موضوع: How To Record Drums

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  1. #1

    How To Record Drums

    Rule number 1 – instrument recognition
    Learn all the names of the all the drums so you
    don’t look an idiot. Yes ALL OF THEM! A navy
    captain needs to be able to recognise all types
    of ships. Why should you not be able to
    recognise the important things in your career?
    Rule number 2 – broaden outlook
    Do some background listening. Imagine the
    research a medical doctor has to do on his
    subject, years and years of research so he has
    all those medical terms on the tip of his tongue
    so he can easily diagnose an illness. Literally,
    years spent learning and studying. Studio
    Engineers are no different. They also have
    invested serious time “cutting their teeth”
    researching and studying to give them an in
    depth knowledge of all situations.
    Listen to drums from all styles of music, just
    because you like nu-metal doesn’t mean to say
    you wont have to record a jazz drum kit to earn
    a living. The reality is that as a Studio
    Recording Engineer you have to record whatever
    you are asked to record, we can’t pick and
    choose only the styles we like. Open your mind
    to all forms and styles it’s part of the
    maturing of your outlook as a Studio Engineer.
    Students often say “Chris I can’t stand jazz or
    I can’t stand that type of music and if I’ll
    loose my own taste if I have to listen to it”.
    Well folks change jobs go be a bus driver or
    butcher! Unless you learn to distance yourself
    from the style and the emotion to some extent
    you ain’t going to make it as a Studio Recording
    Engineer. OPEN YOUR MIND.
    Get hold of CD’s from different periods and
    styles. Listen to how George Martin recorded
    Ringo’s drums. Try listening to the way the Red
    Hot Chili Peppers had the drums recorded on
    Blood Sugar Sex Magik by Rick Rubin.
    Ask yourself these questions while listening:
    Where were the microphones placed?
    What sort of room sound is it?
    How many microphones were used?
    Were the drums miked close or distant?
    Does it sound as if they have been given
    artificial reverb?
    Etc etc…
    How many mics?
    How long is a piece of string? Hmm who knows. A
    story goes like this. Graduate leaves college
    armed with his wonderful learnt techniques of
    "oh a drum kit yes, I place mic A here and mic B
    here and hey I’ve got the sound."
    If you adopt that approach you’ll be making dull
    sounding records that have no personality in
    them and probably un-original sounds too. The
    more mics you have at your disposal the better.
    I’ve known engineers to place over 30 around a
    drum kit. YES 30! They might have only ended up
    using 5 though. The point here is that they have
    all these different sounds that they can
    audition to see if they like it. The drummer
    looks at you and scratches his head saying “is
    it all really necessary”. You reply “I take my
    work seriously”
    Of course you may experiment so much that you
    discover tried and testing ways of recording
    drums, you might be up against the clock and
    need a quick sure-fire way of getting a sound.
    Quick Solutions
    One in the kick drum about two inches from where
    the beater strikes will give the modern click
    and thump with subtle desk e.q. Mic = u87
    One on the snare facing down on the top skin
    close as you can – sm57
    One on the hi-hat facing down real close
    opposite where the stick hits and about half way
    in the radius – capacitor mic
    Two overheads in a crossed stereo pair
    configuration – akg 414s
    1 Omni-directional in lovely sounding room.(move
    it around and listen) Mic = akg 414
    Decca tree (Early Beatles)
    Three mics in a vertical line facing bass drum
    snare and cymbals (mono)
    Now before I continue that lot is a rough guide
    for you and you must not adopt it just cause
    someone with experience told you. YOU have to
    experiment with different combinations of mics
    and placement yourself.
    Get the drummer to tune the drums. Out of tune
    drums always sound like shit and you’ll never
    turn a bad sound into a good sound ever. Get him
    to tune them up if he can’t get someone who can.
    Best of all, learn how to tune drums yourself,
    you’ll be invaluable.
    Listen for rattles from stands or room fittings
    and get out the gaffa tape and deaden them down
    you don’t want a rattle ringing through in the
    quite bits especially when you start using
    Check the drums for rings they usually have a
    particular frequency where they just love to
    ocillate. I use crunched up toilet paper and
    gaffa tape and stick blobs of it on tricky drums
    just to “dampen” the troublesome ring (no pun
    intended). Be careful not to overdo this as the
    drums can end up sounding lifeless. You’ll also
    have to assure the drummer this might give him a
    wicked noise in the mix!
    Sometimes slackening off the top skin can add
    attack to the sound creating that crack that you
    hear in hard rock and nu-metal. But you’ll only
    get this luxury if working with a POP oriented
    song as mention this to a jazz drummer would be
    asking for a fist supper.
    If the spring on the snare is rattling too much
    again you can slip some toilet paper underneath
    just to take the edge off if needed.
    Drum gating
    Yuck….. do you have to? Personally I don’t much
    but I know some engineers do like to use them.
    Noise gates are automatic on/off boxes for
    signals where you can set how long it takes to
    turn on and turn off with attack and decay. Also
    the length of time that the gate stays open can
    be determined by the delay or hold dial. Gates
    can be good on cymbals as you can set them to
    close after a period of time so they don’t go on
    and on and on and on and on in a mix. A gated
    snare can be effective for some styles too. Here
    you can set the gate to close sharply given the
    snare focus, bit old hat now in my opinion. Kick
    drum (bass drum) gating can be good to get rid
    of background nonsense when the drum is not
    firing which helps to clean up the “bottom end”
    of the mix.
    Drum compression.
    Yes please and in many different ways.
    Individual drums compression, group the drums
    and compress a stereo pair multi-band
    compression. The main thing to aim for is to
    produce more attach from the drums. By using a
    compressor you make the long-term average level
    of the drum louder, which give the perception of
    more “punch” and “fatness”. Be careful not to
    over compress (unless for effect) or the sound
    might seem to pump up and down in volume, not

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