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Cymbol/Hi-hat bleeding

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by Magpi, Sep 28, 2006.

  1. Magpi

    Magpi Member

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    Hi all,

    Just wondering how people are isolating cymbals/hihat from their drum mixes, especially heavy drum sounds? I'm listening to a few cd's such as Rise Against, and Queens of the Stone Age, and these recordings sound like the cymbals and hihats have been recorded as separate tracks after recording snare, toms, and kick? Seems like they have good control of the cymbals and hihats. Are there ways to keep a good drum mix with snare, kick, and toms dominating opposed to cymbals and hihats? what are people doing to record drums? I heard of getting the drummer to raise their cymbals as high as possible and moving the hihats away, and also playing lighter with thinner crashes. Are there any other techniques I can do with cutting these out or lowering in the mix, at least having better control of them? They seem to creep in every mic i use on the skins. maybe i use too much compression or limiting, but these heavy bands seem to have heavy compressed drums? My gear for drums are D112 for kick, MD421's for toms, 57 for snare, and fostex overheds. i record completely dry into my presonus firepod.

    Could it be a room issue? should i diffuse the room with foam so the high's aren't reflecting as much?

    Thanks for the help guys!
     
  2. Jan Folkson

    Jan Folkson Member

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    Micing a drum kit is definitely an art but cymbals and hats leak into all drum mics, there's really no way around it. It's better to embrace it than fight it.

    One thing you might want to try is to use a side address mic on the snare and place it so that the null side is facing the hat (414's are good for this and Josephson also makes a good side address condensor). This works a bit better to keep the hat out of the snare mic but won't remove it.

    Many of the records you hear on the radio or cd have had the snare and kicks enhanced or replaced with samples. Which is why the sounds have no hat or cymbals leaking into them.

    HTH.
     
  3. suprotennessee

    suprotennessee Member

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    Funny. If you get Tape Op Magazine there is a letter in the newest issue from an engineer asking for this very same advice, and at least 10 engineers (including yours truly) respond.

    tapeop.com

    I agree with the above. Fighting it will make you insane, so insane, you will entertain ideas like overdubbing hi hats and cymbals separately. You can sometimes find different hi hats that are less offensive, and you can have your drummer change the balance between how hard she or he leans on the cymbals versus the drums. More times than not, that is as far as I need to take it.

    The micing technique described above sounds like very good advice. That's pretty much how I do it as well, only I use Sure KSM 32's. I have tried 414s but they... at least MINE... can't quite take the spls.

    Again. Get the new Tapeop Magazine. You can subscribe for free on line.
     
  4. covert

    covert Member

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    Learning to use the nulls in mic patterns is certainly crucial. Multiband compression, and parallel compression may also be useful. Parallel compression with heavy eq is sometimes very handy.

    I get the impression that you're mainly using the hats to deliberately get the cymbals, so putting them as high as possible, and raising the cymbals might help.
     
  5. vhollund

    vhollund Member

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    Gating and eq'ing is good too if you cant do otherwise

    "should i diffuse the room with foam so the high's aren't reflecting as much? "

    I think its a good idea , dry drums is easeier to handle in the mix.
    I know however that some people sometimes use drumroom for its reflections on purpose , an big rooms.
    But dry is good
     
  6. SarasotaSlim

    SarasotaSlim Member

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    Cymbals are the enemy and most drummers should die!

    Very few drummers play properly and those that know how to play the song without cluttering up the mix with insane cymbal wash are known as good studio drummers. Drummers are the root of your problem much more than whatever recording hoop you want to go through.

    For live recording I'm a big fan of internal drum mics. I mounted Audix D2's inside the toms and a D6 in the kick. This does 2 things - first it gives the drums a big loud puchy booming rock sound for the live mix out front - and second it ISOLATES THE DRUMS SOMEWHAT FROM THE CYMBALS! I also use the 1 condensor mic sparingly by placing it underneath the snare to catch a bit of the snares and it will also get all of the cymbals too without being overbearing. Check out the http://www.sarasotaslim.com/music-group-21.html
    and http://www.sarasotaslim.com/music-group-20.html using this setup live. When trying to record the typical cymbal bashing drummer you might find this method helpfull.
     
  7. gainiac

    gainiac Senior Member

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    Plugin. Sound Replacer. You record a live performance than you use sound replacer to replace the actual drums with samples. No bleed.
     
  8. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Ah...gating on the individual drum tracks. I don't have any issues with bleed. Although I should say I know how to play the drums so as not to tap the drums and wail on the cymbals :D

    Listen to this song:

    http://www.soundclick.com/bands/songInfo.cfm?bandID=150904&songID=4454243

    I recorded it in my basement, live guitars, no less.

    It's all in the tuning, a hint of muffling (actually I used NONE on this recording except a towel in the kick). Use hypercardioid dynamics on the drums. Get them up close. If you can, put a blanket over the kick drum.
     
