Advice needed for recording Rock Drums

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Lution, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. Lution

    Lution Supporting Member

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    I'm ok on the basics. I'll be using a kick-mic, one mic for the snare/highhat, one for each tomtom, and two overheads in stereo for the cymbals and overall set.

    I'll be running into a mackie board and then into the first 2 tracks of my Boss Br-8 (this is low-budget).

    I need advice on if I should use compression or a limiter? What kind of compression and compression ratio etc would work best?

    The drums sometimes will have soft passages and then roar all-out!!

    any advice or help is welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    I generally don't use compression on drums; you often can't predict what every hit will be, and you can get a clacky-thunk sound instead of a good sound. Limiters work well, if you have a good one. If not, it will sound like crap and you're better off just using nothing.

    Tom mics will add to the dynamic level; they probably won't be needed, the overheads pick up most toms well, and eliminating them will reduce the dynamic load.

    There are a few things you may want tom mics on, but again, you really do add to the problem unless you have a good limiter. The problem is, the only limiters I've heard that I can tolerate the sound of are very expensive, such as the Manley products.

    But like I said, unless it's a good limiter, you're going to get garbage.
     
  3. loudboy

    loudboy Member

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    If there's any way you can print to at least a few more tracks, you should try to. Then you can take your time, get a mix on them and bounce to two tracks. I would imagine this would come out much better. Otherwise, you'll be locked into the balance you set up when tracking, and this could cause problems down the line. I'd suggest one track for kick, one for snare and then mix the OHs/toms to a stereo mix.

    If you must go to 2 tracks, here's a few tips:

    1. Set the levels on the kick and snare the same. Then bring the OH's in until the cymbals are balanced naturally. Then see if you need the tom mics. If it's a contemporary drum sound you're looking for, you'll need to close mike the toms.

    2. On the kick, EQ out a little at around 175-250hZ. This is where the boxy sound lives on a kick. You may want to boost a little low end at 60-100hZ, and if you'd like a little slap, try some peaking at 6khZ. No more than 2-3 dB should be needed, especially as the Mackie EQ can be pretty nasty.

    3. Low cut all the drums and the OHs, except of course, the kick.

    4. Don't compress, when tracking. Use conservative level. Remember that your drummer will play 4-6dB louder, when actually tracking.

    Good Luck,

    Loudboy
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    Loudboy know his stuff, good man!
     
  5. Lution

    Lution Supporting Member

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    thanks very much. I wish we could go to more than 2 tracks, but my little Boss can only record two tracks at once so I'm stuck with the first mix. We are going for a garage/punk type recording anyways so the pressure to have perfect drums is a little off.
     

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