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OK... so part 2 is finished... I think...


Griffinator

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Finally, after another grueling week of mix duties, I've posted the 2nd track from the recording sessions two weeks ago.

 

"Birthright" is now up on my band's page. It's probably the most "Iron-Maiden-y" of the material in our current set, but it's a rollicking good romp - makes you want to go grab a spear, lift up your kilt, and bare your arse to the Roman army... :D

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Sorry Griff. I actually listened to it last night, but didn't respond.

 

I don't mind reviewing people's songs, but I feel like an a$$ when I pick at the same song, over and over. I feel like I'm being mean or something. However, if you don't mind the responses, I will keep adding my opinions.

 

I like the song, I like the playing, but the mixing was still off IMO.

 

The crash was really loud and the guitars were very quiet.

 

See, I still feel like a jerk when i post stuff like that. :freak:

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Don't feel like a jerk. That's the kind of feedback I'm looking for here.

 

The cymbals have been brutal the whole time - I went minimalist with the drum micing (2OH's and a kick mic) and I caught way too much cymbal and not enough drum in those overheads. I've been battling that problem the entire session, and am still puzzling over how to fix it.

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This is where guys like Bill@welcomehome could help you out. I bet there is some recording trick you can use, an eq or compressor or something that would enable you to bring down the crash.

 

In the future, do you have enough mics to actually mic the kit and rerecord it separately?

 

If you have enough tracks, maybe you could set the mics that you have up and record several tracks.

 

In this example, you would use three mics.

-track1, take1 = snare, tom1, tom2

-track2, take2 = tom3, floor tom

-track3, take2 = kick

-track4, take3 = cymbals

-track5, take3 = hi-hat

 

Of course you would need a drummer who is spot on.

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I like it! (Which probably means A's right.. too little guitars. I can understand the vocals. ;) )

 

The drums are problematic. They sound great to me with one, glaring exception. The snare. It sounds like mush in the context of the entire mix. Not bad in the quiet section at the end, but the definition all but disappears in the bulk of the song.

 

I don't really know if that's a problem for you. If I listen to the song as a whole (rather than concentrating on specific instruments) it sounds rather good that way.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Neil - I'm really flip-flopping about the snare. I put a very, very light verb on the overheads so the snare would showcase it at the end (just adds to that whole haunting feel of the coda) but I too was concerned about whether there was too much smearing during the main portion of the song.

 

I may yet strip the coda snare down to a separate track and 'verb it by itself. Probably my best bet at this point.

 

A: I still am very much a proponent of the minimalist approach - I just learned a lot about placement in this session - wide L/R placement yields heavy cymbals and light drums, where XY center yields much better drum response.

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I like the song despite the drums!

 

Maybe you can clone the OH track filter the crash out as much as possible and blend the tracks together to get a more balanced drum mix.

 

Another option might be using a plugin like

http://www.drumagog.com/ that replaces your drum tracks with samples. I've never used it myself but I know people who swear by it. It'd keep the live feel but give you more control over the individual drum sound.

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Originally posted by A String:

...If you have enough tracks, maybe you could set the mics that you have up and record several tracks.

 

In this example, you would use three mics.

-track1, take1 = snare, tom1, tom2

-track2, take2 = tom3, floor tom

-track3, take2 = kick

-track4, take3 = cymbals

-track5, take3 = hi-hat

 

Of course you would need a drummer who is spot on.

I would recommend never attempting the above suggestion except as a fun experiment.

 

I don't mean to sound so dire, but really, how would you perform if I told you to divide guitar phrases into little, somewhat random parts and play them with proper feeling.

 

It just doesn't work very well. I've been programming drums for 18 years and I can tell you, it's difficult enough to play small parts with your fingers on pads, let alone on sections of a drum set. And I can always move notes that are close, but not quite there. ;)

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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Originally posted by Griffinator:

Neil - I'm really flip-flopping about the snare. I put a very, very light verb on the overheads so the snare would showcase it at the end (just adds to that whole haunting feel of the coda) but I too was concerned about whether there was too much smearing during the main portion of the song.

 

I may yet strip the coda snare down to a separate track and 'verb it by itself. Probably my best bet at this point.

 

 

A: I still am very much a proponent of the minimalist approach - I just learned a lot about placement in this session - wide L/R placement yields heavy cymbals and light drums, where XY center yields much better drum response.

