup be better?

My main concern is getting a good kick drum and snare sound...

My band plays hardcore music (alexisonfire, as i lay dying, etc)

Then when I use the sends on the submix should i go mono into the mbox 2 inputs? or have it as one track and go stereo on the track?

Thanks for the help guys.

PS I'm amazed how fast I get responses from this forum. Thanks so much.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2006, 10:43 AM
therecordinghouse therecordinghouse is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

i would say keep it simple. the fewer mics you have on the kit, the less phasing issues you will have. i have gotten great sounds doing just a kick mic and one overhead. get the best mic you can afford for an overhead. then apply some compression with say, the BF76. use slow attack, fast release. enjoy.
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  #3  
Old 12-11-2006, 11:43 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Depends on the sound you want. If you want that modern, hardcore close mic sound, then go for it.

But it also depends on how much time you have to fool around with getting a good drum sound from the mixer. Have you ever recorded drums this way? If not, try it out and see what happens.

But I would definitely use more than two mics, because hardcore music isn't typically suited for a roomy, boomy drum sound. Get a mic on the kick, snare, toms, hi-hat/crash and ride/2nd crash and you'll be alright. Check the phase between the overheads and kick, between the overheads and snare, between kick and snare. Check phase of toms against kick and snare, too. (And just because so many people ask later, what you're listening for when you check phase is a general weirdness, along with a noticeable loss of low end and stereo spread.)

Use the EQ section on the mixer to get rid of some mud on all the tracks (small dip around 315 Hz, usually varies). You might even get rid of all the lows and low mids on the overheads. Small, broad boost somewhere around 2 to 6 kHz on kick and snare. Pan the hi-hat right, ride left, and toms to the sides pretty hard (but not all the way, or whatever sounds best). Make sure you're not clipping ANYWHERE. Apply a touch of reverb to the snare if necessary. If you do go with reverb, I think you'll find the 'verb with the shortest decay will sound best.

Do you have a hardware compressor? If so, you could use it as an insert on your snare channel (or maybe the kick, depending on the drummer) to make the hits more consistent. But you'd only want the compressor doing its thing a little bit. As a starting point, if you can hear the compressor "working", it's too much. But if it just tames the drum a bit and brings out some character, then you're good.

Since you won't be able to gate the toms or get rid of any bleed from the tom tracks after your done tracking, don't mix them in very much, and keep the mics close to the heads so bleed is minimized.

Send the left and right channels from the mixer into inputs 1 and 2 on your Mbox. Create a single stereo audio track and select as its input channels 1 and 2. You can also create a stereo aux track, send the drums to it, insert the BF76 (or other compressor), get it pumping, and sneak it back in underneath the raw drums. A little EQ can help here, too.

If you have enough channels and mics, you could also add one or two room mics to your mixer setup, but these channels will most likely need some compression and EQ in order to "gel" with the rest of your tracks, and won't need to be mixed in very much at all.

Record a bit, and listen back, and have fun! Good luck.
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  #4  
Old 12-11-2006, 06:15 PM
Mike Tg Mike Tg is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

I would try both techniques since doing it is the only way your going to hear what you really want.
Music is shades. Supposedly the x-y pattern is what I'm asumming you trying to do, makes a natural sound. I know that in all the books I've read some of ten always give you disriptions of micing pieces of the drum sets specifically. When I'm at the bar atleast for live you record almost every piece of the drum set up close. The best thing about this tech. is that you can bring up or down levels.

Also you probably got to know how to use comp. You can't have to phat of a drum sound, unless it sounds wierd in a bad way.
Hopefully this helps.
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  #5  
Old 12-13-2006, 01:13 AM
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JFreak JFreak is online now
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Let's see; if you only have a 2-channel mBox, then you naturally have a dramatic limitation to be dealt with. You can have either:

1) good stereo image that lacks punch
..or..
2) good punch without stereo image.

