A good drum room faking technique??

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jwnc
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A good drum room faking technique??

Post by jwnc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 11:44 am

HI,

Just wanted to pick some brains out there about this. I have my drummer who records in his basement and while is close miced sounds great, his OH/room is not very big at all. When I bring up the OH/room i get the drums but not alot of room ambience in there. I am looking for a way to make it bigger or another way.

Right now kinda what I do is load a room verb and set it pretty small decay and size and then I put the 1176 on it and kinda slammed it and then add it as a send efx to the kit so kinda make it sound like that is the room.

Any hints or ideas to do this better or your techniques?

Thanks
Jason

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Post by lionaudio » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:14 pm

I usually crush room mics, so I don't see why crushing a dead mic with reverb would be much different. As long as slamming the reverb still has a natural decay it should still be convincing enough to use

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Post by Gregg Juke » Fri Mar 04, 2011 12:27 pm

Don't necessarily give up on an ambient mike. You can take a chest-high "picture" of the kit from about 4 to 6 feet out in front, shoot a mike at the floor, or look for another wall or corner where some ambience/reverb is
available and sounds decent. If there is any duct-work or heating grates or other furnace exhaust pipes anywhere, try that too...

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Post by fuzz » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:06 pm

Stick a couple mics in the hvac ducting and squeeze the tits out of em

might not work, but its not gonna sound like a close mic :)

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Post by green dc » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:08 pm

one thing i tend to do if there is no big room, but want realistic space is send all of my drums to a bus with some decent stereo compressor.
then split all the drum tracks before the bus separately out to 2 different reverb settings 100% wet, pan hard left and right (or whatever), then send that verb into my drum bus.
the phase relationships between the different verbs creates a realistic "fake space" instead of "reverb on drums" sound . almost like two different mics in in two different parts of a room, each with different characteristics. i try to imagine how long it takes sound to travel from the kit to where i want the "mics" to be, and use that as my decay setting. eq to taste, and it does the job.
can take a little while to dial in something that works, but it has never really failed me in creating the illusion of a big space.

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Post by palinilap » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:17 pm

In addition to slamming it, you could try delaying the mic a few ms, or simply nudging it to the right a bit. Albini delays room mics to tape to prevent the "Haas effect".

There's a lot of good info in this thread as well: http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopi ... 08&start=0
In particular, check out cgarges' post on the first page.

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Post by ott0bot » Fri Mar 04, 2011 2:38 pm

palinilap wrote:In addition to slamming it, you could try delaying the mic a few ms, or simply nudging it to the right a bit. Albini delays room mics to tape to prevent the "Haas effect".

There's a lot of good info in this thread as well: http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopi ... 08&start=0
In particular, check out cgarges' post on the first page.
I was going to suggest this as well....good call.

Try this. Make a plugin chain in this order:

EQ - HPF an a medium slope starting around 100-200hz, nothing too drastic. This will reduce some of the low frequencies before compression.

compressor/limiter - hi ratio (10:1 or more usually), medium attack, slow release.

Delay - appropriate amount of ms to give space some space. I usually use an analog setting and tweak.

reverb - medium decay, wetness 40% or so.

EQ - put a little low end back in the mix, and a gentle high freq shelf sometimes helps.

Try this as the only OH and if that isn't fitting well enough, put these plugs on an aux send, crank the wetness on the verb to 90% or so, and have it in paralell to the existing, dry OH track/s.

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Post by GussyLoveridge » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:30 pm

I'm a fan of finding a nice sounding room and blasting my monitors at one end and recording it back with a stereo pair at the other end. I usually record a few passes, one with more drums, one with more cymbals, one mostly balanced, sometimes just the high hat (actually, I've probably never done that, but you could) and/or just the snare. It's time consuming and all, but generally a super fun time. You end up eventually using a bunch of different rooms for different projects and then you basically have one of those room simulators, but all the rooms are in your head, and you can just go to them.

Other times, I've pumped whole mixes out and brought them back in. Occasionally it doesn't work at all, other times it's super awesome, pretty unique and more fun than sitting in a room with a an SPX90.

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Post by ott0bot » Fri Mar 04, 2011 3:45 pm

^^good call^^

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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Fri Mar 04, 2011 5:05 pm

My drum room sucks balls.

First, room treatment. Superchunks in the corners and hi/mid traps on ceiling above kit and all around it.

Then, what I do is stick my Rode NT1a 10-20 feet away from the kit. Laying on the floor (concrete. might not work so good on a vibrating wood floor. in that case, use a stand) aimed straight at the floor. So the diaphragm is 1/2 inch away from the floor or so.

Then, come mix time, I delay that mic, usually 10-20ms and throw a room verb on it. Some times a gate it kindof conservatively, before the verb. And I almost always compress the piss out of it. Some going in, some on the recorded track and some more on the drum buss.

Add that track to taste. A little goes a long way.
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Re: A good drum room faking technique??

Post by inasilentway » Fri Mar 04, 2011 9:03 pm

jwnc wrote:Right now kinda what I do is load a room verb and set it pretty small decay and size and then I put the 1176 on it and kinda slammed it and then add it as a send efx to the kit so kinda make it sound like that is the room.

Any hints or ideas to do this better or your techniques?
that's a pretty valid technique. what about this do you feel is lacking? maybe rather than everyone giving you their personal recipes that work in their situation, a little more direction as to what you're looking for out of these tracks will help guide the conversation.

have you been present when the drummer is setting up the mics? could be as simple as him putting them too close.
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Re: A good drum room faking technique??

Post by jgimbel » Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:22 am

inasilentway wrote:have you been present when the drummer is setting up the mics? could be as simple as him putting them too close.
True. Maybe backing off the overheads/putting the maybe more out front then over top, if that's not where they are, and getting more of a full picture of the kit in the overheads and just using the close mics to support spots that need help would give the kit some more ambience.

I used the trick on an acoustic guitar track that I mixed recently of using two separate but similar room reverb sends and panning them left and right, and it worked like a charm. Originally it was a song on the album that I was never happy with, and now it's one I like more than some of the others. I've done it on drums too. Also delaying the room mic a bit and adding a very wet room reverb to it and sneaking it in can imitate a room mic decently, and the amount of delay can control the "size" of the "room". You can play with the Haas effect in there too, even with the two reverb sounds too and really get some interesting imitation reflections going on. I know a lot of people love crushing room mics, but I really only love that on certain things, I don't find it working as a general method but it can really be great when it works.
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Post by T-rex » Sat Mar 05, 2011 6:36 am

Put a mic at the top of the steps leading into the basement or at the bottom of the steps facing up. Even if the door is closed in a normal house there is going to be a ton of sound that will be muffled and reverby. It will work great I promise. Or at least down the hall way, in another room next door, etc. the distance can be dictated by the tempo of the song a bit, but even adding just a little bit of a mic like that can make the drums sound like they were recorded in a massive room.

You could also try omni's for overheads. Even in a normal overhead position they will add much more space around the drums than cardioid and you can still rely on your close mics for the impact.

I tried crushing room mics before and it never really works for me in my room, but down the hall at the top of the steps works great for me.

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Sat Mar 05, 2011 9:50 am

+1 on the mic at the top of the steps. almost guaranteed to work.

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evilaudio
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Post by evilaudio » Sat Mar 05, 2011 10:50 am

wow, top of the steps, that's a great idea!! I always thought the staircase sounded really good when I sing or speak going up or down them, but never even thought of putting a mic there for drum ambiance. I love this forum!

What type of mic are you generally using for this? I assume omni if you have one?
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