It sounds pretty good at the end. You might gain something by verb'ing it by itself.

 

I have nothing against minimalist drum mic'ing in general, but it works far better for some styles of music. Personally, I find it hard to use for hard driving rock, where power of the drums is important to be in your face.

 

And yes, XY is far better than a spaced pair of overheads when they are the only mics other than the kick.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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fntstcsnd

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Originally posted by Griffinator:

- wide L/R placement yields heavy cymbals and light drums, where XY center yields much better drum response.

:thu:

 

That's what I was getting in your "The Experiment Begins" thread on the Project Studio Forum.

 

Bring the OH mics inside the drum perimeter, rather than outside and on the far left/right sides where they will pick up a lot of cymbal action..

 

Also, having the OH mics "inside"...like right over the drummer's head...or maybe a bit behind...will help pick up more toms/snare/kick than cymbals...as the cymbals are usually tilted down a bit inside (from the drummer's perspective).

It is off the edges of the cymbals that a lot of the projection comes from.so with the OH inside, the cymbals edge is not aimed at the micswhere the toms would point up at the OH mics.

 

When your have the OH mic on the outside of the kit...or out in front...then the cymbal edges are tilted up a bit...and usually aimed right at the OH mics...so you get a lot of the cymbals...and very little of the toms/snare...

 

I hope you can get a clear visual from all of that...

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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4 mics:

 

2 overheads - X/Y... \/...2-3' over the drummer's head, and pointed lfet/right and just a tad down at the toms.

Though I would set them M/S...if you have one that will do figure-of-8, and the other in cardioid.

The 8 mic capsules go left/right...and the cardioid points straight down...mics are facing each other tip-to-tip in a + cross pattern.

And you also need to then setup the M/S matrix ( not a big deal).

 

1 snare mic - (pointed away from the HH)

 

1 kick mic (inside)

 

Anyway...record the OH mics as a left/right pair of tracks...the snare to its track...and the kick to its track.

 

You will then be able to bring up the levels of the snare and kick to taste with out messing up the rest of the kit, which is gotten primarily by the OH mics.

 

But here's a thought...

If the drummer is going to continuously wail away on the cymbals every few beats...it's kinda hard NOT to end up with a total cymbal wash all over everything!

He needs to back off a bit. ;)

Also...using lighter cymbals will bring the levels down...and...damping them will help manage the decays...so that they don't keeping washing non-stop from one hit to the next. :thu:

Finallyif the ceiling and walls are hard, and closeyou need to deaden them, since that will only add to the wash effect of the cymbals.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:

Another option might be using a plugin like

http://www.drumagog.com/ that replaces your drum tracks with samples. I've never used it myself but I know people who swear by it. It'd keep the live feel but give you more control over the individual drum sound.

I may actually take the "test drive" of that software and experiment with mixing it into the existing drum tracks. Couldn't hurt, for sure, and if I can salvage the snare and toms with it, it'd be worth the effort, and the subsequent expense of buying the program...
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Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Originally posted by A String:

...If you have enough tracks, maybe you could set the mics that you have up and record several tracks.

 

In this example, you would use three mics.

-track1, take1 = snare, tom1, tom2

-track2, take2 = tom3, floor tom

-track3, take2 = kick

-track4, take3 = cymbals

-track5, take3 = hi-hat

 

Of course you would need a drummer who is spot on.

I would recommend never attempting the above suggestion except as a fun experiment.
Allow me to clarify. I wasn't suggesting the drummer only play certain parts of the kit during certain takes, I was saying he should mic different drums during different takes.

 

Same as doubling a solo or vocal part, you set up the mics, on the drums as you would in a studio. Because he is short on mics, he only records the kick, floor tom, and tom3 during one of the takes, (But the drummer plays the whole kit as though it was an overhead mic). After the take, he moves the mics and has the drummer play along with himself while he records the next set (Cymbals and hi-hats for example.) into a new track.

 

As long as the drummer can play along with a click track and is spot on, you should have more control over the mixing.

 

Ultimately however, spacing the mics is the best. One for the kick, one for the snare, one for the toms, one for the hi-hat seems to be the best set up with only four mics that I've seen.

 

On second thought, I'm used to mic'ing kits for live play...Maybe you should listen to the guys who do studio work professionally for the setups.

