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  #1  
Old 03-24-2006, 04:43 PM
2012 2012 is offline
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Default Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN METHOD

This popular technique is dubbed THE RECORDERMAN METHOD.
It's simple & it works.
All of this has been pasted from elsewhere on the internet.
Try searching recording.org & gearslutz.com.
I just wanted to share this here with people who may
not know about this extremely useful technique.

Here you go:

1. Sit on the drummer's throne.

2. Hold both drum sticks end-to-end so that you have a measuring device ( aprox. 16"...give or take).

3. Place the tip of one end of your new double- length-drums-stick-measuring-device in the center of the snare with the "drum sticks" held vertically.

4. The other end will now(depending on how tall you are) be a little above and in front of your forehead.

5. Place a mic here. I've been aiming it down at the snare as of late...

6. With the tip of the "drum sticks" still in the center of the snare, angle the "stick back and down, so that's it's to the right of your right shoulder ( about a 45 degreee angle)

7. Use a mic cable or whatever you can to measure the distance of the over the snare mic to the center of the kick drum. Check that the "right shoulder" mic is also the same distance.

8. Double check the snare distance again.

9. As far as where to face them...experiment. I like the extra snare reinforcement, so as of late I've been facing them both at the snare. facing them at the rack and floor toms also produces good results.

10. With headphones on, both "OH" mics in your cue mix (only them) .fine tune the placement (i.e. adjust their orientation...usualliy just moving the shoulder one) untill the kick is in the center of your "image"

11. When your done you'll notice that at first glance, this looks very weird and unsymmetrical. Yet it is very symmetrical in it's result. A. Rack toms are higher off the floor than floor toms, so this arrangement actually follows the contour of the toms as they really are. Standard OH micing doesn't take this into account, and as such are usually no more than "cymbal mics". Most of them time you see mixers pulling the OH's down to -10 or more in the mix because of the over abundance of cymbals and badly phased snare/kick/toms in the "OH's". I tend to focus my OH on being a cornerstone of my whole kit sound, and as such, and have spent great pains into making the snare/kick/tom elements speak as well as possible. I guess you could say I'm a "drum bigot". It's just that if you "ignore" the cymbals you actually are going to hear them anyway...like the hat, there just so damn loud.

With good balanced drumming, you could eliminate the need for some of the other mics like the ride and hi-hat. Monitor through headphones in mono while you position the second mic (the one at 45 degrees.) When the kick and snare become focused and punchy in the center of the soundfield in mono, it almost universally sounds good when panned in stereo. If your not getting enough cymbals, the whole set up can be raised a few inches.



Good Luck!

.2012.
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2006, 09:11 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN MET

Seems like a lot of drummers would accidentally hit a mic just in front of and just above their forehead. Other than that, it sounds like an interesting layout.

When I want to emphasize the stereo pair, I usually choose a stereo mic. My favorite, when it's available, is a C-24. Place it vertically in line with face of the drummer-side of the kick drum, and make the left-to-right placement over the drummer's-right edge of the snare drum. That keeps the kick and snare both near enough center. Use a hyper-cardioid pattern and spread them about 120 degrees. For jazz, you often don't need any other mics, esp with API pres. For rock, of course, you still need to close mic everything so you can squash 'em and put specific fx on individual drums, but you don't have to use much of the individual spikes to add a lot of punchiness to that monster stereo pair. Add a distant ambience mic with snare-triggered gate, and you've got an over-the-top big sound.
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2006, 11:04 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN MET

Quote:
Add a distant ambience mic with snare-triggered gate, and you've got an over-the-top big sound.
Daeron - Please elaborate on this method. I see how, when the snare is hit, the gate opens, and the room ambience is brought out through the room mic. But, 99 times out of 100, the snare is hit simultaneously with a hi-hat, ride, floor tom, or cymbal, which then also becomes exemplified by the room mic. So, for example, the snare gets real loud and roomy (great), but then the hi-hat gets real loud, too, which, if my logic is correct, momentarily throws off the relationship between snare and hi-hat (something that I usually try to keep constant, more or less).

