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multitracking drums one at a time?

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,673
I'm not a drummer and I don't know how to play a trap kit. I think I could keep time with just the sticks but my feet? Forget it.

Would it work to track the snare, the toms, the cymbals and the bass drum one at a time? I'd probably have to play the bass with parade mallets.

Anyone ever heard of drums bveing recorded like this?
 

SBRocket

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
685
My guess is that a drummer could do it, but since you're not a drummer I'd go with one of the great drum programs out there like BFD2, Addictive or even Strike if you're in PT.

The thing is, even if you can play your individual drums in perfect time for a great groove, you'll still need to think like a drummer to get a great performance and the BFD grooves have all that done for you already.

SB
 

phazersonstun

Member
Messages
3,123
Your in for a long process, but you could do it that way if you need to.
You could get it to sound cohesive if you pay attention to you micing.

What I mean is, usually a kit is recorded with close mics on the snare, kick, usually toms, sometimes the hats are close mic'd & a pair of overheads for cymbals.

The overheads contribute hugely to the sound of the the overall kit so I'd record those as well as the close mics on what ever piece of the kit you are tracking in a particular pass. You'll end up with more tracks that way, but have flexibility in mixing, and a more natural sound.

An alternate way would be to run a playback of the kit through a PA speaker & distance mic that for "air".

That all being said, software or befriending a drummer would be a lot less time consuming.

If that person had a recording set up as well, you 2 could pass files back & forth.
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
Anyone ever heard of drums bveing recorded like this?
That's how I record drums.

I set up the mics for the entire kit and record each part with the same set up. Actually just a stereo condenser six feet in front of the drums works for me. No close micing is needed because each part has it's own stereo track. Complete isolation - perfect for mixing.

I record enough of the kick, then in Logic, I slide any off-beats back into position. Don't edit the beats too perfectly or it will end up sounding like a drum machine. Then I copy and paste for the rest of the song.

Then - snare. Again, I play just enough hits and edit off-beats and copy and paste. I go back and record fills if needed.

Then - Toms.

Last are Cymbals. I record them the entire way through. I can manage that. Having a continuous cymbal track from beginning to end sounds more real than looping a short section.

If I record the parts with Logic's metronome, it makes it easy to copy and past sections. They lock right in on the measure.
 

MSS

Member
Messages
1,257
Yikes......that seems like a lot of trouble for a drum track. Have you considered using loops? You must know some drummers that could track for you?? You could do it with the aforementioned method but I doubt it would ever sound very consistant and not very fluid. If you got it perfectly in time, it would sound like a drum machine anyhow; a lot more going on with drummers than just keeping time!!
 

stevel

Member
Messages
15,140
Do you think the guys who can't play guitar record them one string (or note) at a time?

Try this:

Record yourself playing a three note chord on guitar that you can slide up to another three note chord smoothly.

Now go back and multi-track each of the guitar strings individually playing the notes of those chords.

You'll get a very different sound (the multi-track version sounds "more orchestral").

You certainly *could* record drums this way, but it's going to sound "different" than a traditional recording of a kit.

Steve
 

rokpunk

Member
Messages
1,819
can't ya find a drummer to bang it out for ya in a take or two? seems like that would be much easier.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,673
It was sort of a hypothetical question. I do know a drummer, we had a band but we very rarely even get to practice together.
 

6789

Member
Messages
2,854
Sorry, but it works. It really isn't that difficult to do. It doesn't take any longer than tracking a few guitar parts and editing them. It also depends on the drumming style you are after. It works for the style I want. --- But I don't want a behind-the-beat, swing-blues feel. Yes, for that, I'd get a drummer to do it.
 
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lizardville

Member
Messages
276
That´the way Martin Hannet recorded Joy division´s "unknown pleasures".

So definitely can be done. Give that album a listen.
 

JacieFB

Member
Messages
358
Do you think the guys who can't play guitar record them one string (or note) at a time?

Try this:

Record yourself playing a three note chord on guitar that you can slide up to another three note chord smoothly.

Now go back and multi-track each of the guitar strings individually playing the notes of those chords.

You'll get a very different sound (the multi-track version sounds "more orchestral").

You certainly *could* record drums this way, but it's going to sound "different" than a traditional recording of a kit.

Steve

Isn't that how the guy from Def Leppard recorded his guitar parts?

That´the way Martin Hannet recorded Joy division´s "unknown pleasures".

So definitely can be done. Give that album a listen.

I read that Travis Barker did a track or 2 that way on Blink 182's self-titled back in '03. I didn't read how they got a sense of space in that recording. I like the idea of using a condenser from a few feet away. Seems like just using some good space plugs would do this, especially given how many of us (myself for sure) neglect room treatment.

But with all of the good drum software out there for not too much coin, that seems like a lot easier way to go unless you are just in mad mad love with the tone of your specific drums.
 

DanR

Member
Messages
3,675
I'm not a drummer and I don't know how to play a trap kit. I think I could keep time with just the sticks but my feet? Forget it.

Would it work to track the snare, the toms, the cymbals and the bass drum one at a time? I'd probably have to play the bass with parade mallets.

Anyone ever heard of drums bveing recorded like this?
That's how I record drums, also.

I do it a little different than tedzepplin, though. I program a basic kick and snare pattern on my Alesis SR-16 and record that to seperate tracks. I will then record a real kick drum. I will edit that as necessary if there's any real timing problems. I will then do the snare and toms simultaneously. I then record hi-hats, ride and crash cymbals on their own tracks. Needless to say, I then delete the Alesis parts.

It works for me.

:rimshot
 






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