Given the music style you mentioned, perhaps the punch is more important than stereo image? If so, then use one channel for kick and put another mic near snare. I don't mean the usual close miking of snare, but place the overhead a lot closer than usually, and point it towards snare. That way you should get "everything" you need. After recording, give kick the usual treatment and then spend a lot of time EQing the oversnare track.
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  #6  
Old 12-13-2006, 08:13 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Quote:
Let's see; if you only have a 2-channel mBox, then you naturally have a dramatic limitation to be dealt with. You can have either:

1) good stereo image that lacks punch
..or..
2) good punch without stereo image.

Given the music style you mentioned, perhaps the punch is more important than stereo image? If so, then use one channel for kick and put another mic near snare. I don't mean the usual close miking of snare, but place the overhead a lot closer than usually, and point it towards snare. That way you should get "everything" you need. After recording, give kick the usual treatment and then spend a lot of time EQing the oversnare track.
I think the OP can have BOTH punch and stereo imaging, if he plugs all his mics into the mixer, and records the left and right mixer outputs into channels 1 & 2 on the Mbox (onto a stereo audio track within PT). Of course, the overheads would have to be panned to the sides (and yet ensure the snare remains in the center; having each overhead equidistant from the snare is a good idea here). Also, the toms would need to be panned accordingly, and their faders mixed in subtly. The real limitation is getting the mix right BEFORE it hits the Mbox, which is determined by ears, experience, and time. If you want, you could probably pay someone with experience to help you out. Have the drummer lay down a simple groove, then a tom pattern, and really listen. Adjust the mix, and do it again.

The real beast is the phase, which, left unchecked, will negate a significant amount of the stereo spread and low end. Though it's not always the case, the kick mic will likely be out of phase with the overheads, but snare could be as well. Flip the phase on the kick while recording the drummer laying down a simple groove, and listen for that "thump".

The punch can be accomplished with the NY compression, which he can try out on the Mbox while he's getting drum sounds (strongly recommended!). And it's still feasible to use sampled kicks and snares to beef up the sound, but that's another thread.

Lastly, this is a great way to get experience micing a drumset. The minimal mic thing is great for alot of reasons and in alot of music, just not here.
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  #7  
Old 12-13-2006, 09:50 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Do you or your band/client have a PA system?

If so, you could send the already-recorded drums out of your Mbox and into the PA system and back into the room, where you'd place a pair of room mics (start about 4 feet high and move them around till they sound good) and record them. Then, after some EQ and compression, you can sneak these two tracks back in with the rest of the drum tracks for added ambience. Could sound much better than D-verb (although you should try that, too). Depends on the room quite a bit.
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  #8  
Old 12-13-2006, 10:04 AM
MidnightEffect MidnightEffect is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

Yea we do have a PA system. Thats a good idea.

To the person above who said something about replacing the drums with samples...Would the easiest thing be to match it up with the pencil tool on a midi grid?

This was my original plan but I have a feeling it will be SOO much work.

Thanks for all the advice so far!
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  #9  
Old 12-13-2006, 10:31 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

What you can do is take the drum mix and EQ it such that the snare, for example, sticks out the most (you could also pan the send narrower, further isolating the center-positioned kick and snare from the left-and-right cymbals and toms. This shouldn't be that hard, since your drum mix will probably feature more kick and snare than anything else. You can use this EQ'd track to open a gate, triggering whatever program(s) you want to play the samples. It won't be perfect, but it will get you off to a good start.

Or, have your drummer play a keyboard, and use the recorded MIDI data to trigger the kicks and snares.

Yes, it will take alot of time. You'll probably have to zoom in a make sure each snare is perfect. If you want to record more than a handful of songs, it's probably worth it to book a real studio for a day, track drums, and do overdubs and mixing at home.
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  #10  
Old 12-13-2006, 10:57 AM
MidnightEffect MidnightEffect is offline
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Default Re: Drums - SUB MIX or TWO MIC METHOD

I think what I'll try is direct mic on the kick into port one and a submix for the rest of the drums.

From there I will see what I can do... lol

If all else fails I'll try to program the midi as close as I can to the real track. I've got BFD lite and a full version of reason. Which do you guys recommend for the best sounding *hardcore drums*

Also, any additional tips for the midi programming?
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