Do you tend to apply this technique when the snare is hit by itself, as in a fill, break, intro, etc., or during a whole song (i.e. during the 1 time out of 100, or the 99?)

How hard are you gating the room mic? Is the roominess all but unnoticeable unless the snare is hit, or is the roominess audible, but intensified with a snare hit?

Thanks for any help,
Naagzh
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Old 03-31-2006, 12:21 PM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN MET

Well, first there is a distinction between room mics and ambience mics, at least in Nashville terminology. The kind of ambient mic I'm talking about is not in the same room with the drums, but maybe in an adjacent room or down a hall. I've read that Mutt Lang used to sometimes put it outside in a parking lot! But I find 20-30 feet away and around at least one corner is usually good. No direct line of sight, for sure. Kitchens and bathrooms often have a nice splashy vibe.

You can use one mic, two mics in two different places, or a stereo mic. I've always gotten the best results with one mic, and send it really hot to a shortish room reverb (D-verb's Room 2 preset is a good place to start, an old SPX-90 is even better), so you're hearing more verb than direct. Drummers love it, and usually want lots of that in their cans.

Put a gate on the ambient track, keyed by the snare close mic (pre fade send). How hard you gate it depends on the song. I usually start with a Range setting of -6 to -12 dB, and play with it till the kick is just clean enough. Some songs, as little as -3, some maybe down to -24. Occasionally automate it in the mix for a grungier kick in the bridge and outro or whatever. Sometimes key it off the toms as well as the snare, if you have them individually miked. Don't want to get too Phil Collins, though, unless the artist wants the cheese factor.

It's true that other parts of the kit are often sounding at the same time as the snare, but psycho-acoustically you don't usually notice it. Your mind quickly comes to associate the explosion with the snare. If the hat or cyms do happen to sound obnoxious in there, move the mic. If you can't get them out that way, cut around 5 KHz +/- 2 K, or throw a pillow or overstuffed chair or blanket in front of the offending surface.

The ambient track often needs heavy-handed EQ. Depending on what size room or hallway it's in, what reflective surfaces are around, and what rooms are resonating nearby, you may need to cut a lot of lows or low mids. If there's a lot of glass around, you might need to cuts highs or notch out an annoying ping. Subtractive EQ tends to be better than additive here because you don't want to pull the ambience too far out front in the mix. It's better to move the mic than to start boosting the mids really hard. Knowledge of how room modes behave is very helpful here.

Depending on how hard you're compressing the snare close mic, you might occasionally need to compress or limit the ambient track, too. Not usually, just if the ambience becomes overwhelming on hard hits or gets too wimpy on soft hits.

Riding the fader during the mix is usually needed, too. You know the drill, more in the chorus, less in the verses, pull it out of the way of the vocalist in their lower range, that kind of thing.
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  #5  
Old 04-03-2006, 08:01 AM
Naagzh Naagzh is offline
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Default Re: Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN MET

Thanks Daeron for the explanation (and the diff. btw. room and ambience); I'll likely give it a try. Any chance you have a tune I could listen to that features this technique, or know of a song with this going on?
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  #6  
Old 04-03-2006, 11:41 AM
daeron80 daeron80 is offline
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Default Re: Tracking Drums in Phase w/ the RECORDERMAN MET

Sure. Go to http://www.hummingbirdproductions.com/advertising.htm#. "Dodge TX DC" (at the bottom) probably exemplifies it best (give it a few bars to kick in). It was also used more subtly on Tubby's, Mazda, and Campbell's Soup. On Denny's "Louis Prima" I tracked the drums with just 3 mics: a U-47 a couple feet in front, a C-12 a couple feet behind, and a newer AKG tube out in the next room for extra ambience.

I suspect it was used on the mid-90s Tom Petty hit "You Don't Know How It Feels."
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