  9. god_of_cheese

    god_of_cheese Member

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  10. VSpaceBoy

    VSpaceBoy Member

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    You also made the comment on overcompressing, that is VERY possible. On drums, I've found that a very shallow threshold and high ratios help. Also thin about trying an expander.
     
  11. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I've had problems with cymbal bleeding, but hi hats? With panning of all tracks in a halfway decent way you should feel that hi hat bleeding is your friend. A little leakage everywhere adds a sense of space, and depth when necessary, if your room sounds OK. The only thing I do to control hi hat leakage is to position the hi hat mic so that there's no direct line-of-sight to the snare - let the hi hat hide the sound of the snare. Otherwise, bring it on...

    Cymbals? Yeah, that's pretty much up to the drummer to control. They're loud, they surround the whole kit, they wobble and they don't like having other mics around them.
     
  12. elambo

    elambo Member

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    As a bit of advice, I'd have to say that you do in fact have a problem with hi hat bleed, at least in that track, and I'm assuming that the author of this thread is talking about just that - an omnipresent hi hat sound. It seems like your hi hat is in every mic. In almost every rock mix you'll hear hi hats panned to one side, usually as they're arranged in the actual kit, with a "sense" of presence everywhere, but the hats in the song posted above take the whole stage.
     
  13. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    Nope, the hats just sound a little goofy because of the overhead. I can post solo tracks if you want...there is a tiny bit of hat in the snare, a tiny bit in the rack tom, but not enough to really be noticeable in the mix.

    Technically, everything bleeds into everything else, but when you're talking a 25 dB difference, it's negligible.
     
  14. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I think you have less than a 25db difference between OH and hi hat mics and that's what I was trying to point out. The bleed into the OHs is why it's lacking directional focus. Were the OH mics centered above the kit?
     
  15. Jarick

    Jarick Supporting Member

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    There is no hihat mic.

    I had a pair of overheads in ORTF over the kit (above and behind the snare a bit), mics on top and bottom of the snare, mics on each tom, and a kick mic. Not to mention mics on each amp which were in the same room.
     
  16. elambo

    elambo Member

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    Two snare mics, but no hat mic?
     
  17. kbphx

    kbphx Member

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    A bit of drummer animosity there?

    Before we tell the drummers how to drum, maybe we need agreement on who's in charge. What is the recording engineer's job? Is it:

    a) Part of the artistic/creative process -- taking the raw material created by the band and crafting it into something else, hopefully "better?" OR --

    b) Taking the art created by the band and translating it -- as purely and effectively as possible -- to a recorded medium?

    There's a huge difference in approach between the two. If the engineer's job is the "b" example, then the drummer's overuse of cymbals is irrelevant to the engineer, whose job it is to take that performance (whether it's good or not) and transfer it to tape/disk/etc.

    The same conflict of "role" occurs frequently in live performance as well -- is it the FOH engineer's job to "fix" the band, or to take what they do and make it audible to the audience?

    Either approach can be valid...but all the participants need to agree on it at the beginning, or there's trouble lurking.
     
  18. kbphx

    kbphx Member

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    Generally speaking, bands who are willing to hire a producer are probably more serious, and less likely to have issues with musical maturity (knowing how to use a cymbal).

    Regardless, if a players STYLE is a heavy-handed, cymbal-intensive style, then that's what the record should sound like. It's not the engineer's job to take a Keith Moon and make him sound like Dennis Chambers.

    Randy Rhoads's guitar tone on Diary had a pretty buzzy general character, but that's what that band's "sound" was. What if Max Norman (engineer) had insisted on Rhoads getting a "better," more Larry Carlton-ish sound?

    Now, with so many self-produced bands these days AND with the advent of cheap 'home' studios, there are many instances where the engineer might help educate the band on ways to refine their sound. At the end of the day, though, whoever's paying the tab for the studio time gets to make the final call, and that's usually the band.
     
  19. elambo

    elambo Member

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    I talked with Kenny Aronoff about this exact thing a few months ago. In his typical "colorful" way he said that it's the job of the drummer to control their instrument (those weren't his exact words), just like any other musician. Engineers can do their best to save poorly executed takes but a good producer will hear these deficiencies as they're happening and will likely fire the drummer. Producers know how the recording process works and that there's only so much anyone can do with mics and mixing to control cymbals. Great playing vs. merely good playing is part of why some musicians are busy and others have day jobs.
     
  20. kbphx

    kbphx Member

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    I agree that the player's responsibility is to know how to play their instrument...and do it well. So we're really on the same page, then, just expressing it from different angles.

    Question -- for those with a background in studio drum recording, do you find that it helps if you run the gains on all the mics lower than what seems 'intuitive?' Doing so would make them all less sensitive to other sounds in close proximity. Is there too much loss of low end or fullness using lower gain?
     

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