 

[Edit:] Wow, just ignore this post. My daughter was up all night with a high fever and I didn't get any sleep. :freak:

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Tried Drumagog tonight - DEFINITELY not going to work in this situation. I tried every setting imaginable - it still wants to trigger the snare off the cymbal crashes, and doesn't want to trigger it on the actual snare hits. I suppose the idea of manual sample triggers isn't out of the question, but I've been tooling with it a bit more and am finding that heavy doses of multicomp (going after the mid-highs where that crash lives) are rectifying the situation.
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Originally posted by Griffinator:

Tried Drumagog tonight - DEFINITELY not going to work in this situation. I tried every setting imaginable - it still wants to trigger the snare off the cymbal crashes, and doesn't want to trigger it on the actual snare hits. I suppose the idea of manual sample triggers isn't out of the question, but I've been tooling with it a bit more and am finding that heavy doses of multicomp (going after the mid-highs where that crash lives) are rectifying the situation.

Too bad. It probably works best where you have seperate tracks with a little bleed through.
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Originally posted by Justus A. Picker:

...where you have seperate tracks with a little bleed through.

So Griff...how did you record each of the mics?

 

I don't recall what you ended up doing with your two spot mics...though I think you placed one on the kick and the other one....was where?

 

If you have kick and snare spot mics recorded to their own tracks...you can go a long way towards fixing the overall sound if you bring the tracks into a DAW and do some editing.

 

I often make adjustments to the level and decay of the cymbals (which were mostly picked up by the OH mics) and that doesn't really screw up the kick/snare (which I also have on individual tracks).

Just cut across all tracks (kick, snare L/F pair) where the cymbal hit begins and where it tails off...and then I will only lower/adjust the level of the OH L/R pair...but I leave the kick/snare levels alone.

I can also do that the other way around...if I want to just push up a single snare hit (or kick hit)...I do the same thing...cut, then raise the level of that snare/kick hit (check your cross-fades for pops)...and move on to the next hit.

 

Yeah...it can be quite tedious editing many hits for a whole song...but you CAN do a lot of fixing....

....as long as you recorded the kick and snare to their own separate tracks.

Which is why I like to put the kick mic inside the drum, as it provides automatic isolation from the other drums...and I always face the snare mic away from the HH...so that the bleed is minimal.

 

Also...the small amount of bleed that you DO get in those spot mics...will be totally masked by the OH L/R tracks...so it can be done...you just need time and patience if the initial tracking was not very clean...or where the levels/bleed was quite messy.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by A String:

Originally posted by fantasticsound:

Originally posted by A String:

...If you have enough tracks, maybe you could set the mics that you have up and record several tracks...

I would recommend never attempting the above suggestion except as a fun experiment.
Allow me to clarify. I wasn't suggesting the drummer only play certain parts of the kit during certain takes, I was saying he should mic different drums during different takes.

 

Same as doubling a solo or vocal part, you set up the mics, on the drums as you would in a studio...

 

...On second thought, I'm used to mic'ing kits for live play...Maybe you should listen to the guys who do studio work professionally for the setups.

 

[Edit:] Wow, just ignore this post. My daughter was up all night with a high fever and I didn't get any sleep. :freak:

How is she? I hope the fever has broken by now. :eek: Sending good thoughts...

 

I did understand your post, and it would be interesting to try, for fun, but even with a really solid player you're bound to have slight time differences that would result in phasing or outright flams from the repeats caused by bleed of unmiked drums on each pass.

 

BTW - I'm a live sound mixer primarily, too. ;)

 

My typical setup with three mics on live gigs is kick, snare and one overhead. On such gigs it's usually a three piece kit and I point the overhead directly at the floor tom from above the drummer's head for power and punch. It picks up enough of the rack tom(s) without too much cymbals with an SM57. The more rack tom(s) I need, the further to the drummer's right I position the overhead, so it ends up pointing more towards the racks as well as the floor tom. Of course, this is setup for mono reproduction, so placement in the side-to-side plane is not a factor in placement through the sound system. The same could be done with a recording setup.

 

Add a fourth mic and stereo overheads add some depth, either as X/Y or slightly spaced pointed at the rack tom(s) and floor tom, respectively.

It's easiest to find me on Facebook. Neil Bergman

 

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