Minimum size for a drum room?

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Sculli
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Minimum size for a drum room?

Post by Sculli » Sun May 20, 2012 7:28 am

Thinking of adding a drum room. My ceilings are pretty low. Just curious . Minimum dimensions? Thanks!
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Nick Sevilla
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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun May 20, 2012 4:51 pm

There is no minimum.
You'd be surprised at some of the albums which contain small room drumkits.
The trick is what to surround the drumkit with, to get a balanced absorption, and some reflection.

The other trick is using the right microphones and mic patterns to get the right amount of rejection and bleed in each mic.

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Sculli
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Post by Sculli » Sun May 20, 2012 7:58 pm

Thanks Nick!

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Post by chris harris » Sun May 20, 2012 8:04 pm

Yeah, I definitely (ideally) prefer a high (and angled) ceiling. But, I've recorded decent drum tracks in a room that was no bigger than 11'x10' with 8' ceilings. That room was even untreated. It was sheetrock walls and ceiling with carpet floor. It was all about placement and the sound of the drums themselves.

I do wish I had had a half-dozen (or more) 4'x2'x4" 703 panels in there, though...

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Post by CedarSound » Mon May 21, 2012 1:10 pm

Back in the seventies, I believe that lots of people recorded drums in very small spaces at times that were referred to as drum booths. I guess it all depends on what kind of sound you are going for..

My studio has low ceilings (8 ft) and I made them even lower by attaching broadband acoustic panels to the ceiling. I have bass traps in the corner and some absorption on the side walls as well.. the panels on the ceiling made all the difference though, the mics don't hear the reflection from the ceiling, and as a result, the room doesn't sound boxy. I can just add a little reverb to taste, or reamp later.. works well for me.

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Post by Sculli » Sat May 26, 2012 7:12 pm

There's some food for thought. Thanks Folks!

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Jarvis
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Post by Jarvis » Sun May 27, 2012 12:47 pm

About 6 inches less in every direction than the drummer's setup requires.
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JWL
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Post by JWL » Sat Jun 02, 2012 11:20 pm

Agreed, small rooms are best with lots of bass trapping and lots of high frequency absorption, to eliminate early reflections going into the mics. If it's a small room then it won't add any useful room tone anyway.

For drums, absorption on the ceiling can help a lot, particularly if you have low ceilings (ie, less than 12-14').

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Snarl 12/8
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Post by Snarl 12/8 » Sun Jun 03, 2012 12:14 am

Jarvis wrote:About 6 inches less in every direction than the drummer's setup requires.
Never miss an opportunity to f&%k with a drummer!
This would be hilarious if it weren't so true.
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Post by kslight » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:27 am

I prefer a big room with high ceilings, but I have had excellent results with low ceilings and drum booths...I'd take a great drummer in a small room over a crap drummer in a huge room any day...I think its how good they are at hitting the kit that determines whether or not you can get away with a small room..

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Post by chorga1 » Fri Jun 08, 2012 3:03 pm

My drum room is 10x12 with 7.5 foot ceilings. It took awhile, but now my drums sounds are great. Can I get the same sounds as someone with a huge room and tall ceilings? No. Do I get usable recordings that work well and do the instruments sound like they should? Yes.


Lots of bass trapping helped, but the key with my low ceilings was to cover most of it with 2" of 703. Making the ceiling 'disappear' was the biggest difference.

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Post by accordion squeezist » Sun Jul 01, 2012 11:34 am

In the case of a 15x20 room 12' ceiling, should I roll up the 13x13 carpet to expose the concrete floor or use the carpet? It's for straight-ahead hard-bop jazz.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:17 pm

accordion squeezist wrote:In the case of a 15x20 room 12' ceiling, should I roll up the 13x13 carpet to expose the concrete floor or use the carpet? It's for straight-ahead hard-bop jazz.
Listen to both... use the one you like best.
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Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:49 pm

Our current live room we've been using for the last five years is prob around 10x12 with an 8' ceiling. We treated the hell out of it, but it sounds great. Maybe once or twice I've wished I had a bigger room, most of the time it's all that's called for.

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Post by bannerj » Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:56 pm

I read somewhere that Tchad Blake like to do drums in the smallest, most dead rooms. That gave me the nudge to keep trying drums in this silly sized tracking room here at the college. It's about 8x10 and seemed too big for a vocal booth and too small for drums.

If you can move some gobos and any other kinds of absorption around and try different things, you can learn a lot. I have a big 4x8 riser board that is really reflective, a 4x8 gobo with a dead side and a side with foam absorption and about 8 2x4 traps. We can move these around with different mic positions and get all kinds of sounds.

I'll also add that learning to pull nice omnis down into the drummers chest/shoulders has changed my technique too. I'm thinking more about getting tone from OHs before I'm worrying about room size/reflection. Of course it'd be nice to have a room where I could get both.

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